Receiver power v. speaker ratings

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by John_Panz, Dec 4, 2001.

  1. John_Panz

    John_Panz Auditioning

    Dec 4, 2001
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    Ok, I'm obviously a newbie. Currently I have a Yamaha reciever and Klipsch SB2/SC.5/SR2/SW10 setup. I personally love the Klipsch sound, although I think after reading a alot, I'm beginning to understand the concept of brightness with that combo. Still sounds good to my as yet untrained ears.

    Anyway, my question:

    The receiver is rated at 100 w per channel while the speakers are rated for "continuous" power and "peak" power. The continuous rating on each varies from 50 to 85 but the peak varies from 200-340. What is the significance of the continuous rating below the 100 w rating of the receiver? Is that a problem?

    I've read a little about the sensitivity of the Klipsch and the need for less power to drive them but don't understand the relationship between receiver power and speaker rating.

    Thanks in advance. By the way, very helpful and educational site!!
  2. Gordon C Jr

    Gordon C Jr Stunt Coordinator

    Aug 15, 2001
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    It means that the speakers are designed for handling 50 to 80 Watts of clean power continuously (i.e. normal playback). However, they are capable of handling 200-340 watts of intermittent power (such as a cannon or explosion). They are not designed to receive over 80w continuously and will more than likely distort or have the woofers pop at that level.

    Having a receiver that outputs more wattage than your speakers can handle is nothing to be concerned about, unless you attempt to drive the speakers to the full output potential of the receiver. I believe your speakers would be screaming with distortion before this happens though. It’s actually better to have an over-powered receiver than an under-powered one. An under-powered receiver could stress the receiver output causing unwanted distortion and possibly clipping the amp.

    Keep in mind that when a receiver quotes 100w/channel in their specification, this is many times miss-leading and receiver many times can not achieve this with all channels driven. This is another issue though.

    My 2 cents.
  3. brentl

    brentl Cinematographer

    May 7, 1999
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    " An under-powered receiver could stress the receiver output causing unwanted distortion and possibly clipping the amp. "

    Exacty, and overdriving a speaker is much less likely to ruin a speaker.

    A clipping amp can kill a speaker in seconds!!

    Brent L

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