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Speaker Wattage to Receiver Ration

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by dantana2000, May 20, 2013.

  1. Dave Upton

    Dave Upton Audiophile
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    Wattage is used as a marketing tool. The only reason it's discussed is for headroom and spl (loudness) capabilities. No one ever listens at max volume all the time, so we recommend that you buy based upon how loud you listen and the impedance (Ohms) of your speakers. Having loads of power (watts) is called headroom and just means you aren't distorting the signal at high volumes and potentially damaging the driver. Sent from my Android phone on the HTF App!
     
  2. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    You need to go back and look at the links to the guides from Paradigm."Peak wattage" is an irrelevant spec. Hell, the Bose 901 has a theoretical infinite power rating. Meaning...you could hook up a little 15watt T-amp or a McIntosh MC1020 and both amps are "in spec".Under powering a speaker actually means "asking too much from your amp". Sure...if you really think your true calling is "matching watts'...keep banging your head on your desk cause you can't find "exact matching speakers".
     
  3. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    This will probably confuse you even more but here goes anyways....

    A quality speaker is rarely damaged by over-powering it. Speaker damage usually occures by either setting the crossover lower than it should be thereby sending to much bass or too low of a bass signal to it, or by distortion from the amplifier. A low quality receiver/amplifier cranked up too high will send a distorted signal to the speaker. It's this distortion that usually causes damage to that speaker. A good quality speaker that's "rated" at 75 watts can probably handle a whole lot more then that if the crossover is set properly and the amplifier is of high quality/low distortion. That same speaker might be damaged if connected to a low quality 50 watt receiver/amplifier with high distortion. Under powering a speaker has more to do with the quality of the amp section then it's power output.

    Once again :) , a 140 watt Pioneer, Onkyo, Denon, etc will have no problem powering any good quality speaker ( Infinity, Polk, Klipsch, Axiom, etc) to ear-bleeding levels whether they be 4 ohm, 8 ohm, whatever. I've been using a 110 wpc Pioneer and Marantz receiver to power my Polk 4 ohm LSi speakers and haven't experienced any issues. Granted, I don't turn the volume knob way up but both receivers seem to be up to the task.

    And most receivers that are 4 ohm certified simply have a switch or setting that reduces the power output of that receiver by as much as 50%. A seperate amplifer from Emotiva, Outlaw, Adcom, etc is the best way to go if you want to buy 4 ohm speakers and run them at high volume for extended periods.
     
    Edward J M likes this.
  4. Edward J M

    Edward J M Cinematographer

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    ^ +1. It's far easier to damage a speaker with an underpowered AVR driven into clipping than a powerful external amp which is always operating cleanly and linearly. Every toasted tweeter I've ever seen has resulted from a ham-fisted user cranking a cheap and underpowered AVR into clipping.

    It's almost impossible to damage a speaker under normal use conditions by using a 'too powerful amp'. Agree with above the loudspeaker power rating is a pretty useless specification. I've driven dozens of speakers with 'recommended power ratings' of 100-150W using external amps in the 300-500W range and never had a problem - more clean power is always a good thing and will not harm the speaker.
     

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