(Speakers) How much can the handle??

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brook, Jul 3, 2002.

  1. Brook

    Brook Agent

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    I just bought new Axiom M3ti's, Vp100 center, and the Qs2 surrounds. They all say(except the surrounds) that they can handle 175 watts. My sony receiver is 80x5, so they wouldn't blow if I had it on full power???? The volume knob goes up to 30, and at 20 it's really loud! But the sounds still sounds good. So how much can they handle??


    Thanks
     
  2. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Don't go crazy -

    The Sony is (likely) sending "dirty" power at or below the point you describe. That's called "clipping". The Sony's power supply runs out of gas and starts sending a clipped signal to the speakers. 80x5 doesn't mean that when the volume is wide open you get 80x5. It's not that simple.

    The rule of thumb is you can mate a 250w amp to a 175w speaker better than a 80 watter to a 175w speaker. You are better off potentially overdriving a speaker than clipping it.

    Watts mean nothing to a speaker really, as long as it's clean power it will go much louder than you can reasonably stand. There's math involved to figure out what you can really do, and SPL meter's are needed.


    Be careful or soon you may lose a tweeter...
    - CM
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Yes, you would probably ruin your speakers if you turned it all the way up. As mentioned, Sony's DE line has less than spectacular amps and it WILL clip and cause damage, most likely to the tweeters.
     
  4. Chris PC

    Chris PC Producer

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    Speakers are destroyed by one of two things:

    1) Two much power
    2) Clipping

    Or BOTH

    Some people mis-understand and think that an amp rated at or lower than their speakers power rating are not able to blow their speakers. Any amp that clips can blow speakers. A pair of high quality speakers rated for 100 watt are usually able to handle 150 watts of CLEAN un-distorted power WITHOUT any clipping. More powerful amps are good if they don't clip, but a clipping 150 watt amp will destroy speakers rated for 100 watts a little faster than a clipping 80 or 100 watt amp will.

    Moral of this story? Buy as much power as you can afford and don't push it too hard. Start by listening at lower volumes. Listen close and learn to hear the slightest bit of distortion and turn it down when you do.
     
  5. DaveDi

    DaveDi Auditioning

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    Moral of this story? Buy as much power as you can afford and don't push it too hard. Start by listening at lower volumes. Listen close and learn to hear the slightest bit of distortion and turn it down when you do.

    That about sums it all up-
     
  6. Brook

    Brook Agent

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    I'm understanding most of this.[​IMG] But I still don't really understand what clipping an amp is. :b
    Thanks a lot
     
  7. Michael R Price

    Michael R Price Screenwriter

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    An amplifier can only deliver a certain maximum voltage (or current) to a speaker. When it tries to reproduce an output signal with peaks greater than its maximum output, it will clip the tops off the waveform because it simply cannot track the signal completely anymore. This abrupt "clipping" creates a lot of high frequency distortion which can easily destroy tweeters. In the case of an underpowered amp, you may turn it up too loud and ask the amp to perform beyond its limits, causing clipping. Does that make a little more sense, Brook?
     
  8. Ryan_McCormick

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    Hello all,

    I have a similiar question. I just ordered 2 front tower speakers to add to my system. I am using a kenwood VR-606 receiver pushing 100Wx5. The tower speakers are rated at 200 watt max. I usually listen to my movies at about 3/4 of max volume. My question is how much of a risk of clipping am i running? At this level the speakers i have now rated at 100 watts max have no signs of distortion. The volume rating is from -00db to 0db and i run them at about -35db. Any help will be appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Sorry for posting my question within you thread, but it was along the same lines.
     
  9. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Ryan - See if you can get an idea from my situation -

    I have an NHT set run off of an HK AVR110, 40x5.

    NHT's = 86db efficient
    I sit 2m away, so that makes them 80db with 1 watt.
    They are close to one wall, so add 3db.
    83db then. So -

    1 watt = 83db
    2 = 86
    4 = 89
    8 = 92
    16 = 95
    32 = 98

    At about 98db I start to run the amp thin, and a big peak in the music will clip the amp. Damage is not always immediate, either. It can build up from what I've heard.

    In your situation, with the same math,

    64 = 101
    128 = 104 (ears bleeding)

    Rule of thumb = 3db increase = 2x the power.

    Sorry for rambling...
     
  10. Tom Brennan

    Tom Brennan Screenwriter

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    Keep in mind that you can't figure how loud a speaker gets but simply adding 3db for each doubling of power, such calculations ignore compression in the drivers themselves. For instance even a super-duty, high efficiency, high output driver like the JBL 2226 15" woofer suffers from 2.5db compression at half it's rated power and 4.6db compression at rated power. In effect at it's rated power the driver is simply acting as a heat and power sink and has long since ceased to get any louder.
     
  11. ColinM

    ColinM Cinematographer

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    Good point.
     

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