Too Much Power?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tommy_N, Feb 15, 2003.

  1. Tommy_N

    Tommy_N Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey all,

    I'm in the process of upgrading my speakers and then adding an Amp. I haven't decided on anything yet, however a lot of the speakers (especially center channel )are rated for power handling of up to 150 watts.

    I'm looking at amps in the 150-200 watt range. How much damage could it do having an over-powering the speakers? I assume not as much as if they were under powered. The speakers will not be driven that hard at all. Most listen is done at or well under reference level.

    Or should I just look for an amp/speakers with different ratings.

    Thanks

    Tom
     
  2. Khoa Tran

    Khoa Tran Supporting Actor

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    I have a speaker rated at 300 watts but my amp puts out 600 watts...it won't damage your speaker unless you turn it up to deadly levels....i doubt you will do that unless your room is an auditorium....
     
  3. Greg Bright

    Greg Bright Second Unit

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    As long as you don't overdrive the speakers into distortion, more power is always better because you have more headroom power for the peaks and transients that occur in all music. More power means more effortless sound from your speakers. When you consider that it takes 10 times the power to double the volume...well, pretty soon 500 or 1000 watts per channel doesn't seem so outrageous.

    Or does it? No it doesn't. Every speaker that I have ever listened to in the last 35 years ALWAYS sounded better with more available power. No clipping is a wonderful thing.
     
  4. Tommy_N

    Tommy_N Stunt Coordinator

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    Then why do manufacturers put a range on their speakers? Is it just a guideline? How do they determine it?

    Thanks

    Tom
     
  5. Haru

    Haru Stunt Coordinator

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    who knows. I stopped looking at watt ratings of speakers so far back, I can't even remember when I cared about it. I make sure I have enough power, I make sure I don't drive the speakers into distortion, and thats all thats important.

    If I start hearing compression in the sound, if I detect dynamic range short comings, I know I don't have enough headroom, so I need more ampage.
     
  6. Khoa Tran

    Khoa Tran Supporting Actor

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    not to steal your post but i'm wondering how exactly do you detect compression and near clippings?
     
  7. Haru

    Haru Stunt Coordinator

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    I can just hear it. I don't know how to explain it without demonstrating and explaining what I am hearing without you there with me so I can describe what you should listen for.
     
  8. Khoa Tran

    Khoa Tran Supporting Actor

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    i mean, whenever i play mp3s through my system even at 192 i turn it up a pretty good amount and i start to hear some pink noise but very faintly...but when im playing CDs at that volume i don't hear it...
     
  9. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    That's because mp3s downloaded off the net are the suxors. Even if you create your own, which IMO is kind of pointless if you have access to the cd, mp3s are not ideal. Good, yes, but not like cd.
     
  10. John F. Palacio

    John F. Palacio Supporting Actor

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  11. Oachalon

    Oachalon Stunt Coordinator

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    there is no such thing as having too much power. Well thats what i say. Just keep the things down. With a more powerful amp u will have a less chance of clipping it. Also if u ever upgrade speakers that need more power you will have it.
     
  12. RayJK

    RayJK Stunt Coordinator

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    To quote the sig of AVB on the AVS forum:
    __________________
    There is no such thing as too much clean power.
     
  13. Dave Bullet

    Dave Bullet Auditioning

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    More power is better

    If you are worried about overdriving your speakers, as you turn up the volume if the speakers sound compressed or provide a reduced soundstage - you are beginning to overdrive your amp.

    Also realise every 3dB increase in volume requires a "doubling" in amplifier power output. So a 300watt amplifier will only play 3db louder than a 150watt amp without distorting. The benefit with the 300watt amp is it has more headroom than the 150Watt amp to handle the crescendos in classical and other peaks in the music. Less likely to distort.

    Underpowered amps blow tweeters (due to harmonic distortion when the amp clips)
    Overpowered amps rattle woofers (due to thermal or mechanical overload from driving the speakers too hard)

    All Speakers have 2 power handling ranges
    The usual one published is the "thermal power rating" capability. A sustained excess of power over and above the range will burn out the voicecoil of the woofer in the speaker.

    The second is the "mechanical power rating". This is the maximum amount of power that can be fed into a speaker at a given frequency before the cone "moves too far" (exceeding its excursion limit). For example - a woofer with a 100watt thermal limit, may have a 100watt mechanical limit at 100Hz, but only a 25watt mechanical limit @ 50Hz due to the amount of cone travel (excursion) required.

    How to get more SPL / volume?
    - Get more efficient speakers
    - Get a more powerful amp

    Dave.
     

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