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Author Topic: How to calculate an amplifier for a biamp speaker?  (Read 395 times)

Samo Serb

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How to calculate an amplifier for a biamp speaker?
« on: October 01, 2018, 04:03:48 pm »

Hello, can you help me please? I want to use a speaker in biamp mode with an active crossover. It's a problem if I use a bigger amplifier than the hf driver (for example, I have a 200w high frequency driver and an amplifier with 1000w/8ohm per channel)...how should I set the output from the amplifier to not blow the speaker? Thanks!
« Last Edit: October 01, 2018, 04:28:22 pm by Samo Serb »
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: How to calculate an amplifier for a biamp speaker?
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2018, 04:20:58 pm »

Hello, can you help me please? I want to use a speaker in biamp mode. It's a problem if I use a bigger amplifier than the hf driver (for example, I have a 200w high frequency driver and an amplifier with 1000w/8ohm per channel)...how should I set the output from the amplifier to not blow the speaker? Thanks!

First you need to change your real name to your display name as requested when you asked to join our group.

Second.   You should give more data, active or passive crossover.


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Rob Spence

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How to calculate an amplifier for a biamp speaker?
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2018, 09:49:41 pm »

Also, tell us what amps you have available.
And what speakers...


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Samo Serb

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Re: How to calculate an amplifier for a biamp speaker?
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2018, 02:32:57 am »

Also, tell us what amps you have available.
And what speakers...

I refer to McCauley Sa154 linked with Ashly KLR5000 for hf drivers and Labgruppen
Fp10000q for mids and subs.
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Geert Friedhof

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Re: How to calculate an amplifier for a biamp speaker?
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2018, 08:53:47 am »

You can't. Both amplifiers have no dsp, so no limiters or even bi-amping for lack of crossover. Without limiters there is no control over the max output, except at the source.

You will need a speaker management system. You don't have an Ashley Protea 3.6sp or something similar laying around by any chance? ;)

I would ask McCauley for the recommended settings: xover freqs, eq and limiter settings. Be aware of the gain differences. There will be some math involved.
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Luke Geis

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Re: How to calculate an amplifier for a biamp speaker?
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2018, 10:40:38 am »

A 1000 watt amplifier for a 200 watt driver is a recipe for disaster. HF drivers can typically handle an amp that is rated for its peak power, but ideally, you want to power any given speaker with an amp rated between the drivers continuous and program rating.
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Samo Serb

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Re: How to calculate an amplifier for a biamp speaker?
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2018, 10:41:30 am »

You can't. Both amplifiers have no dsp, so no limiters or even bi-amping for lack of crossover. Without limiters there is no control over the max output, except at the source.

You will need a speaker management system. You don't have an Ashley Protea 3.6sp or something similar laying around by any chance? ;)

I would ask McCauley for the recommended settings: xover freqs, eq and limiter settings. Be aware of the gain differences. There will be some math involved.

Yes, I have Ashly Protea DSP, I forgot to mention...
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Samo Serb

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Re: How to calculate an amplifier for a biamp speaker?
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2018, 11:09:05 am »

A 1000 watt amplifier for a 200 watt driver is a recipe for disaster. HF drivers can typically handle an amp that is rated for its peak power, but ideally, you want to power any given speaker with an amp rated between the drivers continuous and program rating.

For shure I can use a bigger amplifier! What I wana know is how to set the threshold for maximum 180w.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2018, 12:22:48 pm by Samo Serb »
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David Allred

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Re: How to calculate an amplifier for a biamp speaker?
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2018, 02:48:35 pm »

For shure I can use a bigger amplifier! What I wana know is how to set the threshold for maximum 180w.
I assume that you mean you want a maximum of 180w to the speaker under any upstream input condition.  Is that RMS or peak?

Ideally, you'd want to limit for both.  Is the 200w speaker rated cont, prog, or peak?
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Luke Geis

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Re: How to calculate an amplifier for a biamp speaker?
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2018, 02:57:49 pm »

With that amount of power, you probably can't set a low enough threshold to save the driver.

The amplifier is a fixed gain devise. You can't reduce its peak power potential. Turning down the dial on the front is nothing more than an attenuator and will only reduce the drive level that the power amp section sees. If you drive it hard enough you will still have the same wattage potential. Now, this can work provided you never drive the input of that amp till it produces X amount of power, but it is caveat emptor.

A fixed gain amp is pretty simple in nature. It takes X voltage in and converts it to X more voltage out. Some amps are 26db gain others 36db of gain, while others only require X number of volts of input to equal full output ( typically 1.4 volts ). No matter how you slice it, the amplifier will still produce its rated watts if you send it enough drive level to do so. Again the knob on the front is only an attenuator, so all it does is turn down the input drive level.

In short, you cannot take a 1000 watt amp and make it so that it will limit its output to only 180 watts. Now if you turn down the drive level enough and never exceed that drive level, the amp may only ever produce a fraction of its potential, but if you send enough drive signal, the amp will continue to provide power well beyond 200 watts.
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