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Author Topic: How Much Power Do You Really Need From Your Power Amp?  (Read 1955 times)

Steven Danger

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How Much Power Do You Really Need From Your Power Amp?
« on: June 08, 2011, 01:06:36 pm »

Do you REALLY need the standard "2 for 1" power amp wattage to speaker wattage ratio or can you you get by fine with less?

For example I have an 8ohm speaker with a 400 watts continuous rating.  "The book" would say that I need a power amp that will deliver at least 800 Watts at 8ohms.  So do I?  Can I still get by well with an amp delivering 500 watts?  600 watts?  In my case I'm not blasting metal music at piercing levels just good old classic oldies of pop and rock standards.
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: How Much Power Do You Really Need From Your Power Amp?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2011, 01:17:56 pm »

How much SPL do you need?

JR
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billy peterson

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Re: How Much Power Do You Really Need From Your Power Amp?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2011, 01:29:59 pm »

Do you REALLY need the standard "2 for 1" power amp wattage to speaker wattage ratio or can you you get by fine with less?

For example I have an 8ohm speaker with a 400 watts continuous rating.  "The book" would say that I need a power amp that will deliver at least 800 Watts at 8ohms.  So do I?  Can I still get by well with an amp delivering 500 watts?  600 watts?  In my case I'm not blasting metal music at piercing levels just good old classic oldies of pop and rock standards.

Well from what little I know, it's best to use an amplifier that can output twice your speaker or sub's RMS rating because you operate the system at about 3db lower level but because of the fact you're using an amplifier twice as powerful, you're still giving the sub or speaker it's RMS voltage, and seeing as you're operating the system about 3db lower you've got 3db headroom for peaks so you get a cleaner sound. That's how I understand it anyway, considering watts are just another electrical power value, like to find out the wattage, a speaker cab might be getting you multiply the voltage you se at the speaker terminals by itself and then divide by the impedance to get a value of the power in watts.
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duane massey

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Re: How Much Power Do You Really Need From Your Power Amp?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2011, 10:15:53 pm »

You need an amp powerful enough to make it loud enough. Makes no difference what the book says (or anyone else). If it's loud enough for your needs and nothing is clipping or distorting you're good.

The "2 for 1" ratio is useful for determining how to get the most out of your speakers, but there is no minimum requirement.
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Duane Massey
Technician, musician, stubborn old guy
Houston, Texas

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: How Much Power Do You Really Need From Your Power Amp?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2011, 10:15:53 pm »


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