• 10-15-2013, 06:13 AM
    tugmcmartin1973
    What's better? Running 120W speakers at 120W or running 600W speakers at 200W?
    Totally subjective question, i know. But was thinking about this last night. In general, assuming speaker range and response, etc is equal, would you get "better" sound from a lower wattage speaker running at full power than you would from running a higher wattage speaker at half?
  • 10-15-2013, 07:57 AM
    blackraven
    Running an amp continuously at its peak output would damage it and the speakers. The 600w speaker would sound better given that the amp is not maxed out.
  • 10-15-2013, 02:42 PM
    harley .guy07
    I would have to agree as well and would add that speaker power ratings are so different from model to model brand to brand. I run a speaker that is rated at 150 max continuous with an amp rated at 300 watts at the speakers impedance. I worry more about the amp having more than enough power to make the speaker and room they are in happy and sound good at all the volumes that you expect to listen to them at than any power rating would suggest on a speaker rating. I used to run my Dynaudios with an amp that runs at exactly their max power rating and I know for a fact that they are much happier with the more powerful amp that I have now especially giving that I have moved into a new home with a much bigger room. Room size will change power requirements for a speaker as well so with all those factors to account for I would go for more than needed rather than try to match it perfectly.
  • 10-16-2013, 05:04 AM
    ranhounene
    I would go for more than needed rather than try to match it perfectly.http://www.ximi.us/usa/images/28.gif
  • 10-16-2013, 05:58 AM
    Feanor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tugmcmartin1973 View Post
    Totally subjective question, i know. But was thinking about this last night. In general, assuming speaker range and response, etc is equal, would you get "better" sound from a lower wattage speaker running at full power than you would from running a higher wattage speaker at half?

    No, you certainly would not. But then your question needs some interpretation. For a start, to run any speaker whether rated for 50 watts or 200 watts maximum continuous literally at 50 watts RMS would deafeningly loud in a home setting.

    Maximum power ratings of speakers has essentially zero relevance to the maximum of your amplifier used in a home setting,. It is perfectly safe to use 500 watt RMS per channel amp with a speaker rated 50 watts continuous. Such a very powerful amp would be employed because it can deliver cleaner instantaneous peaks and better dynamics -- not because it will ever be called upon to deliver 500 watts continuously.
  • 10-16-2013, 02:35 PM
    JoeE SP9
    I'm glad you posted that Feanor. It's become tedious to respond to these kinds of questions about wattage ratings on speakers. Only those who are relatively new in this hobby pay much attention those types of ratings. Unfortunately for "newbies" they get caught up in those kinds of figures.:ihih:

    It seems to take a while before some folks realize that speaker wattage ratings are essentially worthless. They have nothing to do with how a speaker sounds or how loud it will play.:frown2:

    If you don't have enough power and try to get high volumes your amp/receiver will clip and distort and maybe blow a tweeter. If you have too much power and try to get very high volumes your speaker will get overdriven and distort and maybe blow a voice coil. Either way you get distortion and possibly blown speakers. If you pay attention to how things sound neither one of these scenarios will occur.:yesnod:

    IOW: When it starts to sound harsh and/or distorted turn the volume down!:idea:
  • 10-18-2013, 07:25 AM
    Florian
    Let me through my thoughts in here as well. Firstly, the power figures specified are most likely rubbish as neither the distortion, length of output measured, neither a variable resistance loading is used, or the input voltage is specified. My Krell KRS200 flagship amps, i used to have made a monstrous 300 Watt per channel. That was with a 5KW power supply and at 220lbs not light either. And this was a mono block!

    I have a pretty inefficent system by all accounts and use a 50 Watt tube amp. I never reach its limits and my ears will give up before it. Now, granted its 50 Watt per driver but my point is that you will not need anywhere close to that power, ever! Look for an amp with a very good power supply and even if its 50 Watt, the chance that you will clip and kill your speakers are almost nothing. If you get a DC offset, noone cares as your speakers are passive. IF during a peak you hit the limit, it will only be there for parts of a second and the be down to almost nothing again.

    Get a good sounding amp, the less feedback, the less stages, the bigger the power supply the better the sound. All in my opinion and experience :-)