Originally Posted by BrigadierAngus
I'm slightly confused and maybe I am just thick and not understanding this, but I see a lot of people recommending amps and power that's a lot above the RMS and even the "max" power handling capabilities on their speakers...
If I was to get an amp for my st-l towers, they're technically only rated max power @ 350 watts and my st are rated max @ 300....
Correct me if I'm wrong, but if I wanted to listen to these @ reference levels using say.... 400-500 watt per channel amp, would that not do untold damage to my speakers? Especially considering they're only rated @ 100 RMS... my understanding was that the RMS power rating is what is recommended by the manufacturer as what you should be using to consistently power the speakers.. or am I incorrect about what the RMS is saying?
Like I said, I'm truly not understanding why you guys are recommending what you're recommending and I'd really appreciate someone taking a few minutes to explain it so I can make an educated decision on what processor & amps I should purchase.
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For the most part, those power ratings are for "safe" operation of the speaker in order to achieve its specified parameters.
So in general...
The minimum power rating is the minimum amount of power needed for that speaker to achieve its advertised db level within the specified measuring parameters.
The maximum power rating is the maximum amount of power you should have available to "safely" reach these parameters without damaging the speaker, and trying to go beyond those parameters. So basically, as long as you don't have more than the recommended maximum power available and you have a clean signal, you "shouldn't" damage the speaker, unless "you" push it to far.
Having too much power isn't a problem, utilizing too much power can be.
Now for what I was talking about, and our discussion on driver efficiency.
Remember, an audio driver is nothing more than a diaphragm built to a certain specification, designed to move back and forth with an electro magnet. And besides the size of the magnet, one of the big deciding factors on how fast that diaphragm moves is determined by the amount of power given to, or available to, that magnet.
So, the more available power (to a point), the faster the diaphragm can move the desired amount, this is of course transient response, and the quicker and more accurate the transient response (starting and stopping) the more defined the frequency reproduction.
While you may still be able to move that driver the required amount with lower wattage, having the higher wattage available should not only improve the transient response of that speaker under normal operation, in most cases it's really noticed under higher dynamic situations where the transient response is more vital to the reproduction.
Hope this helps.
(Now for the aggravating part)
While the above is true in general, the minimum, maximum and most efficient amount of power is not only dictated by driver size, but driver construction and design as well, this is why not all speakers/drivers have the same power correlations, and therefore the same results in a change of sound with differing amounts of power.
So the earlier discussions of actual amounts, really only apply to the speakers we were referencing, but it's fairly accurate for DefTech's drivers in general.
One more reason why speakers aren't One Size Fits All.