which watts specification to use when matching speakers - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-08-2013, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi all, when looking at the watts of a receiver, brands post different watts depending on the test they use. for example:

Power Output Per Channel(20Hz-20kHz, 0.08%THD@8ohm) 105 Watts
Power Output Per Channel(1kHz, 0.7%THD@6ohm) 135 Watts
Max Power Output Per Channel 215 Watts

when finding speakers to match with a receiver, which of these watts specs should I be looking at? should I be buying speakers that are 105, 135 or 215 watts?

thanks
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-08-2013, 08:10 PM
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The RMS rating 20-20k Hz rating with as low a distortion figure you can find. Max or peak power in these advertisements is pretty much useless. Doesn't mean that you can't find an amp with a rating that matches the speaker and still not kill the speakers by driving the amp to significant distortion and resultant level to damage the speakers.

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post #3 of 7 Old 03-09-2013, 05:57 AM - Thread Starter
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So a good speaker match in this case would be one that can handle 105 watts or a little less?
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-09-2013, 06:22 AM
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Lets see if Max wattage ratings are relevant... Have you ever turned your system, any system for that matter all the way up. I dont mean up really loud I mean ALL the way as far as the dial would go? If not you are no where near the max wattages.

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post #5 of 7 Old 03-09-2013, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velocci View Post

So a good speaker match in this case would be one that can handle 105 watts or a little less?

You could look for a speaker that's capable of 105 watts of continuous program material rather than peak...but you still have to be careful in using the amp with the speaker to avoid damaging the speaker.

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Originally Posted by Nick_si View Post

Lets see if Max wattage ratings are relevant... Have you ever turned your system, any system for that matter all the way up. I dont mean up really loud I mean ALL the way as far as the dial would go? If not you are no where near the max wattages.

Turning a volume dial all the way to max isn't meaningful in and of itself, although doing so could drive an amp into significantly higher than rated wattage and acceptable distortion. Without measuring gear to utilize, try simply using your ears, if you're hearing distortion don't turn it up further....

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post #6 of 7 Old 03-09-2013, 09:07 PM
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lovin... i guess my point wasn't conveyed well. I was trying to illustrate that most people only use a few watts of power during day to day usage. even if you have pretty low efficency speakers say 87 db/watt @ 1m (pretty standard) you are using 1 watt. and 87 dB is pretty loud a food blender is typically 88dB which is louder than I watch TV. Want to get louder? No problem the standard rule of thumb is double your power every 3dB right? ok so lets say 96 dB or as loud as a lawn mower... that is still only 8 watts. even the lowest wattage rating of 105... will get you over 105 dB which is very close to the human pain threshold.

This is why wattage so rarely matters. the difference in dB between a super budget sony at 65 watts and a super power many thousand dollar receiver is typically only about 3dB because even they only put out 120 watt per channel and that is double...

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post #7 of 7 Old 03-09-2013, 09:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick_si View Post

lovin... i guess my point wasn't conveyed well. I was trying to illustrate that most people only use a few watts of power during day to day usage. even if you have pretty low efficency speakers say 87 db/watt @ 1m (pretty standard) you are using 1 watt. and 87 dB is pretty loud a food blender is typically 88dB which is louder than I watch TV. Want to get louder? No problem the standard rule of thumb is double your power every 3dB right? ok so lets say 96 dB or as loud as a lawn mower... that is still only 8 watts. even the lowest wattage rating of 105... will get you over 105 dB which is very close to the human pain threshold.

This is why wattage so rarely matters. the difference in dB between a super budget sony at 65 watts and a super power many thousand dollar receiver is typically only about 3dB because even they only put out 120 watt per channel and that is double...

You're preaching to the choir so to speak. It still doesn't have much to do with where you spin the volume dial. I do have fairly low efficiency speakers in my mains, 86.5 dB actually. To achieve reference at my listening position takes a significant amount of power with allowing for headroom for peaks. I use amps of 250w/ch for the L/R and my center is running off the same model of amp but bridged so has a lot more on tap. 105dB at 1m distance is still different than at LP so you have to compare appropriately. I watch most movies at -10dB from reference myself, sometimes at reference then your source and gain matching and other factors come into play as well.

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