Amp RMS Greater Than Speaker RMS - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 123 Old 10-01-2013, 06:22 AM - Thread Starter
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I have the Klipsch RF-62 II's that have a rated RMS of 125 watts. I've been looking at an amp that has 200 watts RMS. Would this be too much for my speakers?

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post #2 of 123 Old 10-01-2013, 07:06 AM
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No. You are only going to use a few watts - perhaps up to 10 or 20 watts for short periods of time. The amplifier power won't have any affect on anything. People often confuse the fact that speakers draw the power they need and no more.
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post #3 of 123 Old 10-01-2013, 07:46 AM - Thread Starter
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The way I understood it is, the amp is 200 watts at all channels driven, so if I cranked it to full volume, I would be inputting 200 watts into each speaker. From what you're saying, my speakers wouldn't draw anymore power than is needed?

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post #4 of 123 Old 10-01-2013, 08:05 AM
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More power is better than less power to a point. If you really crank it up for a long period of time, you may have problems.

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post #5 of 123 Old 10-01-2013, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Riddle View Post

The way I understood it is, the amp is 200 watts at all channels driven, so if I cranked it to full volume, I would be inputting 200 watts into each speaker. From what you're saying, my speakers wouldn't draw anymore power than is needed?

No. Give up the concept of inputting. The amplifier is like a pool of available power and the speakers draw what they need from the pool, however much that is. As you increase volume, the speakers draw more power. As you decrease it, they will draw less. If you were to turn up the volume all the way with a 200 watt amplifier you would certainly destroy the speakers and you might damage your hearing if the speakers lasted long enough to injure you.

Any modern amplifier with more than 20 or 30 clean watts will do just fine driving your speakers to loud volume levels. Don't worry about the amplifier power, It is irrelevant. That's all I'm saying.
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post #6 of 123 Old 10-01-2013, 08:21 AM
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Here's a real life example. In my exercise room I have a stereo system that is driven by a 40 watt per channel integrated amp. The speakers are way less sensitive than yours. I can't get past 1/3 volume without blowing myself out of the room. Amplifiers have a lot of power, not because people need it, but because people seem to want it and the manufacturers have to provide it in order be competitive. Ignore amplifier power. It won't affect your system.
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post #7 of 123 Old 10-01-2013, 08:36 AM
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Quote:
I have the Klipsch RF-62 II's that have a rated RMS of 125 watts.
This spec is meaningless. Ignore it.
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I've been looking at an amp that has 200 watts RMS. Would this be too much for my speakers?
No. Probably far more than you need, but unless you put an idiot in charge of the volume knob, it can do no harm.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #8 of 123 Old 10-01-2013, 11:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the responses, this finally makes sense. I would like something more akin to 100-125 watts a channel, but the only 3 channel amp I can find is the Emotiva XPA-3, which is 200 per channel. Of course, I might just stick with my ONkyo TX-NR808 which powers my speakers just fine.

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post #9 of 123 Old 10-01-2013, 11:34 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Riddle 
I would like something more akin to 100-125 watts a channel, but the only 3 channel amp I can find is the Emotiva XPA-3, which is 200 per channel. Of course, I might just stick with my ONkyo TX-NR808 which powers my speakers just fine.

What you need to remember is that power is logarithmic so if you doubled your amplifier power you would only net +3dB of maximum overhead. Your NR808 can deliver well over 100W on a test bench in 2 channel mode. Moving to an Emotiva would probably yield negligible benefits and that is only assuming your listening levels require more clean power than your AVR can deliver cleanly, which is highly unlikely. 100W in any reasonable sized room is a lot of power, unless your room was the size of a large auditorium or you have speakers of incredibly insensitivity, and you want to recreate the sound of a live orchestra.

If your existing amp was not clipping at the levels you enjoy then your power demands have already been met.
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post #10 of 123 Old 10-01-2013, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the input. Based on the responses here and from everything else I've read, it sounds like my current setup has plenty of power and headroom to meet my needs. I guess I will have to focus my upgrade bug on another component! Thanks again for all the help.

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post #11 of 123 Old 10-01-2013, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnarus View Post

Quote:
I have the Klipsch RF-62 II's that have a rated RMS of 125 watts.
This spec is meaningless. Ignore it.

Good point. More to the point is speaker efficiency. For the RF-62 it is speced at 97dB @ 2.83V / 1m

Reference: http://www.klipsch.com/rf-62-ii-floorstanding-speaker/details#specs

This independent review from a credible source says its more like 92 dB/W http://www.audioholics.com/tower-speaker-reviews/2010-1k-faceoff/copy3_of_1k-faceoff-comparisons. Still more than average.

Take that info over here:

http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html

I plugged in some numbers from my listening room including a ralatively long seating distance of 12' and obtained

103.7 dB.

That's 1.3 dB shy of standard 105 dB (reference level for peaks) so probably your situation will be reference level or better.

Quote:
I've been looking at an amp that has 200 watts RMS. Would this be too much for my speakers?

Probably not if you used it properly, but as others have pointed out, it would be barely 3 dB more than what you'vve got.

What's 3 dB? These days if you move your AVR volume control 6 clicks either way, that's 3 dB. It is audible but its not a lot. It would take a 1,000 wpc amp to give the impression of "Twice as loud" and that could also be dangerous for your speakers.
Quote:
No. Probably far more than you need, but unless you put an idiot in charge of the volume knob, it can do no harm.

Agreed about 200 watts, but for a kick worth the cost or 1 KW per channel, not so much.
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post #12 of 123 Old 10-05-2013, 01:54 PM
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I'm running 1800W RMS (2400W peak) on a center speaker that is only rated for 500W RMS. (1000W program power) It hasn't blown up yet and I can't hear it distorting either. I haven't done a measurement with a SPL meter but I know it has a efficiency of 92dB/1W and 50-18KHz@+-3dB.

I am not running at that level for long periods however:
1. I would likely go deaf. tongue.gif
2. The voice coil or passive crossover would burn up.

So with my personal experience, you can run a speaker with 3 times more power than its RMS rating. For how long and with how much distortion is another question.
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post #13 of 123 Old 10-06-2013, 06:30 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks VTOLfreak. It seems there is quite a bit of misinformation out there regarding anything to do with this hobby - over marketed with pseudo sciences. Thankfully, I can always count on the the members of these forums to point me in the right direction. I plan to keep my current setup for now and add the XPA-3 at a later date. Not to get a db gain, but just for clean power and for the future when I switch to the RF-7's and RC-64.biggrin.gif

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post #14 of 123 Old 10-06-2013, 08:50 AM
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Actually you need a LARGER amplifier than the 200 watts.

If the rating of 125watts is correct, then the test signal that was applied to get that rating had a 6dB crest factor. That means 500 watts (6dB is 4 times the power).

So in order to pass that signal without distorting-you need an amp that is 500 watts.

Amplifier DO NOT deliver power. They deliver voltage-and the power that is dissappated is a result of the voltage applied (by the amp) and the impedance of the loudspeaker-which is NOT a constant impedance-but rather varies a lot with freq-so the "power" is not the same at all freq. If you were to apply a constant voltage at all freq-the power would not be the same-because the impedance is different at different freq.

HOWEVER if you run the 500 watt amp into clip-then the average power being "delivered/absorbed" by the loudspeaker is higher than the rating you will let the magic smoke out.

But the REAL question is not the size of the amp needed to drive the speaker to full output-but rather how much power you need to get the levels YOU need for your listening.

THAT gets a lot harder..

You hear people say all the time that speakers can be damaged by to low of an amplifier size. This is simply UNTRUE. Speakers love it with small amps. The REASON the speakers are damaged by small amplifiers is because people push them into clipping-which has much more average power "applied" to the loudspeaker. Once the signal becomes non linear-all bets are off.

But if the signal is clean-to small of an amplifier presents no damage to the loudspeaker.

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post #15 of 123 Old 10-06-2013, 09:57 AM
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The reality is amplifier power has virtually nothing to do with anything with modern amplifiers in a home environment. A typical home theater user won't use even a small fraction of the 100 watts or so that are available from most modern amplifiers in a home listening room. In rare circumstances, the amplifier power supply might be a limiting factor in an audio installation but those circumstances really are fairly rare. Most speaker manufacturers know better than to make a speaker system that can't be handled by the typical 100 watt amplifier. But, of course, there are those few..........
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post #16 of 123 Old 10-06-2013, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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I typically listen at around 18 below reference on my Onkyo 808, or around 62% of full volume - highest I've ever gone is 70%. At my normal listening levels I get about 85-90 db peaks with an average of around 75 dbs. Anything higher than this and my ears would be bleeding. At these levels I've never heard any clipping from the amp, but I have upgraditis and have focused my current attention on adding an amp and possibly switching to the Marantz SR7008, using it as a pre/pro for my from three channels and using the receiver amp only for surrounds.

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post #17 of 123 Old 10-06-2013, 12:14 PM
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At 90 dB peaks you are likely using less than 5 watts. If all you need is 5watts that is all any amp will deliver.
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post #18 of 123 Old 10-06-2013, 06:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JHAz View Post

At 90 dB peaks you are likely using less than 5 watts. If all you need is 5watts that is all any amp will deliver.

Wow! I was very curious after you made this statement and I found this neat calculator provided by crown at this link:
http://www.crownaudio.com/elect-pwr-req.htm

I have to say, I never would have thought it would take such little power, 2 watts exactly, to get those levels. Only 11 watts to hit 95 decibels and had to go to 105 decibels just to get over 100 watts needed. Thank you for your input, without it I would still think I was driving way more watts than I am.

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post #19 of 123 Old 10-06-2013, 06:52 PM
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Using the formula on that calculator backwards my center speaker alone should reach 121dB. That includes leaving 3dB headroom as it suggests to prevent clipping.

Maybe its time to get a decent SPL meter. smile.gif
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post #20 of 123 Old 10-07-2013, 05:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Riddle View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by JHAz View Post

At 90 dB peaks you are likely using less than 5 watts. If all you need is 5watts that is all any amp will deliver.

Wow! I was very curious after you made this statement and I found this neat calculator provided by crown at this link:
http://www.crownaudio.com/elect-pwr-req.htm

I have to say, I never would have thought it would take such little power, 2 watts exactly, to get those levels. Only 11 watts to hit 95 decibels and had to go to 105 decibels just to get over 100 watts needed. Thank you for your input, without it I would still think I was driving way more watts than I am.

Interesting that you found that calculator at Crown's site, not say Emotiva. ;-)

My opinion is that some vendors that cater to consumers rely heavily on rumor and speculation and personal testimonials by poorly informed persons to sell their products, while ethical vendors rely on technology to sell their products.
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post #21 of 123 Old 10-08-2013, 01:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW 
The reality is amplifier power has virtually nothing to do with anything with modern amplifiers in a home environment.

Really? Based on what evidence?
Quote:
A typical home theater user won't use even a small fraction of the 100 watts or so that are available from most modern amplifiers in a home listening room.

Are you omniscient? A typical HT user may be seated 4-5 meters away from their speakers. Their speakers may have a sensitivity of 87-88 dB and the impedance may be problematic at the low end of the scale and/or may have problematic phase angles. The user also might decide to play his music at levels approaching 100 dB.

There may be bass heavy material in the music collection of that typical user. Since you are generalising, let me do the same.

If you had some statistical evidence to back up your assertion then perhaps we could talk. Do you? Have statistical evidence?

Can you explain how you were able to determine what the typical power draw would be for the typical user in the typical home without knowing the speakers, the seated distance, listening levels or source material that was used?

Please show me your calculations. Thanks.
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post #22 of 123 Old 10-08-2013, 02:10 AM
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I tried running my speakers off my AVR internal amp, just for giggles. The 12inch driver didn't even move, I had just enough power for the tweeters. smile.gif

Goneten, I know I am still new on this forum but relax. He's not forcing you to go listen to his underpowered system is he?

Most people who respond like this simply haven't heard a decent system. They also confuse loud for SQ. Most of my friends think I'm nuts until they actually come over and listen to some music and movies at my house. They expect a 24KW system to blast their ears off and then they are surprised when it doesn't. On average I play music just as loud as they do. But I need that power for low-end extension and transients. Something their HTIB's can't do.
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post #23 of 123 Old 10-08-2013, 02:18 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTOLfreak 
Goneten, I know I am still new on this forum but relax. He's not forcing you to go listen to his underpowered system is he?

I am relaxed. I don't know nor care what system he owns because that is not relevant to me. I'm just curious how he was able to calculate what the typical voltage and current draw would be for the typical user in the typical room, using typical music/HT material and typical seated distances and listening levels. Nothing these days is really "typical".

I'm not concerning myself with anything other than the claim that was made. However I'll dissect your post in a moment.
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post #24 of 123 Old 10-08-2013, 02:23 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTOLfreak 
They expect a 24KW system to blast their ears off and then they are surprised when it doesn't. On average I play music just as loud as they do. But I need that power for low-end extension and transients. Something their HTIB's can't do.

You have a 24KW system? Sounds impressive. Is that PMPO?

Out of curiosity, what system do you have? Seated distance? What is "loud" for you? More importantly, how did you determine you needed 24KW for low-end extension and transients?
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post #25 of 123 Old 10-08-2013, 03:49 AM
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Originally Posted by goneten View Post

You have a 24KW system? Sounds impressive.
18KW RMS. And not really impressive. PA amps are cheap. They are also ugly to look at. have noisy cooling fans and my amps burn up 300W just turned on. Same with PA speakers: Very loud and efficient for the cost. But you are looking at an ugly box the size of a fridge that is not useable without EQ.
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post #26 of 123 Old 10-08-2013, 04:14 AM
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Originally Posted by goneten View Post

Really? Based on what evidence?
Are you omniscient? A typical HT user may be seated 4-5 meters away from their speakers. Their speakers may have a sensitivity of 87-88 dB and the impedance may be problematic at the low end of the scale and/or may have problematic phase angles. The user also might decide to play his music at levels approaching 100 dB.

There may be bass heavy material in the music collection of that typical user. Since you are generalising, let me do the same.

If you had some statistical evidence to back up your assertion then perhaps we could talk. Do you? Have statistical evidence?

Can you explain how you were able to determine what the typical power draw would be for the typical user in the typical home without knowing the speakers, the seated distance, listening levels or source material that was used?

Please show me your calculations. Thanks.

I've done that enough times on these forums that I'm really not interested in repeating myself. But you need to come to grips with the term "typical." A typical home theater is like mine. It is a living room or family room with an entertainment system in it, Dedicated theaters aren't typical. Just calm down, come to grips with my meaning and do the calculations for yourself. It isn't hard.
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post #27 of 123 Old 10-08-2013, 04:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW 
Just calm down, come to grips with my meaning and do the calculations for yourself. It isn't hard.

Translation = I have no calculations to speak of and my speculation is not backed up by solid reasoning. Again, you have no grounds to make the kinds of claims you are making. Typical home theatre or not, you cannot assume the power requirements of all typical people in all typical situations without knowing all the particulars.

For a second time, I am calm. biggrin.gif However I tend to get annoyed when people make global claims without supporting evidence. Saying "I've done the calculations" doesn't lend credence to your claim unfortunately.
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post #28 of 123 Old 10-08-2013, 04:55 AM
 
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Here is a typical hypothetical scenario. Speaker sensitivity of 87 dB/1 watt/1 meter. Typical seated distance 3.6 meters (around 10 feet back). You've lost around 6-8 dB for a start. Assuming you want to hit 100 dB peaks you'll need in excess of 70 watts.

Given the very high crest factor of well recorded music, a typical user may experience sudden bursts in dynamics that exceed 100 dB peaks. Oops, that 70 watt requirement is no longer relevant.

We haven't even discussed the impedance angle nor have we discussed the source material which could influence the power demands significantly. 1812 Overture, anyone? Now no one can say for sure that 70 watts is what all typical users will need in their rooms because that's nothing but speculation.

What if you sit further than 10 feet back? Is it atypical to sit 12 feet back in a typical room? I don't think so.
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post #29 of 123 Old 10-08-2013, 06:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goneten View Post

Translation = I have no calculations to speak of and my speculation is not backed up by solid reasoning. Again, you have no grounds to make the kinds of claims you are making. Typical home theatre or not, you cannot assume the power requirements of all typical people in all typical situations without knowing all the particulars.

For a second time, I am calm. biggrin.gif However I tend to get annoyed when people make global claims without supporting evidence. Saying "I've done the calculations" doesn't lend credence to your claim unfortunately.

I have done the calculation many times on these forums and have posted the results. You can go find them if you want. Now where are your grounds to refute what I wrote? Never mind, you are arguing for the sake of arguing. I'm not that interested.
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post #30 of 123 Old 10-08-2013, 07:53 AM
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