Originally Posted by OllieS
Originally Posted by kbarnes701
Clean or clipped, sending more power to a speaker than it can handle is likely to damage it.
Okay, so how do you damage a speaker with an amplifier that is too underpowered? Every report I've read shows that people have burnt out their tweeters due to too little power driven into clipping. More power and usually no problems after that.
Who's said you can damage a speaker with an amp that is "too underpowered"? IDK any simpler way to explain it than I already have. Let's try one more time:
If your amplifier is of low-ish power, you may find that your speakers aren't going as loud as you want them to. Say your amp is rated for 50 watts and your speakers are rated for 100 watts and you are listening at 70dB, but you want more dB than that. So you turn up the volume, right? At some point, you will drive the amp into clipping. At this point the amp is delivering more than the 50 watts. It could, for example now be delivering 150 watts. If your speakers cannot handle 150 watts, then they will be damaged. It is this excess power that has damaged them, not the clipping.
If instead, you listen at the same 70dB and want more SPL, but this time you have an amp that is rated for 100 watts, you can turn it up so it will deliver 100 watts but this time without clipping. It is a clean 100 watts and as your speaker can handle 100 watts it will not be damaged.***
As Arny says, this myth has arisen that clipping destroys tweeters and that an overpowered amp is less likely to do so. The fact is, if you feed your speakers more power than they can handle, whether it is clean or clipped, it will damage them.
*** My numbers are just hypothetical and probably have no proper internal logic to them - I couldn’t be bothered to work it out logically. It doesn’t matter - the principle is what I am trying to get across.