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What is the relation between amplifier RMS/peak power, source level and the speaker power rating? Let's say 8 ohm speakers could handle 100 watts by the spec. The amplifier puts out 300W/8Ω of continuous power per channel with a peak of 450W/4Ω per channel. If the amplifier gain is set to 1/3, is it possible to blow/damage the speakers or the amp by having too high source level (for instance, by cranking DAC volume control too high)? If so, how do I know which is the safe threshold for source level and amp gain for the speakers to handle?
 

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What is the relation between amplifier RMS/peak power, source level and the speaker power rating? Let's say 8 ohm speakers could handle 100 watts by the spec. The amplifier puts out 300W/8Ω of continuous power per channel with a peak of 450W/4Ω per channel. If the amplifier gain is set to 1/3, is it possible to blow/damage the speakers or the amp by having too high source level (for instance, by cranking DAC volume control too high)? If so, how do I know which is the safe threshold for source level and amp gain for the speakers to handle?
Key points are:
  • Use conservative gain/volume settings
  • Use clean, low distortion sources
  • Keep the source and amplifiers levels, below any clipping point

Note that more loudspeakers are blown using low powered amplifiers rather than high powered ones, as typically the user is trying to get more output beyond the amplifier's design limits.. It is possible to destroy a loudspeaker by feeding it high, continuous power but for the majority of quality, brand loudspeakers they are designed to handle it a long as the source is low distortion...

Just my $0.02... ;)
 

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...how do I know which is the safe threshold for source level and amp gain for the speakers to handle?
Do a search for "gain structure." It's the process of setting maximum input voltage and amplifier gain to match amplifier output power capability. This can be important when mixing consumer and professional amplifiers, due to different input sensitivities. Devices like this address the issue.

Have fun,
Frank
 

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What is the relation between amplifier RMS/peak power, source level and the speaker power rating? Let's say 8 ohm speakers could handle 100 watts by the spec. The amplifier puts out 300W/8Ω of continuous power per channel with a peak of 450W/4Ω per channel. If the amplifier gain is set to 1/3, is it possible to blow/damage the speakers or the amp by having too high source level (for instance, by cranking DAC volume control too high)? If so, how do I know which is the safe threshold for source level and amp gain for the speakers to handle?

You are asking questions that would require very long answers to be complete, and likely would just generate more questions on your part. It would be helpful if you listed the exact components that you plan to use in your system, and not ask such broad questions.

As another poster mentioned, it would also be good if you spent your time to read about gain structures and other audio concepts.
 
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