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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Question about speaker power limits:


I currently have a Sony STR-DA5ES 6.1 receiver powering my 7.1 setup (with one rear unconnected) and I plan on adding a 7 channel amp nd using my Sony as a preamp (until I can afford a new preamp.) My question is this, I like the b&k 200.7 amp, but 200 wpc is well above the max power for the omni's. Assuming I do not listen at reference levels (because I usually don't!) am I OK here?


I know that at high volume I will overwhelm the drivers' ability to dissipate heat and possible weld up the voice coils (cool, but expensive), but am I on thin ice at average listening levels?


I know there is a b&k 125wpc flavor, but I would rather have extra power on hand for future upgrades.


Any advice?
 

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Yes, moderate the volume, and you'll be fine. Underpowering is far worse. Clipping damages tweeters.
 

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keep in mind that the power ratings on amplifiers and speakers are RMS, or for continuous power output/handling.


so that means that the quoted wattage for your speakers is the maximum wattage they can handle continuously, and for the amp, the maximum wattage it can output continuously.


amps and speakers can usually put out and handle far more than that rating in terms of brief peaks.


so, when it comes to regular listening, it is unlikely that you will be continuosuly using anything more than a handful of watts; if your speakers are even halfway efficient (and making certain reasonable assumptions about the size of your room and the distance from the speakers to the listening position), then you'll probably only be using somewhere in the neighbourhood of 10 watts or so.


of course, this is not to say that you won't be able to fry your speakers with the kind of wattage your amp can generate, but just that you'd need to do something nutty in order for it to happen.


as a rule of thumb, it's ok (some would say it's in fact optimal) to drive speakers with an amp whose maximum RMS wattage is twice that of the speakers.


- jd
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanx for the input. I had a mobile audio store years ago, and we routinely exceeded power recommendations for all speakers except subs. But knowing the small listening space in the vehicle, we weren't worried. I was more leery with a home theater situation.


My fears have been allayed!


Thanx,


Wolf
 

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The key is moderation and it sounds like you have that covered. As long as you're not pushing the speakers to the point where they are sounding harsh or strained, you'll be okay. Just be a bit careful with soundtracks which seem very quiet and then some big explosion comes all. You don't want the special effects to be so real that you see smoke coming from your speaker cabinets:)
 
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