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Speaker power handling against amp rated output power


ecridium
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Hi Guys, 

 

So I bought a Yamaha WXA -50 

 

Through the specs, it is stated that the Rated Output Power is 55W for 8 Ohms speaker.

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I'm considering buying a pair of speakers for it and was considering Klipsch Rp-400M, RP-500M, or RP-600M.  As you know it is an 8-ohm speaker.  The rated power is as follows:

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It is my understanding that the Yamaha WXA-50 will be able to drive any of those speaker to some degree.  Can I ask your opinion on which of those speakers should I buy (without buying another amp)?

 

Through the advertised rated output power (55W), if I don't add another external amplifier is it correct that I must choose the RP-400M (50W)?  Since I won't be able to utilize the full potential of RP-500M (75W) or RP-600M (100W)?  What is the difference if I pair an RP-600M with the Yamaha or RP-400M with the Yamaha?  If I pair it with the Yamaha with RP-600M will it sound dampened?  Or is the difference will just be in loudness, that the RP-400M will sound louder than RP-600M?

 

It is my understanding with the correct amp the RP-600M will sound better than the RP-400M (Am I correct on this premise?)

 

In another case:
I own a Denon x3700h and used to directly use it to drive Klipsch RP-8000F as the front speaker.  Recently I add an external amplifier (Crown XLi 800) to drive the RP-8000F.  (I connect front pre-out from x3700h to Crown XLi 800) and it resulted in much richer sound for music listening.  I was wondering if it was because the Crown emitted 200W per channel while the Denon X3700H only emitted only 105W per channel?  The RP-8000F power handling is 150W.  Hence, if my understanding is correct, the RP-400M should sound better than the RP-600M if I insisted on only using the amp on Yamaha WXA-50 (not adding an external amplifier).  So based on this experience, should I invest in an external amp that matches the power rating of RP-600M and go with the RP-600M or should I buy the RP-400M and be happy with it?

 

Should I bother with all these written specs and go directly to the highest budget speaker I can buy?  I believe these numbers mean something and so far I haven't found a source that explains it.

 

Thank you for your response.  Cheers.

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Thanks mate, I'm really new at this audio stuff. 

 

My mind was blown when I heard the RP-8000F through the Crown XLi-800.  When it was connected directly to the X3700H, it already sounds very good.  But when I connected it to the external amp, it's like I'm experiencing a new pair of speaker.  That's why I'm wondering which speaker pair should I attach to the Yamaha WXA-50. 😃

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Welcome!

 

I'm not sure how others approach this question but I've found its easier to choose the speakers you want, then choose an amplifier that matches well. For example if you have a small room and sensitive speakers (meaning they don't need a lot of power to produce high volumes, like many Klipsch speakers) then a low wattage amp can work well. On the flip side if you have a large room those same speakers will require more power to reach the same volume levels.

 

Another thing to consider is the nominal wattage used for listening will be pretty low, however if part of the song has a deep bass note, or loud crash sound, etc... it can require a lot of power for a short amount of time.

 

I'm sure others will chime in with their thoughts and experience, good luck on your journey :)

 

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Thanks for the welcome mate 😃

 

I've tried RP-500M with this amp and the Yamaha sure can drive it nicely, but then I assign those RP-500M as a surround speaker on my X3700H.  So with the current amp (Yamaha WXA-50), I'm wondering with which speaker should I pair it with (RP-400M, another RP-500M or should I go with the RP-600M).  I'm really wondering, will I achieve RP-400M's full potential instead of RP-600M or RP-500M (with this Yamaha amp).

 

Do you mean, that depending on room size (if I have a small room size), If I buy an RP-600M I might get enough power with the Yamaha and will have better result than if I get an RP-400M?  But it all depend on how I enjoy my music, for instance, if I usually listen to instrumental music on low volumes, I might be happy with the RP-600M?  Honestly if I read the specs I'm more inclined to the RP-400M.  But for future proof I'm safer if I get the RP-600M instead (the option for bi-amping and more bass and probably better tweeter too).

 

How do you guys justify buying a pair of speakers?  Is it from reviews or do you have a chance to hear those speaker demoed to you before you buy the speakers?  In the city and country I lived in, I don't really have the opportunity to hear the sound quality of the speakers before buying it.  So usually it's just like buying a cat in a bag.

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Yes , you just do the best you can in a situation like this. Youtube, this forum, which reminds me, if you want to, do a search of the forum regarding the 600s. You will find some information on them.

Would recc. the 600s myself, as you may always wonder.

Building for the future, or however you put it.

Not certain how you ended up with that model Yamaha but, really cannot see a problem from here. Since you proved so yourself about the external Crown amp.

If your Yamaha has preouts, you should be future proof?

Klipsch efficient speakers make 50 watts go along way.

BTW, read your users manual to see if all channels are 50 watts output.

How many speakers do you intend to run with the Yamaha?

Where are you located?

Thanks!

 

 

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I ended with Yamaha as I was replacing one very old amp (Technics SU-V550).  I was looking for some device that can stream song from spotify without the needs of monitor / TV.  I'm pretty much happy with the purchase though. 😁

 

The Yamaha doesn't really have a pre-out though, but it have aux out, which I believe I can pair it to an external amp and drive the speaker from there sometime in the future (correct me if I'm wrong that aux output is not actually a pre-out).  It will only be a stereo setup on my bed room, which size is about 3M (W) x 4.8M (L) x 3.5M (H) or 9.8' (W) x 11.5' (L) x 13' (H).  The first intention for buying this amp is actually for listening classical music for my pregnant wife, so in the following 3-4 years I probably won't be listening something with bass with this setup (baby and stuff). 
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The manual says that it is 55W per channel for 8 ohm speaker.  I was kind a hoping to get the mind blown feel as when I'm attaching the RP-8000f to the Crown.  I don't really know which speakers that will get me those result.  Is comparing a bookshelf speaker with a floorstanding speaker is not apple to apple? 🤔

 

I lived in Jakarta, Indonesia 😄

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Go for the most expensive speakers you can afford.  If you’re determined to hear your music in the best possible way, plan on spending a lot of money over a long time. However, it can be very rewarding.  I’ve been upgrading my system for 15 years, and it has reached a level of excellence that I could not have imagined when I started.  It may stay at this level for some time to come.  You can see the description of it in my signature line at the bottom.

 

The power ratings don’t mean much.  Most speaker manufacturers recommend that you have an amplifier that has double the power of the speakers’ rating, but that’s just to ensure that you’ll be able to get the volume you want without having to turn up your amplifier so high that it goes into clipping, a type of distortion that’s harmful to speakers.  If you use some sense and don’t turn the volume up so far that the speakers start making odd noises, you’ll be fine.

 

Klipsch speakers are generally very efficient, so you can usually get plenty of volume without needing too much power.  That said, more power does usually sound better, and the more powerful amplifiers are often of higher quality, which in part accounts for the better sound.  If you plan to add an external amplifier in the future, you should get an amplifier or receiver that has proper pre outs, so you’re ready.

 

You may want to consider having two sound systems.  The Yamaha amplifier that you have is very good, and it should be ideal for your bedroom system.  It’s not designed to be expanded.  If you want to get into higher power and all that, it would make more sense to have a living room system that you can upgrade as  your desires and budget permit.

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You may want to consider a way to make your audio dollars got further:  look into the used market.  Jakarta’s a really big city.  There must be plenty of Klipsch lovers there, and some of them are likely wanting to upsize or downsize, in any case wanting to sell what they have.  My first Klipsch speakers were a pair of 32-year-old La Scalas.  Fifteen years later, I still have them and they still put a smile on my face.

 

Unlike some other audio components, speakers can last a really long time, especially Klipsch Heritage Series speakers.  The capacitors in the crossovers start to perform less well after 20 or 30 years, but they’re not expensive, and then you’re good for another 20 or 30 years.  With most speakers, the surrounds start to dry out and fall apart after 20 or more years.  However, Heritage Series speakers, the ones designed by Paul Klipsch himself, use a type of surround that lasts for many decades, maybe half a century or more.  This is just one factor that makes the Heritage speakers a good investment, unlike nearly every other object you can buy.

 

The Heritage speakers are the Jubilee, the Klipschorn, the La Scala, the Belle Klipsch, the Cornwall, the Heresy, and the Forte.  With the exception of the Belle Klipsch, all of those are still in production, and have been updated and improved over the years.  All of them are made in the US, in Hope, Arkansas.  The Jubilee and the Klipschorn are both very large and very expensive, but all the other models can often be found at reasonable prices.  All of them are floor-standing models, including the little Heresy, but it’s the size of a large bookshelf speaker, or a medium to large microwave oven, so it can sit on a shelf or stand.  The Heresy or the Forte would be a good introduction to the series, and might be all the speaker you’d ever want.

 

Do a search for magazines or websites that list goods for sale, and check into any audio clubs in the city, or in any nearby cities.  There also may be some vintage hi-fi shops, where you can find all sorts of deals, from the “nothing special” to the “Wow!  i’m taking that home with me!” Items that may catch your eye.  You just need two things to find great deals on great stuff:  money and patience.  Money, so you can act fast when you find just what you want, at a price you’re willing to pay, and patience, so you can wait until you find what you want, or something very close to it, and be willing to pass on items that aren’t what you really want, or aren’t good deals.  Start saving, putting away some money every month, and when you spot some great speakers, at a great price (after listening to them to be sure that they work properly and that you like the sound of them), you’ll have the cash to negotiate with.  Cash is king, right?

 

Last but not least, educate yourself.  Do your research, so you’ll know what to look for, and what you’re looking at.  This forum is a great place to learn, and you may find other useful online sources of information.  Don’t believe everything you read, of course.  Some online groups may have commenters who don’t know much, so learn to weed out those types.  If you find shops that deal in used audio gear, check them out.  Get to hear some gear, and let them know what you’re looking for.  That way, when something that you’re hoping to find comes in, they’ll call you first.

 

Good luck, and happy hunting!

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Speaker power ratings at a lot like auto speed ratings.  Just because your car will go 300 Km/hr doesn't mean you can or should.  Just because a speaker can absorb 400 watts with exploding in flames, doesn't mean you should try, or need the capability.  Avoid audible distortion at all times.  Turn it down. 

 

More important is the sensitivity (dB/watt) as long as you don't force too much power into a speaker rated for less (remember those flames). 

 

A 50 watt amp will happily and safely drive a speaker rated for 1000 watts, but just not as loud as it could get.  However, overdriving the 50 watt amp (distortion) can cause some speaker parts to overheat and fail, commonly tweeters.  Otherwise, there is no need to match any amp to any speaker beyond quality.  Certainly, power ratings should not be considered when "matching".  It is Quality, Quality, Quality. 

 

Buy the speakers you enjoy listening to the most.  Buy enough power to get them as loud as you want in your room, without exceeding the speakers' power rating by a large margin (say no more then 2x the speaker rating). 

 

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Actually, as long as you exercise common sense with the volume control, you can connect an amplifier with a very high power output to speakers that have a much lower rating.  As a slightly extreme example, my system has 1000 watts available to speakers that are rated for 100 watts continuous, 400 watts peak power.  Available is the key word.  It’s not like I’m sending anywhere near the full power to the speakers.  Right now, I’m listening to some jazz/pop singer, backed with piano and cellos.  The speakers are probably receiving under 5 watts, since they’re modified La Scala IIs, with sensitivity around 105 dB/W/metre.  I would have bought less powerful amplifiers, but these are a statement product from Yamaha, using their very best design and engineering.  They made just the one model, able to drive any speaker it was connected to, no matter how low its sensitivity might be.  

 

It’s a bit like the Acura NSX, a car model that stands above the rest of the product line, to show what the company can do when price is not a barrier. The sound quality is superb, and there’s plenty of overhead (surplus power available for certain brief but very high power demanding parts of the music, like drumbeats, for example.  They may call fo 100 times the power the rest of the tune calls for.). Those momentary peaks don’t cause the speaker to overheat, so no worries there.  To make loud peaks sound realistic, it takes lots of power.  For example, to make a kick drum note sound realistic, the amplifier needs to kick the woofer roughly as hard as the drummer kicked his bass drum.  Things like this are what gives you the “mind blown” effect.  The system is producing music that comes closer to the real thing than lesser systems can produce.

 

Two kinds of people are a threat to high power sound systems:  the drunk who wants to “see how loud this “super stereo” will go”, or the teenager who wants to mow the lawn while listening to loud music.  Inside the house, the sound will be literally deafening, but outside it won’t be all that loud, especially if the lawnmower is running.  After half an hour of playing that loud, the tweeters may get fried.  As I say, using common sense and some restraint, you can connect almost any kind of amplifier to almost any kind of speaker.  The only disappointing combination is a low-power amp trying to drive low-sensitivity speakers.  No worries there with Klipsch speakers.  

 

Here’s something counter-intuitive:  the bigger the speaker, the less power it needs, and the louder it will play, with the same input power.  All else being equal, the bigger speaker will play louder with the same power input as the smaller speaker.  La Scalas are as big as full size washing machines, but they can play alright with only 5 watts.  100 watts is better, of course.  While the front of the driver is applying pressure to the air in the room, the rear side of the driver has to compress the air inside of the speaker cabinet, which takes power, reducing the power available to play music.  The bigger the cabinet, the easier it is for the driver (usually the woofer) to move, so the louder the speaker will play, on the same power input.  Cool, right?  As well, the bigger and more expensive speaker will generally have higher quality parts, contributing to more accurate and more pleasant sound.

 

While your bedroom system will sound quite good at the lower volume levels usually played in the bedroom, your living room system with the Crown amplifier is in a different league.  That’s the system that you can upgrade over time, with each change hopefully increasing its ability to blow your mind.  Five years from now, it may have evolved to a point that will surprise and please you a great deal.  Welcome to the madness!

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Hi, sorry for the long reply.

 

On 5/22/2021 at 7:23 AM, Islander said:

Here’s something counter-intuitive:  the bigger the speaker, the less power it needs, and the louder it will play, with the same input power.  All else being equal, the bigger speaker will play louder with the same power input as the smaller speaker.  La Scalas are as big as full size washing machines, but they can play alright with only 5 watts.  100 watts is better, of course.  While the front of the driver is applying pressure to the air in the room, the rear side of the driver has to compress the air inside of the speaker cabinet, which takes power, reducing the power available to play music.  The bigger the cabinet, the easier it is for the driver (usually the woofer) to move, so the louder the speaker will play, on the same power input.  Cool, right?  As well, the bigger and more expensive speaker will generally have higher quality parts, contributing to more accurate and more pleasant sound.

I'll take your word for it regarding the bigger speaker 😄, Through all of the replies I think I will go with the RP-600M.

 

On 5/22/2021 at 7:23 AM, Islander said:

While your bedroom system will sound quite good at the lower volume levels usually played in the bedroom, your living room system with the Crown amplifier is in a different league.  That’s the system that you can upgrade over time, with each change hopefully increasing its ability to blow your mind.  Five years from now, it may have evolved to a point that will surprise and please you a great deal.  Welcome to the madness!

Yes, the crown amplifier turns out to be such a good investment.  😆

 

On 5/22/2021 at 5:02 AM, JohnA said:

Speaker power ratings at a lot like auto speed ratings.  Just because your car will go 300 Km/hr doesn't mean you can or should.  Just because a speaker can absorb 400 watts with exploding in flames, doesn't mean you should try, or need the capability.  Avoid audible distortion at all times.  Turn it down. 

Thanks for the input, I won't be cranking the volume to the max as it will ruin the speakers.  What I'm wondering is which will sound better with the Yamaha's max output (55W), the RP-400M with 50W, the RP-500M with 75W or RP-600M with 100W. But with the statements :

On 5/22/2021 at 5:02 AM, JohnA said:

A 50 watt amp will happily and safely drive a speaker rated for 1000 watts, but just not as loud as it could get.  However, overdriving the 50 watt amp (distortion) can cause some speaker parts to overheat and fail, commonly tweeters.  Otherwise, there is no need to match any amp to any speaker beyond quality.  Certainly, power ratings should not be considered when "matching".  It is Quality, Quality, Quality. 

 

Buy the speakers you enjoy listening to the most.  Buy enough power to get them as loud as you want in your room, without exceeding the speakers' power rating by a large margin (say no more then 2x the speaker rating). 

and 

On 5/22/2021 at 7:23 AM, Islander said:

As well, the bigger and more expensive speaker will generally have higher quality parts, contributing to more accurate and more pleasant sound.

I think I should go with quality speaker I could buy (RP-600M).  From all the inputs from JohnA, Islander and BillyBob and I'm a newbie in audio space I will listen to the gurus 😁 

Thank you so much guys for the input 😁

 

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