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Amplifier Power test


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Through the various threads posted here I see one question always arise, how much power do I need? There are differing opinions and a few rules of thumbs but how does one know how to navigate these concepts and deduce what exactly they need? That's just the problem, if we account for all the variables it would become overwhelmingly complex for your average Joe to get a straight answer, or the correct one. Here I will propose a thread where all you have to do is follow a few steps and post your results and you should get a very accurate answer to your question; How much power do I need? I will admit that I may need a little help getting the audio file posted and the best way to go about that. What I need posted is a 44.1k/16 bit recording of a 120Hz sine wave at -12db rms. All I need is a moderator to help me get the file posted and then we can start.

 

Ok so once we have the file up and ready I will post the test procedure which all you need is a volt meter that can read 20v scale AC voltage, you can try it with a 200v scale but the results won't be as accurate. These meters can be picked up for less than lunch these days so it's worth it to purchase one if you are serious about wanting to find the answer to this question of how much power you need. If you have the volt meter and any digital audio playback device you will be able to perform this test.

 

Ok so anyone want to help me get the file posted?

 

 

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Ok so I think I managed to get the audio uploaded.

 

Step 1- Download the file

 

Step 2- Play any music you like through a digital playback device, this is important do not use Vinyl or cassette tapes, it must be a digital source. First play the music at what you would consider your average listening volume would be, make a note of where you are at for volume control with this level. Now play the music at the absolute loudest possible you think you will ever play music at and make a note of where that volume position is at. Now that we have your two volume position settings, one average level and the other maximum level we can move onto the measuring part of the test.

 

Step 3- Play the downloaded music file through your system at both volume levels you have noted down, average and maximum. Take an AC voltage reading at your speaker terminals for both your average and maximum volume positions and post the results here and I will do the rest.

120Hz -12dB.mp3

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Well this is a dud of a thread so far 😆

 

 

Nobody has tried the test yet? I bet most of you use your stereo so much you could probably skip the first step of playing music so long as you have a decent idea where your average and maximum volume control setting are at. You will not damage your speakers in anyway shape or form doing this test, it has been done hundreds of times in another group I am member of. All you gotta do is play the test tone from your computer, adjust the volume and take a measurement. Note if it's easier to measure from the back of your amplifier vs the back of the speaker that is also fine, I should have mentioned that.

 

Maybe some people are scared to find out how little power they are actually using while operating an arc welder for an amplifier? Just kidding ;) Most probably don't have a voltmeter or think this is too hard to do and out of their skill level but it's really easy if you have a voltmeter, even a little cheapo meter will work just fine. Some of the more advanced hobbyists in here haven't tried it which was surprising to me.

 

Cheap bump and some mild complaining here from me to hopefully kindle some interest into the thread. I had in mind this would turn into a way to gather accurate data on the average and maximum power that is used for us Klipcsh Speaker user's.

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How do I take this measurement? Know how to use a multimeter but this measurement has me kind of baffled. I'm curious how much my new Topping PA3s is putting to the speakers at my listening levels.

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26 minutes ago, geezin' said:

How do I take this measurement? Know how to use a multimeter but this measurement has me kind of baffled. I'm curious how much my new Topping PA3s is putting to the speakers at my listening levels.

 

If you already know where your listening levels are at then play the test tone posted above and turn your volume up to where your settings are and measure AC voltage with your meter between + and - at the output of your amp connected to your speakers.  If you have to set the range on your meter start with the 20v range. You will hear the test tone through your speakers but it's nothing to worry about, it's -12db. Then just post your voltage reading here and I'll do the rest.

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Example:

 

I'm going to just use arbitrary volume setting values just for the example.

 

If you don't know what your average and loudest volume levels are play music from any digital source and write them down so you remember.

 

Say your average listening volume is "35" and your loudest is "70"

 

Start playing the test tone through I posted and turn your volume control to "35" and measure the AC voltage at speaker connections on back of amp between + and -

 

Now place your volume at "70" while the test tone is still playing and take your second measurement.

 

Post results and I will do the rest.

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7 minutes ago, Wirrunna said:

Captain, just noticed the thread (been away for a few days), I think you should read this -

https://community.klipsch.com/index.php?/topic/170414-who-wants-to-measure-how-much-power-voltage-is-really-needed/

 

 

That's funny it's the same test method I am using here. There were a lot of participants on the diyaudio where we this first started. I didn't know there was already a thread bout this here. Too funny, no wonder nobody is posting. I'll read through that thread now but from the first page it looks like nobody did the test and posted any results and that's no fun.

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1 hour ago, captainbeefheart said:

Well this is a dud of a thread so far 😆

 

 

Nobody has tried the test yet? I bet most of you use your stereo so much you could probably skip the first step of playing music so long as you have a decent idea where your average and maximum volume control setting are at. You will not damage your speakers in anyway shape or form doing this test, it has been done hundreds of times in another group I am member of. All you gotta do is play the test tone from your computer, adjust the volume and take a measurement. Note if it's easier to measure from the back of your amplifier vs the back of the speaker that is also fine, I should have mentioned that.

 

Maybe some people are scared to find out how little power they are actually using while operating an arc welder for an amplifier? Just kidding ;) Most probably don't have a voltmeter or think this is too hard to do and out of their skill level but it's really easy if you have a voltmeter, even a little cheapo meter will work just fine. Some of the more advanced hobbyists in here haven't tried it which was surprising to me.

 

Cheap bump and some mild complaining here from me to hopefully kindle some interest into the thread. I had in mind this would turn into a way to gather accurate data on the average and maximum power that is used for us Klipcsh Speaker user's.

Don't give up. I plan to do this after I get back in the house and have everything set up. I need access to my tools, too. I'm curious what my results will be.

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7 minutes ago, CWelsh said:

Don't give up. I plan to do this after I get back in the house and have everything set up. I need access to my tools, too. I'm curious what my results will be.

 

I really hope this thread doesn't turn out the same as the other thread. I am several pages through and "Maynard" who started the thread has stated only 3 people so far has done the test out of 72 posts. Most of the posts are just people trying to over complicate the test because they do not understand it. The reason it works so well is because digital sources can only go to 0db so it accounts for headroom.

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2 minutes ago, Westcoastdrums said:

Yes!  That's the volume I regularly listen at. 

I've got to buy an SPL meter. When you look at the charts that give examples at various levels every example they give is something I wouldn't want to experience without hearing protection. However, I imagine music through good speakers might be quite different. I don't think I would ever regularly listen at that level, but I want to know what it is like.

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That's why taking two measurements is important, both average listening levels and maximum listening level. Someone could on average listen to 1 watt but their maximum might be for parties in a large room and they need the reserve power for those situations. For most of us we find out how little power we really need for both.

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