Rated vs. Actual Power & Volume Control

So, I’ve got a question concerning power.

Let’s say an amplifier is rated to 300w RMS (20-20000hz). Now let’s say my speaker is only rated to 250w. Volume control goes from -80 dB to +16.5 dB. At what volume level would it actually be safe to use this amp/speaker combo?

I’m figuring as long as I don’t turn it above, say -20 or so? Any input would be welcomed.

Comments

  • ZLTFULZLTFUL Posts: 4,524
    edited June 13
    Ignore wattage ratings for speakers.

    Frankly, it is misleading.

    I have a pair of speakers rated at 100 watts running on a 200wpc amp.
    And they will drive you out of the room with volume before the amp is even close to clipping.

    Clipped signals is what kills speakers...power will too but it is 90% clipping vs 10% overpowering speakers. *note 78% of all statistics are made up on the spot*

    Then there is pre amp and amp gain (or lack thereof), distortion levels, tiny little spider like gremlins that eat small children...
    "Some people find it easier to be conceited rather than correct."

    "Unwad those panties and have a good time man. We're all here to help each other, no matter how it might appear." DSkip
  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 7,529
    60% of the time it works every time.
    afterburnt wrote: »
    They didn't speak a word of English, they were from South Carolina.
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 10,053
    Use your ears. When it sounds bad, turn it down. If you feel technical then buy a Sound Pressure Level meter so that you can put a number on what you hear. Of course, this assumes you have ‘normal’ speakers that will let you know they are hurting. :)

    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin S1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on source, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • alucidideaalucididea Posts: 101
    ZLTFUL wrote: »
    *note 78% of all statistics are made up on the spot*
    My thoughts exactly.
    BlueFox wrote: »
    Use your ears. When it sounds bad, turn it down. If you feel technical then buy a Sound Pressure Level meter so that you can put a number on what you hear. Of course, this assumes you have ‘normal’ speakers that will let you know they are hurting. :)
    I agree with that. I guess I’m trying to create a general rule of thumb for myself.
  • BlueFoxBlueFox Posts: 10,053
    The problem, to me, is that volume controls have different meanings in different setups. A number in one setup doesn’t necessarily relate to another setup.
    Bud - Silicon Valley

    Lumin S1
    Sony XA-5400ES SACD
    Pass XP-22 pre, X600.5 amps
    Magico S5 MKII Mcast Rose speakers, SPOD spikes

    Shunyata Triton v3/Typhon QR on source, Denali 2000 (2) on amps
    Shunyata Sigma XLR analog ICs, Sigma speaker cables
    Shunyata Sigma HC (2), Sigma Analog, Sigma Digital, Z Anaconda (3) power cables

    Mapleshade Samson V.3 four shelf solid maple rack, Micropoint brass footers
    Three 20 amp circuits.
  • alucidideaalucididea Posts: 101
    BlueFox wrote: »
    The problem, to me, is that volume controls have different meanings in different setups. A number in one setup doesn’t necessarily relate to another setup.
    Fair enough.
  • mpitogompitogo Posts: 263
    alucididea wrote: »
    Volume control goes from -80 dB to +16.5 dB.

    I would ignore the power (unless it’s clipping). The volume control suggests your preamp is able to calibrate to reference levels. At common THX levels -20db on the volume knob should produce around 85db from the speakers. This is a normal listening level and doubt you would be overdriving and pushing more than a few watts. If you know what your speakers maximum output db is it would be relatively easy to derive the max volume level and compute the power.
    Music-2.0 Raidho D-3.1 | Audio Research Ref 40 | Jeff Roland 925 | Esoteric Grandioso K1 | Transparent Reference, IC, Speaker and Power | HRS SXR Rack
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