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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-10-2007, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
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speaker powering question

I have Focal Access components that are rated 120 watts max and 60 watts nominal...will 100 watts to them be fine or will i get distortion?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-10-2007, 07:55 PM
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Re: speaker powering question

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I have Focal Access components that are rated 120 watts max and 60 watts nominal...will 100 watts to them be fine or will i get distortion?
you will be better off. less distortion. less chance of clipping. if it is setup properly, then there arent any issues. i would rather grossly overpower a speaker than underpower it slightly.
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-10-2007, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: speaker powering question

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you will be better off. less distortion. less chance of clipping. if it is setup properly, then there arent any issues. i would rather grossly overpower a speaker than underpower it slightly.
focal speakers are very effective power wise right? i've noticed that focal and jl both use less power than all the other brands but still sound better
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-10-2007, 09:48 PM
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Re: speaker powering question

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focal speakers are very effective power wise right? i've noticed that focal and jl both use less power than all the other brands but still sound better
A speakers power rating and sound quality have nothing to do with one another.

focal speakers are very effective power wise right? Please explain this. I don't quite understand. Thanks.

As Briman said. It is much better to have more power than needed than to under power a speaker. 95% of damage to speakers is due to underpowering them, turning up the stereo loud and clipping the amp and sending a square wave into the speakers is a bad thing.

My general rule of thumb is when I sell a sound system and design one from the ground up is to spec in twice the speakers power RMS it can handle in amplifier wattage. i.e. speaker is rated to handel 100 watts RMS I sell a 200 watt RMS amp. I never have problems from blowen speakers. + it will help the overall sound quality be better if using a amp that can truely deliver 200 watts on demand with less than 0.25% THD, 20hz-20Khz at max output. Hope this helps!

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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-11-2007, 07:39 AM Thread Starter
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Re: speaker powering question

i didn't mean because they're power rating made them sound better i just mean that i noticed the higher end companies, like jl and focal, use less power than other speakers and subwoofers use
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 12-11-2007, 02:26 PM
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Re: speaker powering question

Text books have been written on this subject, so a summary here is really not doing it any justice. but....

Please bear in mind that for average listening levels you rarely exceed 10 watts of power output in an enclosed space. There are occasional spikes of higher output but the steady-state output is much lower than you might expect. So huge amps are really not neccessary.

There are several factors that go to the final output of any given Driver(speaker)
The sensitivity gives a rating in terms of the output (sound pressure level) for a given input power. The higher the sensitivity the greater the output for the same input relative to other drivers. This relates to the winding and magnet assembly and the impedance of the driver.

The power handling capability is simply the amount of power a driver can handle without being overloaded. This is directly related to the size and type of the windings in the motor of the driver and the spider and basket assembly.

There are a great many other factors that go into making a great system. Impedence matching is often over-looked, as is resonant frequency, enclosure type etc.

The bottom line here is that you want to:
Buy good quality drivers, with large (heavy) magnets, and cast frames if possible. Price does not always equate to quality here.
Match the impedance of the amp or HU and the drivers.
Use good quality crossovers to cut off the non-linear regions of the output curve of each driver.

If you're really into the best sound, you should buy or borrow the equipment required to run the curves on the drivers yourself and tailor the crossovers to the flatest response possible.
Barring that find a supplier that can give you the data on the drivers and sell you the crossover components to flatten the response curves. Good suppliers will offer this info on their web sites for informed buyers.
HTH..

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