Can you have to much power ? (watt)

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Please can you explain to me what changes in a copper wire of 2+ sq.mm cross section and may be 5m long by passing approx. 25V and 5A through it enough to change the capacitance, inductance or resistance so that they increase or decrease enough to be audible?
 

gasolin

Member
Please can you explain to me what changes in a copper wire of 2+ sq.mm cross section and may be 5m long by passing approx. 25V and 5A through it enough to change the capacitance, inductance or resistance so that they increase or decrease enough to be audible?

I don't know, i just know that people say this cable Canare 4s11 has longer burn in times than most speaker cable
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
.......based on what evidence ........ double blind test.........or expectation because you splashed a load of cash on some pretty cables. <cynic mode off>

If you do the maths, then to get even 0.5dB change in treble or bass you have to massively alter the thickness, length or material properties of the speaker cable. Download a speaker simulation software package (Xsim, Boxsim, Vituixcad), load up a tweeter and woofer and then add a resistor, capacitor and inductor and see what numbers you get to make a 0.5dB difference (debatable if that would be audible), now compare that to the electrical properties of 5m of 2.5sq.mm oxygen free copper. You will find they sim will show several orders of magnitude is needed to make a difference.

Oh, I do not believe any cable needs a burn in time, so saying one needs longer than another, hmmm........

I do understand speakers need burn in to loosen up the mechanically moving parts and flexible components, before and after measurements show this, solid state electronics maybe, especially if they are heat sensitive but this is more like warm up for Class A amps.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
As a broad generalization and within reasonable perspective, it is not possible to have too much power, but it is VERY VERY VERY much possible to have not enough brains.

I know of a guy who uses 1500w/ch to his two front speakers, and he tests common consumer speakers all the time (Z Reviews - YouTube) without any problem. How and why? Because he is smart enough to understand the capabilities of is equipment and the limits of his speakers, and he uses both wisely.

To summarize -

It is never over-powered or under-powered amps that blow speakers; it is always the guy running the Volume Control. Don't be that guy!

And yes, under-powered amp can blow speakers.

In my entire considerably long life, including some heavy partying years, I have never blown a speaker. Though a friend of mind did when he turned it up above the level that I specifically told him NOT to turn it above. Blew a Tweeter.

Certainly there is a danger to having massively powerful amps, but understanding and moderating that danger can also be accomplished.

Also, consider, if you have a 200w/ch amp, how often are you going to be running it full bore wide open? Not that often. Likely the music/movie might very briefly jump up to the peak power, but very very briefly, especially with 200w/ch. TIME MATTERS, what a speaker can sustain for a fraction of a second, it can NOT sustain for several seconds.

Most of the time you are cruising along at between a fraction of a watt and 4 watts. Yes, peaks are jumping higher, but the average power is generally pretty low even if the sound is generally loud (reasonably loud).

Also, as many of you know the expansion of Power is not linear. It ramps up very very very very quickly on the high side of the Volume Dial.

The B&W 607 is rate at a modest 84db at 1 watt, so here is how power ramps up with increased volume -

84db = 1w
87db = 2w
90db = 4w
93db = 8w
96db = 16w
99db = 32w

That's fine as 99db is pretty darn loud. But watch how the power start ramping up very very quick from this point onward.

102db = 64w
105db = 128w
108db = 256w

Though if you are up in these sound level ranges, you are pushing your small speakers pretty hard. Likely not only are you pushing them beyond there electrical limits, but you are very likely pushing them beyond their Mechanical Limits. Don't be that guy!

Now in the example I gave of someone having 1500w/ch Amp, that is extreme in the absurd, though he seems to make it work (Crown XLS amps in Bridge Mono).

For most consumers, the sweet spot seems to be in the 80w/ch to 120w/ch range (more or less). Though amps up to 200w/ch are not that uncommon. Over that amount (roughly) you are getting into excess power, and to have that excess power, you need to wield if VERY WISELY. This is especially true in consumer grade equipment.

Just a few general thoughts.

Steve/bluewizard
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
...

If you do the maths, then to get even 0.5dB change in treble or bass you have to massively alter the thickness, length or material properties of the speaker cable....

Here is an analysis I did a few years ago on common 2.5mm² speaker wire to determine the effect of Inductance at 50ft of Speaker Wire. Note Capacitance had NO effect -


Notice I also calculated the Signal Loss in dB. It is pretty insignificant.

While the human ear/mind have an incredible ability to perceive minute changes in sound level, it is doubtful that you can literally hear a fraction of a dB of change. Note I am making a clear distinction between that which is perceived and that which is actually heard.

The changes due to Inductance, while they appear large in terms of Percentage of Loss, are tiny when reduced to dB.

While I believe it is conceivable that speaker wire can make a difference in the sound you hear, I also feel that many many other factors come into play. Likely £1000/pr speaker wire on a £1000 Stereo is a waste of money, on a very expensive high-cost powerful system with exceptionally transparent and efficient speakers, there could in theory be a perceivable difference. But how many of us are in that situation?

Steve/bluewizard
 

gasolin

Member
.......based on what evidence ........ double blind test.........or expectation because you splashed a load of cash on some pretty cables. <cynic mode off>

If you do the maths, then to get even 0.5dB change in treble or bass you have to massively alter the thickness, length or material properties of the speaker cable. Download a speaker simulation software package (Xsim, Boxsim, Vituixcad), load up a tweeter and woofer and then add a resistor, capacitor and inductor and see what numbers you get to make a 0.5dB difference (debatable if that would be audible), now compare that to the electrical properties of 5m of 2.5sq.mm oxygen free copper. You will find they sim will show several orders of magnitude is needed to make a difference.

Oh, I do not believe any cable needs a burn in time, so saying one needs longer than another, hmmm........

I do understand speakers need burn in to loosen up the mechanically moving parts and flexible components, before and after measurements show this, solid state electronics maybe, especially if they are heat sensitive but this is more like warm up for Class A amps.

I didn't spend alot on the cables $6.74 or £5 pr meter, plugs where alot more expensive since the 12 i ordered got stock in germany (14 of december) so i ordered some that came early the next day
 
Last edited:

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
'I was so lucky that my mother gave me money for christmas, so i can buy what ever i want' - go buy some music and stop reading about 'HiFi' :)

What is it you are unhappy with about your current system?

Joe
 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
Cable burn in... :rotfl:

Just had a quick google and some people are offering cable burn in discs!!!! I mean...what?
 

gasolin

Member
As a broad generalization and within reasonable perspective, it is not possible to have too much power, but it is VERY VERY VERY much possible to have not enough brains.

I know of a guy who uses 1500w/ch to his two front speakers, and he tests common consumer speakers all the time (Z Reviews - YouTube) without any problem. How and why? Because he is smart enough to understand the capabilities of is equipment and the limits of his speakers, and he uses both wisely.

To summarize -

It is never over-powered or under-powered amps that blow speakers; it is always the guy running the Volume Control. Don't be that guy!

And yes, under-powered amp can blow speakers.

In my entire considerably long life, including some heavy partying years, I have never blown a speaker. Though a friend of mind did when he turned it up above the level that I specifically told him NOT to turn it above. Blew a Tweeter.

Certainly there is a danger to having massively powerful amps, but understanding and moderating that danger can also be accomplished.

Also, consider, if you have a 200w/ch amp, how often are you going to be running it full bore wide open? Not that often. Likely the music/movie might very briefly jump up to the peak power, but very very briefly, especially with 200w/ch. TIME MATTERS, what a speaker can sustain for a fraction of a second, it can NOT sustain for several seconds.

Most of the time you are cruising along at between a fraction of a watt and 4 watts. Yes, peaks are jumping higher, but the average power is generally pretty low even if the sound is generally loud (reasonably loud).

Also, as many of you know the expansion of Power is not linear. It ramps up very very very very quickly on the high side of the Volume Dial.

The B&W 607 is rate at a modest 84db at 1 watt, so here is how power ramps up with increased volume -

84db = 1w
87db = 2w
90db = 4w
93db = 8w
96db = 16w
99db = 32w

That's fine as 99db is pretty darn loud. But watch how the power start ramping up very very quick from this point onward.

102db = 64w
105db = 128w
108db = 256w

Though if you are up in these sound level ranges, you are pushing your small speakers pretty hard. Likely not only are you pushing them beyond there electrical limits, but you are very likely pushing them beyond their Mechanical Limits. Don't be that guy!

Now in the example I gave of someone having 1500w/ch Amp, that is extreme in the absurd, though he seems to make it work (Crown XLS amps in Bridge Mono).

For most consumers, the sweet spot seems to be in the 80w/ch to 120w/ch range (more or less). Though amps up to 200w/ch are not that uncommon. Over that amount (roughly) you are getting into excess power, and to have that excess power, you need to wield if VERY WISELY. This is especially true in consumer grade equipment.

Just a few general thoughts.

Steve/bluewizard

I know zeos, we where today on the same twitch stream (none of us where streaming at the time)

The amp is 2400 watt, the reason he got them was he had the behringer A500 bridged, 500 watt pr channel in 8 ohm, since he somtimes play loud, the amps got hot, there was distortion without the speakers being used to it's maximum (Ohm walsh 2000).

Distortion won't hurt or else a distorted guitar will damage a speaker in no time

Clean unclipped power won't hurt speakers, unless your try to play so loud your speakers can't move any more and you go from 12 o'clock to 3 o'clock boom damaged speakers, even when your amp don't distort (lets say zeos power, 2 bridged crown xls 2502, 2400 watt pr channel)

Dynamic music or bass (i could link to a video if i wanted to, i don't) requires alot more to sound loud (bass heavy music) than let's say classic music like beethowen (not the chuck berry song) or mozart.

Zeos wanted more power so theres no clipping,distortion, EVER and so he doesn't have to use the amp to it's limit where it's get's super hot, in my experince most consumer amps do change there sound signature and distort a little when pushed to it's limit, thats why you don't want to play close to it's limit and also have to take care when having 2400 watt pr channel, since theres no indication of the sound changing (reaching it's power limit), other than being louder and no distortion to tell you, your reached you amps limit, turn the volume down.


The db sensitvity is not that simple
84db = 1w
87db = 2w
90db = 4w
93db = 8w
96db = 16w
99db = 32w

Wharfedale diamond 225 rated at 87 db, max power i don't know, recommended amplifier power 25-120 watt, peak spl rated at 96 db, granted 96 db is loud but not when you realise it's less than 10 watt and the speakers can handle alot more than 10 watt Diamond 225 – WHARFEDALE

So fare so good, im not gonna use 2x200 watt in 8 ohm unless like in the harbeth video i could link to, a speaker needs alot more than 50-100 watt of unclipped watt to play some dynamic bass heavy music at high level,spl.

I never try to play louder than my speakers can handle, if i hear distortion that's not related to the recording im listening to, it's because im reaching the amps limit (i have had alot of low powered amps).

My speakers are rated at 84 db (mabye lower, many speaker have lower sensitivity than rated)compare them to 90 db speaker with a 50 watt amp many wouldn't need more but theres also many young or old that say this kind of power, 2x50 watt and 90db isn't party level, if i had 2x200 watt i would have the samme power.

like a very power full car with alot of horsepower and torque, you don't need to push the engine to it's limit to have enough power, make the car fast, same with a more power full amp, you don't need to use all of it's power to have enough and you get the advantage of low distortion (no clipping,distortion ever) and control without playing louder than i can atm with my nad c352

Im just not going zeos crazy, i don't want and need 2x1000 watt in 8 ohm, i even don't want and need 2x500 watt, how ever 2x250 in 8 ohm, now we are getting there, 2x150-200 watt with more to the 200 watt pr channel than 150 watt is what i would go for, not alot more

I do have a lillte experience with a pa amp, 2x300watt at 1khz in 8 ohm and 88db sensitive Mission QX2, that was a very power full combo, it was just to much, the bass,bottom was to full bodied and i could play impressively loud, so fun i did play to loud to often.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I think you are still asking too much of your speakers. Taking your motoring analogy you're putting too much horse power into a chassis that simply can't handle it. The first serious bend and the power is going to throw the chassis off the road and straight to the scene of the accident.

Don't think I'd like to listen to a speaker that's being thrashed to an inch of it's life unless they were designed to do so and that's unlikely to be a speaker I can afford.
 

gasolin

Member
'I was so lucky that my mother gave me money for christmas, so i can buy what ever i want' - go buy some music and stop reading about 'HiFi' :)

What is it you are unhappy with about your current system?

Joe

As metion somewhere, mabye in this thread, it can be dangerous to read a review since you might notice something you never noticed before.

To use car analogy, you might have enough power but you have to use all of it, go full comando (I'm Giving Her All She's Got) when needing power but you don't have more to give, if for some reason you would want more, more power just mean you don't have to push the engine (amplifier) hard to get,have enough power.

In this thread, if for some reason you want to read it and do read most of it, a quad 606 has about the power most people would need, 2x140 watt in 8 ohm (relative til a normal sensitivity), sounds good and can handle difficult speaker loads https://harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/threads/how-much-amplifier-power-do-i-really-need.2486/

Sonically based on the review (now a little more prominate)

Mabye not the most detailed amp (highs) and maby not the most tightest bass, thats why i mention long burn in time for my speaker cable, some say 150 hours or more (first time using canare 4s11(1 week old) but have for many month read about this cable being really really good, more than a year since i first heard about canare 4s11)


The bass of 4S11 will taper off during break in, almost to the point of where the cable begins sounding a little to thin. At this point the 4S11 without a over pronounced midrange and lacking bass is where some people make the grave mistake of giving up on this wonderful cable. The bass eventually comes back sounding extremely solid and positioned correctly in back of sound image but it does takes time. When dielectric is fully burned in the highs will be perfect/garbage in-garbage out, no midrange bloom present, with solid non woolly bass. Once broke in completely the 4S11 becomes excellent tool for evaluating other cables in system, a cable version of the famed Stanton 881S phono cartridge if you will...

 

Hixs

Distinguished Member
You need to stop reading BS websites.
 

gasolin

Member
I think you are still asking too much of your speakers. Taking your motoring analogy you're putting too much horse power into a chassis that simply can't handle it. The first serious bend and the power is going to throw the chassis off the road and straight to the scene of the accident.

Don't think I'd like to listen to a speaker that's being thrashed to an inch of it's life unless they were designed to do so and that's unlikely to be a speaker I can afford.


just because you have alot of power don't mean you have to use it, it means you can play loud without getting close to the amps limited avoiding distortion and the highs change to a more sharper sound signature, that to me is something i have experienced many amps do, if used for nearfield you othen just have to go 1-2 meter back and the highs are fine, for levels above loud i don't sit close to my system (pc)

Atm im listening to vam morrison Three Cords and the truth (pc) around 1 feet from my head soundmeter for android is saying around 50 db peaking at 65 db (+/- mabye up to 2 db varriation either up or down) other songs 57-67 db, i don't always play loud
 

gasolin

Member
You need to stop reading BS websites.

I don't red bs websites, i just trying to make a point that some that has experince with canare 4s11, say that burn in takes a long time and makes a difference.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I've never had my Rega amp, 105 watts into 8 ohms, go past the mid way point on the volume control. Simply don't need it even with 87dB speakers that dip to 3.2 ohms. Great separation from treble, mids and bass. I'm listening in an average sized living room.

I can't see what you're trying to achieve. If you want a better performance then the best thing for that performance is better speakers and careful amp matching.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I don't red bs websites, i just trying to make a point that some that has experince with canare 4s11, say that burn in takes a long time and makes a difference.
Cable burn in. Sounds more like a fairy story from Hans Christian Anderson. You cannot defy the laws of physics, it just copper cable.
 

gasolin

Member
I think you are still asking too much of your speakers. Taking your motoring analogy you're putting too much horse power into a chassis that simply can't handle it. The first serious bend and the power is going to throw the chassis off the road and straight to the scene of the accident.

Don't think I'd like to listen to a speaker that's being thrashed to an inch of it's life unless they were designed to do so and that's unlikely to be a speaker I can afford.

If you put a much bigger, more power full engine in a car (not just a little more torque or 20 more horsepower) you of course would make shure it can handle it.

Now if you have, let's just say 2x1000 watt in 8 ohm, it won't damage the speakers until you play above there max power, no matter if the limit is 100 watt or 500watt you don't need to use all of the power and certainly not more than the speakers can handle, thats why some have amps with alot of watt, to avoid distortion, clipping, not just for pa, big outdoor concerts.

Regardles if you have small or big speakers, theres always some advantage of having more power from the amps than you need, nice clean unclipped,undistorted power from the amp, high dynamic power and often good (better) control over the bass realtive to the a smaller amp in the same range like nad c316bee vs nad c375bee.
 

gasolin

Member
I've never had my Rega amp, 105 watts into 8 ohms, go past the mid way point on the volume control. Simply don't need it even with 87dB speakers that dip to 3.2 ohms. Great separation from treble, mids and bass. I'm listening in an average sized living room.

I can't see what you're trying to achieve. If you want a better performance then the best thing for that performance is better speakers and careful amp matching.

Have you ever wondered why some normal amps (those with no gain control) sound louder from a cdplayer than from a turntable ?

You might not realise it if the amp you have, has the same problem as most amps have, that they are super loud already at 9 o'clock and might already be playing above it's max power with distortion at 11 o'clock when listening to a cd but you may feel it's normal because that how it has been for you for many years

You have 105 watt and 87 db sensitive speakers, i only have 80 watt and 84db, if both amps,speakers are as rated, my speakers needs 210 watt in 8 ohm for it to be able to play as loud as your system


Here's the solution to a problem from which far too many audiophiles suffer - too much gain in the system. The symptoms are easy enough to spot - the volume is plenty loud enough with the volume control set to the 9 o'clock position, too loud with the volume control at 10 o'clock, and fine control at low levels is impossible. This may seem like nothing more than a minor irritation, but in truth the performance of the system is being compromised. Although potentiometers work reasonably well over most of their operating range, they are notoriously problematic at extreme settings. The most obvious problem is channel imbalance - one channel will fade out (or fade in) quicker than the other, causing the stereo image to shift to one side - but on a more subtle level, the music may sound veiled and indistinct with the volume control turned down to the point where it is nearly off. Some people have tried to cure the problem by fitting a more expensive volume control only to find that it doesn't do much good. That's because the volume control isn't really the problem.

It’s the excess gain in the system which is the real problem. That in turn forces you always to use the volume control over a very limited portion of its travel. What's needed is a way to reduce overall system gain without compromising sound quality and without major modifications to the equipment itself.

 

gibbsy

Moderator
You might not realise it if the amp you have, has the same problem as most amps have, that they are super loud already at 9 o'clock and might already be playing above it's max power with distortion at 11 o'clock when listening to a cd but you may feel it's normal because that how it has been for you for many years
I'm not that green. The loudness war has an effect on the volume needed, or rather reduced from CDs. I've had quite a few CD and SACD players over the last decade or so and my current one is no slouch. I know when I'm getting recorded distortion which is far easier to detect when listening on a standalone headphone amp and high end headphones.
 

gasolin

Member
the 2 volt output from a cd player also makes a difference, where max power on some amps are reached only using the volume from mabye 7 o'clock to 10 o'clock instead of having max volume at 2 or 3 o'clock.
 

gasolin

Member
It happend, i bougth a pa amp, a class d 2x226 watt (1khz) in 8 ohm amp with gain and volume control.

It's so nice having enough power,makes it all sound cleaner, less stressed when playing normal loud, cleaner dynamic peaks and better controlled bass, less boomy, muddy or what ever it can be on some track with low sensitive speakers and under 100 watt in 8 ohm (used 15 year old amp)
 

gasolin

Member

 

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