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I returned to DIY electronics in 2009 after a 20 year pause by building a few kits to get in shape. This blog is for me to keep track of my progress.

How much power is enough for an amp?

Posted 2nd January 2012 at 03:09 AM by alexcp (My DIY projects)

Bruno Putzeys posted:
About power ratings, well... Normal "critical listening" levels hover around a long-term average of 85db SPL at the listening position. If we're assuming uncorrelated signals (rather inaccurate assumption but it'll do for the purpose) that is 82dB SPL for each speaker alone. Crudely calculating back from a 2m listening distance to the 1m standard measuring distance that's 88dBSPL, one speaker, one meter. It's not unusual for speakers to have an efficiency of 88dB/1w/1m so 1W is roughly the required amplifier power.

The current crop of unlistenable hypersquashed pop music has a peak to average range of around 4dB. So all it takes to reproduce pop at a reasonable level without clipping is a 4dBW (2.5W) rated amp.
Before the loudness war got into swing (say until the early 90's) peak-to-average ranges up to 14dB could be found in mainstream music. To play Sultans of Swing at the same average level requires an amp rated at 14dBW
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Fostex BK-20

Posted 12th August 2010 at 06:06 PM by alexcp (My DIY projects)
Updated 15th August 2010 at 05:18 PM by alexcp

Having built a few amplifiers, I wanted to build a pair of speakers and settled on Fostex BK-20 kits from Madisound with Fostex FE-206E 8" full range drivers. I've always considered carpentry not my cup of tea, so gluing, sanding, and painting the speakers took longer than expected. However, I am very satisfied with the sound.
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