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Old 3rd May 2008, 07:19 PM   #11
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92dB+ is the way if you want it loud.

Why though, is beyond me. My recording/mastering engineer does not master over 85dB. He meters before every session. There is a reason for not going over that for extended times.

I wondered about his studio the other day, his grand piano can crank out 105dB. That, to me, was painful.
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Old 3rd May 2008, 07:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Speaker damage occurs only one of two ways; mechanical or thermal. Thermal failure occurs when the voice coil see more power over a period of time than it can handle. In short, too much average power over time is what damages speakers. A speaker will not be damaged thermally if the average power over time is less than the driver can handle.
Yes, this is usually true. However average music has a fairly well known distribution of energy throughout the audio spectrum. There is far more energy (and power) in the bass region than there is in the treble. A well designed, econonical, multi - way speaker system takes this into account.

If you were to examine each individual driver in a 3 way speaker system (lets just assume a 100 watt power rating) you would find the woofer rated to handle the most power since this is where most of the power is in musical material. The woofer in a 100 watt speaker system should be rated for at least 100 watts. The midrange driver would see a smaller amount of energy, and would be rated for a lower power, say 25 watts. This is needed since it would be difficult to design an economical 100 watt midrange driver. The tweeter would see the least energy and it is not unusual to find a 5 or 10 watt tweeter in a 100 watt system. Most tweeters use 1 inch or smaller voice coils that have a very low mass, mechanically and thermally.

Now feed this system with a 200 watt amp operated at or below the 100 watt level, and all should be well, but feed this system with a 50 watt solid state amp that is driven to clipping a lot, and you will lose the tweeter! I have fried enough of them in my younger days to know. Why? A solid state amp driven to clipping can produce a large amount of energy in (or above) the higher end of the audio range. Remember that a square wave contains all of the odd order harmonics, and a heavilly overdriven SS amp can produce considerable energy to 50 KHz and beyond.

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Get a recording of a fully clipped signal. Turn down the volume and play it. No damage.
I would believe this, since the recording, and the amp will roll off most of the high frequency content. Play a 10 KHz square wave or true white noise through that 100 watt speaker system at the 25 watt level, and see how long the tweeter lasts.

Many newer solid state amps and most tube amps do a better job of limiting the high frequency energy when overdriven, but there is still plenty of truth to the statement.
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Old 3rd May 2008, 09:28 PM   #13
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Tubelab: reasonable anlysis for general discussion, but we're talking an SE300B and a Spendor S 3/5. The amp will not damage the speakers in normal use even if driven into 50% clipping for a sustained period (unlikely).

milen007: as a former mad tube head, I would not partner a 9W amp with less than about a 100dB/W speaker. So three choices: more efficient speaker, AB tube power amp or SS amp.

Personally, I'd not chose any of them.
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Old 3rd May 2008, 09:54 PM   #14
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Tubelab: reasonable anlysis for general discussion, but we're talking an SE300B and a Spendor S 3/5. The amp will not damage the speakers in normal use even if driven into 50% clipping for a sustained period (unlikely).
I agree. I merely disagreed with the "nonsense" reply to the statement that an underpowered amp could cause speaker damage. I worked in a stereo shop during the dawn of the SS era and I saw it happen too many times. House branded 20WPC amp, AR speakers, Led Zeppelin cranked to the max....ZAP!

I don't think that there are too many non - feedback tube amps that can zap an adequately rated tweeter since they don't generally clip into square waves.

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I would not partner a 9W amp with less than about a 100dB/W speaker.
It all depends on your listening environment, and requirements. My lab / work room / listening room is about 10 feet by 11 feet. I use 87db Yamaha NS-10M near field studio monitors. I have several amps including a 2 WPC 45 amp which does NOT get loud. For most listening I use a 300B amp. If you are sitting in the usual "near field" location, it is plenty loud. The same combination would be useless in a large room however.
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Old 3rd May 2008, 10:34 PM   #15
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room size, speaker sensitivity and music material will definitely be the factors you will have to juggle. Case in point - I once built a regulated 300B amplifier (Loesch SV83 driver) and paired it with a pair of 96dB Adire speakers. On rock music (ie AC/DC), it clipped real fast. It could only hold together if I listened to 'man with a guitar' acoustic music at less than realistic levels. This is with a pretty big listening room to which the Adire speakers weren't well suited for. This combo may have worked better in a more 'monitor'-like environment.

On the other hand, 20Ws is more than enough with my Urei speakers - though I like the overhead of my 60W 6550 amps.
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Old 4th May 2008, 12:30 AM   #16
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Hi everyone,

I was using one of those inexpensive PP kit amps (AE K-502) with KEF iQ3 bookshelf speakers. They're rated 89dB (2.83V/1m) - no idea if this is a honest rating.
The amp is rated 2x8W (I think 2x5W is more realistic) and it clips quite heavily when cranked up fully.
In my apartment where I sit ~3-4m from the speakers this combination was loud enough to make the neighbors complain. Normal listening levels where somewhere around 1/3 to 1/2 of max volume and this was quite loud. I also used the amp at a party at one occasion with speakers rated ~90dB (printed on the label - again I do not know if this is a fair rating). The amp was loud enough to overcome the 3 am noise of ~40 semi-drunk people dancing and chatting with volume settings at ~2/3.
I do not have dB measurements of those speakers done myself but I was surprised we never had to switch to a more powerful amp during the party. How is this possible regarding the comments above?
Are those small K-16, K-502, etc PP amps more powerful than stated?
Maybe the speakers were actually more efficient?!?

Just my 2 cents although I fear I confused more than helped


Martin
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Old 4th May 2008, 02:44 AM   #17
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I'd agree w/ you. I have a 7 watt se amp, and 96db speakers. I never have it turned up over 1/2 way. It's more than loud enough for parties w/ a bunch of loud drunk people. It's in about a 400 square foot room.
I don't think I'd want any more power. It gets painfully loud if I turn it all the ay up, and I can hear it in the yard, over the passing cars on the street.
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Old 4th May 2008, 02:46 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by wicked1
I can hear it in the yard, over the passing cars on the street.
...which is how SE amps sound best.
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Old 4th May 2008, 08:21 AM   #19
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Building speakers yourself??

I'd recommend you to build something from any of the three fullrange speakers from Sonido - SFR 144/178/200.
I built a rather slim horn with the smallest of the speakers and managed to fill a classroom with music (not very loud, but enough) with my horns and a Darling (0,75W).

Here's the speaker, white half finished to the right.
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Old 4th May 2008, 12:54 PM   #20
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thats alot of informations, thx

whats the max wattage 300b can produce? in push pull setup or other setup that can produce more wattage from the 300b? any hybrid 300b?

my listening habit is not so loud and within 2 meters from speaker. i listen mostly jazz, vocals
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