power distrobution in a multi-way system

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maxw

Member
2004-06-10 7:23 am
Berlin
I am just wondering how power is shared by each drive in for example a 3 way system, Woofer-Mid-Tweeter.
I'm guessing from the weight of the cone and the amount of movement the woofer will use the most but is there a formula?

The main reason I ask is when reading power measurements for tweeters they say "nominal power = 80W" so does that mean if you arranged it with a woofer the combo can handle 80w (as long as the woofer is up to it too) ?? or is that like 80 Watts of treble? or am I looking at this the wrong way? :smash:

any help would be much appreciated....
 
In my estimation, if the drivers all have the same sensitivity, with demanding classical music the bass range 20-200 requires about double the midrange (200-2k) power and the treble about half the midrange. So if you have a 200 watt woofer amp in a triamp system you should have at least 100 watts in the midrange and 50 watts in the treble to maintain the same max spl levels. As far as a passive three way you can say pretty much the same about the power handling ratio of the drivers provided the crossover is working properly - IE if the treble driver is crossed too low or with too shallow of a slope it may not handle anywhere near it's rated power. This is basing the power requirements on the power of the recorded music content rather then weight of the cone, or the amount of cone movement ect -

So if used properly an 80 watt treble driver should be OK with a 320 watt amplifier if the system's drivers/network is well matched - hardly the norm but a good estimate IMHO
 

maxw

Member
2004-06-10 7:23 am
Berlin
Magnetar said:
In my estimation, if the drivers all have the same sensitivity, with demanding classical music the bass range 20-200 requires about double the midrange (200-2k) power and the treble about half the midrange. So if you have a 200 watt woofer amp in a triamp system you should have at least 100 watts in the midrange and 50 watts in the treble to maintain the same max spl levels. As far as a passive three way you can say pretty much the same about the power handling ratio of the drivers provided the crossover is working properly - IE if the treble driver is crossed too low or with too shallow of a slope it may not handle anywhere near it's rated power. This is basing the power requirements on the power of the recorded music content rather then weight of the cone, or the amount of cone movement ect -

So if used properly an 80 watt treble driver should be OK with a 320 watt amplifier if the system's drivers/network is well matched - hardly the norm but a good estimate IMHO

That makes some sense, cheers!


salas said:
Roughly -3dB per octave doubling. Like in Pink Noise.
Then you sometimes get special kinds of music with uneven distribution.

OK, so then suppose you have a 200W Woofer crossed at 200Hz, then you are at only 12.5W at around 3200 Hz.....isn't that a bit low?
 
Rod Elliot suggests here: http://sound.westhost.com/bi-amp.htm that there is roughly equal power on either side of 300 Hz. Of course this will vary with your choice of music, but that is probably close enough.

If your bottom end needs equalization, be sure to add that much power to the botom end. For example, my subs need 6 dB (4 x power) of boost at 24 Hz for flat response. To keep up with 150W on the mains I'd need 600W if the sensitivity was the same.

If you look closely at tweeter specs you'll see that usually the maximum system power is usually specified with some sort of high pass filter. A Focal TC120-TD5 is rated at 150 W system power and 15W nominal - they don't really expect it to receive over 15W in a 150 W system, since it needs a >2500 Hz 2nd order high pass filter.

So, to more direclty answer your question, you can use as little as 15W for your tweeter if the XO is >2500 Hz or so. A good place to try a class A amp without heating your living room too much. :cool:
 

maxw

Member
2004-06-10 7:23 am
Berlin
BobEllis said:
Rod Elliot suggests here: http://sound.westhost.com/bi-amp.htm that there is roughly equal power on either side of 300 Hz. Of course this will vary with your choice of music, but that is probably close enough.

Ahh, this is interesting. Thanks.

BobEllis said:

If you look closely at tweeter specs you'll see that usually the maximum system power is usually specified with some sort of high pass filter. A Focal TC120-TD5 is rated at 150 W system power and 15W nominal - they don't really expect it to receive over 15W in a 150 W system, since it needs a >2500 Hz 2nd order high pass filter.

Well that is exactly what prompted me to ask this question. Most tweeter/mid specs dont say this!

BobEllis said:
So, to more direclty answer your question, you can use as little as 15W for your tweeter if the XO is >2500 Hz or so. A good place to try a class A amp without heating your living room too much. :cool:

hehe
 

forr

Member
2004-12-01 6:46 pm
Next door
The following data helped me a lot, they were published in a french audio magazine by Pierre Etienne Sirder about twenty five years ago. They are based on Harwood's works at the BBC. For a maximum power of 55 W, the power distribution in bands is:

Band (Hz) -> Power (W)

32 - 63 -> 4.4 W
63 - 125 -> 8.8 W
crossover at 125 Hz, total bass = 13.2 W

125 - 250 -> 10 W
250 - 500 -> 10 W
500 - 750 -> 7 W
750 - 1000 -> 5 W
1000 - 1500 -> 3.5 W
1500 - 2000 -> 2.5 W
crossover at 1500 Hz, total medium = 35.5 W

2000 - 3000 -> 1.75 W
3000 - 4000 -> 0.875 W
4000 - 6000 -> 0.44 W
6000 - 8000 -> 0.22 W
8000 - 12000 -> 0.11 W
cross over at 1500 Hz, total tweeter = 5.9 W

If your crossover is at 125 Hz and 1500 Hz, then the electric power reaching each unit is the sum of the powers in the band 32 - 125 Hz (bass), 125 - 1500 Hz (medium), 1500 - 12000 Hz (tweeter).

By scaling to your maximum power and your crossvoer frequencies, you can estimate the power requirements of your amplifier and speakers.

~~~~~~~ Forr

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Interesting stuff. I suspect that todays recordings have more bass content than those of 25 years ago, though. Especially when you look at HT. I think this due to the combination of better recording capabilities and the ability of many consumer systems to reproduce the bottom octaves.
 

synergy

Member
2004-01-13 12:23 pm
here
from the eminence speaker book -
 

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BOBELLLIS
"Interesting stuff. I suspect that todays recordings have more bass content than those of 25 years ago,"

This applied essentially for recent music .

From the same source as above (Sirder), the curve given by Harcourt for power distribution was :
a plateau between 100 and 400 Hz.
a drop under 100 Hz with a rate of 6 dB/o.
a drop above 400 Hz with a rate of 6 dB/o up to 2000 Hz
where the rate begins to be higher, at 9dB/o.
It seems that, to take in account the new kinds of music, the frequency of the drop at 100 Hz should be changed to 50 Hz.

~~~~~~~ Forr

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