Quote:
Originally Posted by ajsmcs View Post
After the long, in-depth debate on this subject which took place here ( https://www.diymobileaudio.com/forum/...and-power.html) over the past few days, I feel like this sticky really needs to be edited. Despite most of it being true, the following section is patently WRONG, and needs to stop being repeated. Need clarification? See the thread I posted.

"The lesson in all this is that you can never have too much power, and that big amplifiers rarely damage speakers. Little amplifiers driven into clipping burn out speakers. In the scheme of high fidelity, that last barrier to realism is having enough power and being able to approximate real-life loudness levels. The lesson in all this is that you can never have too much power, and that big amplifiers rarely damage speakers. Little amplifiers driven into clipping burn out speakers."

Perhaps a better statement is that "Your sound system can never be too powerful. Despite not intending to listen to music cranked to 11, you really need more power than you might think to actually imitate the dynamics of a live performance."

I say "system" to imply both powerful amplifiers ALONG WITH speakers that can actually handle that power.

Because you can never have too powerful of a sound system, but you can certainly have too powerful of an amplifier.
Even this is a bit inaccurate. While it's true that you can ruin speakers by giving them too much power, it's also very easy to limit an amplifiers output. Just because you have 1k watt of power available to each midbass, doesn't mean that the speaker gets that power. I would argue that you really can't have too powerful of an amplifier, because of how the gain structure works you can easily make the 1k watt amplifier provide an appropriate amount of power.

So yes, you can overpower speakers, but you can also have incredibly powerful amplifiers that will never harm a speaker. This is why people say buy as much power as you can. Running a robust amp at a minimal level can increase the longevity of the equipment vs. running an amp at it's limit.