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I am confused about something. What does it mean when someone says I am giving my "insert speaker" "X" amount of watts?

I thought that more wattage means more volume.
So for someone who says "i run my 6.5 woofer at 200 watts" isnt that at ear damaging levels of loudness, depending on the woofer?

Or is my logic not correct here?
 

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no and yes. it all depends on the enclosure type and how close to the speaker you are..a 6.5" woofer cannot damage your hearing at any wattage unless you are an inch away from it while it is at full blast..the ear damaging comes into play when you get into the 12"s 15" and 18" with thousands of watts.. now if you had say 10 of those 6.5" woofers on a single box for some reason with 200 watts going to each then yes it would damage your ears. it is all about the SPL output of the box and woofers.

and yes is does mean more volume but not a big difference. and the main thing that contributes to volume is the xmax of the woofer. if there is only 15 mm of xmax that cant really hurt your ears in simple terms ,there are some exceptions, if there is say 30 or 40 mm of xmax that gets up there to the high spl level.

the watts only determine how much the woofer reacts to the magnetic field around the voice coil. so 200 watts to a 6.5 inch woofer wont necessarily do any damage so to speak. there is just not enough air moving from the cone area to create the damaging levels you are thinking of.

i am not an expert at this stuff but what i have done over the past several years this is what i have come to understand.
 

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Tell you what... come on over to my house and let me demonstrate a nice 2K tone through my 5.25" Dynaudio MW150 with 150 watts for a couple of minutes and we'll see if your hearing is still 100%...

The only things the OP might want to pay attention to from the post above are the sentences "...how close to the speaker you are" and "it is all about the SPL output of the box and woofers."

When someone says that they're running their driver with 200 watts, it means that the amplifier that is hooked up to the driver is rated at (or able to deliver) 200 watts of power. It certainly does not mean that 200 watts are flowing through the driver at all times... that would be *very* loud... especially through a tweeter.

Ferinstance... here is my system in my car:

Dynaudio 220 set hooked to a JL Audio 300/2 (150 x 2)
JL Audio 13W3v2 sub hooked to a JL Audio 500/1 (500 x 1)

800 total watts, but I bet that most days, the system doesn't even go over 50 watts as I don't listen very loudly.

The SPL output of a driver given a certain power input is a relatively simple calculation. Most driver manufacturers will give you some reference level at one watt, one meter from the driver. If they don't, they're lying. If they quote the level at 1/2 meter, it will be 3 dB higher than at 1 meter. If they quote at some voltage, you have to correct the voltage for the impedance of the driver as the impedance will affect how much power is actually getting to the driver. Most drivers rate between 80 (pretty low) and 92 (relatively high) dB at one watt at one meter.

The calculation for dB gain for any power level is:

10 X log(NewPowerInWatts/OriginalPowerInWatts)

So... moving from 10 watts to 40 watts = 10 x log(40/10) = 6 dB

A typical driver that puts out 90 dB at one watt at one meter driven with 200 watts will be putting out:

90 + (10 * log(200/1))

Which works out to 113 dB at one meter. OSHA sez that you shouldn't be exposed to that SPL for more than 1/2 hour per day to avoid hearing loss.

Occupational noise exposure. - 1910.95

To the OP... yes, typically more wattage means more volume, but you're not running it wide open all of the time. And the calculation above will tell you how much louder it is when you put more power to the driver. Remember:

Double the power = 3 dB
To sound twice as loud = 10 dB

The funny thing is that moving from 1 watt to 2 watts is a 3 dB increase... and moving from 1000 watts to 2000 watts is also a 3 dB increase (assuming that your driver can actually handle 2000 watts). It's a game of diminishing returns.
 

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Tell you what... come on over to my house and let me demonstrate a nice 2K tone through my 5.25" Dynaudio MW150 with 150 watts for a couple of minutes and we'll see if your hearing is still 100%.
i know that will kill my hearing but i thought he was talking more about lower frequencies like below a couple hundred hertz. but now that i think about it the 6.5" woofer can produce very high tones haha my bad.
 

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I am confused about something. What does it mean when someone says I am giving my "insert speaker" "X" amount of watts?

I thought that more wattage means more volume.
So for someone who says "i run my 6.5 woofer at 200 watts" isnt that at ear damaging levels of loudness, depending on the woofer?

Or is my logic not correct here?
normally they would be referring to the RMS rating of the amp, kind of like saying "200 watts available" or "200 watts of headroom"

on music you'll rarely (more like never) see the RMS of the amp hitting the speaker.
 

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normally they would be referring to the RMS rating of the amp, kind of like saying "200 watts available" or "200 watts of headroom"

on music you'll rarely (more like never) see the RMS of the amp hitting the speaker.
The lower the amplifier's wattage, the more likely you'll have RMS wattage or even clipping outputting to the speaker.

Say you have a 50-watt amp and you are trying to get over 104db peaks to your speakers. Unless you have a really efficient speaker, you'll likely get clipping on your peaks. Having a 200-watt RMS amp would give you the ability to hit higher SPL peaks with cleaner results.
 

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The lower the amplifier's wattage, the more likely you'll have RMS wattage or even clipping outputting to the speaker.

Say you have a 50-watt amp and you are trying to get over 104db peaks to your speakers. Unless you have a really efficient speaker, you'll likely get clipping on your peaks. Having a 200-watt RMS amp would give you the ability to hit higher SPL peaks with cleaner results.
whether or not you see the full output of the amp or clipping is solely defendant upon how much of an idiot you are with the volume knob.

the way most people set gains, it takes a 0db or -3db test tone to get RMS output. If a CD reaches that high (which I don't think it should ever hit 0 db unless the recording engineer was a moron) it would only be for a millisecond.
 

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no and yes. it all depends on the enclosure type and how close to the speaker you are..a 6.5" woofer cannot damage your hearing at any wattage unless you are an inch away from it while it is at full blast..the ear damaging comes into play when you get into the 12"s 15" and 18" with thousands of watts.. now if you had say 10 of those 6.5" woofers on a single box for some reason with 200 watts going to each then yes it would damage your ears. it is all about the SPL output of the box and woofers.

and yes is does mean more volume but not a big difference. and the main thing that contributes to volume is the xmax of the woofer. if there is only 15 mm of xmax that cant really hurt your ears in simple terms ,there are some exceptions, if there is say 30 or 40 mm of xmax that gets up there to the high spl level.

the watts only determine how much the woofer reacts to the magnetic field around the voice coil. so 200 watts to a 6.5 inch woofer wont necessarily do any damage so to speak. there is just not enough air moving from the cone area to create the damaging levels you are thinking of.

i am not an expert at this stuff but what i have done over the past several years this is what i have come to understand.

:eek: WOW :eek:
 

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haha ya i bet your right..sorry i know im wrong on a lot of that stuff :):D
 

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Yeah, these guys are real sticklers for minutiae. I've had to make sure as many of my facts are correct as I can or they pretty much try to hand me my ass on here. :worried:
 

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Yeah, these guys are real sticklers for minutiae. I've had to make sure as many of my facts are correct as I can or they pretty much try to hand me my ass on here. :worried:
ive noticed that haha
 

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The reason that people are sticklers is, 100s of people will read this page, and think that you were correct if no one corrects you.

Now there are 100s of people who think they are right, but are in fact very wrong. And they go around spreading wrong information.
 

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The calculation for dB gain for any power level is:

10 X log(NewPowerInWatts/OriginalPowerInWatts)

So... moving from 10 watts to 40 watts = 10 x log(40/10) = 6 dB

A typical driver that puts out 90 dB at one watt at one meter driven with 200 watts will be putting out:

90 + (10 * log(200/1))

Which works out to 113 dB at one meter. OSHA sez that you shouldn't be exposed to that SPL for more than 1/2 hour per day to avoid hearing loss.

Occupational noise exposure. - 1910.95

To the OP... yes, typically more wattage means more volume, but you're not running it wide open all of the time. And the calculation above will tell you how much louder it is when you put more power to the driver. Remember:

Double the power = 3 dB
To sound twice as loud = 10 dB

The funny thing is that moving from 1 watt to 2 watts is a 3 dB increase... and moving from 1000 watts to 2000 watts is also a 3 dB increase (assuming that your driver can actually handle 2000 watts). It's a game of diminishing returns.
This guy knows his stuff, exactly right! except at 113 db you should only listen to for like 45 seconds before damage could occur (according to the National Institute for Occupational health and safety)
 

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what?? sorry im not an expert i just kind of put out what i thought lol...explain why you said wow
Since you have no clue , I thought WOW ;)

I've seen more knowledgeable simians [ they were on an island throwing their **** at each other ];)
 

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Since you have no clue , I thought WOW ;)

I've seen more knowledgeable simians [ they were on an island throwing their **** at each other ];)
Thanks for letting this guy know he's clueless, a$$hole. I was about to do it myself, and I really don't want to look like a..........well.........for lack of a better word.........a$$hole. :D
 
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