#1November 9th, 2007 · 03:51 PM
50 threads
259 posts
United States of America
ok so i'me getting some new speakers and a power amp
so i can play some small venues with my band....i was wondering
ok so i read somewhere i need to run DOUBLE the rms wattage
rating to my speakers???? is this true and.... what do i need
to go by to know what my speakers can handle (peak,rms,power handling)
imin the dark here and im googleing everything so any help is apreciated
#2November 10th, 2007 · 10:04 AM
54 threads / 29 songs
1,552 posts
United Kingdom
SS... With speakers it does get complicated (and I only really touched on it with your other post).
Basically RMS (Root Mean Square... it's just a measurement that sort of means the average) is the amount of power that the speakers can handle continuously without messing them up.  So a speaker rated at 200W RMS will handle a single unwavering note that's delivered at 200W all the time!
Obviously that's not the way that music is delivered as there are likely to be a fair few peaks and lulls within a dynamically played piece... so speakers may also have a PEAK rating.  Those 200W RMS may also be rated at 350W peak power.... so they can handle SHORT PEAKS of up to 350Watts.

The other significant factor is the impedance... this is rated in Ohms and relates to the force that the speaker requires to drive it (sort of!).  A 4 Ohm speaker cabinet requires more force to drive it than a 2 Ohm cabinet but less force than an 8 Ohm cab.  What this means is that you can still drive an 8 ohm speaker cab with an amp rated at 4 Ohms (or 2 Ohms even) but you'll actually get half (or a quarter) of the amp's RMS power out of it because the energy is needed to overcome that extra force to drive the speaker in the first place.  However, if you try and drive a 2 Ohm speaker cab with an amp rated at 4 or 8 Ohms, you risk damaging both the amp (which needs something to push against) and the speaker (because the amp is likely to clip and this is a BAD thing!!!)

Welcome to the world of trying to match amps and speakers.... it can be pretty tough to sort out at times.

The easiest way to sort it out (and this really is my opinion) is to get powered PA speakers.  That way, all the impedance matching and power handling has been sorted out for you; you just need to decide how loud!  Then you can run a lead straight from your mixer to the speakers, and just play.   This is what I now do for myself when I perform solo, and with my 3 piece.

Good luck with this one... it's a mine-field, I know.
#3November 11th, 2007 · 12:52 AM
50 threads / 12 songs
305 posts
United States of America
Mmm monitors or ligit blasting speakers? What are we talking about (for specific tips)?

Jimmy pretty much covered the technical bit
#4November 11th, 2007 · 09:51 AM
157 threads / 30 songs
1,952 posts
United States of America
i always try to by the highest wattage amp I can afford..  you don't have to turn it up till you blow stuff up ..
listen to the rig watch for clipping and listen for any distortion from the speakers..  like jim posted most of this stuff is rated with just one freq ..usually 1khtz   live music will  use almost the full band width, usually 40kz to 16 or 18k hz   I know some guys go  20 hz to 20khz but i don't  I roll out the low low stuff and usually roll the highs out hard and 16khz

as low end needs more power to operate , you start running kick and bass thru the rig they start using up your power real fast.  that is why  most pro pa rigs use to use at a minimum a tri amp rig .. 3 amps, 1 for lows (big high wattage amps), 1 for mids (still need a fair amount of wattage) and one for highs ( usually can get by with  a lot smaller amp)  hm, SS just keeps getting more confusing ... but  newer pro rigs use  line arrays (powered  speakers)  makes it much easier to set up.     

great post Jim .....  SS  like jim said you need to try to match your ohms to get the most efficient rig.. if not, then always make sure that the speaker number is the same or higher than the amps..  if the amp says 4 ohms you can use 4,8,or 16 ohm speaker set up..  also if  you add (link) speakers together the ohms will change.. 2, 8 ohm speakers set up in series will now be 4 ohm. 

some sound guys take speakers and have em  reconed or order them  at 16 ohms. Then they set up the rigs so that  they link the speakers together till they are at 2 ohms..  most new amps now days are set up to run at 2 ohms.

i also agree with Jim ..if you are just starting out and don't want to F with trying to learn or figure all this out. then get some good powered speakers... you can alway link more of them together to get more sound too..

the only thing with powered speakers is if you have a problem with them  they usually have to go back to the factory .

also there is tons and tons of great used gear out there... I just saw 2 2" jbl horns go for under $500.00
with new titanium diaphragms. people are always buying stuff then they change their mind or find out it's not what they want to do ect..  so you can usually buy good used gear for about 1/2, or less, than new.

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