A Speaker Rant?

Found this very informative :+1:


So i should look at the 4ohm rating of amps instead of 8ohm ?

For meaningful assumptions about how speakers and amps would work together, you would need peak-to-peak Voltage, nominal Current and a derating curve as well as an impedance plot for the speaker.

That is obviously more information that the average person can reasonably be expected to understand.

dB/W, nominal Ω and maximum power is good enough to ensure you will not accidentally blow something up. Synergy is a forgotten factor anyway.


Not sure what it all means regarding modern day speakers but I’m guessing those old Krell beasts would be enough to drive a pair of DT880 600 ohms? :grin:

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Some speakers drop to <1 Ohm in parts of their impedance curves.
What this really did was change amp design, a lot of newer high end SS amps have massively over engineered PSU’s, that can supply enormous transient loads, and an ability to deliver enourmous amounts of current to a speaker.
The Krell amps he refers to might be 100 W nominal into 8 Ohms, but they double all the way down to 1 Ohm, so into 1Ohm they are 800W amps, though they won’t sustain that (and they generally don’t need to).

It’s a bigger issue if your using tube amps where the load is a part of the amplification circuit, so you get different responses from the amplifier as the load changes with frequency.
Yet another reason synergy matters.

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So what does one look for in the specs to help determine your amp is sufficient for your speakers?


Another novice question does the class of amp matter ie class A etc?

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I listened to this and it went in one ear and out the other… I’m not sure what my problem is today but literally listening to this guy and I got nothing… I guess when I hear his voice I just hear him bish bish bish and thus it’s just like when my wife is complaining.

I know that I should care about efficiency of speakers and the voltage/current of watts but I was able to get a great Hegel amp to drive very inefficient maggies to an amazing level for very little money (relatively concerned). Thus I stopped caring about this issue likely an ignorant approach.

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Most speakers without esoteric drivers don’t require a ton of power so it’s moot for most people.
Unless they want to use low powered tube amps.
There really isn’t a published spec for speakers anymore that will tell you how much amp you need, that’s the point of the rant.
My VMPS speakers have full range ribbon drivers and are notoriously difficult to drive, but speakers like that are the exception not the rule.

Power is power, class D amps can have issues because the power supplies are underspecced but they are usually rated for such massive power output it really doesn’t matter.

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No way. Monoblock Crown XLS 2502 minimum for those.

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Basic rule of thumb: more power = better. You won’t blow a speaker with too much power but you will with too little.

Not enough power leads to clipping. Clipping is DC to the speaker. DC will heat up and fry a voicecoil.

I use 700 Watt monoblocks and have never blown a speaker regardless of power rating.


No. Class makes no difference. Power is power is power.


I only buy 8. OHM speakers with at least 85db sensitivity, higher the better.
I love easy to drive speakers, gives flexibility on which electronics are needed.

Is it the way the power is implemented ?

Could you elaborate on that?

Well kinda murky on this,wanted to use a car analogy, class D is like a tesla and AB is like an american V8. If power is power what is the difference in sound signature hifi people report theyre hearing? The theory ive heard is its the delay and distortion that is getting to the speakers adding more color to already colored speaker. AB is using a transformer and caps to push the speaker, class D is doing it by circuitry. so assume class D is a more efficient direct path to driving the speaker ?

every speaker has a recommended power range. every speaker also has listed minimum impedance. the rated impedance is the average impedance a speaker will see on an average load. highs and lows can cause a speaker, depending on drivers used, to dip to as low as 1 ohm, and as high as 60+ ohm.

every speaker also has a listed sensitivity, usually ##@1watt/1meter. typical speaker are between 86 and [email protected]/1m. that translates to most speakers not typically needing many watts to drive to a reasonable level in a reasonable space for the speaker.

different class of amps have different sound signature typically, but not always. class a tends to lean on the warmer side, with class d typically being more neutral. that’s a real basic summary. tube amps typically have wider and deeper soundstages then solid state amps, but not always.

edit: one thing that does make a difference with different types of amps is your electric bill. class a is all power all the time. class d only gives the power it needs when it needs it.

Good tip, The fun part is collecting them all !

AB still has Class D beat with sound quality, maybe in a few years it will even out.

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