A Speaker Rant?

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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For the Solid-State amplifiers, I have written an overview about the classes and working principles:

Output transformers could be used in a solid state amp, is uncommon though. In tube amps, you often need an output transformer in order to power low impedance headphones or speakers.

One thing about power I want to look into is how much that changes depending on how “complex” the signal is. In other words: 1kHz sine is power x, but what power is 100Hz, 1kHz and 10kHz playing at the same time?

most speakers do not have published impedance curves. however all drivers do. sometimes you can find the parameters for the drivers of pre-built speakers, but usually not unfortunately. most impedance plots of woofers have somewhere in the 100-200hz up to usually 800hz to 1khz in the “nominal impedance” range. IE an 8 ohm woofer will typically run roughly 8 ohms in that range. usually a dip, followed by a huge impedance spike at around 100hz for 20-30hz that then drops waaaaaaaaaaay off to as low as 1ohm or less. on the other end, it usually rises like a roller coasters first hill till it hits 60+ ohms at the far end of the woofers limit.

tweeters do the same thing, but at higher ranges. the low end dip and rise varies typically a lot more as tweeters resonant frequency(ie as low as it can go) vary a ton.

xover values and design can and will effect the impedance plot as well.

random image quick find on adding a resistor and how it effects the impedance plot

unless the manufacturer randomly posts the plots(unlikely) you have to measure yourself. same goes for DIY projects.

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Do Class D amps last longer than AB?

Talking about longevity

No, the thing that fails on most well designed amps is the capacitors usually 20-50 years after they are made, usage isn’t a big factor.
Both have caps in.

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I wonder when Class D will match or surpass AB in sound quality.

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There is some darn good class D out there now but i think there will always be differences

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Or cap drift. The 50s “bees” were prized for their sound in guitars. There is a grail value that was in the late 50s les pauls but measuring them now they have drifted.