Power & Efficiency

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Jammin'John, Sep 9, 2004.

  1. It's very confusing.
    I look at all these different speaker cabs for bass and some of the ratings for power handling and some of the amps that are hooked up to these cabs are HUGE.
    Are these new speakers just very inefficient or are the bands that these folks are playin' in that loud ?
    I have a couple old EV's & they are only rated for 200 & 300w.
    Are the new speakers that much louder ?

  2. It's not necessarily about overall volume, but about headroom. Most amplifiers, when they reach their maximum output, get distorted and start to clip...this is generally well below the speaker's capability. With more wattage, you can get louder with no distortion.

    Believe me, I've got a 3400 watt amp into two speaker cabs that are rated at 700 watts each. If I cranked the power amp, and cranked my pre, and banged the hell out of a B string, thereby sending the full fury of my 3.4K amp to my cabs, there'd be an explosion. I have more power so I don't HAVE to turn up all the way to get loud and stay clean.

    In other words, just because you have all that wattage, doesn't mean you're sending it all to your speakers all the time.
  3. Follow the money.

    Selling amps and cabs is all about the money. The power rating on a cab is typically the amount of wattage (heat) it will handle before things melt.

    It has nothing to do with how much wattage the speaker(s) can handle before exceeding linear excursion. This is also frequency dependent, gets worse as you go lower down the scale.

    Older JBL drivers used to be rated at 75 watts... loud as hell at 75 watts, but this "looks" anemic compared to a subwoofer rated at 1,000 watts, which produces very little output. On paper, the subwoofer driver looks "better" because it will handle 1,000 watts.

    As for power amps, wattage is cheap these days. More is better, especially for head room.
  4. But are these newer speakers more efficient than my old EV's or do they just take more power to make them move ?
  5. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Aug 29, 2003
    Burbank CA USA
    Depends on the speaker. The "new" EV's are pretty efficient. I'm using an EVX-180A in my subs. The difference there is that the speaker can handle the extreme excursions at low frequencies "cleanly", up to a thousand watts. With a solid state amp, thousand watt peaks might equate with an average power level of maybe 200 watts. For instance, I can run my WW Ultra into a single Bag End cab rated at 200 watts (while the amp is delivering 800 watts into 8 ohms), and as long as I don't beat the hell out of the bass it'll work fine. But when I start thumping on the low B, the speaker has difficulty keeping up, 'cause now it's getting more average power in the low frequencies. But the bigger speaker has no problem with it, it's not necessarily quite as loud in the mids but it'll handle the thunderous lows (given the right cab).
  6. But are these newer speakers more efficient than my old EV's or do they just take more power to make them move ? :hyper: