should a speaker be of a higher wattage than the amp

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Crazic, Apr 15, 2002.

  1. should a speaker have more or less wattage (capability) than the amp being used with it
    eg if a 300w amp would a 400w or 200w speaker be better
    ive been told that having a lower wattage speaker can result in the speaker being blown
    ive also been told that having a lower wattage speaker is better due to technical stuff i didnt understand (im unlearned in the ways of the speaker)
  2. Matthias


    May 30, 2000
    Vienna, Austria
    you can destroy a speaker with an amp of higher rated power but also with an amp rated lower than the speaker (as long as it is not VERY low compared to the speaker)

    you can use a 200W cab as well as 400W cab with your 300W amp. there has been a thread on the same topic recently, please do a search if your interested in details

  3. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Matthias is right, this has been discussed at length, as a search will show. Briefly, though, I'd boil it down to two things. (1) Get more amp power than you're likely to need for your loudest work, so you never have to drive the amp into clipping. (2) Get a speaker that can handle *at least the level of power you normally use*. This doesn't mean it has to have as high a power handling rating as the amp's output. You can often use, say, a 400 W speaker with a 600 W amp, because you normally don't use near your amp's full power on any continuous basis until you enter serious clipping. This kind of "mismatch" is a common practice, and for many folks it works perfectly well. But it isn't inherently "better" to do things this way; assuming equal speaker efficiency, you are no less vulnerable to clipping a 600 W amp with a 400 W speaker than with a 600 W one, and you are in fact more liable to speaker damage.

    In your scenario, it all depends on how loud you play and how hard you run your amp. If you run it flat out, think first about getting a bigger amp, and then about getting a speaker that can handle more. If you never run the amp past 3 and don't play hard, you almost certainly could use a 200 W speaker with impunity.

    Sorry--I guess that wasn't that brief!