Speaker Power Handling question and I don't understand speaker language

Discussion in 'Live Sound [BG]' started by TWolf, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. TWolf

    TWolf

    Jan 20, 2011
    The Deep South
    In a nutshell, I need to replace two of our PA speakers.

    The current speakers have 200w continuous and 800w peak rating listed on the back.
    They are Behringer 12".
    The one's I am considering replacing with are the Peavey PBK 15" that are listed at 560w program power.

    So does program power rating of the Peavey relate to the continuous rating of the Behringer or the peak rating or neither? I want to get something at least as capable or better than what we have now.

    Any other suggestions welcome but the budget isn't huge.
    Thanks!!
     
  2. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Well, it's one of those questions that gets an "it depends" answer.
    Program power and continuous tend to be close to each other - depending on how the vendor does their measurements.
    Usually, both are approx. 1/2 the peak power rating of the speaker.
    So yeah, the PV at 550w program is more "powerful", and should have a peak around 1000w. (You did not list a model, so I have NOT looked at the specs).
    But, as an example, a PV PR-15 is 400w program and 800w peak!
     
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  3. TWolf

    TWolf

    Jan 20, 2011
    The Deep South
  4. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    I would do some additional research on the those speakers.. as MF and GC have differing sets of specs posted.
    MF shows 560w @ 4-ohms, and GC says 560w @ 8-ohms. :(
    Neither display a peak rating. I can't find anything on peavey.com about that models nomal impedance either. Possible archived product ?? idk.
    Those are passive speakers, so it's important that you match your amp's output ratings with the speakers nominal impedance - which is usually 4 or 8 ohms.
    Can't tell if the PBK's are 4 or 8 ohms.

    TBH - those are cheap speakers, like the Behringer's. I'd save my money for something better - even if it just a set of PV15's.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
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  5. TWolf

    TWolf

    Jan 20, 2011
    The Deep South
    Right, and if this was a project that was making money I would have no problem investing in some better gear, but at the moment we are where we are.
    So I went down and talked to the local music shop and the guy told me he can replace the drivers with a much better quality for $70 each. He basically said the same thing you did though, that they are just really cheap speakers and we should look to significantly upgrade when able.
    He recommended Peavey SP2 which run about $600 each. Way out of line from what I am willing to do at the moment.
     
  6. s0c9

    s0c9 Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2014
    Ft.Worth/Dallas
    1964 Audio artist, Fractal Audio Beta Tester
    Totally understand the budget constraints. At least the SP2 has BW's (Black Widow) 15's in them.. or at least the 4 modified SP2's I own do. I replaced the stock horns with Selenium's (120w), removed the internal crossovers and bi-amped them.
    They now have separate inputs (via Speakon NL4 connectors) for horn and BW, with crossover frequencies controlled up-stream by the DSP that sits ahead of the amps.
    Good luck w/ your upgrade! :)
     
  7. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    Probably the safest thing is to know the terms and relate everything back to RMS...but you have to read the notes in the speaker's spec sheet, because sometimes the terms are used inconsistently. I would assume 560W Program is 280W RMS, but check the notes.

    The normal terminology is RMS, Program or Music Power, Peak Power. These are really all the same thing and I will sort of explain. RMS is the continuous or average amount of power the speaker can handle. Program or Music Power is normally RMS +3dB, and Peak Power is RMS +6dB. It's important to keep in mind that average power must not exceed RMS. So if the music is extremely compressed and you are pushing the speaker to +6dB...or possibly even +3dB you may be exceeding the speakers RMS power handling. The idea is the speaker can occasionally handle peaks of 3-6dB above it's RMS limit.

    There are several different standards for measuring a speaker's power handling abilities. Basically the standards amount to a torture test the speaker must endure for a certain time period. Some of the standards include an RMS power rating with a 6dB crest factor. Noise is created for the test with peaks that are 6dB above the RMS power rating. This is where you get the Peak power rating. Depending upon the standard, the speaker is expected to survive from 2-8 hours without damage. Here's a thought: Perhaps its not wise to push a speaker to its peak 800W rating if it's only expected to survive for 2 hours at that power level.

    Here's a page that gives an overview on most of the common standards. Speaker power handling
     
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