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  1. #1


    Under powering speakers

    I could of put this in the cars section but since it directly relates to home theater speakers I figured here would be good.

    So I'm planning on putting a system in my car and already have the low end planned out but I haven't decided what to do with my highs. Currently I have stock tweeters and mids powered by a 14 watt rms aftermarket headunit (receiver). Although the 14 watts is has is cleaner than the factory was and is plenty loud enough I want to know how it would effect aftermarket speakers of higher wattage.

    I know properly powered speakers sound better but I don't really want to pay for another amp for my highs and have to wire that up too. If I have let's say 40 watt rms speakers being powered by a 14 watt rms amp (which is plenty loud enough for me) will the sq really be affected that much to justify the extra expense/work? And will there be any other problems by under powering them?

    I would go to a car audio shop to ask but I'm planning on buying online and installing myself. Plus I feel like you guys as audiophiles could help better.

  2. #2
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    14 watts is pretty minimal. Granted, tweeters need very little power but it's more about headroom.

    Now, if you don't "Pump Up the Jam" too much you'll be fine. However, if you are looking to crank up Boston's self-titled album for the neighbors to enjoy, you might clip the amp and damage the speakers.

    You should be fine, as long as you keep your volume in check.

    I am looking into getting new speakers for my Avalanche. I'm looking seriously at Focal Audio speakers.

  3. #3


    My subwoofer setup will be first. If I can I'm going to get a used JL 12" w3 but if not probably a new Pioneer or Kenwood sub the same size. I plan on having 400-500 watts there to be sufficient especially since I'm going with a sealed box.

    I was worried with the highs since I'm going for sq over spl and 14 watts is very little for aftermarket components.

    My goal is for the low end to be very clean but able to bump a little and my highs to just sound better than before. I don't feel I need them to be that loud.

    Does 400-500 watts sound good enough for what I described?

    I don't want to buy too much being that I'm mostly going for sq over spl.

  4. #4
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    I would think that 400-500 watts would be plenty for a sub. Most of them are 4 ohm anyway, and fairly easy to drive.

  5. #5


    I've noticed that generally sq and wattage go hand in hand with different sub models. I would like a nicer sub but am wanting to save money and power it with a lesser wattage amp because I feel it would be enough spl for what I want.

    Lets say I have 2 identical subwoofers the only difference is that one is rated at 300 watts and the other 500. If I'm powering them with a 300 watt amp (everything same impedance) will there be a difference of any sort?

  6. #6
    Senior Member k0rww's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy Rainwater View Post
    I would think that 400-500 watts would be plenty for a sub. Most of them are 4 ohm anyway, and fairly easy to drive.
    Tracy,

    Two subs, each 2000 RMS Watts is about right.
    Richard

  7. #7
    Administrator Tracy Rainwater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k0rww View Post
    Tracy,

    Two subs, each 2000 RMS Watts is about right.
    Only if you are "All About that Bass", Richard.

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