Speaker power handling and amp power ratings

BigPapiFan

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,496
Considering a speaker swap for my Traynor YCV40WR. Is there a general rule of thumb for speaker power handling capacity and amp output power? What would be the safest minimum power handling in this 40W 1x12?
 

sickboy79

Member
Messages
12,998
Are you the type to max the amp out and play loud? 2x is the rule of thumb for wattage handling, so 80w min for your amp.
This. If you're playing at lower bedroom volumes, 2x is not as much of a concern. If you are playing low volume, I wouldn't recommend going below the wattage of the amp though (i.e., I wouldn't use a Celestion 15w Blue).
 

zenas

Member
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8,696
Yeah double the amps wattage is the generally accepted "rule". Makes sense because a tube amp is rated "clean" and a lot of them exceed their rated watts driving into distortion, some by a lot.
However it really comes down to how many watts you're actually putting into the speakers and most people have no clue what that is. If you're playing at apartment friendly volumes, you ain't using much.
 

BigPapiFan

Gold Supporting Member
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2,496
Thanks for the replies, that is what I thought. I don't play very loud and I was considering an All-Tone 1250 rated at 50W.
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
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32,650
There is no rating standard for amps nor speakers.
A 40 W amp should be compatible with a speaker rated at 40 W.
I believe that to be true sometimes.
Unfortunately not always, but you will not know until you have done destructive testing with your rig.
 

bigtone23

Member
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6,114
I prefer to have at least a 50% buffer, so a minimum 60W speaker for a 40W amp.
However, my favorite home amp in the 90s was grossly mismatched: a Marshall 2203 on a blonde Bassman 2x12" loaded with early 70s Greenbacks. 50W of speakers for a 100W head at home levels. Never an issue because I was careful in how I played that amp.
 

teemuk

Member
Messages
3,150
These two ratings are not totally comparable in the first place. Amp's output power is generally what it produces to x ohm nominal load with a sinusoid output having very low distortion. Speaker's power handling, on the other hand, is the input power the driver withstands without failing when it's subjected to noise input with x crest factor for the duration of y. x may, or may not, correspond to crest factor of sine wave and y is a very arbitrary variable subject to at least three different standards. The rating is merely for thermal effects and does not take in account reliable excursion limits, which vary in accordance to enclosure design and input frequency.

You will never find a specific guideline for proper amp-loudspeaker power ratio, except by trial and error.
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
32,650
You will never find a specific guideline for proper amp-loudspeaker power ratio, except by trial and error.
Even based on user experience there is a big YMMV component that does not indicate the actual cause of the failure.
 
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454
Absolutely YMMV. For example, one night I blew a dozen G12M-70s in the course of one song. W/D/W rig, 100W Marshall dry into a 4x12, 9200 Marshall amp two full stacks wets. Not even turned up to the pain threshold. Current rig W/D/W Mesa RoadKing into a C90-loaded 2x12/ EV-loaded 4x12, and a SS power amp 300W/channel into 2 V30-loaded 4x12s, play it LOUD as F with zero issues for years.
 

zenas

Member
Messages
8,696
Absolutely YMMV. For example, one night I blew a dozen G12M-70s in the course of one song. W/D/W rig, 100W Marshall dry into a 4x12, 9200 Marshall amp two full stacks wets. Not even turned up to the pain threshold. Current rig W/D/W Mesa RoadKing into a C90-loaded 2x12/ EV-loaded 4x12, and a SS power amp 300W/channel into 2 V30-loaded 4x12s, play it LOUD as F with zero issues for years.
Yeah if you're actually turning up your amps, then you definitely need speakers that can take it.
Another thing that'll kill a speaker is square waves, some pedals do that and you can kill speakers even under their wattage rating. Not a pedal guy so don't ask me which ones do that.
 




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