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Occasional CEO
JB Custom
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Discussion Starter #1
We're doing a series of articles to help guitarists to gain a practical understanding of speaker power handling, mixing speakers of different impedance/wattage, and how speaker specs relate to volume/loudness in the real world. I say "practical" because we are intentionally avoiding the technical and are somewhat oversimplifying certain aspects in order to make the information as accessible as possible. I can already hear the more technically inclined members cringing, poised over their keyboards. ;)

First one is done.

Speaker Cab Power Handling For Guitarists - Part 1
How many watts does your cab need to be for your amp?

Speaker Cab Power Handling For Guitarists - Part 1

Next one should be done and posted within the next week... It will cover combined speaker impedance, cab power handling (with multiple speakers), mismatching speaker wattages, and mismatching speaker impedance.

Any questions you may have will probably be answered in upcoming articles, but feel free to ask them here and I have no doubt other members with chime in before we even get the articles finished and posted.
 

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Occasional CEO
JB Custom
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)

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VERY nicely done. Novice-friendly, without being condescending or simplistic.

Myself, I find it helps to understand speakers sometimes if you think of them like fuses...which they can become if mistreated. A fuse passes current until it heats up enough and goes poof. Its' current rating, generally in amperes, indicates how much current it can pass before overheating. The "poof" is what stops the device being powered from damage. Of course, when the voice-coil in a speaker overheats and goes poof, that IS the "damage".

Part of the efficiency of any speaker lies in the close tolerances of the voice-coil gap. The closer the voice-coil is to the magnet in the middle, the more readily it translates incoming current into motion. But the challenge is that there can be NO SIDEWAYS WIGGLING if the coil is close to the magnet, because wiggling turns into rubbing, and rubbing generates heat. I'll wager none of us here have ever tried to start a fire, boy-scout style, by rubbing two sticks together several thousand times a second. If the cylinder that the voice-coil is wound around does not move flawlessly back and forth in the gap, without ever once touching the sides, you're in good shape. If it does not move with perfect piston motion, then it can become like rubbing sticks together at high speed. And of course, if there is a fuzz or any serious boost to mids and highs involved, you've made it worse.

High amplifier power, itself, combined with additional heat within the speaker, can be a death sentence for the voice coil; tantamount to getting a 10A fuze to try and pass 9.5A while hitting it with a heat-gun. Poof!

So, I like Jon's recommendations with respect to power-handling/requirements. On the other hand, I guess he sells more speakers if one doesn't follow those guidelines. ;)
 

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JB Custom
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