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Decibels and Power

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Decibels can also be used to compare amplifier power, or the output from various numbers of loudspeakers. What you will quickly find is after the first few additional amplifiers, the amount of additional decibels you are buying drops off pretty fast. It makes a much bigger difference to go from a 100 watt amplifier to an 800 watt amplifier, than it does to move up from a 10,000 watt stack of amplifiers to a 20,000 watt stack of amplifiers. This is especially critical in large sound system designs, where a 3 decibel error in calculation of required amplifier power could mean an error of 10,000 watts. This can apply to loudspeakers where all the loudspeakers provide coverage of the same area. This is a power ratio in both cases, and as such is a bit different ratio than the distance/attenuation calculation above. This formula looks like this: Decibels of Change=10xlog(power 1/power 2).

The amplifier power/loudspeakers you have now.

The amplifier power/loudspeakers you want to have.

This is how many decibels those extra watts/speakers get you.


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This information is provided with no warranty of its accuracy, or applicability, and any use made of this information is done so at the sole risk of the user.



Mc Squared System Design Group, Inc Mc Squared System Design Group, Inc
323 - 901 West 3rd Street
North Vancouver, BC V7P 3P9
Phone 604 - 986 - 8181