Ohm… How much amplifier power do I need?
If you’re purchasing an amplifier, how do you know what is the correct amount of Watts and Ohms to supply enough power to your speakers?
There are manufacturers, or blogs on the internet, that state you should purchase an Amp that is 25% – 50% more powerful than your speakers. In this short informative video for DJs, Pat, from Pat’s Music Center in Philadelphia, PA, tells us his thoughts on this subject. Plus, I wanted to share with you what I’ve used (for years) so you can make the best decision for you when deciding what AMP to buy.
For about almost 8 years, and hundreds of DJ jobs, I’ve used a Crown XLS 202 with 220 Watts per channel and 8 Ohms, combined with 2 JBL 225W per speaker (passive – non self powered speakers). I’ve found this has been plenty loud and powerful enough for parties with 130-150 guest count. (Keeping in mind I DJ mostly weddings, corporate events and private parties – not dance clubs.
When the event is 150 people, or above, I normally hook up a third JBL Self Powered Speaker (Active speaker with an AMP built in. This means I’m still only using the amplifier for the two passive speakers).
Since Pat’s is where I’ve always purchased all my DJ equipment, I wanted to find out the scoop from Pat himself. Why was I able to use an amplifier that was similar in power to my JBLs? Rather than 25-50% more which is the recommendation I found when searching the internet?
Pat’s response made a lot of sense. You can purchase an amplifier 50% more powerful than your speakers. However, if you are one of those DJs who can’t control yourself – and your music has to be played LOUD (I’ll admit it’s hard! Sometimes you just want to raise the roof!!!) you can run the risk of blowing out your speakers because your amp is so powerful. He also says distortion can actually hurt the amp worse than power sometimes.
The benefits of purchasing an amplifier similar/mathcing in power to your speakers (or just a little more powerful) is your system will tell you on the amp, and on your controller, when you are in the RED. I believe this is what has helped me to only blow out a speaker once in the past 8 years. Whenever I see I’m going into the RED I bring the volume levels down a tad. Honestly, it didn’t really need to be any louder. It was either people under the influence shouting at me to play it louder, or just my own wanting to blast it. In either case, it was already SUPER loud. So since my amp has always matched the power of my speakers I wasn’t ever able to blow them out – even if I had been pushing them in the red from time to time.
So – when buying an AMP its just like buying DJ software. Maybe it’s not the BEST amp, or most powerful AMP, thats best for you. It may be the pretty powerful amp – that isn’t costing you a fortune – and will help you to keep your volume levels in check – while helping you to not blow a speaker. Basically, anywhere from similar in power to 50% more powerful – and it seems you’re good to go. Just remember if you opt for the 50% more powerful don’t blow your speaker!!
On another note: Please keep in mind….“baby” your equipment! Like Pat says! If you take care of it – it will take care of you! I take care of my equip extremely well. What has this saved me? A LOT of time and $$$$$$. I’ve maybe blown out a speaker once in 10 years – why? I rarely go into the RED. I just don’t want to put that stress on my equip – and I don’t need to. I don’t hook up to generators. I don’t throw my equipment around (nor do I let anyone else). I don’t just upgrade to the latest equipment every time something new comes along. I don’t need to – mine works just great! This also helps me have the extra funds, and I’m ready to invest once something I really need comes along.
Hope this week’s tutorial helped you. Please let me know if there are any other topics you’d like me to discuss. Please stay tuned every Tuesday when I’ll post a new DJ tutorial or Quick Tip – thanks everybody! DeeJay Shelly
Looking to purchase DJ equipment. Go to http://www.PatsMusicCenter.com