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    1991Brougham's Avatar
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    Sub wattage vs rest of system question

    Are there ratios for how much wattage a sub should have in relation to the rest of the system? The reason I say "ratios" instead of "ratio" is that I would expect there to be situations where sound balance is prioritized, bass is prioritized and overall loudness is prioritized.

    Rick







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    Re: Sub wattage vs rest of system question

    It's not power you should worry about but levels. For some setups, 100 watts may be too much while for others, you may need 2k or more. This is an unanswerable question.



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    Re: Sub wattage vs rest of system question

    i agree with the post above mine.

    but if ya want some numbers i have about 400 to my sub, 205 per mid, and 22 per tweeter(soon to be about 80 per tweeter). headroom ftw!

    every system will be different though. all depend on what ya like and what you use.



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    Re: Sub wattage vs rest of system question

    2 mids = 1 sub looks to be the "ratio" so to speak. That was kinda-sorta my guess, to multiply 2 channels' wattage to derive a number for a sub's wattage and wind up with a "balanced" sound so to speak. It will not be precise as levels but it does give a good starting point for what to select.

    Thanks for the input guys!

    Rick




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    Re: Sub wattage vs rest of system question

    well the speakers sensitivity can get louder or quieter with the same amount of power, which would throw off a precise ratio. The enclosure of the sub can really change the perceived loudness, and with the some 500watts is nothing to some people, and 1500watts is "normal" for some.
    On the note of sound balance, human ears are sensitive to higher frequencies than lower frequencies so that is why we can usually put more power to the sub and we can take the loudness.
    If bass is prioritized then thats an SPL setup is needed, where ideally 100% of power goes to the substage, or specifically that one frequency.




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    Re: Sub wattage vs rest of system question

    It will not be precise as levels but it does give a good starting point for what to select.
    Not really...

    At home I have 8 watts on my main speakers and a 250W plate amp on the sub...does it really matter? Not when everything's set up properly...




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    Re: Sub wattage vs rest of system question

    Quote Originally Posted by 1991Brougham View Post
    2 mids = 1 sub looks to be the "ratio" so to speak. That was kinda-sorta my guess, to multiply 2 channels' wattage to derive a number for a sub's wattage and wind up with a "balanced" sound so to speak. It will not be precise as levels but it does give a good starting point for what to select.

    Thanks for the input guys!

    Rick
    No, it is not even a good starting point. Power doesn't have as much to do with output as people think. In my car, I had a single 12 and one set of components. The components were getting 300wrms and the sub was getting 300wrms. The sub could easily over power the mids if I didn't set the levels right. Even with 100wrms, the sub could over power the mids/highs. It's all in how you set things up.

    If you just roll out like many of the people here and set your gains with a dmm, you're going to have a very unbalanced system.



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    Re: Sub wattage vs rest of system question

    Thanks for the additional clarifications, especially Immacomputer's. Glad to have you guys around to clear up my misconceptions and bad guesses!

    Rick




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