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Wattage guide for PA speakers

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Wattage guide for PA speakers

PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 5:52 pm
by Guest
Hello everyone

I am finding it quite hard to find any kind of ball park figure for looking for speakers that I need regarding wattage output

They measure output in "peak" and then in "RMS"

Basically we need speakers for our pub to hold up to 100 people, and having some kind of wattage guide as a ball park figure would help when search to buy our speakers

Thank you

Re: Wattage guide for PA speakers

PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 8:50 pm
by Watchmaker

Re: Wattage guide for PA speakers

PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 9:07 pm
by AlecSp
Watchmaker points to a helpful article - well worth reading.

"Wattage" is one of the most pointless ways to judge a speaker - it means nothing unless you take into account the speaker's sensitivity.

Look at SPL to give a better indication of actual output.

But, even then, quality will vary a lot, regardless of how loud different speakers will go - some (usually more expensive) will sound much better than others (usually cheaper)

Also consider whether you need full range re-inforcement (includnig drums & bass) in which case you'll likely need to add subs or just vocal/acoustic re-inforcement in which case a pair of decent 10" speakers might serve you very well.

Re: Wattage guide for PA speakers

PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 10:07 pm
by Guest


Good link! Thanks
Question

As quoted from the article

_______________________
I'd recommend a model of at least 70 Watts for small gigs,

A fairly small powered two-way cabinet (8- to 12-inch woofer plus horn) rated at anything from 100 Watts upwards will do the trick

I'd consider a system power of around 300 Watts to be a minimum for performers using backing tracks

_______________________________

Would that be peak or RMS wattage?

Re: Wattage guide for PA speakers

PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2019 11:54 pm
by AlecSp
You've still not said what you want to achieve with your "speakers" for your 100 people.

Is it background music, re-inforcing acoustic acts, full band PA, or full on club levels. Knowing this will allow people to make some suggestions that might actually be of use to you.

And, really, forget about watts!

For example, if you were doing acoustic acts, I might suggest using Yamaha DXR10s. They happen to have a total power rating of 1,100w each. No idea how they're measuring that, as they're too cheeky to say (suspect it's not RMS, mind), but I don't care - far more important is their SPL of 131dB - that's how loud they can go - and, of course, how they sound.

Re: Wattage guide for PA speakers

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 12:26 am
by Watchmaker
Ya, what size room? is it a church or a pub? Is the genre trash metal/reggae/hiphop or an evening with Celine Dion and Kenny G?

fwiw, I recently bought 2 JBL Prx812's and then went out and bought 2 jbl eon610's to hold them up because my classic rock band of 60 year old men needed more power to play at the VFW and hear ourselves.

My tuppence is buy a lot more capacity than you think you need.

Re: Wattage guide for PA speakers

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 10:06 am
by AlecSp
Watchmaker wrote:Ya, what size room? is it a church or a pub? Is the genre trash metal/reggae/hiphop or an evening with Celine Dion and Kenny G?
He said pub, up to 100 people in his first post. :headbang:

What we're waiting for is the type of material being delivered.

Re: Wattage guide for PA speakers

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 11:28 am
by Watchmaker
pfft. reading the OP all the way through is passe :headbang:

Re: Wattage guide for PA speakers

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 1:06 pm
by Sam Spoons
AlecSp wrote:
Watchmaker wrote:Ya, what size room? is it a church or a pub? Is the genre trash metal/reggae/hiphop or an evening with Celine Dion and Kenny G?
He said pub, up to 100 people in his first post. :headbang:

What we're waiting for is the type of material being delivered.

And an idea of budget would be useful, plus what is needed WRT mixer/mics etc.

Re: Wattage guide for PA speakers

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 2:51 pm
by Guest
Don't want to sound rude or anything; But I fail to see why it would matter what kind of music was being played though them as my question solo relates to the volume

Since the article linked above by watchmaker mentions wattage as a guide 3 times, its still a valid guide. And I will ask the question again, is this peak or RMS wattage?

But to answers all the above unanswered question are...
Floor space approximately 10x10 meters and the speaker will be plugged into a jukebox at first as later on we will probably purchase a karaoke machine, and even still get someone we know to come in and do open mic for us
Cheers :thumbup:

Re: Wattage guide for PA speakers

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 4:29 pm
by The Red Bladder
The first wattage guide was created by James Watt, the man who invented the lavatory.

He was sitting in the bath one day when it struck him. "Eureka!" he cried.

His wife Eureka Watt came and said "What is it Watt!" or "Watt, what is it!"

"I've just invented the lavatory!" he shouted.

"Yes, so I can see!" she said.

And by 1830 there were little steam-driven lavatories commuting between Liverpool and Manchester.

Re: Wattage guide for PA speakers

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 4:49 pm
by Sam Spoons
What make and model is your jukebox (is it stereo and what what outputs does to have is what I'm trying to get to)? What is your budget for this/these speaker/s?

You will need a lot more power to play rock music to 100 18 year olds than Country to 100 pensioners hence the questions.

Powered speaker manufacturers all seem to use different methods of rating their speakers, most will quote a 'watts' figure but it is not very useful as they rarely qualify if it is peak, continuous, 'rms' or WHY nor how it is measured so the max SPL figure is better for comparison. For rock in your room I'd want 130dB SPL per speaker and probably two speakers and a sub. For karaoke or an acoustic open mic 110 dB would probably be sufficient unless they are a noisy crowd.

Re: Wattage guide for PA speakers

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 6:46 pm
by ef37a
A bit later on Martin I am going to bore you rigid and tell you far more than you ever want to know about watts, peak, pink or bloody RMS (no such thing).

But I am having me tea first, then I might fall asleep...

Dave.

Re: Wattage guide for PA speakers

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 8:13 pm
by Dave B
martinboth wrote:Don't want to sound rude or anything; But I fail to see why it would matter what kind of music was being played though them as my question solo relates to the volume

The reason is that the type of music, and the room that it's in will determine the amount and frequency response of output needed. Leaving aside the wattage (which we have said is a bit of a red herring - my Yamaha DXRs are about the same wattage as my EV ZLXs but are almost twice as 'loud'), we need to know whether you need a full range system (for a complete spectrum) or just some nice sounding tops for vocals and acoustic guitars. There are as many types of PA as there are kinds of music.

Is the jukebox going to be loud? Big and heavy music, or light acoustic jazz?

Given the type of live music use that you are talking about, I suspect that you won't need subs (but I could be wrong) so that's going to mean a good sounding set of tops. Which brings us on to budget - quality is expensive, so there's no point us recommending expensive 12" speakers if you only want to spend the sort of money for a couple of cheap 10" speakers.

(Just checking - you do realise that even for acoustic open mics, you'll be looking at additional costs for a mixer, mic(s), DI box(s) and monitor(s) - just trying to set expectations here)

All of this stuff can be a bit of a minefield, so we like to ask questions up front. People often come here thinking it's a quick answer, but it's really not - look at a couple of the other threads! :)

Re: Wattage guide for PA speakers

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 8:48 pm
by Watchmaker
At the risk of giving a wrong but perhaps useful way of thinking about it. Watts is a measure of power dissipation, or how much power is being consumed. It is not a measure of how efficiently that consumption is being translated into sound energy. Nor is it a very good measure of dissipation in the context of transduction.

What you are really seeking is some valid consistent measure of effectiveness for purpose. The problem is tricky though. You have to first turn sound into electrical impulses, then control, manipulate and route them, then turn them back into sound at a different location than the source while ensuring it still sounds nice. There are a ton of physics and electro-magnetic challenges involved that change every single time you move so much as a microphone.

Really, we're doing our best to help, but it can still stump you even when you have decades of experience and are in the room with gear you know well. :angel:

Re: Wattage guide for PA speakers

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 9:08 pm
by Guest
Abuse removed

Its not my juke box, its not my pub, Im just an employee, the bar man, the cook the cleaner you name it and if they want me to do technical things for them like mend cookers and fridges and sort a PA system out for them then that's me.

Budget wise, I don't know, not me spending it, will have to report back to them
Its an old Jukebox that they have owned for some years that's been moved around from pub to pub that they have leased, but not going to be back to work until Thursday so can't look at it until then

Dose not seam I am going to get an answer to my question hear so I will have to ask the person who wrote the article ( Paul White) in the first place
But anyway as Sam said above, I need speakers between 110db and 130db then

Re: Wattage guide for PA speakers

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 9:22 pm
by ef37a
On second thoughts, perhaps I'll leave it?...

Dave.

Re: Wattage guide for PA speakers

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 9:52 pm
by blinddrew
Probably best.

Re: Wattage guide for PA speakers

PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 10:39 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
martinboth wrote:Dose not seam I am going to get an answer to my question hear so I will have to ask the person who wrote the article ( Paul White) in the first place
But anyway as Sam said above, I need speakers between 110db and 130db then

You've been getting very helpful answers, and I'm sure the constructive advice given will aid those with a genuine interest in the topic.

Sadly, you have a disturbing addiction to trolling the SOS forums. Your membership has been cancelled, again, and your ISP (EE) informed of your repeated antisocial behaviour.

Goodbye.

H