Speaker power

  Mr. Chips 14:21 07 Jan 03
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  Mr. Chips 14:21 07 Jan 03

WHat power (RMS watts) would I need from speakers, in a small hall, (say 100 people).

I want to provide background music and a Public Announcement system using my laptop PC and attached speakers, which I have yet to buy.

  graham 14:55 07 Jan 03

to hire a local company first and see what they use. Bit of a specialist field is PA, best results would need at least a 2-way (bass & treble) system, amps and a mixer.

  graham 14:56 07 Jan 03

seek advice in a music (as in groups) shop.

  wee eddie 20:07 07 Jan 03

Well not really expert, but an early ('63)mobile disco owner.

Whatever speakers you finally decide on.

Mount them well above the head level of the audience. You would be staggered at the absorbative properties of the unwashed human body.

If using more than a single pair of speakers, consider the confusing effect of unbalanced sound on people in different parts of the room.

Go for plenty of bass. Mid range and physically small speakers sound thin ih a hall.

  Djohn 20:18 07 Jan 03

As wee eddie says, also if you choose four or more speakers then best to switch to mono output, that way the listeners will get a more balanced sound.

Apart from speakers, take into account the Amp. You will need a good quality high output, I would go as far as saying this is more important than the speakers!

I think wee eddie will agree that the amp. can get pretty hot trying to give reasonable sound in a room of 100 people. Regards. J.

  graham 20:40 07 Jan 03

Not really computer stuff but interesting nevertheless. The sound quality will depend on the weakest link. You say you will be using your laptop. Assuming your laptop has audio out, this must be fed by appropriate cables to an amplifier and then to speakers. All this must be controllable by some means and they must be matched.

  hugh-265156 00:33 08 Jan 03

its not really the watts that count.its the sensitivity of the speakers(measured in decebels at a given wattage of x1)for example,most hi fi speakers for the home are around the 87-90dbx1watt.volume wise if you used a set of speakers rated at 87db sensitivity with a 500watt amp and a set of speakers rated at 90db with a 20watt amp the latter may be louder.watts come into play giving control to the sound.a powerful home amp say 100w and large 90db+ speakers should be fine.or hire a P.A.system.they use "powered" speakers,each having a dedicated amp/very sensitive speaker.

  hugh-265156 00:38 08 Jan 03

i noted you said RMS this is the figure you need to look for as peak music power PMPO is used by some manufactures to beef up specs of the system.if this the figure quoted dived roughly by x4 to get RMS value.

  wee eddie 21:16 08 Jan 03

If you are doing this on a one off basis. The cost will be prohibitive, if you aspire to any level of quality reproduction.

You also have the possible pleasure of a visit from the PRS and/or the PPL. In '66 I got fined £380 for recording a jazz singer at one party and playing that recording at another on the following evening. A lot of money then.

You would not be thinking of using ripped tracks, of coures!

  Joe McG 21:44 08 Jan 03

Mr Chips,

at a family do 5 years ago, after the D.J. had a non appearance, my brother (who lives nearby) brought his hi-fi system to the hall. He has a Pioneer (2 x 200 watts rms). Using this unit with the speakers from the same hi-fi, gave a fair lift to the proceedings and the sound quality was excellent.

So a good hi-fi system will do a good job, as long as the speakers and amp are of a decent quality.

ps. as wee eddie says, mount the speakers as high as possible.

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