I have some 1970s-vintage small Advent speakers. They
are in great shape and rated at 15 watts RMS power
handling. Iím in need of a new receiver to go with
them as the old one died. How do the "old"
power ratings compare to the "new," inflated,
power ratings? I look and I see ratings of 100 watts per
channel. I donít want to blow out the speakers.
address not given.
It is hard to compare "old" vs.
"new" power ratings across the board because
different brands rate different components in different
ways. Separate power amplifiers tend to be rated
accurately, even today, so you can compare power ratings
and it is apples to apples. When you compare a
5.1-channel surround sound receiver to a seven channel
amplifier you will see the receiver might say, "50
watts per channel with two channels driven," which
means that when you drive all five channels
simultaneously, the power output is significantly less.
The separate amplifier will say, "75 watts per
channel with all channels driven" which makes it a
true 75 watts, all the time under all conditions.
can use almost any amplifier or receiver with your
speakers. The 15 watt rating does not have much
real-world significance because there are very few
amplifiers rated at 15 watts or less, and more
importantly, you are more likely to destroy speakers
with an amplifier with too little power, not too much.
example, say you are playing music with your speakers
and the average power needs is 4 watts. Suddenly, a
crescendo kicks in and 40 watts are required. If you
have a 15 watt amplifier, it will run out of power at 15
watts and start creating distortion, which will burn out
speakers very quickly. If you had a 50 watt amplifier,
the amplifier can reproduce the 40 watts cleanly and you
will be fine 99.99999999999 percent of the time.
are limits to this. You could not hook up a 1000 watt
amplifier and use your tiny speakers to fill a concert
hall with sound. Even with clean power, you would blow
them out. But for most listeners and speakers in home
situations, there is a saying in the audio world that
"you canít have too much power."
Onkyo TX-8020 I have recommended in the past is rated at
50 watts per channel and sells for $179. It is rated at
20 Hz-20 kHz with .08 percent THD with both channels
driven, which is a conservative, real-world,
"old" kind of a power rating, not an inflated
rating. It would be a good match for your speakers,
which are quite good despite their age.