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Watts Myth?

Rob B

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Can someone help me out?


I have been wondering about these HTiB "scams" that claim to be able to do 1000 watts of total power

which breaks down to about 150 watts per channel and 260 for the sub.


how can that produce that when its cheeper then what I paid for my denon 1803 which does 80 per channel?


is it something like its shared verus independet for each speaker?

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There's no consistent or mandated method of measuring wattage. So they can come up with a testing figure that says 8 billion watts per channel, but they could be testing it with some sort of hackneyed innacurate gadget. They can measure it however they want.


In my mind it's a totally irrelevant number since it can be so wildly inaccurate. I only consider it when comparing two products of the same brand, as a measure of difference - since the brand likely measured both products the same way and are citing the same type of wattage (peak for one channel, all 5 channels going at once, whatever)

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how can that produce that when its cheeper then what I paid for my denon 1803 which does 80 per channel?


Easy, they test with a high THD (total harmonic distortion) value and across the entire frequency spectrum (10Hz to 20,000Hz).


The short answer is that you'll never see that kind of output from such devices as you'd probably never want to listen to anything at an extremely high distortion rate and more high end setups have dedicated speakers to handle certain frequency ranges.


Most people will look directly to the peak wattage of an amplifier or a speaker, but in the real world, while it's possible that you may actually see that peak wattage for no more than a second (unless you're competing in SPL contests) the RMS (root mean square) rating is a much better example of what you can expect.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The main thing is to completely ignore any wattage value that isn't specified as RMS. If it says X Watts PMPO (or doesn't specify what they're measuring), that means how much it can pump on a transient, which tells you a big load of sod all.


Besides, buying an amp that can go "loud enough" isn't terribly difficult. Its how good it sounds that costs money.

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