Hey guys! I have a Kenwood KR-797, which according to the manual is 110 watts per channel on all settings, but the new speakers I found are 25-75 watts per channel..Is there a way of using them without damaging them? I've played around with them a bit on my amp and on a friend's and they sound good and worth trying to save. Thanks!
Thanks for the answers everyone, I appreciate it! I've got my speakers on and am making sure to keep them turned down a bit!
You are going to get all kinds of answers, it's the internet!
I would try to give you my favorite response to that kind of questions, that is, it depends!
This time I would elaborate a little, so consider the following facts/factors:
1) Amps not powerful enough to drive your speakers can cause damage it you push the amp near its clipping point.
2) Amps that have rated output much higher (such as 3X) than the speaker's recommended maximum can cause damage if you turn the volume up too high to output more power than the speaker can handle.
3) Practically, and virtually any amps can drive any speakers without resulting in damage to either.
4) There are other factors, but I won't get into the details unless you have speakers that have characteristics that are sort of out of the norm, such as very low sensitivity, unusually low impedance and high phase angles etc.
1) and 2) are not only subject to the volume setting of the amp, but also to your listening habit. For example, it the amp output exceeds the speaker's recommended maximum power handling, say 3 times as much, but it onlyt last for a split second during the signal imposed by the highest peak of the music content you are listening to, then no damage would result, though you may hear distortion momentarily if you have good, trained ears.
1) and 2) can result in damage even at below the speaker's maximum recommended power if the amp outputs at levels close enough to that limit for sustained period of time, that can happen with certain music.
3) People make general statement such as you can use an AVR with 4 ohm speakers when in fact AVRs can drive speakers that dip to 2 ohms or even lower, except some that has sensitive protective circuitry designed to shut down the amp when the load current exceeds a certain point, to protect both the amp and the speakers.
Ultimately the user is in control. Before making your decision, use an online calculator such as the one HD linked, and if the result says you need 100 W to drive your speaker to the loudest level (undistorted) you listen to, double it and you should be safe enough for the worst conditions. When using such calculators keep in mind that most if not all of them are based on speakers with 8 ohm nominal impedance. If your speakers are rated 4 ohms nominal, then you have to adjust the results by a factor of 2.