Power Amplification: How Much Is Enough?

Specifying the right power amplifier for specific applications.

By PSW Staff April 4, 2019

Determining which power amplifier is appropriate for a specific application is not as easy as one may think. The answer starts with a full understanding of the key factors of the situation and then how to apply them in the decision-making process.

In “Power Amplification: How Much Is Enough?”, Chapter 4 of the PSW Expert Series on the essentials of audio amplification, author Bruce Bartlett identifies and defines the relevant audio concepts in play when the goal is powering loudspeakers so they play as loudly as possible without burning out and achieving a certain loudness in a certain venue. Topics he covers include:

  • Signal levels
  • Headroom and peakroom
  • Continuous, program and peak power
  • Real-world examples
  • And more!

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Author AES and SynAudCon member Bruce Bartlett is a recording engineer, audio journalist, and microphone engineer (bartlettaudio.com). His latest books are “Practical Recording Techniques 7th Edition” and “Recording Music On Location, 2nd Edition.”

The ProSoundWeb Expert Series on Power Amplifiers is presented by Dynacord and features top authors from ProSoundWeb and Live Sound International magazine. If you missed the previous chapter, it is available for download below:

Chapter 1: “Power Amplifiers: The Evolution of “Heavy Metal”

Chapter 2: “The Power Amplifier-Loudspeaker Relationship

Chapter 3: “Understanding Modern Power Amplifiers

This series sponsored by: