Connect with us

Estimating Speaker Power Rating

Discussion in 'Electronic Basics' started by Blake, Dec 14, 2005.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. Blake

    Blake Guest

    I've been wanting to build a guitar amp for some time now. When I found an
    amp case with 12" speaker at the swap meet going for a give-away price, I
    snapped it up.

    The first thing I need to do is to know the speaker power rating, so I can
    design the amp to make the most of it, without blowing the speaker. The
    speaker's marked "Line 6 t5263 80km 50", but since I haven't been able to
    turn up any data on the speaker I'm thinking about ways to estimate it.

    My idea is to pass a constant DC current through the voice coil and measure
    the voltage rise as the copper wire heats up. Based on a tempco of 3.9E-3
    for copper, I would expect to see the resistance rise from 16 ohms at 25C to
    about 19 ohms at 75C. If I take 75C to be the maximum safe temperature for a
    voice coil (pulled that number out of my ear), then whatever power I need to
    apply to achieve that resistance increase should be my power rating.

    Ok, that sounds ok in theory. But we all know that theory (especially
    interpreted by those with a only little bit of knowledge) can be very
    different from reality. So, I ask for your comments. Am I way off base here?
    Is there a better way?

    Your comments are appreciated.
  2. Pooh Bear

    Pooh Bear Guest

    You're going to have to forget it.

    DC measurements are useless since the voice coil uses its movement under actual
    working conditions to help air cool it.

    I've come across 12 inch speakers with as diverse power rating ( continuous ) as
    15 Watts at the low end to 400 Watts at the very high end.

    The voice coil diameter, materials and adhesives all play alarge part in
    determining the power rating. Some speakers can actually work with the voice
    coil hundreds of degrees C over ambient.

  3. Deefoo

    Deefoo Guest

    Doesn't that read "Line 6 t5263 8Ohm 50" ?

  4. tlbs

    tlbs Guest

    You can register at and ask the tech
    folks there, for an accurate answer.

    My educated guess is the speaker is rated for 50 W RMS, based on the
    "50" at the end of the letter/number sequence you listed. That is a
    "normal" power rating for a 12" guitar-amp speaker.
  5. BobG

    BobG Guest

    I've written a couple programs that graph rms and avg of music, and the
    rms always seems to track the avg about 3dB hotter. So a nice S L O W
    avg would track voice coil heat pretty close.. just assume the rms
    voltage is 3dB hotter than what you are measuring with the avgerager.
Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day