Amplifiers: To Protect Speakers, Account For Peak Power, RMS
Whenever possible, look to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation to yield the best results and minimize the likelihood of damage to your loudspeakers.
Amplifiers NewsWhat To Account For When Building A Church’s Sound System From The Ground Up Amplifiers: To Meet Needs, Learn About Linearity, Gain Amplifiers: To Protect Speakers, Account For Peak Power, RMS Passive Stage Monitors: Flexibility With Amplification
Amplifiers ResourceAmplifiers: Bring the Right Sort of Power to Worship
When seeking to find the right budget-friendly and high-quality amplifier to serve the needs for your church, there are a few solid options to consider.
The other major function that many modern amplifiers have is an ongoing load test, which continually monitors the connected loudspeakers. By comparing the reported load (e.g., 1.7 ohms) to the expected load (perhaps 4 ohms for a pair of 8 ohm speakers in parallel), you can see that something is wrong. Perhaps the loudspeaker cable is developing a short, or a voice coil is melting). This load test doesn’t usually conclusively prove what is wrong, but it will often give you an idea of what to investigate. And with the complexity of modern PA’s, any “health” data we can get is helpful.
In a nutshell, keep the following points in mind:
• Whenever possible, consult the loudspeaker manufacturer and use their recommended amplifier pairing suggestions and presets.
• Use both RMS and peak limiting to fully protect your loudspeakers.
• Don’t be afraid to use a smaller amp than your loudspeaker can handle, if you don’t need the SPL, and you use limiting to prevent the amplifier from clipping.
• Otherwise, pick an amplifier that delivers around two to four times the continuous power rating of the loudspeaker.
• Do your loudspeaker tuning either in a standalone DSP or in the amplifier’s DSP (if available), but please don’t do it in your console. Console-based PA tuning is susceptible to accidental fiddling by others and means that swapping out your console will also result in you losing your system tuning.
• Generally, don’t be tempted to load an amplifier channel lower than 4 ohms, even for amplifiers that can handle it. It typically requires larger loudspeaker cable, both because of the higher current involved and to overcome cable loss, and it can also make some amplifiers nonlinear.
And finally, if you need help making the choice, or determining limiter settings, do not be afraid to reach out to a preferred integrator, a consultant, or (maybe) the wonderful online community. If you pick the latter, though, just be prepared to judiciously exercise your comprehension skills!
Latest ResourceWorship Facilities Magazine, September-October 2017
The September-October 2017 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers a glance at a Granger Community Church, and their recent install of a Lawo audio mixing console system.