Understanding Power, Sub Woofers & Specifications

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People are often confused about sub woofers and power ratings. They think power relates to loud and sub woofers relate to wall rattling bass, but that’s not necessarily so! So let’s set the record straight; more power does not necessarily mean louder or better. In fact, power really has nothing to do with sound quality at all, and only slightly effects true volume or SPL (sound pressure level). Power has everything to do with what’s called headroom. In order to have premium quality, controlled sound, you must have adequate headroom in your system or the sound becomes distorted and harsh, especially at higher volume levels. Headroom is the difference between the amplifiers peek and the speaker’s capability; If you max out either, you’re doomed! Some DJ’s will try to compensate for this distortion by using equalizers, which only makes it worse! Once the system runs out of headroom, it’s down hill all the way.

Now, just because you have a high-powered amplifier and speakers, doesn’t mean you will have high quality sound and headroom if the component specifications are only fair, which is usually the case in cheaper mixers, amplifiers and speakers. The amount of amplifier power has nothing to do with the sound quality specifications. This all comes down to several key factors called THD-total harmonic distortion, damping factor, slew rate, per watt to db efficiency from 20Hz-20KHz, and several other complicated amplification factors. We won’t go into specifics of all these electronic terms and exactly they mean, but be sure, they are all very important. The combination of a premium quality power amplifier with excellent specifications, and top grade speaker components & crossovers, are the guts of what make distortion free sound. The DJ mixer/pre-amp also plays an integral role in this reproduction.

With all that said, when you add more quality power, you expand the system’s headroom; the more power, the more headroom. Adding a premium grade sub woofer and crossover takes a huge amount of stress off of the upper cabinets by redirecting the lower frequencies only to the sub woofer as sub woofers are designed specifically for these lower frequencies. By dividing these frequencies between the speakers, you allow almost unlimited headroom in the upper cabinets that will now carry only the midrange & high frequencies, which need far less power to efficiently operate. This is what makes the difference between an awesome system and an average or worse one. This process creates a controlled, pure full range sound that has very clean and solid bass, but not grossly boomy or excessive bass like you hear in the kid’s cars at the stoplight. When there’s no distortion, it’s amazing how comfortable and inspiring the sound can be without it blasting; it’s very deceiving.

At Elite Pro DJ, all 4 of our systems were designed with the utmost care and thought based on the best possible sound & lighting solutions for wedding receptions. Having used JBL, Electro Voice, Mackie, Cerwin Vega & Peavey speakers ourselves during our many years of business, we know and understand the incredible difference Yorkville speakers make over all of these other brands. We now exclusively use Yorkville speakers in all of our systems. We’ve also used just about every make of audio amplifiers, and when it’s all said and done, nothing beats an upper end Crown for sound quality, reliability and specifications. To finish off all of our systems we use very top-of-the-line Denon Mixers, Denon CD players, Furman power conditioners, Aphex enhancement, Shure wireless microphones and American DJ LED lighting effects