POWER REQUIREMENTS OF YOUR AMPLIFIER

THIEL speakers benefit from a higher current, higher quality amplifier (for example, 8 ohm). The sound quality improves for you. If you’re connecting the speakers to an amplifier with various impedance taps, the nominal impedance of the 3rd Avenue Collection is 8 ohm; the minimal impedance is 3 to 4 ohm. 

It is important to have enough music power from the amplifier to play the artists you love at the volume level you desire without distortion. 

  • If you play the speakers more loudly than the volume your amplifier can cleanly produce, the amplifier will create what is called overload (clipping) distortion. The sound will become compressed, strained, and in extreme cases, obviously distorted. 
  • This distortion is actually nonmusical additional energy. It is concentrated in the high frequency region, and the tweeter can be damaged in extreme cases. 

Sound quality is usually more important to discerning listeners than sound quantity. Two amplifiers of equal power can have large differences in their sonic performance. And that is more important than large differences in power. 

Most discriminating listeners will be happier with a 100-watt amplifier of high sonic quality than a 200-watt amplifier of mediocre quality. For that reason, we feel there is no substitute for listening carefully when selecting your amplifier. 

The question “How much power do I need?” does not have the simple answer most people expect. The music power needed is determined by three factors: the volume you prefer, the size of your room, and the speaker’s efficiency rating. Each factor can raise or lower the average (100 watts) by two or more times.



LISTENING PREFERENCE
ROOM SIZEAVERAGE VOLUMETURN IT UP!
SMALL (1K CU FT)
50W
100W
MEDIUM (2K-5K CU FT)
100W200W
LARGE (6K+ CU FT)
200W400+W


A small or average (medium) size room will need less power for a given loudness level than a large room. Specifically, a very small room (1,000 cu ft or about 11’ x 11’ with an 8’ ceiling) will require about half the power of a medium size room. A large room (6,000 cu ft or 20’ x 30’ with a 10’ ceiling) will require twice the power of a medium size room. 
  • If your listening room is connected to another room by a large open area, the required power will increase, but not by the amount of the combined room volume. 
  • If your listening room has a “dropped” ceiling with light panels, the ceiling will be almost transparent acoustically and the space above the ceiling should be counted in the room size. If the light panels are heavy, they will act as a more normal ceiling. 
A speaker with a low efficiency rating will require twice the power of a speaker with average efficiency. And a speaker with a high efficiency rating will require only half the power of a speaker with average efficiency.



EFFICIENCY RATING
ROOM SIZEDb (2.8v – 1M)
AVERAGE WATTS
SMALL (1K CU FT)
LOW
84
200W
MEDIUM (2K-5K CU FT)
AVERAGE
87
100W
LARGE (6K+ CU FT)
HIGH
90
50W


On average, you should have an amplifier that is 100 watts per channel. The minimum power, average power, and maximum power all depend on the particular speaker model.