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Auto decks and speakers

My question is why do the decks say 50W x 4? does that mean that the deck puts out 50W to each speaker or will put out 200W to each speaker?

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That's a 200W total output, which in a four-speaker system means 50W to each speaker. Keep in mind that this is a peak output, not a continuous power output. When you shop for amps or head units, pay more attention to the RMS rating (most of the better brands will give you both). This is the amount of power the unit puts out continuously. The peak power rating is how much it can put out in a burst. Similarly for speakers, buy based on the RMS rating more than the peak rating - you want to know how much power you can safely pump into the speakers continuously - the RMS rating will give that to you.

By definition, RMS value would be (peak rating) x(.707) but for ease of use, look at a peak value and figure on an RMS (continuous) rating of about half that - it allows you to err on the side of caution.

For what it's worth, 25W continuous to each speaker may not seem like much, but a lot of factory stereo systems put 15W or less to each speaker. 25W by comparison is a significant step up.

Posted on Jul 23, 2008

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