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What size Power amp


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I'm hoping I have the correct group here, sorry if I haven't.


I have a need to upgrade the amplifier in our church. Currently we have a very old donated Carlsbro PA system with two 4 unit tower Speakers (no idea what make or model they are or how powerfull, they've been there for years). And now the old thing is struggling to cope with stuff we are trying to plug into it so we are looking to upgrade but I want to be sure that we get something of adequate power.


Is there a way I can work out how powerfull the Power Amp should be as a minimum. e.g. I'm assuming that if you have 50 people in a room all listening quietly to you, you wouldn't necessarily need the same power as if you had the same 50 people in a room all singing and clapping at the same time.


On average there are a maximum of 50 people there and it would be used for pretty much everything including singing etc. But the maximum the church can hold is around 250 and we've had it full in the past so it would need to be able to cope with that as well.


Thanks for your help.



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To give you an idea of how power ratings work, a 1000w amplifier is not twice as loud as a 500w amplifier. To double the volume, you need ten times the power.


Further to this, speaker power ratings have changed massively over time, and I'd imagine the 'tower' speakers installed in your church are quite aged. 30 years ago, 200 watts was a huge amount of power for pretty much any speaker. Nexo's latest range of speakers can handle up to ten times that, per speaker. Therefore, trying to suggest which amplifier you should use with your speakers will be impossible without knowing what speakers you have. It wouldn't be smart to suggest installing an amplifier which can deliver 500 watts into your speakers, when in fact they can only handle 50 watts each.


If you're struggling with getting enough sound out of the system, the problem is possibly more to do with the speakers you're using than the amplifier driving them!

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Well now, thats one of those piece of string questions.......


Usually I would specify the speakers first and then choose an amp that has about 25% more power than the speakers are rated for.


So, if you want to carry on usuing the existing speakers, you need to find some way of at least estimating thier rating.


If your'e starting again from scratch, then you have many questions to answer. Not only the size of the audience but the size and shape of the room needs to be taken into account. If its a church then, I'm guessing it has a high ceiling and a good deal of echo? If echo/reverb is going to give problems with making the sound intelligable, then you may be better off going down the route of a large number of small speakers, etc. So many things to be considered here that this could go on for several pages

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With the best will in the world, I would suggest you contact one of the suppliers who specialise in church applications and get them to have a look at your church/whatyou are doing/what you have got, and advise accordingly. They will normaly do this for free ( getting thier expenses back on a possible future sale). It would be handy to know whereabouts in the country the church is as some of the BR members may be local to you and could offer this service.
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