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Virtually in any review of a digital piano the power of speakers is one of main feature to compare with others pianos. I never understand what's the point of it. I personally never use matter volume on any piano more than 50%, and never set it louder than an acoustic piano.


Explain please why it so important.

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Originally Posted by C. L.
Virtually in any review of a digital piano the power of speakers is one of main feature to compare with others pianos. I never understand what's the point of it. I personally never use matter volume on any piano more than 50%, and never set it louder than an acoustic piano.
Explain please why it so important.

Instead of 'importance' ------ maybe more appropriate to just discuss the possible 'significance' of it. We just 'assume' in general - that we can get a rough idea about how loud a particular digital piano with onboard speakers is going to be ----- relative to another one. But just comparing the quantity ----- the power quantity. Just the size of the value. It's just going to be a rough indicator.

For marketing purposes - the bigger the number ------ the more appealing it might be for particular customers. But the significance will really be in just how far the sounds in general can possibly reach ----- in terms of distance.

If somebody is just going to be playing the piano and listening in for themselves, with others nearby, then it's just up to the user's own opinion ----- as to whether the sounds are suitably loud for their listening purposes.

But - for other purposes - such as playing to an audience that are further away ------ then more powerful speakers may be needed (onboard). But then there's always the choice of using external amplifier and speakers systems too.

For up-close piano playing - with onboard speakers, people shouldn't dial up the volume to really super loud levels anyway ------ to avoid hearing damage --- or permanent hearing damage. So using massively powerful onboard speakers to broadcast sounds out to audience far away isn't a great idea ----- as the powerful sound could damage our hearing. This also goes for turning up the volume too much for head-phones.

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Also - the content of the audio (eg. frequency components and how strong they are) will depend on the actual sort (size, construction etc) speakers there is/are. Bigger speakers for more bass in general, smaller ones for handling the relatively high frequencies. The speakers need to be able to handle the power that drives its speaker cones without breaking/failing and without distorting the audio that it is sending out.

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I would say it's not important, and primarily a marketing thing. Speaker wattage on digital piano just doesn't say anything about actual sound quality, except maybe a little if you're comparing pianos from the same brand. But you could also probably guess that by just the model number or price.

In theory, more power means better dynamics and headroom, perhaps better bass extension. But there are a bazillion factors that affect actual sound quality, and none of that can really be gleaned from a spec sheet.

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I assume that an amplification system has a range of maximum efficiency, which should be around 50/60% of its maximum power.

So, if you want to listen to your instrument with a reasonable quality level, the maximum power should be conceived in a way that allows you to comfortably play at 50/60%.

But I might be wrong.

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You should not care about the power rating of the amp(s) in the piano, or the efficiency of the speakers. For a dedicated system like this, it is the product designer’s concern. The customer is not faced with the problem of matching the amp to the efficiency of the speakers— the customer assumes that the vendor has done that.

The customer’s concern is that the audio system of the piano produces sound at adequate volume and quality to meet the customer’s requirements, not whether a higher power amp and less efficient speakers is used vs a lower power amp and more efficient efficient speakers.

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Originally Posted by C. L.
Virtually in any review of a digital piano the power of speakers is one of main feature to compare with others pianos. I never understand what's the point of it. I personally never use matter volume on any piano more than 50%, and never set it louder than an acoustic piano.


Explain please why it so important.

The absolute volume level makes a difference in how we hear sound. See "Fletcher-Munson Curve" for an explanation.

If you sit at an acoustic piano -- especially a grand -- with a sound-pressure-level meter, and play some FF chords, you may be surprised at just how loud that sound is. That's why a grand piano can fill a concert hall. The peak-to-average ratio of piano music is pretty high, and it's the _peaks_ that the DP's amps and speakers must handle.

It takes a good deal of power (amplifier power -- there's no such thing as "speaker power") to produce equal loudness from a DP. I suspect it's somewhere around 100 amplifier watts, total. (Yes, I know about the importance of speaker efficiency.)

To settle any doubts, after you've measured the SPL of an acoustic, sit down at your DP, set the volume control where it usually is, play the same FF chords, and see how much lower (or higher) the SPL is.

. . . Remember that a 3 dB increase in SPL needs a _doubling_ of power.


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More power is not just about loudness, it's also about the quality of the sound. Smaller, low-power speakers generally sound thinner and will distort at lower volumes than high-power speakers. Same goes for the amplification. A high-power amplifier will produce the sound with more ease and less distortion, and many people can hear the difference with low-power amps. Furthermore you need to realize that piano is a very dynamic instrument. Ideally you want a wide range of volume between pp and ff. Amplification and speakers should be able to handle that, and that requires power. Of course, if you always play at a lower volume, a lower power system will suffice. Personally, I like my DP to sound as much as a real piano as possible, so I prefer a system with more power and bigger speakers.

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Since it is not clear how the power is measured y each manufacturer,

I think power rating only give you some approximate indication of sound quality and loudness.

It is maybe more useful to compare models from the same manufacturer.

As far as why would you want a loud piano?

You might want to be heard in a room or in the mix with other musicians.

At some point you might even need to wear ear plugs.


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Originally Posted by C. L.
Virtually in any review of a digital piano the power of speakers is one of main feature to compare with others pianos. I never understand what's the point of it. I personally never use matter volume on any piano more than 50%, and never set it louder than an acoustic piano.


Explain please why it so important.

To create a low-frequency signal (bass) you need more power. I mean you need a lot of power! That means your amps can sound louder in the mid/high freq as well!


If you are really interested, you can search speaker design and keywords like power consumption speaker efficiency etc.:


why higher amp sounds better?


power vs clarity:

https://www.diyaudio.com/community/threads/power-vs-clarity.219209/

Or lowe freq needs more power:

https://electronics.stackexchange.c...s-low-frequency-audio-take-up-more-power


So to wrap it around, if you want to sound good in lower spectrum, you need a LOT of power, because look at it this way, you want to displace the entire place
mlecules around... that needs higher amp!


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Short answer: distortion

Less power, more push on the amp, higher distortion

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more power = better, in general. when we're talking slabs, the metric is meaningless, they all sound at best, so-so. it makes a bigger difference on furniture style pianos, but then it has more to do with the tuning of the device rather than raw power, because we're typically well beyond what's necessary to produce piano like volume.

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Originally Posted by KawaFanboi
...because we're typically well beyond what's necessary to produce piano like volume.

It is not practical to produce the low freqs produced by an acoustic piano unless a physical amplification is used. So your last statement is not true.


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Without going technical, and given that you are considering a closed system of keyboard, amp and speakers (all built in)... then the following:

- 50% is not knowable and you can not make this statement. I will assume you are referring to the volume knob being set 50% of its potential travel. This means nothing when it comes to volume, potential volume, or power used.
- The volume knob is just a relative system and can mean different volumes for different sources such as piano, strings, organ, PAD, or other sound source in the keyboard
- There is no way to know how much, or what percent of potential power is being sent (or consumed) by the speakers. To do so, would entail putting a multi meter on internal connections while playing.
- In general, again with these all-in-one systems, higher power specs will result in either or both higher volume potential and deeper bass response.
- For me, usually when buying a TV with built in speakers, I look for two things: 1) larger size speakers, and 2) higher power ratings from the amplifier. BTW, power handling of speakers is massively irrelevant for just about anything.
- The only specification that really matters is how does it sound to you, both in volume and bass response. Accuracy is another item all together but when we talk power, we are usually referring to volume and bass response. If you turn the volume knob up "high", and bang on the keybed, you may hear some distortion, or lack of clarity, or rough brightness. If you do, the amplifier is clipping. Clipping is when the amplifier can't produce more power and hit its limit. This results in the waveform being clipped or flattened and results in bad sound.

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Bruce in Philly


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Just to let you know, a 500-watt amp is a good starting point for a sub that goes to 27.h Hz, the lowest A in piano.

It is impossible to shove that amp and a subwoofer in a slab. That said, in a cabinet DP, the price will go through the roof.

Also, due to the cone-shaped design, you need some far-enough distance from the woofer to sound good, because small woofers are directional.

That's why Kawai and Yamaha have speakers mounted on "soundboards".

Even with the above specs, you'll find it difficult to find a subwoofer that goes near 27.5Hz.

Unsurprisingly!!! it has been discussed here before (hehe):

http://forum.pianoworld.com/ubbthreads.php/topics/2023298/Re:%20Lowest%20%22A%22%20(27.5.html

Last edited by Abdol; 06/21/22 11:18 AM.

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Oh, I didn't answer the question in your title, "point of speaker power". Unfortunately to understand this requires some tech... but in short it is irrelevant.

In a closed system, this is irrelevant. If you are assembling separate amp and speakers, the power handling spec of a speaker is still irrelevant. It is just a guide to help you not pair a too powerful amp with that given speaker... but it is still irrelevant. Why? Because a low-power amp can burn out a high-power speaker if you turn up the volume too high and input a high signal such as banging on your keyboard. This will result in the amp clipping and thus creating flattened wave forms. I don't understand the physics, but flat waveforms are loaded with high frequency content and this will result in a speaker running hotter... and therefore could burn it out. It takes little power to produce a given volume of high frequencies but way more power to produce the same volume at low frequencies.

Anywho.... power handling ratings of speakers are irrelevant.

So what is relevant? Amplifier specifications.... but only when you have a choice in choosing separate components. All in one systems ... well forget this stuff. Amps have many different aspects to them... for example, there is really no true watt spec... watts are produced by an amp given the load presented by a speaker. So.... now you have to know what load a speaker presents to an amp... but this is troublesome as load changes with frequency in a speaker. For an amp to produce power at different loads requires you to understand its current producing capability (in amps not watts) in to different loads... those loads presented by a given speaker... but you need to understand its load characteristics at various frequencies.

In short, this is nuts. Speaker power, the power handling spec of a speaker is irrelevant. It does not imply volume, frequency response, or accuracy. It means nothing.

Peace
Bruce in Philly

Last edited by Bruce In Philly; 06/21/22 11:33 AM.

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Originally Posted by Bruce In Philly
In short, this is nuts. Speaker power, the power handling spec of a speaker is irrelevant. It does not imply volume, frequency response, or accuracy. It means nothing.


And the scientific proof for that is?


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For the science, I would need to explain ohms law, various aspects of amplifier design, and the characteristics of speaker motors. I recommend using the Google and look for matching amplifiers to speakers... or amplifiers and impedance ratings.... or others. But a few rules of thumb (based in electrical science):

- Speakers present differing loads to an amplifier at differing frequencies
- Speaker makers specify a single load number such as 8 ohms but this is some average and is governed by no law that requires a specific declaration of load
- If you look at speaker reviews in audiophile press, they show a modulus of impedance curve showing impedance at all frequencies in the listening range
Check this out to discover the complexities of understanding what a speaker is when presented to an amplifier: https://www.stereophile.com/content/measuring-loudspeakers-part-one-page-6
- Amplifiers have to produce more amps (or Watts depending on how you look at Ohm's Law) into different loads... these speaker loads vary with frequency.
Check out this review of an amplifier and the complexity of understanding how they behave (based on their complex designs) when presented with differing loads: https://www.stereophile.com/content/primaluna-dialogue-seven-power-amplifier-measurements
- The best, and more expensive amplifiers state their power output at various loads... usually rated at 8 ohms, but better, more robust designs (and more expensive) will show their power rating into 4 and sometime 2 ohm loads. These loads could be presented to the amp depending on the attached speaker impedance curves.

Check out the specs for this expensive, over-designed amplifier... not their spec into 4 and 2 ohm loads, something you never find on inexpensive amps.
https://www.stereophile.com/content/krell-ksa-250-power-amplifier-specifications

Another reading on amps:

https://geoffthegreygeek.com/speaker-impedance-changes-amplifier-power/
https://www.crownaudio.com/how-much-amplifier-power

But to ground all of this, none of this matters when you buy an all-in-one keyboard as you are left with the decisions and design of the engineers... who understand this stuff deeply.

Peace
Bruce in Philly


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Originally Posted by C. L.
Virtually in any review of a digital piano the power of speakers is one of main feature to compare with others pianos. I never understand what's the point of it. I personally never use matter volume on any piano more than 50%, and never set it louder than an acoustic piano.


Explain please why it so important.

Given what all the other replies/members have already said - in this thread plus many past threads wherein the same has been discussed/debated - my explanation of why it is so important begins with being due to many various reasons why it (speaker powers specifications) is important coupled with the various reasons it is not important.

Long story short: if you are a typical shopper with few to virtually no chops for tech specs, the digital piano speaker power listed in any review / literature / internet video / etc , is effectively all that stands between the typical shopper and the DP they might purchase ….. online …. sight unseen …. without the benefit of actually touching/seeing/hearing the DP / any DP in person prior to making the purchase. All of that, to include “how does it sound?” may not happen until after it is delivered.

Last edited by drewr; 06/21/22 03:29 PM.

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That was also a good point - regarding ----- playing the piano with other instrumentalists, such as in a band or a group. Being able to get adequate audio power out to suitable levels for matching the level of other performers is something to consider too - if only onboard speakers are used.

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