Damping factor or watts?

Hi all,

Which is more important? High damping factor or high wattage? I was reading about how a high damping factor would be better in controlling the excursions of the speaker drivers but to have a amp with high wattage and damping factor would be astronomically expensive.

So in our imperfect world, which is more important? It seems like the amps with a high damping factor are mainly Class D or ICEpower amps (are they both the same?).

My speaker is a Magnepan MMG and is currently partnered to a pair of Denon POA-6600A monoblocks that are 260W/ 8 ohms. I have read some Audiogon citizens driving their Maggies with amps that have high damping factor to excellent results. Wondering if that should be the direction to go....

Your advise would be greatly appreciated!

Atmasphere- I'm re-reading your posts in these forums and trying to get a handle on your resistance to the idea of damping factor and speaker control. In another thread you advised the poster to avoid his "very long" speaker wires because his system would be negatively affected. What is your understanding of the effect that long cable would have if not raising the impedance of the amp/speaker interface, thereby lower the damping factor? Perhaps our semantics disagree?
These comments from recent audio shows are about rooms that used an amplifier having a damping factor of about 1.2 (that's "one point two"):

"Bass was excellent. I think I was told [the speakers] went down only to the mid 30s (I could be wrong) - sounded lower than that." - Paul Folbrecht on AudioCircle, RMAF '06

"The bass was powerful and tight while the overall presentation was wall to wall and incredibly precise." - Josh Ray, Sonic Flare RMAF '07 coverage

"Of all the rooms at the show, big or small, this room... [was] the finest thing I heard." - Thomas Portney, reader comment on Stereophile RMAF '07 blog

I'd bet the farm that those rooms utilized speakers of high efficiency and extremely low mass. Can you be more specific(amps/speakers)? There are a lot of designs out there that cater to the SET lovers for instance. Speakers that(by design) don't require a lot of power or damping factor.
Rodman99999, in the thread wherein I mentioned speaker cable length, I also mentioned 'characteristic impedance'.

As to your earlier question, the answer is 'yes'. I can point to a number of other examples wherein we find that a mythology has been created- where a mistake was made, something was considered negligible that later turned out not to be, or where something was said because a lot of money was involved.

Reread may statements about how the speaker works. Anytime a speaker is reproducing a signal, there is a cone position that corresponds to the amount of power in the voice coil. There are no musical signals that require full excursion and then have the amplifier 'let go' of the speaker. At any time when a speaker is making sound, the amplifier is **powering** the speaker to do that, whether it is full excursion or very nearly rest.

There is a story about the Emperor's new clothes. It is there to allow you to understand when something is being made up, and to see through it, even when the entirety of the culture is saying that the made up thing is real. Yet, the fact that an amplifier puts power through a speaker cannot be denied. So- you can go ahead believing the 'damping factor' story and that will not hurt you, but OTOH if you tend to look at these things closely, you will see after a while that that story can generate more questions than answers.
Atmasphere- I've based my belief in my understanding of electro-magnetic fuction and Newtonian physics. Inertia= When a body is in motion, it tends to stay in motion unless acted upon by an outside force. Yes- the music signal from the amp is driving the speaker(electro-magnetically). While this speaker is going through the motions of reproducing sound, it's mass is also trying to continue to move in the last direction(large transient) it was told to go by the amp(inertia). Of course- the higher the mass, the greater the inertia. The amp's ability to counteract this tendancy determines how faithfully the signal is reproduced. The effects of back EMF(and, perhaps, quantum physics) not withstanding- Is there something flawed, or mythological to this? If I am wrong(unlike some), I like to be corrected. Truth is more important to me than holding stubbornly on to a misconception. Please- enlighten me.