Here's why amps can be more important than speaker


I was looking at B&W's site:
You will notice that speaker total harmonic distortion figures tend to be worse than those of amplifiers and it is reasonable to ask why amplifier designers bother to get down to levels of say 0.01% or lower if the speaker is so much worse. The reason is that most of a speaker's distortion is restricted to the lower-order harmonics, whereas amplifiers can readily generate higher-order harmonics that are much more objectionable.

B&W FAQ
cdc
Hey folks,
How about gettin' some Studio 100 blown by some old Kenwood receiver huh?
Hi,
If you worry about amp blowing up your speakers, add some fuses for speakers. But in normal condition, it seldom happen unless someone accidentally turn the volume close to max. Human ears can take so much dB, and most of speaker would be too loud for you to bear if you turn the volume too high. A short trasient of bang of music will not generate enough heat/energy to blow speaker in listening level.
Someone here also pointed out in Audiogon before: many speakers were blew because receiver's power rating is too low (especially true for transistor amp). A transistor CKT is more likely voltage-limiting. When input signal is too large a sine wave, it will drive output CKT to srong nonlinear region (engineer call it saturation). The result is a sine wave in becomes a square wave out(in voltage). A sharp coner of square voltage wave will create a huge spark of current in inductor load. In this case, speaker is in dangerous of clipping or even blew up. On the hand tube amp is usually more close to current limiting(in this case voltage will overshoot), which is safer to the speaker. But nothing is free(evergy is conservative), energy will burn your power tube not speakers, the result is shorter tube life.
I am not encourging people to use 1000W amp on a 30W speakers, but at least give it 30W to make it a fair game when you do comparison.
Here are some expalantions from Jeff Rowland on amp design:
measurements vs. what we hear
output stage technology
Apparently measurements overlook many audible problems in amp design.
Thank you Sugarbrie for your opinion that i share and one that makes sense. I cannot see how your opinion can be argued. And when it is argued i am unable to understand.
Great post. When buying a speaker audition amps. If you have an amp that you will not part with, find a speaker that makes you and your speaker happy. IMO, I don't think there is any other way. Some common sense is needed. You don't buy a 10 watt amp for power hungry speakers.
The biggest problem for many is auditioning amps or speakers. This is not always an option. Thats where Audiogon can be so helpful or some of the Audiogon dealers who allow in home auditions.
you mean to tell me that some here are still using spec's, which too often anymore have little to do with sound quality, in order to qualify means to an end? Ludicrous!