Is more amp power always better...?


Asking advice on what power Amp/int amp I should buy for my room size...

I have a small listening room.  11' x 10'. I have 89db speaker sensitivity  I am going to buy a solid state amp.   

For best audio quality (ignoring all other factors), my question is:  

Do folks advise "Buy as much watts per channel as you can afford"?  -OR- "Buy enough watts for the room" as more watts in reserve do not mean better quality audio?

Put another way: are more watts in reserve better for audio quality, even if amp does not use this power?  

Thank you...hope this was clear.  


Being a bit underpowered at "normal" listening levels will result in some degree of dynamic compression. The result will not sound "wrong" or objectionable, just not as impactful, or with as much contrast between quiet sounds and loud ones. Severe clipping due to insufficient power at high listening levels is another story altogether. Not what we’re referring to here.

On the other hand, the "wrong" high powered amp will sound wrong to you, which would be objectionable.

So, pick an amp that sounds good to you.

Please don't associate watts with sound quality.    In a 500 wpc amp, if the first watt is crappy, the remaining 499 watts will be crappy.  I have a 40 watt tube integrated amp driving speakers rated at 92 sensitivity.  I can blow the roof off with volume (not important to me).  Most important:  The sound quality takes me places my car can't.

The answer to the title of your post is:  No!

I know this is frustrating but I've found that the manufacture's stated WPC has very little to do with true, usable power output.  One really has to do a deeper dive and either listen in person or get information from a trusted source like an informed friend or dealer.

The simple answer is rarely.  If  you want to seperate  out the real garbage  form the better quality  from a piece  of paper is look on the spec sheet  at the weight.  A friend  years  ago bought a 5x100 watt Sony home theater  receiver  it weight  was less than 5 pounds  it was a gutless horrible thing.  He then got given  to him a old pioneer  receiver  that was 50 watts x 2 and he got something  that had some guts a real power that didn't  blow up all the time it's weight  was around 40 pounds. Better sound. That is a very simple way to make the first cut before  you listen  but if they weight  something  it will be better than a item  that the box and packaging  weights  more than what is inside. A quick way to judge low-fi

I'd say almost always, but too much in excess of necessary may not be needed.