Is there any truth to this question?


Will a lower powered amp that can drive your speakers, in your room, listening to the music you like sound better than using a powerful amp to avoid clipping?

Here's the scenario: Use a 50 w YBA amp to drive 86 db efficient Vandersteens in a 10 x 12 room, listening to jazz or

Will a 200 w Krell or such sound better and more effortless.

Some say buy all the power you can afford and others say the bigger amps have more component pairs ie) transistors to match and that can effect sound quality.
128x128digepix
IN your case with 86db efficient speakers my guess is the 200 w Krell will sound better and more "effortless".
Digepix, you are not the first person to tell me that the best they ever heard the Vandersteens was being driven by the tiny RM10 - I kid you not. In fact, I think Roger designed the amp when he owned a pair of the 2Ces, it seems he thought 35 watts was enough power!
Pass gets mentioned a lot in discussions like this.

2 gain stages simple enough for 'ya? I've read thru his DIY stuff and many amps are simple 'scale ups' of a basic design. More output devices in parallel with minimal matching. Increased PS size / capacity / output heatsinking.

The Pass amps, at least the 'a' amps, avoid certain distortions (crossover) by using a different, highbias design than a/b. His 30x2 'a' amp has something like 20 output device pairs per channel.

I think more important, perhaps, or at least on the table, is degree and type (global or stage-2-stage) levels of feedback. Amps with multiple gain stages can suffer here.

Clipping distortion is awful and enough power should be provided to avoid it.

Personally, I have one of the large 'd' amps of 250x2@8 which doubles up into my panels. I doubt I've ever got the amp past half that on peaks....and 1/10th that in rms.
You can also over-power your speakers too. I wouldn't exceed the power ratings for your speakers however it is also true if they are under-powered you can easily drive the amp into clipping especially at higher volumes and this will in turn destroy your speakers. Many people that own Vandersteen speakers like the way the McCormack amps sound with them.
FWIW, there is an old audiophile axiom: that one should start with at least 2 X the minimum power recommendation of the speaker manufacturer. Though a more accurate deduction can be made with more tangible information such as room size, etc.. Surprisingly enough, I've found this seemingly crude rule of thumb to be consistently useful.