More power for moderate listening levels?


Hi,

I can't seem to find good information regarding the effect of relatively high powered amps on low to moderate listening levels. I have a low powered class A amp that sounds wonderful at moderate volumes but not surprisingly shows signs of strain when cranked up. I am contemplating an upgrade that would bring much more power to solve this problem. However, since I don't play music really loud that often I'm wondering if the upgrade is really all that necessary. It would be worth it if the reserve power of the new amplifier improved sound quality at all levels.     

Thanks for your help,

Brian
brianbiehs
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@hshifi speaks a bunch of truth here in regards to what constitutes a system for dancing, whether or not you subscribe to the cult of Klipsch or not. When it comes to dance music history there's the Richard Long side, but the Klipsch/Levinson combo is a major crossover for home dancing—the Mancuso/Loft approach, not about "power"—you could do similar with loads of old horn-driven speakers like JBL monitors, Altec, TAD etc... but again, more cults.
I have found that a high powered amp, even at low listening levels, provides a sense of dynamics that a low powered amp doesn't have, even with Klipsch Forte speakers.  Just makes sense to me.  
I have found that a high powered amp, even at low listening levels, provides a sense of dynamics that a low powered amp doesn't have
And I'm fairly certain that the amps are likely sonically chalk and cheese.
To contradict Mr. Miller, you don’t buy speakers to match your amp. If you like your speakers (and I don’t have any familiarity with them), buy an amp that matches the speakers.

My mains are 85 dB sensitivity. I use tube mono blocks. When I started they had the popular EL34s, very sweet sounding but not enough power for the speakers at 50 watts in triode mode. I swapped the EL34s out and replaced them with KT150s doubling the power. In triode mode I now have 100 watts and can play almost anything at a reasonably loud volume. When I switch to ultra-linear it doubles the power again and you can hear an increase in volume as they switch in real-time. They’re 3 dB louder. Now at normal listening levels I have plenty of power in reserve for peaks and dynamics and if I want to go to 95 dB I still have enough power for peaks and dynamics. So yes, it is reserve power. Tubes burn the power that is needed based on how hard they are driven by the input signal. I'm absolutely sure someone will correct me if I am wrong, but I believe SS amps burn at full power all the time.


You have to pay attention to the damping factor and the impedance curve of your speakers. Once I had decided on my speakers, I carefully checked all the amp specs to see that I would match to the speakers properly. Then the listening began.


If you go about it bassackwards as Chucky says you’re in for trouble.