Too Much Power?

I have a question that relates to the maximum power output of new Bel Canto Ref 600M monoblocks, which I am considering to replace the Audio Research 150.2 SS amp I am currently using in my main system. (Yes I am another of the "lunatic fringe" who enjoys the results of good quality Class D.)

The Ref 600Ms are  based on a Hypex Ncore module, and are stated to produce a maximum power output each of 300W into 8 ohms.  My question  is whether this can prove to be a problem in powering my Focal Alto Utopia Be speakers, which are stated to have a "maximum" power handling capacity of 250W each (their nominal impedance being 8 ohms).

I listen to mostly classical instrumental and vocal music and other acoustic instrumental music, and do not listen at particularly loud levels:  the ARC 150.2 is rated at 150W per channel into 8 ohms and it has never in 10 years appeared to go even close to its limits; I rarely if ever  turn up the volume control on my ARC LS-25 past the 11:00 o'clock position.

Should I be concerned about the Bel Cantos damaging the Utopias, given the speakers' 250W per channel maximum capacity and the 300W per channel output potential of these amps?  The Be tweeter and other components of these speakers can be very expensive to have to repair, not to mention the inconvenience and aggravation which I really do not need. 

Thanks in  advance for any thoughts or advice on this.

I agree with sfall. I mean, I have seen a strong amp (Boulder) over-drive small 2 way speakers (YG Carmel 1’s), but the Carmel 1’s are not true full range speakers. I’d recommend picking up a reasonably accurate DB meter to monitor DB levels. You can even download paid Iphone apps which will do a decent job. That is cheap insurance for your speakers & ears.

Hah, putting a Boulder against a small 2-way is almost like plugging your main speakers straight in the 120V wall A/C! lol.

That being said, I’m sure this has been stated many times before, but it is always better to have an amp more powerful than what the speaker needs rather than having an amp under-powered. With under-powered amps, you are more at risk for things such as burning out the tweeters because the amplifier is clipping (i.e. sending DC to the speaker) during large transient signals such as bass. Also, with the larger power supply in your Ref 600’s, you’ll be able to get better/quicker transient (such as bass hits).

BTW, I’m running 1,000 watt monoblocks to my 6-1/2" B&W 805D2 speakers and never had a problem! Everything comes across clean, strong and crystal clear!

Auxinput, Agreed re: the dangers of under-powering speakers, especially power hungry speakers like my old Infinity Ren 90’s which had the Watkins dvc woofers. I’ve seen more than one vintage pair show up on Ebay with burnt aluminium traces (a tell tale sign of fried tweeters).
Your Focal’s have a wicked impedance 3ohms at two power hungry points 80hz and 500hz, and a real bad -phase angle at 60hz which could equate a EPDR of 2ohms. Which is not real good good for a Class-D amp if you like to pump it up a little.
I think a Krell/D’agostino type amp, with great current ability would be best for these in these bass power hungry regions.

Cheers George

The real enemy of any speaker is not too much power but distortion and clipping. The Focal Alto Utopia Be speakers have a rated maximum input rating of 250 watts but can handle significantly more as long as it’s clean power. My older 4 ohm Magnepan 2.7qr speakers have a rated max. power input rating of 300 watts into 8 ohms. I’ve driven them for almost 2 yrs with class D monos rated at 600 watts into 8 ohms and 1,200 watts into 4 ohms. They’re the best amps I’ve ever used on them thus far and I’ve become a big fan of class D amps due to my experiences using 3 different brands (classDaudio, D-Sonic and Emerald Physics).
The Bel Canto Ref 600M mono-blocks, at 300 watts into 8 ohms, will drive your speakers very well and the possibility of them damaging your speakers is close to zero. This is because these amps have extraordinarily low distortion levels (.0003%) and your ears would begin bleeding from the high decibel level before these amps will be driven into clipping. Class D amps have become well known for their capacity to deliver large amounts of clean power to virtually any impedance, even into difficult to drive very low impedance speakers that have impedance curves that dip down to near electrical short range (down to a minimum 2 ohms for the Bel Canto Ref 600).
With the extra power and class D operation, I think the Bel Canto 600Ms will deliver a very neutral and effortless sound quality with improved bass response, a greater dynamic range and increased detail. I think you’ll also notice an extremely low noise floor and a very smooth mid-range and treble that avoids harshness and brightness.

The better current class D amps deliver near reference level performance at relatively inexpensive prices. Only downside I can even think of is they may take a few hundred hours to fully break-in.