Too much power?


I have a wonderful system with a great amplifier, and yet auditioned a more powerful version of the same amp. It indeed seemed to have more punch and drive, but at the expense of playing it a bit too loud. As my current system I rarely play over 70 db, since it’s perfect at low levels. I wonder other than bragging rights, what does more power get you? Since we aren’t here for PA style sound, is there a reasonable limit to how much you will benefit from higher power/ more expensive and? Especially since tire just using one watt most of the time?

dain
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@dain  OK, I'm dating myself, but "back in the day" I found that some of the then "high powered" amps (like 200 watts per channel) to me didn't sound "good" until you cranked it up.

Fast forward to the 2000's and when I "saw the light at the end of the tunnel" with my kids' college costs, and started my journey into the "high end", I found that the more powerful amps seemed to sound like they had more "air" around the music, that they were not struggling to drive the speakers...and like you, I don't play music that loud.

@carlsbad   I'm with you on the loud volumes played at audio shows!

“I have a wonderful system with a great amplifier, and yet auditioned a more powerful version of the same amp. It indeed seemed to have more punch and drive”

 

Perhaps the gain was higher?

It really depends on one's speakers and system setup on how much power you need... With mine, they demand 0,01-0,01W with 0,2W peaks when I listen to them loud. So, my needs are below 1/5 of a watt... 1 watt for me is already splurging, and I rarely go there, only for concert-level experiences.

In general, as the amplifier gets more powerful, it can only be done through additional gain stages in the amplifier that erode the soundfloor. (Which is the low level details).

Most speakers are completely incapable of reproducing low soundfloors, so there's seemingly not much left missing as one climbs to even 5000WPC with the so pervasive "I need an arc-welder just to nudge"-type loudspeakers. Yet, provided sensitive speakers, going from 1W to 20W can already be a deal-breaker as already a noticeable layer of the soundfloor is lost, which might be subtle when you hear it first time in your life - yet, when you live with it, and are used to it, it will mean a LOT to loose it....