Which watts are the right watts in SS amps?

Hello Sports Fans!

More than a few people over the years on these pages have said only those SS amps which double down in output power as impedance drops are truly special or worthy amps. Eg., 200 @ 8ohms; 400 @ 4 ohms; 800 @ 2 ohms; etc.

Not every SS amp made does this trick. Some very expensive ones don’t quite get to twice their 8 ohm rated power when impedance halves to four ohms. BAT, darTZeel, Wells, and Ypsalon to name just a few.

An amps ‘‘soul’’ or it’s ‘voice’ is the main reason why I would opt in on choosing an amp initially and keeping it. Simultaneously , I’d consider its power and the demands of what ever speakers may be intended to be run with it or them.

I’ve heard, 80% of the music we are listening to is made in the first 20wpc! I’m sure there’s some wisdom in there somewhere as many SS amps running AB, are biased to class A Only for a small portion of the total output EX. 10 – 60 wpc of 150 or 250 wpc.

After all, any amps true output levels are a complete mystery when anyone is listening to music anyhow.

I suspect, not being able to actually measure true power consumption, the vast majority of listening sessions revolve around 60wpc or so being at hand with traditional modern reasonably efficient speakers.

Sure, there are those speakers which don’t fit into the traditional loudspeaker power needs mold such as panels or electrostats, and this ain’t about them.

The possibility of clipping a driver is about the only facet in amp to speaker matching which gives a person pause while pondering this or that amplifier.

I feel there is more to how good an amp is than its ability tou double output power with 50% drops in speaker impedance.

However, speakers are demanding more power lately. Many are coming out of the gates with 4 ohm ‘nominal’ IMPs which lower with fluctuations in frequency. Add in larger motors on larger drivers, multiple driver arrays, and on paper these SOTA speakers appear to need more power.

IMHO It is this note which introduces great concern.

I’ve read every article I can find on Vienna Acoustics Music. Each one says give them lots of watts for them to excel.

Many times good sounding speakers I’ve owned sounded better with more power, albeit from arguably a better amp.

I tend to believe having more than an adequate amount of cap power is indeed integral. … naturally the size and type of transformers in play possess a strong vote for an amps ability to successfully mate with speakers.

Controlling a driver’s ability to stop and restart is as well a key to great sound and only strong amplifiers can manage this feat. Usually this gets attributed to ‘damping’ factor, but damping as I read it is more a shadow than a tangible real world figure as it depends on numerous factors. Speaker cable length alone can alter damping factors.

A very good argument exists about those mega watt amps voices. Each 500 or 600 wpc amp or amps, I’ve heard have had stellar voices too, not merely more watts.

So is it predominately these mega watt power house amps souls or their capacities that fuels the speakers presentation?

Would you buy an ‘uber expensive’ amp based more on its voice or soul, than on its ability to output loads of watts, even if you feel the amp may be somewhat under powered for the application?

Choosing this latter option also saves one money as the more powerful amps do cost more than their lower outputting siblings.

Please, share your experiences if possible.

Tanks muchly!

However **some** designers in that situation may instead choose to publish ratings of 75 watts into 8 ohms and 150 watts into 4 ohms, which as George has pointed out may help sell amplifiers because it can lead potential customers to consider the amp as being able to "double down."

Al, the big boys nearly all do it, just look at their own spec sheet proper-gander, and then compare it to actual test performed by independent testers.

I’ve PM’ed you a really good audio test sight, far more in-depth testing than Stereophile’s testing. You'll be able to view 2003/4 testing but have to join to view later ones 

Cheers George
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The Gryphon Kodo has active bass cabinets  with a dedicated 2000 watt amplifier inside each. The high/mid panels are very effecient and requires very little power. 
It makes sense to understate the ratings and show excellent measurements.

Yeah as Al and I both stated, it makes it look like the amps doubling, when it can’t. Good marketing, and false advertising, take your pick.

Cheers George
Proper gander

Blindjim > Killer. Very nice. hahahaha
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Blindjim > yep. They do be ‘spensive. It’s a matter of taste… faith… trust.

Loudspeaker designers could fix all of this by focusing on building more efficient easier loads and without stonewall x overs. The only prevailing scheme for making speakers easier loads are those which have chosen to support their own bass drivers with amps thus offering a hybrid solution. Fine by me..

Its gonna be interesting.
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@Gryphon Audio > The Gryphon Kodo has active bass cabinets with a dedicated 2000 watt amplifier

Blindjim > many thanks. Sorry. I simply forgot about that aspect of the Kodo’s build.
Regardless, they are quite the impressive loudspeaker.
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Yep. I’ll use a scale and hang my hat on their sonics, then see how it all shakes out. Buy something and play it or them until they dry up, fall apart and eventually disintegrate.

One last note here….

I’ve said in all honesty each mega watt amp or amps I’ve ever heard provided very good to outstanding sonics. Each varied slightly of course, but all were easily keeper arounders for long term.

If its true the best sound is developed in the first watt, portions there of, and a bit thereafter, ala SET amps, why then do these giant amps have such an inviting enjoyable sound while having the where with all to push out 400 – 600wpc @ 8 ohms?

Sure, during any sane listenting sessions it or they are not kicking out welder like current into the speakers. Instead, supplying the same amount more modest amps would deliver to the speakers.

So is it their over built construction that is providing the more sailient voice? The fact these immense power houses are merely loafing along and under
no duress?

IMO? I’ll throw a dart at build, once more, or rather, over build.

Thanks for the insights everyone.