Why do speakers improve with more powerful amps?

So, if I have a solid state amp that more than adequately powers a speaker, why do people recommend a larger more powerful amplifier to improve things?

Why do more powerful amplifiers impact speaker sound quality in a favorable way? Is it because more power is reaching the speakers? Mid and Tweeter drivers I was told receive a reduced signal versus bass drivers which receive relatively more power via crossovers.  All for the purpose of balancing a signal going to the various drivers.




@carlsbad2 +1

I have a 450wpc amp that is outperformed by lower wattage amps. Many things are more important than power. This realization has me on the waiting list for a SET amp from Decware and I cannot wait!

I don't believe damping factor has been mentioned. Higher power amps tend to have a higher damping factor. With bass in particular, a higher damping factor provides better control of the driver and depending on the impedance of the speaker can result in more accurate reproduction.

So some people here would like for you to believe that Signal to noise ratio, Load on the power supply, ‘Q’ of an amplifier and probably a dozen other Electronic FACTs about amps has nothing to do with how they perform. Yes we have plenty of people here that make unsupported outlandish statement trying to make themselves s look like they actually know something about Sound reproduction. Talking about arbitrary factors that in them self have nothing to do with the argument. Try understanding what ‘HEADROOM’ is before opening your pie hole. And don’t be offended, I left out the juicy comments, but needless to say these types would have you believe that ALL of the specs published on your equipment is useless information.


I’ve had a couple folks tell me in the 10’s Dahlquist group TELL me I need 200 wpc and my amp will never drive them to their capability. MY ears know what I’m hearing. How would they know?

Here’s what they might know: they tried powering the speakers at 200 wpc level and it improved things for them.

This happened to me -- I had what I thought was a good level of power for my speakers. They sounded good to me.

Someone else said they would sound better with more power. I asked why?

They said, "Because I tried what you have and it sounded good to me, but when I tried it with more power, it sounded better in a way I could not have imagined."

This is why others’ experience is valuable. Because the metric of "good for me" may be limited, and others who have experienced more can help shine a light.

It’s not about them telling me "what I should hear."

It’s about them telling me that "there may be more to explore."

And that’s how they would know about your speakers.


Attempting to impress others or change their minds results in meaningless debate and frustration, both a waste of your time.

This should be emblazoned at the top of every thread!