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Discussion Starter #1
First off I would like to say that I am by no means an audio expert so I will pose some questions that I would like to see discussed and learn from. My questions come from what I read on various audio forums & some local audio shops.

I see/hear these comments often:

a) X components are power hungry you need more power for them to sound good.

b) These X speaker really open up when you give them 200+ Watts.

c) If you have this solid state amp that have 10X the power of the tube amp you are currently using it will sound a whole lot better.

My questions are:

1) If my X components are being played with my amps with about 60% gain and to my listening level fine. If I replace my current amp with ZZZ which adds a bunch more power, will it sound better? Even at my listening levels? If it does sound better.. why?

2) My X speakers play loud enough for using my 40W/ch amp and not maxed out, will an amp with 200W/ch "open up" the sound? How so?

3) I've heard c from a home audio guy trying to sell me an amp to go with my Paradigms... I use my 13W/Ch Tube amp for my Paradigms in my room and they sound great and loud will a $5K amp that has 10x more power make my paradigms sound better?


Just for kicks.. I heard this from a salesperson from (insert store name here) telling one of his customers that "you need a high powered amp like this XXX because if you use a low powered amp you will blow your speakers"... :confused: if you over use and clip your amp yes.. but just by being lower power does not automatically make it blow.. we do this every time we turn down the volume.
 

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yes, low power does not equal less quality. I think most of the time when people need alot of power to get a speaker to sound good, its because they are low efficiency speakers and they need power to get loud.

remember 10dB more sound take 10x more power.
 

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I personally feel that more power is always nice to have. Less strain and more dynamics to my ears
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I personally feel that more power is always nice to have. Less strain and more dynamics to my ears
Not that I am doubting what you hear as sound is perception and differs from person to person, but how is more power = more dynamics?

I am just not getting it. Would you or someone explain?
 

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Not that I am doubting what you hear as sound is perception and differs from person to person, but how is more power = more dynamics?

I am just not getting it. Would you or someone explain?
generally when you listen to music, you are only listening to between 1-5 watts continuous. believe it or not. ;) but the dynamics of music can demand easily 10-20X that much or more. so if you have a 100 watt x 2 amplifier and you are listening at your meager 5w level, you will be edging into that 100 watts area almost constantly. turn up the volume a little more or play something with alot of dynamic content and you have run out of juice. if your amplifier was a 200W x 2, then you would have the dynamic headroom needed for it.

its not a matter of needed 200w all the time, only for the dynamic content that music contains. so having it on tap, will always sound better.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
generally when you listen to music, you are only listening to between 1-5 watts continuous. believe it or not. ;) but the dynamics of music can demand easily 10-20X that much or more. so if you have a 100 watt x 2 amplifier and you are listening at your meager 5w level, you will be edging into that 100 watts area almost constantly. turn up the volume a little more or play something with alot of dynamic content and you have run out of juice. if your amplifier was a 200W x 2, then you would have the dynamic headroom needed for it.

its not a matter of needed 200w all the time, only for the dynamic content that music contains. so having it on tap, will always sound better.
I also think that in general listening levels we use 1-5W. As far as the Dynamics of music, I'm not sure I follow that as I use 13W/C and 30W/C and 100W/C amps at home.

My 13W/Ch amp is a tube amp and my 30W/C amp is a Tripath using both of these I generally don't need to crank them past the 50% mark on the volume knobs. So my understanding is that it wont hit its max dynamic power?

All three doesn't have noticeably different dynamics at my listening levels aside from the tube amp being a little more laid back and mellow. The tripath and solid state amps definitely sound the same.

I guess I don't listen to music at a point where the huge amount of power is needed to see the different in dynamics?
 

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Oddly enough, the best sounding home system I have heard to date was using a small tube amp (12 watts per channel on a $3000 dollar amp) pushing a pair of Paradigm (professional grade) studio monitors (6 or 7 inch mid with tweeter). My first real experience with a true tube amp. Although it was over 12 years ago, it is still one of the bigger "aha" moments to date with high-end fidelity systems. Many years later, I am still resisting the urge to jump into the High end home stereo. Even high end car stereo would have a hard time competing with an upper level home stereo (expense and sound wise).
 

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Not that I am doubting what you hear as sound is perception and differs from person to person, but how is more power = more dynamics?

I am just not getting it. Would you or someone explain?
generally when you listen to music, you are only listening to between 1-5 watts continuous. believe it or not. ;) but the dynamics of music can demand easily 10-20X that much or more. so if you have a 100 watt x 2 amplifier and you are listening at your meager 5w level, you will be edging into that 100 watts area almost constantly. turn up the volume a little more or play something with alot of dynamic content and you have run out of juice. if your amplifier was a 200W x 2, then you would have the dynamic headroom needed for it.

its not a matter of needed 200w all the time, only for the dynamic content that music contains. so having it on tap, will always sound better.

Right right...dynamic "headroom" is what I should have said. Sorry for the confusion. That's just my personal opinion though. I'd always like to have more power than not enough:laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Right right...dynamic "headroom" is what I should have said. Sorry for the confusion. That's just my personal opinion though. I'd always like to have more power than not enough:laugh:
Yea I agree on the have headroom and not need it than needing it but don't have it.. but isn't 200W/Ch on Tweets a bit overkill?
 

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Yea I agree on the have headroom and not need it than needing it but don't have it.. but isn't 200W/Ch on Tweets a bit overkill?
ya, you can get away with less, since tweeters generally dont need as much punch as midbass and subs do.
 
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