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Old 14th July 2014, 02:46 PM   #1
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Default What is the best power for an audio amplifier?

What is the best power for an audio amplifier? This is a topic been discussed by many for a long time. Half centry ago, amps with 10-20W were considered enough for usual home use. In the beginning of 70s, most of the hi-fi amps had about a few tens of watts, but by the end of the decade, it increased to around 100W. From 80s to 90s, the pace of such a power increase started to slow down. Most of the amps we use today are still 100W to 200W.

It is interesting that the power of Hi-Fi amps has been folded from 60s to 80s. But why the trend did not continue from 80s to the following decades?

Do you think an amp with 100W to 200W enough for your use?
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Old 14th July 2014, 03:03 PM   #2
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More than enough given descent speakers. In the past most loudspeakers were rated at 100dB or more, (Goodmans/Wharfedate Ditton etc), now they seem around 88dB. Hence power requirement?
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Old 14th July 2014, 03:47 PM   #3
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I used to use 225WRMS on a mobile disco so a couple of hundred watts is more than enough for home use.
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Old 14th July 2014, 03:53 PM   #4
SY is offline SY  United States
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Old 14th July 2014, 04:07 PM   #5
RAndyB is offline RAndyB  United Kingdom
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Default What music do you listen to?

This post comes from Great Britain and applies to the European music tradition.

Until the advent of recordings and amplifiers, the loudest music that most people would have heard was that of an organ and choir in a large church or cathedral.

Try listening to a recital, concert or choral worship in such a place to give your ears a workout.

Most organists cannot resist pulling out all the stops at some point (loudest). If you are lucky then you will hear a 32 ft diapason, with nothing coupled, in the pedals below quiet chords in the manual(s) (lowest); and a 2ft flute stop on the solo manual (highest).

Andy

Last edited by RAndyB; 14th July 2014 at 04:10 PM. Reason: precision
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Old 14th July 2014, 04:24 PM   #6
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Power at 0.01% distortion makes a lot smaller wattage figure than power at 10% distortion, despite the fact that one amplifier could do both figures. 70's advertised low distortion thus the power figures were smaller. Today advertises maximum wattage while disregarding practicalities, in order to get much bigger wattage figures. The same amplifier can be advertised either way.
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Old 14th July 2014, 04:56 PM   #7
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Speakers of yesterday tended to be a lot more efficient and just a few watts was all you needed. They also tended to be much larger. Then with the advent of cheap power from solid state amps most speakers became smaller and a lot less efficient.
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Old 14th July 2014, 04:59 PM   #8
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In the 1980's I used 4 off 50watt Fane loudspeakers with my 225WRMS amplifier and it rocked most venues I played at. Got asked to turn it down on a few occasions.

I haven't found modern speakers to be anywhere near as efficient as those Fane 50 watters.
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Old 14th July 2014, 05:05 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SY View Post
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I agree fully
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Old 14th July 2014, 05:58 PM   #10
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