Originally Posted by hikaru12
I've just heard many mixed messages about this issue and I don't know want to end up buying an amp of too high or lower wattage and blowing a pair of speakers because I don't know what I'm doing. For the record, it's probably better to go with a lower wattage amp and pair them to higher wattage speakers then vice versa right?
You'd have a lot more chances of getting clipping using a low power amp on inefficient speakers than a high power amp on a relatively efficient speaker. Speaker input power ratings are nearly irrelevant because, seriously, has anyone used an amp with an output that really exceeded the maximum continuous input power ratings on speakers? Most standmounts get over 100watts max input, and floorstanders with more than two drivers usually get 150w max input. Unless you're using a powerful $300+ 150wpc T-amp you won't be getting anywhere near the maximum.
Unless what you have is an amp with bloated ratings and you're still going to get clipping, but in that case if you factor in the THD levels you are not really using a powerful amp. If anything the problem with an extremely powerful amp on a very efficient speaker is it might get it too loud too quickly, but from my own experience with equipment that is only really a problem with custom car audio systems using active crossovers (before the amp stage), and you have a 4ch amp with, say, 75w front channels powering 10wpc tweeters with no passive crossovers - fortunately the processor can lower the signal voltage to them by -8db. Unless you're at such an extreme situation, chances are you'd be annoying your neighbors before you hear clipping, provided that high-output amp is one that doesn't distort at that output level.
Edited by ProtegeManiac - 2/15/14 at 7:52pm
So really the only thing against quality high power amps is the price and size. When using a lower output amp, as long as you meet the minimum output required by the speakers and you aren't trying to mimic the SPLs in a live rock concert, you should be fine.