The problems with amplifiers with too much power (watt)

I know Paul had made many videos in youtube (also the most recently one) saying that amps never have to much power for speakers;
and yes i believe him, that to much power is very good so that the amp dont clip to early;

but i had found that when i put a amp whit to much power in my little room, i can not turn the volume bottom to much up resulting that the left channel or right channel have little more music than the other channel. Is this because the amp is bad or because almost all big amps, you can not really turn up the volume, to a low volume pleasant music listening without the resulting of one channel is putting more music than the other?

ps. do you know others problems with amps with much watts, or do you have the same problem that i had have?

This is either a problem w amp/ preamp /speaker or the acoustics in your room. :). Now that we’ve narrowed it down… lol. Bottom line is it has nothing to do with the wattage of your amp

FWIW dept. my amp has 425 into 8 ohms and 850 into 4 ohms.

What preamp are you using? In the past preamp volume controls sometimes did not track channel to channel very well, especially at lower volumes. Also, the loudness of an amplifier is not necessarily tied to how much power it produces, rather the output voltage of the preamp (or whatever component is driving the amp) and the input sensitivity of the amp will make this determination.

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Make sure all connections are solid and inserted all the way into the respective jacks.

Hello it was a amp i had before whit 100 watt; the speaker maybe it had high sensitivity, any way i have now a 75 watt amp and works well, but the amps or receiver i had had before over 100 watts, didnt worked so well at low volume, i had a nad amp and i could almost not raise the bottom volume, just a tuch and boom the music was to high, i belive it was a 120 watt amp.

I am curious if amps have a “sweet spot” for volume/power output? I am playing with some Spatial speakers atm and my amp goes to about 5% (if that) and wondered if a lower power amp might be a better match.


So. If u had a preamp paired w the amp - what you are describing is a sensitivity issue between the pre and amp. Others might explain it better. Some amps have a gain adjustment for preamps like this to give the owner the ability to use ‘more’ of the volume control as opposed to a minor move of the volume control causing a large move in volume. I believe bryston has a gain control for this purpose. Again nothing to do with wattage - but the gain of the amp vs the preamp output.

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Can you tell us what your sources, amp and speakers are please?

You probably need to reduce the signal levels going into the amplifier either by inserting simple inline attenuators or maybe turn on the output attenuator of the DSD (filter button), if you have not already tried this.

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Seems like either the preamp is got too much output or the power amp input sensitivity - not a issue of wattage. The industry standard for single ended (RCA) wiring is 2.0 volts on each (preamp rated output and power amp input sensitivity) so they play nice in any combination. Most power amps are also rated around 26 dB of gain (regardless of power rating) but some are designed to work with passive preamps so have closer to 32 dB of gain.

Ideally you’d have a more usable range of volume control and the typical setting would be around 9 - 3 on the dial, or half way on a digital display.

Back in my hair-shirt audio days I used stepped attenuators versus a preamp that were connected between interconnects and the back of my mono-blocks. Good sound, but inconvenient.

I agree. I would be looking at the preamp as one of the primary suspects.

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An amplifier’s power isn’t necessarily tied to gain. Most amplifiers have the same gain (or close) so you might be experiencing a gain issue with that bigger amp. I suspect the problem is gain (your amp has too much) which then causes you to have to turn your
preamplifier’s volume control down into an area where it is not equal in channel to channel gain. Maybe you can find a lower gain amplifier?

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Ps. What is amp gain or how to know when buying a amp?

Gain, in its simplest terms, is how much the amp increases the signal. Since the preamp feeds a relatively small signal to your power amp, the gain of the amp is responsible for making that signal big enough that it makes music through your speakers.

This article does a pretty decent job explaining the differences between gain, volume, level, and loudness.

As for how to know when buying an amp, most manufacturers list it as a spec. For instance, if you look at this Bryston page, it’s the third spec down under feature:

When in doubt, you can also always email or call the company who makes the amp you’re looking at.

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Thanks i will read it guys always talk about preamp(and is ok) but i allways think (and was asking) about normal amplifier, whit preamp and power amp in the same box

So in the case of an integrated amp that is both an amplifier and a preamplifier, you are combining two different functions.

The preamp portion controls volume - basically, the power level of the signal that gets fed into the amp portion.

The amp portion then applies its gain to that signal.

Everything is the same with an integrated amp as it is with a separate preamp and amp.

Regardless of the volume setting you shouldn’t be getting an imbalance between speaker output unless there is an issue with the amp or one of the speakers. Maybe it just seems that way because of the room set-up? Is there an opening on one side of the room or more furniture, or does the ceiling slope making it higher on one side? Are you using the same cabling to each speaker? Is there the same distance between the walls and each speaker?

I belive it was the old amps; problems.

Curious, what’s the wattage of the amp you’re using with the Spatial speakers? I’m interested in those speakers, and was wondering how they would match with a high wattage amp, being that they are very efficient speakers.

I’ve eluded to this in other posts, but this is a good place to once again speak to the importance of sensitivity matching the source device to the amp of choice you have connected it to. Some manufacturers have given the time and effort to include this into the input section of the amp. Connecting a device with many setups with balanced connections oft use the +4dBu/1.4V reference, but when you have unbalanced inputs, this is wide and varied. The desired sensitivity should match the 0dB reference point of the source to the 0dB reference output (unity gain) of the amp. This preserves the gain structure and will obtain the best S/N ratios from both devices. This also may require that you insert padding, or possibly modify the amp to create a greater sensitivity to match. Please don’t be mislead by some proclaimed industry standard voltage for all unbalanced connections, it isn’t true. Your manufacturers documentation should have the sensitivity listed in it’s specs.