Big is Beautiful: the case for powerful amplifiers

There’s no point in using a pint sized amp and bookshelf speakers in a hall and expecting a great sound. There’s a correct loudspeaker and amplifier for every room. Large amplifiers and loudspeaker combinations have the potential of delivering a higher quality of sound than their smaller counterparts. So what are the advantages of powerful amplifiers?

Powerful amplifiers exert greater control over a loudspeaker

Imagine the dynamics of a loudspeaker driver. The moving portion of the driver (the cone) has mass and in order to create sound pressure must displace the air around it (do work) at a frequency dependent upon the source. Supplying and controlling the kinetic energy of the driver cone represents a significant challenge for an amplifier. An ideal driver cone will be infinitely light, stiff and have no friction. In reality the cone has both mass and friction.

The amplifier effectively pushes and pulls the driver cone in and out of the speaker cabinet (like an automobile piston) at musical reproduction frequencies. In an ideal system, the driver cone will exactly match these frequencies, but in reality most amplifiers struggle to do this effectively as they haven’t got the current drive to exert sufficient grip over the cone. To decelerate and stop the cone, then accelerate it to velocity in the opposite direction at musical frequencies is a task that only powerful high current design amplifiers can perform efficiently.

An inferior amplifier can’t exert sufficient control over the driver cone and as a result the sound can appear smeared.

Powerful amplifiers offer greater musical headroom

You’ll require a larger amplifier if you want to fully appreciate the dynamics of music at lower listening levels, alternately if you require your system to produce higher volume levels.

Musical transients can be many times louder than normal and past a certain point a smaller amplifier is unable of reproducing these and will simply “clip” the transients off.
The same scenario applies after a point when increased volume demand is called for.

The main reason why speaker drivers become damaged, in turn damaging the amplifier is that the amplifier is undersized. The user turns up the volume and past a point the amplifier will begin to clip. Under these circumstances the speaker driver is fed DC, overheats and is permanently damaged. The amplifier is presented with lower impedance and delivers greater current usually blowing its internal fuse in the process.

The solution to both is to use a powerful amplifier in your audio system. For more on our larger amplifiers please refer to the following products:

Radiance R200i 200W Dual-Mono Integrated Amplifier

Prisma 350 350W Stereo Power Amplifier

Prisma 750 750W Monoblock Power Amplifier

Perreaux Products