Best amp wattage for my setup

spl84

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I've been in the research phase for years now and so it continues. I have a pair of Focal Aria 936 floorstanders and I currently have a cheap Sony strdh190 receiver powering them. It sounds decent but I KNOW that these speakers can sound way better with a proper amp. I'm not even necessarily looking for specific models but that's certainly welcome. I just want to know what wattage range I should be going for. I think these speakers can handle up to 300 watts per channel. I see plenty of very expensive amps that are only 100 watts per channel. Is it not all about power? My current Sony receiver puts out 100 wpc. Theoretically, could a high end amp that puts out the exact same wattage sound exponentially better and what exactly drives this change? The final question I have: Is it safe to power these speakers with excessive power, like using an amp with 400 wpc to power these speakers that have a 300wpc max? I've seen some people say that it's ok but I would want to be certain so that I didn't damage my new speakers.
 

jjbomber

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With those speakers, you'll go deaf at 1 watt, never mind 300 watts. You are far more likely to damage your ears than your speakers. Focus more on the sound than the wattage. Is there anything you are missing? Do you need more bass? More clarity? More musical? Next option is to listen to those speakers with several different amps to find your nirvana.
 

Gray

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....Theoretically, could a high end amp that puts out the exact same wattage sound exponentially better and what exactly drives this change?
Certainly it could.
And not necessarily just a 'high end' amp.

It might sound better due to delivering the same power more rapidly (high current).
It might have a more linear frequency response - making it sound more evenly balanced tonally.
It might (probably will) reveal previously hidden detail from your music.
It might allow better stereo imaging.

Pick the right one and it will do all 4 of the above.
 
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I've been in the research phase for years now and so it continues. I have a pair of Focal Aria 936 floorstanders and I currently have a cheap Sony strdh190 receiver powering them. It sounds decent but I KNOW that these speakers can sound way better with a proper amp. I'm not even necessarily looking for specific models but that's certainly welcome. I just want to know what wattage range I should be going for. I think these speakers can handle up to 300 watts per channel. I see plenty of very expensive amps that are only 100 watts per channel. Is it not all about power? My current Sony receiver puts out 100 wpc. Theoretically, could a high end amp that puts out the exact same wattage sound exponentially better and what exactly drives this change? The final question I have: Is it safe to power these speakers with excessive power, like using an amp with 400 wpc to power these speakers that have a 300wpc max? I've seen some people say that it's ok but I would want to be certain so that I didn't damage my new speakers.
Just out of interest, what size room are you trying to destroy fill?
 
On the point about destruction, far more speakers are damaged by crappy amplifiers driven into clipping - think parties where someone drunk whacks up the bass and volume!

You could comfortably use a 300+ wpc amplifier and never get close to overdriving them. You’d need ear defenders and a complete lack of mechanical sympathy.
 
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I've been in the research phase for years now and so it continues. I have a pair of Focal Aria 936 floorstanders and I currently have a cheap Sony strdh190 receiver powering them. It sounds decent but I KNOW that these speakers can sound way better with a proper amp. I'm not even necessarily looking for specific models but that's certainly welcome. I just want to know what wattage range I should be going for. I think these speakers can handle up to 300 watts per channel. I see plenty of very expensive amps that are only 100 watts per channel. Is it not all about power? My current Sony receiver puts out 100 wpc. Theoretically, could a high end amp that puts out the exact same wattage sound exponentially better and what exactly drives this change? The final question I have: Is it safe to power these speakers with excessive power, like using an amp with 400 wpc to power these speakers that have a 300wpc max? I've seen some people say that it's ok but I would want to be certain so that I didn't damage my new speakers.
Recommended amplifier power 50 - 300W is not the same as how much power they can handle
True. However, you aren't going to need an amp with even 200 wpc just a decent power delivery as these speakers can be a bit tricky to handle with a minimum impedance of 2.9ohm
 
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twinkletoes

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Naim is also stable into 2ohm and there owned by focal now. so suspect the focal's were developed with naim in mind. So thats where id start my search. you wont be crying out for wattage but you'll want stable current with that minimum ohm rating.

one of the naits would be good
 
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spl84

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With those speakers, you'll go deaf at 1 watt, never mind 300 watts. You are far more likely to damage your ears than your speakers. Focus more on the sound than the wattage. Is there anything you are missing? Do you need more bass? More clarity? More musical? Next option is to listen to those speakers with several different amps to find your nirvana.
Honestly more bass. I thought about just adding a sub later to achieve that.
 

twinkletoes

Well-known member
Honestly more bass. I thought about just adding a sub later to achieve that.
Get an amp that handle that load rating and the bass will come, I suspect the Sony is just running a little short of puff. Id leave the subwoofer till then. It would have to be a giant subwoofer to truly go deeper than those focals, what do they have, an in response of 30hz?

Hegal
Naim
Rotel
NAD
Yamaha
musical fidelity

all brands that handle those speakers and take them by the horns. And above all they all have something to suit any wallet size new or old
 
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spl84

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Naim is also stable into 2ohm and there owned by focal now. so suspect the focal's were developed with naim in mind. So thats where id start my search. you wont be crying out for wattage but you'll want stable current with that minimum ohm rating.

one of the naits would be good
Would something like this be good? The specs look almost perfect, shows that it's 2ohm stable... https://www.psaudio.com/products/stellar-s300-power-amplifier?variant=43692321079586
 

Stuart83

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I've been in the research phase for years now and so it continues. I have a pair of Focal Aria 936 floorstanders and I currently have a cheap Sony strdh190 receiver powering them. It sounds decent but I KNOW that these speakers can sound way better with a proper amp. I'm not even necessarily looking for specific models but that's certainly welcome. I just want to know what wattage range I should be going for. I think these speakers can handle up to 300 watts per channel. I see plenty of very expensive amps that are only 100 watts per channel. Is it not all about power? My current Sony receiver puts out 100 wpc. Theoretically, could a high end amp that puts out the exact same wattage sound exponentially better and what exactly drives this change? The final question I have: Is it safe to power these speakers with excessive power, like using an amp with 400 wpc to power these speakers that have a 300wpc max? I've seen some people say that it's ok but I would want to be certain so that I didn't damage my new speakers.
Despite other factors at play Watts are indeed the best guide to a (decent) amps speaker power hence it's the go to descriptor for manufacturers to quote.

If not sure always go with the suggested speaker parameters.

A higher priced amp delivers higher current and gain (the fixed quantity by which they increase whatever signal they are fed) using better components etc giving you a better sound.
It's always better to have more power than too little.
The onus is entirely on you then to if you go too far and damage your speakers.
 
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twinkletoes

Well-known member
Would something like this be good? The specs look almost perfect, shows that it's 2ohm stable... https://www.psaudio.com/products/stellar-s300-power-amplifier?variant=43692321079586
Trust me start your search with Naim and see how it goes then expand from there, It should show what your speakers are supposed to sound like according to the designer, then you can say what qualities you don't like and taylor the sound to your liking with other brands.

Roksan will work but considering they're an MA brand these days its not a place Id venture to straight away.
 
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Rodolfo

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FWIW, and reinforcing the less-is-more or plenty points: I ran all sorts of speakers satisfactorily with a 25-wpc original Cyrus One for decades. When I finally upgraded several years ago, because I decided finally that I had to have remote control, I more than doubled amperage with a Rotel A12 that puts out a whopping 60wpc, and can drive A AND B speakers!!

I still run my secondary setup with the ever-reliable 25wpc British-BTW mighty-mite.
 

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