Originally Posted by StuckAtZero
The part that confuses me why bother stating the 130W per channel on the receiver and the "up to" wattage on a speaker if few if any people will actually use much more than 1 to 10 watts.
Primarily because of marketing. Consumers don't understand the underlying concepts very well, but they respond to flashy statistics. Receiver manufacturers consumer research showed most buyers want at least 100 watts. So that's what they give them.
Speaker manufacturers largely followed suit. Once some started quoting these numbers, the others joined in to be competitive. It's also a way to differentiate by attributing higher power handling to more expensive speakers within a given line.
So in a nutshell, ignore the per channel power of a receiver and the max power of a speaker (unless you listen at reference level or orchestral music)..... the average Joe will never need to worry about this even if they like to crank their system while watching Star Wars / Star Trek etc.
Pretty much. Years ago, a 50 watt amp was considered a powerhouse, and they had to drive much less efficient speakers than are typical today. And in those days, audiophiles tended to play orchestral classical music, which, when properly recorded, has very demanding dynamic range.
When technology made it possible to build higher powered amps into receivers, a kind of marketing driven horsepower race set in, resulting in some pretty dubious claims before the FTC settled things down a bit. Any decent receiver on the market today has more than adequate power for "the average Joe."
AVS members are a different story!