Originally Posted by jgman
Its a Rotel 1068 surround preamp driving a Rotel 1075 amplifier. On certain compressed music streams from Rhapsody I max out the volume on the preamp.
What about uncompressed streams from the same source?
Raising the gain allows greater volume/loudness, however, don't want to take any unnecessary risks.
Unnecessary risks for most speakers involves power levels in excess of 50 watts. With most speakers and rooms that would be ear-splitting or if you will a dancing level. I presume that your actual situation is that you aren't getting a good listening level.
I suspect that you've avoided risk to the extent that you can't enjoy your audio system. Turning up the gain control on the amp a fair amount seems to be a reasonable course of action.
Strangely my NAD receiver had a lower wattage rating yet appeared to play louder....not sure why.
The receiver lacked an amplifier gain control, so you couldn't shoot yourself in the foot with it.
If you are really worried about your speakers, get some in-line fuse holders and fuse them for 3-5 amps with regular (not slow blow) fuses. I'll bet that with your current settings, even 1 amp fuses would last forever. ;-)