Originally Posted by cchunter
Heres my 2 cents on the whole amp subject. I think benefits of running an amp would depend on driver size and how many speakers your using in your setup. My belief is if your running anything under 6.5 in drivers and 5.1 setup then you wouldnt benefit from an external amp. I think once you move up to the RF82ii's and 7.1 then you would benefit from an amp. My Denon has 125 watts x 7 and it has no problem running what I have in my sig to rip roaring levels. Granted running 5 speakers its pushing around 85 watts per channel. I have no problems with clipping or distortion at reference levels. Then again this is just my opinion. Prime I believe you wouldnt benefit in an amp with your setup.
I disagree with the reasoning, but agree with the end result.
If driver size has much to do with amplifier requirements, it more likely to go the other way around. The larger driver will be more sensitive, and thus require less power to reach the same SPL. Of course if you go very small, then you are likely to run it as small with a high crossover frequency, and then power requirements vanish.
By that reasoning, you'd need huge amps to drive Klipschorns or Cornwalls with their 15-inch driver; you don't.
Amplifier requirement is, in my opinion, mostly driven by impedance curve and sensitivity. Very low sensitivity? You'll need more power to reach the same SPL. Very low impedance? You'll need more current to reach the same power output. Even at low levels, low-impedance speakers (or with complex loads) may sound thin with some receivers.
As for pushing 85 watts per channel, I believe the question was that it might be the capability of your receiver, but how do you know if you are using all of it or part of it? Are you maxing out your volume dial? I just need a few Watts to reach reference...