Originally Posted by zeonstar
Thanks again for the replies, I appreciate it. Your example helped a bit I think. In the case of my AVR, is the max it can do "full tilt" at once would be the 2 main channels at 125 watts? (I do know an AVR never even remotely gets close to using that much per channel. From what I understand, they barely even need a few watts to max out what our hearing could even handle.)
This may be related but do you know how many actual amps are in these AVRs? What leads me to ask is when I run audyssey in my 5.1.4 config, I can hear an audible click in my avr when it switches to the rear heights. But I only hear it at that point. Is that one of the amps engaging?
Regarding Amps... so even on a high end dedicated amp with one power source that claims 100 watts x 3 channels or whatever, even that one is still "sharing" the total wattage?
There are several answers to your questions, mostly depending on how much distortion you are willing to tolerate. In the specs you will see numbers ranging from 125W to 235W per channel.
Let's make some (unproven) assumptions. The X4400h is specced at 710 watts consumed
power. Assuming about 50 watts for the computing, video, radio, and audio preamp stages; that would leave 660 watts (continuous) for the power amps. 710 watts means the unit would draw nearly 6 amps from a 120 volt power line.
The maximum efficiency of a Class AB power amplifier is about 78% so that computes to 515 watts of available audio power at some undefined level of distortion -- maybe 500 watts in practice.
Then keep in mind that this is a continuous rating (I'll bet it requires a fan!) and would rarely be reached in real-world program material. Full volume police siren in all channels at once, maybe; but you couldn't stand to be in the room.
How that gets split among the amplifiers depends on the program material. I once had an Ampzilla power amp that I cranked up to about 200 watts on brief peaks, but I could not bear to stay in the room with it -- plus I feared for my tweeters!
All of the above relies on several assumptions base on previous experiences, so there is guarantee that lab tests would give the same answers.