Originally Posted by AWalkInThePark /t/1517862/amp-advice#post_24358761
I apologize if there is a thread for this but I have a (hopefully) pretty simple question. I am in the process of setting up the audio for my small apartment I just moved in to. Now I am by no means an audiophile, and really will be using my set up to watch movies, TV, and sports over my HTPC, however I would still like to buy good quality hardware.
I'm going to purchase 2 Polk Monitor 55t speakers as they went on sale today at Newegg, and while they may not be the best speakers, $100 for Polk towers seems like a pretty good deal to me. Because I am planning on using a stereo set up, and my HTPC can do any equilizing, I was going to get an amp and was wondering if you had any suggestions. I have been looking at a few amps on Amazon as they seem like they would suit my needs. I am leaning toward the Audio source Amp-100, but have also looked at a few of the Pyle mini amps also. Questions are:
1. Will an amp or mini amp similar to the ones I listed above work well for me?
Could be. One critical parameter is how loud you want to listen.
The speakers you have mentioned above are rated at 150 watts. If you want to play them as loud as they can be reasonably played you might want amplfiiers rated at 150 wpc.
2. Could I get 2 mini amps and bridge them so each speaker has its own amp, and would that be the best option?
I know of no mini amplifiers that are rated for bridged operation. Generally bridging is the realm of maxi--amplifiers designed for professional use, not mini-amps designed for casual home use.
Bridging can theoretically provide up to 4 times the power, but usually only provides more like twice the power. Trouble is that even 4 times the power is only 6 dB louder before clipping, and it takes much more than that - 10 dB or (coincidentally) 10 times the power to create the perception of "Twice as loud". And that assumes that you are currently running the lower powered amplifier up to just below its clipping point.
In general the cheapest, best way to obtain amplifier power is either amplifiers designed for pro audio use, or surround receivers. An example of an amplifier that is designed for pro use that you could easily use is the Behringer A500 for about $200:
It has a real world 125 wpc, no cooling fans and is well-matched to your speakers and application. It runs about $200 around here.
This is an AV receiver that could also be used:
You can see that due to economies of scale of mass production, you can get quite a bit more for less in an AVR that can easily be configured for 2 channel operation and is also readily expandible for use with a subwoofer.