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I am a complete rookie and could use some clarification on the supposed specs detailed by Onkyo and Emotiva.

My Onkyo TX-NR818 apparently is capable of 135 W (8 ohms, 20 Hz-20 kHz, 0.08%, 2 channels driven, FTC). More stats at http://www.onkyo.ca/Products/model.php?m=TX-NR818&class=Receiver

The Emotiva UPA-700 is capable of 80 watts / channel (8 ohms; all channels driven).

Initially I would have thought the Onkyo the more 'powerful' of the two but on closer examination I doubt it. At high levels or during highly dynamic audio sections (explosions, crashes, etc.) which is likely to tap out first? At moderate levels not approaching the maximum of either of the amps, would there be any significant difference in sound quality?

Basically, which one really has the best power output all channels driven and which one has the best sound quality. I'm considering whether an upgrade would be worth it.

Thanks in advance!!
MW
 

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I have a Onkyo TX-NR809(similar specs), I have used both a separate 120w amp and a 150w amp. I easily tell a difference running either of the separates on my front 3 speakers. Currently I still use the Onkyo to drive my surrounds and my zone 2. However it really depends on the efficiency of your speakers what type of amp you would need.
 
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