In a perfect world, all 100-watt-per-channel amplifiers would be equally powerful. If we were talking about cars instead of amplifiers, you might suppose all cars with 300 horsepower are equally fast. But the weight of the car, gearing, and suspension tuning all play their parts, so performance expectations have to be based on more than just a single specification or number.
Before we go any further, I'd like to point out that the power spec's prime relevance lies in determining how loud a given set of speakers can play. Assuming the speakers can handle power, feeding them more power will produce louder sound levels. Sound quality is another matter, and isn't always associated with power, so the more powerful amp isn't necessarily the better-sounding amp. A few months ago I wrote a rave review of a 3.5-watt amplifier that sounded wonderful with my Zu Essence tower speakers. So just a couple of watts can sound amazing, and play louder than you'd think. Amplifier-speaker matching is more than a numbers game; knowledge of what works with what is a valuable commodity, so if you're lucky enough to have access to a top-notch hi-fi dealer or an experienced audiophile buddy, don't be afraid to ask for advice. … Read more