25 Watt Tube Amp for 90db Speakers?

They are Snell type J's that are 8ohm and 90db efficient.
Is a 25 watt tube amp enough? I am looking at a Cary Audio Super Amp. Thanks for any info.....
NOT enough....I have jolida 40 watts amp. I tried it to my snell type D. Hard to drive.

I tried my snell type D to the 60 watts BAT VK60 and it is awesome.

I suggest you to get a used BAT VK60. You wont regret it.
25 watts is fine. Snell originally spec'd them for amps as low as 15 watts. Would more watts be wasted, no, but 25 is sufficient to extract high quality performance from the Snells.
The D and the J are completely different animals. How large is your room and at what volume, in SPLs do you listen at? I think it might be just fine.
Viridian's got it. The size of your room, how lively it is and your own listening habits will say whether that amp is enough power.
If you don't have a large room, it's fine. Vintage HH-Scott which is 22wpc apperently can do better job for less money in great condition for your further consideration.
Quicksilver mini mono's , nice mono block 25watt amps!
In addition to the variables that have been cited by the others, I would emphasize the relevance to your question of the kinds of music you listen to, and particularly their dynamic range. Meaning the DIFFERENCE in volume between the loudest notes and the softest notes.

Quoting from myself in a past thread:
I'd just like to suggest that you indicate to the assembled multitude what kinds of music you listen to.... It is not uncommon, for example, for well engineered classical symphonic recordings to reach brief volume peaks that are 30 db or more greater than their average volume, and 40 to 50 db or more greater than the volume of their softest notes. A 30 db ratio of peak to average volume levels means that you will need 1,000 times as much power for volume peaks compared to the average levels of those recordings. And a 50 db difference between the loudest and softest notes requires 100,000 times as much power for the loudest notes as compared to the softest notes.

Many and probably most rock recordings, on the other hand, are compressed to a dynamic range that is in single digits as expressed in db, meaning less than 10 times as much power is required for volume peaks as compared to the softest notes.

Perhaps differences in the kinds of music that are listened to by those who have posted contribute to the divergence of opinion.
I can tell you that in the past I have used 90 db/1w/1m speakers having fairly easy to drive impedance characteristics with a multitude of tube and solid state amplifiers, of widely varying power ratings, listened to from a 12 foot distance in a 13 x 22 foot room. 25 watts was certainly adequate for most recordings, but 200 watts was barely enough to handle brief dynamic peaks on some classical symphonic recordings having particularly wide dynamic range.

-- Al
Al, just told it like it is.
People say, for instance. you can drive Maggies with 50 watts.Yes, sound will come out, but if you want Classical crescendo fidelity, about 500 watts @4 ohms will be required. At least for the 5 pairs I've owned .
Not all 25 watt amplifiers are created equal. To me watt ratings on amplifiers is a lot like horsepower ratings for cars.
We're talking about Snell Js, a two way speaker with an 8" woofer. Regardless of the amplifier it is not a loudspeaker capable of reproducing orchestral peaks, cannonshots or Saturn V lift offs. With a 25 watt amplifier it should be able to generate 99dB levels at a moderate listening distance. That's not deafening, but it's plenty loud.
Rrog, 1horsepower = approx 745 Watts. Watts, units of power are all created equal: White watts, Black and Hispanic watts, Asian watts, tube and solid-state watts.
Sounds like the Watts riots, actually. Power to the people. But I love it when people quote themselves, or even talk about themselves in the third person. It's cool, really. I'd love to quote myself, but I haven't had an original thought since 1972, so that one's out.
I agree with Rrog. I am newer to tube amps but my 6 watt SET amp with large transformers drives my 91db 8ohm paradigms pretty well. There are more factors to consider other than watts..
Hi Al,

Interesting post. Thanks.

A question. While I agree the dynamic range of a recording will set the pace on what multiple of power is needed, few of us will know what that recorded dynamic range is? Therefore some suggest that amplifiers should have x dB of headroom to cope with transients. 10 dB is often cited. Any comment on that?

Further, do you put any stock in power calculators which are available online?

For the OP's example a 25 watt amplifier with 90dB sensitivity speakers assuming a listening distance of 3m means a max output of 100dB SPL at listening position. OK for new age music and soft jazz but depending on listening habit not enough for unclipped orchestral, pop or rock.
Thanks, Kiwi.

I'm not familiar with the online calculators you referred to, as I just calculate the numbers myself, when necessary. But while the 100 db figure you cited is theoretically possible, I'd be a little more conservative and call it 97 db, as calculated below. 100 db would be realized under the conditions you described, for non-planar (box type/dynamic) speakers, if:

(a)The signal is such that 25W is simultaneously applied to both channels.
(b)The outputs of both speakers sum together in-phase at the particular listening position.
(c)The speakers can handle that power level without significant thermal compression.

Others may see it a little differently, but what I do is:

(1)Convert the power rating to db relative to 1 watt, on the basis of 10 x logarithm (P1/P2), which in this case would be 10log(25/1) = 14 db.

(2)Add that to the SPL produced by the speaker at 1 meter in response to a 1 watt input. If the speaker's impedance is 8 ohms, the SPL produced in response to 1 watt will be the same as the response to an input of 2.83 volts (which is a common basis for sensitivity figures); if the speaker's impedance is 4 ohms, the 1 watt response will be 3 db less than the 2.83 volt sensitivity.

In this case, 90 + 14 = 104 db.

(3)Add 3 db to reflect the presence of two speakers, rather than the 6 db which is apparently presumed by the calculator you used (and which will only be realized under the optimistic assumptions I described above).

104 + 3 = 107 db.

(4)Subtract the attenuation that occurs as a result of the listening distance being greater than 1 meter, based on 20 x logarithm (Listening Distance/1 meter). That corresponds to 6 db of attenuation per doubling of distance. In this case, 20log(3/1) = 10 db. (That amount of attenuation would be considerably smaller if the speakers were planar).

107 - 10 = 97 db, as I indicated above.
Some suggest that amplifiers should have x dB of headroom to cope with transients. 10 dB is often cited. Any comment on that?
Not sure what the 10 db is relative to. If it is relative to the average listening level of a particular listener, then your concluding statement is most likely applicable -- it will be adequate for some musical genres but not for others.
While I agree the dynamic range of a recording will set the pace on what multiple of power is needed, few of us will know what that recorded dynamic range is?
What I've done to get a feel for all of this is to purchase a Radio Shack SPL meter (a digital one in this case), set it to C-weighting and to the fastest response time setting, and measure peak SPL's on a number of recordings that I can tell by listening are among those having the widest dynamic range in my collection. In my case those are classical symphonic recordings on labels such as Telarc, Sheffield, and Reference Recordings.

I've found the highest peaks on those recordings to fall in the 100 to 105 db area at my listening position. As calculated per the methodology I described above, my system can produce 108 db at the listening position. So I have a little bit of margin relative to the worst case peaks (at least 3 db, which is a factor of 2 in power), and lack of knowledge of the recorded dynamic range therefore becomes irrelevant.

-- Al