Basic question about power/watts

Hi everyone - I have a question that I can't seem to wrap my head around.  

I purchased a pair of Magnepans a few months back. Honestly, I do not like them. They have their moments but overall, pffft.

So, related to this, I keep reading from various Maggie owners you need TONS of power to make these things sing rather than squawk. I bought a new amp that is rated at 80 wpc at 4ohms. This, I realize, is low power when I see these guys saying they are running some crazy amount like 600 watts per channel. Here is my actual question:

When you are listening to your speakers at a normal volume, the wattage you are using is not near the POSSIBLE output, correct? My 80 wpc is unbearable with the volume at the 11 o'clock position. Why does a person need or want 600 watts? I suspect I am missing something here. Maybe this has to do with why I dislike my Magnepans. Somebody take a moment to set me straight?



More INFO needed.

Which Maggies?

What  amp are you using?

What size room? 

What is it that you don't like about your Maggies?

Maggies need current as they are low impedance speakers. 

It's sorta like this: A Toyota Corolla versus a BMW 540 on the highway at 70mph.

It's not necessarily about the power output, but rather the ability to delivery lots of current at a low impedance. Also, not all amps are created equal to 80W from a HT receiver is VERY different from 80W from a high end amp...


As mesh mentioned, we simply need more info to really be able to point you in the right direction.

I concur with power and watts not 'all being the same'. 

About a year ago I was listening to a Audio Research integrated amp rated at 80 watts playing Sonus Faber Olympica Nova Vs and it sounded awesome.  I also listened to McIntosh 462 drive the speakers.  They both could easily create 75 db of sound and the sound quality difference was more of ARC tube sound versus McIntosh sound - not the 'power'.


Yeah, I think it’s likely your amp isn’t up to the task.  As far as Watts, it’s about headroom and allowing the amp to work in its comfort zone.  Many amps will not be at their best when being pushed to deliver near their max output level, and it’s good to have extra power in reserve for when loud peaks occur in the music.  If you’re running near an amp’s peak power level it can sound “strained” whereas if you’ve got plenty of power there will be more a sense of “effortless” sound.  Hope this helps answer your question.  If it was me I’d hop on this if it’s in your budget — awesome amp that will drive the crap outta your Maggies...