Do amps have a sweet spot?


What I mean by this is do amps have an output range at which they sound better? The reason that I'm asking is that I'm now running some very small speakers (Minuet Supreme Plus) and they're probably the least demanding speakers I've had; but I've found that my setup sounds better when I have the volume turned up.

Out of curiosity, I took my Minuets to my local shop and hooked them up to an NAD C326BEE. I thought it sounded pretty darned good at "normal" listening levels. I almost bought it, but then I decided to start cranking it up to what I would call "rockin" levels and the amp started to clip. If it could have played louder, I would have bought it.

So...is it usual for an amp not to open up until you start pushing it?

My current amp is an Aragon 2004.
tonyangel
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To change the subject, do you think different amp technologies, or circuits, have a sweet spot in terms of rated output? To make clear what I mean, I was reading a review by Ken Kessler, of the Audio Research Ref 75 amp, which he and I too, think sounds wonderful. He suggested that the push /pull configuration Audio Research use, was such that an output level around 75 watts, seems particularly magical. He referred, if I remember to the old ARC D60 amp, as a memorable example from the past. He also felt the 75 sounded better, in suitably sensitive speakers, to it's bigger brother the ARC ref 150.

I am not sure if this is fanciful or not, any thoughts guys?
06-15-13: David12
To change the subject, do you think different amp technologies, or circuits, have a sweet spot in terms of rated output?
I'd be hesitant to generalize, David, at least without having a very large empirical database, that would most likely be impractical to compile. There are simply too many variables involved in the performance of different designs to allow meaningful generalizations to be inferred from a limited set of experiences, IMO. And if any general tendencies were identified, there would undoubtedly be many exceptions to the rule.

Best regards,
-- Al
I think solid state amps, such as yours, do have better TDH+noise specs at something like 80% of the power rating.
You might want to dig out some old AUDIO magazine when they still published test results, and you will see how the TDH+Noise varies with output power (as do other factors, I suppose).

One big reason Tubes sound better, is they simply test better for TDH+noise at very low power levels.