Does the amp wattage make a big difference?

.......on planer or speakers like Infinity RS 1-B's?

I am considering the ARC vt 200MK1. I now have the VT 100 mkll. My listening levels are average and some tell me too low. Is the wattage in the amp truly a major factor in the sound of the speakers??
On power amps, the doubling of power results in a 3db increase. An increase from a 50 watt to a 100 watt power amp would result in a 3db increase in sound pressure levels. So increasing an amp from 50 watts to 200 watts would increase the SPL by 6db. As this is a logarithmic progression, you can see that SPL levels reach a ceiling rather quickly! For voltage amps (phono amps & preamps) the doubling of VOLTAGE results in a 6db increase. Although this is not the specific answer to your question, it helps to understand what increasing power will mean in real world applications. Don't forget that you can increase power by reducing speaker impedance for SS amps (although this may result in a decrease in performance of certain parameters (bass damping and exceesive circuit heat) in certain amps. Many tube amps though, perform better when matched with a HIGHER impedance speaker, especially OTL (transformerless) amps. Here are the decibel formulae:

Watts...dbw = 30 x log (E2/E1)
Volts...dbv = 20 x log (E2/E1)

These formulae are useful for comparing the actual increase/decrease of power or voltage when working with amps that are not doubled (or halved) with respect to output.
Not if you're using Audio Research amps.---- Sorry, just couldn't resist that. I'm workng on self control mamagement. Twice the power at low volumes still helps, I think. Having been there and done that I find the presentation seems more effortless.
"You can never have too much power." I got that quote from Krell, and I agree.

on planer speakers,the amount of current is more important than the volts,especially 4 ohm rated speakers.i have a 250 watt carver amp that is voltage driven,it is not nearly as effective as my 225 watt current driven b&k 2220 amp.
~~~~Rs1's do love the power! I presume you are to use this on the emim/emit panels. (The woofer towers must use their own amplifiers when using the servo/crossover system.) Personally 100 watts tube power per channel will play uncomfortably loud. 200 gets you there with less chance of frying the mylar from amplifier clipping. (Tubes are more forgiving than Solid State when they clip.) At up to $50 for an emit replacement and up to $200 for an emim (if you can find these), Weigh out the cost of retubing, replacing diaphragms, and the amount of listening you do. Only you can decide this. The placement of these speakers can also affect the perceived loudness of different frequencies, if it is an issue. What preamp are you using?

Just The Facts

More power per se is not always better. It is easier to build a great sounding 100w amp than it is to build a great sounding 200w amp. If your listening levels are stressing the VT 100, more power may improve sound. If not, the VT 100 might actually sound better than the VT 200. If possible, I would audition the VT 200, at your ususal listening levels, and see if it is indeed better. Also, consider the additonal heat of the VT 200. Living in Florida, uncomfortably warm listening rooms are a real problem. (Hehe, now there will be a string of replies calling me an undedicated wimp). The additional money you will put into the VT 200 might be better spent on your front end, cables, or even some music.


I have a pair of Kappa 9's and they are powered by a pair of Odyssey Stratos Monoblocks. High current is what makes them sing.
You could get another VT-100 and do a verticle bi-amping scheme for less money than selling your amp and getting the 200. Also you could check with Audio Research about converting the 100's to mono.
To take the guesswork out, may I suggest take you take a look at the Innersound Electrostatic Amp to get both watts and voltage to drive anything. He'll send it to you with a 30 day money back trial - Roger pays shipping both ways - how could you go wrong?
- aj

Would you please elaborate on the vertical bi-amping scheme of the Rs1's. This sounds like it may be very interesting! Thanks.

Just the Facts

Use one amp on one speaker and send one channel to the midrange and tweeter and the other to the woofer. do the same for the other speaker. If your preamp has only one pair of outputs you will have to use Y cables. Make sure of course to use one amp for the left preamp out and the other for the right. Your speakers have to have bi-wiring capabilties for this to work.
Can this work with the special Infinity bass crossover??? The bass amp must be hooked to the cerossover and then fed back to the speaker........maybe it would work??

Fbi...can you add some comments?
~~~~This is how I proceed with any amp connection to the Servo/Crossover: connect 1 inline 1 amp fuse (Quick Acting not Slow Blow) to each woofer tower.

If the amp inverts causing full power oscillation, the fuse opens in an instant. Once heard full power output from an amp, 330 w/ch. less than 1 second. This sound was so loud, everyone within 40 feet froze. If one could stand in front of a freight train horn while it was sounding in the listening room, then, one could appreciate the fuse set up! Ever see "Back to the Future" when Michael Fox turns up the huge amp and strums the strings of the guitar. That would be a good comparison.

The woofers were unharmed from the blast, owner had finger on power switch (advise well given by Beemers@ Audiogon). I suggested owner use a fused link next time.

Couldn't see any advantage of vertical biamping, been wrong before though.

Just The Facts

The advantage is that you will have more power by using one amp per side. You have twice the power supply. But, I am not sure how to make it work with your setup.