Recommended Power Amp watts vs Speaker Watt power handling ability


What would happen if I connected a pair of 8 Ohm speakers with recommended 100 - 200 watts (Monitor Audio Gold 300) to a power amp of 250 watts per channel into 8 Ohms (Primare A32)? Is it safe? Would the speakers be blown?
mewsickbuff
Only if you get crazy trigger happy with the volume knob.  Under most conditions you will be just fine.

Bill
@mewsickbuff  Agree with willland.  The issue of powering speakers is one of the most misunderstood in all of audio.  Willland is right that the only way you can do damage with a more  powerful amp is if you go nuts with the volume control.

The important truth to note is that speakers are more often damaged by under- powering speakers.  An amp weaker than your speakers need will clip the musical sinewave and in extreme cases damage the drivers in your speakers, most specifically the voicecoils leading to rather expensive repairs.

I just left the monitor audio website.  Looks like a lot of thought and advanced technology has gone into their design.

Good luck with this.

The recommended power range is only a rough guide.  If, as others have mentioned, you play the speakers at reasonable levels, you should be fine.  If, as you push the volume upward, the speakers start to sound really harsh and hashy, cut the volume level; you are into the point where the speakers or the amp are distorting badly.

Even if the speaker manufacturer recommends 100-200 watts, it would certainly NOT be a good idea to play them at anywhere close to 100 watts of power delivered on a sustained basis; that would risk heat damage.  The recommendation is based largely on the momentary peak power.  Even when you are playing the speakers at a pretty high average volume level, the amp output would probably be averaging only one or two watts of output.

The other concern about high power amps is damage from accidental, large pops or noise, caused by such things as either pulling or plugging in an interconnect anywhere in the system when the amp is on, or sudden power cycling/surges when something happens to your electric service.  That kind of short term but powerful impulses can damage speakers if the amp is extremely powerful.

Thank you all. That's a relief to hear. I never listen at extreme levels.
Given that you are not over driving your speakers, I would say that you are doing both speakers and amplifier a favor. Amp will last longer and speakers will be under best control. 
mewsickbuff,
you need to read this thread - same question asked by another member & lots of us contributed to the thread....

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/speaker-wattage-question
It's not ok to be underpowered, but great to be overpowered as long as you are not pushing the speakers to their limit... I used to power magnepan mmg, fuse bypassed, with a qsc 1400 at insane night club levels before distortion for 30min... no prob.
@ bombaywalla, Thanks, I checked out the other thread, too. Good info.

Lots of attention was given to high-end distortion. So I understand that distortion sends harsh high signals to the tweeter and can fry it fast. But I listen to music with lots of bass with levels averaging around 30Hz. I get the impression that Ohms can dip to 2 or 1 with deep bass notes.  

I thought watts doubled as Ohms decreased. The Primare does 250 watts @ 8 Ohms but only 400 watts @ 4 Ohms (I didn't see measurements for lesser Ohms). So it seems the "double watts with lesser Ohms" theory can't be applied. Do I need to worry when listening to music at average levels (50 - 66dBA according to my digital sound level meter)? Is my reasoning erroneous?
mewsickbuff, good to read that you found the info in the other thread informative.

I get the impression that Ohms can dip to 2 or 1 with deep bass notes.
this is not necessary for every speaker. it depends on the speaker design & one needs to see the impedance & phase plots to determine just how low the impedance is in the bass region for a particular speaker. I could not find any imp & ph plots for your MA Gold 300 speaker so i don’t know whether or not your speaker’s imp is low in the bass region....
In general, there are many speakers in the market that do dip in the low Ohms in the bass region - finding a speaker (that is touted to be 8 Ohms nominal) to be 3-4 Ohms in the bass region is not uncommon.

I thought watts doubled as Ohms decreased.
sorry to burst your bubble but they often don’t. Power doubling with each halving of speaker impedance is a huge function of the amp’s power supply - it requires huge power transformers, large heatsinks, many more matched output transistors, excellent design to dissipate the heat otherwise components begin to fail due to exposure to heat & an excellent grounding scheme so that many points in the circuit see a low impedance path to ground. Such amps are very expensive - we’re often talking $10,000 & more. Plus, they are few & far between i.e. not every manuf makes them. Such amps are also very heavy - in excess of 100lbs due to the large transformers heatsinks.

The Primare does 250 watts @ 8 Ohms but only 400 watts @ 4 Ohms (I didn’t see measurements for lesser Ohms). So it seems the "double watts with lesser Ohms" theory can’t be applied.
indeed correct for the Primare. The fact that power rating for below 4 Ohms is not given would seem to imply that the amp should not be used for very low impedance speakers as it could cause (1) excessive heating due to the amp’s output stage trying to output a lot of current to drive the speaker &/or (2) the amp could go unstable as low speaker impedances are often characterized by having a fair amount of capacitance as part of the impedance.

Do I need to worry when listening to music at average levels (50 - 66dBA according to my digital sound level meter)?
according to my research the Nat’l Inst of Occ Safety & Health says that a sound of 85dBA can be listened to for 8 hrs a day. Using this metric I believe that you should have no issues with your Primare driving your Gold 300 speakers at 50-65dBA levels. I.E. your Primare will be outputting only a few watts to generate 50-65dBA sound. I’m sure that you will have peaks that will exceed 50-65dBA but since they are peaks they will last for very short times...

Highly informative. Thanks much!
Amp clipping is the danger
The best amps do  double. Something like big Krells or CJ 350 or the large Musical Fidelities. But these are expensive and heavy. Never depend one of the meters as they lag behind. The LEDs work well but I think they are out of fashion.