Originally Posted by Kim
Right. Let me explain it to you. When you install an amp you adjust the levels on all the channels. You don't just turn them up to max. A 4x200w cheap amp will not put out as much sound as a 4x200w expensive amp. In my experience it will only put out enough clean signal to drive the quoted 50w RMS speakers properly. You turn the amp down so it is operating in it's middle range which means it will NOT clip the signal. Simple. Even expensive amps will damage speakers if you do not tune them to operate in the correct way.
So you agree with me saying that a cheaper amp at the same advertised specifications of a more expensive amp are likely to clip the signal.
The issue is that a cheaper amp is more likely to clip at lower frequencies (I have this proven in a year 12 physics report I did on signal to noise ratios on car audio). Clipping the lower frequencies (sub 100Hz) does not produce an audible sound difference until the S/N gets to about 30%. Lower frequencies also take less power to distort (greater power required to generate a clean signal).
Now when you clip low frequency - it produces a longer DC instance over the clipping of high frequencies. However you can notice (hear) the difference in high frequency clipping at less than 2% S/N (above 10,000Hz).
This is why it is so important to have good clean reliable power (ripple removed by large capacitors) to your higher quality amps to make sure you have as good signal delivered to those expensive speakers.
So where does this put our discussion - nowhere really. I think we are all saying the same thing in round about fashion and we are all in agreement. I just like to embellish on the details so people know 'why' it is so, not just because someone said so. This gives me heartache when I want to do something but I want to know 'why' :)