Matching Amps. to speakers

Just thought I see what people think about this old gem.

I have just today purchased a new Peachtree nova 300 integrated amp to drive my Goldenear Triton 5 speakers. I previously had a 140 watt per channel Yamaha driving them.
The power difference is considerable to the point where my normal critical listening speaker volume would be around 20 to 30 percent on the roon remote app.volume slider. Above a roon remote app volume of 50 percent, the speaker volume would be way to loud ( although the Goldenears can handle it well).

1.What are the benefits in having a powerful amp. running very efficient speakers which don’t require the power? Any sonic benefits at low and moderate/high listening levels
2. What is the downside in having a powerful amp. running very efficient speakers. Damage to Amp. or speakers.
3. Should I swap it over for the Peachtree nova 150 with half the power?

I’d be really interested in anyone’s thoughts.

An underpowered amp is more likely to result in clipping the amp if you try to push it too hard. This can damage the amp if the design is not great…but worse it can easily damage speakers - upper ranges (tweeters) mostly will be the first to suffer. A blown amp can destroy speakers of all sizes too if the outputs short and allow power supply voltages across the speakers directly.

Headroom with an amp is important to get good dynamics in louder passages and bigger amps tent to have bigger power supplies to meet these sudden dynamic demands.

I would always go with more power than the speakers need. Very little downsides if any to using a bigger amp…other than perhaps Class A amps where heat is a big issue.

Thanks Wizard. I guess I am just not used to using only, what seems to be a small amount of volume dialled in with the new Peachtree to run these great speakers compared to the Yamaha, which had half the power. ( 300 watts pc vs 150 watts pc).
Now I’ll need to see if it’s better sonically to have the the volume set at 100 percent on the Nucleus or the amp. and have the other control it. I have the amp in “volume control bypass mode” at present so roon can take over volume control.( I think I read it is better to have the computer set to max.and use the amp. as the master volume control but that means not being able to control volume via roon remote so I may compromise on that).

Do you know if there is a volume limiting setting in roon just incase I accidentally hit the 100 percent on the volume slider, which I have a few times with the old amp.

I just corrected a typo or 2 in my destroy speakers sentence, those words actually.

Yes there are some precautions you can set in roon under the zone settings to limit such risks, doesn’t the peach tree have a remote too?

Found volume precaution settings. Thanks Wizard. Yes , the Peachtree does have a remote but if I assign the master control over to roon I think remote volume it is disabled. Will check soon.

If you are planning to use headphones - the 300 headphone amp is also of a higher output than the 150. So if you have any “difficult” headphones it would be a better bet.
Anyway, who wants less power in their amp? :wink:

It sounds to me like the volume controls are simply calibrated differently between the Peach Tree and the Yamaha. 300W verses 140W is just over a 3 dB increase in volume, so hardly worth worrying about, just a bit more headroom. I have read a few reviews of the Peach tree 300 and 150W amps and the conclusion seemed to be that the 300W sounds ‘better’ than the 150W. If this is the case I would not downgrade to the 150W version.

Thanks for the replies guys. The sound is great. I have used roons volume adjustment/limiting function to adjust the volume slider to useful limits and prevent sound explosions by accidental sliding to native 100% volume. It is just like comparing the acceleration of a secondhand morris minor to a Ferrari with the sound increase.
I found the reply below to my question from the speaker manufacturer really interesting and helpful:

“That said, please be aware that the relative position of the volume control has absolutely nothing to do with power level or speaker damage. In answer to your questions, more power is always better (better dynamics, less likelihood of clipping and resulting speaker damage) so that is also never an issue, as long as the speakers are not played beyond their capacity. Overdriving the speaker with too much power is virtually impossible, but, when the speaker or the amplifier are strained it will quite audible. If/when that occurs, simply turning the volume down a tiny bit will get you back into a safe zone and prevent speaker damage.”

I’ll be keeping the 300.:slightly_smiling_face:

The other thing is , my old setup had an analogue rca connection from dac to amp, which allowed me to adjust the volume via roon and the amp simultaneously. The new usb connection between the nucleus and the new amp, only allows one or the other , not both , to control volume.