What makes one amplifier better than another?
- The better an amplifier's control over a loudspeaker, the more precise the speaker will play the signal, just as it is supposed to be. Therefore, generally speaking, the more power the better.
- The less the distortion an amplifier produces by altering the way the signal was when it entered the amplifier, the better. This distortion can be caused by almost any type of signal processing device such as Bass, Treble, Loudness, "Bass enhancer" and literally almost any switch and unnecessary setting between where the signal enters the amplifier and where it exits the amplifier. The rule is always - the less setting, the better.
- The more dynamic headroom an amplifier has the better. This is because little power is used to create normal levels of playback, but much more is required for an even moderate peaks or climaxes in music. Therefore an amplifier that has high levels of dynamic headroom (short term power) ensures that even when driven to deliver high volume levels, it still has the capacity to deliver clean peaks.
- The better an amplifier's ability of driving difficult loads (low impedances), the better. Usually the bigger and more accurate a speaker is, the more difficult it becomes to drive, due to its impedance dropping very low. The more capable an amplifier is to drive such difficult loads, the better. This ability can often be recognised by checking to see if the amplifier's power rating is stated in a low impedance of 2 ?