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Years at Rainbow: 20
Weekly work schedule: Tuesday-Saturday

How Many Watts Does This Power Amp Deliver (Really)?

Power amp wattage ratings can be pretty confusing. The first rule is forget the model number. That number may or may not have anything to do with the output wattage of the power amp. If you look at the spec sheet for a power amp, you'll see listed 6-8 different answers to the question "how many watts does this thing put out?" You need to know what speakers you'll be connecting to that amp, whether you'll be connecting one speaker or two speakers per channel, and the nominal impedance of those speakers. If you connect a single 8 ohm speaker to each channel of the power amp, then look on the spec sheet for "stereo" or "dual channel" mode @ 8 ohms to arrive at the output wattage. In other words, it doesn't matter what the amp's wattage is at 4 ohms bridged when you're not using it that way. That number, by the way, the ouput power at 4 ohms in bridged mode, is commonly used as the model number since it’s the largest number and makes the amp sound really powerful--even though the amp may not be able to play for very long in that mode.