Originally Posted by Nasher
Don't want to worry you, but 50W isn't a lot.
I built a similar system with a 100W amp and bigger speakers that is only just loud enough at speed.
What a complete crock of shit! This is a classic example of quoting a meaningless figure to demonstrate some sort of relevance to the topic in hand. That figure on it's own is completely useless until you establish what distortion level it is quoted at, what resistance it is running (because that decides what quantity and quality of speakers you can drive) and then you can plan your set-up!
Your "100w" amp must have generated that power at a very high distortion level if you couldn't hear it or you were using it to drive speakers that were unsuitable.
A VERY rough guide to power outputs is that you should be looking at figures that relate to 0.1% distortion as an indication of what you are going to be hearing (ie. clean sound with good volume). Most "RMS" figures are quoted at 1% distortion and some (Pioneer were always the worst) at 10%. This is the equivalent to sonic sewage and means you are actually listening to something with an equivalent power of less than 25% of that quoted (power-volume is not a straight line increase!)
A decent 25w per channel amplifier (at 0.1% distortion) will not only drive a half decent set of speakers comfortably but it will be loud enough to make your ears bleed despite being some of the best quality sound you'll have heard!
And don't even get me started on "1000w rated" subwoofers!!!!