We all know that underpowered amps can lead to blown speakers, but is that really true?
Here's a post from another forum. I wanted to get the opinions here before responding...
This is a myth that's been floating around for some time (most commonly used by hi-fi salespeople attempting to sell larger amps). An amp with ample power is a good idea for transients and distortion free playback, but content with harmonic distortion (within reason, of course) is not going to fry your speaker cones. If it would, then playing and loud music with distorted guitars, etc. would be equally injurious to your speakers. Also, while a lot of power might fry the coils on your monitors, if the actual cones started to fry, you'd be in trouble. Speakers on guitar amps, playing lots of harmonically distorted sound would be in real trouble.
My wife heard an interesting variant of this myth some time ago. A young salesperson at Best Buy explained to her that if your car stereo had lots of clean power, you could listen to music as loudly as you wanted without damaging your hearing. Hearing damage, according to him, occurred when you listened to an underpowered system turned way up.
Serious power amps are great to have in a studio situation, but you have to be careful. While experimenting with sounds, patching, etc., you can easily generate transients that will blow speakers. I speak from experience here.
BTW, for anyone who hasen't seen it, here's an interesting page of audiophile mythology...