Whenever my mother Sue prepared a meal for company there was always more than enough food. Literally. Her philosophy was a simple one. Always make more than needed so no one left hungry. Our family ate the leftovers for lunch.
Pushing supplies to the limit is risky business, both with hungry relatives and power. What we want in a power product is called headroom, the ability of a device to exceed demand by an appreciable amount.
Headroom is important on a number of levels: lowering parts stress, relaxing audio presentation, removing strain from both the equipment and the music. If you think you need 100 watts, go for 200 to 300 instead.
It’s easy to understand too little strangles performance. The difficult argument is that bigger is better than enough. Taking your equipment right up to the edge, or anywhere even close to shore, isn’t worth the initial savings on equipment.
When it comes to deciding how big to go, more than enough should be your guiding light.