Jon S. wrote:The Class D DCM200L is commonly used as a guitar amp which is how I use mine. It's f- loud. I've never come close to having to push mine hard. Ourdoors, live, I've set mine just below half up. So I'm not sure what to make of your post (are you thinking of it as a PA amp? if so, choose a different model).
I'm just responding to your statement of dollars vs. watts. My experience with Carvin is that their specifications are misleading. But, if it's loud enough, then the specs don't matter, which means that that should be the focus of your assessment of the amp. I'm not really thinking of it in any particular context, although my perspective as a bass player triggers my response to call out specification BS when I see it, as for bass players, if an amp claims to have a certain amount of power but can't deliver it at 40hz, then it's a fraudulent claim. Guitarists obviously don't care about 40hz, so the 1khz rating is fine, although still misleading.
As far as settings on the volume knob of a power amp goes, that's pretty meaningless because it's just an attenuator, so it depends on what the preamp is throwing at it. You might have plenty loud at halfway up, but if you turn it up all the way, you might just be going into overload territory. With an SMS preamp, you can set the preamp output at 100% and the power amp at 50% or you can set the preamp at 50% and the power amp 100%. It's a matter of gain structure, not how much headroom you have in reserve.