To the OP - doesn't look like anyone really directed an answer to your original question of SS amps.
Read on this link: http://www.ab4oj.com/quadra/sshfamp.html
The part you are interested in is the section:
"Reduced-power operation: Some solid-state amplifiers feature a "Low Power" setting which reduces the drain (or collector) supply voltage to lower the maximum output by 3 dB. This is preferable to merely reducing the drive power by the same amount.
The problem is that the limiting condition for reduced-power operation is the onset of crossover distortion, which will degrade system linearity. Crossover distortion is significant at low drive levels. In Class AB operation, the bias is set to provide the best compromise between standing current and small-signal linearity; some crossover distortion is inevitable at settings which hold standing current (and its resulting dissipation) down to acceptable levels. It is thus best always to drive the amplifier to a point near the top of its linear operating region, where Edd(p-p) is just less than 2Vdd. This increases the margin on the device transfer characteristic between the peak voltage corresponding to PEP and the point where crossover distortion becomes significant. Lowering Vdd will achieve this objective, whilst lowering the power output by the desired amount."
Quoted from above link.
There was another page describing the problems with lower power drive with SS amps, but I didn't find it. The efficiency at lower drive levels can get a good bit less, thus close to the same current is required for lower drive, so much more heat has to be dissipated per watt of output power at reduced drive - or running at reduced output is just as hard, or maybe even harder on a SS amp than full power.
If you wish to use half power, or 1/4 power of max output, a tube amp is usually the best choice. comments on this statement please.
Per the AL-82 amp manual: "20% maximum drive power permissible: 130 watts typical drive for full power output: 100 watts"
I'm quite sure how to read the above. Does that say the amp works just fine witn only 20% of max drive of 130 watts? or 26 watts is just fine to drive amp with? What about 15 watts drive?
DOes it say "130 watts typical drive for full power output", then to get full output I should have 130 watts of drive? Most of us use 100 watt max rigs - what does the "100 watts" mean?
Enough rambling for now.
73 de Ken H>