So I'm looking at getting a pair of 10" subs that need 250W RMS to power them. My amp is 300W RMS and 1000W peak. Does that mean I'll need to get a 500W RMS amp to power both subs? Or will my 300W RMS power both of them just fine. Sorry if this is a stupid question, I'm new to this whole thing.
RMS watts is a rating for continuous power. Peak power means next to nothing. You won't hurt your subs underpowering them unless you clip the signal but you also won't be experiencing their potential either.
It's far better to run your subs with an amp that will deliver clean RMS power to them than strain a lower powered amp and max out the signal/gain and increase possible distortion.
Look for a decent 500w two channel amp and adjust gains slightly lower to achieve a safe zone. Distortion kills speakers more than power does.
Well, the subs don't *need* 250 watts. If they are rated to handle 250W continuous, that's a measure of the peak amount of heat the voice coils can handle without damage, and in no way indicates the amount of power required for full output, which depends on a number of factors, like the enclosure type you plan to use. As for matching amp to speakers, you can usually go up to 20-50% over the continuous rated power for the subs with the RMS output of the amplifier without damage to the speakers, again, depending on the enclosure specs and type.
Well I'm not looking to overdrive my equipment and mess it up, I'm just looking to get some good punch from a pair of subs (or a single sub). Do you think it would be better for me to get a single sub or a pair?
I personall;y prefer to go with fewer, larger subs when I can, so yeah single 15 instead of two 12s, etc.. but thaqt isn't always feasible, so go with what works best in your setting. I'd also suggest you go with a ported enclosure instead of sealed, and if you have it built for you, have the box tuned low. 28-32Hz is best in a car for a tuned port frequency to my ears anyway. and yes a 500W amp would drive two 250W subs fine, if the subs, when wired together to the amp, present a load that will allow the amp to provide 500 watts of output. remember the amp's output power is dependent on the load presented to it by the speakers.