Nearly all modern amplifiers use a differential input stage, based on the so-called "long-tailed pair". This type of amp will have the input signal applied to one input (the non-inverting input is almost universally used as input), and the feedback to the other. This configuration is identical to that used in an opamp, and just like an opamp, the power amp will attempt to make both inputs have the same voltage at any point in time.
When the amplifier protection circuits operate, or the amp starts to clip, the inputs will have very different voltages on them. Slew rate limiting will also cause the inputs to develop very different voltages, and indeed, any amplifier abberation will change the voltage differential between the inverting and non-inverting inputs of the amplifier.
The internal SIM uses an opamp to measure the signal at each of the amp inputs. This will normally be fairly low - perhaps in the order of about 2 to 5mV under normal operation at just under full power. The SIM has enough gain to allow an indication at voltage differentials down to 1mV between inputs, which means that the finest of amplifiers is easily monitored for any impairment.