Receiver + speakers wattage rule of thumb


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Pink Floyd

Hello all,

I'd like to buy a new receiver since my old Harman Kardon is dead. I had a stereo 2 channels one that only had 50W per channel.

My speakers are some old Jamo that I bought years ago at low price. 4ohm and 280Wmax

I was wondering if there is a rule of thumb to match receiver and speakers.

My plan is to buy a Yamaha RXV363 or RXV463.

Right now, this is only to listen to some music as I only own my 2 Jamo speakers. But I plan to make home theater in the futur.

Is it a good match? And about the rule of thumb, does it exist at all?

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+Gary7

Speakers are the most important part of a sound system. I would not get a new system with the specs that your system will have and run them through a set of speakers that are old. I do not believe that your old speakers can handle the new system:

Min. RMS Output Power Front Channels 100 W + 100 W (0.9% THD)

(8 ohms, 1 kHz) Centre Channel 100 W (0.9% THD)

Surround Channels 100 W + 100 W (0.9% THD)

Dynamic Power (8/6/4/2 ohms) 110/130/160/180 W

Frequency Response 10 Hz?100 kHz +0/-3 dB

Total Harmonic Distortion (CD, Front Sp Out) 0.06% (50 W/8 ohms)

Signal-to-Noise Ratio (CD) 100 dB (250 mV)

Dimensions (W x H x D) 435 x 151 x 318 mm

Weight 8 kg

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ahhell
I do not believe that your old speakers can handle the new system:

Why wouldn't the new system be able to handle those speakers? Care to clarify?

They look ok to me.

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+Gary7

They can't handle surround sound. I just can't see using old speakers on a new system. The speakers are one of the most important things in a sound system.

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Pink Floyd

I think he is saying that the speakers would not handle the new receiver.

Either case, I'd liketo know why

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ahhell
They can't handle surround sound. I just can't see using old speakers on a new system. The speakers are one of the most important things in a sound system.

He could use his existing speakers for fronts then buy the rest of the speakers to fill out the surround set up.

FYI Some speakers sound better with age so his speakers might sound better than anything new.

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Pink Floyd

Of course I'd use my Jamo for main speakers. Then buy other speakers for surround later. I hope Gary7 wasnt thinking that I wanted to "create" surround sound system with only my 2 Jamo speakers

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Laurë

The ohm figure is important. The lower that number on the speakers, the harder it is to "drive" them.

This means that you need to make sure you buy a receiver that is quoted as being 4ohms stable for those speakers. If it was 2ohms stable (the receiver) you'd be fine but if it was 8 ohms it would struggle with your speakers.

Speakers are not the be all and end all and I think it's wrong to say they are the most important part. They aren't. The speakers rely on the power and signal you put into them. If the signal is low quality because of a poor recording or low quality amp/receiver then even the most amazing speakers will not produce good sound.

My main advice would be to look at reviews, lots and lots of reviews. See if you can buy second hand (for better deals) or try the equipment out at home before committing to buying it. diyaudio.com is a good place to learn a lot - the people there are after the best quality sound so they are fairly impartial. You could also find a good magazine that will give some decent reviews - we have "What Hi Fi" in the UK. The quality of sound equipment is often not proportional to how much you spend.

As for old speakers, we have some from the 60s which still sound pretty amazing with a decent amp, despite their age. They don't match up to our Wharfdales but if I had to choose between new speakers and cheaper amp, or better amp and using those old ones for a while, I'd get the better amp.

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+Gary7
Of course I'd use my Jamo for main speakers. Then buy other speakers for surround later. I hope Gary7 wasnt thinking that I wanted to "create" surround sound system with only my 2 Jamo speakers

No I took it that you were just going to use the two old speakers. But my real point is why use old speakers. This to me would be like running DOS on a Pentium Quad4. If you really want good sound BOSE is the only way to go. But they are $$$$$.

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MiG-
No I took it that you were just going to use the two old speakers. But my real point is why use old speakers. This to me would be like running DOS on a Pentium Quad4. If you really want good sound BOSE is the only way to go. But they are $$$$$.

Much better for how much they cost but thats just imo...

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ahhell

Bose?!?!?!!?

BHAHAHAAH

Bose is junk.

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Olemus
Bose is junk.

Care to explain why, rather than just spamming your crap and not justifying it?

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+Fahim S.
Care to explain why, rather than just spamming your crap and not justifying it?

Because they don't have any mid-range. The bass tends to be muddy too.

Anyone who appreciates audiophile sound, knows that you NEVER buy Bose.

Listen to Persephone to ensure that your speakers are of the correct impedence to match the amp. You may well need to invest in a 5.1 set of speakers eventually unless you can find rears and a centre with good tonal balance.

For the time being run with the Jamos.

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+Gary7
Bose?!?!?!!?

BHAHAHAAH

Bose is junk.

Yes please explain why you think Bose is Junk. I would like to know why you think Bose is junk. From ahhell , the user that posted it.

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Starbuck84

In the matter of audio there are a lot of people talking BS. No flame intended, but audio is really personal.

My "own" rule is to have an amp which is a little "heavier" than your speakers. Better to have a 100 / 110W Amp on 100W max speakers than a 40W Amp on the same speakers. Since the 40W Amp will be set to a higher volume than the 110W amp and could produce clipping which can be bad for your tweeters. Seen it happen way to often.

And Bose has the "thought of being bad" because some (if not a lot) of their old speakers were quite harsh to listen to (from experience). But it doesn't apply to their latest systems. People need to look further than mere reviews from others. (Like Vista = bad too... right? See my point here?).

For the rest I agree with Persephone here :-)

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+Fahim S.

After a recent listen I can say that Bose do not make a good speaker.

Not compared to the KEFs, B&Ws and Wharfedales of the world anyway.

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Joel

Wattage means NOTHING. You know why Sony/Pioneer/JVC et al. say they output 100 watts per channel? So the suckers will buy them. You know why H/K sells receivers for hundreds of dollars more with only 50 watts per channel? Because they make a good receiver, and it sounds a hell of a lot better than the others.

Speakers are rated for max wattage before it blows, not something to base your receiver purchase on. If you were ever next to a speaker putting out 100 or 250 watts of sound, it would most likely be the last thing you heard for quite some time. If you speaker won't blow at 100 watts, you're safe, as long as you didn't purchase the crappiest receiver out there for the highest wattage. If the sound isn't clean, you can damage your speaker no matter what the wattage.

Your receiver will work harder to drive those 4 ohm speakers. Unless it specifically can do it, change the speakers.

Oh yeah, and BOSE may not be the worst thing out there, but it's pretty damn close.

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Starbuck84
Wattage means NOTHING. You know why Sony/Pioneer/JVC et al. say they output 100 watts per channel? So the suckers will buy them. You know why H/K sells receivers for hundreds of dollars more with only 50 watts per channel? Because they make a good receiver, and it sounds a hell of a lot better than the others.

Wattage means a lot actually. What you describe is a classic case of true RMS power versus "maximum rated" power. You have to look for an amp which states it's true RMS wattage. And wattage can be quite important, since a 20W RMS amp will have a hard time to drive some 100+W RMS speakers.

If the sound isn't clean, you can damage your speaker no matter what the wattage.

AMEN!

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ahhell

Here's a good article on why Bose stuff is junk:

Bose: Better Profits through Marketing

There a multitude of examples on why not to buy Bose.

Back on topic: Depending upon what stores are in your area, you should be able to rent/borrow an amp to test with your speakers. That would confirm whether it's going to work or not.

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Joel
since a 20W RMS amp will have a hard time to drive some 100+W RMS speakers.

Why? The efficiency of the speaker is more important than the wattage it states is its max. If you think hifi amps that are like 50 watts per channel can't drive large speakers, that's not a true statement.

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teriba

Wow, so much misinformation in one thread.

Bose is by far the worst choice you can ever make when buying home theater equipment. http://www.intellexual.net/bose.html is the best info you'll find on them. For speakers look into better brands like B&W, Paradigm, Def Tech, etc.

Max numbers don't mean anything. Pay attention to RMS numbers. Cheap brands will inflate these numbers as well so don't put too much stock into them.

Will this new receiver drive your old speakers? As long as it's stable at 4ohm then sure it will. Is it a good match? Who knows. You'd be much better off going with a high-end shop that will let you audition receviers with your speakers so you can judge the match for yourself.

I personally like Onkyo as the best bang for the buck receivers.

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Starbuck84
Why? The efficiency of the speaker is more important than the wattage it states is its max. If you think hifi amps that are like 50 watts per channel can't drive large speakers, that's not a true statement.

I didn't think that at all, and I never said I did either. First of all, 50W (I assume RMS) is not small (small as in I was talking about small amplifiers) imho, and of course smaller amps can drive larger speakers, why shouldn't they? BUT a smaller amp will have to be set to a higher volume to get an acceptable audio level from your larger speakers, which will put a clamp on the output of the amp. So, when you push your amplifier into overload or "clipping," as this scenario is called, several things may happen:

* the top and bottom of the waveforms (representing the audio signals) are clipped off, generating distortion.

* the amplifier's protection circuits are activated, removing those portions of the signal that are causing the overload, generating distortion.

* finally, the amplifier's power supply may fluctuate according to the demands of the music signals.

This of course all counts if you run your music at normal or higher levels, if you like background music and nothing more, you should be fine with a smaller amp. Still not my choice to be honest. My 2 cents.

/EDIT: typo.

Edited by Starbuck84
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Pink Floyd

Well, for my case, my old HK is 50W per channel and that amp was used to drive my Jamo speakers. I find my speakers way too hard to drive and too powerful to be driven by my HK. I mostly listen to music and sound isnt really loud at all.

Now, knowing Yamaha, I guess their 100W per channel is really double compared to the HK 50W per channel. Anyone have something to suggest beside the yamaha receivers?

300$ max, to drive my jamo speakers of course

thanks

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Joel

The Yamahas are very harsh at higher volumes. For a more musical sound, look at Denon if you can find one in your price range.

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goji

Floyd you have some good speakers, and I would HIGHLY encourage you invest more than a measly 300 dollars to drive them. Get a high output amp to provide a good strong electric current to your towers so they can sing! Plus something to consider as a side not, if you are going full surround sound, shop around for the other speakers that were matched to compliment those towers so the voicing remains consistent across the board.

Granted there are some good points here there is one bit that needs some clarification just for the helluva it: Watts and watts RMS:

Taken from the blog of an electrical engineer at Klipsch Group Inc: -long read alert-

First, let’s get something out in the open. There is no such thing as “Watts RMS.” Get it out of your vocabulary. It is a misnomer. They are just “Watts.” When you apply a voltage of 1 Volt and you have a resulting current of 1 Ampere, the result is 1 Watt dissipated into the load. In describing AC signals engineers use the term RMS (root mean square) which describes the voltages and current in terms of an equivalent DC voltage or current. Thus a 1 Volt RMS signal over a given period of time has and equivalent EMF (electromotive force) as 1 Volt DC, and a 1 Amp RMS signal is equivalent number of electrons flowing as a 1 Amp DC signal. If you have a 1Vrms signal delivering 1Arms current the resulting power is still 1W, not 1Wrms. It doesn’t matter how many people use the term, or how long the terms has been used, it is still incorrect.

....

When it comes to amplifier ratings, I’m in the same camp as Paul Klipsch. Rating amplifiers in Watts is a bad idea. Some have suggested rating them in dBW (dB’s relative to 1 Watt) or in horsepower(!?), or as Mr. Klipsch suggested, Watts peak.

I would rather they be rated in Volts rms and drive capability, either specifying a load impedance or current capacity. Why does this make a difference you ask? Because rating an amplifier at 1000W gives consumers the impression that it is 10 times what a 100W amplifier is. In terms of sound output, that’s not the case. A 1000W amplifier will play 10dB louder than a 100W amplifier, if your speakers can take it (they can’t). So what’s 10dB? It’s only a relative doubling of apparent volume. 90dB SPL is twice as loud (to the human ears) as 80dB SPL, which is twice as loud as 70dB, which is twice as loud as 60dB. So what is the power difference between 60dB and 100dB SPL? 10,000:1. Which is part of the reason Paul Klipsch said, “All the world needs is a good 5 Watt amplifier,” or something like that.

Of course, you would also want a pair of Klipschorns if you only had 5 Watts… and he did.

So what can a 1000W amplifier do that a 100W model can’t do? It can play loud transients cleanly without clipping. And it can destroy your speakers very quickly if you get stupid with the volume knob.

But wouldn’t it be less expensive to have more efficient speakers than to pay for a bigger amplifier? Give yourself a cookie. It was true 60 years ago and it’s still true today*. If you increase the sensitivity of your speakers by 6dB, you can decrease you amplifier needs by a factor of four. Now your 25W amplifier sounds like 100W, and you aren’t in any danger of melting your voice coils. If you have K-horns, then your 25W amplifier sounds like 630W (compared to a speaker with a 90dB sensitivity rating), and a 100W amplifier sounds like 2500W. That’s what it means when Klipsch talks about dynamic range. (* Given the current state of power electronics it’s somewhat less true than it used to be, but there aren’t many 1000W per channel consumer amplifiers that don’t cost at least as much as a pair of K-horns. The more enlightened among us (or cheap, like me) just buy a nice Crown or QSC professional amp and call it a day.)

Source for more reading

Lots of GOOD info there to make smart decisions when purchasing your HT/Stereo system and necessary components. Do not let the sales reps lead you astray! Knowledge is power and your key to saving money.

Floyd, I know you've said you don't listen to loud music, and having a much more powerful amp isn't so much about quantity (loudness) but quality for your source material. General rule of thumb, more watts the better even if you never use them (watts) as you can definitely under power and destroy your speakers if poorly they are poorly matched but dont' get stupid with the volume knob either.

:cool:

P.S. Denon makes some good equipment as does pioneer, yamaha etc. The key thing is to find the amp that compliments your speaker as some amps just don't' sound right, can be pleasant or flat out harsh. Been there done that.

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