Understanding a/v receivers specs

leon30003

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Aug 14, 2012
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I read the main guide that does explicitly explain what I'm asking here,
but I need some extra help. I am potentially looking to build my first home audio speaker system. I really just need to know what should I look for in a good a/v receiver, and even the speakers. I have been browsing new egg and I see things like this:

Rated Output Power (1kHz, 2ch driven): 110W (8ohms, 0.9% THD)

Rated Output Power (20Hz-20kHz, 2ch driven): 100W (8ohms, 0.09% THD)

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=82-115-393&IsVirtualParent=1

I do not fully understand why there are 2 ratings here, and also why it says 2ch driven. Does that mean that only 2 channels will get good power or something?
Thank you for your help in advance!
 

catswold

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Jul 9, 2009
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Those numbers are pretty typical for good mid-fi equipment--not audiophile stuff, but far from drek.

The 1kHz power is an older measure based on driving the amplifier with a narrow signal (1kHz) which happens to fall in the power-band of the amplifier (most amps drive best in the 500Hz-10kHz range). You get a little more power, but much higher distortion.

The full-range power rating provides you with an idea of the quality of the signal each speaker will see. 100W 20-20kHz at 0.09 THD is pretty good. There's a whole lot more that goes into what makes a good amp vs. a bad amp, but the THD number is a good start. 0.09% is way below the level you could detect (it is arguable that even 1% is inaudible).

I note that it is rated as a 7.2 channel receiver, so your power ratings may be somewhat lower with all channels driven, but it will still be ample for most people.

Yamaha makes high quality stuff. They are a front-line manufacturer equal to Pioneer, Denon, etc.

I wouldn't hesitate a second at buying that receiver. It has ample power, and more, from the dynamic power ratings, it supplies ample current. In addition, it has a high quality Brown-Burr 192kHz/24 bit DAC.

No need to spend thousands on a receiver or amplifier. Speakers will be more critical than what your source is. Figure to spend at least as much on speakers as you do on the rest of your system (that rule holds for 2 channel sound, spend even more for surround). Don't buy one of those awful "home theater speaker systems" that you see advertised. You spend $900 on a receiver, plan on spending at least that on your speakers--hopefully around $1500-2000.

Again, I wouldn't hesitate a second to buy that Yammy. It is a top quality piece of home electronics.
 

redeye

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Apr 29, 2005
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most receivers have a central power supply, so if they spec'd one channel (and did not state it) that receiver would look more powerful...

no, THD is a measure of the "clean ness" of the signal passing though the amp, will not really tell you if the receiver sounds good.

because back in the day, Manufacturers cheated on their power measurements so the FTC mandated specific methods for measuring power...

Rated Output Power (1kHz, 2ch driven): 110W (8ohms, 0.9% THD)
bad receiver (only a good receiver if it was a "tube" amp receiver... )

Rated Output Power (20Hz-20kHz, 2ch driven): 100W (8ohms, 0.09% THD) good receiver

in short... do not get that receiver, it is bad. go with a receiver from denon, yamaha, harmon kardon, madrigral, sonic frontiers, to name a few. in short a company that makes receiver that cost more than a thousand dollars...


TL;DR... get a receiver than has a ARC channel, or is rated for 4 ohms.

it is more inportant to listen to the receiver than knowing it's specs... spend more than 600 on a brand-name receiver and you should be alright...

SHOP LOCALLY....

 

catswold

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Jul 9, 2009
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Those numbers are pretty typical for good mid-fi equipment--not audiophile stuff, but far from drek.

The 1kHz power is an older measure based on driving the amplifier with a narrow signal (1kHz) which happens to fall in the power-band of the amplifier (most amps drive best in the 500Hz-10kHz range). You get a little more power, but much higher distortion.

The full-range power rating provides you with an idea of the quality of the signal each speaker will see. 100W 20-20kHz at 0.09 THD is pretty good. There's a whole lot more that goes into what makes a good amp vs. a bad amp, but the THD number is a good start. 0.09% is way below the level you could detect (it is arguable that even 1% is inaudible).

I note that it is rated as a 7.2 channel receiver, so your power ratings may be somewhat lower with all channels driven, but it will still be ample for most people.

Yamaha makes high quality stuff. They are a front-line manufacturer equal to Pioneer, Denon, etc.

I wouldn't hesitate a second at buying that receiver. It has ample power, and more, from the dynamic power ratings, it supplies ample current. In addition, it has a high quality Brown-Burr 192kHz/24 bit DAC.

No need to spend thousands on a receiver or amplifier. Speakers will be more critical than what your source is. Figure to spend at least as much on speakers as you do on the rest of your system (that rule holds for 2 channel sound, spend even more for surround). Don't buy one of those awful "home theater speaker systems" that you see advertised. You spend $900 on a receiver, plan on spending at least that on your speakers--hopefully around $1500-2000.

Again, I wouldn't hesitate a second to buy that Yammy. It is a top quality piece of home electronics.
 

leon30003

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Aug 14, 2012
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Thank you so much for the quick replies you guys. My question was answered, but catswold i was wondering if you knew what I should look for in speakers? like are the stand up ones better than the smaller ones? or is there a set standard?

 

catswold

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Speakers are best chosen by actually going and listening to them (at home is preferable but not always practical or even possible). It is very hard to know how a speaker sounds by reading stats on a website. If you are stuck in far east Siberia or Timbuktu, then I would suggest looking at known good brands, like Polk, Definitive Technology (bi-polar speakers, which provide a very wide image and are especially good for surround sound, but also excellent for stereo--some like them, some don't), Infinity, Martin Logan (Logans are partial electrostatic which tends to make them very fast and detailed, but more expensive and a little forward), Klipsch (be forewarned, Klipsch speakers use horns which provide a different sort of sound; many prefer it, some dislike it), etc.

Floorstanding speakers normally provide deeper bass and a fuller sound . . . and they cost more. Smaller "bookshelf" speakers can be phenomenal and, unless you are listening to a lot of electronic music or watching movies, may provide plenty of bass for music (If you are watching movies in surround, then you will want a subwoofer no matter what).

I suggest you set your budget, then spend some Google time. If you are shopping NewEgg, then go to Amazon, and some of the other sellers, find your best delivered price and order them. Also visit audiokarma.org. It's a free to join forum where people discuss exactly what we are discussing. I would go visit the speakers forum, the modern day hi fi forum, and check out the vintage solid-state, tube audio, and member's systems sections as well.

You might even see me over there. :)
 

thee_prisoner

Distinguished
Hi all. I'm more of the rule of thumb, that you spend at least 3 times the amount on speaker but at least twice as much is good like Catswold said. Speakers have the hardest job of reproducing sound. SO spend the money!!

You have to listen before you buy. Shop local like leon 3003 mentioned.

Some other speakers to recommend:paradigm, NHT, Hsu(especially for subs), JBL, Legacy(fantastic speakers), Boston Acoustics, build your own and really the list goes on but Paradigm makes great value and good sounding speakers.

Also used really is the way to go. A new/used independent shop will help you. Nice thing most offer trade in value so if you buy some speakers and a year later you want to upgrade, you trade them in for full value. Same with the electronics, plus they have new cool stuff and almost new cool stuff and really cool old stuff! It costs less to buy and plus the trade in make it a good deal. That is the way I built up my stereo system, home theater and a really over the top PC surround sound setup.

Happy listening, the Prisoner...
 
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