Receiver recommendations with 4 ohm speakers

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by TimU, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. TimU

    TimU Auditioning

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    Hey guys,

    I am looking for recommendations on receivers for 4 ohm speakers. Currently I have two Polk SDA-2 speakers that are 4 ohm, and i plan on adding two Polk LSI surround speakers (which are also 4 ohm) and a Polk LSI center channel (also 4 ohm) to make it surround sound. My question is which receivers would be able to drive the 4 ohm speakers without having problems. My budget is in the sub $1000 range.

    Thanks for your help!

    Tim
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Receivers that can effectively handle a 4 Ohm load on all channels are not going to be very common under $1K. You might consider the NAD T763 or 753 or a used/b-stock 762. The Marantz SR8300 is on sale because it was recently discontinued. It is rated for 6 Ohms minimum, but I am running 4 Ohm mains with it without issue. I still off loaded my center to a monoblock amp to make sure everything would be fine, but with them all hooked to the receiver it was still able to handle the impedance.
     
  3. Luitz

    Luitz Stunt Coordinator

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    Well gunna plug Onkyo/Integra again
    All models will run 6/4 ohms all channels. Although some dont say it. It is fine.
    Models Onkyo - TX-NR801 /Integra 7.4 and up state on rear panels its okay
     
  4. Robert Cowan

    Robert Cowan Supporting Actor

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    yamahas are fine. i drive maggies with mine as of now. it does a good job. and maggies are pretty rough. (they are 4 ohm)
     
  5. marc_manny

    marc_manny Stunt Coordinator

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    denon says that their receivers can be run at 4ohms.

    Marc
     
  6. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    Denon told my friend , who bought a 2803 receiver, NOT to use 4 ohm speakers. They said you're supposed to use 8 ohm or higher. If you put 4 ohm speakers with a Denon, and have trouble with the receiver, that's related to using wrong speakers, the warranty will be void. They said most receivers can handle a couple ohms +/-. A lot of JVCs have a switch on the back, for 4 or 8 ohm speakers. I have Allison speakers that are 4 ohm, and my JVC has never run hot at all. When I watch action movies, I crank it up and leave it, for the whole movie. JVCs give you a lot of bang for the buck! If you compare with a receiver that's the same price range, you'll find the JVC gives more features and more inputs, for that money. Some people refuse to give JVC the credit they deserve.
    Good luck with whatever you decide.........
     
  7. Paul S

    Paul S Stunt Coordinator

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    There is no such thing as a 4 or 8 ohm speaker in the real world. It all depends on what frequencies are being amplified as to what ohmage the speaker is drawing. You can use 4 ohm speakers on just about any amp. If you play your system too loud the amplifier protection will kick in and simply shut your system down without damage.
     
  8. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    If there's no such thing as 4 ohm or 8 ohm in the real world, why did Denon tell my friend not to run 4 ohm speakers? Maybe because if you try to run 4 ohm speakers with a receiver that's meant to drive 8 ohms or higher (Denon, by their own say), can make the receiver run very hot? I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want my receiver's protection kicking in every few minutes. I'd want my receiver to be able to handle the speakers.

    Since Denon has engineers that design high end equipment, and Denon has been building and selling high end equipment for many years, I think they are reliable in what they say, about their own stuff. If it applies to their stuff, I'll bet it applies to all the different brands. Also, why would JVC put a switch on the back, for 4 ohm or 8 ohm, if there's no difference? I think there's a very big difference, for these companies to bring attention to these things. They and I think you should match the receiver with the speakers you'll be using, instead of going through the frustration and aggrevation of receiver protection.
    Again, good luck with whatever you decide........
     
  9. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Again, this is not correct. While 4 Ohm speakers may work with just about any amp, that does not mean the amp can handle the lower impedance load at a given SPL without distortion. Not all receivers/amps utilize the same type of protection circuitry, and driving them to the point of shutting down puts your speakers at serious risk of damage, not the receiver.

    Receivers with a switch are not necessarily the answer either.
     
  10. John S

    John S Producer

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    Nominal load considerations for power amps is nothing new. People have had to adhear for years to these ratings for their power amps.

    I would get a receiver that states in the owners manual that it is made to run with 4 ohm speakers, if you intend to put the 4 ohm speakers all the way around.


    Now with any receiver, I wouldn't hesitate to put one or two channels on 4 ohm speakers. But an entire 4 ohm 5 speaker / channel setup, I'd make sure the receiver states it is ok to run with this.
     
  11. Stephen Hopkins

    Stephen Hopkins HW Reviewer
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    The Sony 4ES had a current limiting switch for 4ohm speakers. Not sure about the newer ES line.
     
  12. JohnSer

    JohnSer Stunt Coordinator

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    Whichever receiver you choose, make sure it has preouts for all channels. Even if you find a receiver, that handles all channels with 4 ohm, it will most likely, be strained, at best. By going to seperate amps, you will be able to improve this. I have a HK520, which is said to have a better power supply, than many receivers, and it sounded strained while at higher spls, with 4 ohm mains, center and surrounds eight ohms. You can help the problem by setting a high crossover to the sub, but in the end, you'll want seperate amps.

    JohnSer
     
  13. John S

    John S Producer

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    Great advice JohnSer....

    I really like 4 ohm speakers for separate power amps, they love and thrive on such loads.

    Most separate power amps, actually will just keep drawing more from the wall, and never cut out on you, until you blow a breaker... lol
     
  14. Paul S

    Paul S Stunt Coordinator

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    I have used many receivers throughout the years and I have never had one have a problem driving 4 ohm speakers.
     
  15. JohnnyN

    JohnnyN Stunt Coordinator

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    Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but all things being equal, speakers with lower nominal impedance place a greater load on the speaker than speakers with higher nominal impedance?

    My denon 4802 powers the following speakers:

    Fronts: Canton Ergo 90 4ohms
    Center: B&W CDMCNT 8 ohms
    Surrounds: B&W CDMSNT 8 ohms
    Surround Back: B&W VM1 8 ohms

    When I listen near reference levels, certain scenes in certain movies where all speakers are firing at certain frequences will cause the receiver to reliably autoprotect shutdown.
     
  16. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    If you have worked in a repair shop like I have you'd know why.
     
  17. TimU

    TimU Auditioning

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    Thanks for all of the information!

    It sounds like the way to go would be to get a receiver with preouts and get a separate amp.

    JohnnyN, do you have any trouble using 4 and 8 ohm speakers together? Do you have to do anything special when the impedences are mixed?

    Tim
     
  18. JohnSer

    JohnSer Stunt Coordinator

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    FWIW, the only real way to tell how well a receiver will handle any particular 4 ohm speaker, is to try it. The problem is in speaker nominal ratings. An eight ohm nominal speaker can easily have certain frequencies where it dips to 6 ohms and possibly 4 ohms, But because for much of the frequency range it is at or above 8, it gets rated as nominal 8. Nominal four ohm speakers can have dips to 2 ohms, which can even tax some lowend power amps. To compound the problem, the dip usually occurs at a low frequency, which suck even more power, than higher frequencies. One measure of a good power amp is, it can double down the amout of power, with halving of resistance. So if your amp is rated at 100W into 8 ohms, it would need to do 200W into 4 ohms. If you can even find a 4 ohm rating on a receiver, it will be an "instantaneous" value vs continuous. ie only as long as the PS caps can discharge. To be able to double down at 4 ohms, requires large power supplies and heatsinks, which are impossible to cram into todays receivers. Also, large transformer, caps, and heatsinks, raise the price considerably. Some top of line receiverss, come close, but think it is still a compromise.

    PS: Here is an article on power amp power supplies, that is not too technical, but you will quickly get why a receiver designer, whould be challeged. TnT Power Supply Article


    JohnSer
     
  19. Ed Moxley

    Ed Moxley Cinematographer

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    Shane.........
    What kind of problems did you find with the JVCs?
    I've been using several pieces of JVC equipment, for over 12 years and have never had one minutes trouble with any of the pieces. I've had 2 receivers over the years. A friend heard my setup, right after I got it, and he went and bought one just like it. He's never had a minutes trouble with his. On the different forums I go to, people say they've used JVC for years, without any problems. So, what are all the problems?
    Every brand of equipment has problems now and then. Do you bad-mouth all the other brands too?Go over to hometheaterspot.com and they have forums listed for each of a bunch of different brands. Each brand's forums are full of people having problems with that brand...........yes, including JVC too. I'll bet people have trouble with the same brand of equipment you use!
     
  20. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Agreed this is fairly normal. When the techs I worked with swore off their products, then I took note of that. This combined with my sourgrapes episode with JVC has tainted my opinion with regards to JVC recievers.
     

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