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RXV-1300 Speaker Question


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4 replies to this topic

#1 of 5 James Gillespie

James Gillespie

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Posted March 28 2003 - 05:12 AM

Greetings all,

I've recently upgraded my receiver to the Yamaha RXV-1300 and now I'm looking at new speakers. I've pretty much decided on Axiom speakers as they are highly rated here and approved by the wife. My question is this:

Am I better off getting one step down from the top of the line speakers, which are 8 ohms, and setting the receiver to the 8 ohm speaker setting or should I go with the top of the line (6 ohms) and use the receiver's 4/6 ohm setting?

I've done some research on ohms on this board, but it still isn't clear to me which would be better. I know 6 ohm speakers would put a bigger load on the receiver, but what does that mean to me other than additional heat? Do I have less headroom for volume? Am I more likely to clip at moderate volumes with the 6 ohm speakers? Can someone explain the difference as to how this decision affects what I hear and how my equipment performs?

Thanks!
James

#2 of 5 Adam.Gonsman

Adam.Gonsman

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Posted March 28 2003 - 05:52 AM

The short of it is buy whichever speakers sound better to your ears. You receiver is capable of driving 4 ohm speakers, 6 ohm will not be a problem.

The 6 ohm speakers will work the amps a little harder and probably produce a little more heat, but I highly doubt enough to worry about.

Most receivers limit their continuous wattage ratings at the lower impedance setting in order to hold on to low impetance swings when the speakers really take a dive on low tones.

For receivers, you'll often see something like 110 watts per channel at 8ohm or 100 watts per channel at 4 ohms for continuous output. But then they'll have more dynamic headroom. Max output will then be something like 165 watts per channel at 8 ohms or 250 watts per channel at 4 ohms. Please note, that this is very different from the way an external amp is rated since they are usually built to handle the loads of lower impedance speakers more adequately than a receiver.

This power limiting will essentially limit the absolute volume you can crank the system to, but since each doubling of power output only yeilds you a 3db gain, 10 or 20 watts difference at the upper end really doesn't make a whole lot of difference. All those guys out there with 85 watt Rotels and HK's can testify to that. (search the forum for speaker sensitivity if you want a more in depth explanation of how this works)

I don't know if Yamaha officially retards the continuous output on the 4ohm setting or not. I would imagine they do. My manual for my RX-V3300 only lists continuous power into 8ohm loads. I know that's the way Sony and I beleive Onkyo also handle this though. (someone correct me about Onkyo if I'm wrong) Your Yamaha will have more dynamic power though. This does NOT mean it will play louder with 6 or 4 ohm speakers. It really just means that it can handle the power swings of the lower ohm speakers.

However, the difference here between 8ohm and 6ohm speakers really isn't a big deal, at least not compared to 4ohm or even 2 ohm speakers. In fact, a lot of people recommend that for 6 ohm speakers, you leave your receiver on the 8ohm setting. I set mine to 4ohm personally (I have 6ohm speakers) but to be honest, I never really noticed much of a difference either way.

So, in short, don't decide to buy any speakers you haven't listened to. Go listen to the different Axioms and buy the ones you think sound the best. If you like the 6ohm models and can afford them, get them. Your receiver will happily drive them.

#3 of 5 Marc H

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Posted March 28 2003 - 05:57 AM

I don't think you need to worry too much about the difference in impedance. When you switch the Yamaha to 4 ohms, it's supposed to introduce more voltage to compensate for the lower load. In theory, it would lead to less volume but either of those Axiom speakers are so efficeint, you probably would not know the difference.
The strong point of the M80TiSe is their ability to play at extremely loud volumes but stay open sounding. They also have audibly deeper bass over the M60TiSe.
The M60TiSe has more focus to the stereo image though. Not saying the imaging of the M80TiSe is bad, it's not, but in a side by side listen, it is noticable.
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Marc Hallam
Audioshop
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#4 of 5 James Gillespie

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Posted March 28 2003 - 07:06 AM

Thank you Adam and Marc for the information. Now I need to see if I can get the high dollar speakers past the financial advisor (wife). Also, would there be any problems if I went with 4/6 ohm setting on the receiver but used 8 ohm speakers for the front? I would imagine not as the manual says it expects 4 ohms or higher for the mains, and 6 ohms or higher for evertying else on the 4/6 setting.

Plus, living here in Virginia, I don't have an opportunity to listen to the Axiom speakers before I buy, but I could use their 30 day guarantee if necessary. Since I'm currently using 10+ year old Pioneer's for the mains and Bose bookshelves (the horrors!) for the rears, I don't think I'm much of an audiophile, just hoping for a system that will sound nice when I'm done with it.

Thanks again!
James

#5 of 5 Adam.Gonsman

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Posted March 28 2003 - 08:35 AM

James,
There's never any danger driving higher impedance speakers on a lower impedance setting. So driving 8 ohm speakers or even 6 ohm speakers on the 4ohm setting won't hurt anything.

As for not being able to listen to them before hand, just about anything will be an improvement over those Bose. Posted Image I really don't think you'll be disappointed in what you're getting.