Mixing recievers with speakers

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Danny_JP, Aug 8, 2004.

  1. Danny_JP

    Danny_JP Extra

    May 12, 2004
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    Im looking to buying a speaker system and a reciever sepearately. What exactly should I be careful of when matching the two together? I know that the speakers should be able to handle the maximum output of the reciever to prevent overloads but im not quite sure about ohms. If the reciever's output power is based on 6 ohms and the speakers nominal impedence is 8 ohms, is that bad or what does that mean exactly? Also, anything else that I should be looking out for would be good to know.

    Thx in advance
  2. Jeff D.

    Jeff D. Supporting Actor

    Jul 10, 1999
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    Very simply, the impedance rating (or ohm rating) of a speaker measures its resistance to the power fed to it by the receiver. The higher the impedance, the higher the resistance. Therefore, a 4 ohm speaker draws twice as much power from a receiver as an 8 ohm speaker.

    One sidenote: despite what any manufacturer says, a speaker does not have one impedance. Impedance is a function of frequency, and the impedance graph for a speaker reveals quite a variety of impedances across the audible band. The manufacturer will simply find a suitable average in order to rate their product.

    Unless you plan on driving things really hard, you don't need to worry so much about power ratings. For example, you don't need to worry if the receiver you choose puts out 100 watts but that speaker you really like is only rated at 75 watts. Again, unless you are listening at very high levels, you are unlikely to push the limits of the speaker.

    Too little power is more dangerous than too much. If the amp you have purchased is not capable of delivering enough power, it will begin to clip, distorting the sound and potentially permanently damaging your speakers (which will not be covered under the manufacturer's warranty).

    Impedance is a bit more important and should be noted. The receiver manufacturer should state what their product is capable of handling. If it says "8 ohm only", then listen to it - the power supply will not be able to handle a 6 or 4 ohm speaker. Often times this rating will vary depending on the number of speakers used. For example, it might say "1 pair: 4 ohms, 2 pairs: 8 ohms".

    Keep all this in mind but don't worry too much about specs. Be sensible, know the levels you want to achieve, and make sure impedance ratings are compatible. Other than that, just listen with your ears to make an informed choice. [​IMG]


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