Receiver suggestions for HTF Level II's?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by AaronMK, Apr 24, 2002.

  1. AaronMK

    AaronMK Supporting Actor

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    I am considering making a receiver and speaker purchase in about a month. My budget is capped at $1000. I have pretty much decided to go with the HTD Level II set based on good reviews I've read on the brand.

    I am looking for recommendations for a receiver that is less than $400 to go with these speakers. The rooms it will be in are not terribly big (an 8'x12' dorm and a 14'x16' room at home), and I usually listen at a volume that sounds slightly lower than the average movie theater in these rooms.

    I am considering the Onkyo TX-SR500 ($300), but I am also wondering how to factor in its relatively low 65-watts per channel (is the importance of this spec overemphasized), versus more powerful, but I would suspect lower quality of a comperably priced 100 watt per channel Pioneer or Kenwood, for example.

    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Jeff Keene

    Jeff Keene Supporting Actor

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    Do you happen to know the efficiency rating of the speakers? This rating tells you how "loud", in db's the speaker can run with 1 watt (usually measured a meter away). From there, double the wattage for every 3 decibels. That will give you some idea how much power you'll need. You'll want some headroom above the db level you intend to use, so the receiver won't be struggling.

    As for comparing power ratings for different equipment, it is important to read the fine print. 65 watts x 5 with all channel's running across the frequency range is probably more powerful than 100 watts with only 1-ch driven at a time at a single, arbitrary frequency.
     
  3. AaronMK

    AaronMK Supporting Actor

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    Thanks for the advice.

    The sensitivity for the center and the mains is 90db and 89db respectively.

    So a 65 watts x 5 receiver would be able to get 107 db out of each of these speakers, and 100 watts x 5 would be able to get 109 db? Is this correct? That does not seem like much of a difference, but the logorithmic nature of the db scale has always confused me.
     
  4. Jeff Keene

    Jeff Keene Supporting Actor

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    That looks correct (don't have enough fingers available to do the math at the moment [​IMG] . Speaker specs usually also have a "recommended wattage", but this seems more subjective to me than other specs.
    There also seems to be more to it than just a watts vs. sound pressure level, although it is important to have a general understanding of how "loud" you want to be able to play. You also want some headroom, because the second the amp starts to struggle, distortion creeps in.
    The bottom line is that these speakers sound like they are pretty efficient, so I don't think you're going to have trouble running them at a good volume. This being the case, I would put more stock in a lower-noise, cleaner, higher-current receier than I would in one without these qualities but with a higher wattage rating. Unfortunately, I don't really know enough to compare receivers in this price range. Onkyo has a good reputation, but whether it is truly better than Kenwood or Pioneer or whether that's just my perception is open to debate, I'm sure.
     

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