Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Audio help needed

Tuesday, 10 July, 2012

Okay, can of worms time.

I want to buy new speakers for my home entertainment system. I am not an audiophile, and am not too fussy on sound quality, but I do want it to sound decent. I have a Yamaha RX-V596 5.1 receiver, which apparently has 100 watts per channel. This has served me well so far and I plan to keep it for years to come.

It’s currently driving two front floor tower speakers that were hand built by a friend of my brother’s. I have no idea what sort of specs they have, but they’re big and sound pretty good to my ears. They deliver all the bass, because I don’t have a subwoofer. They also deliver the centre channel (split up to the sides by the receiver), since I also don’t have a centre speaker. The size is the main reason to get rid of them – my wife is basically calling shenanigans and wants to reclaim some space. The receiver also drives two small rear speakers, which are relics of the record player I had when I was a teenager. I have absolutely no idea of impedances or powers or anything about the system.

This mish-mash of a system has worked well enough for ten or more years, and sounds perfectly okay as far as I’m concerned. But I figure maybe if I upgrade to a matched 5.1 system with centre and subwoofer, things might be better. I hope to spend $1000 or under. This option caught my eye, for example. The thing is, this says the front speakers are 300 watts.

Now, is a receiver supplying 100 watts per channel hooked up to 300 watt speakers: (a) perfectly okay, (b) sub-optimal, but not a disaster, or (c) OHMYGOD!!! DON’T DO IT! IT’LL CATCH FIRE!!! Should I be looking for speakers exactly 100 watts each? Or speakers up to 100 watts but no more? Or speakers at least 100 watts? Or does it not really matter?

This won’t cement my decision on this particular option, but knowing the answer will inform my search.