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I want to try and better understand what to look for when matching speakers and receivers. I know it doesn't have to do so much with watts per channel, and more to do with Impedance, and Efficiency.

So here are the specs of my fronts and center channel.

Polk Audio Monitor70 Series II
Overall Frequency Response 30Hz - 25kHz
Lower -3dB Limit 40Hz
Upper -3dB Limit 24kHz
Nominal Impedance 8 ohms
Recommended Amplifier Power 20 - 275 w/channel
Efficiency 90 dB
Crossover 2.6kHz and 2.6kHz cascade tapered 2nd order


Polk Audio CS2
Overall Frequency Response 55Hz - 25kHz
Lower -3dB Limit 60Hz
Upper -3dB Limit 24kHz
Nominal Impedance 8 ohms
Recommended Amplifier Power 20 - 175 w/channel
Efficiency 90 dB
Crossover 2.3kHz, second order high and low pass


So how do I take that data and use it when looking for a good matching receiver?

I just got these speakers and to test them out I borrowed my friends older Denon AVR 486 receiver and played a CD using a digital input. I don't have a sub or surrounds yet so it was just the fronts and center. They sounded fine, no signs of distortion, but it didn't really blow me away. That could have more to do with fine tuning the receiver, and not having a sub connected.


Denon AVR 486 that I borrowed from my friend
Front 75W + 75W (8 ohms, 20Hz - 20 kHz, 0.08 % THD)
Center 75W (8 ohms, 20Hz - 20 kHz, 0.08 % THD)
Surround 75W + 75W (8 ohms, 20Hz - 20 kHz, 0.08 % THD)
Surround Back 75W + 75W (8 ohms, 20Hz - 20 kHz, 0.08 % THD)


Would a newer better receiver give me much improvment? I have posted in the past looking for suggestions on receivers, but this time I am more looking for the reasons why a receiver is a good match. That way if I see a receiver in the future I can tell right away if it will be a good fit.


Thanks guys!
 

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I'm not sure if this older Denon AVR has Audyssey, however, the newer ones do and you will likely be "blown away" once your AVR and speakers are properly optimized.

Although Polk are a good brand of speakers, there are not typically "top line".

There is a far more significant (audible) difference between speaker (brands), than there is between AVRs of similar price.
 

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What is Audyssey? It that an auto calibration type of thing?

The other thing I read about is adjusting the AVR's crossover, but I am not sure how to figure out what to change it to.
 

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Yes, Audyssey is Denon's name for auto calibration, however, Denon does much more than some other AVRs when it comes to "auto calibration" - it provides appropriate volume for each speaker, appropriate equalization for each speaker, appropriate crossovers for the sub. If desired it can provide dynamic volume and so on. Audyssey has been discussed in this forum many times and a search for the term should find several previous discussions. Here are a couple:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=121625

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=83634

Here's an FAQ on what features to look for in an AVR:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=76082

The crossover setting for an AVR that doesn't do it for you would be roughly 10 or so dB above the lowest frequency response of your existing speakers - it depends on how "aggressive" the specs are for your speakers. On many AVRs the default is around 80dB.
 

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Thanks for the info.

I know what features that I want in an AVR. What I am looking for is what I should look for to make sure the AVR is a good match to my speakers.

Is there any FAQ explaining what specs to look at like the Ohms and Efficiency and how to find a receiver that will work well? I couldn't find anything with a search.
 

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Impedance is discussed in the following thread. Unless you're planning on using 4 ohm speakers, this is usually a non issue.

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=62722

Efficiency is simply how loud your speakers will be for a given Wattage - if you have inefficient speakers, then you may need a bit more power, but power is overrated.

Since you already have 8 ohm speakers that are relatively efficient, you can concentrate on getting the AVR you want without worrying about these speaker specs. The speaker crossover is where the woofer crosses over to the tweeter in the speaker and has nothing to do with the Sub crossover frequency.

Here's that thread:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=131056
 
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