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Affordable 4 ohm receiver?

 

Tavish
Unregistered guest
I am looking for an affordable receiver (~$500) that will give enough power (~100 watts) to my five speaker Magnepan setup (with 4 ohm impedance). I have searched around but am unable to find a receiver that specifies its power output for 4 ohm channels. The only other requirement is that it has multi-room capability that will let me output to the 5.1 Magnepan speakers as well as my 4.1 (powered) PC speakers simultaneously. Does anyone have any recommendations?
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 247
Registered: Feb-04
For driving 4 ohms, you need high-current amps. In a receiver, look at NAD and harman/kardon. I don't know of any that will output more than stereo in zone II from speaker outputs. Would a digital output do the job?

Last year's h/k avr-325 is good and cheap if you can find it.
 

Silver Member
Username: Johnny

Missouri

Post Number: 460
Registered: Dec-03
Tavish,

As Peter elludes to, I think you are asking a little much for a receiver that only costs $500. First of all, finding a receiver that will give you a true 100 watts and that will drive 4 ohms will likely drive the price up higher than $500. I know that all NAD receivers can drive 4 ohms, but the only one that is anywhere near your budget is the older T742, and it only gets 50w x 5. Similarly, I believe that the HK receivers will push 4 ohms, but once again, you have to spend a lot more than $500 to get 100 watts. Also, be careful. There are a lot of receivers in your price range that will claim to get 100w (i.e. Sony, Yamaha, etc.), but in reality, they won't.

Check out this thread. This person is asking about several receivers that are just slightly over your budget. However, I am unsure as to whether they would push 4 ohms or not.
https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/108308.html

I think the biggest problem you are going to have when trying to find a receiever that fits your needs for only $500 is in regards to the second zone. All receivers that I know of in this price range, and even much higher priced, all only offer a 2 channel second zone output. I know that the Denon AVR-5805 will do two full 5.1 zones, but this receiver retails for $6000.

So, in short, if you want a full 5.1 powered second zone, it would be MUCH cheaper for you to just buy two receivers.
 

New member
Username: Noodle

Beaverton, OR USA

Post Number: 1
Registered: Nov-04
Well first of all I appreciate the feedback from both of you. I am very new to home audio equipment, so I'm not really knowledgeable as far as what receivers today can offer. I was reading another post on which receiver to use for a 4 ohm speaker setup:
https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/103527.html

Apparently someone on there claims he uses a NAD T753 to get the job done on his 5.1 set. I am more concerned about being able to output on the Magnepans than having the ability to play music on all my speakers at once. It looks like the T753 could be just what I am looking for. Any feedback?
 

New member
Username: Noodle

Beaverton, OR USA

Post Number: 2
Registered: Nov-04
Well first of all I appreciate the feedback from both of you. I am very new to home audio equipment, so I'm not really knowledgeable as far as what receivers today can offer. I was reading another post on which receiver to use for a 4 ohm speaker setup:
https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/103527.html

Apparently someone on there claims he uses a NAD T753 to get the job done on his 5.1 set. I am more concerned about being able to output on the Magnepans than having the ability to play music on all my speakers at once. To tell you the truth, I'm not really sure what a sufficient power output to each channel would be. However, it looks like the T753 could be just what I am looking for. Any feedback?
 

Silver Member
Username: Jonmoon

Post Number: 132
Registered: Dec-03
Tavish: from Audio Asylum:

Posted by bruce3825 ( A ) on December 19, 2002 at 22:40:36
In Reply to: Choosing components for mixed HT / music system posted by MixedMedia on December 19, 2002 at 11:42:56:


"Another receiver to consider is the NAD T752 ($900). I'll be trying one out at home this weekend through Xmas and will give my impression of it. It is a TRUE 80w/ch. Most, if not all, mass market receivers list their power under the best conditions, NAD is more realistic. Plus, later you can upgrade to a C270 amp, 120w/ch, for $600 for the front channels. NAD's are well known to handle the 4 ohm load of Maggies easily and the Dallas Maggie dealer recommends them (along with Rotel) as good budget choices. I can't remember specifically what it was, but the Outlaw Pre was missing a feature I wanted. I think it was changing channel levels "on the fly". After the NAD, the Rotel Pre ($1500) was the next most affordable that met my requirements. As to the center, I have the MGCC1 and love it. You may be able to pick one up on Audiogon or ebay for around $500. When you are just starting MCH, it's almost impossible to think of all things that will become important to you as to features. I went from a Pro-Logic system and thought it would be a snap. So the best advice I can give to you is try to think of all situations and adjustments you'll need before purchasing the pre/receiver. Pre-outs on a receiver are very important. Pre-ins, at least 3, give flexibility in system building. Look at how flexible the bass management is and if it can be bypassed in total. An Outlaw Maggie specific ICBM should be considered with a Maggie center and how it can be placed into a system. And the list goes on. Good luck. I think I'm finally on the right track as to what I want, my problem is affording it all.
Bruce"

And from the same poster:

"Posted by bruce3825 ( A ) on January 20, 2003 at 05:10:20
In Reply to: Ditch the receiver..... posted by Drew on January 19, 2003 at 08:03:22:


The NAD T752 (80 true watts/channel), which is what he is using I found out, may be underpowered for the 1.6's, but to call it mediocre is a bit stong. Not everyone can just go out and buy Levinson. In my opinion, for the money, the NAD's are head and shoulders above the mass market receivers, which you may be confusing it with. They are more resonable than Rotel which is more it's competition level. NAD does make more powerful amps (120 and 225) that can be used on the front channels without spending an arm and a leg. So please remember some of us are more on a budget than others and are doing the best we can on our way up the audio ladder. I have the T752 with 1.4 fronts and MGCC1 center (no Maggie surrounds as I was going for 1.6's in the front, but due to new factors in my life are out of the question currently) and the NAD and Maggies soung great together, in my opinion. The NAD is very smooth, detailed and airy sounding with a good dose of oomph in the bottom end. Then again, I was shocked at the bass the 1.4's produced with my old shrill, bright Onkyo (75 overated watts/channel). So to each his own, but please don't make fun of our lack of money.
Bruce"



Also, here is a review of the NAD T743:

http://www.soundstage.com/surrounded/surrounded.htm

I would think that the NAD T753 or even T743 would handle the Magnepans unless you have the 1.6s or up.



 

Silver Member
Username: Johnny

Missouri

Post Number: 462
Registered: Dec-03
Like I said, I know that NAD could handle your speakers, but it is quite a bit out of the price range you specified. The T753 retails for $999. I am sure that you can probably find it online for maybe 10-20% off of that, but you are still several hundred dollars over your budget.

Also, the T753 only offers a 2 channel second zone...and you would have to buy a separate power amp to get even that.

As any regular reader of the forum knows, I absolutely love NAD, and I recommend it highly. If you can stretch your budget that far, and if you drop your requirement for the full 5.1 second zone, I think you have found a wonderful match.
By the way, I have heard that the NAD and Magnepan combo is simply wonderful.
 

Silver Member
Username: Stone

West CoastUSA

Post Number: 112
Registered: Dec-03
Shoot for 999.00 you are getting into the price range of a used Sunfire Cinema Grand at 200 watts per channel. They sell on Audiogon for that low on occasion. There is one going for that price right now. You get equipment that is in very nice shape from Audiogon sellers, where reputation is everything.

But if you want new, the T753 should be right up your alley.
 

New member
Username: Noodle

Beaverton, OR USA

Post Number: 3
Registered: Nov-04
It looks like I should go with a NAD receiver, all things considered. Now my only question is: T753 or T743? It looks like the 753 outputs 70wpc and the 743 does 50wpc. I don't really have a sense for how much power this is in terms of listening. Will 50wpc be sufficient for playing things pretty loud in a home theatre setup? If so, then I'd rather go for the cheaper of the two receivers. Also, Johnny you mentioned that I would need a separate amp to run 2 channels on a second zone (which I believe both of these receivers are capable of doing). My second set of speakers are some Klipsch 4.1 Pro-Media (PC speakers) with their own power source. Would I be able to run these through the receiver and output on them (just in stereo) and the Magnepans all at once?
 

Silver Member
Username: Johnny

Missouri

Post Number: 465
Registered: Dec-03
Tavish,

I am a little confused by what you mean in regards to your computer speakers. I guess that I am not familiar with the type of speakers you are referring to. How are these speakers connected to your computer right now? Also, what do you mean when you say that they have their own power source? How are you planning on connecting the computer to the receiver?

Anyway, let me try to explain this whole second zone issue to you. On most receivers, even down to some of the cheaper ones, there is a A/B speaker switching. That mean, you have your normal surround setup in one room, and then another 2 channel (stereo) setup in another room...maybe out on a deck or something. One set of speakers (the surround sound) is connected to she speaker "A" terminals, and the second set of speakers (stereo) is connected to speaker "B" terminals. Hence the name "A/B speaker switching". You can run the A and B speakers either separately, or both at the same time. However, the thing that separates this from a true "second zone" is that the volume and source must be the same in both locations. So, if you are listening to a CD in one room at -20db, then you must also listen to the same CD at the same volume in the second room as well. Make sense?

Ok, with a true "second zone", the source and volume are independant of each other. So, you could be watching a DVD in the family room on the surround sound, and be listening to an audio CD (in stereo) at a different volume on the deck. This is true second zone capability.

The NAD T753 already has A/B speaker switching, as does the NAD T743. If you don't care about having independant source and volume in your second zone, then either one would work. However, if you want the true second zone, then you have to get a separate power amplifier to power the second zone. Only the T753 offers this feature. The T743 does not. So, if you want a true second zone capability, you will have to buy the T753, and you will need a separate 2 channel power amp.

Does all of that make sense?
 

Silver Member
Username: Petergalbraith

Rimouski, Quebec Canada

Post Number: 250
Registered: Feb-04
Okay Tavish,

You said 100W, but even the NAD T742 (US$399) is rated at 50W into 8 ohms. It is likely very close to 100W into 4 ohms, which is what you asked for.

Second, don't buy too much into the magical 100W per channel. Power doesn't scale linearly with sound pressure and hearing. The difference between 5W and 10W is the same as between 50W and 100W (3 dB). So even 50W is likely okay.

For a bargain, look at last year's NAD T742 for US$399 or, with much better features, the T752 for (I think) US$549.
 

New member
Username: Noodle

Beaverton, OR USA

Post Number: 4
Registered: Nov-04
Johnny,

Thank you so much for the clarification on the A/B speaker switching. Here's my explanation:

I currently have a PC hooked up to a Klipsch 4.1 speaker set. These speakers plug directly into my sound card for the audio and into the wall for the power.

Now what I would LIKE to do, is setup a 5.1 HT in an adjacent room. All of the audio and video will still be coming from my computer (which I will hook up to a projector and use its DVD drive for watching movies). So that means I would need to connect my sound card to the receiver, and either connect my powered set of PC speakers to the receiver as well, or somehow figure out a way to get dual output from a sound card (which would be the more desirable solution).

All things considered, I would like the setup to do all of the following:

1) Output only on my PC speakers in 4.1
2) Output only on the 5.1 HT speakers
3) Output on both sets of speakers simultaneously.

Now you said that the A/B speaker switching would only support stereo output on the second zone. I am okay with this. However, I am researching the possibility of getting two sound cards or one sound card with dual output, which would HOPEFULLY allow me to output on the 5.1 HT speakers (powered by the receiver) and also my 4.1 PC speakers (self-powered) simultaneously. I don't know if this is a real possibility or not, but any help or suggestions would be appreciated. So does that make sense sort of? I hope I didn't confuse anyone.

Peter,

If you've been reading along, this also changes things a little bit as far as which receiver to buy. As far as I know, the T742 and T752 do not support A/B speaker switching. IF it is possible to do the dual soundcard output option mentioned above, then a receiver lacking this feature would not matter and I would definitely buy either the 742 or 752.

However, if I can't find a way to setup dual output on my PC, I would have to opt for the T743 or T753, which support A/B speaker switching.

What do you guys think?
 

Silver Member
Username: Johnny

Missouri

Post Number: 466
Registered: Dec-03
I am afraid that I don't know too much about how computers and HT relate to each other. I do know that in order to hook up the computer to the receiver AND get the best sound from it, you will need more than just the typical sound card. To get the best sound from the DVD to the computer, you will need either an optical or digital coax cable...neither of which will plug into a standard computer sound card. Like I said, I am not up on all of this, so it may be as simple as using some sort of adapter. Or, you may have to change soundcards all together.
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