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Is THD a scam?

 

New member
Username: Futureman22

Post Number: 4
Registered: Jun-04
I've been interested in home audio for some time now, but as a college student with no employment in sight I mostly live vicariously through the brag section of this message board. I am in the market for a receiver (most likely 5.1 because i dont have space or desire for 6 or 7). One thing that I find varies greatly between seemingly similar receivers is the THD. Give me the honest low down on it. Does it really matter that much? What is the most I should consider? I am thinking I will spend around 300 on a yamaha, pioneer, or sony and they vary in THD anywhere between 0.003 an 1.0. Let me know what I should do. Also, I am open to used equip on boards, and ebay and the like. Any tips on buying equipment. I'll reiterate (or just iterate? its a funny word) that I am very very very low on money and probably shouldn't be buying this receiver at all. I want something with at least 85wpc (pref 100) and I need s-video inputs and prefer some sturdy speaker posts. I realize I've strayed from the topic, but help a noobie out. Maybe one day i'll graduate and buy you all something nice.
 

Silver Member
Username: Kano

Post Number: 470
Registered: Oct-04
No receiver of any reasonable quality will produce distortion all the time. The THD stat refers to the point at which the amp starts adding distortion to the signal and at what wattage that occurs. There is no universal guidelines for this so most manufacturers use different levels of distortion, different frequency ranges, or just plain lie in order to have the "magical" 100 watts per channel on their stat sheet. The truth is that unless you have a very large room you will never need 100 watts per channel. While it's nice to have ample power reserves so you can turn it up as loud as you like, realistically unless you have difficult speakers to drive, 100W is excessive.

I own Polk speakers rated at 90 dB and a Harman Kardon AVR430 rated at 65 Watts per channel across all channels with 0.07% THD. I have never ran out of power.

Find some receiver and speaker choices you're interested in and post them. It will be easier to answer your question wth that information.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Audioholic

Post Number: 17
Registered: Apr-05
Don't get all caught up in amp specs. Especially THD specs. For one thing, they never tell you if the THD spec is mostly odd order or even order harmonics nor do they tell you if it's higher order or lower order harmonics. Having said that, there IS a universal test for THD and it's called ADHOC. The numbers can be fudged to look better than they sound by a wide margin though, so again, pay it no mind. The wattage spec Kano refers to is due to current capacity. As the speaker plays, it demands current, not wattage from the amplifier. The speaker is a reactive load( constantly changing) where amplifiers are tested using resistive loads (supposedly to simulate a speaker hooked to it's outputs). Make any sense? Hope this helps.
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 272
Registered: Mar-05
I agree with the other posters. THD and RMS are often very meaningless (if not outright deceptive) specs these days, since many manufacturers fudge their numbers like crazy.

Yes, your choice or receivers does matter even at this pricepoint. If you choose wisely you probably will not feel the need to upgrade for many years.

In your price range these would be my choices:

1. Harmon Kardon 235 ($340 shipped from pcmall.com) --- ignore the RMS numbers, HK is known for actually under-rating themselves.

2. Panasonic all-digital sa-xr55 ($264 shipped from jandr.com) --- this is the wildcard, I've read of many people giving up their thousand dollar separates for these new all-digitals.

3. Pioneer 914 ($309 shipped from dbuys.com)

Stay away from Sony, their stuff at this price range is garbage in fact their only decent stuff is their top-end ES series which are very overpriced. Their CD/DVD players though aren't bad for mass-market stuff.
 

Silver Member
Username: Paul_ohstbucks

Post Number: 696
Registered: Jan-05
Be careful who you take advice from.
https://www.ecoustics.com/cgi-bin/bbs/board-profile.pl?action=view_profile&prof ile=edster922-users
 

Silver Member
Username: Edster922

Abubala, Ababala The Occupation

Post Number: 278
Registered: Mar-05
geez Paul, can I hire you as my personal press agent? LOL
 

no name here
Unregistered guest
Paul, good one! Good detective work on Edster922.
Dave, don't worry about the THD. Anything over 1% could be an issue but these are usually only at very loud listening levels. At normal listening levels 90% of the receivers are excellent. Listen to the various makes and go by your ears.
mz
 

no name here
Unregistered guest
Paul, good one! Good detective work on Edster922.
Dave, don't worry about the THD. Anything over 1% could be an issue but these are usually only at very loud listening levels. At normal listening levels 90% of the receivers are excellent. Listen to the various makes and go by your ears.
mz
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