Signal to noise ratio?


Ok I know what it stands for and describes, just what would be considered a "good" number for this in terms of hi fidelity?
Take a situation of 2 amps one with a 92 db signal to noise and the other 115 db signal to noise, considering everything else equal how AUDIBLE will this be if at all?
Can a 92 db signal to noise ratio be considered real HI-FI (in true electronic terms)?

Actually, anything over 80 is good. With nothing playing, you would hear a slight background hiss. We are kind of spoiled these days but there was a time when hitting Play on any device brought up a veil of hiss. Since the CD has come out, with its 96 db of s/n ratio, that's all changed.

It's unlikely that you will be able to hear the difference between 92 and 115 during general listening. If you walk up to the speaker you might.

Also, check the spec sheet on the amps. Some manufacturers rate the s/n ratio at -20db or at 1 watt. For a 100 watt amp, you could add 20db to the rated s/n. That 92 db amp could actually be closer to 112 db.

Hope that helps.

Derek is correct. I would only be concerned with a poor S/N ratio if the equipment has other measurements that are also poor. Not that they will necessarily be audible---but it would make me wonder about the engineering, the design, and the care of manufacture.

Thanks guys
What other major measurements should I consider to indict on a good engineering, design care of the manufacture? and what would be a good factor?

The main items to consider on a receiver are the power supply, the ease of use of the remote, whether or not the receiver has on screen display (OSD-displays on the monitor), has the formats you want (the various Dolby, DTS, Neo, 5.1 through 7.1 surround), THX certification (there are good receivers without THX, but it can be assuring), the delays and sound alterring modes you may want, the input and outputs you may want (now and in the future), good bass management (very important for SACD and DVD-Audio play), phono jack (some people still want to play LP's), some receivers have manual or automatic speaker/acoustic calibration), and stereo bypass switch (passes the signal direct from the source without digital manipulation, or in the case of cd's only one D/A alterration).

I am sure there are others you may want to consider. But these come readily to mind. You must realize that in the $250 to $1,000 price range of A/V receivers most companies (to keep the prices where they used to be when we only had stereo receivers)have greatly cheapened the power supplies to keep the price points from going through the roof. Only a few companies have very good power supplies under $1,000---such as NAD,Arcam, Rotel, and Outlaw Audio to name the ones that come readily to mind. This doesn't have to be terribly important if you are driving efficient 8 ohm speakers. But in the popular brands like Denon, Pioneer Elite, Onkyo, Harman Kardon, Marantz, etc. you usually have to go up in price range to get "honking" power supplies. As I am most familiar with Pioneer Elite you have to get the 47tx and the 49tx or 49txi to get truly massive power supplies. Not that the 45tx, 53tx, and 55tx, are bad---they aren't--but they don't have the amperage that gives the push to have expanded headroom in the power envelope.

Without a doubt, the Outlaw Audio at $499 (if you can live without Dolby Prologic II) has the best power supply at its price point--and probably better than most up to $1,000. In the old days of stereo, almost every receiver in the $400 and up price range could easily play 4 ohm speakers. Not the case today. And I am sure it is due to the cost of adding 5 channel amps, all the surround chipsets, and everything else that goes along with surround sound AV receivers. If they built them to the same quality now, most of the cheapest quality receivers would probably cost at least $800 and up.

BUT REMEMBER--if you get efficient 8 ohm speakers this doesn't have to be a huge issue.

Thanks G-man for the detaild reply :-)
I was actually asking regarding electronical measurments that can effect the sound quality, like Signal to Noise ratio?

To be accurate:
I am regarding scientific\electronical measurements that can be found on the amp section of a receiver spec sheet that will tell me how clean and well engineered the amp is? and how audible they will actually be?
Thanks for your time
« Previous Thread Next Thread »

Main Forums

Today's Posts

Forum Help

Follow Us