The amplifier element in your receiver ensures that the audio signal that comes from your components (Blu-ray player, media player, etc.) is amplified and sent to your speakers. There are also several “filters” and chips that adjust or improve the sound, but the most important thing is that the amplifier just ensures that you get well amplified sound from your speakers.
Amplifier element for attention
What are the points for attention when purchasing a suitable amplifier (and therefore receiver)? First of all, it is important that the amplifier can drive all speakers at the level you want. Does the amplifier supply enough power and, above all, can the amplifier deliver this power to all connected speakers at the same time? If you live small, your wishes in terms of assets will be minimal. Others may want to feel the ground vibrate in their large room and require more power.
It is difficult to estimate what the capacity should be for certain wishes or spaces. Many manufacturers have their own method for specifying the power. Comparing specifications is therefore very difficult.
More information: Speaker specifications (If you want to know more about the specifications of speakers in relation to a receiver, such as Wattages, Ohms, THD, etc.)
We can, however, give a number of pointers;
- ‘RMS’ and ‘peak power’: RMS stands for Root Mean Square. It is a technical term that we will not explain further. Simply put, it means average, continuous power.
- Number of channels outputted: Some manufacturers specify powers when only two channels are in operation. That way, the numbers are flattering. When you pay for a multi-channel amplifier, it must provide the power with all channels in operation. Pay attention to this when you are looking for a receiver.
- Frequency range: The range over which the amplifier can deliver the specified power. Some manufacturers only specify the power as eg 100 W at 1 kHz, a tone in the middle range that any amplifier can handle well. What really matters is what the amplifier does at the ends of the audible area. Ideally, an amplifier would have a bandwidth of 20 Hz (low bass) to 20 kHz (highest high). It is generally accepted that human hearing ranges from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, hence.
- Impedance: Measured in ohms, this number simply gives the resistance of the speaker to the signal from the amplifier. Importantly, a different impedance also produces a different power and some manufacturers use that to boost their power ratings. For example, an amplifier of 75 watts per channel at 8 ohms can easily be “upgraded” to one of 100 watts per channel by lowering the impedance to 6 ohms.
If a speaker has less resistance than the output of your receiver / amplifier can handle, then the receiver / amplifier is “surprised” that the power goes away so easily. More power than the receiver can deliver according to the booklet, so the receiver gets warmer.
If a speaker has a higher resistance than the amplifier, it is more difficult for that receiver to send the current through the speaker, more is lost. So you have to adjust the volume knob up for the same sound pressure. So you can tune speakers or your receiver, but usually a speaker must fit on an amplifier without any problems.
Be careful comparing the specifications of amplifiers. Let a specialized Hifi shop advise you about your receiver / amplifier and the combination with speakers. There are cheap receivers / amplifiers of between 300 and 400 euros, but it is absolutely advisable to invest at least 150 to 200 euros more. You are guaranteed to hear this in the quality of your sound and this is also reflected in the possibilities of the receiver. Please note that you do not combine a low-quality receiver with high-quality speakers. Make sure that both products are on the same level in terms of quality.