HELP - Noob questions about receiver wattage and recommendations for receiver to power a pair of Polk Audio Monitor70s - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-04-2012, 06:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi everyone. Here is my scenario: I just bought a new house that will be finished in March so I wanted to get some new speakers. The house has an open floorplan where the kitchen, living room, dining room, are all connected, including vaulted ceiling throughout. I moved away from the idea of a surround setup and decided to get a pair of Polk Audio Monitor70s (2 total speakers) because I heard they were great for the money. I''ve never had a dedicated receiver so I don't know much about them. I hoped to pick up something under $250 that could push them. $300 would be my limit but again I would like to go cheaper if possible.

Monitor70's (2 total speakers)
Use: PS3, movies, music, record player(phono input needed)

Questions:

1. Can anyone recommend a receiver in my price range that would work well or have any advice on what to look for?

2. I've seen reviews that say you need at least 100w per channel to make these sound good. If I only plan to use the two monitor70's (but may pick up a center late), do I still need a receiver that has 100w per channel or will the power that would have been sent to the rears if I had them instead be directed to the fronts? I hope that makes sense...

Thanks for any and all information provided!

Mike
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post #2 of 8 Old 11-04-2012, 07:26 PM
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There are a lot of choices I would say onkyo, Yamaha , pioneer, and denon. Best bang for your buck would be onkyo. You should get 40 monitor 70s and and cs2 center channel. Then a budget subwoofer

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post #3 of 8 Old 11-04-2012, 07:29 PM - Thread Starter
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So will an 80 watt receiver push the Monitor70's? I kept reading that they needed 100watt or more per channel but I really don't know too much about wattage. I wont be playing this at ear bleeding levels. I just want to have some quality sound.
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-04-2012, 07:50 PM
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Depends on how loud you like to listen how many watts you need. If you play them quiet a 15 watt receiver would work great - not that there are many around these days. My vintage stuff is all rated between 25-58wpc.

If you think you will never upgrade to 5.1/7.1 surround sound then a 2 channel stereo receiver would work fine for you. The Onkyo 8050 and the Harman Kardon 3490 both have internal DACs for the occasional source that doesn't have analog out. Watch Harman Kardon's ebay store for the 3490 - they sell them on occasion for $299. Or buy the 3390 if you don't need the internal DACs of the 3490. I have a 3390 - it is 80wpc - same as the Onkyo 8050 - both are capable of driving those speakers to very loud levels.

Another option is to buy a 5.1 or 7.1 receiver - they work fine even if you never plug in more than two speakers. And most have bass management if you decide to add a sub later on. You can get some very good buys on an AVR at accessories4less.com. An AVR will have more features by virtue of economy of scale - they make many more of them than they do stereo receivers. And not using the other amp channels means more power is routed to the two that you are using. This depends on the power supply but generally 10% or more power is routed to the stereo channels in stereo mode than when all channels are driven. An AVR can also switch your HDMI sources for your display. This means less cables too.

Lots of options.

And the difference between 80wpc and 100wpc? Less than your ears can detect. Sound levels are measured on a logarithmic scale - not a linear scale.

When all else fails - RTFM!

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post #5 of 8 Old 11-04-2012, 08:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips. So I will probably pick up a center at some point and maybe a sub so would I need a 5.1 system for the center? Also Ive seen a number of yamaha and onkyo receivers in the 200 to 250 range at 80 watts per channel....would any of these put out enough power to play these speakers? Typin from my phone but can supply links later to ones im considering.
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post #6 of 8 Old 11-04-2012, 11:21 PM
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Polk recommends using between 20 and 275 watts per channel to power the monitor 70's. Any receiver or amp that has at least 20 watts per channel will power the speakers adequately. Also the 70s are pretty easy to drive with an efficiency rating of 90db/meter, meaning it takes 1 watt of power to reach a sound level of 90db at 1 meter distance from the speaker. Most speakers in most average sized rooms most of the time will be using 5 watts per channel or less at common volume levels with brief peaks in the apprx. 25watt per channel or so range. The difference between 80 watts and 100 watts per channel is around 1 db of volume. You need to effectively double the power to get a modest 3 db gain in sound level. 3 db is normally the least amount of volume gain needed to notice a significant difference in volume. So Basically what this means is you don't have to spend to much time concerning yourself with watts per channel ratings, just find whatever receiver that has the features you are interested in for the price you want to pay

I like the lower end denon avr's due to them having audyssey multieq room correction. Lower end onkyo's may have more features, but often they have sub par in my opinion room correction software. I am not that familiar with the avr offerings of other manufacturers so I cannot comment on them. You could also use a standard 2 channel stereo receiver if your intention is to stay 2 channel only. Sherwood offers decent stereo receivers for right around $100. You could also step up to something like the onkyo 8050 or HK 3490 for an even better stereo receiver that have more features.

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post #7 of 8 Old 11-05-2012, 06:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again for all of this information. Okay, I am going to stop worrying about watts per channel since it doesn't sound like it will be an issue. I think I will stick with a 5.1 system because I'd like to add a center channel one of these days. Would anyone recommend one of the receivers below?

Pioneer VSX-822-K 5.1-Channel 3D Ready A/V Receiver
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117409

Yamaha RX-V373 5.1-Channel AV Receiver
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007JF8FD8/ref=s9_simh_gw_p23_d0_i3?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=19H34X1YHRMTMA00NEFV&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=1389517282&pf_rd_i=507846

Sony STRDH520 7.1 Channel 3D AV Receiver (This may be overkill because it is 7.1 but it is in my price range and sounds decent)
http://www.amazon.com/Sony-STRDH520-Channel-Receiver-Black/dp/B004NHCGJO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352125985&sr=8-1&keywords=sony+receiver

Thanks for all help! This community is the best.
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post #8 of 8 Old 11-13-2012, 07:31 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all of the input! So I bought the Monitor70's and got a coupon for 35% off the Yamaha v473 and already have a $100 credit so could effectively get this receiver for $180. Do you guys think this would be a good match for the Monitor70's?

http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-RX-V473-5-1-Channel-Network-Receiver/dp/B007JF85VU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1352820655&sr=8-1&keywords=yamaha+v473
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