AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Minneapolis, MN
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Companies have all sorts of deceptive ways that they can publish their specs. Most companies only test their receivers with two channels driven. That's why it always looks like they put out more power than they actually do. For example, the box of a receiver might say 110 Watts X 7, or 110 Watts per channel. Well, technically, there are seven channels, so they can say 110 Watts X 7. But, when you dig a little deeper into the manual or product page on their website, you'll see that it will say 110 Watts per channel (2 Channels driven). As soon as you start running all channels, the power drops, considerably.
Higher end receivers will usually put out more power and a lot of the time, reflect more closely, their rated power. The Elite receivers seem to always test really well. Odds are, if you buy a more high-end model, you're going to be getting better quality and better power. This isn't always the case, so it's always good to look for reviews or check here within the different owner's threads. Note that, if you thought your previous receiver worked well, you probably don't need anything more than that. Most people who listen to their content at low to moderate levels, never needs some gigantic, beefy receiver. Even when you have a huge receiver, you're likely never using all of that power. Unless, you're constantly watching movies at reference volume or you have a gigantic theater room in your house that you're trying to fill. A decent, mid-range receiver is usually more than enough for even an advanced home audio enthusiast.
That said, if you want to make sure you're getting decent power, stick with something that's at least mid-range in a company's lineup. The Pioneer Elites are great. Pioneer also has models that are identical to the Elites, they just don't carry the Elite logo and they're a few hundred dollars cheaper and don't sacrifice quality, such as the SC-1222 and SC-1522. Onkyo's mid-range to upper-end receivers also seem to be favorably reviewed in the power dept and go on great sales, often.
Really, the only way to ever know for sure if you're getting what a company claims is to find reviews on it. You can never really trust any of the specifications given by the company. No company ever has completely accurate specs as far as power output goes. It's always inflated or has an asterisk by the specs because there's some hidden footnote that you need to read.
Quote:Of course, I got it modified with the TK-427, which cheeks it up another, maybe, 3 or 4 quads per channel.