AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Southern California
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Given a choice between Yamaha and Pioneer, I would choose a NAD.
IMO the sound quality of both is lousy when you hook them up to actual speakers.
Power ratings are derived from a test with an 8 ohm resistor for a load, and ANY amplifier has essentially ZERO distortion connected to a resistor.
When you connect them to actual SPEAKER SYSTEMS, however, which put much a more difficult load on the amplifers, the cheaply designed Yamaha and Pioneer (and Onkyo and Anthem etc.) sound worse because they distort more (often 100 times what they do with a resistive load).
The NAD will have less distortion and sound better; end of story.
Shopping for an AVR by looking at power ratings is like shopping for a car by looking at nothing but the engine horsepower. It tells you very little and just gets in the way of more significant performance issues...like real-world distortion.
99% of the AVRs on the market have all the power you can use for most speakers. POWER is not a significant issue; SOUND QUALITY (distortion) is the issue.