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Help buying a receiver/amplifier for a new home with built-in speakers

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I recently purchased a home that has speakers installed in the ceiling, attached to a central area where there was a receiver (which the former owners took with them). I'm looking to replace this receiver with something basic (the only thing it will be used for is to play music through a small nettop computer, Airport Express or something similar).

I want to get an amp that has enough juice to power all the speakers at once, but I want to spend as little as possible. What are the minimum stats (mostly watts/channel and impedance) I need?

Here are the specs of the system:
- 5 sets of Niles Series 2 Model 77 speakers are in-ceiling, 6" across, and apparently have an impedance of 8 ohms, and maybe a max 50 Watt power (according to this post on eBay and this one at Crutchfield, though the manual doesn't mention power).
- 1 set of speakers is outdoors - Niles OS-1, which, according to the manual, have a nominal impedance of 4 Ohms, and a recommended 5-60 Watts/channel to power them.
- There is a hub for the speakers (where all 6 speakers connect to a single input), which is a Niles SPS-6 Speaker Selection System. The manual for this device indicates that no more than 100 Watts/channel at 8 Ohms should be used.

Is there a problem that the outdoor speakers have a 4 ohm impedance while all other speakers are 8 ohms?

I looked on Amazon and found a Pyle PCA3 which has 75W on 2 channels and is about $47. Will this work, or is that not enough power (or the wrong impedance)? There's also a 40W per channel model for about $40.

Any help is appreciated!
Edited by jbroses - 8/3/12 at 5:14pm
post #2 of 4
I'm in the same boat, except that I need to also get a new speaker selector box. Crutchfield has a pretty good explanation here
This includes example power per speaker for different power ratings. 75W per channel is pretty weak if all 6 pairs are selected, but looks better as fewer pairs are selected at one time. I'm going to hook an old pro logic receiver to the box and use a zone 2 preout from a newer receiver to feed the pro logic receiver.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
So it sounds like I want to get as close to 100W/channel as I can, so I can fully power everything if I need to. However, it sounds like going over 100W is bad. Can someone confirm what that means? Bad only if I crank it? OK for normal volume? What about the difference between the 4 ohm and 8 ohm speakers?

I looked a little further and found this:

http://www.amazon.com/PT260A-Channel-Stereo-Receiver-Tuner/dp/B0037WLS4U/ref=sr_1_38?ie=UTF8&qid=1344086585&sr=8-38&keywords=mini+stereo+amplifier+100+watt

It's 100W/channel, inexpensive, but the power specs confuse me:

Power main: 50W x 2 @ 8 ohm 100W x 2 @ 4 ohm

Can someone help me piece this together? Sorry I'm such an amateur...
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quick update (in case anyone else can use this info) - I settled on a AudioSource AMP-100. It's 2 channels x 100W. I've had no problems, all the speakers sound great, and while I haven't tested every set on at the same time, I've had no problems with 2-3 sets being on simultaneously.

The key feature here is auto-off - now my amplifier isn't constantly on when no one is listening to music.
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