Originally Posted by absolutic
... When you tested the 146, was 30W a channel enough to fill a midrange living room?
We did a comparison side by side with our existing Yamaha RX-395. This is rated at 68w per channel (stereo only). The consensus seems to be that both Yamaha and h/k are more "honest" with their ratings than some.
- We had four identical (Polk) bookshelf speakers (100w). Two for each AVR.
- The h/k was set to stereo output only, surround OFF.
- We listened with each AVR set to the same setting on the volume knob.
- We chose different types of music and listened to them in both machines.
In terms of output, we thought the h/k matched the Yamaha exactly at every setting from -34dB (just above the 9 o' clock position) to -16dB (12 o' clock). The lower setting equated to comfortable listening, but above "background" music levels. The higher setting was comfortable, but was too loud to allow for conversation. Overall, we thought the h/k was better than the Yamaha (better sound, not more sound), but both were good (so buying a Yamaha would not be a "mistake" for us, just not quite as good as the h/k).
We are in L.A., so our rooms are smaller than most, but our living room is still about 24 x 18', and I do like to really "listen" to my music. For movies, I would not go quite as loud as a cinema, but still loud enough for explosions to sound convincing.
Our conclusion was that the h/k will very probably be our next AVR. We are still considering getting the slightly more powerful 147 though, just to give us some extra "legroom". You might also be interested to know that the most expensive h/k, with an MSRP of $3,000, still only boasts 85w per channel (x7): less than a JVC from Walmart at $130 and 100w per channel (x5) or a Pioneer from Circuit City at $160 also rated at 100w per channel (x7). It's something like comparing horsepower to torque. Torque is always more useful than horsepower, and do you really drive your Honda at 6,250 RPM so that you can get those 244 horses at low speeds?!