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post #1 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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External amp recommendations?

Hi everyone,

I'm building my first home theater using a Marantz 6012. I will be adding a Furman line conditioner and want to do 7.1.4 speaker configuration.

Reading articles and taking some recommendations from this forum I am thinking of buying an external amp to power my front speakers and let my receiver power the rest of my speakers.

Could you please share any insight on crown branded amplifiers? I would need a three channel amp for sure; but I don't know how many watts I need to look for?

Can anyone please steer me in the right direction on this one?

Thank you!
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post #2 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 12:53 PM
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External amp recommendations?

What speakers and sub?
Room size?

(I dont know much about crown amps but this is information which is very useful for those who do to get)
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post #3 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 01:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leeliemix View Post
What speakers and sub?
Room size?

(I dont know much about crown amps but this is information which is very useful for those who do to get)
I will be purchasing Martin Logan 4ohm speakers; I have an SVS Sub.

Room is 17x23
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post #4 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozorowsky View Post
Could you please share any insight on crown branded amplifiers? I would need a three channel amp for sure; but I don't know how many watts I need to look for?
The Crown is a Class D PA amp. You'll see a lot of AVS forum does not hold such amps in high regard, but they do provide a lot of power for the money. The question is, do you actually need all that power? What leads you to believe your Marantz AVR will not be able to handle it?

But if you truly do need an external 3-channel amp, here are some options:
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=15594

https://emotiva.com/collections/amps...cts/xpa-3-gen3

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post #5 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Pete7874 View Post
What leads you to believe your Marantz AVR will not be able to handle it?
Nevermind that comment. For 7.1.4, you will need an external amp.

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post #6 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Pete7874 View Post
The Crown is a Class D PA amp. You'll see a lot of AVS forum does not hold such amps in high regard, but they do provide a lot of power for the money. The question is, do you actually need all that power? What leads you to believe your Marantz AVR will not be able to handle it?

But if you truly do need an external 3-channel amp, here are some options:
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=15594

https://emotiva.com/collections/amps...cts/xpa-3-gen3
The Marantz manual says "You can connect speakers for 11-channels for Main Zone by using an external power amplifier"

This leads me to believe it can only handle 9 channels.

Should I just do surround left and right speakers, do rear height behind rear couch and then front height in front of front couch?
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post #7 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 01:24 PM
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The Marantz manual says "You can connect speakers for 11-channels for Main Zone by using an external power amplifier"

This leads me to believe it can only handle 9 channels.
Yup, I corrected myself above. My bad.

If you want to make it cost effective, you could have your AVR power 9 channels, and then get some cheap 2-channel amp to power the remaining 2 surround channels.

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post #8 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Pete7874 View Post
If you want to make it cost effective, you could have your AVR power 9 channels, and then get some cheap 2-channel amp to power the remaining 2 surround channels.
Are 3 channel amps a huge jump in price compared to 2? It appears the 3's linked are over 1k each?
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post #9 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 02:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozorowsky View Post
Are 3 channel amps a huge jump in price compared to 2? It appears the 3's linked are over 1k each?
Like anything that's for a pretty specific application, price usually is higher. By most peoples words, experts and otherwise, the coherence of the front 3 channels is the most important consideration in a home cinema set up. I think you can't go wrong with either Monoprice or Emotiva, if your budget can stretch, would be money well spent.
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post #10 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 02:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by erick granato View Post
Like anything that's for a pretty specific application, price usually is higher. By most peoples words, experts and otherwise, the coherence of the front 3 channels is the most important consideration in a home cinema set up. I think you can't go wrong with either Monoprice or Emotiva, if your budget can stretch, would be money well spent.
Unfortunately I'm already spending 6k for Martin Logans and a screen for my projector, so trying to figure where to start cutting back.
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post #11 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozorowsky View Post
Unfortunately I'm already spending 6k for Martin Logans and a screen for my projector, so trying to figure where to start cutting back.


Then maybe wait a while before going full setup, or get a cheaper amp for rear or something.
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post #12 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 02:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7874 View Post
The Crown is a Class D PA amp. You'll see a lot of AVS forum does not hold such amps in high regard, but they do provide a lot of power for the money. The question is, do you actually need all that power? What leads you to believe your Marantz AVR will not be able to handle it?

But if you truly do need an external 3-channel amp, here are some options:
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=15594

https://emotiva.com/collections/amps...cts/xpa-3-gen3
I have no personal experience with Crown amps, but I believe that not all are Class D. I think that the XLi series are A/B. Whether they give better sound than the Class D amps, I don't know. The Class D amps are much more efficient, though, and they can be better with low impedance speakers (4 ohm) than A/B.

The pro amps usually have forced air cooling, which can give fan noise. (A work-around I've read of: replacing the fans with quiet fans intended for PCs.) They also tend to lack 12V triggers; either manually turn the amp on and off, or get a 12V relay to control power the amp(s) from the AVR.

I'm using an Emotiva XPA3 Gen3 to power my LCR fronts, off a Denon AVR-X4300H. Works well, but it's expensive by my standards.

Your inexpensive option would be to get a stereo amp with modest power (like 50W/channel) to run the rear Atmos speakers. The main argument I'd make against that is that the SR6012 may not do well with 4 ohm front speakers, if you play them loudly.
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post #13 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 02:45 PM
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There are a lot of 3 channel amps available for well under $1k. One of my favorite external amps are Acurus brand. Made maybe 20+ years ago, but well made and hold up well. Look for the newer models if you can, the A100x3, or even the A200x3. The 100x3 is a somewhat older model, but they are also very well made. The A models will have a milled face with an oval milled inset with the name Acurus on it.


You could just get 2 Crown amps and use one in bridged mode for the center, and the other one for the L/R mains. The Crown XLS series is a decent design. Lots of people here knock the pro amps, they probably haven't had much interaction with them. I have, and have had great success with them. If you're into music you might want to consider getting an integrated amp to drive the front mains. Onkyo (A-9070) makes the least expensive one with home theater bypass that I'm aware of, which you would need in order to integrate such an amp. Whether the audio quality is worth the price is of much discussion around here. I think the results are tangible in my setup, others do not find it makes a difference. YMMV. It does add 2 channels of external amps for under $1k.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7874 View Post
The Crown is a Class D PA amp. You'll see a lot of AVS forum does not hold such amps in high regard, but they do provide a lot of power for the money. The question is, do you actually need all that power? What leads you to believe your Marantz AVR will not be able to handle it?
You'll also see alot of AVS Forum members who completely disagree, and hold Crown in very high regard. Crown Class D amps are extremely capable amps that provide great amplification w/ a low price tag to boot.

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Then maybe wait a while before going full setup, or get a cheaper amp for rear or something.
Sounds like good advice, might as well save up for a while and do it right and once, then you, hopefully (although not bloody likely in our hobby), won't need to upgrade for a long time.
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post #16 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 02:51 PM
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Why a three channel amp? Don't you just need two additional amplified channels for 7.1.4? If so, there are lots of options for cheap.

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post #17 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 04:07 PM
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The Crown XLS series is a decent design. Lots of people here knock the pro amps, they probably haven't had much interaction with them. I have, and have had great success with them.
A few years back, I bought the XLS1500 to power some speakers in my basement. The one thing I did not like about it was that there was always some noticeable hiss coming from the speakers, regardless of volume level. I ended up returning it and just getting a home audio amp instead.

The other thing was that being a PA amp, it was expecting 4V input signal level, and I was only giving it 2. I know the newer XLS models have a switch for this, so it's no longer an issue.

To power some rear channels, I'd have no problem with a Crown Class D amp. I'm not sure I'd want one for main channels, especially if you listen to a lot of music. If one is trying to save money, even something like this would work to power surround channels:
https://www.amazon.com/Audio-Amplifi.../dp/B076P2VS9H

Or just get a basic stereo receiver for not much more:
https://www.accessories4less.com/mak...eceiver/1.html
If you scour your local Craigslist or FB marketplace, you'll probably find something decent for under $50.

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Last edited by Pete7874; 09-19-2019 at 04:21 PM.
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post #18 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

I was just poking at best buy and they talked me into a marantz 7055 amp.

Only thing I see is the Martin Logan speakers are 4ohm but the marantz amp says compatible with 6ohm speakers.

Do you think this will be an issue?

Also is it bad or good to run an amp with furman line conditioner?
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post #19 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 07:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozorowsky View Post
Hello,

I was just poking at best buy and they talked me into a marantz 7055 amp.

Only thing I see is the Martin Logan speakers are 4ohm but the marantz amp says compatible with 6ohm speakers.

Do you think this will be an issue?

Also is it bad or good to run an amp with furman line conditioner?
The 7055 manual cautions "Use speakers with impedance of 6 ohms or
more.". I don't know how seriously to take that. A lot may depend on how loudly you play the sound.

Maybe the BB person knew exactly what they were doing, but I'm skeptical.

Which Furman line conditioner do you refer to? I've been using a PST-8 for about 18 months. (I bought it on the recommendation of another forum member.) It appears to do no harm. I didn't have a lot of AC issues before; I bought it, hopefully, as a better quality surge protector.
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post #20 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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The furman is elite-15 line conditioner
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post #21 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozorowsky View Post
Hello,

I was just poking at best buy and they talked me into a marantz 7055 amp.

Only thing I see is the Martin Logan speakers are 4ohm but the marantz amp says compatible with 6ohm speakers.

Do you think this will be an issue?

Also is it bad or good to run an amp with furman line conditioner?
The 7055 manual cautions "Use speakers with impedance of 6 ohms or
more.". I don't know how seriously to take that. A lot may depend on how loudly you play the sound.

Maybe the BB person knew exactly what they were doing, but I'm skeptical.

Which Furman line conditioner do you refer to? I've been using a PST-8 for about 18 months. (I bought it on the recommendation of another forum member.) It appears to do no harm. I didn't have a lot of AC issues before; I bought it, hopefully, as a better quality surge protector.
The best buy person was with magnolia and seemed to know what he was talking about.
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post #22 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozorowsky View Post
Hello,

I was just poking at best buy and they talked me into a marantz 7055 amp.

Only thing I see is the Martin Logan speakers are 4ohm but the marantz amp says compatible with 6ohm speakers.

Do you think this will be an issue?

Also is it bad or good to run an amp with furman line conditioner?
Here's one option for you, it's right up in price with the other 3-channel amps, though this is a 4-channel, so you could do all 3 front speakers and just have an unused channel, or run the stereo pair and a surround pair. But, this is a nice amp, small package, class D, great features for the cost, well-built. I run one of these with my 4 Atmos speakers, and I like it lot. Power/4 Ohm speakers will NOT be an issue for this amp, 4 Ohm speakers. I do have mine plugged into my Panamax unit (though my main is plugged directly into the wall, either way....).

https://classdaudio.com/4-channel-sd...amplifier.html

If it's too much $$$, they do have stereo options that are less expensive, of course!

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post #23 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by ozorowsky View Post
The best buy person was with magnolia and seemed to know what he was talking about.
Unfortunately, Magnolia salesmen have the reputation of seeming to know what they are talking about, to the extent of offering made-up information rather than simply saying "I don't know" or "let me check that".

Maybe you got an honest salesman. (They exist. I'm not sure how long they last at BB, to put things cynically.) Maybe the 7055 will serve you well, whether he knew his stuff or not.

For that sort of price, if I bought it new for $1.2k list, I'd prefer something that was spec'd for 4 ohm speakers. I doubt that disaster will follow if it's not compatible; thermal shutdown is the likeliest effect.

As regards the Furman Elite 15, I know nothing about it. A quick web search suggests that it's a good choice for use with high-end audio gear.
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post #24 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by ozorowsky View Post
Unfortunately I'm already spending 6k for Martin Logans and a screen for my projector, so trying to figure where to start cutting back.
I'd probably grab an Emotive XPA-3 or 5 Gen 1 or 2. Great amplifiers and can be had for a great deal on the used market.

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post #25 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 08:09 PM
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Unfortunately, Magnolia salesmen have the reputation of seeming to know what they are talking about, to the extent of offering made-up information rather than simply saying "I don't know" or "let me check that".

Maybe you got an honest salesman. (They exist. I'm not sure how long they last at BB, to put things cynically.) Maybe the 7055 will serve you well, whether he knew his stuff or not.
interesting fact is that BB are paid a lower hourly wage; Magnolia salesmen are still paid on commission.

Probably more Mag salespeople know a thing or two in comparison, IMO.

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post #26 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 09:38 PM
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interesting fact is that BB are paid a lower hourly wage; Magnolia salesmen are still paid on commission.

Probably more Mag salespeople know a thing or two in comparison, IMO.
On the minus side, being on commission means that there would be a natural tendency to upsell as much as the salesman could manage.

Similar to why many financial advisors now advertise themselves as "fee only" (no churning).
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post #27 of 55 Old 09-19-2019, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozorowsky View Post
Hello,

I was just poking at best buy and they talked me into a marantz 7055 amp.

Only thing I see is the Martin Logan speakers are 4ohm but the marantz amp says compatible with 6ohm speakers.

Do you think this will be an issue?

Also is it bad or good to run an amp with furman line conditioner?
It would be best to go with a unit that is rated at 4 ohms. The Monoprice Monolith amplifiers are a good choice, but there are other good choices as well.

Monoprice provides measurements of the Monolith amplifiers, Marantz doesn't provide measurements for the MM7055.

The 7055 has one pair of output transistors per channel, which is the minimum, the Monolith amplifier have five pairs.

The Monoprice amplifier is rated and tested into 4 ohms.

The Monoprice 5 channel units weighs 78 lbs, the Marantz unit weighs 35 lbs. These amplifiers are both Class AB amplifiers so weight makes a difference, heavier is better. The Marantz appears to have a smaller transformer and smaller heat sinks. A fan appears to plan a significant role in cooling in the Marantz unit. Fans can mean noise and maintenance issues. The Monoprice unit has no fan. Frankly the Monoprice unit is a lot more amplifier for the money.

The MM7055 is designed and made is China, which means it should cost less IMNVHO.

The Monoprice unit is designed and assembled in the U.S. although no doubt many of the components, such as transformers, circuit boards, etc. come from China.


o Concerning the Furman unit:

The first feature your Furman unit provides is excellent surge protection, which is important in any area where lightning is common or the power goes out often. Power company reclosers can generate all sort of spikes on the power line. Various units in your home may generate smaller surges that may slowly damage electronics. The Furman surge protector you have (not all Furman units) limit surges that are at quite low voltages, and should prevent this sort of damage over time as well.

Furman units also have excellent power line filtering. How much difference this makes is debatable, but the Furman units do remove noise, and are designed to fit with the impedances of typical home power service. Your unit appears to have other features as well.

Some people feel that power conditioners restrict amplifier "dynamics" or the like. If this worries you then just use a surge protector unit with the power amplifier. Furman's Powerstation 8 power strip is a nice unit, but you need to shop for good prices, which can vary 2 to 1. Lesser Furman units typically don't have the sophisticated surge protection.
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post #28 of 55 Old 09-20-2019, 03:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

I was just poking at best buy and they talked me into a marantz 7055 amp.

Only thing I see is the Martin Logan speakers are 4ohm but the marantz amp says compatible with 6ohm speakers.

Do you think this will be an issue?

Also is it bad or good to run an amp with furman line conditioner?
It would be best to go with a unit that is rated at 4 ohms. The Monoprice Monolith amplifiers are a good choice, but there are other good choices as well.

Monoprice provides measurements of the Monolith amplifiers, Marantz doesn't provide measurements for the MM7055.

The 7055 has one pair of output transistors per channel, which is the minimum, the Monolith amplifier have five pairs.

The Monoprice amplifier is rated and tested into 4 ohms.

The Monoprice 5 channel units weighs 78 lbs, the Marantz unit weighs 35 lbs. These amplifiers are both Class AB amplifiers so weight makes a difference, heavier is better. The Marantz appears to have a smaller transformer and smaller heat sinks. A fan appears to plan a significant role in cooling in the Marantz unit. Fans can mean noise and maintenance issues. The Monoprice unit has no fan. Frankly the Monoprice unit is a lot more amplifier for the money.

The MM7055 is designed and made is China, which means it should cost less IMNVHO.

The Monoprice unit is designed and assembled in the U.S. although no doubt many of the components, such as transformers, circuit boards, etc. come from China.


o Concerning the Furman unit:

The first feature your Furman unit provides is excellent surge protection, which is important in any area where lightning is common or the power goes out often. Power company reclosers can generate all sort of spikes on the power line. Various units in your home may generate smaller surges that may slowly damage electronics. The Furman surge protector you have (not all Furman units) limit surges that are at quite low voltages, and should prevent this sort of damage over time as well.

Furman units also have excellent power line filtering. How much difference this makes is debatable, but the Furman units do remove noise, and are designed to fit with the impedances of typical home power service. Your unit appears to have other features as well.

Some people feel that power conditioners restrict amplifier "dynamics" or the like. If this worries you then just use a surge protector unit with the power amplifier. Furman's Powerstation 8 power strip is a nice unit, but you need to shop for good prices, which can vary 2 to 1. Lesser Furman units typically don't have the sophisticated surge protection.
Thank you so much! I have two cyberpower ups. I live in Florida with many power sags. I likely will plug everything into the ups then Furman then receiver and finally the amp.

This is excellent info on these monoprice amp thank you!
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post #29 of 55 Old 09-20-2019, 05:41 AM
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Ignore ohms. It will only confuse you.

There's no such thing as a 4 ohm amp or can handle 4 ohms. Any amp can handle 4 ohms. Some can play louder than others. But that's also true at 8 ohms. Or 16 ohms.

And the ohms is not a constant value. It changes constantly depending on what specifically your listening to. That's why it's always shown as a nice round number like 4 or 8. Not 5.47. And I suspect the majority of speakers are just labelled 8 ohms without any measurement so as not to scare off people who think it matters.
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Ignore ohms. It will only confuse you.

There's no such thing as a 4 ohm amp or can handle 4 ohms. Any amp can handle 4 ohms. Some can play louder than others. But that's also true at 8 ohms. Or 16 ohms.

And the ohms is not a constant value. It changes constantly depending on what specifically your listening to. That's why it's always shown as a nice round number like 4 or 8. Not 5.47. And I suspect the majority of speakers are just labelled 8 ohms without any measurement so as not to scare off people who think it matters.
Thank you for this excellent info! Would you say it would be better to buy the Marantz amp to match my receiver or buy the monoprice amp since its rated at 4ohms?
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