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Hey everyone. Ok other then knowing the basics on how certain devices work, I have never bought seperate components before for my home theater system. Given that I have been in apartments I have always just settled on getting the all-in-one home theater systems (Currently own a Sony Dreamsystem DAV-S700). Anyhow so now I live in my own home and I wanted to finally get started on a home theater. Granted Im on a budget (now that most of my money went to my 50" Panny Plasma), but I was hoping to get seperate audio components.


For the reciever I was going to start out with (once its availible of course):

JVC RX-D702B


My question is, the room that its going to be in is about 400sq/ft. Would I need an amp? Better questions, in what situations would you actually need a seperate amp for a home theater setup? Is there a general wattage to sq/ft conversion that I can use? It seems to me that these recievers pump out more then enough watts per channel (150W advertised for the JVC) for my needs. Thanks for any information.
 

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You don't "need" a separate amp unless you want to upgrade to separate components. A decent amplifier should work. It takes 2x for every increase of 3db - so theoretically a 150w/channel amp can only play 3db louder than a 75wpc amp (per channel anyway).


Set a budget, decide if that's for the whole system, or a few better components with plans to add the rest later - receiver, l/r mains, center, surrounds, subwoofer.


And don't forget to factor in your ceiling height for the room measurements - if it's 8' high, that's 3200 cubic feet.
 

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Spend as much as you can on your speakers. They have the biggest overall impact on the sound of your system. One old rule of thumb used to be spend at least half of your total budget on speakers. Now that HT is popular and one is talking 5 or more speakers, it may be even a larger percentage.


The best receiver/amp/processor will sound crappy in front of crappy speakers. Great speakers will still sound pretty good in front of mediocre electronics as long as you don't push the electronics (amp/receiver) beyond their limits.


Aside from that there are many factors in determining how much is enough. Room volume, as you eluded to, is but one factor. The efficiency of speakers is also a big factor, more efficient speakers will produce more volume per watt than less efficient speakers. A speaker that is 3db more efficient than another will require only half the power to produce the same volume. Also, how loud you want to go is another factor.
 
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