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Szumaj's picture
Last seen: 4 years 4 months ago
Joined: Jul 15 2013 - 3:07am
Impedance, Efficiency, Watts...Fetal Position.

Hi everyone,

I recently moved into a new apartment and am working on building a stereo system for a living room that is on the humble side of moderately sized. The room has a bar, and above it are four holes (front facing in a line) cut into the wall to accommodate 4 front facing bookshelf speakers that the previous inhabitant installed. I suppose I am looking to recreate the same setup, but better. On the opposite side of the room is a coat closet that is door less, (old Victorian style) in which I plan to discreetly place a powered subwoofer. Now to the problem. Firstly, I'm on budget, so the idea would be spend the least of amount of money and get obviously, the loudest and best quality sound I possibly can (everyones goal I suppose). Second, I haven't ever divulged into the world of stereo so I have no idea what I'm doing. I have a Sony STR-K502 receiver and want to purchase 4 bookshelf speakers, but I have no idea which speaker specifications would be ideal. The receiver is rated 100 watts per channel (RMS?), 8ohms, and 20-20,000hz. Not entirely sure what Im describing, but the exact specifications can be found here on pages 46 and 47. I've been trying to look into purchasing speakers but I am deathly afraid of burning out the amp in the receiver, or worse damaging the speakers Im about to invest in. I am unsure if it would be best to purchase speakers rated for 100 watts, or above, or even in that range for that matter. I read that even if thats met correctly, you can still have poor sound quality because of the efficiency. Im pretty confused at this point, any help would be greatly appreciated.Thanks in advance!


Bill B
Bill B's picture
Last seen: 3 years 1 month ago
Joined: Jul 28 2012 - 1:59pm

Relax. 100 w per channel means your receiver is capable/powerful. Just about any speaker will be driven fine by that. Don't worry about speaker "power" ratings, all will be fine and no speaker or amp will blow up. Efficiency ratings on speakers will vary but it just means that you will turn up your volume knob a little more or less. 

Buy speakers based on sound quality. When you find what you like then check their efficiency rating but 95% of speakers will be fine. 

Consider 2 good speakers rather than 4 poor ones. You'll have better quality sound, and much better sound staging/imaging. 

commsysman's picture
Last seen: 2 days 9 hours ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am

You have a stereo receiver.

It is designed to drive 2 speakers; not 4.

What you do with those holes is something you will have to work out. Perhaps you should cut out a section between each pair and combine them into two larger holes and put two speakers there.

Get two good speakers and hook them up.

I suggest the Pioneer BS-22 speakers, because they are only $100 per pair, and compare to speakers costing 3 times as much; an exceptional bargain (see the article on them in last month's Stereophile).

What are you going to use for a music source? A CD player? Do you have one?

If not, I suggest the Marantz CD-5004 CD player, which is very good and not too expensive ($350).

A fairly good and inexpensive subwoofer is the Polk PSW505, which can be had for only $200 or so.

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