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perion 04-21-2008 07:30 PM

Pairing Amps with Speakers
Currently, I have no hi-fi equipment, but hope to be purchasing some in the (hopefully) near future. I've done a bit of reading and the Nuforce amps seem intriguing, but I was wondering how one goes about pairing amps and speakers ... do you settle on an amp first and then try to find a speaker that "matches", or vice versa? I guess in the best of all possible worlds you find a dealer that carries both of the manufacturers that you're interested in and you test that way, but what do you do if you can't? Sorry for the somewhat disjointed post, I'm just looking for some advice on how to proceed in my search.



Geno 04-23-2008 06:14 AM

Re: Pairing Amps with Speakers
I'm assuming that you "heard" something thru those amps you picked? Start there and keep a budget in mind if needed. This is the altimate question because more than anything else; there are practically enough speaker manufacturers for every pair of ears:) My rule of thumb though would be to purchase from a manufacturer that specializes in speakers. Gear companies make attempts at it but, they can't be great at everything. I have been very happy with Paradigm speakers.

This is the fun part,


deacongreg 04-23-2008 07:26 AM

Re: Pairing Amps with Speakers
If you have a list of what speakers and amplifiers you wish to listen to, I would first find a dealer that carries them, then go listen. Even if the dealer has only the amp, or speaker, start someplace. And, hopefully you will find a dealer that is honest, he can give you his recommendation on what amps he found, gets the best out of certain speakers.

Also, with kennyt, Jerry Del Colliano, and Andrew Robinson working here, their vast knowledge and experience can help you. I would check the reviews and see where the speakers and amps your looking for have been reviewed. That I think can help you greatly as well.

kennyt 04-23-2008 09:36 AM

Re: Pairing Amps with Speakers

I would suggest finding a speaker you like first as the speaker has the biggest effect on sound, then once you know the speaker you want, you can see what amps would mate well with it. It is kind of tough to start with an amp then hunt for speakers....

IE What if you find you absolutely love ultra high efficiency horns? You might only need 1-2 watts to power them and really need tubes to smooth out the top end.

You might like horribly innefficient beast of speakers that will require massive monoblock amps, or anything in between.

The best thing to do is go around and listen to as many different set ups as you can get your ears to and see what you like. If you have your heart set on the NuForce amps (I know Jim Swantkop still loves his) you could get them, as they are pretty powerful, but if you find a speaker that needs a different sound from the amp then you could be in trouble.

Go out and start listening and see what works for you!

perion 04-23-2008 09:59 AM

Re: Pairing Amps with Speakers
Thanks for your responses!

Believe it or not, I haven't listened to the amp yet. Not living near a high end audio store, forces (?) me to begin my search via the internet and magazines. So I planned on reading some reviews, picking some prospects, and then going to the nearest retailer of that product. If anyone has a better (or different) approach, I'm all ears. I plan on spending a fair amount of money* on a system and I'd like to get the best possible bang for my buck ... if possible.

Oh, and I thought I'd be clever and call Nuforce and ask them what speakers they test their amps with ... I had forgotten that they also make speakers ... silly me :)



* at least to me it's a fair amount

kennyt 04-23-2008 10:20 AM

Re: Pairing Amps with Speakers

Originally Posted by perion (Post 14236)
* at least to me it's a fair amount

Well, sounds like your off to a good start with your plan, as for the buget.....

A goood HT can be put together for a few thousand dollars, or over a million and everywhere in between! Good luck in your quest and keep us posted of your progress.

FWIW I would strongly encourage you to bring music and movies you are familiar with when you go to listen to systems. It doesn't do much good to hear what the store knows works best on the system, especially if it isn't music or a film you are onto....

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