Matching Speakers with Receivers [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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09-21-2004, 11:14 AM
I just bought a Yamaha RX V800 receiver second hand and am looking to upgrade my front speakers to match the new system. I mostly listen to music from my computer, but plan to someday include the receiver and speakers as part of a home theater setup. I've read that it's best to purchase speakers with similar tonal qualities to the receiver, and was wondering which brands of speakers work best with Yamaha's sound. I'm not looking to spend a fortune, maybe three to five hundred dollars.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

09-21-2004, 11:38 AM
First, congrats on the receiver purchase...I have a 795a in my closet collecting dust, but those are excellent receivers. $800 or so brand new back in the day.

As for matching speakers to your amp...well, you've actually gone about this backwards in my opinion. You see, it's generally agree that speakers have the single most influential effect on the over all sound quality of a system. The tendency is to start with your speakers and buy an amp to compliment them.

Either way, I wouldn't lose too much sleep over this because in all honesty the differences between the tonal qualities of receivers is very minor (and according to many, many scientists, non existant, if you believe them...for further info, you should probably post in the Audio Lab).
The differences between tonal qualities of speakers can be huge.
So here's what you do.
Decide on your budget (which you have).
Decide if you want bookshelf speakers, or floorstanding towers. Don't forget stands if you want bookshelfs.
Start testing out as many speakers within your budget as you can (preferrably at specialized audio retailers, not Best Buy or Circuit City). When you get a feel for what you like, and what you don't, see if you can test out the speakers in your home. (you might need to take advantage of return policies).
The only "for-sure" way to do this is to set up speakers in your room, connected to your gear, and make your decision then. If this isn't possible, try to do as much as possible to keep the comparisons relevant and applicable.

To answer your question very simply, there is no brand of speakers best suited to work with Yamaha...and speakers that I like with a Yamaha receiver, you may dislike.

Much of what you hear and read about audio gear is either grossly exaggerated, or just an outright fabrication of the truth. In the end, use this forum and any other resources you have with discretion.

It is what sounds best to YOUR ears that matters the most.

Now, I'd also recommend looking at used speakers to stretch your dollars a bit further, but for starters, you might consider some of the following brands:
Athena, Energy, Mission, Polk, Paradigm, PSB, B&W, and JBL. These are probably the most common brands throughout North America (excuse my ignorance if you reside elsewhere). You shouldn't have too much problem testing out most of these.
There are literally hundreds of other options out there that may be more difficult to locate, and may sound much better or worse to you, but hopefully those will give you a good point of reference as to what you can expect for $300-$500 dollars.

Remember, there's no right answer and only one wrong answer (Bose)'ll undoubtedly receiver many differing points of view from here.
Good luck.

09-21-2004, 01:42 PM
There no real dominant tonal characteristic with that particular receiver (which I own), and that's exactly what you want. You pick the speakers based on your listening preferences and the type of room that you have. Go ahead and do some listenings. The usual suspects that should work well with that receiver include Paradigm, B&W, Energy, PSB, Boston, Klipsch, KEF, Mission, Vandersteen, Infinity, Polk, etc. The thing is that you should definitely seek out some independent dealers in your area, since most of hte pseakers that I listed are not available at large superstores like Best Buy.

Take your time, figure out what sounds best to you, and then get the ones that suit your preferences the best. Keep in mind that speakers might sound significantly different in your room than at the dealer, so try and borrow them before you buy.