Question Newbie - unsure how to buy receiver


Standard Member
Hi all,

I moved into a new home recently, where the previous owner had built a basement home theatre. Kind guy that he was, he left the speakers and subwoofer in place. So I need a receiver to make this all work. My knowledge of AV is pretty minimal, and my budget is very minimal. I'm looking at going to the used market to fill the need. Speakers are as follows:

Fronts - JBL Northridge E80
Max recommended Amplifier Power - 200W
Power Handling - Continuous / Peak - 100W/400W
Nominal Impedance - 8 Ohms
Sensitivity - (2.83V/1M) - 91 dB
Frequency Response (-3dB) - 38Hz - 20kHz
Crossover Frequency - 300Hz, 4000Hz

Center - JBL Northridge EC25

Max recommended Amplifier Power - 150W
Power Handling - Continuous / Peak - 75W/300W
Nominal Impedance - 8 Ohms
Sensitivity - (2.83V/1M) - 90 dB
Frequency Response (-3dB) - 80Hz - 20kHz
Crossover Frequency - 4000Hz

Rears - JBL Northridge E30

Max recommended Amplifier Power - 125W
Power Handling - Continuous / Peak - 70W/280W
Nominal Impedance - 8 Ohms
Sensitivity - (2.83V/1M) - 88 dB
Frequency Response (-3dB) - 50Hz - 20kHz
Crossover Frequency - 4000Hz

So, in terms of purchasing a receiver, what sort of wattages should I be looking for? I see that each type of speaker has a max recommended amplifier power - does that mean I should go with the lowest for all three, being 125W for the rears?



Watts markings on speakers are more or less meaningless. Don't look these numbers.
Just try to buy receiver as good as possible.


Distinguished Member
As above, there is no need to match the watts of the AVR with that of the speakers. Even if the quoted power of the AVR is greater than that on the speakers then there is still no issue.


Standard Member
Thanks guys - I've got to say I'm a bit surprised by your answers, everything I've read so far on the web talks about the dangers of underpowered speakers, and of how you purchase a receiver based on how loud.

So, the wattage of the receiver and speakers are truly meaningless? If so, when you say 'as good as possible', is there anything in particular that I should be looking for?


Distinguished Member
Power is no measure of the quality of the receiver. What you are looking for us as high a level of avr you can. So look for ones higher up a manufacturers range (normally higher model numbers). There is more danger with an under powered amp than there is with under powered speakers. An under powered amp driven too hard can easily destroy speakers very quickly.

Joe Fernand

Distinguished Member
AVForums Sponsor
Your speakers are relatively easy to power so you won't require anything too high end/expensive - any mid range AVR from one of the big brands will do the trick.

More important in terms of selecting an AVR will be ensuring it is compatible with the Source devices you want to use - if you have 'New' Sources/Display you have to be careful when selecting an 'Old' AVR.

Assuming you are in the US have a look at Sherwood in addition to the big brands.


PS An old 'review' here - Welcome Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity

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