Somehow I can't see a $400 Home Theater amp being the best choice. What kind of impedence curve do the Hales have? If it goes below 4 ohms make sude the Yamaha will handle it.
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Consider the amp's sound, not just it's ability to "drive" the Hales. The Hales are terrific speakers, but they are lean sounding. You should consider an amp that will give the sound a little meat-on-the-bones. FWIW, the WhatHifi review describes the Yamaha as "taut/slightly bright". Not a good pairing IMO.
Thanks everyone! Helpful responses.
Stanwal.... You're over my head with your impedance curve question. Heres some info on the Hales:http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/weaver16.htm
Arni: Any suggestions? Did I mention I'm on a budget?
Frogman: Good point... with my limited and layman's level of experience I could not have known that.
Rich: Ahhh! Some concrete recommendations. The Cambridge sounds good but no phono input....That can be added separately later... no? The Music Hall is also real straight forward and that appeals to me (and has phono). The NAD.... folks seem to complain about the exterior build & quality on this one. Any preference among the Cambridge or Music Hall? Thanks. Mike
I owned the NAD C320BEE and really liked it. See my comments . At this level, it is OK in terms of fit and finish, but just ok.
I like both the Cambridge Audio and the Music Hall, as well and have owned products from both. If phono needs to be considered, go with the Music Hall.
I looked at the review and impedance was not mentioned. The problem is this, a transistor amp attempts to double its power when you halve the impedance. A speaker with a low impedence minimum [ say 3 ohms or lower] may well try to draw more power from the amp than it can supply. My Gamut speakers have a low of 3 ohms and I cannot drive them with my Meridian amps, which drive my Spendors, which are 6 ohms minimum, with no trouble. Since these are speakers designed for HT they are unlikely to have a low impedance curve as HT amplifiers are not generally known as being especially powerful. But ?
Thanks Stanwal... I'm learning a lot here. So what you describe generally is a factual problem... but we're not sure if it applies with the Hales. Does anyone else know what the impedance minimum on the Hale's might be? An internet search on that is not revealing much to me.
Frogman: what do you think of pairing the Hales with the above mentioned Cambridge or Music Hall
You have mentioned that you are on a budget, but I don't believe you've mentioned any numbers. Have you browsed the used section here? A modest sum goes so much further in the used market. Here in San Diego, someone is selling a classic Adcom combo, the GFA 545 and GTP 350, for well below the price of that Yamaha. I'll bet something like that would work quite well. Keep an eye out, and you'll see that attractive budget deals come up frequently.
These were part of a surround package, yes? I have a similar situation, where my mains are bookshelves from a decent surround system, though the Hales are certainly more highly regarded. Same size drivers, 85 db sensitivity. There are many discussions in the forums where knowledgeable members have reported that small bookshelves really need a lot of power to sing. I found that that was the case for me (until I began active biamping, but that's another story). Still, it's difficult to pull a wpc figure out of thin air. NAD, Adcom, Hafler, etc. Plenty of high power quality pieces that go for pennies.
Perhaps I need to be a corrected, but it's my impression that speakers designed for surround applications are not likely to have wide ohm swings, as so many surround receivers would have trouble with this.