help with system synergy

I keep hearing and reading stuff about system synergy, this amp wants this speaker with this cdp or turntable...yadayadayada. How do you know if your speakers compliment your system well? Any tell tale signs if they dont? Can you strickly go with this brand liking this brand or would it be model specific?
As I understand it, the most important thing to look out for as far as speakers mating to particular amplifiers is that the amplifier has enough power (usually expressed as watts rms into 8 ohms) to adequately drive the speakers without clipping. There are two important figures to keep an eye on with speakers - sensitivity and nominal impedence. Sensitivity essentially equates to the dB level with 1 watt of power at 1 metre. So a 96dB speaker is considered very sensitive (delivering 96dB with a 1 watt input) and would usually not require a high power amplifier. Alternatively, an 83dB speaker is extermely insensitive and would require a decent amount of power.

There is then the matter of impedence. Speakers with impedence dipping to 4 ohms or less require an amplifier than deliver adequate power and current into the low impedence. To complicate things, nominal impedence (the figure quoted by speaker manufacturers) does not indicate the minimum impedence dip, as impedence varies (often dramatically) along the frequency spectrum. So you need to ensure that your amplifier can deliver the required power and current into a low impedence load.

One other factor, particularly with some tube amplifiers is the output impedence of the amplifier. If the amp has a very high output impedence this can cause significant frequency response errors with some speakers.

So in summary - make sure the amp has adequate power, can deliver power and current well into low impedence loads (if your speakers have a dip in impedence) and check that the output impedence of the amp is not too high into a low impedence speaker.

Your best bet, IMHO, is to ask on this forum about any combinations you are considering and I'm sure you will get the answers you need. :)
I have to say that your question is a very tough question to answer.To me,,doing your homework is really the only way..Read as many reviews and feedback and forums as you can on anything your interested in..The Forums are tremendous assett to all of us..The other issue is we all have different like and dislikes,so you have to weed out the highs and the lows of everything you read..Bottom line is trial and error...........Hopefully not too many errors.
I agree with the other responses but when you get good system synergy you will know it! Everything will flow smoothly and effortlessly or shall I say snap into focus.
Something as simple as an interconnect can make your system oh so right!

Having a very good local audio dealer will take much of the hassle away of doing this by reccomending components and other gear that work together better. In the days of the World Wide Web where many of us buy on the internet and hope to achieve that perfect blending. It's not that easy. Some do achieve it.
It takes time and you may waste some money along the way but find someone you trust that has good ears and have them coach you in building that synergy. When I purchased my first high end system it took me 3 years part time to hit synergy. The rest of the time I was protecting my country! To achieve the wide soundstage, full bodied vocals and intruments and depth of soundstage that sounded near real. I had finally gotten to a place that made me pat my feet, sing along and play AIR instruments. It stayed that way for a couple years until I transfered to another base. I did play with different cables, and amps and preamps but I kept the core of the system intact and took my time trying different pieces of gear to see if it would make a difference. Some did and some didn't.
you can read my paper on system synergy called "synergistically speaking" in the archive section of, or you can keep it simple. if you like the "sound" of your stereo system there is a synergy, otherwise , there isn't. thus two persoons can evalutae sa stereo system and have differing judgments as to synergy.