Pick your loudspeakers first. Pick your amp to compliment the speakers.
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You mention DVD surround sound. This means you will need multi channel amplification or a reciever am I correct?
Powered speakers are a great choice. If your using a 5.1 dvd system in your room there are some great choices of powered speakers including the ATC's. Also look at PMC, Mackie, Genelec's. There are a few DVD players that will play your dvds, cd's and also have outputs that you can run directly to your powered speakers. Keep in mind that you will need to plug into an outlet each of the powered speakers.
When looking at speaker/amp combinations
90db speakers at 1 watt will generate:
93db @ 2 watts
96db @ 4 watts
99db @ 8
102 @ 16
105 @ 32
108 @ 64
111 @ 128
112db is ultra THX
110db is THX
You have to increase by 10db to get a perceived doubling of loudness. Therefor, you really won't hear a difference between 100 watts and 140 watts per channel.
Also, not all amps double wattage output if you go from 8ohms to 4 ohms.
Thanks again. I have been checking the websites and going back through your threads and others to learn more. I can't believe how much information and knowledge you A/V guys have. I feel like I need to learn a new language. Frankly, its a little intimidating to ask for help but I am really interested and want to learn.
I looked at the ATC and M&K sites, also checked PMC, Mackie & Genelec as suggested by Alun and everything looks great. I need to take the next step and "test drive" a few to narrow it down.
Referring to my original request, if I am looking for a MC system rather than a strict stereo so I can go to either CD or DVD, how do I narrow down the speaker choices (price is an obvious decision point)? I was totally spun around, but willing to go with the suggestion that I look at the "active" speakers (never new they existed).
I continue to see the comments that higher wattage and (lower ohms?) are needed to drive higher end speakers (without built in power sources). If the speakers have built in power sources, will the resulting sound quality be of similar quality to speakers (Linn for example) without a built in power source or do I need an additional power source/amp. with the "active" speakers?
Is the AV pre/pro the only additional component I need, besides a DVD/CD player? Whats a 5.1 DVD system? The prices for new ATC's are up there (not $150,000 for sure, but how many Bill Gates are out there anyway?). Is it reasonable to search for used ATC's (or M&K, Genenlec etc.) to save a few dollars?
Thanks to anyone who responds!
I need an AV pre/pro. I began searching and found a TacT TCS for $10,000 (whoa!), although it looks fantastic and the review was excellent. I sent an email to M&K asking what pre/pro they advise for their speakers (which I am probably going to buy)and am awaiting a reply. If anyone has any suggestions, please advise. I think I'm getting closer!