Matching amplifiers

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Matching amplifiers

The ultimate goal in a high-performance audio system is to not hear the equipment, only the music it delivers. Which is why people often insist on using identical amplifiers in a multi-channel setup. Makes sense when all the speakers are identical, but how often does that happen?

In my home multi-channel setup, I have identical left, center, and right speakers. There the similarity ends. One brand of speaker graces my sidewalls walls while quite another supply the rears.

My inclination was to have the same amplification throughout all 12 channels, which is exactly what I did. In hindsight, that was probably not such a great idea. An amplification chain carefully vetted for performance on one speaker is likely not the best choice for another.

I took the easy way. The lazy man's choice.

If I were to have a do-over I probably would have spent more time pairing amps and speakers to build a seamless system where I don't hear the speakers come into play. As it is, the front three speakers and subs are seamless while I often notice the rears and sides as speakers rather than sounds.

It's a lot easier on a 2-channel system where we can be sure the left and right speakers are identical and component matching isn't such a big problem.

My only advice is to make sure the amps you intend to use match the speakers your depending on.

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Paul McGowan

Founder & CEO

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