To Doug Schneider,
I just read your review on the PSB Imagine T2 tower speakers. I am looking to buy a pair now. My problem being what to buy as an amp. Most of the time I will listen to two-channel stereo, but I do like the features an A/V receiver like the Yamaha RX-A1020 or RX-A2020 have to offer with HDMI switching. Would either one of these units drive the speakers to their full potential or should I be looking at something else? Do you have any recommendations on the type of A/V equipment I could use? I also want to hook up my turntable. I listen to classical music, Andrea Bocelli, Bowie, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, and not into heavy rock at all. I hope you can help me.
I agree that receivers such as those from Yamaha have plenty of features, but I find that they’re usually lacking when it comes to sound. Instead, if good sound is what you’re after, but you still want an A/V receiver, I’d look at the offerings from Anthem and NAD. Anthem’s sister company is Paradigm Loudspeakers, while NAD’s is PSB Speakers. Some might look more closely at NAD because of their relationship with PSB, but either will likely work well. Why I mention them is because Anthem and NAD have well-earned reputations for putting sound first, likely because they’re so closely tied to those two great speaker companies, yet they still offer enough features in their receivers so that convenience isn’t sacrificed. The T2 is of about average sensitivity and not all that tough of a load, so I think that even the smallest receivers from each would do the trick, although the T2s will take the power of a bigger receiver and fill up a pretty large room with sound quite capably. What you ultimately settle on power-wise will depend on your room size and listening habits.
The only other thing to think about is a phono stage, since most receivers don’t have one. Luckily, NAD has a pretty good stand-alone one, the PP-2i, which sells for only $169.95. You hook your turntable to the PP-2i (you’ll have to adjust it to your cartridge type), and then the PP-2i to a pair of analog inputs on your receiver. . . . Doug Schneider