Other Important Considerations
An important but often overlooked consideration is the type of speaker terminal connector that is used on a receiver. The connection between your speakers and the amplification source is the most important link in your sound system. The terminals at both ends of the speaker wire are critical to good sound. If a poor connection exists, the result will be poor sound. The preferred speaker terminal is a
binding post type as opposed to the spring clip variety. Spring clip terminals will accommodate only a pin type or small banana plug speaker wire connectors, where
binding post can also accommodate larger banana plugs as well as spade type connectors. Spring Clip terminals also break with alarming ease.
If you plan to use your new AV receiver as the control center of your home entertainment system, then the remote control should come under close scrutiny. A superior remote will be able to control the receiver, satellite receiver, set-top cable box, DVD player, VCR, CD player and a TV all from different manufacturers. The remote should also have the capability to learn esoteric commands of the other equipment. Built-in macro-commands are also beneficial, so you can program a single button to turn on your receiver, satellite receiver, and TV to watch you favorite sitcom. The remote should also have the ability to control every aspect of the receiver, so you never have to leave your seat to make an adjustment. The other nice feature is a backlit remote, so you can see the keys in the dark.
With the increased sophistication and functionality offered in modern AV receivers, On-Screen (OSD) display is a needed feature. On-Screen display will allow you to configure your receiver, allowing you to make adjustments without the need to remember complex key combinations. Make sure you check out the OSD of receivers you are auditioning. Ensure that you are comfortable with the user interface and that all of the adjustments available on the receiver are available through the OSD.
Nothing grabs your attention like deep base that you not only hear but feel. To reproduce that deep base
sound, a speaker known as a subwoofer is used. The optimum way to utilize a subwoofer is to drive it with a separate power amplifier, which allows the receiver to power the mid-range drivers and tweeters in your system more efficiently. To do this your receiver needs a special output connection called a “subwoofer pre out”. This special output allows you to send low frequency signals to a separate power amplifier if you are using a passive subwoofer or directly to a powered subwoofer which has its own built in amplifier. Most receivers will have only a single subwoofer pre-out, but having a stereo pre-out is preferred as it will give you added flexibility. The other nice feature to have is the ability to control the crossover frequency of what signals will be handled by the subwoofer.
A receiver with multi-room capabilities will provide you with added listening flexibility, allowing you to power satellite speakers in another room. Look for units that allow you to use independent input sources in each room, that way you can enjoy your favorite music in one room, while the rest of the family watches “Top Gun” for the 27th time in another. Some advanced receivers will have the ability to add a third zone.