Best AVR for Klipsch Speakers

I'm getting an awesome deal on a 7.2 speaker setup from Klipsch and I need to find a receiver that can drive them properly.

Here are the speakers I'm getting:

  • 2 KF-28 floorstanding speakers
  • 1 KC-25 center-channel speaker
  • 2 KS-14 surround speakers
  • 2 KB-15 bookshelf speakers
  • 2 SW-450 subwoofers
I've spent some time trying to figure out exactly what I need in an AVR, but I'm not confident that I know what I'm doing. I've been thinking about the Yamaha RX-A2010, which allows for 9.2 channels, so I had planned to use the extra two channels to bi-amp the KF-28 speakers, as they are equipped with dual-binding posts. Is this receiver powerful enough to drive these speakers properly?

Kyle Sigo

We haven't reviewed the RX-A2010, but based on our review of the RX-A1010 here and RX-A2000 here, I'd have to say the RX-A2010 is probably not the best choice for you. In both cases, with five and seven channels driving 8-ohm loads, the receiver's amp section produced much less power than the manufacturer's rating—well under 100 watts per channel.

The KF-28 is rated with a power-handling capacity of 150 watts with 600W peaks and a nominal impedance of 8 ohms, so it will likely be underpowered by the Yamaha. On the other hand, this speaker exhibits very high sensitivity, as do the others in your list—due in no small part to their horn-loaded compression tweeters—and the center and surround speakers require less power overall, so the system probably wouldn't sound all that bad.

The RX-A2010 lists for $1600; other options from our Top Picks in that price range include the Onkyo TX-NR1009 ($1500, reviewed here) and Marantz SR7005 ($1700, reviewed here). Both AVRs delivered less power than their specs indicate when driving five or seven channels, but the Onkyo dropped less than the Marantz. Also, the Onkyo provides nine amp channels, whereas the Marantz provides seven.

If you can increase your budget by $500, the Pioneer Elite SC-57 ($2100, reviewed here) is an excellent option, with nine amp channels and much less power drop-off with five and seven channels driven. In fact, this would be my first choice for your speakers.

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mailiang's picture

How big is you room? Power requirements are not only based on speaker handling capacity, but more importantly, sensitivity, and the size of the space you will be driving them in.


elementtw1023's picture

How big is the room? I personally think 7.1 is overkill for a most rooms. If you ask me I think it "clutters" your soundstage if the space is too small. If you drop down to a 7.1 AVR, a mid range one like the Denon AVR1913 will power them and you can still bi-amp the KF-28's. You can also go with the Pioneer Elite VSX-53 which will give you better performance than the Denon. That's what I would do if it was a smaller room unless this is going in a dedicated theater room. But that's just me. As we all know it's all about personal preference.

kevon27's picture

Overkill but awesome

Best bang.

You can get the Onkyo 709 receiver for about $425-500, use it as a processor and purchase one of the external amps listed above. The Onkyo 709 has a lot of bells and whistles also it is better than the newer Onkyo 719.. The 719 only has Audyssey MultiEQ where as the 709 has the better MultiEQ XT.. If you want to spend a little more and just go all out Processor and external amp, you can get the Marantz AV7005 with any of the above Amplifier suggestions..

mastemaybe's picture

absolutely not. Again. Room size, speaker sensitivity AND listening habits all come into play.

Like most Klipsch loudspeakers, these are fantastically efficient, with the mains able to produce 98db output with just a watt of input at 3 feet. Compute for a 12' listening distance and that's 86 dbs...more than continuous references level. At just 64 watts you have met your 105db peak spec.

This is quite LOUD, mind you. Most people listen FAR below these levels.

The AVR/amplifier "wattage game" is amusing and really never based in reality.

When you start understanding that it takes TWICE the power for an increase of a mere 3dbs, you begin to comprehend how external amps or another 40 watts of power out of an AVR is completely lost on most (not all) rooms.

MOST AVR's offer more than enough power for MOST people in MOST rooms.

there are a few exceptions.

And as far as an an external amp offering an increase in fidelity, sorry, but hogwash again. I've owned (embarrassingly, really) dozens of AVRs AND external amplifiers and I will tell you that NONE of them could be picked apart from the others so long as they were not overdriven (clipped). Dozens of valid blind scientific tests have yielded identical results.

mailiang's picture

I couldn't agree more. My car audio head unit alone could drive those speakers!


oat07's picture

First time poster here.

I could not agree with "kevin27" more. You need a nice warm sounding external amp for you speakers because some Klipsch speakers can sound bright.

Now for my story about external amps. For several years I used a standard AVR to drive my previous Infinity Beta 50 speakers. The speakers produced very little bass and I assumed that they were designed that way. Two years ago I purchased an external amp to see what everyone was raving about. I was blown away. My speakers generated so much house shaking bass that I put my subwoofer away in storage. Then I recalled what someone told me years ago in the car audio industry. Always purchase an amp that can provide at least the maximum rated power of the speaker. I now live by this saying. Most AVR manufacturers simply lie about how much power their receiver can produce. I do not understand why consumers tolerate this.

mailiang's picture

Your Infinity Beta 50 speakers can only reach down to about 35HZ which is just fine for music, but regardless of how much power you have to drive them, if you're looking to get the most out of a home theater set up, you may want to reconsider the use a good subwoofer.


LAB3's picture

I have a Yamaha RX-V1900 HD AVR rated 130X7( I know when 5 amps are on the wpc drop big time) that I drive my 5.2 Klipsch speakers with. Cornwall(fronts) C7(center) RS3-II (rears) when I had these in 20X25 room. I was unhappy with the performace of the Yamaha amps when on HT use. But for Stereo (2 amps) it was great. I was saving for a 200X5 Emotiva amp and use the AVR as Pre/Pro. I just retired and sold our larger home and down sized to a smaller home. Now I have all these speakers in a small carpeted den and the front speakers are 7 feet apart, the sofa 7 feet back and rears 7 feet behind sofa.WOW smaller room made a HUGE difference for Bluray movies. I will use the money I was going to spend on a amp for a larger flatt screen TV now.