AV Receiver Power Supply and Output

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You get some AV receivers that put out 100 Watt x 7 and when you look at the back of the chassis it uses 290 watts on the AC side to get there.

Some other makes are also 100-Watt x 7, but on the back of the Chassis, it says 720 Watt. More than double.

Does this mean that the AVR with the biggest AC consumption is a better AVR with a bigger power supply and more stable output?

Comments for AV Receiver Power Supply and Output:

Differing AC Power Specification For A/V Receivers
by: Ringmaster

I have seen different AC Power consumption for various Receivers; but not to this degree. It would be helpful if you could provide the Manufacturer and Model of the units that you are comparing. I suspect you may be comparing High End to Low-End equipment.

There are different types of power supplies used on various equipment models today. The original design was Type “A” (non-switching); these were/are power hungry units, keeping full power in reserve to produce all of the designed “Output” frequencies.

Later on, various (switching type) power supplies were introduced that allowed power requirements to instantly fluctuate, to meet the power-hungry lower frequencies. These “Switching Type” power supplies drew much less current and, allowed cheaper units to be produced. These units purportedly reproduced the same output signal as the “Non-switching” units.

This also allowed Consumers to purchase high powered units at a much lower price; thereby allowing more Consumers to purchase high powered devices. At first, many users were reluctant to accept the “switching” (Type “B”, and later on Type “C”) designs, feeling that the quality of sound was adversely affected.

Many improvements have since been made to “switching” type power supplies, and many of these units output the same frequency spectrum as the non-switching units at much lower cost.

Many high-end consumers still feel that the “Non-switching” high powered devices produce a purer signal; this is still a debatable issue for many audiophiles. For me, I think there are many purists that hear more than I; so, I am comfortable with the Medium High-End equipment, and let my ears be the judge.

AV power supply
by: Anonymous

The AVR’s in question is the Sony STR 987DB qs and the Integra 30.2.

I replaced the Sony with the Integra, both of them uses transformers, not switch mode power supplies, but the power consumption on the Integra is double that of the Sony.

The HDMI in the Integra which the Sony doesn’t have cannot make up for such a huge difference, that’s why I expect the Integra should be a better AVR?

A.V Power Supplies
by: Ringmaster

Paul, maybe you can help with this one. The same thought has entered my mind, from time to time.

I know that the power ratings are based on maximum consumption (volume output), and power rating is not always based on identical standards (this causes confusion for many consumers). Also, speaker efficiency has an effect on the wattage consumed by the amplifier.

It might be interesting to connect one of the newer power consumption indicators into the AC receptacle and plug your amplifier into the “indicator”, to get a reading on the actual wattage consumed. Based on whether you use high volume or reasonable listening levels; you may be surprised to find that the wattage, consumed by your units, does not vary as much as the specifications imply.

Hope this helps…

Amp power
by: Paul (Site Editor)


I think both of you have answered this between you.

Firstly, I agree with Ringmaster that the stated figures should be taken with a pinch of salt, as we know how AV companies like finding a way to list a bigger number to make it sound more impressive. I’m not saying it’s not right, but it may sound more impressive than it actually is in practice.

Having said that, you are right Jannas, an AV receiver with a more powerful power supply will possibly be superior.

One of the most important aspects of an amplifier is that it can send controlled electrical signals to your speakers without distortion.

A bigger power supply should have more control over the electrical current that it sends to the speakers and have more headroom to cope easily with the loud bits in a movie/music. It’s not just about getting it louder.

One of the main improvements of a higher-end amp over a cheaper model is often the quality of the power supply.

However, a bigger power supply isn’t necessarily going to sound better if the smaller PSU is made with better quality materials and manufacturing techniques.

So, use it as a guide to quality, but what does it actually sound like?

All the best.


You Might Also Be Interested In:

AV Receiver & Amplifier Power Ratings Explained

Understanding Speaker Sensitivity and Efficiency

Speaker Power Rating – Understanding Speaker Specifications

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About The Author

Paul started the Home Cinema Guide to help less-experienced users get the most out of today's audio-visual technology. He has been a sound, lighting and audio-visual engineer for around 20 years. At home, he has spent more time than is probably healthy installing, configuring, testing, de-rigging, fixing, tweaking, re-installing again (and sometimes using) various pieces of hi-fi and home cinema equipment. You can find out more here.

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