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best amp with M&K

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by mandril, Aug 11, 2003.

  1. mandril

    mandril
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    I have just ordered a pair of M&K SS150 THX surrounds a S85C speaker and will shortly be getting a pair of S125's. (Havent decided on an sub yet).

    My question is. Which amp/reciever will best suit these speakers?

    Is anyone using the same/simular set up, what amplification do you use, are you happy with it or do you wish you had spent a little more?

    Also are there any reasonably priced subs out there or would that be cutting corners?
     
  2. Jase

    Jase
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    Ideally you'll be looking at the flagship amps/receivers but even some of those aren't too wonderful with 4 ohm loads. I'm running M&K's with an upgraded Denon A1SE and it has no trouble at all with them. Any of the Denon models such as the A10SE, A11SR, A1SE, A1SR will drive them well. :)

    Don't skimp on a decent subwoofer, currently stirring the Forum up are the SVS subs bought directly from the USA. Have a look here www.svsubwoofers.com
     
  3. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I am using a Denon AC10SE with my M&Ks. It may not have the latest PL2 but I don't watch much TV so can live without it and whilst it has the decoding for the extra rears it doesn't have the amplification. As I don't have the room for extra rears anyway this is no loss but what I am left with is a superb AV amp that also handles music well and is available second hand for £500

    I agree with Jase about not skimping on the subwoofer. I thought that my REL Storm was excellent to complete the team but I have recently sold that and bought an SVS and am now in seventh heaven.
     
  4. rags

    rags
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    I personally would avoid a one box solution (most of them cant handle 4 ohm loads very well - apart from some of the more expensive Denon models).

    Buy a processor and a seperate power amp if your budget allows. A THX certified power amp technically should easily manage 4 ohm speakers such as your m&k's. The more power the better.

    I have also recently purchased M&K speakers and found that a Rotel 1075 drove them pretty well and made them sound a bit smoother with (I took my front channel speakers to a local Rotel dealer). However to be on the safe side I have just purchased a 1095 which I think dishes out about 300+ rms into each speaker.

    Regarding sub's - numerous people on this forum are ordering from SVS - never heard them myself but given the Home Cinema experience of some of the boys here its definately worth looking into (warning - without meaning to offend any PC+ model buyers - they look like oversized black bins)

    edit - just saw the posts by Ian and Jase - everyones going SVS crazy !!
     
  5. Ian J

    Ian J
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    Are you saying that a THX certified power amp will drive the speakers better than my THX certified integrated amp.

    Us SVS owners do refer to our subs as dustbins but the reality is quite different. They are tall but fairly slender with a fairly classy velour type finish that looks much better than the vinyl covering on some of the big box type subs.
     
  6. rags

    rags
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    Ian - depends on which integrated receiver you have and what power amp your comparing it to. From opinions expressed here in these forums some THX certified integrated amps struggle (or lets say are not at their best) with 4 ohm loads.
     
  7. mandril

    mandril
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    Thanks for the advice.

    It has taken me about three months to decide which speakers to choose, starting with a buget of around £800 to come up with the M&K's. Now I will have to start doing a lot more looking around for the amp.

    No rush though, the extensions only up about a metre from the floor level now so I have a few more months to find the amp, sub, plasma, DVD player.
    I could build the extension (everything) for about £8000 How much do you think the AV system will end up costing???


    Oh yes one more thing I've heard this a lot about receivers not being able to cope with 4Ohm's. Whats the problem?

    I did like the look of the pioneer VSX-D2011, but if its not good enough its not good enough.

    thanks Ricky
     
  8. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    From people I've spoken to....yes. The Rotel 1075 and 1095 should do a better job driving them than pretty much any integrated amp out there (allegedly).

    But, thats not to say some of the other amps are no slouch. Indeed, I've heard your system and the M&Ks driven by the 10SE sounded bloody good.

    I've got a 1075, but alas NO BLOODY M&Ks YET!:mad:

    God I'm so impatient....:rolleyes:
     
  9. rags

    rags
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    Seems to be taking a long time. Whats the situation ? I can understand your frustration...........

    Picking up my 1095 tomorrow :clap:

    Ricky - I think the Pioneer is THX select certified - not sure what specification this entails but I dont think the Pioneer will be good enough to do your m&k's justice.
     
  10. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    They're on order, 3 weeks delivery apparently. I think I'm into the 3rd week now. I hope I get them soon as my missions go on Friday then I'm speakerless!
     
  11. Gatto

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    Why won't you check out the NAD T762 or a Harman Kardon AV AMP? They surely know how to do AMPS that tackle any Load, and the Amplification on the NAd is great. I have the T762 partnered with Kef THX TDM Speaker range all 4 ohm Load (bought lately) and the Amp drives them without any hint of problem at all!
     
  12. russraff

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    Erm, got to dissagree with this one. My Harman/Kardon 8500 will handle 4 ohm loads with barely a flicker, and would appear to be somewhat more powerful than the 1075 I used to have. In fact, the 8500 was demonstrably better at driving a full suite of KEF Ref speakers then the Denon A1SR. I would agree with Gatto and Ian, in that there are quality integrateds that will power 4 ohm loads with ease, and to good effect.

    mandril: Having said the above I don't think that the 2011 is good enough for your chosen speakers, THX select or not. I would be looking at the NAD 762, Denon A11SR, Harman 7500 level of kit.

    Russell
     
  13. mandril

    mandril
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    Thanks all!!

    This is giving me a head-ache, I really thought I'd enjoy buying all this equiptment a lot more (probably because I've almost spent my original buget on speakers alone).

    Thanks for everyones opinions though.

    Ricky

    PS. Just been looking at the mentioned amps, the NAD is quite a bit cheaper than the rest why? and why do they have inputs for external decoders & Pre- Outputs when they all look like they have pretty impressive processing anyway(sorry if thats a stupid question this is all still new to me).

    Would anyone recommend the Pioneer VSX-AX5i or the YAMAHA DSP-AZ2/DSP-AZ1
    They are all around the same price point apart from the YAM AZ2 which is a little cheaper.
     
  14. SpiderManPants

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    Hi mandril,

    I am currently running 5 x M&K S85s with a Rotel 1075 and a Denon 3801 as a proc. The best advice I can give you, is to go listen to your speakers through some 'higher-end' integrateds (i.e. Denon, HK, Pioneer, Onkyo etc.) and then try 'em out with a power amp such as the Rotel 1075 or 1095 (Both THX Ultra). It'll soon become apparent which is the better match! ;)

    I used to power mine with just the Denon, but since adding the Rotel I'd never go back to integrateds.

    Besides, amplifier technology doesn't change at the same rate as processor technology, so a pre/pro/power route gives more upgrade flexibility.

    Good luck with whatever you choose to get...

    SMP
     
  15. mandril

    mandril
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    I know I'm talking about reasonably high end equiptment, so you may get the impression I have some experience with AV. But this is my first attemt, at the moment all I have is a picture frame Tosh, old tosh DVD player and sky+.

    So after every post I read I have to search around to just to find out what everyones on about.

    Spidermanspants. It seems such a waste to buy a £700 receiver just to use for its processing, am I competely missing the point?
    Also how much do you think I would be able to pick up the Rotel for?
     
  16. CarlB

    CarlB
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    Just to say that I think some of the higher end integrated amps do a good job with M&K speakers.

    I drive my M&K 750 THX Select system with a Denon KAVCA1SE THX Ultra II integrated amplifier and find it superb. Not sure if it can be bettered at the same price point by processor/power amp combo but I think it does a pretty fine job.
     
  17. russraff

    russraff
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    NAD make a no frills product and pass on the savings to the buyer. You won't get a Pioneer style autosetup routine, nor a fancy Marantz remote. What you do get is fantastic amplification quality. NAD's Holmgen toroidal transformers are very powerful and can cope with just about anything thrown at them with finesse.

    The 6 channel inputs are normally used for DVD Audio and SACD players' analogue output. This allows the 6 channel output of these formats to be played through the amp as the processing normally takes place within the player. Whereas Dolby Digital and DTS are streamed via a digital connection and the processing takes place within the amp or processor. You can hook up a seperate processor to an existing integrated amp (using the integrated as a poweramp) but I tend to find this yields less satisfactory results than adding a poweramp to an integrated.

    The Yamaha AZ1 is a good amp, but I don't think it is as good as the A11SR, for example. I wouldn't use the AZ2. The lab tests in Home Cinema Choice (I think) suggested that the AZ2 isn't too good with tough loads. I don't think anyone can really comment on the VSX-AX5i as it hasn't been released yet. The What HiFi review should perhaps be taken with a pinch of salt, too.

    Rotel poweramps can frequently be found on the classifieds section of these forums. The price varies, but 500-550 for the 1075 is a starting point. I think the 1075 is £850 new. Also look for NAD and Arcam regarding poweramps.

    Russell
     
  18. SpiderManPants

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    mandril,

    I know where you're coming from when you mention the waste of money thing, but I paid half that for my 3801 and used it for about 18 months before adding the Rotel to it. Besides, decent prcessors aren't exactly cheap, so until I can afford an upgrade, it looks like my Denon's amplification is going to waste!

    On the other hand I do have those surround back channels to utilise... :devil:

    Oh yeah, and as russraff has said, expect to pay between £500 and £550 for a 1075 and quite a bit more for the 1095.
     
  19. rags

    rags
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    At the end of the day it all boils down to your budget and space - for me the decision is clear cut - if you can afford to get a decent processor and power amp then do so.

    I know this is going to be controversial :D but for example you can pick up a new Rotel 1095 amp and 1066 processor for around £2300-2400 and I doubt very much that many (if any !!) of the integrated solutions will be able to match it. I know that the 1066 compares unfavourably with processors from the likes of TAG, Arcam, Bryston etc but it probably sounds no worse than any of the best integrated selection. Also for driving difficult speakers for sheer output of the 1095 will blow any of the top end integrated amps away. If you can afford to go higher up the scale then do so as long as the improvement justifies the extra outlay. If you want to go lower then then the 1075 amp will also do a fine job or consider buying second hand gear. Obviously Rotel is not the only one to consider (I just gave it as an example) - most importantly go out and have a listen for yourself.
     
  20. Gatto

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    Why go to seperates. That will really go out of budget, Harman and NAd do great integrated AMPs. and they will surely tackle any load with out any Probs. It seems that within these forums, only other manufacturers do great integrated AV AMps. else go to Seperates if these amps doesn't supply the required current to drive Heavy load speakers!

    My advice is go and have a listen to NAD and Harman Kardon connected to Low ohmage speakers and then move to seperates if the sound doesn't sounds ok to you!

    Nad have been making Amps now for years and surely know how to build amps that can tackle any Load. The T762 is rated at the back to drive 4 ohms speakers, plus it can cope with 2 ohms at peak output, driving 6 AMPS concurrently at 100Watts at any load
     
  21. rags

    rags
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    I have only ever heard one NAD product - that was a receiver running Silver Monitor Audios - sounded very good to me - quite a clean sound. Not sure which one it was though - they all look the same.
     
  22. Gatto

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    Yes NAds philisophy is to spend the money inside where it matter most. The outer is kept the same and by this clients or customers can have a 10 year old NAD amp, and match a new NAD Cd player.
     
  23. mandril

    mandril
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    If I went for the Rotel, I wouldn't really be able to go for the 1095, too expensive really, especially when you then have fork out for a decent processor (unless anyone has one for sale second hand). So if I bought the 1075, would I have to go with the rotel 1066 aswell or would any other processor be as good for the money.

    Also just been looking at the marantz mm900 and av9000. Nobody's mentioned these yet, they are about the same money as the rotel pair. anybody listened to them?

    I'm starting to come around to the idea of seperates now as you may have guessed, it just seems the one box jobbies have all the bells and lights.

    cheers
     
  24. rags

    rags
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    Mandril - I just picked up my Rotel 1095 yesterday and spent most of yesterday night watching films. The difference from my old Yamaha DSPA2 integrated amp was simply stunning - my jaw is still on the ground !!!!!!!!!!. The M&K's were sounding just beautiful - I even watched Shrek twice with my lads. With the sheer sound quality on offer I can live without the bells and whistles. My wife said it sounded like the Empire in Leicester Square :kisses: :smoke: (ok a bit exaggerated on her part but she never ever compliments my AV system).

    On occasion I am getting a slight hum from my 1095 though - not quite sure why but I understand it might be a grounding problem which is easily resolved (I hope). It does not affect the amps performance and is only audible close up when everything else is silent.

    The 1075 should also do a fine job as many people are using it happily with their M&K's.
     
  25. rags

    rags
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    Consider getting a second hand processor from the classifieds section - for example Smurfin picked up Lexicon DC2 fpr £900 and cant stop going on about it (he a very happy chappy at the moment so its safe to assume that he loves it). I think I saw an MC1 go for £1200 recently as well (which cost nearly £5000 when new).
     
  26. SpiderManPants

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    Yep! It sure will... :smashin:
     
  27. Smurfin

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    *cough* £820:D
     
  28. rags

    rags
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    I didnt know that you had managed to get a discount. So £820 then:eek:

    No wonder your happy - more beer money :smashin:
     
  29. rags

    rags
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    Oh by the way I am very close to solving the faint humming problem - it's not the amp - its coming the rear speakers. I have isolated the problem to the satellite receiver - when that is off the humming goes away (earthing issue). The stupid thing is the sat receiver isnt even connected to the rotel or the yamaha dspa2
     
  30. Smurfin

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    LOL beer money went with the M&Ks purchase, food money went with the power amp purchase, rent money went with the Lexicon purchase:D
     

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