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M&K speakers - good integrated amp recommendation?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by cmcg55, Jun 19, 2005.

  1. cmcg55

    cmcg55
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    Upgradeitis has struck. Nurse Temptation has told me to bend over and has administered a full dose of "I want that!!" serum. Today was my first ever experience of hearing M&K speakers. Fatal mistake. I think I'm in love.

    Enough preamble. To cut a long story short: I'm swaying between the LCR-750 Mk2s and the 850s for front duties Yes, I'd prefer the 150s (who wouldn't), but they're more money than I can afford. For surrounds... I'm going to go for the K4 Tripoles: S150 again is a dream I can't finance, and even the S-55s are a little too much cash than can be scraped together... even then though, I thought the K4s were lovely.

    For here though... driving the M&Ks in demo was, yes, you guessed it, the monsterous AVC-A1. That too though is WAY beyond my price range, and I'm equally kidding myself/heading for poverty if I start considering separate processor/power-amp combos. However, knowing the M&K reputation for "give me power... MORE power", there's no way my current HK can handle it. As such, I'm looking for recommendations as to suitabile amps for around a grand (or less if possible?) that could handle the M&Ks' requirements.

    Shortlist so far:

    Onkyo TX-NR801E
    Yamaha RX-V2400
    Denon AVR-3805

    Are any/all of these up to the task? I was also looking at the "next one down" Denon, the 2805 - not quite as much beef, but again, a little less cash. Could the 2805 handle it? In comparing 2805 vs 3805, other than the power issue, the incremental features of the 3805 aren't that important to me.

    Help a lovesick fool out please :zonked: Would particularly appreciate comments from any existing M&K owners.


    PS: OK, not an amp question, but same topic - the M&K Sub Prices just about made me have a heart attack. Any recommendations for a slightly more economical match?
     
  2. steve36

    steve36
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    Does the sub have to match, well apart from decoratively?
    You may be better putting a sub thread into the other forum as this could take a while.
    The other question is do you intend to use the sub for music. When I auditioned for mine I did not find one within a 'normal' price range that could do both equally well so I chose a REL, it is superb for movies.

    I've read that the 2805 and 3805 although on paper have similar specs the 3805 has much better quality power amps.

    Personally I'd try to find a second hand A11SR, there are a few ex-demo ones around that you could try for comparison with a 3805.

    Steve
     
  3. cmcg55

    cmcg55
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    Sorry, should have specified source material - pretty much 100% movies. Music is listened to elsewhere.

    Decorative effect doesn't matter - function/performance over beauty is fine with me.

    Thx
     
  4. recruit

    recruit
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    The M&K speakers you are looking at should be driven ok by the Yamaha 2400 & Denon 3805 dont know about the Onkyo though, a friend of mine is driveng the M&K 851 set with the Denon and it sounds very good indeed, i would not try anything lower down the range though.
    As you are from the USA why don't you look at the SVS range of subs as they are very good value and definitly deliver the goods in the bass department.

    Regards
    John
     
  5. cmcg55

    cmcg55
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    Thx recruit...

    ... I'm currently in the US yes, but am going to be emigrating back to the UK later this year. As such, I really want to do something now while I can still take advantage of US prices :D

    That said, that creates a wee issue regarding the sub. Drawing from the mains, any US sub I buy is going to require a transformer. Theory is fine, but results aren't guaranteed, so I had kinda resigned myself to holding off on the SW until I was back.
     
  6. recruit

    recruit
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    Yep not a good idea useing a step down on the subs, but hey you are going to save youre self a fair bit on the speakers and when back in England you could still consider importing the SVS if you cant stretch to the M&K's range.
     
  7. cmcg55

    cmcg55
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    SVS is a manufacturer I'm pretty aware of - in fact, I know two people living very nearby me (right now) who have SVS subs. They are indeed very good LF performers... their detail is good (well, as good as subs get, obviously), and their power is tremendous - real sofa-shakers.

    However, importing them likely wouldn't help much... still having to deal with 110 internals unless I could find someone to "fix 'em" (you know, like a dog gets "fixed"... LOL).

    Likely then the sub has to wait until I'm able to shop around in the UK. REL seems to get a lot of positive votes, so think I'll start with them.
     
  8. recruit

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    SVS sell to the UK with 240volts mains compatibility so no step downs required, any way i don't want to take this thread Off Topic too much but it is something to consider.

    Regards
    John
     
  9. cmcg55

    cmcg55
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    Agree on not jumping off the forum topic... if you don't mind, I'll send you a PM on this, am looking for a little bit more info when you get a minute...
     
  10. Jack the lad

    Jack the lad
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    I was driving my M&K and SVS setup with a Denon 3805 uptil a couple of weeks ago. I couldnt fault it. Awesome :smashin:


    Now got a Pioneer AX5. Again very good. Ive only watched 1 DVD so far with this setup (PJ's been poorly) so early doors for a true comparison. But its sounding good ;)
     
  11. cmcg55

    cmcg55
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    Am currently tending towards the Denon myself, although until I've heard the Yammy and Onkyo, I'll probably not decide until them (the Denon I have heard already). The 3805 seems to have everything you could want other than a THX badge, but as I'm of the school of thought that says (a) it's more marketing than substance and (b) THX modes are great if your room approximates the local IMAX in size, but you're otherwise better sticking to standard Dolby/DTS, it doesn't bother me at all.

    On the Pioneer... weird, it was actually on my original shortlist of four, and for some reason I crossed it off. Can't remember why... I've had good experiences with Pioneer sound in the past (back in the pre-AV days, an A-400 was my pride and joy... definitely one of the top 10 budget products (of all kinds) of all time...)

    That's great info on the M&K/SVS/Denon setup though, exactly what I wanted to hear.
     
  12. edward

    edward
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    I don't think there is anything within screaming distance of M&K for movies, cmcg55.
    You're right about needing plenty of clean power. HAve you thought about looking at the pre-loved market? There really are some good deals to be had on fleaBay and the classifieds here for that matter.

    M&K subs are Earth movers - the MX350 seems to go with everything they make, leading people to think they're listening to 150s when in fact the model is several down from there. I bought mine in the US for less than a third of the price for the same beast here. Bought a pre-loved UK one for less than half the UK price through the AV forums classified and it still had many years of warranty left on it.
     
  13. cmcg55

    cmcg55
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    On what I heard today, I beginning to agree. These are something else... literally, because I can't think of another make that sounds like them (and I've heard plenty over the years). They have a unique sound that's very difficult to define - best as I can put it (in my non-technical way)... it's uncluttered and pure, no artificial color... I can imagine them being unforgiving as hell with substandard recordings, but digital formats have eliminated a lot of the quirks these days. Yeah, I know there's a vinyl die-hard waiting to smack me over the head with his Linn deck for that remark... LOL... but for movies (which are purely digital these days)... this is where it's at as far as I'm concerned. Ive heard the comment that the "M&K sound is something you either like or you don't". Well, I do. I demo'd it with "Master & Commander" (I always take a long a demo disc I actually own with me, AV stores only ever seem to have (a) The Lion King, (b) Shrek or (c) a DTS Reference Disc), and was hearing things I'd never heard before. The opening battle scene was just shattering.

    That indeed may be the way I go. Just because I can't afford an AVC-1 new and even if the AVR-3805 or one of the others could do the job... that doesn't mean I don't want an AVC-1 all the same :devil:.
     
  14. bass007

    bass007
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    If you are interested, I have an Onkyo 898 THX 7.1 Monster for sale in the classifieds. It come with A re-badged Philips Pronto Learning remote which has a touch screen. All original boxes, in absolute mint condition, demo given if requested. I am using them to drive 3 X S-150's and a pair Of K4 Tripoles. I am upgrading beacuse those S-150's want more power. I paid £2000.00 for it I am letting it go for 595.00 which is a bargain I think.

    See http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=219653&page=2
     
  15. cmcg55

    cmcg55
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    Thanks for the offer mate. I would be interested, however my move from he US back to the UK is still a few months away and I can't do anything along these lines right now.
     
  16. pacificwave123

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    cmcg55 if I were you I would go with the Denon over the Yamaha and Onkyo. The Denons tend to have a fuller sound than the Yamahas and as for Onkyos I really just don't like anything that they make, it is over rated japanese junk in my opinion :thumbsdow

    The Denon AVR-3805 is an excellent receiver and in my opinion the best out of the three that you listed. If you are interested give the Harman Kardon AVR-635 a shot, it is fairly similar to the Denon 3805 :)
     
  17. cmcg55

    cmcg55
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    I was doing some "spec-checking", and the Denon 3805 manual I downloaded has some information that concerned me a bit. Per the book, Denon are saying that their "acceptable range" for impedence is 6-16 ohms. They also say that if two surround sets are used (sides and rears), "use of speakers with an impedence of less than 8 ohms will lead to damage".

    OK, this has me officially worried - the M&K K4 tripoles I was looking at for surrounds are, like many M&K speakers, rated at 4 ohms. Then again, I also checked the AVC-1 manual, and it said the same thing, so it's not like it appears to be a spec. issue specifically with the 3805.

    Bottom line - is this just Denon being ultra-cautious or do I have real cause for concern?

    Advice appreciated...
     
  18. pacificwave123

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    I wouldn't worry too much about using 4 ohm speakers with the Denon 3805, chances are it has enough power to drive them to relatively high volumes without breaking a sweat. However if you play the 4 ohm speakers extremely loud for a long period of time the amp will clip or over heat and go into protection mode. If this happens you have to waite for the amp to cool down before you are able to turn it back on. This is the case for just about any receiver in the price range of the Denon 3805 though.

    By the way were you able look at the Harman Kardon AVR-635? It's high current design is great for driving lower impendence speakers. It is rated at +/-50amps.

    Hope I was able to help :D
     
  19. cmcg55

    cmcg55
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    OK, I finally got to the bottom of it - just back from a demo at one of those rarities, a store where the staff were actually knowledgeable and helpful i.e. it wasn't a chain. I was able to demo the M&K 750 Mk IIs with the Denon 3805 (it was actually already set up as their demo already, apparently they'd had a lot of interest in it (dude said it was currently "by far" their best selling amp). Anyway, to cut a long story short - the 3805 handles the 750s no problems whatsoever. I also specifically asked him about the impedence issue, he said Denon were just protecting themselves against lawsuits from people who think "11" is the permanent volume setting.

    Had a listen while I was there. Pretty nice... HK owner already, so I knew what to expect. That damn blue ring on the volume knob though... yeah, I could see that being a distraction if it was anywhere around the screen. I'm not so picky that I must have components which allow for all the LEDs to be killed, but that thing (which as far as I know can't be turned off)... too damn bright, kept on glancing at it even though I didn't want to. Other than that though... I still liked the Denon more. Lived up to its reviews - its as good as its advertised to be.
     
  20. pacificwave123

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    It sounds like you are going to get the Denon AVR-3805. I think you made a very good choice, it is a very nice receiver :)
     
  21. Andywilliams

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    Hi
    Have you not considered Nad receivers also very good at driving 4 ohm speakers and they do sound good with music also.
    On the sub front buy your svs in the us already modified 220v then ship it over with the rest of your stuff when you move to the uk.I also agree m&k are the dogs danglies with movies.
    Cheers Gonzo. :)
     
  22. d.waters

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    I recently upgraded to M&K 850 fronts with K4 sides and rears. I went for the Rotel RSX-1067 receiver. I also demoed the speakers with a Pioneer AX10, but thought it sounded a bit harsh. The Rotel is excellent and improving all the time, as the speakers run in.
     
  23. Andywilliams

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    Yep rotel also a good choice the old £1800 rotel receiver would have been my second choice had i not gone for the H/K 8500 both smooth high current amps.
    Cheers Gonzo.
     
  24. 30CenturyMan

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    I agree with Gonzo's earlier NAD comments - well above the average in terms of ability with difficult loads and stereo performance.
     

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