Marantz Layla & speaker wires!!

diablo123

Standard Member
I have a Marantz layla (MR2020) mini system and have them working 2 x Tangent Millennium 200 floorstands.

There are biwire posts on the back of the speakers. Is it worth me going the biwire route? Will there be a difference on this setup?

Specs are
Amp
Rated Output power (1 kHz) 10W + 10W (4 ohms)
Input Sensitivity (Aux) 250 mV / 47 ohms
S/N (Aux) 85 dB

The Tangent speakers are
Long term max power 100W
Short term max power 200W
Freq range 45 Hz - 20kHz
Sensitivity 88 dB
Impedance 4-8 ohm


Any thoughts or info would be great before I invest in cables, bi or not. :thumbsup:
 

Rich9600

Active Member
Before I upgraded my speaker wire I had a go at bi-wiring with some spare cable. It should be noted this was only £1/m wire but of a decent diameter. I found it brought a slight sonic improvement. A bit more detail.

When I upgraded I stayed single wired, at some point in the future, maybe after a windfall, I may have another go at bi-wiring. Just it gets a bit expensive for the rewards as you get into the more expensive wires.

Better single wire seems better than a lesser wire in a bi-wire configuration.
 

diablo123

Standard Member
So you would say there was a difference?

I am prepared to do it even if the cost is double, but I want a difference, even if small.

You kit sounds like its more high end than mine, so I am wondering if I will actually hear a difference or not. Guess only way is to try.....

You cannot ruin the speakers by biwiring can you? especially in my case were the amp is quite low power compared to the speakers?
 

ben.bayliss

Novice Member
No it's not worth it. Get some semi-decent cable and let that be it.

The amp is underpowered and those speakers are rather insensitive so you're not really on to a much of a winner to begin with. Tinkering with cables is the last upgrade you ought to be considering.

And yes an underpowered amp CAN damage speakers (but not by biwiring). If the amp starts to clip then the speaker reproducing the distortion may begin to overheat and fail.
 

diablo123

Standard Member
Any suggestions on " Semi Decent cables"?
 

Rich9600

Active Member
I like Chord Co Cables. Maybe something like the Layline £2/m, Carnival Classic £3.50/m or possibly the Carnival Silverscreen £5/m.

QED also do decent cables in this price bracket. QED Original - Silver Anniversary.

If you are after cable, check out used stuff on ebay.

However, Ben is right. You are certaainly a bit miss-matched...

Just a quick web trawl makes it look like there are pre outs, so you could get an additional amplifier and beef up the signal to your speakers. A pre-out is a volume controlled output that could be amplified by another amplifier more suited to your speakers.

TANGENT AMP50-SIL at Richer Sounds - HI-FI Separates, Home Cinema, Speakers, MP3 DVD Portables, Plasma LCD, etc.

CAMBRIDGE AUDIO A1V3-BLK at Richer Sounds - HI-FI Separates, Home Cinema, Speakers, MP3 DVD Portables, Plasma LCD, etc.
 

diablo123

Standard Member
Now there is an idea. I had never heard of that, but it does make sense. Your right there are pre outs on the back.

I know that the actual system is under powered for the speakers but me being me (when I set my mind on something)! just had to keep layla and he speakers, well I just wanted reasonable good looking floorstanders.:smashin:

By having this pre amp, I guess you connet from layla, to pre amp, then from pre amp to speakers. The tangent amp you put the link for (thanks for that) is 40w per channel, will this make the system sound better as well? or will it just mean it will go louder? (I am after quality of music rather than just volume). :thumbsup:
 

Rich9600

Active Member
There are three types of amp.
Pre amp. Processes the signal, volume control etc
Power amp. Makes a signal bigger (amplifies)
Integrated amp. A combined pre and power amp.

Your Layla has an integrated amp built into it, with the power amp part being 10wpc. The pre-amp out takes this signal before the power amp stage and passes it on to an additional power amp.

I can not, off the top of my head, think of any reasonably priced power amps so I have suggested these integrated amps.

You could set the volume half way on one of these an then just adjust the volume on your Marantz using its remote. You would have to ensure that, if you went for an integrated amp, the remote frequencies were different. Otherwise it can get confusing... I don't think the Cambridge Audio amp even has remote capability. I've had a CA amp before and the sound is good. Also, my gut says it will be the better amp of the two. If you like your Marantz sound it could be worth checking out ebay for used Marantz amps. Especially if you live in a city, they are a tad heavy to post...

More power doesn't always mean louder, it often just means that you have a better, richer more detailed and controlled sound. It will also do a better job of driving your speakers. Also, the quality of the amplifier plays a significant part.

My 70wpc stereo amp sounds much richer and more controlled than my 90wpc AV-Receiver.

The only problem with buying an amp it that sooner or later you'll probably want a separates CD player...
 

ben.bayliss

Novice Member
Don't get too carried away or worried about the watts though. A 100W amp is only twice as loud (~ +10dB) as a 10W amp, and the difference between a 50W and 100W amp is only 3dB. The differences in wattage look much bigger than the difference they really make.

Your 10W amp and 88dB sensitivity speakers can still hit 98dB at 1m (92dB at 2m, 86dB at 4m) which whilst isn't massively loud is still a reasonable volume if you're listening sensibly.

MarkTaylor (aka Mark The Mod ;)) often makes a good point in threads like these. Be very careful about throwing good money after bad. It's all too easy to think your way into spending lots of money to make what you've 'inherited' work, when perhaps it would actually be cheaper and easier in the long run to just start all over. Maybe think that over before buying extra preamps / poweramps to supplement a system when you may actually do better to start from scratch with.

B
 

diablo123

Standard Member
Rich thanks for you info. Explanation is perfect. Although I agree that in the future the separates route is inevitable, for the moment I think this pre amp malarkey sounds quite good. Having better driving force behind the speakers would make sense for better sound.

Think I may have to purchase a pre amp and test it out, see if there is a difference or not, and how much.

Likewise Ben thanks for your info, I didn’t realise that Watts is really a load of mumbo jumbo, 10 -100w seems a massive jump but its not the case. Thanks for taking time out to explain. One question but - could you explain the "Your 10W amp and 88dB sensitivity speakers can still hit 98dB at 1m (92dB at 2m, 86dB at 4m) " Are you saying that the dB (which is volume yeah?) will be lower the longer the speaker wire,, 1m 2m or 4m???? I don’t quite get this part......!!!:smashin:
 

Rich9600

Active Member
The distances Ben refers to are the distances from the speaker.

It just dawned on me that it may be a good idea to check the back of your Layla for a line level output.

This is a fixed volume output, taken before the pre-amp stage. The line level output is the same as you would get from a CD player or other device.

If you have a line level out it would be best to connect this to an integrated amp. This would mean that the signal would only go through one pre-amp stage reducing the possibility of signal degradation and so potentially giving better sound quality. However, you would not be able to control the volume from the Layla's remote, it would have to be done from stereo amp.

You have to be careful in choosing equipment, some amplifiers and speakers work better together than others. It is generally worth getting a plan in your own mind before you start buying kit. If you decide you want to go down this route it would be worth getting advice on an amp to complement these speakers. I'm afraid I have no idea on what works well with them.

A new thread asking this would bring answers from people who know.
 

ben.bayliss

Novice Member
One question but - could you explain the "Your 10W amp and 88dB sensitivity speakers can still hit 98dB at 1m (92dB at 2m, 86dB at 4m) " Are you saying that the dB (which is volume yeah?) will be lower the longer the speaker wire,, 1m 2m or 4m???? I don’t quite get this part......!!!:smashin:]
Nonono not cable length! Distance of your ears from the speaker :)
 

diablo123

Standard Member
Guys all I can say is your all LEGENDS.:cool:

Thanks for info you have been very helpful.

What I have decided to do:

QED Original Mk II Bi-wire - going to do a test myself with bi wiring and without, will publish the results on here next week.

Pre amps - Going to look at some of these pre amps and see what might work. Hopefully find a shop that will let me return/exchange the product if not happy with it or no difference, like I said before, it is about the quality of the music not volume.

The seperates route will come one day I know, but until now I will tweak and tinker with what I have - if anything this experimenting will let me learn about what I want from a seperates system in the future.

Thanks again to you all.:clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:
 

Rich9600

Active Member
The QED Original is a good cable for the money, I think you will be impressed in wither single or bi configuration!

Good luck.

I'm just a tad worried that you may have got slightly the wrong end of the stick here.

Your Marantz Layla will be your pre-amp. Do not buy a pre-amp!

What you want to buy is either a power amp or an integrated amp. The Two I suggested were integrated amps. I do not know of any decent HiFi quality power amps at a similar price so I would suggest going for an integrated amp. Others may be able to suggest suitable power amps.
However, if you intend to go for separates at a later date, all you would need to do is add a CD player to an integrated amp and you would be there...

There are integrated amps on the market that can be turned into a power amp either by a switch or removing a jumper. My Marantz PM7003 is one. However, these tend to be at a higher price point.

Good luck!
 

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