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Pioneer VSX-D2011, B&W CDMNT series, low impendance problems?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by KimT, May 13, 2003.

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  1. KimT

    KimT
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    Hi! My first post and I'm afraid it's a cry for help.

    My father has bought CDM 9NT (fronts), CDM CNT and CDM 1NT (rears). I thought the Pioneer VSX-D2011 would be ideal to partner these because of the MCACC. I do not have the time to endlessly tweak the set-up as I would if it were my own system.

    I have been to his local dealers and thay do not sell the Pioneer, they also suggest that the Pioneer would have problems driving the 9NTs because they drop to 2 ohms (3ohms according to the manual). The 1NT and CNT also drop to about 4ohms. The dealer was steering me towards the Rotel 1066/1075 combination, which I would normally be inclined to agree but my father probably watches about 3 DVDs per year and I doubt the rotels would be any better than his Naim 42.5/140s for stereo.

    I know the American version of the 2011 did have problems with 4 ohm speakers but I thought this had now been fixed. Is anyone on the forums using low impedance speakers with the 2011? Are you experiencing problems? Would the 2011 option to bi-amp the 9NTs help?

    Your thoughts and advice will be greatly appreciated.

    Kim
     
  2. warrj

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    Kim,

    The CDM NT's are quite a difficult load. From looking at the Pioneer web site your father's amp is 'only' 100WPC. Assuming that this figure is not as conservative as, say, a Krell 100W then you may be experiencing problems driving the 9NTs.

    Does your father have a subwoofer? If so, you could configure the amp to send as much of the frequency range to the sub as the sub can cope with. This would take some of the really heavy load off the amp.

    Regards,

    Jules.
     
  3. KimT

    KimT
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    No subwoofer at present and I'm not sure if I would advise him to get one since he really does not watch many films.

    Hifi News rates the 2011s at 2x143 watts and 5x135 watts, so the Pioneer exceeds its specs and seems powerful enough. I'm just not sure if it will be able to cope with this set-up.

    I will try to find a dealer who will lend me a 2011 for home demo.
     
  4. sounddog

    sounddog
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    If he really only watches 3 DVDs a year ... is a surround system real what he wants ... why not just connect his DVD player to his existing Naim stereo system?
     
  5. jhjerpe

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    There have been a lot of threads on this subject and the 2011. I spoke directly to Pioneer and they advised me not to run anything below 6 ohms, but they seem to be very conservative about this.

    I am currently driving my Kef TDM34s which are 4 ohms without any problems, but they are only surrounds and as such do not put to much strain on the amp. The 2011 has very good protection circuits …….

    It also depends on how loud you are going crank it up…..
     
  6. KimT

    KimT
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    Because he wants a surround set-up for movies, despite only watching 3 DVDs per year, and has already bought the speakers. The Naim 42.5 has one phono, one line and one tuner input if I remember correctly. :eek: And no Dolby Digital or DTs decoding that I'm aware of.:)

    Would you believe this all happened because he wanted to update his stereo speakers, which were pretty old celestion floorstanders, I'm not even sure which model they were. Anyway, he liked the sound, and my mum liked the look of the CDM 9NTs. Somewhere along the line, between that demo and now, he got the bright idea that he would like a surround set-up and acquired the rest of the speakers.

    I have questioned the sanity of spending 3 grand (rapidly rising to 4/5 thousand with amplification) on a surround system which will hardly be used but it's his money and he can do what he likes with it. I'm now trying to make sure he doesn't spend more than necessary given that he won't be using the surround system all that much - or maybe I'll just watch all my DVDs round at his house. :D
     
  7. alexs2

    alexs2
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    As warjj rightly says,these speakers are a fairly difficult load,in terms of impedance,and will see many amps struggle for both current delivery and control in the lower registers.

    I would say that the Rotel power amps are generally better suited to this sort of load than many other AV amps,and likely to give better sound quality than the Pioneer,both in AV mode,and stereo.
     
  8. meep

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    Kim

    I'm running 2x CDM 1NTs and a CNT off a 2011 and have had no problems at any volume.

    I can't of course vouch for the 9NTs.

    Hope this helps, somewhat.

    Peter
     
  9. mjn

    mjn
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    the rotel 1075 drives these speakers (CDM NT's) without a problem.
     
  10. KimT

    KimT
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    Thanks Meep. I believe the problems will arise from the combination of all five speakers, especially with the CDM 9NTs set as large.

    I think if I offload the rears with preouts to the naims or a spare Pioneer A400 I have lying around. I may be able to get away with this without going the more expensive Rotel pre/power route, bearing in mind my dad really does only watch the occasional DVD.
     
  11. jhjerpe

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    If he is more of a music fan maybe a SACD / DVD - Audio player is also a good investment, at least then he will be using all of his new speakers more than 3 times a year!

    Mind you that means that there is more strain on the amp....
     
  12. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Kim ... if you're only going to be useing 5 speakers ... I think the Pioneer 2011 can be set to bi-amp the front 2 speakers. With the difficult to drive loads of the CDM 9NTs then might be worth doing this.

    BTW ... not sure if he's already bought the speakers ... but if not might be worth looking at the CDM SNT for the rear ... effectively they are a wall mounting version of the 1NTs. Also you comment that the Rotel 1066+1075 won't be better than his Naim kit for stereo - is he planning to keep that as well or is the 2011 to replace it ... if so then the Rotel 1066 has probably a more transparent analogue pass through than the 2011 so might be worth looking at that - which also eliminates the problem of the strain of the CDM 9NT with the 2011.

    Vikki
     
  13. 337GUS

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    Hi Kim

    I have listened to the CDM9NT's a couple of times as they are on my upgrade shortlist. To sound their best they need a good quality amp driving them.

    I assume they have replaced the Celestions and will be used as the main stereo pair from now on? Also I assume a future upgrade to 7.1 is not on the agenda.

    Have you considered going the Naim route and adding an AV2 processor and NAPV 175 to the 140. This is expensive at about £3.5K but will keep the Naim sound and do justice to the speakers he already has, plus the dealer will set it up.

    Another alternative with a bias to stereo replay would be a to add a Cyrus AV8 with 2 Smartpower Amps at £2.3K to the 140. This has a similar mic based auto setup feature to the Pioneer.

    You could also swap the 42.5 for a 72 (supposing you do not have an input spare - £300 ish should do it) and use the front pre outs from the 2011 to give you the best of both worlds. You could also try using the 140 for the rears and biamping the fronts from the 2011. You have to match sound levels at the start with an spl meter, but you probably know that. Lots of info on here about combing stereo amps and AV receivers.

    Would be nice to know the source components CD/LP/DVD and also what you decide to do/how it sounds.

    Regards

    Gus
     
  14. RichardG

    RichardG
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    Kim,

    This is also my first post, and I hope I don't upset anyone!

    I have a pair of CDM9NTs as hifi speakers connected directly to a 2 channel, but until recently they were the front two speakers in a surround setup, with DM602s as rears and CC6 as centre. The 3 surround speakers were driven from a Sony STRDB940, with a cable from the front pre-out to my 2 channel amp driving the CDM9NTs.

    The 2 channel amp is a Pioneer A300 heavily modified by Tom Evans Audio Design, and is rated at a measly 30W pc. HOWEVER, this particular amp is very capable of driving these speakers for both movies and (mainly) music. Having demonstrated my amp to the guys at Sevenoaks and Audio Excellence when considering speakers they were amazed at its ability to drive the CDM9NTs (and yes the names Krell and Levinson did pop up on more than one occasion). My Sony is rated at 100W pc and my Pioneer at 30W pc, but the balance was very good, with the volume set at 12 o'clock on the Pioneer and all five speaker volumes controlled from the Sony.

    The point I am trying to make is that you should ignore technical literature as much as you can, hear alternatives with your own ears and make up your own mind. There are a lot of more esoteric hifi manufacturers / cottage industry types that offer far better value and more efficiency than the huge numbers claimed on paper by the likes of Rotel / Roksan et al. I know Naim amps are generally on the weedy side (on paper at least), but anyone familiar with Naim amps will vouch that they punch well above their weight and generally sound louder than equivalent rated amplification for a variety of reasons. If you look hard enough, similar performance (and sometimes better) can be got for much less dosh.

    I eventually extracted the CDM9NTs from my surround setup as they were the 'odd ones out' at the front and the tonal balance was always suspect from front to rear. With the DM602s now at the front the benefit of three equivalent speakers across the front is generally more convincing, although much of the width of soundstage and lush musicality of the CDM9NTs has disappeared for movies.

    There is no way that the 2011 will be a musical substitute for the Naim kit (and I don't like Naim!), so the previous suggestion of taking the front pre-out from the AV amp to the Naim 2 channel amp, retained for music reproduction is one I would recommend. The choice of AV amp is yours of course, but I have been impressed by NAD and Denon as well as Pioneer. Also, don’t forget Yamaha who pretty much invented home cinema in the 80s. Always bear in mind that music is about reproducing reality and movies are about reproducing fantasy - two very different objectives! Hence, in my opinion it is not possible to effectively combine 2 channel and multi channel replay systems (yet…).

    If you have the cash an all Naim system would provide the maximum benefit to your rears and centre, which on their own are pretty special bits of kit! For movies, far more than for music, a consistency of equipment (especially speakers) is far more important to produce a convincing 3D soundstage. If you've done it right, all the components will evaporate and all you'll be left with is the sound…

    Hope I haven't upset anyone - they're just opinions!

    Regards

    Richard
     
  15. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Pretty much I agree with your post with the following comments ...

    Its well known that most AV amps massage the figures for power output ... I think someone once measured one of the Sony's rated at 100W and found yes it was 100W ... but only if 1 channel was being driven. If you drove 2 channels it was something like 60W and with all 5 channels was nearer to 20W (figures made up to illustrate ... they arn't quoted from anywhere). The Pioneer is 2011 however quite conservatively rated.

    Having said that ... the WPC rating of an amp isn't that important. What is important is how capable it is of driving difficult loads - that is load that have a low impedance as particular frequencies. For this it must be able to deliver large amounts of current. The Pioneer 2011 isn't as good in this situation as something like the Rotel 1075 and moving up from there things like Krell and Bryston power amps. It sounds like the modifications to your A300 have made it able to provide current when needed - not much of a surprise as it's probably the power supply thats been worked on the most.

    The problem is that the "cottage" industy manufacturers are the ones providing the capable amps - but not at budget prices. For highly capable poweramps look to Rotel - some of the best value for money poweramps there are which many people will say get close to the capability of Krell / Bryston for a fraction of the cost. I don't think (even second hand) you'll get Naim amplification for comperable prices.

    I agree with the first part of this paragraph ... but a single system for Movies and Music, while meaning you are not going to get the best out of the Music side, will be a lot more intuitive for the end user which in a lot of cases is important.

    Howerver ... I would argue that the requirements for good music and good movie reproduction are very similar. The problem is that for movie sound a lot of electronic signal processing occurs between the software and the speakers ... if this is left in (which it is to some extent in the vast majority of AV processors) then this will colour the sound. So the end requirements are the same ... its just how you get there that varies.

    Good to have you onboard Richard ... and I'm sure you havn't upset anyone.
     
  16. Daneel

    Daneel
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    He upset me!

    Well ok not really, but a little bit. :)

    I can't find fault with the stereo performance of my 2011 for music. I think it's great. A friend of mine has a Rotel/B&W setup which certainly sounds good, but I can't say i prefer it.

    I hope to go to a friend's house in the near future to demo an Arcam FMJ / B&W 804 setup. Perhaps that will change my mind.
     
  17. juboy

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    Also should be mentioned that to get 7.1 out of Rotel amps you'd need to be spending at least twice as much as the 2011 costs... and I have no doubt that your gain will be nowhere near twice as good a sound (if better at all for movies).
     
  18. KimT

    KimT
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    Thanks for the replies, it has made interesting reading and I appreciate you taking the trouble and time to post your suggestions.

    The Naims don't have any problems driving the 9NTs and I want to retain them for stereo - wouldn't do to be breaking up that classic Linn LP12/Naim combination after all. Pre-outs to the Naims seems to be a viable solution - he doesn't really need that cassette deck anyway.:)

    I'm actually leaning towards just getting a cheap Yamaha RXV-430 to take care of the rears and centre, which budget-wise would be more in-line with the actual usage the surround system will get.

    I agree manufacturers massage AV Amp power ratings. Didn't NAD recently complain that they had to 'spin' their ratings because other manufactureres were quoting misleading figures and they would lose sales if they didn't follow suit. The irony of course is that if you want to go loud, the easiest way to do so is with more sensitive speakers.

    Vikki, do you know how good the phono stage of the Rotel 1060 is if we decide to go down this route? Thanks again.
     
  19. sounddog

    sounddog
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    I assume you actually mean the Rotel 1066 ... in which case it doesn't have a phono stage ... in fact neither does the Rotel 1060 amp but thats a little irrelevant.

    As for upgrading with a Yamaha 430 ... sound a good plan ... as you say more in line cost wise with the amount of use it's going to get. Use that with the pre-out into the cassette input of the Naim pre-amp, then you can connect the cassette to the Yamaha instead ... OR ... get a QED line level switch between the Naim Pre-amp / Yamaha Pre-outs and the input of the power amp. Yes you're adding an extra switch which will degrade quality ... but I doubt you'll heard the degredation of quality. Using the switch means you don't loose the casette input of the Naim, and you don't have to worry about the volume of the Naim pre-amp each time you want to use the AV kit.

    RE your comment about NAD putting "spin" on their spec ... I've not heard anyone comment that about NAD before ... and their amps are usually close to their rating ... and are good at providing current when needed. I was actually going to sugest that a NAD T752 or T742 might actaully be a better AV amp to go for rather than the Yamaha.

    Vikki
     

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