Receiver for M&K (4 ohm) speakers

Brokelyn

Standard Member
I've poked around the site for a few days without finding a clear answer to my question, so I hope you'll forgive me if I am asking a duplicate question.

I have M&K front and center channels that are rated 4 ohms (Bookshelf-75 fronts and Center-750THX). Rears are 8 ohm B&Ws (ceiling mounted, came with the house) and powered sub is something basic that gets the job done (can't remember!).

I need a new receiver, preferably something around $1,000 or so, but am confused about which to get. Some are of the opinion that a receiver rated at 8 ohms will flame out while others say no problem. I don't blast my music or movies, ever. I love the sound of the M&Ks and want to be able to hear the nuances in everything from soft classical pieces to Saving Private Ryan-style surround sound chaos.

So, in less techncial terms than what I have read around here, can anyone please help me understand what are the key characteristics I should look for in a receiver that would be suitable for what I've described above? I would also value your specific advice on which receivers you believe are worth loking into. Many of the discussions regarding 4 ohm speakers on this site are much too technical for my understanding and seem to veer off into esoteric discussions of performance under extreme or unusual circumstances. Way above my pay grade!

FYI, my old receiver is a Boston Acoustics AVR 7100 (rebadged Sherwood, I think). It did a fine job, but I never did get the subtleties I desired.

Much appreciated!
 

N1ck

Active Member
To be honest I think that manufacturers go overboard sometimes in saying what speakers they can or cant drive. I have had the MK750 LCRs for about 6 years now and have driven them with a Denon 1902, 2803, 3805, 3806 and a Linn 5125 power amp. Non have struggled at all. If any were to it would have been the 1902 but it didnt bad an eyelid. Saying that I very very rarely take my amps down past -20db so maybe there would have been issues at say -5db over long periods, I dont know. For your price range you are looking at I would have thought there would be few issues. The Denon 3806 I am using at the moment is rated at 120watts / 8 ohms, the higher the rating the easier it will be to drive them, I dont pay much attention to "6 or 8 ohms only" really, overall power output is more important.

One thing to be aware of is that if a new receiver develops a fault and you tell them what speakers you are using they would probably say that the warranty is invalid, even though it probably has nothing to do with you speakers.
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
I used to have M&K LCR750s for a few years and had no issues with mid-range receivers such as Onkyo 805 etc.

M&Ks being sats with a fairly high roll-off (80hz+) and being fairly efficient are not very hard to drive, despite being rated at 4Ohms.

Any £1k receiver and a good many for far less, will drive them with no problems whatsoever.

Adam :)
 

Brokelyn

Standard Member
Thanks to both of you, especially AngelEyes because I know that it is difficult to post messages from your "location."

Apologies again for the basic question, but in practical terms what does it mean that the speakers have a "fairly high roll-off?" Is that where low frequency signals (bass) are handed off to the sub-woofer? And if so, are you implying that since the sats hand off the signal sooner than, say, a speaker that does so at 50hz, the sat will require less power (e.g., be more efficient)?

I just got back from a local electronics specialist who swore up and down that I'll destroy most receivers with these speakers -- I "must get a pre-out." It doesn't smell right to me....

Thanks again!
 

N1ck

Active Member
It sounds like he is covering is behind and reading the script. Was it a Richersounds or Currys guy? They only seem to know what they read. Saying that if you research before, you can get some bargains in there but they also sell lemons so asking questions on here first is a good way to filter the good from the bad.

You are right with what you say about the high roll off. The sub being active will use its own amplifier, reducing the stress your Av amp would be put under. I really wouldnt worry about it too much if you arent playing very high volumes over long periods of time.

What sort of volumes do you listen to?
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
I am not an expert on speaker theory but my understanding with regards efficiency is the SPL the speaker can produce for 1watt at 1 metre (I think).

Some designs need more power than others to produce a certain SPL. A case in point would be the M&K 750s vs the XTZ 99.36s I upgraded to, at the same 'volume' setting on an amp the M&Ks would be a few dB louder.

The fact the M&Ks roll off higher than most standmounts means they present an easier load than a standmount of the same efficiency. So really that is 2 reasons why they are easier to drive than most.

Some people swear blind that M&Ks need loads of power to sound their best but having tried them on a couple of receivers and various power amps, I would suggest the improvement gained would be no more than that on any other speaker.

I am guessing your local electronics specialist is of a certain age, and may be harking back to a time when some av amplifiers really weren't up to 4ohm loads. Either that or he doesnt have a clue :)

Adam :)
 

N1ck

Active Member
I have just been using the search as Im sure I have read a few comments about this and it has been niggling at me until I found it. Anyway here it is:

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.

From post no.19

http://www.avforums.com/forums/av-a...akers-good-integrated-amp-recommendation.html
 

Brokelyn

Standard Member
Once again, hats off to you for your assistance. :smashin:

I think that the retailers are either trying to push more product or are covering their butts in case something does indeed fail. Most don't seem to have any experience with the equipment, but have read the manuals.

I will continue to review the site for more advice, but at the moment I believe that a quality receiver, although not "rated" for 4 ohms, will do a splendid job of driving these M&Ks. Once I get it all set up, I'll be back to report on my findings.

Best wishes
 

AngelEyes

Distinguished Member
I think in general terms people are right to be a little cautious but M&K as a specific case are not a serious load. If it were another manufacturer, full range and less efficient then I might be less inclined to promote a mid-range AV Receiver but they do tend to be much better than they were some years ago.

Adam :)
 

N1ck

Active Member
The Denon AVR-3805 didn't appear to break a sweat driving the 4-ohm impedance presented by the RBH Sound 1266-LSEs and 661-LSE speakers. In fact, the rated 120 watts per channel was sufficient enough to drive the Reference 3 System speakers to a steady 97dB SPL at the listening position without any audible distortion.

i think this says it all really when a well know audio critic openly acknowledges he is using 4ohm speakers driven by a Denon, no 4 ohms allowed, amp.

AVR-3803 vs. AVR-3805 Features and Listening Room — Reviews and News from Audioholics
 

Jmog

Active Member
Later this year I will be converting a small living room into a home cinema. I want to upgrade from my cheap-ish 18-year old Dali speakers to possibly the MP150 series from M&K. Question is, should I expect to be okey with my current receiver or would I need to get another one to power these speakers? I would at least be running a 7.1 setup. Possibly 9.1.

My receiver is the Marantz SR5011.
 

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