Question Tannoy Mercury M3's, what amp?

Cyberpistol

Novice Member
Afternoon all,

Newbie here, though not completely new to AV I've just picked up a pair of Tannoy Mercury M3's for £40 and wondering if anyone has a good idea on what amp to pair them with? I'm also looking at getting a sub to add a bit more punch eventually.

I'm good with things like placement, toeing them in, spikes, etc so just curious about amp ideas.

Budget not massive, but open to thoughts/ideas from people on here with better knowledge than me. Ideally I'll be going secondhand with the amp and have looked at Marantz PM6004 and Denon PMA250SE so far. Over you you lot and thanks in advance :)
 

gibbsy

Moderator
With a sensitivity of 89dB they will not be too hard to drive. The Marantz has 45 watts at 8 ohms and the Denon, I believe just 30 watts in 8 ohm. The Marantz would be better suited if not pushed too hard. If looking for other amps on the used market I would not think of looking at anything below the power of the Marantz 6004.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
The tannoys go down to 35hz at -3db so can dig pretty deep so I would see how they go before adding a sub.

As for amp, looking on eBay the Marantz goes for around £150 and the denon for £50-75. At the upper end you can get about an Audiolab 8000a, which well worth a thought if you can stretch to it (check for cracked rear rca plugs). Or an Arcam delta 290, but check for scratchy controls.
 
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Cyberpistol

Novice Member
Thanks for the info gents, some good options by the sounds of things. Lots of these amps on eBay too which makes things easier. I'll wait before buying a sub as you say, see how they go without for now. Time to scour eBay.

Thanks again, really appreciate the response.
 

Cyberpistol

Novice Member
Cheers Paul - I like the look of the CA kit you mentioned, and the Internet backs them up too.

D'you know anything about the CA Azur 540R? I'm now starting to wonder if I might look at an AV receiver and this comes in around the same price bracket. Is there a great deal of difference with an AV in regard to the way it drives the speakers for music? Or am I better off buying an amp for music and then look at AV as a separate way of driving other sources?

Sorry if this is a dumb question.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
No AVR is going to come anywhere near as good at stereo music as an integrated amp. Music is and always will be the Achille's Heel of the vast majority of AVRs, including many high end units. Even with Pure Direct engaged, one of the improvements mentions in the linked article, my Denon X6200 (£1800 upon release) gets no where near the performance of my Rega amp, as will the amps already mentioned above.

Many members on here have introduced a stereo amp into the home cinema set up just to improve the stereo performance of their speakers. For film the receiver and stereo amp work in conjunction. If music is the over-riding factor to you then stick with a stereo amp.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Cheers Paul - I like the look of the CA kit you mentioned, and the Internet backs them up too.

D'you know anything about the CA Azur 540R? I'm now starting to wonder if I might look at an AV receiver and this comes in around the same price bracket. Is there a great deal of difference with an AV in regard to the way it drives the speakers for music? Or am I better off buying an amp for music and then look at AV as a separate way of driving other sources?

Sorry if this is a dumb question.
As mentioned above, I’d avoid any AVRs for stereo only.
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Hers another couple to consider. Possibly a bit more than your budget but good amps.

Rotel RA-920AX Integrated Stereo Amplifier In Excellent Condition | eBay

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Nad-c320-stereo-integrated-amplifier/173304527951?_trkparms=aid=222007&algo=SIM.MBE&ao=2&asc=52344&meid=010e8cd73d9e4e23a508e51bd818a5e7&pid=100005&rk=11&rkt=12&sd=132622161517&itm=173304527951&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851

Don’t read much into the stated power outputs of amplifiers though.

What counts is the current available for dips in impedance, and Cambridge Rotel, and Nad are well respected for the very reason that they design amps for that purpose first, then add gubbins. Or not.
 

Cyberpistol

Novice Member
Right, so I'm sticking with an integrated amp as per your advice. I just bought a CA Azur 640a for £70 which seems a decent price. I think what you said about adding gubbins over time is definitely the right way to look at it.

I'll follow up once I have the CA amp and see how it sounds. Great advice from you chaps, thanks :)
 

Cyberpistol

Novice Member
Update: So I setup the Mercurys last night and having a play around with the this morning, all I can say is I'm very impressed (with my newbie untrained ear). They sound really good with the CA 640a although there's a tiny little 'pffft' sound coming from the left-hand speaker on some bass notes.

It's barely audible most of the time on most tracks and everything else is lovely and clear/crisp - I also ran an 'audio test' via Tidal (not the greatest test I know what with digital quality through a laptop via DAC) which didn't show up the 'pfft' sound at all. It's really only on anything heavy on bass and some treble notes - you can't always hear it (it's tiny and you have to really concentrate to hear it) apart from when the amp is cranked up a notch. Any ideas on what might be the cause of the 'pfft'?

I had a good inspection of both speakers and apart from a small mark on the left-hand speaker I can't see any damage.

Hopefully you know what I mean by the 'pfft' sound!
 

Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
Glad you like the amp sir :smashin:

First thing to check is to make sure that there is not even the slightest hole or tiniest tear in the bass driver cone or its surround or the dust cap.

Then check to make sure the bolts are tight and that none are stripped and just sitting in the hole doing nothing.

If that fails then swap the speakers around and check to see that the same speaker makes the sound to rule out the amp as the offender.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Also worth looking up “soeaker port chuffing”, if you are playing them reasonably loud it may just be airvmoving in and out of the port. But check as Paul says first.
 

Cyberpistol

Novice Member
So it seems one of them is faulty. On piano/strings heavy songs for example I can hear it vibrating where the small mark is on the speaker. If I touch it gently with my finger while it's 'flapping' the noise stops and there's no vibration/noise. Am I to assume the small mark means the woofer is fubared?

If so that's a bummer but I guess I can replace it - had a look online though, and doesn't appear to be any of these available online. Bummer.
 

Cyberpistol

Novice Member
So I've just wired up a pair of bookshelf Tannoys (same setup) and one sounds really bassy, and the other one sounds not very bassy at all! I've swapped the speakers over and the same (other) one sounds bassy. What the hell is going on, is it the amp?

Update: I just bought a bass driver on eBay for £20. Fingers crossed.
 
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dannnielll

Well-known Member
If the bass moves right to left when the speaker is swopped, then the fault is with the speaker and not the amplifier. If the bass does not move then the amplifier is at fault. In the case of the speaker, a likely cause would be a defective tweeter, or maybe a bad connection internal to the cabinet .. resoldering the connections around the crossover network might sort it out. A defective component in the crossover might also give the symptoms..
I know the type of psst sound .. I have a vintage set of leak 2020 .speakers 1975 era , and was very disappointed to be getting a transient buzzing from one of the speakers. .. only affecting some sounds but once heard cannot be ignored. I opened it up and poked around, and then screwed it up again ang the sound disappeared. I think it might have been a bit of the wool sound absorption padding had got too close to the cone.
 
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Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
So I've just wired up a pair of bookshelf Tannoys (same setup) and one sounds really bassy, and the other one sounds not very bassy at all! I've swapped the speakers over and the same (other) one sounds bassy. What the hell is going on, is it the amp?

Update: I just bought a bass driver on eBay for £20. Fingers crossed.
I’m a little at a loss here.

Is it always the same speaker that is bassy? Or is it always, say, the left (or right) positioned one whichever speaker is used?
 

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