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speaker/integrated amp synergy


musicbuff

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Is the Marantz PM 11S3 integrated too much amplifier for Monitor Audio RX6 speakers or will the amp make these speakers shine? Right now my RX6's are being powered by a vintage Yamaha A450 Natural Sound Amplifier (bought in 1980). Some details in the mid frequency are too soft and I have to strain to hear them. Cymbals are softer than the drum strikes. Multiple voices singing together and instruments are a bit fuzzy. I need an amplifier that will even the playing field between the highs, mids and lows so I hear EVERYTHING the artists and producers intended. I want better imaging and a more accurate soundstage. Will the PM 11S3 give me that? I like the PM 11S3 for the phonostage, preout for subwoofer connection, A + B speaker connections and the balanced input. If any other integrateds can give me that I'm interested. Cost ceiling, $5000. Thanks.

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musicbuff:

Not to be difficult, but I recommend starting with the speakers that work in the room and then try to find an amplification solution that makes the speakers sound their best. A recent setup started (took about a year and a half) with me taking my wife to a few audio shows (Toronto - TAVES, and NY Audio Show) to listen to some speakers. The acoustics (rooms, etc.) range from great to really terrible, so any speaker that we seemed to like, was put on a list for more intimate listening situations. We eventually decided on a pair of Nola Boxers. Then we went looking for amplification in our price range to drive the Boxers. We tried several receivers and integrated amps - Rogue Audio Sphinx, Sansui 9090DB, Outlaw RR2250, several Yamaha integrated amps (CA 1010, CA 810, CA 610II), Antique Sound Labs AQ 1005 DT, Audio Space Galaxy 34. We eventually found that the Sphinx and the Galaxy 34 each sounded great with the Boxers but in different ways. So we got another pair of the Boxers. 8^)

 

I guess my advice is to find a pair of speakers that you like a lot and that really work well in the room your system is going in. Then ask the question about your amp. I could not tell from your post if you really are set on the Monitor Audio Speakers or not... But the best single way to look at the amp is to try out the speakers with amps - borrowed from friends and neighbors, borrowed from dealers, bought used or new - and listen to your speakers in your room. Keep trying and you will find one (or two) that work. To illustrate, for my Boxers, I would have never gotten the Sphinx or the Galaxy 34 from others' suggestions. But I kid you not, we love the combinations. Are there other amplification solutions that would be as nice? Most probably but I can't imagine making a decision any other way...

 

Good luck with your search and have fun!

Mike

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musicbuff:

Not to be difficult, but I recommend starting with the speakers that work in the room and then try to find an amplification solution that makes the speakers sound their best. A recent setup started (took about a year and a half) with me taking my wife to a few audio shows (Toronto - TAVES, and NY Audio Show) to listen to some speakers. The acoustics (rooms, etc.) range from great to really terrible, so any speaker that we seemed to like, was put on a list for more intimate listening situations. We eventually decided on a pair of Nola Boxers. Then we went looking for amplification in our price range to drive the Boxers. We tried several receivers and integrated amps - Rogue Audio Sphinx, Sansui 9090DB, Outlaw RR2250, several Yamaha integrated amps (CA 1010, CA 810, CA 610II), Antique Sound Labs AQ 1005 DT, Audio Space Galaxy 34. We eventually found that the Sphinx and the Galaxy 34 each sounded great with the Boxers but in different ways. So we got another pair of the Boxers. 8^)

 

I guess my advice is to find a pair of speakers that you like a lot and that really work well in the room your system is going in. Then ask the question about your amp. I could not tell from your post if you really are set on the Monitor Audio Speakers or not... But the best single way to look at the amp is to try out the speakers with amps - borrowed from friends and neighbors, borrowed from dealers, bought used or new - and listen to your speakers in your room. Keep trying and you will find one (or two) that work. To illustrate, for my Boxers, I would have never gotten the Sphinx or the Galaxy 34 from others' suggestions. But I kid you not, we love the combinations. Are there other amplification solutions that would be as nice? Most probably but I can't imagine making a decision any other way...

 

Good luck with your search and have fun!

Mike

 

Mike, I think the OP already owns the speakers.

The Truth Is Out There

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You're right mav52, I do already own the Monitor Audio RX6's and like them a lot. I just need to update from my 34 year old amplifier to an integrated amp to make these speakers sound their very best! Back to the original question; is the Marantz PM 11S3 too much amp for these speakers or will it make my MA RX6's shine (and I don't mean with excessive brightness)? Sorry to repeat myself but I really don't want the original specs to get lost. I need an amplifier that will even the playing field between the highs, mids and lows so I hear EVERYTHING through my speakers that the artists and producers intended. I want better imaging and a more accurate soundstage. Will the PM 11S3 give me that? I like the PM 11S3 for the phonostage, preout for subwoofer connection, A + B speaker connections and the balanced input. If any other integrateds can give me that I'm interested. Cost ceiling, $5000. Thanks.

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Hi musicbuff,

 

FYI: Marantz PM-11S3 Reference Integrated Amp **B-STOCK** at Music Direct

 

(you may already be aware of this)

 

Given the info you supplied and all the usual caveats about differences in taste, systems, room acoustics, I think you may be very happy with the Marantz. I auditioned both the PM 14S1 and the PM11S3 and preferred the PM11S3, just wasn't sure it was $2,000 better. I also had a Yamaha receiver of similar vintage until a few months ago. It also sounded a bit soft to me, certainly compared to the Marantz. I think you are in for a treat. Wish I had other suggestions. I would guess there is a McIntosh that would fit the bill.

1070957250_Imprimatur.NihilObstatSepia3Crop(2).jpg.2162a44365e84a5df7d456bf8026ed67.jpg

 

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You're right mav52, I do already own the Monitor Audio RX6's and like them a lot. I just need to update from my 34 year old amplifier to an integrated amp to make these speakers sound their very best! Back to the original question; is the Marantz PM 11S3 too much amp for these speakers or will it make my MA RX6's shine (and I don't mean with excessive brightness)? Sorry to repeat myself but I really don't want the original specs to get lost. I need an amplifier that will even the playing field between the highs, mids and lows so I hear EVERYTHING through my speakers that the artists and producers intended. I want better imaging and a more accurate soundstage. Will the PM 11S3 give me that? I like the PM 11S3 for the phonostage, preout for subwoofer connection, A + B speaker connections and the balanced input. If any other integrateds can give me that I'm interested. Cost ceiling, $5000. Thanks.

 

It will certainly let those Monitor Audio speakers sound their best.

David

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