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How to choose the Integrated Amplifier and speakers for a particular Integrated Ampli

Wharfedale Diamond 11.1 & 11.2 Speakers

navarannan

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Hi all forum members. Opening a separate thread for a different question. I have started leaning about Hi Fi system and this forum is of really great help. Over the next few months I will lots a technical questions. Hope the forum members can help.

I was going through the Marantz integrated amplifiers.

Here is the spec of the amplifiers currently available.

PM 5005:- 40W(8 ohms), 55W(4 ohms)
PM 6005:- 45W(8 ohms), 60W(4ohms)
PM 7005:- 60W(8 ohms), 80W(4 ohms)
PM 8005:- 70W(8 ohms), 100W(5 ohms)

How do we decide on an apmlifier or what all things we need to consider to decide on an amplifier?

I have a samsung home theatre which I use as a stereo set up with just the from speakers. Its spec is as follows

Amplifier :- Front speaker output 165W x 2(3?)
Speakers :- Rated input 165 watts, Max input 330 Watts

To be honest I dont find anything special about the sound experience.

With a dedicated stereo set up like Marantz 8005 will the sound quality be improved and to what extend?

Also if I compare the spec of PM8005 with the samsung HT AVR its just 100Watts(5 ohms).

Once we decide on the amplifier what all we need to consider to buy a matching speaker?
 

ghatgepatil

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Re: How to choose the Integrated Amplifier and speakers for a particular Integrated A

There is NO short-cut in this!

What you currently possess is mass-market lo-fi. You now intend to step into the mid-fi terrain. Best way for you would be to LISTEN to such systems than getting confused with all OUR suggestions.

Music is subjective! No two persons would have the same choices. What you like might be noise for the other.

Seek out an outlet close to where you stay. Get ideas from the older posts here about the brands available. Then, go and 'listen'. You would be in a much better position to 'ask' pointed questions here, after that.
 

shanmune

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Re: How to choose the Integrated Amplifier and speakers for a particular Integrated A

Hi all forum members. Opening a separate thread for a different question. I have started leaning about Hi Fi system and this forum is of really great help. Over the next few months I will lots a technical questions. Hope the forum members can help.

I was going through the Marantz integrated amplifiers.

Here is the spec of the amplifiers currently available.

PM 5005:- 40W(8 ohms), 55W(4 ohms)
PM 6005:- 45W(8 ohms), 60W(4ohms)
PM 7005:- 60W(8 ohms), 80W(4 ohms)
PM 8005:- 70W(8 ohms), 100W(5 ohms)

How do we decide on an apmlifier or what all things we need to consider to decide on an amplifier?

I have a samsung home theatre which I use as a stereo set up with just the from speakers. Its spec is as follows

Amplifier :- Front speaker output 165W x 2(3?)
Speakers :- Rated input 165 watts, Max input 330 Watts

To be honest I dont find anything special about the sound experience.

With a dedicated stereo set up like Marantz 8005 will the sound quality be improved and to what extend?

Also if I compare the spec of PM8005 with the samsung HT AVR its just 100Watts(5 ohms).

Once we decide on the amplifier what all we need to consider to buy a matching speaker?

It is a well established fact that dedicated stereo integrated amps do sound better than HT AVR.

Now, there are few things to see while deciding on a dedicated stereo amp.

Power watts - Power doesn't always reflect the sound quality. As the conventional wisdom goes, it is the quality of the power that matters and not the quantity. I have heard a couple of old NAD stereo amps (rated around just 30 watts per channel for 8 ohms load) and they sounded a lot better than a 80 watts integrated amp or even an 100 watts HT AVR.

So does it mean there is no requirement for more power ? In few cases, there will be a requirement where a person wants to play the music loud in a big hall. In that case, you need power hungry speakers and high power stereo amps to drive those speakers at higher decibel level.

Now, what to choose among those various Marantz amps ? Look at the power rating of your speakers. If they have lower impedance, then trying a slightly higher power is safe. Again, even the lowest powered Marantz amp might be sufficient for such speakers based on what music you listen. For example, certain type of music have certain sections/passages where it hits the climax with high pitch/energy. Those high passages may cause the speakers impedance to go very low and the amp may struggle to meet the demand. As a result, the sound gets distorted. So having the right amp for the right speakers is very important. In general, a low powered (40 watts) will be more than enough for speakers having a nominal impedance of 8 ohms (unless you want to hear the music loud in a big hall. For example, party music).
 
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magma

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Re: How to choose the Integrated Amplifier and speakers for a particular Integrated A

sir

first finalize a budget

the marantz has a PEARL series
that would be good if you are looking only at "marantz"

but then the pearl should also fit your budget

also note : upgrading just your amp and leaving your HT speakers is a pointless excersice
you will have to get better speakers
 

navarannan

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Re: How to choose the Integrated Amplifier and speakers for a particular Integrated A

It is a well established fact that dedicated stereo integrated amps do sound better than HT AVR.

Now, there are few things to see while deciding on a dedicated stereo amp.

Power watts - Power doesn't always reflect the sound quality. As the conventional wisdom goes, it is the quality of the power that matters and not the quantity. I have heard a couple of old NAD stereo amps (rated around just 30 watts per channel for 8 ohms load) and they sounded a lot better than a 80 watts integrated amp or even an 100 watts HT AVR.

So does it mean there is no requirement for more power ? In few cases, there will be a requirement where a person wants to play the music loud in a big hall. In that case, you need power hungry speakers and high power stereo amps to drive those speakers at higher decibel level.

Now, what to choose among those various Marantz amps ? Look at the power rating of your speakers. If they have lower impedance, then trying a slightly higher power is safe. Again, even the lowest powered Marantz amp might be sufficient for such speakers based on what music you listen. For example, certain type of music have certain sections/passages where it hits the climax with high pitch/energy. Those high passages may cause the speakers impedance to go very low and the amp may struggle to meet the demand. As a result, the sound gets distorted. So having the right amp for the right speakers is very important. In general, a low powered (40 watts) will be more than enough for speakers having a nominal impedance of 8 ohms (unless you want to hear the music loud in a big hall. For example, party music).

Thats really interesting. My maximum room capacity will me a normal apartment hall. With that size PM 6005 would be more than enough isnt it?


6005 has 60W, 4Ohms spec anf 45W,, 8Ohms spec

If I freeze this what sort of speaker should I be looking at?

It would be great if you can tell me in simple terms how the impedence of speaker is important and related to impedance & power rating of Amplifier
 

magma

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Re: How to choose the Integrated Amplifier and speakers for a particular Integrated A

budget bolo bahi ???
 

navarannan

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Re: How to choose the Integrated Amplifier and speakers for a particular Integrated A

budget bolo bahi ???

Lets not talk about budjet. I need a decent Hi Fi setup. SO apart from budget what are the driving factors?

Room size?
 

sound_cycle

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Re: How to choose the Integrated Amplifier and speakers for a particular Integrated A

also note : upgrading just your amp and leaving your HT speakers is a pointless excersice you will have to get better speakers

See this post http://www.hifivision.com/speakers/...oorstanders-dali-zensor-7-a-3.html#post576390 which tries to reason out why.

Now I know nothing about HT and very little about stereo audio, however I agree with fm sam9s. ie. speakers don't have imaging and sound stage as magical properties.

The imaging is largely a function of the recording/ or what happened when the sound was mixed.

The sound stage is determined by speaker placement and room acoustics.

The tonal balance is determined your room.

The room and placement can effectively destroy any imaging that is there in your recording.

Which brings me, to my-essay-on-the-cow type post.

You can modify the soundstage by speaker placement and listening room treatments.

Now I have no idea, at all, about HT/ movie requirements and it does not interest me. I have sometimes wondered however, why HiFi speakers - ie have good high-quality reproduction of sound - would become genre specific or movie specific or why a decent AVR ie with a amplifier section that performs well, should not be capable of good stereo reproduction.

If you were to turn off all its bells and whistles (room correction, dynamic volume and what not, because they will potentially damage imaging), you should have good stereo (?) It may be money wasted if one were to have no use of its video capabilities.

Therfore my provisional conclusion is that there is nothing in the AVR that makes it unsuitable for stereo listening. I am not throwing this as some proverbial last word on the subject, but just that I have not been able to make out why the amplifier section of a decent AVR cannot be good for mid-fi stereo. I did consider this route when I was making a spend, and abandoned it because I figured I could live with the occasional movie I watch without bombs being hurled at me is okay.

In my mind (and that is the way I've gone) the super critical all important parts are the DAC, and the speakers. The even more important part (if the room is not designed with the requirements of good audio in mind) is room treatment and maybe digital room correction.

So why all this verbiage where is it leading to ? Listen to your choice of components and music, ideally in your room, like it ? reach for your wallet. Before you reach for your wallet, consider your room.

Most of all be clear of your goals, mine are pegged very low. Uncolored sound, with decent imaging that makes the speakers kind of disappear - ie you close your eyes and you don't hear the speakers as some kind of boundary markers you hear only the sound between them. And that sound does not make Abida Parveen appear as a dot hanging in mid air, or leave you wondering where that cymbal was.

I have gotten that.

I know it can be improved further, for sure, but I am content to listen to my music.

Some day maybe the discontent will surface as I learn to listen better.

It is a journey. It is a discovery. It is your journey, your discovery.

It need not be an expensive and confusing one, for sure not to get started on your voyage.

ciao
gr
 
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shanmune

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Re: How to choose the Integrated Amplifier and speakers for a particular Integrated A

Thats really interesting. My maximum room capacity will me a normal apartment hall. With that size PM 6005 would be more than enough isnt it?


6005 has 60W, 4Ohms spec anf 45W,, 8Ohms spec

If I freeze this what sort of speaker should I be looking at?

It would be great if you can tell me in simple terms how the impedence of speaker is important and related to impedance & power rating of Amplifier

Before I can give my thoughts on your specific queries, let me put few points/suggestions.
- Patience is the key to start your mid-fi/hi-fi setup. Don't rush just by reading reviews and even by any of our suggestions when it comes to picking up amps/speakers from a specific brand.

- Budget: As magma suggested, budget is one important aspect that you are missing. I can see the budget that you have allocated for the stereo int amp, but there are other important components in the chain. They are the source (DAC or CD player), interconnects, speakers and speaker wires. In fact any one of these components may cost higher than your amp.
For example, your amp (PM6005) costs around 40k. If your going for an entry level CD player, it will cost around another 20k. Again, a decent entry level speaker costs another 30 k. These are just a rough quote. So what I am trying to say is be prepared for the budget and that is more important. If not, you will be surprised by the budget overshoot when you buy other components.

- Can I know why you are specific about Marantz ? I am not saying it is a bad product, but there are amps from other brands as well. If you have auditioned a specific brand and liked it, then there is no problem. If not, try listening to various amps around your budget. So here again, patience is the key.

Coming to your specific query on impedance, the speaker impedance is not a fixed one. The impedance will vary according to the frequency. Lower the impedance at lower frequencies. At the same time, each speaker is rated with nominal impedance. Nominal impedance is sort of an average impedance value across the frequency spectrum. Speakers having a lower nominal impedance can have their impedance curve go down drastically for lower frequencies and that demands lot of power from the amp. Low powered amps may struggle to meet such sudden demand in the power. It is also called as the dynamic power required for a small period of time. In general, low powered amps have low dynamic power and there are exceptions too. In your case (PM6005), an 8 ohm speaker load will be okay. Another thing to see is the speaker efficiency (DB-per-meter/watts).
You can google on that for more information. In short, speaker efficiency is about how much Decibels (at 1 meter away from the speaker) it can put for a 1 watt of input electrical power.

For selecting the speakers, you need to carry the amp to the dealer shops and audition it with different speakers.
 
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navarannan

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Re: How to choose the Integrated Amplifier and speakers for a particular Integrated A

Before I can give my thoughts on your specific queries, let me put few points/suggestions.
- Patience is the key to start your mid-fi/hi-fi setup. Don't rush just by reading reviews and even by any of our suggestions when it comes to picking up amps/speakers from a specific brand.

- Budget: As magma suggested, budget is one important aspect that you are missing. I can see the budget that you have allocated for the stereo int amp, but there are other important components in the chain. They are the source (DAC or CD player), interconnects, speakers and speaker wires. In fact any one of these components may cost higher than your amp.
For example, your amp (PM6005) costs around 40k. If your going for an entry level CD player, it will cost around another 20k. Again, a decent entry level speaker costs another 30 k. These are just a rough quote. So what I am trying to say is be prepared for the budget and that is more important. If not, you will be surprised by the budget overshoot when you buy other components.

- Can I know why you are specific about Marantz ? I am not saying it is a bad product, but there are amps from other brands as well. If you have auditioned a specific brand and liked it, then there is no problem. If not, try listening to various amps around your budget. So here again, patience is the key.

Coming to your specific query on impedance, the speaker impedance is not a fixed one. The impedance will vary according to the frequency. Lower the impedance at lower frequencies. At the same time, each speaker is rated with nominal impedance. Nominal impedance is sort of an average impedance value across the frequency spectrum. Speakers having a lower nominal impedance can have their impedance curve go down drastically for lower frequencies and that demands lot of power from the amp. Low powered amps may struggle to meet such sudden demand in the power. It is also called as the dynamic power required for a small period of time. In general, low powered amps have low dynamic power and there are exceptions too. In your case (PM6005), an 8 ohm speaker load will be okay. Another thing to see is the speaker efficiency (DB-per-meter/watts).
You can google on that for more information. In short, speaker efficiency is about how much Decibels (at 1 meter away from the speaker) it can put for a 1 watt of input electrical power.

For selecting the speakers, you need to carry the amp to the dealer shops and audition it with different speakers.

Yes. I'm looking like 6 to 12 months for setting up the hi-fi system.

Im trying to understand what is the near best set up for my apartment hall and then try to find out the money that fits the set up. So budget is flexble. (1.5 lakhs to 2.5 lakhs)

Im not specific about Marantz just wanted to choose a brand to know the Technics behind it.

As I said my main intention is to play music in CDs and the HIRES audio I have. Over the last couple of days I spent time in forum and understood that I need a CD player, A dedicated DAC, Integrated AMP and Speakers.

CD Player and DAC I believe is easy to select the confusion is only in budget(I need to have a DAC that can handle 24 bit ,192 Khz music and HIRES audio). But when it comes to AMP and speakers there is lot of grey area and number games which I cannot understand.

Out of this speaker is my last priority. Untill I find out the money I can use the samsung speakers of HT for the HI FI setup.
 
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keith_correa

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Re: How to choose the Integrated Amplifier and speakers for a particular Integrated A

Forget the amp for now. Listen to a WIDE range of speakers. Shortlist the ones that sound best to YOUR ears by playing the type of music you normally listen to and that are priced in a price range affordable to you. Then work upstream.

Q. What do we need to consider to buy a speaker/amp/DAC/<whatever>?
A. Your ears. Your room.
 

navarannan

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Re: How to choose the Integrated Amplifier and speakers for a particular Integrated A

Forget the amp for now. Listen to a WIDE range of speakers. Shortlist the ones that sound best to YOUR ears by playing the type of music you normally listen to and that are priced in a price range affordable to you. Then work upstream.

Q. What do we need to consider to buy a speaker/amp/DAC/<whatever>?
A. Your ears. Your room.

If I zoom in on a speaker how can I find the matching AMP. What is the technical thing which drives this? (Power, impedence etc etc??)
 

keith_correa

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Re: How to choose the Integrated Amplifier and speakers for a particular Integrated A

If I zoom in on a speaker how can I find the matching AMP. What is the technical thing which drives this? (Power, impedence etc etc??)
Forget all the technicalities. Use your ears! IMO, the speakers are the weakest link in the chain. Get that sorted out and I will not be surprised if your decide to keep your existing Samsung HTiB amp [or whatever you have now] with your new speakers. You are over-thinking the selection process.
 

shanmune

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Re: How to choose the Integrated Amplifier and speakers for a particular Integrated A

If I zoom in on a speaker how can I find the matching AMP. What is the technical thing which drives this? (Power, impedence etc etc??)

You shouldn't find any problem finding a matching amp. Most of the speakers have good speaker efficiency/sensitivity. To give a ballpark figure, anything above 86 db or 87 db sensitivity will work for a low powered amps (like 40 watts amp). Speaker sensitivity will be part of the documented technical specifications of any speaker. I have seen a 30 watt NAD amp driving a speaker with sensitivity of 86 db.

There are two schools of thought. One believes in source first, but the other believes in speakers first. Any way, I am not an expert to tell which path to follow. Probably, you start with auditioning speakers as keith_correa suggested. Like he said, you need not worry too much about impedance/power matching. Trust your ears. Of course you can have some rough ballpark figures for amp watts (min 40 watts) and speakers sensitivity/impedance (min 86 db and 8 ohms).
 

soulforged

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Re: How to choose the Integrated Amplifier and speakers for a particular Integrated A

The wattage of the amp is not an indicative of the sound quality. Like brother (I presume) shanmune has explained, you should focus, if at all, on the sensitivity of the speaker and impedance while matching speakers to amp. That is not to say that the other figures don't matter, but for a layperson, like me, these should give you a fair idea of the technical match. Whether they match sonically is left to the ear of the beholder.

Now impedance is not static but most speaker specs speak of the nominal impedance which is usually 8 ohms. This goes up or down based on the frequency which is based on the type of music. For instance, western classical music, especially a full symphony would have a lot of transients which put different loads on the speaker and the amp. At times the impedance could fall to 2 ohms that in turn demands high current from the amp. In this case, the headroom of the amp becomes vital. Typically, the higher the wattage of the amp, the higher the potential for headroom. This may not be the scenario in case you are more into say Hindustani where such transients are not common.

The other aspect is the sensitivity of the speaker. Typically, the lower the sensitivity, the more power it would need. So a speaker rated at 85db would need a heftier amp than the one rated at 91. This also has a bearing on how loud you play. If you like cranking up, you'd need more wattage. Bass heavy music would also need hefty power.

You can use these to shortlist your potential matches but as I said earlier, whether the sound of the amp/spkr combo is to your liking would depend mainly on you...
 

shanmune

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Re: How to choose the Integrated Amplifier and speakers for a particular Integrated A

For speakers, there are many brands. To start with, then I know these are brands which are very good.
1. Tannoy (I like them for the sweet vocals)
2. PSB
3. Dali Zensor
I am sure few of our FMs will pitch in with more options. Since you have specified your total budget for around 2L, you have some flexibility. While you wait for inputs to come, also look at the "For Sales by Owner" section for getting a used one. Again, don't push yourself. Take your own sweet time.

NOTE: soulforged summarized it correctly and precisely. As he said, use amp power+speaker impedance matching as a guidance parameter ONLY. Don't focus too much on that. Once you have that guidance, finding a sonically matching amp+speaker is left to your ears.
 
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Audio_Freek

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Re: How to choose the Integrated Amplifier and speakers for a particular Integrated A

With 2L Budget, we have more options and yes as all said, you need to rely your ears to make decisions and read in forum for getting the options.
Dynaudio\Focal\PMC\ATC\KEF\Tannoy\Quad\Morel\PSB are few Brands which have good models to for Audition.

Dynaudio,PMC were really impressive for their Size, Just my personal Opinion.
 

blackhorn

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Re: How to choose the Integrated Amplifier and speakers for a particular Integrated A

For the kind of budget you have, what needs to be done is to go to a store, which has a variety of gear, listen to them and then make a decision. Making such a decision without having an experience how the equipment pairs with each other you will end up spending more as you will lose money whenever you change, take some high res music with you which you are familiar with and then listen to them on the different setups. I am sure there are a FM's based out of Kerala to point you in the right direction :)
 

asliarun

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Re: How to choose the Integrated Amplifier and speakers for a particular Integrated A

A couple of things to add:

Most likely, your Samsung HT amp is *not* 135W RMS. The mass market hifi brands are notorious for overstating specs or being very devious in their wattage numbers and other specs.

Most HT speakers also suffer because of poor placement. First thing to do (if you haven't done so already) is to setup your speakers correctly. Assuming they are bookshelf type speakers, you need to put it on sturdy stands, and place them at least 1 ft (ideally more) away from the back wall or side wall.

Plus, if your room is bare, you might want to consider adding some drapes or thick curtains, a rug, sofa/chairs etc. - anything that absorbs sound.

Here's a room setup guide: Cardas Room Setup Guide

This will first establish a baseline of what your system is really capable of souding like, at its best.

I used to think that amp should be bought first, but the thing is, different speakers have very different characteristics. Some are high sensitivity, especially the single driver minimalistic speakers, and can often be run by very low wattage amps. So fixing on the speaker allows you to buy an amp that will be appropriate. And it also allows you to consider options like tube amps that often sound leagues better than entry level Marantzes and NADs, but have to be paired with the right speaker.
 

sound_cycle

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Re: How to choose the Integrated Amplifier and speakers for a particular Integrated A

Plus, if your room is bare, you might want to consider adding some drapes or thick curtains, a rug, sofa/chairs etc. - anything that absorbs sound.


Ummmm, please remember not all sofas/chairs, drapes, thick curtains or rugs absorb effectively. Poly fill cushions for instance or faux leather or and shiny drapes reflect. Also <kofffkoff> Tube vs other amplifiers is personal preference, mediated by that evil thing called a budget as well.


ciao
gr
 
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