Amplification for MA RX2

theexcitableboy

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Apr 11, 2012
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Hello again!

I posted a while back trying to reach a decision regarding speakers and amplifier for my room. The room is 4.5m by 3m, so I decided to look to standmounts instead of floorstanders. Eventually, I settled on the MA RX2s. I also decided on the Soundstyle Z2ii stands (haven't bought anything yet). I'm still not decided on amplification though.

Initially I was looking at the Marantz PM6004, as it got great reviews on WHF, and won awards. I've been hunting around auction sites looking for second hand amps too, but have little idea on what's good and what's not. The PM6004 would cost me £300 new, or I could pick up some used amps at similar prices. I've been looking at the Pioneer A400 (£130), the Arcam A85 (£315, NAD 3020i (£79) and the NAD C326BEE (£279). There's a whole heap of other amps, £300 is the absolute limit, and I'd rather not spend quite so much, unless necessary. Does anyone with a better knowledge of older amps have any idea? Perhaps my Pioneer A-Z370 will be okay, but I suspect not.

Many thanks in advance,

Joseph. :)
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
theexcitableboy said:
Couldn't find a place to edit - just thought I'd add that I could get an Audiolab 8000A for £185, too.
It's a good price but... I've found Audiolab not a good match with Monitor Audio. You're better off with Arcam Alpha 8 or DIVA A75 (or A65+ if you play at low volumes), or Nad 326 or an earlier incarnation.

Audiolab make some wonderful amps, but MA/Audiolab combo = Clinical sound.
 

theexcitableboy

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Apr 11, 2012
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Excitable Boy said:
What sort of music do you listen to - at what volume ??

(The original ! :) )
Hahah, strange username coincidence there! Mine is, as can be guessed from my user image, a reference to Warren Zevon's 'Excitable Boy'! To answer your question, I listen to a wide variety of music, but I stay away from dance, trance, synth and all that kind of thing. I'm more a fan of rock, classic rock, indie, acoustic and so on. I prefer a medium volume - I like it loud enough to catch the details but nothing ear-shattering.

plastic penguin said:
It's a good price but... I've found Audiolab not a good match with Monitor Audio. You're better off with Arcam Alpha 8 or DIVA A75 (or A65+ if you play at low volumes), or Nad 326 or an earlier incarnation.

Audiolab make some wonderful amps, but MA/Audiolab combo = Clinical sound.
Thanks for the advice about the Audiolab. I certainly do not want anything clinical. Arcam and NAD do seem good matches for the RX2, or at least that's what I keep hearing. I can pick up the Alpha 8 for £145 or the DIVA A75 for £160, so there's no real difference. Struggling to find much in the way of older NADs at that price, can only find the 3020i and the C300. Arcam Alpha 8 vs DIVA A75 though? They both seem very similar in specs!

Thanks for the help,

Joseph :)
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
theexcitableboy said:
Excitable Boy said:
What sort of music do you listen to - at what volume ??

(The original ! :) )
Hahah, strange username coincidence there! Mine is, as can be guessed from my user image, a reference to Warren Zevon's 'Excitable Boy'! To answer your question, I listen to a wide variety of music, but I stay away from dance, trance, synth and all that kind of thing. I'm more a fan of rock, classic rock, indie, acoustic and so on. I prefer a medium volume - I like it loud enough to catch the details but nothing ear-shattering.

plastic penguin said:
It's a good price but... I've found Audiolab not a good match with Monitor Audio. You're better off with Arcam Alpha 8 or DIVA A75 (or A65+ if you play at low volumes), or Nad 326 or an earlier incarnation.

Audiolab make some wonderful amps, but MA/Audiolab combo = Clinical sound.
Thanks for the advice about the Audiolab. I certainly do not want anything clinical. Arcam and NAD do seem good matches for the RX2, or at least that's what I keep hearing. I can pick up the Alpha 8 for £145 or the DIVA A75 for £160, so there's no real difference. Struggling to find much in the way of older NADs at that price, can only find the 3020i and the C300. Arcam Alpha 8 vs DIVA A75 though? They both seem very similar in specs!

Thanks for the help,

Joseph :)
Yes, Arcam and Nad are probably the best matches with your budget. I've had Arcam/MA for years (A65+) and love the combo. Likewise I've heard Nad 352 with RS6 and equally as good, although a little on the bassy side for my tastes.

There is a slight difference between the Alpha and DIVA range: Alpha (7/8/9) have a lovely rich presentation, whereas the DIVA ranges tends to be a little more open and neutral.
 

theexcitableboy

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Apr 11, 2012
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DIB said:
There's an ex demo NAD C326BEE going at Superfi for £189.95 if your interested.

Here's a link.. http://www.superfi.co.uk/p-10070-nad-c326bee-amplifier-opened-box-ex-demo-graphite.aspx

.
Wow, massive saving there. WHF give the C326BEE 4 stars and criticise its low frequencies though. How would it compare to the Arcam Alpha 8? :? Both similar prices and similar specification. Hmm.

plastic penguin said:
Yes, Arcam and Nad are probably the best matches with your budget. I've had Arcam/MA for years (A65+) and love the combo. Likewise I've heard Nad 352 with RS6 and equally as good, although a little on the bassy side for my tastes.

There is a slight difference between the Alpha and DIVA range: Alpha (7/8/9) have a lovely rich presentation, whereas the DIVA ranges tends to be a little more open and neutral.
I suppose I'd be better looking at the Alpha series then! Not entirely certain what to do now this cheap NAD has come up!

Thanks. :)
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
theexcitableboy said:
DIB said:
There's an ex demo NAD C326BEE going at Superfi for £189.95 if your interested.

Here's a link.. http://www.superfi.co.uk/p-10070-nad-c326bee-amplifier-opened-box-ex-demo-graphite.aspx

.
Wow, massive saving there. WHF give the C326BEE 4 stars and criticise its low frequencies though. How would it compare to the Arcam Alpha 8? :? Both similar prices and similar specification. Hmm.

plastic penguin said:
Yes, Arcam and Nad are probably the best matches with your budget. I've had Arcam/MA for years (A65+) and love the combo. Likewise I've heard Nad 352 with RS6 and equally as good, although a little on the bassy side for my tastes.

There is a slight difference between the Alpha and DIVA range: Alpha (7/8/9) have a lovely rich presentation, whereas the DIVA ranges tends to be a little more open and neutral.
I suppose I'd be better looking at the Alpha series then! Not entirely certain what to do now this cheap NAD has come up!

Thanks. :)
In your situation I'd plump for the Nad, as long as you don't have, or intend to get a turntable.

I would only choose the Nad purely because it's newer and therefore less prone to faults. Whichever amp you decide you won't be disappointed. All of them will give you a sonic 'HIGH'.
 

plasterman

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Apr 30, 2012
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If it were me I'd go with the Marantz PM 6004 It's as good as the reveiws suggest. I owned one(still do) for about 8 months and it's an easy listen as it leans more to a warm sound, not too warm though. Build quality is very good and the thing is built like a tank. Comes with a phono stage although I never used it as I do'nt have a turntable, the remote is good quality too.

All round it's a really good amp and I'd put it well ahead of the Arcam Alpha amp's having owned Alpha amp's in the 90's. The Marantz remote controls Arcam Alpha cd player's, just a wee bit of trivia there.
 

theexcitableboy

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Apr 11, 2012
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plasterman said:
If it were me I'd go with the Marantz PM 6004 It's as good as the reveiws suggest. I owned one(still do) for about 8 months and it's an easy listen as it leans more to a warm sound, not too warm though. Build quality is very good and the thing is built like a tank. Comes with a phono stage although I never used it as I do'nt have a turntable, the remote is good quality too.

All round it's a really good amp and I'd put it well ahead of the Arcam Alpha amp's having owned Alpha amp's in the 90's. The Marantz remote controls Arcam Alpha cd player's, just a wee bit of trivia there.
You would recommend the Marantz over the Arcam or the NAD? I haven't made any final decisions but I was leaning towards that NAD as I can pick it up at a huge reduction. I was looking for a slightly warmer sound, but I've heard to get the best from the RX2s you need to step up a little from the PM6004.

Thanks,

Joseph. :)
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
theexcitableboy said:
plasterman said:
If it were me I'd go with the Marantz PM 6004 It's as good as the reveiws suggest. I owned one(still do) for about 8 months and it's an easy listen as it leans more to a warm sound, not too warm though. Build quality is very good and the thing is built like a tank. Comes with a phono stage although I never used it as I do'nt have a turntable, the remote is good quality too.

All round it's a really good amp and I'd put it well ahead of the Arcam Alpha amp's having owned Alpha amp's in the 90's. The Marantz remote controls Arcam Alpha cd player's, just a wee bit of trivia there.
You would recommend the Marantz over the Arcam or the NAD? I haven't made any final decisions but I was leaning towards that NAD as I can pick it up at a huge reduction. I was looking for a slightly warmer sound, but I've heard to get the best from the RX2s you need to step up a little from the PM6004.

Thanks,

Joseph. :)
I've not heard the latest generation of Marntz amps, but when I heard the 7001, 7200 and 8003 with MAs they sounded good in most areas, however, I did find the bass slightly warm and woolly.

Technically I would guess the latest Marantz offerings are an improvement over the old Arcams, but in terms of synergy I doubt they'll be the same - Arcam and MA sound right IMHO. I like Marantz an awful lot, but with MAs there's a slight downfall.
 

Sizzers

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Jun 20, 2008
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obiwan kenobi said:
Creek Evo 2 or Rega Brio R?
The Brio R seems to come very well recommended with the RX2's but you're not going to pick one up for less than £400.

Heartbreakingly I had to sell mine for £380 :cry:
 

Sizzers

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Jun 20, 2008
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plasterman said:
I do'nt think the Nad or the older Arcam's are a jump up over the Marantz for the MA RX 2.
I can’t speak for the 6004 but the 6003 is a definite step-up from the Alpha 8 to my ears.

It has just the right amount of warmth yet has a more detailed and involving sound. Not heard the RX2’s, but it appears from a quick scouting mission they need better amplification than the Marantz though.
 

theexcitableboy

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Apr 11, 2012
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Thanks for all the help. So the general consensus is that none of these amps are really up to driving the RX2s to their best? The issue is I can't really afford anything more. In terms of value for money, I'm guessing the £180 NAD C326BEE wins, considering it sells for £300 new. Seeing as I can't afford anything over £300, let's just stick to amps in this price range. How would the NAD compare to say, the Arcam with regard to driving the RX2s? The Arcam is £145, by the way.

Many thanks again for everyone's help and contribution,

Joseph. :)
 

theexcitableboy

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Apr 11, 2012
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They seemed the best choice for me. I like a warm sound. I want something that can deliver in the low end and not lose touch with the higher frequencies. I thought floorstanders might be too much for my 3mx4m room. I looked at others, the KEF Q300, some B&Ws and some Epos' but I thought the MAs suited my tastes more. I'm willing to change if you had some other suggestions though!

Thanks!

Joseph. :)
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
theexcitableboy said:
They seemed the best choice for me. I like a warm sound. I want something that can deliver in the low end and not lose touch with the higher frequencies. I thought floorstanders might be too much for my 3mx4m room. I looked at others, the KEF Q300, some B&Ws and some Epos' but I thought the MAs suited my tastes more. I'm willing to change if you had some other suggestions though!

Thanks!

Joseph. :)
MAs are amongst some of the easiest speakers to drive. You'll have no problems with Arcam, Nad or Marantz. Any of those will have ample power to drive the RX2s to reasonable levels. By that I mean normal house levels, without annoying the neighbours.

Crikey I used to drive the RS6s with my old 40 watt Arcam. No probs, as long as you don't expect wall-shaking levels.

Go for the Nad 326 and if it doesn't work out Superfi do a good range of Marantz - and you get a warranty.
 

Inter_Voice

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Oct 5, 2010
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Since you love Rock music and like more bass and not too clinical I would agree that NAD is the best choice. Marantz is also good and can give more details but if you use MA RX2 I still suggest you to couple it with NAD.

Previously I owned NAD C355BEE with MA RX1 and there are good matches.
 

theexcitableboy

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Apr 11, 2012
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plastic penguin said:
theexcitableboy said:
They seemed the best choice for me. I like a warm sound. I want something that can deliver in the low end and not lose touch with the higher frequencies. I thought floorstanders might be too much for my 3mx4m room. I looked at others, the KEF Q300, some B&Ws and some Epos' but I thought the MAs suited my tastes more. I'm willing to change if you had some other suggestions though!

Thanks!

Joseph. :)
MAs are amongst some of the easiest speakers to drive. You'll have no problems with Arcam, Nad or Marantz. Any of those will have ample power to drive the RX2s to reasonable levels. By that I mean normal house levels, without annoying the neighbours.

Crikey I used to drive the RS6s with my old 40 watt Arcam. No probs, as long as you don't expect wall-shaking levels.

Go for the Nad 326 and if it doesn't work out Superfi do a good range of Marantz - and you get a warranty.
Inter_Voice said:
Since you love Rock music and like more bass and not too clinical I would agree that NAD is the best choice. Marantz is also good and can give more details but if you use MA RX2 I still suggest you to couple it with NAD.

Previously I owned NAD C355BEE with MA RX1 and there are good matches.
Thanks for all the help.

It seems the NAD is the best option then. I'll wait a little while and see if something else pops up and if not I'll go for it. I'm just a little worried that a budget amp won't be a step up from my 60W Pioneer, I don't want to spend unnecessarily.

Thanks,

Joseph. :)
 

theexcitableboy

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Apr 11, 2012
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Please excuse the double post - I figured I should add a diagram of my room to give things a better context.

Measurements are included on the picture



I'm hoping to slot in the RX2s on either side of the TV unit. Does this sound feasible? Or are the RX2s too much for my room?

Many thanks for everyone's continued input,

Joseph. :)
 

Inter_Voice

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Oct 5, 2010
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With your room size RX2 may generate too much BASS as it is of rear ported design. May be you should consider BX2 instead which is front ported and is cheaper :)
 

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