Question B&W 702 S3 - 3.1 set up

brightontam

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Nov 21, 2023
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Hello all, I am a professional musician (classical & pop), but an amateur in Hifi. I am moving to a new place, which allows me to set up a Hifi system in the living room. After some research on the internet, I tried out the B&W 702 S3 with Marantz Model 30 (100W 8ohm) + Marantz CD 40N and loved it, and I don't think I need a sub for music playback. However, when it comes to movies, I would like to add in a centre speaker and a sub (both already owned) for better movie experience. So I am thinking of getting an AV Receiver like Marantz Cinema 40. I only want a 3.1 set up, not interested in 5.1 and above. My questions are:

1. Is Marantz Cinema 40 good enough to serve both 2-channels & movie purposes?
2. Marantz Cinema 40 is 125W (8ohm), is it enough to drive this 3.1 system, or overkilling?
3. For 2-Channel music listen, is Cinema 40 just as good as Marantz Model 30?
4. Any other good Amp or Streaming/CD Player suggestion at this price point?

Sorry for the very amateurish questions, thank you all in advance.
 
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twinkletoes

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Nov 16, 2021
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Hi there. Nothing stupid or amateur about your question at all .

The model 40 is a very chunky amp capable of a lot. But I question the need for a surround amp for which most the features you're just not going to use.

A properly set up 2.1 system should give you a fabulous centre image especially with the 702s3's. In fact thats where the sound should seemingly be coming from most of the time. And if you really nail the setup the sound will be holographic in nature, making you question the need for surround sound at all (I know you dont want 5.1) its amazing what only 2 speakers can do. But can difficult to achieve in the domestic environment

702 s3 are very difficult speakers to drive (according to reviews I havnt heard them) and looking at the specs id say they should be rated at 6ohm load nominal and they dip to 3 for a good long time. It's not power (watts) you need to be concerned with, but current lots of it . I suspect the 40 will have more enough though if you go that route.

My suggest would be to try them at home with a 2 channel amp with digital connectivity like a technics g series and the model 30/40 and see what you like. And get the dealer to really dial in the placement of the speakers, I think you'll be surprised.
 

Cork

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Aug 9, 2023
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I'm going to be all over the place on my response. The Model 30 is a great receiver, but to me it's a waste to get a 9.4 receiver and only run 3.1. Personally, I'd definitely go 5.1 for movies; but if you're not going to do that I think you're in overkill territory. Also, I'm not sure you need a sub with those speakers if music is your primary use (need to know room size to really judge). I'm not a huge fan of buying electronics for "future proofing"; by the time the future comes the electronics are outdated or busted, and the Model 30 is expensive for not using 10 of 13 channels. So all-in-all, I'd say find an equally good 2.1 receiver and try it without the sub for a bit to see if it scratches the itch (the 702 S3's have 3 woofers after all). If you find you do want a sub add it in later.
Also, FWIW I don't think those speakers are going to be hard to drive (8 ohm, 90 spl).
 
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brightontam

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Nov 21, 2023
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I think Marantz Model 30 is my way to go. One more question here. Some AVRs have Pre Outs, as well as Subwoofer out(s), while some only have Pre outs like the Model 30. Is it a bad idea if I connect a sub to the Pre Out ports? I understand that Pre Outs are full range outputs, but my wife enjoys low frequency and so I am trying to make it a 2.1 set up.
Happy wife happy life, I dare not to risk.
 
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I think Marantz Model 30 is my way to go. One more question here. Some AVRs have Pre Outs, as well as Subwoofer out(s), while some only have Pre outs like the Model 30. Is it a bad idea if I connect a sub to the Pre Out ports? I understand that Pre Outs are full range outputs, but my wife enjoys low frequency and so I am trying to make it a 2.1 set up.
Happy wife happy life, I dare not to risk.
My two channel only has pre outs, this means you can fit either a sub or a power amp. On a AVR multi channel receiver this should have a dedicated sub out as as a pre out.
 

twinkletoes

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Nov 16, 2021
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So it is normal to use Pre outs for Subwoofer?
Yes use the pre outs both of them, ie a pair of red and whites from the amp to the subwoofer.

Or if your sub can do it, you can do a high level connection to speaker terminals. rel does this for example.

though I have to add the 702s3 are listed as being able achieve 28hz at -3db down, in room your probably looking at 24hz, Id probably have to say you may not require a subwoofer. Most 12inch subs tap out at 28hz lets alone being able to set the roll off on the subwoofer correctly, again most only allow for a roll off down to 30hz if this is the case this will not allow you set the subwoofer up correctly.

Becasue the Model 30 doesn't allow for high passing a subwoofer maybe to much of a good thing in this case.
 
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brightontam

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Nov 21, 2023
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How about pairing 702 S3 with Cambridge Audio Evo 150? Seems like a much easier option.
Some says Evo 150 is capable of bi-wire.
May I know the advantages for bi-wiring?
 

Juzzie Wuzzie

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brightontam

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Seems to be the rage - but even if you don't want the speakers, seems a cracking deal on the 150 (and somewhat cheaper than the Marantz (notwithstanding your willingness to play at that price point).
Thanks @Juzzie Wuzzie for the quick response. But I am not sure whether Evo 150 will provide the same, or even better sound quality than Model 30.
Evo seems like a good deal.
 

Juzzie Wuzzie

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You're confusing me given you ask ... "How about pairing 702 S3 with Cambridge Audio Evo 150? Seems like a much easier option."

But the M30 at twice to three times the price of the E150 should be better.
 

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