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System upgrade, try to find the bottleneck

Ch3m

New member
Jan 10, 2016
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Hello everyone,

I am considering an upgrade to my modest hifi system. What I am particularly interested in is an expert opinion on what could be the bottleneck of the system as it is.

The system in question is the following:

Turntable: Marantz TT165 with ortofon omp10

Amp: Marantz pm45

Dac: Teac UD-H01

Speaker: Monitor Audio Bronze 2

The two Marantz belong to my dad that gives them to me when he upgraded his system.

My idea is to change amp to something like a rega brio before moving to the turntable or speakers.
 

abacus

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
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19,070
Cannot find any information on the P45 amp, are you sure you have the correct number and manufacture.

Unless underpowered the amp will have the least effect on the system, followed by the DAC, Pickup cartridge, turntable and speakers.

Go to a dealer and listen to some systems in your price range, (If possible take your own equipment for comparison) and see how the different sections affect the sound and go from there.

Bill
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
716
111
19,070
abacus said:
Cannot find any information on the P45 amp, are you sure you have the correct number and manufacture.

Unless underpowered the amp will have the least effect on the system, followed by the DAC, Pickup cartridge, turntable and speakers.

Go to a dealer and listen to some systems in your price range, (If possible take your own equipment for comparison) and see how the different sections affect the sound and go from there.

Bill
Why? Just write Marantz pm45 in google

https://www.hifiengine.com/manual_library/marantz/pm-45.shtml
 

Gazzip

New member
Jan 15, 2011
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A big difference in damping factor between the Rega and your current Marantz. The Rega will control your MA’s better but which may leave them sounding slightly bright. What about the Creek Evolution 50A?
 

Ch3m

New member
Jan 10, 2016
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At the moment the MA sound a bit boomy so a bit of bright is not an issue.

The plans for the future also includes a new turntable (the marantz is not that good, particularly compared to the rega rp3 owned by daddy!) so I was planning to get something that can be easily paired with a good TT in the future.
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
716
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19,070
mabye a marantz PM6005/6006 a little bright and is not a bas monster

Rega rp1 is what i have and it's very good even with the rega carbon cartridge, neutral sound, not bright in my system

Ortofon red is something many recommend to upgrade to, that could be a good combination
 

Gazzip

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Jan 15, 2011
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gasolin said:
mabye a marantz PM6005/6006 a little bright and is not a bas monster

Rega rp1 is what i have and it's very good even with the rega carbon cartridge, neutral sound, not bright in my system

Ortofon red is something many recommend to upgrade to, that could be a good combination
By bright I actually meant the Brio might sound controlled, which can be misconstrued as bright or thin sounding if coming from an amplifier with less control over the speaker drivers. FWIW I don’t think Marantz amp specs have changed much over the years so the 6005/6006 may be a sideways step IMO.
 

Vladimir

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Dec 26, 2013
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I don't see how the Brio is an upgrade over the Marantz, unless the old chap has some issues that need to be serviced. If its in fully working condition I wouldn't consider anything except Elicit-R and Evo 100A to be an upgrade. Give it some cleaning with specialty contact spray (pots, switches, relays), it may sound even better.

IMO the obvious bottleneck are the speakers, which are dreadful. To a newb they probably sound impressive at first, especially with twangy acoustics and vocals, but in time the issues of coloration and harshness start to be obvious. If you listen to badly produced (loudness) pop and rock the flaws become even more apparent.

Most of the threads about budget MA speakers are owners wanting to replace them or something in the hifi chain to ammend them. They are bad.
 

Al ears

Moderator
Ch3m said:
At the moment the MA sound a bit boomy so a bit of bright is not an issue.

The plans for the future also includes a new turntable (the marantz is not that good, particularly compared to the rega rp3 owned by daddy!) so I was planning to get something that can be easily paired with a good TT in the future.
As Gazzip mentioned, go for the Creek and as Vladimir says if you can afford the 100A so much the better.
 

macdiddy

Well-known member
Sep 3, 2010
87
3
18,545
with your opinion of "budget" Monitor audio speakers, I have had a room full of the "Bronze" series (hardly budget at around 4k total) for over two years now and I am yet to observe any of this "harshness" or "coloration" that you speak of with any of the music I listen to (rock, soul, dance, jazz etc).

I certainly won't be changing them soon (unless I win the lottery) and if I did it would be for either the gold or silver series MA's.

They can't be as "bad" as you say they are, as nearly every year they win the award for best budget speakers.

*scratch_one-s_head*
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
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I've heard several MA's sub the platinum range and I thought it was the room (a lot of glass and metal paneling in the hifi shop) or the weak CA integrateds, but then I started noticing a pattern in people's complaints on forums about budget MA's. It's IMO and IME, obviously someone is bound to love them, but....

Clicky
 

abacus

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
368
119
19,070
gasolin said:
abacus said:
Cannot find any information on the P45 amp, are you sure you have the correct number and manufacture.

Unless underpowered the amp will have the least effect on the system, followed by the DAC, Pickup cartridge, turntable and speakers.

Go to a dealer and listen to some systems in your price range, (If possible take your own equipment for comparison) and see how the different sections affect the sound and go from there.

Bill
Why? Just write Marantz pm45 in google

https://www.hifiengine.com/manual_library/marantz/pm-45.shtml
Weird, tried various search engines (Including Google) and various browsers this morning and nothing specific came up, tried it tonight and it shows up in all of them!

Bill
 

Ch3m

New member
Jan 10, 2016
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The MA lack a bit with classical music. The Soundstage is not really there and the definition in the bass is not excellent.
Vladimir until I read your post I never noticed harshness or coloration but today might be because I play a bit with the positioning I hear a lack in the mid. The high and the bass, despite boomy were there.

The Amp is my dad's old one. It has 30 years and is lacking a bit the speaker contacts sometimes act funny and I need to temper with the cable to make them sound.
 

Vladimir

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Dec 26, 2013
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That Marantz series was pretty decent. My Technics is 40 years old and works perfectly. A good cleaning of the pots and switches with a can of Servisol does wonders.

Clicky - the small green board where the terminals are, the ribbon cable clip might be loose, or the relay under the board could use cleaning.

I wish my dad left me a nice Marantz. You never throw or sell an amp like that. Get it serviced for 150 quid and enjoy it.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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0
Vladimir said:
I don't see how the Brio is an upgrade over the Marantz, unless the old chap has some issues that need to be serviced. If its in fully working condition I wouldn't consider anything except Elicit-R and Evo 100A to be an upgrade. Give it some cleaning with specialty contact spray (pots, switches, relays), it may sound even better.

IMO the obvious bottleneck are the speakers, which are dreadful. To a newb they probably sound impressive at first, especially with twangy acoustics and vocals, but in time the issues of coloration and harshness start to be obvious. If you listen to badly produced (loudness) pop and rock the flaws become even more apparent.

Most of the threads about budget MA speakers are owners wanting to replace them or something in the hifi chain to ammend them. They are bad.
I agree.

Follow Vladimir's advice and try different speakers.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
16
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0
macdiddy said:
with your opinion of "budget" Monitor audio speakers, I have had a room full of the "Bronze" series (hardly budget at around 4k total) for over two years now and I am yet to observe any of this "harshness" or "coloration" that you speak of with any of the music I listen to (rock, soul, dance, jazz etc).

I certainly won't be changing them soon (unless I win the lottery) and if I did it would be for either the gold or silver series MA's.

They can't be as "bad" as you say they are, as nearly every year they win the award for best budget speakers.

*scratch_one-s_head*
In isolation they may well be fine.

Put them up against better speakers - which may well be available for less than £4k - and the MA's are, relatively speaking "dreadful".

Brand new budget speakers, as a breed, do sound relatively poor.

There will be brand new budget cars that win awards. However, as an ownership prospect for someone doing 10,000 miles per year, they are poor compared to what you can buy 2nd hand for less money.
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
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Second upgrade after the speakers is the second transducer in your system, the turntable, which is a cheapie. But only commit to this when you have a decent budget (say 1K+ for s/h) and you are determined to keep buying vinyl records despite the hefty price. Many people are in it for the trend and eventually stop after 10-20 records of their favorite albums.
 

lindsayt

New member
Apr 8, 2011
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0
1k?

What currency is that? Rupees?

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/sony-record-deck-PS-X4-Direct-Drive/263331638780?hash=item3d4fc9edfc:g:ANAAAOSw3xVaEGx5
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
220
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rupees for a TOTL vintage deck ofc. But even 100 for s/h can hunt you an upgrade. It all depends how much devotion and investment in vinyl is planned.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
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Vladimir said:
That Marantz series was pretty decent. My Technics is 40 years old and works perfectly. A good cleaning of the pots and switches with a can of Servisol does wonders. 

Clicky - the small green board where the terminals are, the ribbon cable clip might be loose, or the relay under the board could use cleaning. 

I wish my dad left me a nice Marantz. You never throw or sell an amp like that. Get it serviced for 150 quid and enjoy it.
You make it sound like the Marantz was something special.

It really wasn't then nor is it now :)

Half decent starter amp.

A new £500 amp should be a good improvement and more in line with the speakers used.
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
220
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0
drummerman said:
Vladimir said:
That Marantz series was pretty decent. My Technics is 40 years old and works perfectly. A good cleaning of the pots and switches with a can of Servisol does wonders.

Clicky - the small green board where the terminals are, the ribbon cable clip might be loose, or the relay under the board could use cleaning.

I wish my dad left me a nice Marantz. You never throw or sell an amp like that. Get it serviced for 150 quid and enjoy it.
You make it sound like the Marantz was something special.

It really wasn't then nor is it now :)

Half decent starter amp.

A new £500 amp should be a good improvement and more in line with the speakers used.
To be clear, this particular Marantz is mid tier work horse, nothing of collectors value like its more powerfull siblings PM-84 and PM-94. What makes it special is that its starting a hifi heritage, its from dad.

So if you can have it running as new for 150 quid, why spend 500 on something of equal performance and no story or emotional value, no pride of ownership. No one ever impressed ppl with a Rega Brio. But drop in "my dad gave this to me to start me off in the hobby" and you have heritage, pride of ownership, ears perk up. That's because you can't buy heritage.

And it's a decent Marantz, not a bloody Sanyo.
 

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