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Integrated amp for used MA RX2

 

Bronze Member
Username: Hoanghai2k

Melbourne, VIC Australia

Post Number: 41
Registered: Oct-05
Dear all.
i've received a pair of used MA RX2 from my uncle due to his latest upgrade his audio gear.
so now im looking to a new amp which i've narrow down to NAD product. Im consider 326bee however NAD had just produce amp called D3020.
If any one here have any experience then pls give me advice.
my living space around 20m2 with maple floor.
i listen to pop, contry and jazz.
many thanks
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17830
Registered: May-04
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No direct experience with the new amp. However, NAD is NAD and their house sound is quite noticeable and consistent. One NAD amp tends to sound very much like another NAD amp.


What do you expect to gain from the change? What do you expect one amp to do that the other won't?




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Bronze Member
Username: Hoanghai2k

Melbourne, VIC Australia

Post Number: 42
Registered: Oct-05
Thanks Jan for your comment.
The Nad d3020 is new, and i just wonder that 30w of this amp will be able to drive MA RX2? The positive thing is that the size of new Nad and they built in DAC
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17832
Registered: May-04
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The MA speakers are, as a rule, only a light to moderate load on most amps. The NAD should be capable of sufficient current to drive the speakers though the pairing might lead you to want slightly louder volumes to gain clarity. You won't have to blast the system and your power requirements should, therefore, be modest. On average with a speaker of moderate sensitivity you'll likely be cruising at fewer than five watts RMS output. That's where most people listen and large wattage amps are seldom required for average listening levels.


Keep in mind the in room volume level is largely determined by the loudspeaker's electrical sensitivity. Since adding twice the wattage into the same speaker will produce only an additional 3 dB of headroom, it's reasonable to think adding an additional 3 dB of sensitivity to your speaker selection will result in the impression of having twice as much wattage. The thing here is you have been given some speakers and you need to deal with the sensitivity of these speakers. The NAD line touts high headroom by short bursts of two to four times its RMS wattage. Unless you are very demanding of volume levels, 30 watts should be more than necessary for most listeners.

My concern with the NAD/MA pairing is more one of competing personalities in the gear. The NAD house sound is somewhat laid back while the MA house sound is rather forward. IMO mixing "warm" components with "bright" speakers can be less than ideal. It's then too easy to continue on searching for components which pull the two disparate sounds closer together and finding none that effectively do the job. That's not conventional thinking as many people would simply place a warm sounding BandAid on the MA's forward and at times brash sound. Despite their many virtues, the MA's tend toward careful system matching and that can mean a lot of things to a lot of listeners. Certainly, dollar for dollar the MA sound has captured a lot of listener's interest. My preference though is for a system where all parts pull in the same direction. This isn't to say you should reconsider the MA's. You have the MA speakers and you should use what has been given to you. A Rotel amp would probably be a more cohesive choice with the MA's but the pairing might also become too much of a good thing for some listeners. The two house sounds together can begin to sound rather toppy if careful attention to set up/room acoustics and listening material choices are not also tailored to the pairing.

Do you know what amp your uncle ran with the MA's? Any idea what drove the upgrade of the speakers?


Buying combined components can initially save you some money by eliminating the requirements for redundant parts such as chassis and power supply. However, DAC's are moving rather quickly now and what was a good DAC a few years ago can probably be matched today for less money. It depends, to some extent, on your available cash and your desires for the system. If you're running, say, an older Sony CD player with digital outputs, then the NAD DAC would be an improvement over what you have now. However, if you think you might want to upgrade in the future, then your built in DAC will be mostly worthless. By the time you might want to part with the NAD, the DAC won't get you any money back. Given the low cost of decent outboard DAC's right now and the benefit of removing the sensitive digital circuits from the noise of an amplifier's power supply, I'd personally opt for an external DAC that can be upgraded with ease. That dies though also mean you'll need to add in the cost of decent cables between components. Six of one and half dozen of the other, the choice is your's as to which works best in your personal situation.




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Bronze Member
Username: Hoanghai2k

Melbourne, VIC Australia

Post Number: 43
Registered: Oct-05
Your detail comments giving me to very close direction.
My uncle upgrade his gear to the new towel speaker which is new MA RS line. The RX2 were run by pre/ pow Marantz.
So in your experience, which of the following int-amp will be the good choice for the RX2:
Marantz pm 5004, 6004
Nad 326bee, d3020
Nuforce dda 100
Denon 520, 720
Yamaha s500, s700
You did mention rotel set up, however there are no rotel dealer in the area where i live
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17835
Registered: May-04
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The decision is really up to you. If one amp has features or benefits which you consider useful, then that might influence your decision. Wattage differences are minimal between the midrange of any line and largely between lines. That's certainly true with a speaker that is not a highly difficult load and the MA's should qualify as a relatively easy system to drive for most amps.

However, if a store begins to belittle the free speakers or your other alternatives, they don't know how to sell what they carry. Audio salespeople should not try to sell a product based on how poorly they feel other lines perform. Either their gear has merits which are worth mentioning or not. If all they can do is knock the other guy's stuff, they aren't the store you're probably going to want to do business with in the end. This is one of the few times I suggest you use their audition facilities and then buy elsewhere.

You will, however, while making comparisons find most manufacturers nowdays build on two or maybe three platforms. This means there will be several integrateds or receivers or even CD players which share the same chassis andsame general layout and then another level with another chassis. Among those units with identical platforms there may be two or three units built using the same chips and boards but with jumpers used on the circuit boards to take up where parts are missing from the lower priced unit. When you step up to the next price range you'll find chips or connection points which usually add features to what is, more or less, the same component. Features for the sake of features means money has been taken from the quality of the build and put in to geegaws which probably don't make the music any better. Simplicity is, IMO, a virtue in audio.

Of course, power output goes up but remember the double wattage rule; every time you double the wattage into the same speaker, all else equal, you only gain three dB of additional SPL and that will exist on the peaks which means headroom before clipping. An additional three dB of headroom is virtually unnoticed, you'll still be playing at the same average level, the system will just have a bit more room for peaks before it distorts.

Unless the power supply has been radically altered between units built on the same chassis, the limits are still inherent in each unit. Buying features is OK, I suppose, if you find them really useful. Most button and knobs though don't really benefit the music or are so feable at what they do they aren't of any real world use.

What you hear from any consumer system is still mostly the effect of the room on the sound. Move a speaker from the short wall to the long wall and you'll have a different sound. That said, I assume you have heard your uncle's system with the Marantz/MA pairing. The current Marantz house sound is rather consistent across their line. If you liked the sound your uncle's system obtained, I'd go with the Marantz. The Denon and Yamaha are, IMO, built to lower standards than the current Marantz line. The Nuforce is interesting but a bit more system sensitive IMO. The current Marantz line should, I would hope, have sufficient amounts of audiophile virtues without being either overly lifeless or excessively in your face. Paired with the MA's, it should tame a bit of their top end hardness while demonstrating a good sense of musical life in the presentation.

It's still your decision and, as I said, what you hear most will be the room in which the speakers sit. I would ask for an in home audition before finalizing any deal. Some dealers will do that and some won't nowdays. But, as long as you are careful with the gear, any store worth buying from has a return policy which can serve as a demo period. Just be clear what the rules are before you take anything home.



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Bronze Member
Username: Hoanghai2k

Melbourne, VIC Australia

Post Number: 44
Registered: Oct-05
Hi Jan,
I did listen to the rx2 wz marantz gear few day ago but i did not enjoy it. High and mid were ok but the low frequency was not met my requiment. So i traded off the rx2 to new polk tsx 440t. It sounded good to my ear with marantz set up. But i still feel missing something. What would you recommend any amp to go with my new polk.
Note that the polk are great speakers, i love what i trade off for.
 

Platinum Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 17845
Registered: May-04
.


"Something" missing is difficult to pin down on a forum. I would have to say, begin with a proper speaker set up. The physics of the enclosure and the mechanics of the drivers will determine just how low the bass extension exists in any system. The "Q" of the speaker system determines how "fast" or "tight" the bass will appear and how much bass the system can reproduce relative to the midrange. However, just as the drivers operate in the confines of the speaker cabinet, so too does the speaker system operate within the confines of the room. Moving the speakers within the room relative to the room's boundaries will drastically alter your perceptions of music. In most domestic situations where the room has been primarily designed for space utilization, sound quality is very dubious unless or until the listener performs some basic set up procedures and possibly adds some room treatments to improve the performance of the speakers within the specific space. The goal is to hear more of the music as it comes from the system with less of the room sound intruding on the music.

You might read the recommendations I recently gave this forum poster; https://www.ecoustics.com/electronics/forum/home-audio/718253.html Having a few loudspeaker set up procedures in your head should give you better overall sound as you carefully position your speakers within the environment of the room. Until you've done such a set up and pulled as much performance from your speakers as possible, anything you change in the rest of the system will face the same bottlenecks.



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