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NAd 742 and MMG's

 

clayton
Unregistered guest
Today I went to pick up a pair of mmg's that I won on Ebay. I have been listening for just over an hour now to various cd's [Elliott Smith, Miles Davis, Foo Fighters, Shastakovich, The Verve, Pink Floyd] and all I can say is WOW! At first I thought they sounded decent. Then I could not believe the sound after ten minutes. They sound very good with the NAD 742 and sound even better the louder they go. When I turned my Athena FS-1's up before they started to sound compressed in the bass region. The bass on the MMG's sound impressive, more so than what I thought by reading all the reviews.

things that blow me away: vocals, keyboards, acoustic guitars and drums [high hats, cymbals - esp. the ride]
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Post Number: 271
Registered: 12-2003
clayton:

You have no idea! As good as the MMGs sound right now, Magnepan says it takes about 30 days just for the speakers to be broken in, which is why they offer a 60 day home trial, instead of the usual 30 days. I found that after about three weeks they really opened up and my family room became Carnegie Hall. My MMGs even made my old Kyocera receiver sound great and I can't say that about any other speaker. Congratulations on a great acquisition--I think you are in for quite an experience.

BTW, you can get the matching center speaker directly from Magnepan for $299 (the MMG-C). Then, just use your Athenas as the surrounds and you will have a killer system with your 742.

Enjoy! I know you will.
 

New member
Username: Sssand2

Post Number: 5
Registered: 12-2003
Clayton and Hawk,
Aren't the MMGs 4 ohm speakers? The manual and NAD say that the 742 should be used with 8 ohm speakers. I've seen Hawk recommend this pairing before. Are there any heat issues with the 742 driving these speakers? Are there other 4 ohm speakers that the 742 can safely drive (Epos, Totem...) Thanks!
 

clayton
Unregistered guest
The NAD 742 can go as low as 2ohms. The manual is incorrect and the website has the real numbers.

Hawk, I hope to get the MMG-C but I hear they are on back order till March.
 

New member
Username: Sssand2

Post Number: 6
Registered: 12-2003
Clayton,
I have seen the specs on the website, but I asked NAD and they replied the minimum recommended load was 8 ohms. If you are having no problems or have heard differently, that's good to know. Also owning the 742, I'd like to know my options as I am looking for speakers to go with this receiver as well.
 

Silver Member
Username: John_a

Post Number: 182
Registered: 12-2003
We have been through this before, and the conclusion I remember several T742 owners coming to was that the user manual with the TT42 is being unnecessarily conservative. 4 Ohms, no problem. Wish I could hear these legendary Magnepans in Europe! They read like just my sort of speaker.
 

Anonymous
 
So using Athena's as surrounds for the Magnepans will sound okay? What are people's experiences with mixing brands in this way -- aka putting out phat cash for the mains and center and then conserving funds or using what you have as the surrounds?
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Post Number: 276
Registered: 12-2003
ss newbie:

You raise a really good issue for which there are no hard answers. Here, we are into the "black art" of audio construction. Can the 742 safely drive 4 ohm speakers? Who really knows. NAD says no, but they also give a spec for the 742 driving 4 ohm speakers into two channels (130 wpc). We have had threads on this board from people with a Marantz or other good receiver who are having their receiver shut down with 6 ohm loads. Others with the same units comfortably drive a 4 ohm load speaker. My point is that we all want a bright dividing line to know exactly what we can or cannot do, but there just isn't one. However, if you go below the receiver manufacturer's specification on speaker impedence, it is a crap shoot. It may work and then again, it may not. You pay your money and you take your chances! I usually shy away from suggesting 4 ohm speakers for any receiver that isn't specifically designed to handle them because you just can't know whether there will be a problem and I certainly don't want people blaming me for bad advice! And, one 4 ohm speaker may pose no problem for one receiver (rated to handle 8 ohm speakers only) and cause another receiver which says it can handle 6 ohm speakers nothing but trouble. Since speaker impedence is not constant (it varies by frequency), you just don't know what will be a problem.

However, I have suspected for some time, and have posted on this board, that although NAD specifies the 742 for only 8 ohm speakers, it can safely drive the MMGs. My reasoning here is that the MMGs, as a planar speaker, is an almost purely resistive load (not capacitive), as there is no moving speaker cone moving back and forth through the magnetic field. Therefore, it is an easier 4 ohm load than a cone speaker. I also believe Clayton will be able to safely incorporate the MMG center channel speaker without much difficulty. But, it may be asking too much to add the MMG-W surrounds--I just don't know. He would have to try it to know with any certainty (good thing Magnepan gives 60 day trial!). Fortunately, he already has some good Athenas which he can use for surrounds if the MMG-Ws prove to be too much. In any event, the NAD sound through MMGs is as good as it gets, sound-wise. What a great system!

As for the speakers you are considering, I can only say you should try them to see. I was at my local Totem dealer last week, trying out various combinations, but spent a lot of time with the DreamCatcher system. Now, it was being driven by a Harman/Kardon receiver that I know is rated for 8 speakers only (AVR630). Yet, it had no trouble in the least. Now I don't know what kind of an impedence curve the Totems have, but whatever it is, the H/K wasn't bothered by it. Sounded pretty good, too!

Now personally, I believe that a big part of this is that H/Ks, like NADs, are overbuilt compared to the competition. Beefier power supplies and outputs that are rated much higher than the receiver's rating are two of the more crucial factors. Someone more qualified than myself, such as G-Man, can probably tell you more or even tell me I am wrong. But I think the operating envelope for those brands that I consider over-built (H/K, NAD, Pioneer Elite, and Rotel), have a greater margin of error and a larger operating envelope, thus allowing them to operate safely even if outside the manufacturer's specs. That is my conclusion based upon what I know so far, but as I said, if one of the really smart people on this forum know more, let us all know.

My belief is that the 742 can operate the Totems, such as the DreamCatcher system. Part of this is the nature of the speaker. Totems have very large magnets and excellent cooling, thus allowing the speaker to dissapate some of the heat, so that the receiver isn't carrying the whole load. I think the same is probably true of the Dyanaudio Audience 42s after reading up on them last night--still, they do get down to 3.7 ohms at 200 Hz which is getting down there! I have not seen the Epos--no one in my neck of the woods carries them. Too bad, too, as I am dying to put the new ELS-3s through their paces. Still, the ELS-3C center speaker is 8 ohms, so it would lessen the load on the receiver and may make it possible for the 742 to drive 4 of the ELS-3s with the ELS-3C. Worth trying if you have an Epos dealer to work with. Hey, if you do have the chance to audition the ELS-3s, let me know what you think!

Anyways, I hope this helps.
 

New member
Username: Sssand2

Post Number: 7
Registered: 12-2003
Hawk,
Thank you. This is as I expected. From this response, I gather you did not receive my PMs? As we live in the same area, I would have to go mailorder to get the Epos and I have to make a descision on what I am currently reviewing (Ascend CBM-170, Axiom M3, NHT SB2).
 

New member
Username: Sssand2

Post Number: 8
Registered: 12-2003
Hawk,
Thank you. This is as I expected. From this response, I gather you did not receive my PMs? As we live in the same area, I would have to go mailorder to get the Epos and I have to make a descision on what I am currently reviewing (Ascend CBM-170, Axiom M3, NHT SB2).
 

clayton
Unregistered guest
I have not noticed the 742 having any troubles driving the MMG's. I am actually not using the Athena's for surrounds, I am selling those to my Dad probably. His Mission bookshelves are reaching their end. I am using Axiom M22ti's as surrounds and they sound fantastic with the MMG's. I think if more people tried this match they would be blown away. There both detailed speakers and blend very well.

Another interesting thing I have notice relates to the warmth of the receiver in action. I have to turn the 742 up louder to reach similar volume compared to the Athena F1 and Axiom M22ti set up for the new MMG and M22ti set up and the receiver does not get as hot when compared to the old set up on the same volume. [say minus 11 for both]

Either way, I am still more than surprised at how warm the MMG's sound. I know everyone says they are very bright, but with the NAD [a warm sounding receiver] the detail sings.
 

Silver Member
Username: Hawk

Post Number: 282
Registered: 12-2003
ss newbie:

If I didn't answer them, it means I didn't get your PMs. sorry.
 

Michael999
Unregistered guest
Dno if this is any help to this conversation but my Denon AVR 1603 was able to run a 4omh subwoofer using a channel with relative ease.
Im upgrading to the NAD T742 so i hope this does it as well as my new front speakers will be 2.5way so 4ohm below 500Hz or so. and my centre is 4ohm.
 

New member
Username: Sssand2

Post Number: 9
Registered: 12-2003
clayton and all,
I just wanted to share my response from NAD about to the following query about the 742:
I wanted to find out if the T742 can drive 4 ohm speakers. The manual says 8 ohms minimum but the web site has specs for driving 4 ohm and 2 ohm loads. Thanks!

NAD's response:

Thank you for your recent request via the NAD Electronics web-site.

The T742 can only handle 6 to 8 ohm speakers.

Thank you for your interest in NAD electronics.

While this is the "official" position of NAD, I can understand that practical experience may show different results.
 

clayton
Unregistered guest
Strange. I guess it depends who you talk to at NAD, some say 4ohm and you found out otherwise. Weird. I suppose the reason the 742 can drive the MMG's is due to the fact they are not boxed 4ohm speakers. In a factory tour of Magnepan, they mention an NAD receiver driving a set of MMG's in the lobby of Magnepan.
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