Cables - Mordaunt Short & Marantz


I will soon have a 5.1 Mordaunt Short Premiere speaker set to go with my Marantz SR4300 receiver and Toshiba SE330 DVD player.

Could anyone suggest suitable interconnects between the speakers and the receiver?

Also, at the moment I have a Cambridge Audio optical cable between the DVD and the receiver. Is the best option?

(Sorry for double-posting - this is also in the Speakers forum - but I wasn't sure which forum was most appropriate)


When selecting the Premiere set of speakers for your Marantz receiver were you not concerned about the speakers being rated at only 50w when the receiver is rated at 80w?. That is quite a difference.

I am personally using QED Original MkII cable and am very satisfied with the results. I have not noticed any downsides to using this cable although a little more detail would be nice, I think that could be attributed to the receiver. I think this is a good cable in a budget setup - although I've heard the Silver Anniversary is a better cable but not sure if its worth the extra outlay.

When adjusting the tone levels for your speakers you may find that increasing the center channel by 1 or 2db gives better dialogue balance as it can sometimes be difficult to hear whats being said when the action scenes stop and the dialogue starts again.


I think your speakers and your receiver are well matched. As for speaker cables, I don't believe you have to go over board (no Audioquest cables needed here). Good oxygen free copper wire (OFC) is plenty good enough. Monster Cable, Kimber Kable, and IXOS are great stuff for your system. It will not be as detailed as a $10K system with separates so that you could hear a difference in the wire (we will NOT get into a discussion here about whether one can hear a difference in the speaker wires--suffice to say that this system is not that detailed!). You may also check your local Best Buy--I know this is heresy to some, but they sell a nice 16 gauge speaker wire from AR and it is OFC--I use it in my study. Reasonably priced, too, at $29.95 for 50'. I know they sell a larger spool too, but I haven't priced it.

More importantly, you need a good quality subwoofer cable, and the longer the run, the higher the quality needed (it is, after all, a low level signal). How long of a run do you have?


Sorry Tim your speakers are actually rated at 80w and not 50w. The website I saw them on had made an error as to their power output.


I got the AR OFC 100ft cable (AWG 16) from Best Buy for $29.99 + tax. The 50ft cable is $19.99 + tax. I agree its well worth it. They have it in white and clear jackets.

BTW, Radioshack as a AWG 14 - 50' cable for $19.99 + tax.

GT has specials on cables right now.

ATS Gold Series OFC Sub cable 12 ft. $9.99
AR OFC 16ga 50ft spool speaker wire $9.99
IXOS 5M Silver Digital Coax Cable 75ohm $19.99
AR Pro Series 3ft Digital Coax $9.99
AR Pro Series 3ft Digital Optical $9.99
AR Pro Series and Ixos 25-36ft Sub cables $22.99
AR OFC Superflat 100ft 16ga speaker wire-white $19.99

I use all the time and they ship very quickly.

The AR Pro Series is better than the blue Performance Series cables that you see at Best Buy.

Thanks valeem for clearing that up - I was worried for a moment as I'd thought long and hard about the speakers and was eventually swayed by a special offer (£250 for 5.1. They're usually £500 ish). I thought I'd made a major screw up for a moment then!

Thanks guys for the cable thoughts. I should have mentioned I'm in the UK. I know I can get Ixos and QED over here - not sure about AR.

A couple of other questions if I may:

1) Should I connect the DVD to the TV directly (scart), or should I put the video output through the receiver as well?

2) I've got an optical interconnect between the DVD and the receievr. Is this the best link, and does it carry video and audio signals, or do I need another cable for video if I run the viedo signal through the receiver as queried in my first question?


Conecting your DVD video via the receiver will give you the convinience of switching inputs through the receiver. I would say thats the way to go unless you dont have connectivity options on the receiver.

The optical interconnect (and digital coax) is for digital (surround) audio only. You still need to connect the video (RCA composite, component or S video)
Component and S video are far superior to the single plug RCA.

Turns out I got the 50' spool of AR OFC speaker wire for $19.95, not $29.95 as previously reported. I just happened to find the Best Buy receipt last night.


Ixos and QED are quality cables--I should get them as they will work fine for your system.

I personally wouldn't run the video through my receiver. It only adds a processing step that can only degrade your video performance, particularly if you went to component video (which your Marantz receiver doesn't have). However, you shouldn't get any degradation if using the S-video connections. Again, it can't help, but it can be a convenience.

By using the optical connection between your DVD and receiver, you are using the receiver's DACs. Now this may or may not be a good thing. Which has the better DACs, the receiver or your DVD? I don't know the answer to that question, but in terms of knowing what is the best connection for audio betwen a DVD player and a receiver, that is what you need to answer to determine which is the best connection.

Finally, the opitcal connection only carries audio signals. If you want to coneect the video, too, you must use either the composite video connection (yellow RCA type plug) or an S-Video connection. Bandwidth for the composite connection is 6 Mhz. Bandwidth for the S-video connection is 8 Mhz, which is fine for standard TV. If you should go high definition, you would need component video connectors (at least here in the States--I am aware that Europe uses something else) which unfortunately your Marantz doesn't have.

I hope this answers your questions.


I saw a link on the Toshiba UK site which reviews the SE330. It's a very good budget player with impressive CD sound. It apparently has good DACs so you might want to use the analog outputs for CD play and Optical or Coax for DVD Dolby/DTS movies.

I agree with Hawk about connecting the video directly to the TV. Use component video if its available. Now if you only have 1 set of video inputs on your TV and use multiple devices such as VCR, Cable Box, Xbox, etc, you may want to run everything thru your receiver for convenience.

What's this SCART connection? We don't have that over here in the states to my knowledge.

Blimey, this gets more complicated by the minute! Thanks for helping me out here (although I can feel the water getting deeper and I'm not sure I can touch the bottom anymore...)
Let me see if I understand you correctly.

My TV has only two scart inputs on the back.
I am probably better connecting my VCR and DVD directly to the TV via these sockets. Connecting via the receiver will add nothing to the picture quality and may even degrade it (if I don't use S-video).

Connecting everything through the receiver has the advantage that to switch between VCR/DVD, I just hit the receiver remote.

Does this mean that if I connect VCR and DVD direct to the TV and press play on both, it is possible that the TV will be picking up the DVD video signal, and the receiver could be set to VCR - and vice versa? So to switch between the two I would need to manually change channel on the TV _and_ change the source on the receiver?

Also, the regular TV signal currently comes in on coax, through the VCR and on to the TV. If I want to listen to normal TV through my new speakers, do I need to route the input through the receiver instead, or do I leave the cable alone and just switch the receiver to VCR?

GT - is it possible to connect DVD and receiver twice (ie. optical digital and analog) and specify which connection is used depending on whether the disc is CD-audio or DVD?

Scart plugs are a standard interconnect on modern European TVs. They carry RGB signal and sound and probably other stuff too. Not dissimilar to computer printer cables, in that there's lots of pins, each carrying a specific data type. They look like this:

(ignore QED's funky spelling of scart - it's the same thing, hyped up for them)

Yep, you can connect the DVD to the receiver twice with audio. For instance, connect the optical digital to the receiver dig-1 input and assign it to DVD. Then connect the analog outputs (red & white) to the analog CD input. So when you switch the receiver to DVD you'll be getting digital signal and when you switch the receiver to CD, you'll get analog signal. It works fine. If you then find you like the CD sound better thru the digital input, just leave it on the DVD input when playing CD's. At least you have both options.

I've done this before because some receivers miss the first second or two on songs when playing an audio CD via the digital input. Using the analog outputs eliminate the problem.

If you TV has analog outputs, you could connect it directly to the receiver. There's actually a TV audio input on the back of the Marantz.

"Does this mean that if I connect VCR and DVD direct to the TV and press play on both, it is possible that the TV will be picking up the DVD video signal, and the receiver could be set to VCR - and vice versa? So to switch between the two I would need to manually change channel on the TV _and_ change the source on the receiver?"

The source on the receiver should be set to whatever you're displaying on the TV at the time.
The TV will only pick up the signal of whatever input you have active at the time, SCART 1 and SCART2 or VID 1 and VID 2, whatever you call it over there.

Man, I hope I didn't confuse you, because I'm starting to confuse myself.

"Also, the regular TV signal currently comes in on coax, through the VCR and on to the TV. If I want to listen to normal TV through my new speakers, do I need to route the input through the receiver instead, or do I leave the cable alone and just switch the receiver to VCR?"

Leave the cable alone since you already have that part working. No need to complicate things more.


What's the impedence rating of your speakers?


Don't forget to hook up your scart lead (Thors are worth £30) from your ace DVD player to the RGB scart connection at the back of your tv. This should be pointed out to you in your tv's manual and/or labelled around your tv's scart connectors. Most larger size tv's have at least one RGB connection. Also adjust the settings in your DVD players visual menu to the output you require (RGB). You may also have to do this in your tv's menu. This will give you the best picture quality available to you unless your telly has component connections which unfortunately are only just taking off here.

Cheers guys!


External aerial (terrestrial TV)- to VCR : coax
VCR (terrestrial TV) to TV : coax

VCR video to TV: scart
VCR audio to Receiver : ? I need to check what sockets the aging VCR has

DVD video to TV : scart (TV and DVD set to RGB)
DVD audio to receiver: optical (for DVDs)
DVD audio to receiver: analogue stereo (red and white plugs) (for CDs)

Receiver to speakers : any halfway decent speaker cable (plenty of suggestions above)
Receiver to sub : recommendations invited! Run of about 6 metres.

Anon, nominal impedance is 4-8 ohms on both centre and surrounds.

OK, need your advice again. Speakers are coming on Monday, so I'd better get some cable ready.

Does anyone know if the Mordaunt Short Premiere speakers and the Marantz SR4300 receiver support biwiring?

If they do, what do you think of the following cable?
Gale XL160-2 (£2.99 per metre)

If not, could I invite opinions on...
Gale XL 189 (£0.99 per metre)
Gale XL Hyperlitz 250 (£1.49 per metre)
Eltax XL (£1.99 per metre)
Gale XL315 (£1.99 per metre)

I've got a 35m run in total to wire up all 4 speakers, and I want to keep the cost under £100 for cables, hence my choices based on price (all are from Richer Sounds).

Does anyone have any better suggestions for the UK?

Further to my previous post, I can get Ixos XHS203 for £1/m. Good buy?

Or am I worrying unnecesarily and should just accept whatever Richer Sounds recommend, as it won't make much difference with my system? (Toshiba 330SE DVD, Marantz SR4300 receiver and Mordaunt Short Premiere 5.1 speakers for those who can't be bothered to scroll through the rest of this thread).


I've been looking at the very same set up you have just acquired. Have you received the system yet? just wondered how you would rate the sound for both music and movies.

And also, did you say the speakers only cost you £250? Where did you find such a good deal? I'm starting to feel tempted too...

RGB and component is the same thing just in a different connection. Red Green Blue

John Allen

On paper that Mordaunt Short Premiere speaker system looks like amazingly good value.

Remember the satellites are all small (100 Hz -20 kHz) and set the receiver accordingly. The subwoofer will be doing a lot of work. Consider stands for the front L and R speakers, at least. Stands can make a big difference.

Also consider the M-S Premiere 302 are 4 Ohm speakers. The good news is you get more power than 80 W (that is into 8 Ohms). I hope and expect the Marantz receiver is up to driving 4 Ohm speakers.

Richer of Richer Sounds is chaiman of the company Audio Partership Plc which assembles Mordaunt-Short and some other venerable names now in the Far East. The Gale cable also comes from them. I wonder whether Richer Sounds is up-front about this connection, to customers. Their aim is to play the Japanese giants on a level field as regards production costs.

Do report back with your impressions. It looks like a really good system.

BTW I discover from this interesting thread that SCART is a European standard. It probably corresponds to US component video connection, but with eccentric plugs you can only insert one way (I feel European standards are often aimed at making everything idiot-proof, which may have pros like safety, and cons like complexity, less choice and greater cost).

There are some photos of SCARTs and an excellent "AV beginners series" of documents, including how to connect, on a UK site:-

Good luck!

Thanks for the vote of confidence, guys.

resd: HiFi Confidential ( Richer Sounds are advertising it for £299, but their price beat policy means you should be able to get it for £239.

John Allen: I believe scart is the European standard. You only see component connections on high-end or plasma screens, although I think they are becoming more common as technology filters down the ranges.

For those who don't know, scart is basically plug and play for TVs. You run a single scart connection from your VCR to your TV and it will just work. Press play on the VCR and the TV will automatically switch to VCR. You don't need to tune the VCR into a TV channel (or vice versa), or do any kind of setup at all.

On the subject of impedence, I had previously thought my speakers and amp were a good match. The MS website rates the 302s at "4-8 ohms" and the Marantz site quotes a power output of 80w/channel, 8 ohms". Is there something I need to know....?

For info, the speakers have turned up and are in front of me now, still in packaging (I'm at work). The sub is well over a foot square - I'm hoping a significant amount of that is packaging or I'm in big trouble when I get home! ;)

I'm out tonight so I won't have it set up for a day or two, but I'll post back when I'm connected up.

BTW, I went for QED Original cable in the end. More expensive (£2.50/m) but it's a name I trust and it was smaller than the others (this matters when you've got to convince the wife that she won't notice the system when it's off...)


How are you finding your new system?

I have just got myself the pioneer dv565 and I'm waiting delivery on the mordaunt short premiere and also a marantz sr4300 amp. Have yet to decide on cables but will probably be QED original, IXOS6003 or cable talk 3.1. I was wondering if you are using a specific cable for the subwoofer or can you use the same cable as you do for the satellites? Would appreciate advice from anyone out there. (Hope I'm not going off topic here.)


I do believe you need to use a single phono lead to connect a subwoofer to a receiver. The manufacturers you mentioned all make this type of lead specifically for this connection. Hope this helps?

Thanks alot for advice valeem. Any recommendations for subwoofer cables?


I am presuming that you are in the UK. I think any of these budget leads would suit: could not get a direct link so goto Audio + Home Theatre > Home Audio Cables > AV Amplifiers > XHW406 (1141)

can't seem to find one for cabletalk. If you don't care much for image but still want good quality try profigold (could not find them on their site):

There are of course many quality manufacturers of budget subwoofer leads including Ecosse, Chord Company, Acoustic Research....etc. You will also need to determine what length you will need dependant on where you think the sub will be placed. Hope this helps?

John A.

The Mordaunt Short 308 sub should come with a 10 m cable. Tim has just got one, so he can confirm. It would be cheap not to supply one with the sub, most other makers do. A sub cable for the line-level input is not usually a single phono lead, though that will work. The better cable is slightly thicker, has a fixed impedance, and is the same as a digital audio co-axial interconnect. It has a similar phono (aka RCA) plug. These cables need not be expensive (around £10 or less). I think there is better protection from interference than with a simple phono cable, good because it is so long.


I think component is similar to SCART. They both differ from composite, where, as with the sub cable, even a coxial phono cable will work OK: there are just two conductors, one inside the other. For video only, there are also S-video and digital connections (the latter only for plasma etc I think). SCART is good, there are mutiple strands for video and audio lines. In none of these do you have to tune the player/receiver to the TV etc as you can with VCR recorders; that is the RF connection which makes a signal just like that from the TV ariel/antenna, and has the same wide co-ax plug. The RF connection is inferior for picture and sound quality to all of the above "Direct" connections. DVD players and Home Theatre receivers do not have RF connections, there is no TV tuner stage. With SCART you do not have to tune, but you still have to select the right input.

How is your new system? I was assuming the Marantz receiver would be OK with the MS Premiere speakers because I you bought them all from one dealer. It might be good for others to know if they know their stuff.

resd + John A:

Sorry I was unaware that the package came with a lead - duh!. Teach me to butt in!

Wasn't quite sure if the sub would come supplied with a cable, But in any case, I thought it might be worth getting a better cable to see if it would improve sound quality. From the recommendations so far, I suppose any decently think and screened cable will do. The profigold looks like a good budget option, but the qed psw seems like a well reviewed cable and costs only £5 more. Hmmm....decision time. Thanks for help so far.

Actually the sub didn't come with a cable.
Also, you will need a Y convertor like this because the amp has a single pre out for the sub, but the line in on the sub is two sockets (L & R).

I've got everything else wired up with QED Original (£2.50/m at Richer Sounds). Only got it done last night and I've only tested it on VCR and TV so far (had to watch the wife's taped Eastenders as a necessary step in the acceptance process). Also I've got to get a convertor for the sub so I can get both channels.

What was nice was having music playing (off the TV) through just the speakers and it sounded fine to my untrained ear. And then I turned the sub up. No big bang, no thump, but suddenly the sound filled the room instead of just coming from the corners. It had depth and richness and it wasn't like being in a club where all you can hear is the bass - this was simply part of the overall sound. Even my wife noticed it - "what was that?" - so the "ugly" sub has won it's place at the front of the room instead of hidden behind the sofa (I'd have needed about 15m of cable to put it there due to the layout of doors and windows etc).

So, in short, I'm pleased with my sub even though it's only getting half a signal at the moment. I'm pleased with the small footprint of the QED Original speaker wire because it means the trunking round the room is less conspicuous. I'm pleased with the SR4300 because it worked out of the box and needed very little set up. And I'm pleased with the Premiere speakers because they're small but powerful enough for the room and they do look stunning with the grills off.

Don't laugh, but I spent quite a few minutes checking the sub connections and settings because I couldn't hear a sound from it. Eventually I realised the volume was turned right down. (resd: I think the amp comes with the volume right down as well when you unpack it - remember this when you set up the speakers)


If I understand you correctly, you need a Y converter as well as a standard subwoofer cable to connect to the amp? Great.....more unexpected costs. Will need to start hunting for good deals for both the y convert and sub cable....I'll let you know if i come across anything good....

Also, what sort of terminations did you use with your QED original cable? Will standard 4mm banana pulgs on both ends work? I just realised that terminations aren't cheap at all....4 speakers will need 16 plugs.....


5 speakers? Banana plugs aren't necessary as you can make the connection using bare cable and help keep costs down.

You understand me correctly about the sub cable. Unless you're able to get a cable that terminates in two stereo plugs.

I didn't bother with banana plugs on the cables. I think they're only useful if you're going to be moving your kit around. If you're going to set it up and leave it be, I'd just make sure the clamps are finger tight.

BTW, a quick search on the internet has found only two places to buy the above splitter. HiFiStore
have it at £32 before delivery.
HiFiBitz are quoting £33.

John A.

Glad you like your system. Wait till you hear real 5.1

A sub is a mono device. One input is enough from your receiver if that has only one sub "LFE" channel output. The two "L" and "R" line level inputs on the sub are there in case you have separate L and R LFE channels, but you probably don't, and all it does is mix them, anyway. Just connect to L and you won't loose anything or need a Y-adaptor. The Y adaptor on one input cable splits the conductor and gives identical signals throught the two inputs to the sub, whereupon the sub promptly mixes them. It is totally futile. Another of those cable cons.

Dave C
Tim (or anyone else) -

I'm also considering the Mordaunt Short Premiere system, and I'm wondering about the "ohms issue". I'm close to picking up an Onkyo TX-SR501 reciever, which can handle speakers down to 6 ohms (according to the literature). The MS site says the speakers handle "4-8 ohms", as Tim noted.

Does anyone know if this is not a good pairing? Onkyo seems pretty direct that anything under 6 ohms should not be used, while it isn't clear if the MS Premiere speakers are 4 ohm or not.

Thanks for the help.


Hifi store sells the IXOS 1009-Y1F splitter for £7.95 . It doesn't look as cool as the qed cable but I think it should do the job fine (if it does make a difference at all, with reference to John A's post)

Do you mind going through how you connected the cables to the speakers and to the amp without plugs? (sorry, I'm new to all this).

Thanks John A. The guy at Richer Sounds said the same and I was going to question it here, but you got in first with the answer. Well that'll save me and resd some money.


Dave C - the MS website rates the speakers at 4-8 ohms, but the speakers themselves say just 4 ohms when I unpacked them. I was confident connecting them to my Marantz SR4300 because I'd seen the two advertised as a package through a couple of decent dealers (at least they looked decent to me), because MS and Marantz have worked together for several years and because people on this board said they would work together. Those three reasons overcame my worries about the apparent mismatch of ohms.

In your case I would be more wary, and I would want to hear from someone who knows about these things, or has tried your combination. I can only suggest talking to a good dealer, or hopefully someone on this board will know.


resd - With a sharp knife, carefully cut down the middle of the cable to give yourself a couple of inches of individual + and - wire. Strip about a cm of the plastic off the ends to reveal the metal. Twist the strands with your fingers so there aren't any stray bits. Unscrew the clamps (or are they correctly called "binding posts"?) on the back of the speakers. Shove the bare wire in as far as it will go (should be just about up to the plastic). Tighten the clamps by hand.

Do all this before you mount the speakers on the wall/stand or fix the wiring. The recess where the clamps are is not as big as it looks and it helps to have some room to change your grip. Do the same at the receiver end, remembering to connect +ve to +ve and -ve to -ve.

(Apologies for my use of technical language like "shove") :)

John A.

A pleasure. I made my upgrade to surround and Home Theatre some months ago and am only sharing here what I learned and heard, and picking up more if I can. I was interested in your experience. Marantz are MS distributors in US, there is probably some deal with Audio Partnership and Richer Sounds.

Dave C.

Tim is right. The Onkyo might just shut down. You could try it and see.Obviously the Maranz works OK. I am one of the NAD brigade here. An NAD T742 is not so expensive, a wonderful recevier for sound, and will happily drive even 2 Ohm speakers so I have read.


Thanks for your help. Wasn't sure how the connections on the marantz are like. So it sounds like it's got binding posts for speaker cable.

Dave c:
The issue of matching amps rated at 6-8 ohms to 4 ohm speakers seem to be a controversial one. Some think it's ok, some say NO outright. Most people will advise advise against it but u'll probably never know unless u try it. I think Hifi choice reviewd the MS premiere with an onkyo receiver and they seem pretty happy about it. But who is to say that the amp wouldn't get burnt out after a month's use at high volumes? My reasons for going ahead with the MS premiere (4-8 ohm) and marantz sr4300 (rated 8 ohm) are the same as Tim. But most of the experts who contributed to this thread seem to agree with this combination. Don't know why, but I guess it's probably the connection between marantz and MS...

You might find these threads helpful:

opps, sorry for the error in the link.

should be this:

Slightly OT, but I thought I'd just share with you all that I saw Duran Duran last night. The first time the original line-up has played in the UK for 18 years. It was a one-off gig arranged at short notice, and the tickets sold out in just under 4 minutes!

Absolutely fantastic. It was basically a greatest hits gig, with a couple of new songs. You had to be there to believe the reception that the old favourites got. Wild Boys was incredible, as was Something I Should Know, Rio and the finale, Girls on Film.

Anyway, please excuse me - I'm still on a high. Back to business...

Thanks a lot for the tips on ohms! I guess there's no conclusive way to tell if it will work short of buying the speakers and receiver and setting them up. I don't think I'll do that, however, since there is no indication the Onkyo can handle 4 ohm speakers.

Again, thanks!

Hifi Newbie
If you are tight on budget (which I am), I think its the best to make your own cables. After lots of help from my friend, these are the cables I am using. All are Belden as thats about the only decent brand I could find in my country

DVD player to SR4300 (Digital coaxial): Belden 1696A double shielded. Connectors are Neutrik. My friend uses Canerre or something like that.

SR4300 to speakers: Belden 8477 Twisted Pair unshielded with normal banana connectors on one end. The other is bare wires.

Power cables: Belden 9583 TP shielded with some cheap power connectors with a TDK power noise filter.

If you are looking for bright treble and good detail, go for the Belden 833322. These are silver plated copper Twisted Pair with braiding and Teflon shielding. But the treble can be too bright for some people.

I also change some wires inside the SR4300 and it does make a difference. The volume becomes much louder than before and I have to reduce volume by about 10db to get back the same volume. I think lowering volume will also help in lower noise and distortion.
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