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Powering MMG Speakers with Vintage Marantz Amp

Wondering about the logistics of powering Magnepan MMG speakers through a vintage marantz 2238B receiver. It has 38 watts at 8 ohms and 48 at 4. Magnepan suggests having a minimum of 50 at 4 ohms. My listening room is fairly small, so I don't need a lot of amplification, but I want to be able to power the speakers well. I'm dealing with a fairly limited price range, so I'm looking for the best deal to get the job done well with the best acoustics possible. I'm listening to mostly vinyl records, but cds as well, if that has an impact...

Jan Vigne
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Re: Powering MMG Speakers with Vintage Marantz Amp

There's not much to tell about the Marantz receivers from the 1970's. They began as decent but not great products and descended into the land of forgettable as Superscope took production away from the original Marantz factory. Over the years parts bins were cleaned out, cheap substitutes were made and Marantz became mostly junk. If you are fortunate enough to have an early version of the receiver, you might be happy with the combination until you can afford better electronics. If you have a later version, you probably won't care for the sound any more than the amp will care for the load.

jackfish
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Re: Powering MMG Speakers with Vintage Marantz Amp

I believe that particular receiver has preamp out jacks. Buy a clean Phase Linear 400 power amp ($400) and enjoy. Just a thought, maybe not the best one, but I don't think you'ld be disappointed.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Powering MMG Speakers with Vintage Marantz Amp

I won't argue with the suggestion other than to say the Phase Linear amplifier might not be happy with the four Ohm load of the MMG's. It's not a particularly easy speaker to drive and is relatively inefficient to boot. If you haven't made the purchase yet, you might want to consider what correct amplification for these speakers might cost. The MMG's were recently discussed with an HK receiver as the amplifier of choice; http://www.stereophile.com/digitalsourcereviews/1104fifth/index1.html

A friend has the same speakers attached to a used McIntosh MA6200 ($6-700) integrated amplifier and has had a hard time finding a better match within her budget. The Mac amp can easily handle the load of the MMG's. In any of these cases other then the HK you are dealing with twenty to thirty plus year old amplifiers. The potential for the amplifier requiring service is reasonable. If you shop the pre owned route, I'd try to get an amplifier that has some history of maintenance and I would pay a bit more if I felt it had been done properly.

Monty
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Re: Powering MMG Speakers with Vintage Marantz Amp

I'm not seeing any preamp capability with that receiver and I seriously do not think it would drive your Maggies. If you decide to go with it anyway, you will likely get virtually no lower frequencies, the receiver will run hot, run out of dynamics and may very well fail prematurely.

I think you are asking for trouble trying to partner this with your speakers. I do think you can find a modestly priced integrated that would do the job without worries.

Give me a minute and I'll try to link some inexpensive stuff to consider.

This might go for around $200

A bargain at the price

The first would need an outboard phono stage, the second has one already. Other inexpensive alternatives that would offer a little warmer sound than the Rotel (and a better phono stage) would be some of the NAD stuff...similarly priced.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Powering MMG Speakers with Vintage Marantz Amp

Unfortunately, the on paper specs don't tell us much about the real world condition of the amplifier. If you already have the Marantz receiver, there's no reason not to try the combination. If you want to explore other options in the used equipment market, you can try Audiogon; http://buy.audiogon.com/cgia/fsb.pl

or Audio Classics; http://www.audioclassics.com/

The former is a listing of mostly private owners selling their equipment. The latter is a resale company specializing in McIntosh and other high end products. Audio Classics typically have done any needed refurbish work on the equipment before it is sold and some equipment will possibly have a warranty on whatever work they performed. Audio Classics will also take trades when possible.

Jan Vigne
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Re: Powering MMG Speakers with Vintage Marantz Amp
Monty
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Re: Powering MMG Speakers with Vintage Marantz Amp

From the specs given in the link, the Marantz has a 50 damping factor. Given the surface area of the Maggies, I just don't think he will get any control over the membrane and asking a 30 year old amp to work at the limits of its design capabilities just seems like a recipe for disaster to me.

JoeE SP9
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Re: Powering MMG Speakers with Vintage Marantz Amp

Get yourself an Adcom GFA-545. It has more than enough power reserves to drive even MG3's to reasonable levels. I have a friend who is using one to drive a pair of 1.6QR's. For $200 or so on e-bay or Audiogon you can use it while you save up for a really killer amp like a Krell, Levinson, Audio Research or Conrad Johnson. Mapnepan used to use Audio Research gear to demo their speakers at shows.I just realized you may need a pre-amp also. You can get an Adcom or equivalent at the same places for about $200.I would look for one with a phono stage unless you don't do vinyl.

Monty
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Re: Powering MMG Speakers with Vintage Marantz Amp

The only problem with the Adcom is that his receiver doesn't appear to have a preout and so he would need to buy a preamp as well. If the receiver has a preout, I'm not seeing it in the photos.

jackfish
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Re: Powering MMG Speakers with Vintage Marantz Amp

The Marantz 2238B does indeed have preamp out and main in jacks.



You can get lab tested Phase Linear 400 power amps from a former Phase Linear technician for $400 delivered. If your listening room is small having the extra power for those speakers would not be a bad thing even if you listen at low to moderate levels. If you find it gets too hot running at 4 Ohms you can always put a fan on it and it should be OK. Mine is driving double Large Advents. Click here for a Phase Linear website and email Ed to see if they have any ready to go.

Monty
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Re: Powering MMG Speakers with Vintage Marantz Amp

Yuppers, I see them now. Thanks for the correction.

As for an amp, the World is now his oyster. Lots of amp choices that can drive those Maggies.

eagle
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Re: Powering MMG Speakers with Vintage Marantz Amp


Quote:
I believe that particular receiver has preamp out jacks. Buy a clean Phase Linear 400 power amp ($400) and enjoy. Just a thought, maybe not the best one, but I don't think you'ld be disappointed.

I would recommend against buying a Flame Linear 400 power amp. They got that nickname for a reason. Not only that, but the 400 is a very early transistor design and doesn't sound very good. Look for a used Adcom amp. A GFA-545 should do nicely.

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