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bierfeldt
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Thinking of replacing my Marantz MM8003

I have a 7.1 system and am thinking that my MM8003 is lacking the power I would like to deliver to my speakers. 

I have a Marantz AV7005 as my processor and am powering Sunfire HRS Satelites.  They are really more small bookshelf speakers than Satelites and an HRS 12 subwoofer.  Sound quality and clarity are exceptional, I am just looking for more volume.   

The MM8003 is rated at 170w over 6 ohms though I am certain that is a pretty liberal rating.  The Sunfire's are rated for 200w over 6 ohms, so I am certain I have room to deliver more power.

I have limited space and really need to keep it to one unit, if at all possible.  I would prefer it to be balanced.  The question is, at the price point I am looking at, will any of these units deliver an improvement in volume while at least maintaining sound quality.

The Marantz MM8077 - new amp from Marantz.  Has a bigger power supply but almost the same power rating as the mm8003.  The only thing I can say is it is quite a bit more expensive than the 8003 was and claims to be better.  I question whether or not it will be.  It says total power consumption is 800w and is 150w/7.

The Outlaw 7700.  Outlaw sells Marantz processors and I have heard they pair well together.  It says it's total power consumption is 1800w  and is rated at 200w/7.

The Sunfire TGA 7201 is designed to pair with those speakers.  200w x7 is the rating but it is supposed to only consumer 280w of power due to the Tracking Downconverter. 

These are all between $2200 and $2500.  Do you guys have anything good or bad to say about any of these units?  Should I consider any other 7 channel power amps?  If I needed to take up my budget, where would I start seeing a serious increase in quality?

commsysman
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AMPLIFIER

Your amplifier has WAY WAY more power than you need; that is certainly NOT the problem.

The problem is that you are ignoring the laws of physics...lol.

The tiny little drivers of your Sunfire speakers are way too small to move enough air to get more volume. You have way more power than they can convert to sound. More power will accomplish absolutely nothing.

As the name says, these are SATELLITE speakers; not intended to be front main speakers!! That should be a very strong clue as to their limitations. You will note that Sunfire does not even give a maximum SPL spec fpr them, which should be another clue...lol.

You need to get some front speakers that have main drivers that are AT LEAST 6 inches in diameter. 8 inches would be better.

That will more than double the cone area and solve both of your current problems; not enough volume and not enough bass extension from the main speakers.

Your current front speakers only go down to 95 Hz, and that is also inadequate. That forces the subwoofer to operate up to 100 hz, which means it is doing too much of the work and your sound is MONAURAL up to around 100 Hz, which really compromises your sound. Front main speakers should at least go down to 60 Hz IMO.

If you want to stay with Sunfire products, the CRM-2 bookshelf speaker claims to deliver up to 115 db with two woofers instead of only one, but it still only goes down to 95 Hz, which is a problem. Getting a pair of those would probably solve your loudness problem, but you would still have a deficiency in the mid-bass.

I strongly recommend a pair of good bookshelf speakers like the Monitor Audio Silver Series 2, which has an 8" main driver. That would an excellent solution. They are around $1000.

bierfeldt
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Not what I wanted to hear...but

It is not shocking response.  I was out on the Sunfire site yesterday and saw that the HRS Sat's have been discontinued. They used to publish the max spl when it was in-line and it was 105db.  My hope was that if I pushed a bit more power into them, I would be able to get closer to desired volume by basically getting closer to the max output.  That being said, if max is 105db, sound is going to disperse with distance, and by the time it reaches me at 8 feet away, it makes sense that I am having a challenge. 

Must consider my options.  Those CRM-2's are great speakers but I am not sure I have the budget for them. 

bierfeldt
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mid-bass

Wouldn't that be solvable with a second subwoofer assuming it was wired for right and left?  I would need to work on room placement. 

Might I also be able to add some room treatments that would have a positive impact and deliver a higher db sound of about 10 feet?   

commsysman
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Speakers

The Monitor Audio Silver Series 2 are around $1000 from Audio Advisor.

I suggest that you get a pair from them and try them out. I think you will love them.

You have 30 days to return them if you decide they don't suit your system.

You do have to pay return shipping if you decide to, but that is a small price to pay for a thorough 2-3 week trial of some very nice speakers.

You might just decide to keep them, and that would eliminate that issue.

bierfeldt
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I am thinking about ordering these

However I am thinking about it for a different system.  How would these do with sub-optimal placement?  I won't be able to put them on stands.  They would end up sitting on shelves. I can put rubber feet under them, but they will be at different heights.  These would replace a set.of B&W M-1's.  Suffice it to say, my wife likes smaller speakers.

commsysman
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SMALL SPEAKERS

The NHT Absolute Zero Monitors speakers are pretty small, but have good perfprmance and are sealed acoustic suspension speakers, which are perfect for putting on an enclosed shelf (no ports).

bierfeldt
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What if I use the Port Bungs?

It looks like both the Dynaudio Excite', the Kef LS 50's and the Monitor Audio Silver and Golds ship with port bungs to help deal with this.  Have you ever tried setting them up this way?  It looks like that is why they include them.  I don't want to take advantage of the nice policy that Audio Advisor has in place and saddle them with an open box for something that I could foresee as an issue.  

Also, the reason this has gone in a slightly different direction is that my wife rightly pointed out that I haven't been using the Sunfire system for audio since I got my Brio R.  I moved my turntable and better CD player to that room and the Sunfire system is now just for video which is what that speaker was intended for and excels at.  

BTW...thanks for your advice on this.

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