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What components for an M3 stereo system?
#352521 07/27/11 06:43 PM
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CatBrat Offline OP
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In the new office I'm working on at home, I would like to put a pair of M3's mounted on a wall that I'll be facing most of the time. So, I plan on running speaker wire from there to where I plan on placing some component(s).

I don't want to spend a lot of money on this, but at the same time, I'd be wanting something that sounds good.

Room size is approx. 150 sq foot.

My requirements: Play CD's with enough power to drive M3's so that they will sound their best. They are rated at 175 watt.

(I've read all of the points that it takes a lot of watts to raise the volume 1 db more, but I think there's a lot more to the sound than just raising the volume when adding additional power in watts. Deeper and louder bass, for instance.)

I'd like something along the lines of Marantz m-cr603, (which is a receiver and CD player) but it's only rated at 40 wpc at 8 ohms. This may be plenty to drive the little M3's, but I'd have to hear it first to be convinced that 40 watt is enough to get the best sound from them.

Other things I'd like to have if I don't have to pay a big premium for it: SACD, turntable hookup, tuner.

An older receiver may work fine, but I don't want an older CD player because the drive mechanisms wear out and the firmware may not play the newer discs. I've been replacing my blu-ray players about once a year due to this wear factor.

If there are multiple components, they all have to match.

Components must be primarily silver, (or white) to match the decor.

Last edited by CatBrat; 07/27/11 07:05 PM.
Re: What components for an M3 stereo system?
CatBrat #352526 07/27/11 07:57 PM
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Remember that even though the M3s are rated at 175 watts, you will need nowhere near that much. They are rated to play at 96dB in a typical room when supplied with only 1 watt of power. Unless you plan on blasting your music at headache-inducing levels in your 150 sq ft room, that Marantz will handle the job nicely. Don't worry about a system's max wattage output too much. Just buy something that has the features you want.

You might be better served by going with an integrated amp and a separate player, though. That way you only have to replace the thing with moving parts when they wear out.


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Re: What components for an M3 stereo system?
pmbuko #352527 07/27/11 08:01 PM
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Ok. Thanks. When I look at the integrated receiver / cd player, it seems like it always costs much more. The Marantz is $699 msrp, but I've seen it for around $580 on-line.

I got into this max wattage thing, by buying a cheap Sony receiver, rated at 100 wpc. I replaced it with a Pioneer Elite rated at 110 wpc. They were not even comparable or in the same league power wise. So, to me, the wpc is somewhat meaningless, it seems to be more of a power supply issue between those 2 units. I just didn't want to get burned again with a cheap unit. And afraid that low wattage would produce the same weak results.

(I know the above isn't very logical, but it's how I feel about the power and wattage situation. It's like it's just a number that's not consistent between manufacturers and models of amplifiers.)

Last edited by CatBrat; 07/27/11 08:18 PM.
Re: What components for an M3 stereo system?
CatBrat #352542 07/28/11 12:02 PM
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I was checking ebay and looking at the vintage Merantz receivers. Some of them looked pretty good. Were bid up to only around $100 to $200 dollars with 4 days to go. But, their WPC at 8 ohms were only around 20 watts. Does anyone have any experience with these?

Re: What components for an M3 stereo system?
CatBrat #352544 07/28/11 01:35 PM
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There's one thing that isn't making sense now. If 1 watt is enough to power speakers at a comfortable level, how come,

1) There isn't a lot of 1 watt amplifiers?
2) Speakers are rated at a minimum of 10 watts?

Re: What components for an M3 stereo system?
CatBrat #352545 07/28/11 01:44 PM
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About the minimum rating thing:

That 1 watt rating is done with a test tone with steady amplitude. Music is very dynamic and uses a much wider frequency range. I can say with high confidence that your average wattage use is not likely to exceed 5 watts, but brief loud spikes in music -- like cannons in the 1812 Overture, to take an extreme example -- will use a lot more for fractions of a second. If your amp can't supply adequate wattage for these spikes in the signal, clipping may occur and that's when speakers can be damaged.

The wattage needs of the M3s in a small room are not that high, even taking demanding peaks into account, unless you like the volume up really high all the time.

Last edited by pmbuko; 07/28/11 01:57 PM. Reason: so sue me

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Re: What components for an M3 stereo system?
pmbuko #352547 07/28/11 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted By: pmbuko
[b]average[/i]

Well, what are we going for here? BOLD or ITALIC? Hedging your bet, in this case, doesn't work.


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Re: What components for an M3 stereo system?
pmbuko #352548 07/28/11 01:51 PM
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I like my music loud, but for this room, it'll be soft music most of the time, except the times I want to crank it a little. Probably play it in the 60 to 90 decimal range. I think M3's would probably be a good choice for that. Just not sure on minimum wattage of amplifier requirements. I don't want something that's going to sound lame, or not have enough power for those times where it's needed. I'm going to be hooking my Pioneer Elite up to them so I know what a good 110 watts sound like. If whatever I buy, say the Marantz 40 watt unit, doesn't sound the same, then it's going back to wherever it came from.

Last edited by CatBrat; 07/28/11 01:58 PM.
Re: What components for an M3 stereo system?
CatBrat #352554 07/28/11 03:48 PM
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Be wary of the old Marantzs. They're beautiful and I love them, but I had quite a few problems with them (mainly just because they were old) when I had them. And that was over 10 years ago now.


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Re: What components for an M3 stereo system?
Ken.C #352557 07/28/11 04:37 PM
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Thanks. I'll probably avoid them now. (All your fault, you know smile )

This is the one I had my eyes on. A beautiful piece of furniture, I mean equipment.

Edit: I just noticed it said "cabinet", not receiver was for sale.

Last edited by CatBrat; 07/28/11 04:43 PM.
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