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ejspain

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What's up sound peeps...looking for some feedback. As you know I just purchased the 11A's and so far I'm in love 😁...still breaking in. My system serves as a HT and 2 channel music listening. I equally enjoy both functions so there's no precedence. I've read most of the comments regarding amplification for the Masterpiece (MP) Series and would love to hear all opinions of my relatively modest configuration.

My setup:
Amplifier: Marantz MM7055 - 5 channel, 140w/channel (into 8 ohms), Class A/B (quite a bit of juice).
Receiver: Marantz SR6015 - 9.2 channel, 110w/channel
Speaker Cable: Mogami W3104
Interconnects: Cardas ClearSky
LCR: 11A's & Cinema i (she's still sweet :) )

The 7055 is dedicated to driving my LCR while the 6015 handles processing, surround and Atmos duties. I chose these electronics after attending an audio show earlier this year with ML showcasing the Masterpiece (MP) lineup and was kind of shocked they were running Anthem and Marantz gear. So I asked the ML rep if there was a reason for using this over MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE gear to demo the MP series? His response was, "because you only have the responsibility of driving the panels; which doesn't require a ton of power to sound their best, an amplifier with good, clean, consistent power (100w/channel or more) is more than sufficient". He then said, "are you asking is more power better?" "Yes it is, he said, but getting overly caught up in the high-end brands to get great performance from our MP series isn't necessary unless that's what you want to do." "We specifically chose this gear because we wanted our consumers to see how awesome the MP series sounds on all levels."

At a separate event, I had the opportunity to hear the 11A, 13A and 15A's through Macintosh, VTL, Musical Fidelity NU-Vista 600, and Pass Labs XA25. All sounded PHENOMENAL....BUT

1. Not a huge fan how the ESL sound through tube gear so VTL and Musical Fidelity was out for me. I do however, love the tube sound. I actually owned a VTL integrated in the early 90s, a pair of Monitor Audio speakers and NAIM speaker cable..my first high-end setup. Then I heard the Martin Logan (2000) and have been hooked ever since. :)
2. Macintosh and Pass Labs sounded a little bright (to me), great mids/vocals and bass but it didn't say, "Everett go spend $6 grand (or more) on another amp". Not sure if it was the setup, the room, or listening material.

For anyone who's listened to Marantz, it is naturally warm in sound. I like it! A great balance with the ESLs BUT setup is critical or you'll have mud all over your face (too warm) and be really upset with the sound (dead). With Marantz, music breathes through the panels in balanced concert; without the "ting", from the top and transitioning to the lower end of the speaker. At lower and reference levels, the 7055 "seems" to hold its own, never bottoming, distorting or clipping. BUT I'd love to hear peeps feedback/experience on amplifying (specifically the Masterpiece Series) and if you think Marantz isn't sufficient to drive my 11A's. 😁
 
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Reverb

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Hey, congrats on your new 11A's!
Glad about your new discovery on running Anthem and Marantz over much more expensive ones.
Have fun!
 

Big Dog RJ

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Good stuff with the Marantz EJ, if that's the sound you like then that's your preference! No one can ever dispute that and only you can determine what suits you best.

I've already listed the type of amplification that I've extensively auditioned with the Masterpiece line, both in SS and Tube design, covering mid-level gear to very highend. If you really wanted my top choice in amplifiers in SS design, it would be Dartzeel. If you do ever get a chance to audition Dartzeel gear with full range stats, you'll know what I'm referring to.

Having said that, I don't use any SS gear in my system, other than the Esoteric digital player. I use a full array of conrad johnson tube amplifiers, from top to bottom, just my personal preference. If I were to choose SS, it would be Dartzeel.

However, as I said earlier, this is a highly personal preference and one that will suit only the specific owner. Therefore, I won't engage any further in this particular post. Hope you understand.
BTW, the ML rep is correct in his rationale to use lower end gear. Absolutely no harm done and true vfm! You can't beat that.

Cheers, and enjoy those fine tunes!
RJ
 

ejspain

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Good stuff with the Marantz EJ, if that's the sound you like then that's your preference! No one can ever dispute that and only you can determine what suits you best.

I've already listed the type of amplification that I've extensively auditioned with the Masterpiece line, both in SS and Tube design, covering mid-level gear to very highend. If you really wanted my top choice in amplifiers in SS design, it would be Dartzeel. If you do ever get a chance to audition Dartzeel gear with full range stats, you'll know what I'm referring to.

Having said that, I don't use any SS gear in my system, other than the Esoteric digital player. I use a full array of conrad johnson tube amplifiers, from top to bottom, just my personal preference. If I were to choose SS, it would be Dartzeel.

However, as I said earlier, this is a highly personal preference and one that will suit only the specific owner. Therefore, I won't engage any further in this particular post. Hope you understand.
BTW, the ML rep is correct in his rationale to use lower end gear. Absolutely no harm done and true vfm! You can't beat that.

Cheers, and enjoy those fine tunes!
RJ
Completely understand RJ and as always your comments are transparent and meaningful. Appreciate the feedback. On the flip side, I did some quick reading and hope to one day get a chance to hear the Dartzeel. I'd imagine a $20,000 amp would sound a tad different than a $2,500 one. :p
 
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Tmort

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Running Anthem MCA 225 mk2 on my classic 9’s and it’s a great match (the classic 9’s don’t have a built in amp for the woofers so I’m driving panels and woofers with the amp alone). ML and Anthem are tied at the hip so it’s no surprise that they work well together.
 

MisterB

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I’m running a McIntosh tube preamp into a McIntosh solid-state power amp. I actually wish it was just a tad bit brighter than it is. But vocals are sublime. I may do some tube rolling in the preamp to see if I can add a touch more sparkle. I auditioned the MA352 hybrid tube integrated, the MC152, and the MC462, and as I went up the wattage scale, the 11A’s revealed more and more detail. I bought the MC462.
 

ejspain

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I’m running a McIntosh tube preamp into a McIntosh solid-state power amp. I actually wish it was just a tad bit brighter than it is. But vocals are sublime. I may do some tube rolling in the preamp to see if I can add a touch more sparkle. I auditioned the MA352 hybrid tube integrated, the MC152, and the MC462, and as I went up the wattage scale, the 11A’s revealed more and more detail. I bought the MC462.
Not sure if you've tried this but try toeing them in a tad more and it may bring some brightness in and not affect your stage at all.
 

Gordon Gray

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Per TAS, the current MSRP for a pair of the mono darTZeel NHB-468 amps is $230K. If your current amp is driving your stats without issues, the first question you should ask before upgrading is "what do you think you are missing and / or what don't you like about your current set up?"

If you want to proceed, many ML owners who use Pass Labs are quite satisfied, myself included when I owned ML's. Reno Hi Fi offers money back audition options. Of course, there are many other choices.
 
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ejspain

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Per TAS, the current MSRP for a pair of the mono darTZeel NHB-468 amps is $230K. If your current amp is driving your stats without issues, the first question you should ask before upgrading is "what do you think you are missing and / or what don't you like about your current set up?"

If you want to proceed, many ML owners who use Pass Labs are quite satisfied, myself included when I owned ML's. Reno Hi Fi offers money back audition options. Of course, there are many other choices.
I'm an enthusiast on a budget :cool:...youch!!! Lucky for my ego, I've heard the MP series through much more expensive gear than what I have but nothing made me consider refinancing my home for it. OR like the majority, we stay in our lane and get the best we can afford or what sounds good to our ears....and that's not always the most expensive. Crap do I sound like a poor dude??:unsure: But honestly I'm pretty satisfied how my system sounds. Again, lucky for me I've had the opportunity to hear rigs from $5k to $400k. Are there differences? Heck yea!!! HUGE! But like buying anything, we have to find where we fit, settle in and make it work. 😇
 

Big Dog RJ

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Correct 110% matey!

The only reason why I mentioned Dartzeel is because someone asked about SS amplifiers... and if I were to choose the top of line in SS it would be Dartzeel. They're phenomenal! And so is the price tag. Hell no way would I ever engage in that kind of spend. However the limited time I auditioned them, and on the one occasion where I brought an integrated amp for a home trial on my CLX's, that was an awe-inspiring experience!

Of course Pass Labs is outstanding! Specially with ML's but not all ML owners have adjusted to the Pass Labs signature...
I personally do like them very much and find them to be a supreme match for driving and controlling stats. They have a total grip factor on the stats impedence, thanks to their unique ability to create high current and highly stable voltages. Pass Labs gear doesn't flinch one bit under stress. Similar to Pass Labs, there are quite a number of others, Bricasti, Vitus, CH Precision, Solution, Boulder and so on... but that Dartzeel gear, just supreme awesomeness.

However, like I said I don't use SS amplifiers, I just prefer tubes, and CJ is my current preference. In time to come though I may switch over to either ARC or Jadis. Both are superior in circuit design and worldwide tech support, just a class above the rest. I really don't see that sort of solid tech support and backing from CJ in the future... it's just not happening. As for my other local CJ tech, he's able to very easily service and mod / re-engineer tube gear to marvellous levels but he's also getting on in years... aren't we all!

Cheers, and Enjoy those very fine tunes!
Woof! RJ
 

Rich

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My thoughts…
The Marantz puts out 140 watts per channel into 8 ohms. What does it put out into 4 ohms? 2? The point being, does it have the current to keep up with the impedance swings of ESL panels? I’m guessing not. I’m curious what Pass Labs you listened to and with what speakers? My X350.5 puts out the first 30 watts in Class A and has a nice warm sound to it. Definitely warmer than my Sanders monoblocs, which are absolutely neutral. But it’s certainly not “bright.” As far as tube gear goes, it’s definitely brand-dependent. ML’s pair very nicely with Conrad Johnson gear, as RJ mentioned.
 

beekay

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Speakers: ESL-X
DAC: Loxjie D50
Pre/Amp: Anthem STR Integrated
Others: Room treatments (Diffusers/ Reflectors) + BACCH4MAC Dsp + Fab Filter Saturn 2 and running a pair of BlueJean Canares.
Source: Roon / Tidal / Deezer (Over Bluetooth or USB DAC)

It is crisp and detailed with a spacious soundstage. Have tried my ESLs with a lot of other amps (Sansui, Accuphase 250, vintage Bob Carvers, various Chinese tube amps, Marantz PM 6007, Conrad Johnson Premier 11A, and more) but the Anthem STR just wins in every single category.

Its onboard DAC is also beautiful and in retrospect, I'd have skipped the Loxjie altogether - Here is a post by a PSAudio (high end, high price DAC) user commenting on how he cannot hear a discernable difference between his DAC vs the Anthem's onboard DAC.
 

TiBoneFramer

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ejspain I had your exact amplifier. Was driving Theos speakers mains and LRS surrounds which MAXXED that amp out. Faithful. Never a hint of trouble and I loved it. In my opinion, do not upgrade until you are ready to REALLY upgrade. With that said, I currently use M1200s for my Montis fronts and it really is no comparison. You can hear the panel being driven effortlessly with no cap.
 

ejspain

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ejspain I had your exact amplifier. Was driving Theos speakers mains and LRS surrounds which MAXXED that amp out. Faithful. Never a hint of trouble and I loved it. In my opinion, do not upgrade until you are ready to REALLY upgrade. With that said, I currently use M1200s for my Montis fronts and it really is no comparison. You can hear the panel being driven effortlessly with no cap.
Agreed. Great point. Good thing I'm only using the 7055 to drive the ESLs (for 2 channel music). The center only enters the mix when watching movies. I NEVER listen to multichannel music. I think I'll keep still for the moment. Because my space is relativity small (13 x 18) and acoustically treated with mostly diffusion, the panels seem to be playing nicely and not sucking out the 7055. May look to upgrade next year. Really appreciate all the feedback.
 
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Gordon Gray

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Most folks are on a budget, myself included. I was merely correcting the darTZeel MSPR you posted. Most multi channel AVR's do not double in power as the speaker impeadance goes to 4 ohms. If they exist, they are pretty rare. Crtical if you want to optImize ML stat performance. Fairly common issue but if you are happy with your sound, that is all that matters. This is why Rich questioned your power output.

If you want to buy a low price amp that should work well, I would look at Odyssey only if you get a money back return guarantee. There are also a plethora of Class D digital amps that you can also consider. You should be able to buy a separate amp for two channel listening and use your Marantz for multi channel. An option you might want to consider.
 
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ejspain

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Most folks are on a budget, myself included. I was merely correcting the darTZeel MSPR you posted. Most multi channel AVR's do not double in power as the speaker impeadance goes to 4 ohms. If they exist, they are pretty rare. Crtical if you want to optImize ML stat performance. Fairly common issue but if you are happy with your sound, that is all that matters. This is why Rich questioned your power output.

If you want to buy a low price amp that should work well, I would look at Odyssey only if you get a money back return guarantee. There are also a plethora of Class D digital amps that you can also consider. You should be able to buy a separate amp for two channel listening and use your Marantz for multi channel. An option you might want to consider.
Hmm that sounds interesting. But yea completely understand. The dartZeel is not only a beautiful piece of equipment, I'm certain the sound is equal. Appreciate the feedback @Gordon Gray
 

ttocs

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I had to get a replacement amp when my main amp got damaged by a utility spike. The lowest price amp model that was at the top of my list of amps to try is the Schiit Tyr. It seems like a really good choice to me. After reading everything I could find, I was impressed with the design, with the most interesting part being the huge choke that's about the same size as the transformer.

I ended up with one of several other amps on my list which was near the top of the cost scale. This amp is the Krell Duo 300 XD. The Duo operates in Class A, but without the heat. It's been great for me.

I'd still like to know how the Tyr mates up with our speakers and how it compares to my current amp.
 

codesx100

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I had to get a replacement amp when my main amp got damaged by a utility spike. The lowest price amp model that was at the top of my list of amps to try is the Schiit Tyr. It seems like a really good choice to me. After reading everything I could find, I was impressed with the design, with the most interesting part being the huge choke that's about the same size as the transformer.

I ended up with one of several other amps on my list which was near the top of the cost scale. This amp is the Krell Duo 300 XD. The Duo operates in Class A, but without the heat. It's been great for me.

I'd still like to know how the Tyr mates up with our speakers and how it compares to my current amp.

There was a guy on the Facebook ML group that was raving about the Tyr and how it was really good with his MLs, I forget which ones he had.

I've always enjoy the sound of Marantz, thought that warmer sound worked with with MLs.

Still have yet to beat the sound of Simaudio paired with MLs to this day, just wish they appeared on the second hand market more as they are just too pricy. Definitely worth the opportunity to listen to that combo if you can.
 

ejspain

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There was a guy on the Facebook ML group that was raving about the Tyr and how it was really good with his MLs, I forget which ones he had.

I've always enjoy the sound of Marantz, thought that warmer sound worked with with MLs.

Still have yet to beat the sound of Simaudio paired with MLs to this day, just wish they appeared on the second hand market more as they are just too pricy. Definitely worth the opportunity to listen to that combo if you can.
The warmth of the Marantz has me also. I've put roughly 250 hours on the new Impressions and I can literally hear them opening up more and more, day by day....making the smile on my face bigger and bigger. As I've mentioned, I've been listening to a pair of Aeon i's I purchased new, 20 years ago. And they still sound great...with a sub. So every day that I listen to the Impressions, I am amazed of the advances in sound quality and "THE BASS"...without a sub(s) playing...PHENOMENAL!! #happytunes
 
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