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need advice before making a purchase

MartinLogan Owners (MLO)

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jgarbs

Guest
I'm looking to upgrade my entire HT system. I'm new to all of this. I have not purchased any HT equipment in a very, very long time. I have been looking and liscening to allot of choices. I havn't purchased anything yet but will shortly. I'm waiting for the new Sony SXRD 2 to come out later in the year before purchasing a new TV. I need suggesting on what equipment to run the speakers I selected to go with. It looks like I'm going to go with this set up:

Front L/R- Vantage
Center- Stage
Sub- Depth
Side- passage
Rear- nothing now but would go with the tickets in the future

This is what the dealer is suggesting with my bugget (around $5,000- $8,000):
Pre/Pro Anthem AVM-50
Amp- Anthem MCA-50
Amp- Anthem MCA-20

Please let me know if the equiment suggested is good to run the ML's? Open to hear any other suggestings as well.
 
T

tsd2005

Guest
jgarbs said:
I'm looking to upgrade my entire HT system. I'm new to all of this. I have not purchased any HT equipment in a very, very long time. I have been looking and liscening to allot of choices. I havn't purchased anything yet but will shortly. I'm waiting for the new Sony SXRD 2 to come out later in the year before purchasing a new TV. I need suggesting on what equipment to run the speakers I selected to go with. It looks like I'm going to go with this set up:

Front L/R- Vantage
Center- Stage
Sub- Depth
Side- passage
Rear- nothing now but would go with the tickets in the future

This is what the dealer is suggesting with my bugget (around $5,000- $8,000):
Pre/Pro Anthem AVM-50
Amp- Anthem MCA-50
Amp- Anthem MCA-20

Please let me know if the equiment suggested is good to run the ML's? Open to hear any other suggestings as well.

The AVM-50 costs $4699. The MCA-50 costs $2299.

Anthem gear is just bells and whistles with average performance. The MCA-50 is not a bad amp. If you're going to buying Anthem, you want the Anthem Statement lineup. It is far better in quality. The "Anthem," line of amps is a little treble heavy. The AVM-50 is not a rebadged D1 like some people say in some stores that I've at least heard of.

I've had two customers buy Vantages and come in and replace their MCA-50s because the sound disagreed with them. One went with NAD the other went with Audio Research.

If you're waiting on the next round of Sony SXRD TVs you've got some time, and I'd guess you'd want to take advantage of that TV. Which means HDTV broadcasts or one of the new formats.

With that in mind... I'd suggest these five amps:

ARCAM DiVA P1000, 7x135 watt amp. It appears on paper to be less power than the MCA-50, but this amp shines. It's sound matches extremely well with Martin Logan. $2299

NAD Master Series M25. This amp is just flat out amazing. It is extremely balanced in sound, and matching with ML is one of the sweetest combinations I've heard in awhile. Absolutely stunning! It is rated at 160 Watts per Channel, but thats minimum power, all channels driven. If you measure this amp like Anthem measures their amp it would be 220 Watts X 7. $2999.

Outlaw Audio 7700 amp. 7X200 watts. Fully balanced. This amp is SWEET. It comes very close to matching the NAD, and does a better job than the ARCAM in the low frequencies. It is a steal at $2149.

Audio Research VS110. 100 Watt Stereo Amp. I mention this because it will make that Vantage shine, shine, shine. You can buy a an Outlaw Pre-Pro and 7500 (5 channel verson of the 7700) for $2,498. The Audio Research is a tube amp and damnit if it doesn't just make Martin Logan sing, sing, sing. $4995.

Plinius Odeon. 6 2X100 Watt modules. Effectively you could have 5 200 watt channels, and use the lost module to power the rear speakers of a 7.1 system. This model just replaced my Theta Dreadnaught II as my own personal amp. This amplifier is just amazing! I only mention this option because It's worth the price of admission. It would be worth changing your passages to Tickets and doing anything you could to squeeze this amp into your budget. I can't begin to say how much I enjoy this amp. It is costly but I know of dealers that will knock off 10%. $10995.

Right now I can only suggest a three Pre-Pros:

NAD M15: $3k. Has 1080p HDMI switching. Sounds amazing! Better sounding than the AVM-50.

ARCAM P700: $2199. Has 1080p HDMI switching. Sounds just amazing! Almost as good as the NAD, but NAD has it beat in music. Film sound tracks sound about equal.

Outlaw Audio 990 or 970: $1099 and $699 respectively. DVI switching instead of HDMI. The 970 sounds pretty good for movies, ok for music. The 990 is good at both. The 990 doesn't quite match the Arcam unit, but it sounds deliciously good. Matching it with a great amp can truly make this unit shine. The Outlaw amps of course have amazing synergy. I ran a 990 with the Plinius this weekend for a client who wanted to see if he could find a way to afford the Odeon. It was absolutely delightful.

You can't go wrong with the NAD combo, or the Arcam Combo, or the Outlaw Combo. You can combine NAD, Arcam, or Outlaw with the Audio Research or Plinius solutions and be amazed for years to come.
 

DavidG

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Joined
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Location
Solihull, UK
My usual recommendation. . .

You'll have to buy second hand now, as it's out of production. Audition if you can the Meridian 558. It's 5 x 200wpc and one of the most neutral sounding SS amps I've ever heard. It'll drive any ML with ease. IMHO Meridian amps compare favourably with anything out there and cost a lot less than most.

Note - the replacement model is the 'G58' and has nowhere near as much power or current delivery. It's also quite bright sounding by comparison.

Cheers,

David
 

edwinr

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My local ML dealer has given the new NAD series a huge rap. I haven't heard this stuff yet though.
 
J

jgarbs

Guest
Thanks for the feedback. I will look into all the options that were suggested before making a final decision. I did forget the mention that my room will be used for 70% movies and 30% music. Still look forward to hearing any other options out there.
One dealer at Sound Advice said I could run everything with the Denon 4806CI receiver. From what I read it seems that separates for ML speakers are way to go.
Budget is a main factor for all this. I started with a budget of 10- 15,000 for everything (TV, speakers, equipment, install). I’m already at 20- 25,000 for everything. Can’t stretch anymore.
tsd2005, you suggested changing the passage for the tickets for surround side. I was thinking of doing this already. They are going to be installed on the ceiling because of my room. My ceiling is little over 9 feet tall. Would there be a big difference in surround sound between these two speakers? Remember for now I’m only going with a 5.1 set up but in the future sometime will upgrade to 7.1 set up.
 
T

tsd2005

Guest
jgarbs said:
Thanks for the feedback. I will look into all the options that were suggested before making a final decision. I did forget the mention that my room will be used for 70% movies and 30% music. Still look forward to hearing any other options out there.
One dealer at Sound Advice said I could run everything with the Denon 4806CI receiver. From what I read it seems that separates for ML speakers are way to go.
Budget is a main factor for all this. I started with a budget of 10- 15,000 for everything (TV, speakers, equipment, install). I’m already at 20- 25,000 for everything. Can’t stretch anymore.
tsd2005, you suggested changing the passage for the tickets for surround side. I was thinking of doing this already. They are going to be installed on the ceiling because of my room. My ceiling is little over 9 feet tall. Would there be a big difference in surround sound between these two speakers? Remember for now I’m only going with a 5.1 set up but in the future sometime will upgrade to 7.1 set up.
For Ceiling installations I really suggest the Ticket. The only difference in surround is proper placement. If you have a good subwoofer, you won't notice much of a difference. I've routinely placed different speakers in the rears in demos just to show people that they have a real hard time telling the difference.

You can tell more of a difference from a good amp than from different well designed rear speakers.
 
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