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sixsigma

Marantz PM8005 or NAD C368 with LaScala

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I need some opinions on this question. I currently have LaScalas (recapped) with 2 subs (Polk and SVS) driven by an integrated Yaqin MS30-L (Chinese tube amp). I primarily listen to vinyl on an Audio-Technica AT-LP120 turntable. I have CD and streaming (via RCA adapter) inputs also but 75% of my listening is vinyl. I've been pretty happy with the setup, particularly for what it cost. My main concerns at this point are the subs, which are connected via speaker level inputs since the Yaqin does not have a sub or pre-out. This is less than ideal, although it does work. Also, the Yaqin occasionally shuts down in a protection mode, and I'm not sure why. I wonder if the LaScala impedence is too low and it might be marginal for the Yaqin. The LP-120 turntable is also pretty good for an inexpensive direct drive turntable - it has the green AT cartridge.

 

I am mindful of the law of diminishing return and also the black hole that is high-end audio, but I'm wondering if some smart upgrades to the turntable and amp would yield significant improvement in overall sound quality. I'm looking at the Marantz TT-15 turntable, which by all accounts seems to be a great rig and overall good value. 

 

For the amp, I want to stay integrated and I'm OK with SS if it sounds good. I'd like to stay under $1500 for the amp. I'm considering the Marantz PM8005 ($900 street) and the NAD C368 ($900 street). Both have inputs to support my listening needs, including MM phonostage inputs for the TT-15. The NAD has Bluetooth for streaming, which would eliminate the cable RCA adapter but also introduce Bluetooth quality issues. The NAD is upgradeable via their expansion ports but I don't really see a need for this in my 2-channel setup. The Marantz seems like it might be a better quality unit, while the NAD has more features. 

 

Anyone have any experience with either amp? Think these SS amps would sound noticeably better than the Yaqin tube setup? Any thoughts on the setup or situation are welcomed. I don't want to make this change only to find out it doesn't sound any better!  Thanks

 

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Tough call between the two with the LaScalas.

 

Bill

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I can tell you that Marantz PM8005 sounds very good to my ears with Khorns. I would imagine it would do nicely with Lascala as well. The Marantz has a very nice phone stage as well. I am using it with a Dual 1219 and Ortofon combination. I have no experience with the NAD.

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  I would look at the specs. I know the sounds good - measures good story. 

  With high efficiency speakers signal to noise ratio ratio is important. Also residual noise. Something like 10 uV. 

  With quiet amplifiers the sound comes from a black background. There is more space between the notes. 

  One test is hook them up. Select an input connected to a source. Listen with your ear right in the mouth of the tweeter and then the midrange horn. 

  The amplifier that is the quietest is what I would suggest. 

  

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2 hours ago, Panelhead said:

With high efficiency speakers signal to noise ratio ratio is important. Also residual noise. Something like 10 uV. 

  With quiet amplifiers the sound comes from a black background. There is more space between the notes. 

Dead solid quiet is one of the things I like best about my Yamaha A-S1000 integrated amp.

 

Bill

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I like the Marantz, and the fact that it is not digital. Now I'm wondering if the SS amp would sound better than the Yaqin tube amp I have now. Combined with a turntable upgrade, I wonder if this would sound noticeably better. No way to know without listening to it. This is turning into a SS vs tube question more than which amp to choose!

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