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  1. #1
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    Amps to audition for Martin Logan Clarity

    I'm buying a pair of Martin Logan Clarity speakers. I have tried both integrated amps and 5.1 receivers in my price range and found the amps to be superior for music, which is my primary use case.

    I have auditioned Marantz pm7001 and Denon 697 and preferred the Marantz. My budget for the amp is $600. I would be willing to go upto $800 if Iím getting something much better.

    I have a couple of questions:
    1) What are other good amps in my price range that I should listen to before I decide?
    2) The store where Iím buying the speakers carries only Marantz and Denon. How do I audition other amps with my speakers? Other stores do carry other brand amps but donít carry the speakers Iím looking at.

    And just incase anyone else is interested, there has been a $800 drop on the price of martin logan clarity speakers. I believe they are going to be discontinued, so this is kind of a clearance.

    Thanks,
    Kz

  2. #2
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    hi, welcome to AR,

    those are very good speakers, and they'll take much benefit from a better amp, but since your budget is limited to 800...

    you could buy a good integrated now, with a pre-out, and then save on an buy a beefier power amp, and eventually replace the integrated amp by a real pre-amp.

    you should also try out rotel, maybe a second hand primare (or stretch you budget a little and get a new one), nad, maybe a second hand creek...

    Good luck,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  3. #3
    Music Junkie E-Stat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingzorghh
    1) What are other good amps in my price range that I should listen to before I decide?
    That's a tough question because I've been out of the market for a while. Generally speaking, most HT receivers are not well suited. You need an amp that has a robust output stage and large power supply. Electrostatic speakers present an especially challenging load to the amplifier. Not only low in impedance, but reactive as well. Kinda like a toddler throwing food, they send a portion of the signal right back at the amplifier. Many amps are not especially happy with this situation. Unfortunately, conventional specifications do not provide insight into answering this question.
    Quote Originally Posted by kingzorghh
    How do I audition other amps with my speakers? Other stores do carry other brand amps but donít carry the speakers Iím looking at.
    Therein has always lain the challenge since I began this hobby thirty years ago. First of all, tell them you need an amp that works well with a reactive load (hopefully they understand the concept). Some dealers will allow you to audition one over a weekend if you leave them a CC number as deposit. You really need to hear them in your own environment.

    Good luck!

    rw

  4. #4
    Suspended topspeed's Avatar
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    Because ESL's load characteristics, it's hard for me to imagine a better amp than a switching amp that is completely load invariant. Audiogon.com currently has used PS Audio Trio's or HCA2's as well as Bel Canto eVo 200.2's and Spectral DM50's in your price range.

    Hope this helps.

  5. #5
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    The best audition of ML I've heard was when they were driven by tubes. I haven't heard it but Jolida makes an integrated around $550.00 that I believe is 100 watts. It is true that the Clarities may be a good deal but don't under estimate them, they require good electronics. I doubt that you've even heard half of what they are capable of. The suggested Rotel or Creek or even Music Hall could be possibilities as well.

    If you are sure you want the Clarities, go ahead and buy them. Then to audition amps, all you have to do is bring them to your listening room. As mentioned, good hi fi shops will allow home auditions and many online stores, as well as local, have 30 day return policies.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for some great suggestions, guys.

    I have to pick up the Clarities sooner than later as the reduced prices are while stocks last. I will also pick up the Marantz pm7001 amp and Denon 1930CI DVD/CD player to get me started. The dealer has a 30 day return policy and has encouraged me to use it.

    I will then go thru the list of amps you guys have suggested and try to do home auditions of the ones I like at the store. I know for sure there are local dealers that carry Rotel and NAD, the rest will require some more research.

    Initially I was dreading having to pick out the speakers and the amps. I was worried I would buy one I liked and then see my choice get slammed at a forum or in a review. But I've been auditioning speakers and amps for a couple of months now, and have actually started to enjoy it. I can start to tell differences I couldnt hear at all before. I guess the more critical listening you do, the better your ear gets at it.

    Thanks again guys, for your responses.

  7. #7
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
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    why a CD-DVD player? you go stereo, a good cd player will give you alot better sound than a dvd player...

    Look for a Marantz CD5001 (OSE), it will beat the denon.

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  8. #8
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    Because I dont have a DVD player. My tosh died a month ago

    I havent compared a dedicated CD player with a DVD/CD player in the same price range. Is there a significant difference? Arent they just supposed to read whats on the CD and digitally transmit it out? I always kind of assumed that theres not much difference there....arent they all a bunch of 0 and 1s at that stage?

    hehe, probably not then. boy, there seems to be no end to chasing the hi in hi-fi

  9. #9
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    What comes off the CD is digital but it's what happens to it after that which makes the difference. The digital has to be converted to analog and there is quite a difference in analog stages, as much as between same type of components of other brands.

    You could add a DAC for CD playback. Just go from the digital out of your DVD into a DAC. www.amusicdirect.com has a universal player that was $1,100.00 on sale for $599.00.

  10. #10
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    http://forums.audioreview.com/newreply.php?do=newreply&noquote=1&p=186918

    Hey king,

    Welcome to the forums. I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment that you're not going to get peak performance from an AV receiver. I know this because I tried it. I found the Rotel RMB 1066 running bridged to supply more than enough juice for the MLs. It's a very good option in your price point.
    I'll second Mr. Peabody's suggestion on the MF DAC. It would allow you to enjoy DVDs and remove some of the digital haze on cd playback...

    Congrats on your new finds and good luck.

  11. #11
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
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    Don't entirely agree

    Quote Originally Posted by kingzorghh
    I'm buying a pair of Martin Logan Clarity speakers. I have tried both integrated amps and 5.1 receivers in my price range and found the amps to be superior for music, which is my primary use case.

    I have auditioned Marantz pm7001 and Denon 697 and preferred the Marantz. My budget for the amp is $600. I would be willing to go upto $800 if Iím getting something much better.

    I have a couple of questions:
    1) What are other good amps in my price range that I should listen to before I decide?
    2) The store where Iím buying the speakers carries only Marantz and Denon. How do I audition other amps with my speakers? Other stores do carry other brand amps but donít carry the speakers Iím looking at.
    ...
    Thanks,
    Kz
    People around here are respecting your $800 budget for amps but the truth is amps in the range, (including anything from Marantz, Denon, Rotel, etc.), won't entirely do justice to the Clarity electrostatics. You owe yourself a better ampfilier than any of these -- if not immediately, as soon as you can find the cash.

    Unfortunately you will be look at twice your budget at least if you buy new. I would suggest buy something used, save your funds, and final sell your initial purchase and buy what will really do the job. (The good thing about buying used is that you can usually sell without too big a loss.)

  12. #12
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
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    Hey Bill,

    I agree that nothin we've mentioned thus far has been the ultimate solution. I couldn't help but notice that the amount he is willing to spend for an amp is equal to the discount on the MLs and concluded that the king is trying to stick to pre-existing budget constraints.

    IMO, going with a Rotel or the used PS Audio would be a very listenable and worthy stopgap...at least until the bankflow will support the next case of upgradeitis

    Cheers

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