Brand New, Need Advice. M3’s electronics

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Ragnar71

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Brand New, Need Advice. M3’s electronics
« on: 8 Jun 2019, 01:38 am »
I  am at a point in my life where I’ve acquired a passion for quality detailed sound, leaving behind my youthful exuberance for ear bleeding Metallica and Arrhythmia causing bass. The most money up to this point I spent on speakers was 28 years ago in college. I purchased 2 CerWin Vega Floorstanding speakers about the size of Klipschhorns that had 15” woofers in them that rattled windows up and down the street. At that time CV had a bit more of a following. Lol. Recently my HT was comprised of RSL speakers all around , and for HT was really quite exceptional. I’ve just recently came into a little money and I want to listen to music to have a system that is more Musically driven.

After month of research , that’s what I do when I’m going to spend what to me is a large sum of money, I obsessively research to make sure I get exactly what I want. It usually works out well, but is really quite exhausting. Any I have decided on Spatial Audio Turbo M3s’s and feel good about that. What I would like your input on is what I use to power them. I’m new to all this, so please feel free to suggest something else, tell me if I’m wrong, I won’t take it personal. I’ve narrowed it down to these as they fit in what I have budgeted.

1. Marantz AVR Sr8012. The easiest solution as that’s what I’m familiar with is AVR’s and this one is pretty much arguably the best . It’s the only one that Marantz makes using a Toroidal power supply, each amp is on a dedicated car, and when it was bench tested by Audioholics it tested at 140 watts x 2 at 8ohms and is 4ohm stable. I would eventually like to expand this system to my HT, but as of now will use it as a 2.2 in that manner, so if I wanted to have a 5.2 I wouldn’t need to purchase anything else.
The reason I’m nervous about an AVR is EVERY review I’ve ever read or seen at some point says this statement” the AVR ran the speakers fine, but it was when I switched to some better and more powerful electronics they really opened up”
My priority is have these speakers sound the best I can afford musically first, so I really don’t know if the 8012 is enough.

2. Peachtree Nova 300
3. Schiit system. I have to admit just being able to say I have a Schiit system is intriguing, lol, but I’ve seen nothing but really good reviews and after I buy the Dac, Pre and amps it will be right at my budget. Power wise I’d buy 2 Vidars which as monoblocks would supply 400 watts to each speaker, which is overkill but headroom is good o have read.
4. PS Audio Stellar Gain Stack , The amp supplies 300 watts at 4ohm
5. Parasound Hint 6  270w @ 4ohms

All of these have the ability to be bypassed if o ever decide to buy an ABR in the future and power the front two channels, so they all will work if I decide to do that, it crept the Marantz which is already that so it doesn’t need to do it again lol

All of these provide good power and supposedly good DACs and sound but that’s where I’m just totally oblivious. I know these speakers require equipment that are no noisy, because of the efgiency ive read a hum can become a real pain, the Peachtree was my first pick because of this as it is supposed to be really quiet.

So any opinions on the sound of any of these, what you  thin about the Facs, any advice at all. I was referred here by Clayton during a phone conversation when he was helping me, after iwxpressed my dismay at the only other forum I knew existed . It was hostile, elitist, and felt like a school yard. So I’m here now and I really look forward to anything anyone has to offer

harley.guy07

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Re: Brand New, Need Advice. M3’s electronics
« Reply #1 on: 8 Jun 2019, 02:57 am »
In my opinion and that is just that my opinion, I would forgo the marantz as it is more of a av components. I use a Marantz for my theater side and love it but compared to my 2 channel setup it doesn't come close. I would say the Schiit audio components would give you the best bang for your buck in sound quality and affordability followed very closely by the PS Audio Stellar line. In fact I would look very close at those two options for a total high end on a budget solution. I have had mixed results with Parasound as some of their early stuff was just ok to me but with the designer they have now they are really becoming a viable option. It looks like the Hint 6 is getting good press and would probably be a all in one solution that would be worth hearing.

Another thing to think about is keeping an eye on the used market, there are tons of audiophiles that are constantly changing things looking for their end system or just moving up the food chain of quality. Good prices can be found there and you could end up with more for your money that way. For the most part high end audio is made very well and will hold up for years so buying well taken care of used is a low risk option for you. In fact probably about 1/3 of my system is used equipment that I scored for very good deals. For instance my Pass Labs X150.5 is a killer power amp that would kill anything mentioned above and I got it at around $2,200 from a wealthy individual that just so happened to have a wife that said he had too much equipment laying around. Good luck with your search and good choice with the Spacial's, with proper equipment and setup they are very hard to beat

SFDude

Re: Brand New, Need Advice. M3’s electronics
« Reply #2 on: 8 Jun 2019, 05:25 am »
Class D amp. The Spatials love them. The Stellars should sound glorious and you’ll not want to upgrade them for a long time.

I can’t say much about the Peachtree but I would avoid Parasound. They aren’t great and you’ll likely notice some veil of the sound over time.

Not sure about the receiver too as I have never hooked one up to my M3TS speakers.

-dave

sumoking

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Re: Brand New, Need Advice. M3’s electronics
« Reply #3 on: 8 Jun 2019, 06:39 am »
I have had the peachtree powered my M3Turbos, but the best match so far is the
Cherry Amps Class D. It’s a glorious match that I haven’t bettered as of yet.
Cheers.

harley.guy07

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Re: Brand New, Need Advice. M3’s electronics
« Reply #4 on: 8 Jun 2019, 06:24 pm »
I have had the peachtree powered my M3Turbos, but the best match so far is the
Cherry Amps Class D. It’s a glorious match that I haven’t bettered as of yet.
Cheers.
io
I went to their website, quite interesting. I used to not like class D amps but that was over 8 years ago since i really heard one. I use a Crown XLS 1000 for my custom built theater sub and it works great but thats a whole different thing. I am sure class D has came a long way since then. i am a huge fan of PS Audio and I know they wouldn't put their name of products that don't live up to their standards. Like i said before the Stellar stuff would probably sound real good for the money invested on these speakers. Schiit audio would also be a good option as they punch way above their price class. Parasound to me has always had transistor glare in every amp of theirs I have listened to including the A21 and 23. In fact I had a friend that bought a A21 and owned it for about a year until he heard my Pass Labs and has since sold it and bought a X250 Pass Labs

jseymour

Re: Brand New, Need Advice. M3’s electronics
« Reply #5 on: 8 Jun 2019, 06:46 pm »
I drive my M3 Triode Masters with mono Schiit Vidars and am very satisfied.  I bought two Vidars thinking I might return one. First listened with one with good results.  But once I listened to two Vidars in mono mode, there was no looking back.  Headroom to spare is an understatement.

harley.guy07

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Re: Brand New, Need Advice. M3’s electronics
« Reply #6 on: 8 Jun 2019, 08:09 pm »
I drive my M3 Triode Masters with mono Schiit Vidars and am very satisfied.  I bought two Vidars thinking I might return one. First listened with one with good results.  But once I listened to two Vidars in mono mode, there was no looking back.  Headroom to spare is an understatement.

The is part of what I am talking about with Schiit Audio, they give you tremendous bang for your buck and allow a person to go into the separate's world even duel mono block world without having to take out a mortgage to do it. And for the most part their products are American made. If they would have had the models out when I was looking that they do now i would have definitely looked their direction

SnowPuppy77

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Re: Brand New, Need Advice. M3’s electronics
« Reply #7 on: 9 Jun 2019, 07:45 pm »
Schiit Audio has a new amplifier coming out this week, Ragnarok2.  I think that would be a great option for the M3 TS or TM.  In addition to getting a great speaker amp you will have a world class headphone amp.  I have the Ragnarok 1 and I can tell you that it has way more power than my M3 TM needs.  It has full control of those 15" woofers providing excellent dynamics and punch.  And it is not dry like other SS amps I have tried.  Also it sounds great with my Sennheiser HD800S cans.

A little background.  My Schiit Ragnarok 1 started having issues with one channel going out intermittently.  I sent it into Schiit for repair and while it was out I installed from another system an NAD C160 preamp and a 225 wpc NAD 218 amp.  I figured it would sound as good or better.  Boy was i wrong.  Could hardly stand to listen to it due to its inferior tone and lack of dimensional staging compared to my Ragnarok 1.  The NAD gear was dryer and not as extended in the highs.  My NAD gear just does not have the liquidity and flow of the Ragnarok 1. 

Schiit could not find anything wrong with my Ragnarok 1 as the intermittent issue never came up in their testing.  So they replaced the main board and front switching panel.  They made sure it would be right when I got it back and it was fixed for sure.  Great to work with Schiit on a repair.  Was so glad to get my Ragnarok 1 back.  Replayed what I was recently playing on the NAD stuff and the tone and presence I was missing was now back.  My Rachmaninoff piano trio cello section sounded more natural in the with a manifest presence in the room that made the NAD sound flat.

harley.guy07

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Re: Brand New, Need Advice. M3’s electronics
« Reply #8 on: 10 Jun 2019, 05:04 am »
Very nice customer service there on the Shciit Audio piece. You don't see that with many companies any more. That is one of the many reasons I like these smaller American made companies like Spatial Audio and Schiit Audio is that they are small enough that every single customer matters to them in a way that they will go out of there way in most cases to solve any issues you might have. Part of the survival of companies like these is good worth of mouth marketing and people reading on a forum that you were handled professionally with an issue might just sway someone at some point to go their direction with their next audio purchase.

morganc

Re: Brand New, Need Advice. M3’s electronics
« Reply #9 on: 10 Jun 2019, 05:51 am »
After years in this hobby I have learned a few lessons that I can share that you may find useful:
1.  Buy used from reputable sources with great feedback. 
2.  Use hifishark.com to get the prices for used gear. 
3.  System synergy is key, as well as synergy with your room as well as listening/music tastes. 
4. If you buy great gear at a good price, you can easily sell it if it doesn't suit your taste.

If you do the above, then you can buy and sell gear at near break even costs, and demo them in your own home with your speakers. 

Now to more directly answer your question:   I would try the Schiit Gear above all else on your list.  I would also try the Cherry amp as well.

ric

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Re: Brand New, Need Advice. M3’s electronics
« Reply #10 on: 10 Jun 2019, 01:40 pm »
Agreed with Morganc, I would add that Spatial M3's come up for sale used, as well--almost always better to buy used, from a financial standpoint.
Once you get the Spatial's and your amp, your ears will settle down over a few months and it MAY be that you find one area or another lacking, which may have you asking is it the cables, PC's, source, amp, speakers???
So, if you can set any funds aside for upgrading this or that--also recommended. Good luck!

Wind Chaser

Re: Brand New, Need Advice. M3’s electronics
« Reply #11 on: 10 Jun 2019, 04:48 pm »
Hi Ragnar71,

I haven’t heard any of the amps on your shortlist, however I power my M3 Turbo S with the same amps the Sumoking referred to above, which are the Cherry Maraschino mono blocks by the Digital Amp Company. They also make a 2 channel (stereo) version in a single chassis.

The Maraschino is a super high performance amplifier, it is dead quiet, super fast, remarkably transparent and non fatiguing.  The clarity is astonishing, music flows free any easy without sounding like tubes or solid state... in other words the Maraschino doesn’t stamp a signature on the music because it doesn’t have one.

Prior to the Maraschino’s, I owned a renown tube amp, not to mention a number of excellent tube amps before that. All I can say about that is I am definitely done with tube amps once and for all.  :D :D

Which brings me to my next point. Synergy is by far the most important consideration, especially with the speakers you are considering. The impedance of the M3TS is like a wild rollercoaster ride, it starts off low around 4 ohms and lifts off like a rocket to almost 100 ohms where it suddenly drops off all the way back down to 4 ohms only to ascend again, even higher, well beyond 100 ohms. From there it gradually descends to around 30 ohms around 10 KHz. The first upward peak and descent occurs in the low frequencies or the region of the bass, while the next peak occurs in the midrange. This kind of a load can affect how an otherwise fine sounding amp sounds.

When it comes to impedance, it ascends and descends to some extent on all speakers. How much it fluctuates and where it fluctuates determines how easy or difficult the load is. Some amps are affected by this more than others. So it’s worth repeating, synergy between the amp and speakers is of utmost importance.

Birdbrain

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Re: Brand New, Need Advice. M3’s electronics
« Reply #12 on: 10 Jun 2019, 05:39 pm »
I power my M3 Triode Masters with an Audio by Van Alstine Vision SET 120 power amp. https://avahifi.com/collections/power-amplifiers/products/vision-set-120-power-amplifier

Into the 12ohm M3TM it puts out around 50wpc. More than enough power. Into the 4ohm M3 Turbo S it would be putting out around 120wpc. Even more than enough power. More important than power output is that it sounds great mated with my Spatials. Might a megawatt Class D or a tube amp better it in some way or another? Of course. I just think it's a $899 bargain of a power amp option for Spatial speakers.

Ragnar71

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Re: Brand New, Need Advice. M3’s electronics
« Reply #13 on: 12 Jun 2019, 02:33 am »
Ok, this Cherry thing has me intrigued. Lol

Are the inline mono blocks used by anyone?

If I went this direction what else would I need? A pre and a DAC right? I’m sorry fellas but this is my first foray outside of the AVR world.

Steidl Guitars

Re: Brand New, Need Advice. M3’s electronics
« Reply #14 on: 12 Jun 2019, 04:34 am »
If you're not running a turntable, you can use a DAC that has a proper volume control, which is what I do (these days).  Works as both DAC and preamp.  Dozens of options there (sorry, more research!).

sumoking

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Re: Brand New, Need Advice. M3’s electronics
« Reply #15 on: 12 Jun 2019, 01:52 pm »
I have Cherry Desktop Monos like Wind Chaser.
My preference for a preamp was to go with a passive preamp.
The Nobsound $59 xlr passive is a steal and goes great with the Cherries and M3TS.
See my thread on the nobsound on cheap and cheerful circle.

The synergy between the transparency of the M3s, Cherries
and the passive is an experience at that price point.

The money you save can be spent on the music and you can start enjoying.
Cheers!

harley.guy07

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Re: Brand New, Need Advice. M3’s electronics
« Reply #16 on: 12 Jun 2019, 02:55 pm »
I would think the Stellar preamp dac combo would be a good piece for the price since you get a gain cell preamp and dac in one piece. I have thought about one to replace the Nuforce preamp and PS Audio dac i am using now

Wind Chaser

Re: Brand New, Need Advice. M3’s electronics
« Reply #17 on: 12 Jun 2019, 06:13 pm »
Are the inline mono blocks used by anyone?

If I went this direction what else would I need? A pre and a DAC right? I’m sorry fellas but this is my first foray outside of the AVR world.

The inlines have the same circuit / module as the other mono blocks versions. It is also employed in the stereo version, except it has two modules in one chassis with a volume pot, thus there’s no need a preamp - assuming you want to keep things simple. Granted it only has one input, but if your plan is to simply stream music, then one input is all you need to plugin a DAC. So your system would look like this...

Streamer >>> DAC >>> Amp >>> Speakers ...and course cables with a monthly subscription to high res streaming service like Tidal or Qobuz etc.

That is as simple as it gets. For a streamer, get an Auralic Aries Mini or a Blue Sound Node 2. Ask Tommy if he can do you a deal on the Cherry Stereo Maraschino with a DAC, plug it into your speakers and away you go!  :D

yakbob

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Re: Brand New, Need Advice. M3’s electronics
« Reply #18 on: 14 Jun 2019, 12:55 pm »
Ok, this Cherry thing has me intrigued. Lol

Are the inline mono blocks used by anyone?

If I went this direction what else would I need? A pre and a DAC right? I’m sorry fellas but this is my first foray outside of the AVR world.

As suggested earlier, you could get away with just a source, DAC, and amp(s) of your choice.
The piece of gear that has had the greatest impact on sound for my M3 Turbo S is the Musical Paradise MP-D2 tube DAC, which has a preamp mode with volume control. The tube variants (which there are many), cap variants, and even 3 DAC chips available make for a lot of flexibility in sound for less than $1k. There's a huge thread on this DAC in the Discless Circle (  https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=148213.0  ). Swapping driver tubes and rectifier tube in this DAC has a huge impact on sound, so you can try different configurations that work best for your system.

Musical Paradise is up to the 3rd generation (MkIII) on this piece, but I can tell you the 2nd gen. (MkII) is well worth the price if you can find a used one.


yakbob

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Re: Brand New, Need Advice. M3’s electronics
« Reply #19 on: 14 Jun 2019, 07:52 pm »
I wanted to add as someone who used to have a 5.2 surround system and downsized to a 2.2 system, if you build a great sounding 2 channel system (and you're on your way with the Spatial speakers) you may not miss the surround channels one bit...and it'll cost less in amplification.

The Marantz unit appears to retail in the $2500-$3000 range. If used products are in the running, you could pick up something like a McCormmack DNA-0.5 amp (or DNA 1.0) for about $800-$900 which would sound sublime and have all the power the M3s would require. I've run mine with as little as 35 tube watts. The 200-300 watt range you're considering might be a little overkill. That'd would leave you about $2k to play with for a DAC, or Pre/DAC.