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Speaker compatiblity question...

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

Not sure if it is ok to talk about speakers here, but I'll risk it.

I'm about to purchase a pair of Monitor Audio MA-303 speakers. The product literature says that their nominal impedance is 6 ohms. I plan to drive them with my Onkyo TX-SV444 which outputs 8 ohms. The speaker literature does not mention being compatible with 8 ohms.

Will I have any problems here? Admittedly this is an area I am completely clueless about. Any information will be appreciated.
post #2 of 13
A lot of speakers have a nominal impedance of 6 ohms these days. Unless you are going o be using the volume control at 3 o' clock or more, no need to worry. As a matter of fact, the bass will be more solid at 6 ohms if your amp is not a light weight. i.e. can you lift it up with one hand? If yes, then try something heavier. Monitor Audio made some great speakers. Dunno the ones you got, but if it is anything like the ones that used to pass my work bench when I had to do product testing for a major hifi retailer, then you are in for a treat. What is the rest of your gear like?
post #3 of 13
well it's a more sensitive speaker and cause more current draw, and the amp is rated at 70watt/channel @ 8ohms, so it will be outputting a little more wattage for the 6ohms speakers. as long as the receiver is built high quality enough to handle that current output and a good heatshink to not overheat. also if helps if the speaker is higher efficiency (the db rating) than low, if too low, it could cause strain to the amp.

but anyway, at 6ohm it should do fine, since it's not as demanding as 4ohms anyway. if you want to be safe, don't drive it to the max of the volume controller.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the info, I feel better now. However, for clarity's sake I'll list the specs for my new speakers and my current receiver below:

Monitor Audio 303:

Frequency Response:
35hz - 25khz +/- 3db

Sensitivity: 90db lw@lm

Suggested Power Req: 20 - 200 watts

Nominal Impedance: 6 ohm

*Ferrofluid cooled tweeter 3/4 gold dome

*Dual polypropylene cones on magnesium die-cast chassis, 20mm voice coils, low distortion magnets.

*Two sets of gold plated five-way binding posts (for bi-wire, bi-amp)


Onkyo TX-SV444

Output: Front L/R 70 watts per channle 8 ohms RMS

Continuous power output: 80 watts x2 @ 8 ohms 1khz

Herandu, as for the rest of my equipment I am very limited for this setup. This stereo will not be my main unit, but rather my studio unit. It'll sit at the short end of a 300sqft rectangular room. I wish I could use my other receiver, a Yamaha RX-V2092 with 100 watts per channel, but I'm afraid it is to stay in the living room. I'm afraid to say that 95% of the source music will come from my mp3 player for space reasons.

Do you think my Onkyo will drive these speakers well for the space I'll be using them in? It's my hope that it will give me respectable bass without resorting to a subwoofer.

Another question: "Two sets of five way binding posts for bi-wire or bi-amp". What does this mean exactly? (and will it improve the situation with my current setup)

post #5 of 13
Your amp will be more than sufficient to cover that space with those speakers if it is hi-fi type listening that you are planning to do. If you are going to use it as a club, then you'll need a lot more power and bigger speakers.

Bi-wire will involve two amps, with reproduction results that have to be heard to be believed. But then you start needing a CD player, DAC, 2 power amps, pre-amp, etc. So you have at least some way to go with your system expansion before you would have to change your speakers for a different pair.
I myself wired up my bi-wire B&W 603 S2 speakers to a 5.1 system and the results are quite outstanding. So that's another "cheap" way of doing it.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

No, I mainly listen to classical, new age, folk, and indie rock. Mostly low-key acoustical music. That being said, I enjoy well-developed bass, especially with classical and new age.

Now, tell me more about how you bi-wired your speakers. Is it a possibility with my receiver? Either way, what are the results?
post #7 of 13
If you love your bass, then you'll need to add a sub-woofer for that space to bring the house down. I got some massive 12" drivers in my NS1000M, but still need a powered subwoofer to enjoy "Pirates of the Caribbean". I know when I have hit the sweet spot: my neighbours then try to compete vocally against my music.

Bi-wiring gets round the speaker cross-overs associated colouration of the sound. The tweeter will sound cleaner, and the midrange-bass will be more dynamic and open. But your 2 channel Onkyo won't take you there. Take your time to save up and then go "bi-amp" as they say. But 1st get to know your existing set up before attempting to modify it.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the tips, I think I'll start saving my pennies. Happily, as it turns out, I don't think I'll need to worry about that for a while.

I just picked up the speakers and wired them in for a test drive. I am completely floored. Really. Prior to this, the only "audiophile" speakers I have owned are the Paradigm Titan and Atom v1 (I'm not sure Bose Acoustimass counts...). It was obvious from the first note that these speakers are on a whole new level.

It would seem that my Onkyo has more than enough power to drive them, providing deep rich bass along with clear mids and highs - even at higher volume levels. I auditioned them with Elgar's Cello Concerto followed by some Foo Fighters - I am more than happy on all counts.

I do have a question though.
Is a dented tweeter a problem? I knew from the beginning that one of the speakers tweeters had a 1/4" ding in it, hence the low $170 I paid for the pair. The seller said he could not tell the difference acoustically from the dented speaker and the normal one. I would have to agree. So, should I leave well-enough alone or would you recommend further action? If so, how do I go about this? I've heard some mention using superglue and a fingertip to pull it out, but I think I would rather not. That might be fine on an old garage sale set, but not these speakers. Any tips? Here's a pic:

Also: What would happen if I hooked up the Front A speakers to the top terminals and the Front B speakers to the bottom terminals. Currently, the terminal are bridged with gold connectors.

Ok, I'm off to play with my new toys.....
post #9 of 13
Originally Posted by Mozhoven View Post
I do have a question though.[/B] Is a dented tweeter a problem?
Also: What would happen if I hooked up the Front A speakers to the top terminals and the Front B speakers to the bottom terminals. [/I]
The dented tweeter will give you a certain amount of spatial distortion and even sound shrill on some high frequency beats. However, a new tweeter from MA is dirt cheap. I phoned the UK dealer and I was quoted less than the equivalent of U$40 for one delivered. But if it doesn't bother your ears, solve the problem in your own time.

As for wiring the top and bottom and bottom of the speakers the way you suggested: don't. There are all sorts of problems that can rear their ugly head with that method. The speakers sound good to you as they are. So just enjoy the music .
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Since my last post, I did some research regarding bi-wiring. I no understand what it means and I think I'll do it. (I definitely won't connect the rear channels to the front!) However, can you connect the A & B speaker outlets to one set of front speakers?

Unfortunately, MA no longer carries any parts for my speakers (MA-303 circa 2000). So, I suppose I'll try the "tape method". Do you think it is possible to order a compatible tweeter from MA's current line? I suppose I would need to get two for matching sound. What do you think?
post #11 of 13
From the TX-SV444 manual:

A or B : 6 ohms min./speaker
A + B : 12 ohms min./speaker
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info. The spec sheet I read only mentioned 8 ohms.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

Does the A + B : 12ohms min./speaker mean that, if used in tandem on one set of speakers, that they must be 12ohm or greater? What would happen if you used 6 ohm speakers in that manner (both hooked up to A & B)?
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