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Marantz 2215b... speakers?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
I know this thing isn't too powerful, but can it adequately drive some bookshelf speakers? My listening space is a small room and I listen at moderate levels. What sort of specs should I look for in speakers? Do people seek the vintage marantz only for the good headphone output, or are they good for speakers too?
post #2 of 18
i used to drive some Whafedale diamond 7.2's out of a marantz 1060

they work fine, you won't be dazzled with the magic of high end audio, but you can rock out with no problem


has some wharfedale's for cheap w/free shipping.

my friend just got the crystal 10's, they're pretty good, good value i'd say.
post #3 of 18
I think you'll be surprised how well the Marantz will drive speakers, despite the mere 15w/channel.
post #4 of 18
No doubt for 2way design bookshelf system. I like NHT SB1, Monitor Audio Bronze B1, B&W DM303. What kinda music you like??? How big is your room???
post #5 of 18
In a small room at moderate volume you could drive almost any speaker with the Marantz 2215. Sometimes the best sounding match for a vintage amplifier is a vintage speaker. These speakers were designed taking into account the power output limits of the typical amplifier of the day as well as the damping factor of the typical tube or solid state amplifier.

My personal list of small bookshelf speakers that work well with vintage tube and solid state audio gear and sound like they should cost 10X what they actually do.

Dynaco A25:
(2-way, 8 ohm, 10-inch woofer with rubber surrounds that never rot. Real wood veneer finish.) About $75-175 per pair depending on condition.

Great midrange, very open sounding, a little thin in the lower bass. The A25 uses a ported cabinet design. I understand the 10 inch woofer in this speaker really opens up if used in a larger cabinet. Originally rated for amplifiers of at least 15 watts per channel (This was in the day before FTC mandated RMS power, so figure on 10 or more watts being adequate.

Acoustic Research 4X:
(2-way, 8 ohm, 8-inch woofer with cloth surround that can benefit from being resealed but never rots out. Real wood veneer finish.) About $40-150 per pair depending on condition.

Specified for amplifiers of at least 15 watts per channel. Not quite as efficient as the Dynaco speaker as it is an acoustic suspension design
An extremely musical speaker. The 8-inch woofer used in the AR 4X and AR4AX (later variation) is one of the best 8 inch drivers ever made. With a rebuilt crossover the AR 4X can sound as good as a $1000/pr. speaker. Replace the original AR tweeter and the AR 4X can sound like a $2000/pr. speaker.

Smaller Advent:
(2-way, 4 ohm, special 9-inch mass loaded woofer plays down to 33Hz without the need for a subwoofer. If original, the foam surrounds of these woofers will have dry rot. The dried up surrounds are easily replaced. Vinyl finish. Much the same sound as the original Advent Loudspeaker in a smaller package. Similar tweeter design as the original. Weighs about 25lbs ea. compared to 55lbs for the original (Large Advent), so much easier to lift and less expensive to ship.

About $50-175 per pair depending on condition and if the woofers have already been refoamed.

Originally specified for amplifiers of at least 15 watts per channel, here they really meant it. This is on the low side of the acceptable power range for these speakers. The Smaller Advent can play the lower bass notes with more authority than most any small speaker made today. Most of today's small speakers don't even try and reproduce any bass below about 80Hz. The Smaller Advent bass output is -3db down to almost 40Hz and is still only -5db all the way down to 33Hz. Less efficient than the other speakers noted here, they are probably only 83db/1watt. The Smaller Advent should only be used with an amplifier rated for 4 ohm speakers. They can handle lots of power, over 100 watts peak when playing music, but in an average size room at low to moderate listening levels even 15 watts will work with these speakers. They won't play quite as loud as the Large Advent, but given enough power they will play louder than most people will ever need.

Of the three speakers, expect to pay the most for the Dynaco A25 and the least for the AR 4X, with the Smaller Advent somewhere in between.
post #6 of 18

Re: Marantz 2215b... speakers?

Originally posted by mookid
I know this thing isn't too powerful, but can it adequately drive some bookshelf speakers? My listening space is a small room and I listen at moderate levels. What sort of specs should I look for in speakers? Do people seek the vintage marantz only for the good headphone output, or are they good for speakers too?
Wattage is not important when comparing amplifier performance of different brands and designs. For instance if you are comparing two similar Sony amplifiers the wattage can be a good indicator if one will perform better than the other since they have similar if not the same guts. When comparing very different designs with very different guts they really can not give a good indication. I would take a 15 watt Linn, Marantz, Naim, etc… over a cheap 120 watt Sony, Kenwood, Pioneer etc…

I own the Marantz 2215 and it is currently driving a pair of Yamaha NS-6 bookshelves. These speakers are related to the legendary $200 each Yamaha NS-10. It drives them VERY well. The amplifier of the Marantz is very powerful compared to what you might see in your average modern receiver. Consequently I can’t believe the extremely powerful and low bass that comes out of these bookshelf speakers. You can expect this receiver to drive your speakers to very loud levels if the speakers can handle loud volumes. To me it is more important if an amplifier can still perform at low listening levels. This is often ignored. The Marantz can maintain control at the low levels and if you wish it also has a loudness button if you feel that it still needs some eaqualization at low listening levels.

Summing up, yes the Marantz 2215 will drive speakers well and with serious authority compared to a cheap modern receiver. I have compared the Marantz 2215 to my modern Kenwood and Yamaha amplifiers and I prefer the Marantz. Just for fun I have also compared it to my $2800 Carver amplifier to drive my Carver Amazing speakers. This is no easy feat since my cheap amplifiers cannot do this. It drove them with no problem since it is powerful and designed with quality parts. The sound was definitely not high-end. Don’t expect it to beat out amplifiers in the $1000 ranges but it will outperform cheap modern amplifiers.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the info guys! So is there any specific impedance or other specs that I should look for in a speaker, or will any bookshelf type do fine?
post #8 of 18
Any 4 or 8 ohm speaker will work with your 2215B. If you can, try and audition any speakers you are interested in buying using a similar amplifier of moderate power, i.e, about 20 watts.

Specifications can't tell you very much about how a speaker will sound in your room, with your system. If buying new, make sure you have the right to exchange the speakers within 30 days for store credit or refund for a different model of speaker.

If buying a pair of vintage speakers per the earlier post, if you find you don't like them you can sell them for what you paid (if you do your homework and don't pay too much), all you might have to eat is the shipping cost.

If you are on a modest budget, there is no way any new speaker costing less than $500/pr is going to outperform the vintage speakers noted previously.

Fifty percent of the cost of manufacturing a loudspeaker is the cost of the cabinet. After engineering, manufacturing, marketing, and shipping, only 20% of the total cost is for the drivers. These vintage speakers all have very solid well made cabinets, the kind that cost several hundred of dollars each to manufacture today, yet they are undervalued in the market. They are not the largest, loudest, or rockingest designs but they do a better job of reproducing the sound of musical instruments and human voice than much of what passes for audio loudspeakers today.

Don't be afraid of buying a speaker like the Smaller Advent that needs to have the woofer surround replaced. This costs about $30 per speaker if you send out the driver. If you do it yourself, it costs only about $20-25 for enough surrounds and glue to refoam one pair. If you don't want to mess with repairing the woofers, there is a pair on eBay now that are available with newly refoamed woofers. The starting price is $65 and the Buy-It-Now price is $100.

post #9 of 18
Speaker design and power specs will determine sound output, especially bass.

A sealed, or acoustic suspension speaker takes a lot more power to drive it.

A ported speaker (anything that has some sort of vent to outside) are much more efficient and can produce higher output levels for power input.

An aperiodic design (like the Dynaco A25) are sort of, power wise, at a point between acoustic suspension and ported. They use a vent, but it is tuned, and has "material" (like fiberglass) in the port to control air movement.

The Dynacos do not produce highs like modern speakers, as they have soft dome old tweeters. But do have butyl rubber surrounds that last just about forever.

Size of driver makes a difference too. A small 4" woofer, even ported, will not have the sound output of an 8" ported woofer.

Ported speakers can sound crummy too. Many manufacturers just put a hole in the box, make it pretty, and leave it at that. Some manufacturers will "tune" the port for less resonance and smoother sound.
post #10 of 18
"The Dynacos do not produce highs like modern speakers, as they have soft dome old tweeters. But do have butyl rubber surrounds that last just about forever."

I just completed doing some comparison listening of the Smaller Advent, Acoustic Research (AR) 4X and Dynaco A25 speakers. I listened to a variety of music on CD using a Marantz 1060 (30 watts per channel).

Dynaco A25:
I would have to agree, the Dynaco A25 speaker does not have an extended top end. I find I have to turn the 5-way tweeter level control all the way up to maximum to get anything close to an extended top octave.

The lowest bass on the A25 is also a bit rolled off, but still provides a nice balanced sound. Vocals are not as well presented on the Dynaco as on the other small speakers: Smaller Advent and Acoustic Research 4X. Soundstage and imaging were good with the Dynaco A25.

The Dynaco A25 speakers are more efficient than the Smaller Advent by a good margin. They are slightly more efficient than the AR 4X. With a lower powered tube amplifier with 7-15 watts per channel the Dynaco A25 would be a good choice. Because they are rated at 8 ohms they can be used with some tube amplifiers such as the Dynaco SCA-35 that is not intended for use with 4 ohm speakers.

Smaller Advent:
In this listening session the Smaller Advent loudspeaker represented itself very well, with excellent vocal reproduction and bass that extended low enough to be felt, not just heard, on some material (even at moderate listening levels).

The Smaller Advent has several limitations, the 4 ohm rating is not compatible with many otherwise very fine amplifiers (tube and solid state). The lower efficiency of this design makes it unsuitable for amplifiers of less than 15 watts per channel, but if you like to play your music fairly loud then you should plan on at least 30 watts per channel, even more if you really like to crank up your music.

The Advent loudspeakers (both the original Advent Loudspeaker and thge Smaller) can handle lots of extra power with no problem as long as it is clean unclipped power. Historically most Advent tweeters failed due to clipping of the amplifier signal when the user pushed a low power receiver beyond its limit.

For any number of reasons, associated with the driver alignment and cabinet edge diffraction, the Smaller Advent loudspeaker does not image a soundstage very well as compared to more modern (and much more expensive) designs.

AR 4X:
The AR 4X I auditioned was not a stock version of this speaker. The original AR 4X was a modestly priced 2-way acoustic suspension speaker, the entry model in the AR product line. It featured a well made speaker cabinet with real wood veneer finish and an 8 inch woofer and a 2.5 inch cone tweeter. The secret of the sound of this speaker is in that 8 inch woofer. This modest driver is one of the wonders of the audio universe. It is one of the best sounding 8 inch drivers ever produced. Properly restored, an AR 4x speaker makes an awesome sounding bookshelf speaker.

At a minimum an AR 4x will need a new crossover capacitor installed. Also, the tweeter level control usually is corroded, while this can be disassembled and cleaned, it is better to replace it. Parts Express has a suitable replacement for well under $10.

The AR 4X woofer uses a cloth surround, not foam, so it lasts practically forever. The cloth does, however, need to be resealed after so many years to once again be airtight (this is due to the speaker being an acoustic suspension design). My source for the secret sauce to reseal these woofers has gone missing for over a year, but I believe I have found a new source for the butyl latex rubber sealer that works best in resealing the surround of this driver. I would never recommend replacing the cloth surrounds with foam on these speakers unless the cloth surrounds were damaged.

The AR 4X achilles heel is the stock tweeter. It is a dated design, with limited output and range. It is not a bad sounding tweeter driver, but upgrading it can vastly improve the sound of the speaker. The model I was auditioning had the original AR tweeter replaced with an Advent tweeter. This is an interesting combination of AR's woofer with Advent's dome tweeter. For the most part this combination works well. I am still experimenting with getting the tweeter level matched to the output level of the woofer. When I know more I will update this post.

The sound of this pair of restored AR 4X speakers was very good. The AR woofer represented itself very well with clean bass that extended low, not quite as low as the Smaller Advent, but still quite deep. The magic of the AR 4X woofer was clearly audible. The AR 4X sounded very musical on a variety of material and it did an outstanding job reproducing female singing vocals. The AR 4X did a better job at presenting soundstage and imaging than either the Smaller Advent or the Dynaco A25.
post #11 of 18
Saturday audio has a used pair of Paradigm Atoms listed for 110$
They are a little pricey but they would be a GREAT match for that 2215B.
post #12 of 18
Will the 2215b drive the speakers to as loud a volume as say a bottom level Sony/mid level Pioneer?

I'm contemplating getting a vintage marantz 2215b on ebay, and I understand it can be driven to at least moderate volumes, but I like my music loud. IE on my Dell Laptop conected to my stereo conected to the speakers I will be using with the reciever (infinity r3000) I have both the laptop and the stereo at about 4/5 max volume, but would like to go a little louder if at all possible without losing sound quality.
post #13 of 18
For the current BIN price of 90$ plus 30$ shipping I would pass on that Marantz and buy the Onkyo HTR410s from Ecost dot com.
It is a much much better investment for about the same price.
post #14 of 18
hmm after browsing the forums I had figured for a 2 speaker stereo setup for 1980s speakers the reciever/amp should be...

1) preferably 2 channel
2) no bottom tier consumer level (aka sony pioneer phillips GE RCA, etc)
3) buying a used marantz rotel yamaha NAD or something of that nature is favorable

my price range right now is $150 maybe a little bit higher for an amp/reciever. I dont need the FM/AM tuner, so I've been leaning towards a integrated amp, but have no real reason other than speculation on older posts.

Is anything above wrong?

also, Theres a pioneer reconditioned outlet on ebay selling the Pioneer VSX D412 for a little under $100 usually. Is this another unit I should be looking at?
post #15 of 18
Originally Posted by MisterX
Saturday audio has a used pair of Paradigm Atoms listed for 110$
They are a little pricey but they would be a GREAT match for that 2215B.
That's a great suggestion.
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