Vintage pre amps and new amps?

Discussion in 'Amps, Pre-Pros & Receivers' started by chetnutz, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. chetnutz Audiophyte

    chetnutz
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    OK, first post. Here goes.
    I'm a newbie here and what I want to know is the best way to increase the power going to my speakers yet retain a vintage sound.

    To wit: I am running a turntable setup (JVC YQL-3 and QL-7) into a Marantz 2270 that is feeding stacked EPI M250s (four speakers -- that's 16 drivers in all). I suspect I need more power for the EPI's. They sound pretty great now but I wonder what about 100 watts-plus per speaker would do for them. But I don't want to blow them out either as they aren't fused.

    So, do I need to try to stay all-vintage and upgrade to a Marantz 2325, 2385, or 250 amp etc? to maintain the sound or would it be easier (and just as sonically pleasing) to go with a new amp like an Emotiva XPA-5 and use the 2270 as the pre amp?

    Suggestions anyone?

    thanks much!
  2. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

    Irvrobinson
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    The 2270 is pretty weak as a power amp. It especially isn't very good into 4 ohm loads. I'd recommend a newer power amp that has far greater capabilities.

    As using the 2270 as a pre-amp, you can always buy a new amp and try it out, but don't be surprised if after all these years the 2270 has gotten noisy. Electronics, especially older discrete components like capacitors, age.

    I had a 2270 when I was in college, and frankly I think electronics have come a long, long way since then. I would think the pre-amp section of even a new $300 receiver would likely out-perform it. If the new receiver doesn't have a phono input, you could always try one of these:

    Rolls phono pre-amp

    Or any of these:

    Phono pre-amps

    Or better yet, you could hunt around on Audiogon for a good used Adcom pre-amp that has a built-in phono stage. There were zillions of Adcoms made over the years, and many go for only a few hundred dollars.
  3. Adam Audioholic Jedi

    Adam
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    Welcome to the forum!

    Irvrobinson's remark above about capacitors and age was one of the things on my mind when I read your post, in addition to overall amplifier design - and I was thinking that adding on a newer amp would likely not give you the same sound as you have now because of that.

    Getting a newer amp and trying it out certainly might be worth it, but I recommend that you buy from someone/somewhere that you can return it. I expect that it will sound different - the question is, will you like it? :)

    Hopefully some others here have more knowledge and can answer if the preamp is the more important aspect, and also if there are other options out there to maintain the sound that you like.
    Adam,
  4. M Code Full Audioholic

    M Code
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    The 2270 did OK...
    A typical one would put out about 100W x 2 into 4 Ohms..
    Provided the power supply and output stage are in good shape..

    The mentioned models 2325 and 2385 do pretty well for power..
    But the monster amplifier is the 2500 or 2600, both receivers used the tunnel design as their famous pro amplifier 510M...

    Note that the Eagles used about 100 510Ms for their tours for many, many years.

    The 2600 was the most powerful stereo receiver ever built and will typically put out 400W x 2 into 4 Ohms, whereas most competitive products actually put out less power in 4 Ohms vs. 8 Ohms. However a mint 2600 sells for alot $, on e-bagger they can go as high as $4500.. :eek:

    Just my $0.02... ;)
  5. Irvrobinson Audioholic Ninja

    Irvrobinson
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    This isn't correct, from my memory, and I'm a former 2270 owner (bought one new). The 2270 put out a little more than its rated output into 8 ohm loads, but could not sustain 70w/ch into 4 ohms loads. I'm pretty sure what was measured in the old test reports was more like 45w/ch.

    Edit: I found a PDF of the page from the High Fidelity Magazine review of the 2270. IM distortion rises rapidly after 47w/ch into 4 ohms. See for yourself:

    Marantz 2270 review PDF
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2012
  6. sterling shoote Full Audioholic

    sterling shoote
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    I did not know there was such a thing as vintage sound. At one time, I thought Marantz was the way to go; but, with every component from them needing warranty repair or replacement, I realized the beauty of Marantz was only skin deep; and, in the late 70's, I built a system from Sony components, which included a turntable still in service today. Most of my current system is composed of Sony ES components which I purchased in the late 80's through 90's. Since this system allows me to listen to the latest codex I have not felt the compulsion to spend any money on home entertainment at this time. I'm quite satisfied with what I've got. At any rate, I see we've come along way in making home entertainment convenient but I can't say today's components make it sound any better, than it did 20 years ago. The technology is here right now for really awesome multi channel sound at low cost but it seems the current economic climate has stalled this sort of thing from coming to the market.
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
  7. KEW Audioholic Ninja

    KEW
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    If the following post is correct, your speakers are actually 4ohms each. Since you are running 2 pairs of speakers, you are loading the amp with 2 Ohms. I almost can't believe this could be true because I don't think any budget to mid level receiver/amp could survive this over decades (unless you play it soft in a small room).
    In any case, if you like those speakers and plan to continue running two pairs, you should definitely get an amp with four channels so you won't have to run the speakers in parallel.

    Re: Are EPI 250's really 8 Ohms??? - corerosin - Vintage Asylum

    The $900 XPA-5 is definitely the value leader in this category; however, the 19" depth (plus add room for plugs) can be a problem if you want to fit it into an existing shelf/wall unit.
    If this is a problem, the closest thing out there I know of is is an Ati 1805 for $1100 which is 16" deep (plus plugs). This is B-stock, but several people here have ordered from them and think it is really new stock.

    http://www.classicaudioparts.com/in...hannel-x-180-watt-amplifier-b-stock-120v.html

    Edit: I am not an Ati - Classic Audio shill. I am an idiot who ordered an Emotiva amp (UPA-5 in my case) without looking at how unusually deep the amp was (compared to my other components) and would like to save others from the same mistake!
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2012
    KEW,
  8. slipperybidness Audioholic Ninja

    slipperybidness
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    Deep (and large) equipment is the bane of anyone with most modern AV furniture. It just isn't made for our needs. You can find a few, but you gotta dig for them. Those slim TVs just killed it.

    One way to shave off a few inches that I have had to do in a couple places: use right angle RCA or banana plugs
    • Like Like x 1
  9. chetnutz Audiophyte

    chetnutz
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    Thanks! I have seen this info on the 2270's 4 ohm performance before.

    I have recently picked up (and dramatically overpaid for) a pretty nice Sherwood S110-CP which does a very nice job driving the 250s (with both A+B speakers selected) but it too needs some pot work and a good checkup. It barely gets warm running my four 250s. Still, I'm thinking of turning all my stuff over in favor of a new emotiva amp and pre-amp setup and keeping my turntables. Sigh . . .
  10. chetnutz Audiophyte

    chetnutz
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    Thanks, Irv,

    From the above reply (I think) you can see I am now running a Sherwood S110-CP for the EPIs. It has much more bottom end and barely gets warm. As for how long all this lasts, that's another question. I'm pretty much a very low maintenance listener and hate the idea of taking in my equipment to get worked on , but I guess that's all part of the romance, right?

    Have you ever heard emotiva running maggies? I have that combination on my mind a lot.
  11. chetnutz Audiophyte

    chetnutz
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    You know, after doing this for a while, I'm not so sure there is such a thing as the "vintage" sound either. But it sure brings a smile to my face hearing some this grand old stuff again for the first time. So much detail and texture that I never heard before. I'm still pretty pleased with the EPI stack and have yet another pair in my shop waiting for a new coat of varnish. What I will do with three pairs of EPI 250s is beyond me at present but there it is. If I stacked them all and had the juice to run them, they would be 75 inches tall and the equivalent of a pair of EPI 1400s, if they ever made such a beast, which they didn't. Does this ever end? I guess I kinda hope not.

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