Originally Posted by JPDK
I have a Marantz nr1604 and I am looking for some new speakers. At the moment I have small satellite speakers and a subwoofer, but I am thinking of getting some larger speakers, maybe bookshelfs, instead of the satellites, for my surround setup. I will still be using the subwoofer.
What should I be looking for in a speaker when combining them with the Marantz nr1604? I can see in the manual for the Marantz that it does not do very well with 4 ohm speakers, in fact it says that it only supports speakers down to 6 ohm and what about power, I dont need to play very loud. Any speaker suggestions? It would be interesting to know which speakers others are using with their Marantz nr1604?
Note that Marantz specification refers to nominal impedance and not minimum impedance for driving speakers. The impedance from minimum to maximum frequency will vary, so it's best to obtain this data from test results or manufacturer's literature. If the bookshelf speaker you're interested has a nominal rating of 8 ohms, then the NR-1604 is a match.
The other thing to look at is the sensitivity of the speaker, normally rated in dB/m based on 1W of power from the amp. A doubling of power will only give an extra 3dB of sound, just detectable by most people. For a doubling in loudness, it would require a 10dB increase in sound pressure and that means 10x the power requirement from the amp. Depending on how far away you sit from the speakers, the important thing is to ensure clean power output from the amp before it clips and distorts the current waveform. The NR-1604 is rated for 50W into 8-ohm speakers (2-channels) with 0.08% THD, refer to page 219 of the owner's manual. Use the following website to determine the peak SPL based on listening position and other factors: http://myhometheater.homestead.com/splcalculator.html
, the target peak SPL for movie reference is 105dB.
Generally the further you sit away from the speakers, either you'll need more power (limited by the amp rating of the NR-1604) or higher sensitive speakers.
Improving sound quality has a number of factors. I'd try a few low cost methods initially then go up from there.
(1) Improve the front sound stage by ensuring the left, center and right speakers and yourself are in an equilateral triangle. See the attached diagram on angles as recommended by Audyssey (top view).
From Denon manual (side view):
Note the tweeters should be at ear level or pointing to your ears.
(2) In your room is it rectangular? Dimensions and sketch of your listening position would be useful. If your room is retangular, is the front sound stage along the narrow wall? Try having the listening position either at 38% from the front wall or back wall. These positions have generally less bass variance compared to being in the middle of the room.
(3) What is the lowest frequency rating (F3) of your current satellites (make and model number would be useful)? If it is below 80Hz and if you've run Audyssey setup, go ahead and raise the crossover to 80Hz.
(4) Have you done a sub crawl to find the best placement for the sub? What type of sub have you got currently? Try the following helpful video by Axiom
After making speaker and listening position adjustments, be sure to re-run Audyssey setup.
If you're thinking of spending some extra cash, consider a 2nd sub to improve the bass response in the room and dealing with room modes.
Room treatment in the form of broadband and bass traps are another cost effective means to improve sound quality.
The idea is improving the room which acts as a filter between your speakers and your ears. It would make little sense in having a bad room with expensive speakers.
If you're still not happy with your sound stage after going through the above, then consider an up-grade to better speakers.