Marantz 2270 + B&W DM2000: What subwoofer?

Hello all,

Long time reader, first time poster!

In the past year I've bought a Marantz 2270 receiver, and had it restored to new. I've had the extreme luck to be given a pair of B&W DM2000 (the ones with the pentagonal shape) by someone who just wanted to get rid of them.

The current set-up sounds good as it is, but I can tell something is missing. When I listen to other setups that tend to run for $1k+, I'm usually blown away by the clarity and definition of the sound that I hear. Maybe I am biased against my own gear (the grass is always greener on the other side), but I feel like there's something I could do to make this sound better.

Would I benefit from purchasing a subwoofer? I've done some research and come to the conclusion that I need an active sub, as I do not want to buy another amplifier just to be able to run it. If so, which active sub would pair well with the Marantz amp and the B&W speakers? I am open minded to suggestions, and if something interesting came up with a passive subwoofer, I would not turn it down.

- My budget for a sub is approximately $500. Willing to go a little bit higher if it's worth it.
- Currently residing in France.
- Would rather have the sub be vintage, so as to follow the rest of my gear.
- I listen to absolutely everything, from Metallica to Eminem, from Michael Jackson to Daft Punk, from Creedence Clearwater Revival to Queen. If possible, I'd like a sub that has flexibility.

I know those are a lot of restrictions, so please feel free to work around them. Thanks a lot!

~a grateful reader
"When I listen to other setups that tend to run for $1k+, I'm usually blown away by the clarity and definition of the sound that I hear."

A sub isn't going to help in the clarity and definition dept. I don't know how low your B&W's go so it may help in that aspect of your enjoyment.

I have several vintage pieces myself (including a 2270) and tried to find a vintage speaker to complete the system but to no avail. All the ones I tried were pretty fuzzy. A friend of mine combined a pair of Altec Valencia cabinets with a modern mid and tweeter combined with a vintage JBL alnico woofer. That's how I made it work for me.
A sub is not the way to go. The 2270 was a bit of an odd duck as its output into 4 ohms was not terribly more than its output into 8 ohms (46 watts per channel into 4 ohms, where you might expect closer to 70 ohms per channel into 4 ohms. The 2270 was rated as 35 wpc into 8 ohms).

How loudly do you play your music? The Marzntz may be running out of gas. Or the B&Ws may not be a good match.

When I had a 2240, my best match-ups were with Nht and Wharfedale monitors. The worst were B&W 302 and Epos Els 3.

The 2270 is rated at 70 watts rms per channel into 8 ohms.
So much for posting using a iPhone in a laundromat in Brooklyn. I also would have done a bit more research.

See the attached discussion regarding power output of the Marantz 2270 . The point is the same, there was some anomaly with the power output into 4 ohms.

But back to the DM2000. It was an 8 ohms rated speaker at a minimum of 50 wpc (so much for the 4 ohms argument). Depending on when the DM2000 was manufactured, you have a 30 year old speaker. In what condition are the speaker surrounds and do they require replacing?

Place the B&Ws on a firm Cement Block a foot off the ground this will help their clarity
You will need 2 small 8 inch subs xed over at 60 or so
Make sure you can hook them up at speaker level. Hook the subs at speaker level by coming off of the remote speaker output jacks on the 2270.... By having 2 subs you will be able to adjust the bass for a better in room response which will improve clarity.
Best JohnnyR
Hi Funky

I bought DM2000's new years ago. I still have them - well I should say my brother now uses them. You need an amp with more quality power like your marantz - IMO. They will work with your amp but they will not perform their best. here is the info on them. Scroll down to dm2000.

Unless they have been abused which is hard to do because they have a protector that shuts them down if you overload them (i.e. overloaded low power amp - not enough headroom). My brother has probably activated the circuit at least 10 times when he wails them out on something like Pink Floyd. 30 years ago I used to use an Onkyo 5060r and matching preamp. I have never owned a pair of B&W that needed work done on speakers surrounds. Regardless of age.

IMO - If you plan on keeping the speakers I would try another amp first - then sub/s only if needed due to maybe their lack of synergy with the room they are in. How big is the room. With the right gear they are full range. 20 - 22hz.

See if you can borrow a quality 200 wpc amp from someone to see how they sound this way first. You will be surprised.
Have fun with them - Cheers
Thanks for all the helpful posts! Great input here.

I do tend to play my music pretty loud, when I can. Interesting information about the 2270 here! Maybe it's true that my speakers aren't adapted to my amp... hmmm.

I doubt that the Marantz is running out of gas, since I got a full revision for it to make it brand new about a year ago.

Rar1: So, if I'm understanding this right, the ohm-rating of the 2270 and the DM2000 do not match, which results in the speakers not being driven correctly? If so, I may well have to get some speakers with 4 ohms. Do you know what model the NHT and Wharfedale monitors were? Also, I believe the speakers are in good condition; at least, there's nothing that makes me think that they aren't.

Onemug: is there any chance you have the model of those Altec Valencia cabs + JBL woofer?
JohnnyR: I'll have to try that some day, especially the speaker-off-the-ground thing.

CT0517: Thanks for your input. I guess that it looks like I'll have to invest in another set of speakers for my marantz, and another amp for my B&W's! I do think, however, that the protection circuit doesn't work, because I've never seen any light turn on. Where IS the light on the speakers anyway? So, for my B&W's, I'd need an amp that has high wattage at 8 ohms, correct?

Thanks a lot for all the advice. At least I just didn't go out and buy a sub. Cheers everyone!
@Rar1: Wait a minute. If the High Fidelity test you linked me to showed the Marantz running at over 80 watts into 8ohms, and my DM2000's are rated at 8ohms, I shouldn't have a problem, should I?
Hi Funky – the key word here I think is borrow instead of buy. Try to find an audio dealer or friend who will lend you an amp for a couple of days to listen to with them. I always try to see what I can get out of the speakers first in a room on their own before I add subs. Adding subs properly takes time and a lot of patience.

As a general rule for a solid state amp – if it is i.e. – 80 wpc at 8 ohms. I want to see 160 or close to it at 4 OHMS on the spec sheet. A doubling. Or I walk away. The B&W’s dip below 8 ohms in regular use. The speakers are 87 db which is the same sensitivity as my 801s. A good tube amp of 80 -100 watts will also work but needs to be tried.

There is a bulb right next to the B&W badge on front. It may be burnt out. From what I can remember when the circuit was activated they shut down for quite some time making you think you had blown them. They take a long time to reset.

Pink Floyd – The Wall - Comfortably Numb. Not the vinyl but only the CD – something in the way it was engineered.
At 4:30 onwards in the song, as it reaches crescendo, something would make his amp send a signal causing his DM2000’s to activate the circuit when played really loud. I would then get a call “I think I blew the speakers”.
he is still using them and it has been over 15 years.

There is no model # for this "particular" set of Altecs. As I said, a friend made these for me. I was unable to find a vintage speaker that I liked so these "worked for me" because they are pure vintage on the outside and very clear sounding from the inside.
Hi Funky:

You are correct, the 8 ohms rating for both your Marantz and B&W would indicate that they are compatible, at least on paper.

I originally thought that your B&Ws were not rated at 8 ohms and because of the power anomaly with the Marantz, you could be running out of gas ... but that is not the case. My apologies for not doing the research and relying instead on memory before posting for the first time.

So, I was using two different Marantz receivers (2216B and 2240) for a number of years. I used them with a number of different monitors. The pairings I liked best were the following: Rega Ara, NHT SB2, Wharfedale Diamond 9.0, and Omega Super 3i. The pairings I liked least were the B&W 302 and the EPOS ELS3.

Like yourself, I was getting good sound from the Marantz, but I felt that there was more to be had. Even though I grew up with warm, organic sounding stereos (think Philco tube amplifiers, vintage Pioneer receivers, Dual turntables, and EPI and AR speakers), over the years I have become more accustomed to the sound of more accurate, slightly leaner sounding separates and CD players.

So what does it all mean?

Leave well enough alone. I think you can only take vintage Marantz receivers so far. They will only sound so accurate. Your system most likely sounds as good as it will. That's a good thing ... you can stop right here.

If I were to do anything, I would consider changing speakers. I was most excited about how my Marantz receivers sounded with the Omega single driver speakers. Single driver speakers can be unforgiving with badly recorded music though and can sound 'honky' with vocals. Omega has done a lot of work to correct this. I would look at their new line Hoyt-Bedfords .

Best of luck,

Have a Marantz 2230, but am thinking of getting a 2270.
Reason is want to play B&W 685 speakers and likely will need more power. Don't want to have to turn thing way up to get good sound.

Am using tower speakers from vintage Technics rack system now and rarely turn volume up half way. Speakers sound "OK" but, my sound desires outpace what speakers capability.

Want: Low volume, good stage with clarity from vinyl. Also, the 2270 has two preamp points for my Technics 1600MKII and 1650 TTs.

Anyone have any thoughts on using 685s? with a 2270?
Have used this speaker for years with a variety of amps and receivers and have had no issues with clarity, soundstage, or dynamic range with quality components and well recorded media. I would say they sound about as good as you are going to get from a 2-way speaker with 8" bass driver in a 32" unported box. Would I like more bass, absolutely, but I think I am getting the performance this speaker was designed to provide. Cheers.