Your thoughts on my plans..


After reading through some of the forums, I might be a bit under developed for this forum, but I was invited after buying a Era Gold mk.V with PSU1..

I am setting up my first phono system and the only real experience I have is many decades ago with my fathers technics ?? turntable and Teac amplifier.
I have some disposable income, but am not wealthy and didn’t want to spend a fortune to break into this world right away.. I think I’ll likely inherit some of my dad’s record collection - but I’ll also be buying newer albums to listen to. My music taste is fairly eclectic with more emphasis on country (think Chris Stapleton / Eric Church) and folk (think Mumford & Sons / Lumineers).

I have purchased a Pro-Ject X1, GSP Era Gold mk. V with PSU1 and Martin Logan Motion 40 speakers.. i plan to amp through either my Sonos Amp (125w/ch) or my Yamaha A1010 AVR (110w/ch)...first choice being Sonos so I can also stream to other speakers around the home...although I’m open to buying a dedicated amp and if neither of these do sonic justice. Besides the two amplifiers, I’m still waiting on all to be delivered..
I’ve read through the forum a little tonight and feel my system is undeserving of being here, but thought some of you might have an opinion on my choices so far and if you think I’ve made any poor life choices so far.
kintama21
Don’t be deterred by some of the pretentious personalities here. Some of them probably can’t hear their doorbell ring, yet they’ll pass judgement on hifi systems. 

The Motion40s are one of my favorite small tower speakers, regardless of price. You’re off to a great start. The only potential weak link is the amplification, though I haven’t heard either one specifically, so can’t say that with much confidence. I generally find integrated amps perform better than AVRs for two-channel music. We all have to start somewhere and you could’ve done a lot worse. 
All that matters is if you like the sound of your system and the choices. 
I think you are doing fine with choices you have made.

Listen to the music not your gear.
Undeserving system? No such thing. High end audio is not about price or prestige. It is about music. Playing music so it sounds good does require a certain amount of equipment. So to a certain extent it does matter what you have. But what you do with it matters even more. 

When it comes to what you do with it, most important of all is that you listen. Even if that is all that you do, it will be enough to show you the AVR is not the way to go, for the simple reason it sounds bad. Go ahead, listen, compare. If it sounds better, use it. If it doesn't, don't. No matter what anyone says. 

That is the difference between having a high end audio system and an expensive stereo. The beginning and end. Alpha and Omega. You listen, it sounds better, you do it. That simple. Anyone finds that undeserving, guess what? Their problem. Not yours.
I also think you’re off to a fine start, and having spent some time with the Yammy Aventage AVRs I think you may be positively surprised how good your Motion 40s sound with it.  Your speakers have a high 92dB sensitivity so power shouldn’t be a problem.  Haven’t heard the Sonos, but I’d be surprised if it sounded as good as the 1010 but you’ll know one way or the other once you listen.  Anyway, congrats on the new gear and welcome to the club!  You’re gonna have a blast, but it is a disease that only gets worse so beware. 
Undeserving to be here??   ARE TOU SERIOUS!??

never think like that, if you would have seen my very first stereo in 1983 , you would have laughed, and made fun of me for only having an 8-track player in it. 
 My first cassette player was an awesome Panasonic Rx-c45 boombox from my Dad for Christmas. 
 Your first start with Martin Logan motion 40s’  and you say you don’t deserve to be here, HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH.......
  If you can drop a small bit of coin, those speakers will come alive with proper amplification.   Enjoy the sickness, it gets expensive as years go by.   As mention......”enjoy the music”



I auditioned the Logan 40’s & 60’s, I loved them, but were a wee over my budget at the time.  They are amazing speakers.

   You say you don’t deserve to be here,......hell, ....I’m jealous of your speakers.
Thanks all!! Maybe I had one too many whisky last night when I wrote ‘undeserving’!  I read it again today and thought that I sounded a bit self loathing, when I really shouldn’t be having just purchased and not received anything.. 

I do appreciate the words of encouragement and will definitely hook both amps up and give a good listen before making any decisions. I have a friend who is a manager at the Best Buy Magnolia, so I can easily get some other amps to audition... he thinks the Sonos Amp is better spec’d as a dedicated two channel amplifier than the AVR... we will see.
Avr amps are not good for a 2 ch system 

   Grab a nice 250-300WPC amp.(300 is better)
those speakers need juice. Not to overpower and damage em, but for headroom, and ease of the sound coming out.


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I would listen to what you have bought and enjoy it for awhile if you feel the need to upgrade later so be it but you would want to start with better amplification.
Maybe take another step in your journey with a Hegel or Prima Luna integrated amp.
kintama, welcome aboard. The only real thing you'll need to have to be here is thick skin. Beyond that, you've got it covered.
I'd chime in, contrary to arcticdeth's advice, you do not need a 250-300 amp. If that were true, it would rule out 99% of the great equipment out there. Best of luck.
Thick skin, check!! I’m pretty snarky and believe you get what you give...so I’m used to a quick jab here and there!

The ML Motion 40s are 4 ohm speakers, so both of the amplifiers I already have are in the 225-250w range at 4 ohm loads. 
A review of the AVR at audioholics shows the “RX-A1010...into 1 or 2 channels driven into 4-ohm loads producing in excess of 260wpc. Yamaha specs the RX-A1010 as being able to deliver 210wpc dynamically into a 4-ohm load. I would say that is rather conservative given my measurement results using the CEA 2006 burst test.”
With the AVR I can bi-amp using the second zone (and setting the receiver up for it in the GUI)...I have some options and if these don’t work out I can always buy a dedicated 2ch power amp with my tax return. 😜
OP: The issue is not watts per se but current, or the lack thereof. Most AVR manufacturers have mastered the game of showing excellent wattage numbers and THD and all the jazz! The simple fact is that unless you get a dedicated 2 channel amp with high current and a well made power supply, you simply won't get the sound quality you're after. Early on, I went through many AVRs ranging from $1000-3500 but nothing came close to even a modestly priced 2 channel amp with high current and high quality parts. This is possible because none of the cost of an integrated amp goes toward paying licensing fees to the likes of THX or Dolby, and it doesn't have to worry about providing 5 million inputs and outputs in the back, or other types of processing trickery. The focus is primarily on improving sound quality with no distractions.

If I were you I would look for a dedicated 2 channel amp with HT bypass. I would also forget about Magnolia and buy something in the used market. Maybe something like a Yamaha S2100 between $1500-18000.
Looks like you're off to an excellent start.  Just be careful running a second set of speakers off your AVR.  The same amp will be driving both speakers, so if you've got two 4 ohm speakers, that'll be a 2 ohm load for the amp, and the 4 ohm spec is average.  You could be down to a single ohm at some frequencies. 

Many amplifiers struggle to produce the current needed by that low of a load, and while it may "work", audio quality is likely to be effected.  Distortion will likely increase substantially when the amp is taxed in that way.  

I also agree with the folks suggesting a trial of a dedicated 2-channel amplifier.  You might look around and find a few with a good return policy (music direct, apos, etc) and then demo 3 or 4 contenders at the same time.  You'll learn a lot about what the speakers sound like and get a sense of how sensitive they are to different amplifier flavors. Just choose the best and return the rest.  Maybe you'll get lucky and find out that your Yamaha or Sonos was the best option anyway.
Good point about the ohm load, thanks for bringing that up. I’m not using the AVR for anything at the moment- it is in a box in the closet and the home theater speakers were built in at the home I sold..I went full Sonos for the TV room where I’m living now. I can always sell it and recoup some of the cost of a high quality 2ch. If the Sonos Amp doesn’t work out it’ll be relegated to driving outdoor speakers... 
One thing I’m struggling to find is: are the ML Motion 40s 4 ohm nominal impedance rating due to 4 ohm drivers or if the drivers are 8 ohm and the 4 ohm rating comes from the bi-wired terminals which would be two 8 ohm speakers run in parallel from the same amp channel? 

I may have to call Martin Logan to ask that question..

Sonos states it’s okay to run two 8 ohm speakers from each channel, but not to connect a speaker at or below 4 ohms. (Seems to contradict the Amp rating - but I’m not knowledgeable on the math of this)

I’m window shopping for a short list of dedicated 2ch amps now. ;)
+1 @speakermaster. Enjoy what you have now and what path these components take you on.

This hobby of ours is more a journey, and trial by fire. Believe me over the years I have bought and sold a lot of gear. I think I found my Audio Happy Place with Moon/ Thorens/ Raven Audio. Now it’s just tweaking this and that in my system. 
https://systems.audiogon.com/systems/9143

Enjoy the journey and hear the music not your gear.
If they state that the speakers are 4ohms, then it's 4ohms "as connected to the amplifier".  So if you disconnect the two circuits at the terminals, then all bets are off for what impedances each will independently present.  They could be 8 and 8, or any other combination that sums to 4 when run in parallel.
Newbie question.. I don’t feel I need an “integrated amp” with multiple inputs. With the GSP Era Gold I definitely don’t need a phono stage..  If I buy a power amplifier, how do I adjust volume? Something like the Parasound A23+ meets my power requirement but doesn’t seem to have a volume control. 
If you are buying something like the A23+, you will need a preamp to control the volume.  The A23+ is a power amp, so it's only job is amplify the signal that comes to it.  A preamp allows input switching and volume control.  An integrated amplifier combines the preamp and the power amp in one box.
Smrex13, I understand what you are saying - but I already have a good phono preamp and do not need any other inputs that a dedicated preamp provides in addition to volume control. Searching more, I found reference to a Nobsound volume controller for less than $50 on amazon. 

Right now I am connected to my Sonos Amp and it actually sounds pretty good for vinyl playback...I’m going to let everything break-in with the Sonos and then have a friend bring me some other Amps before making any expensive moves. ;)
@kintama21  Yep, you are correct that all you need is a volume control (as long you're getting the sound levels that you want through the Nobsound).  I'm not familiar with the Nobsound, but I have used the Schiit Sys, which I imagine is similar.  Even if you don't need additional gain from your preamp, some people find that an active preamp provides additional weight and body to the music.  Others, however, swear by passive preamps.  That's part of the fun - finding something that you really like in your system.