Secrets Q & A

Q&A - Monitor Audio or Tannoy Speaker Upgrade

Question:
I'm currently using a Yamaha A-S500 integrated amp to drive my Mirage Omni 250 towers. They mate well together. I also have an HK-3490 stereo receiver. I want to upgrade my current speakers to a pair of Tannoy DC6T/DC6T SE. Would either of my electronics mate well with the Tannoys? If not, how about the Monitor Audio Silver RX-6? These are currently the only speakers I'm considering. Your advice would be greatly appreciated.
Jay B.
Palm City, Florida

Answer:
In a nutshell; yes, either of your new-speaker choices should mate well with your current electronics. If we look at the specifications of each one; the Tannoy DC6T/ DC6T SE speakers are rated at 89dB and 90 dB 1 watt / 1 meter and 8 ohms nominal impedance respectively. These should be easy-to-drive speakers, and should mate fine with either of the amplifiers. The Monitor Audio Silver RX-6 speakers are 6 ohms nominal impedance and 90 dB 1 watt / 1 meter. These should also be easy to drive by either of the amps.

Both your receiver and your integrated amp have sufficient power (HK- 120 watts @ 8ohms and the Yamaha- 85 watts @ 8 ohms) and have the capability to handle lower impedance (4 ohm) loads so it's unlikely that either will become overstressed. Also, due to the increased sensitivity of the new speakers, you may notice a slightly louder sound at a given volume than what you currently get now.

On a side note, one other thing you may not have considered is that your HK receiver has set of jacks called a "pre-out/ main-in" loop.

The "pre-out" jacks provide volume-controlled outputs from the built-in preamp, a fairly common feature. The "main-in" jacks provide inputs for the built-in stereo amplifier, a useful feature that is unfortunately also very rare today. Removing the jumper between pre-out and main-in gives the HK 3490 the flexibility of a separate preamplifier and separate amplifier. So in the future you can insert a crossover or processor between the pre-outs and main-ins to get proper bass management for a subwoofer, as the built-in subwoofer output does not provide a crossover for either mains or subs. You can also use the pre-outs to feed a separate amp should you want more power down the road. Lastly, if you use only use one source, such as a separate DAC, and it offers variable volume output, you can run that source directly into the amplifier section through the main-in jacks, bypassing the preamp section completely.

Glenn Young, Carlo Lo Raso and Jay Haider