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Audio Systems/Audio setup enquiry


QUESTION: I have recently made the decision to setup my own hi-fi system, however I soon realised that it was a lot more complicated than I previously thought, due to the technology terms and matching everything together using the specifications. I have decided that the Focal Chorus 714V floor-standing speakers are the ideal choice for me, and the issues came when trying to pick a suitable amp. I really like the look of the Marantz M-CR610 all-in-one system as it seems simple and comes with many features which I am looking for, such as its airplay capability. What I wanted to know is are the Focal Chorus 714V speakers and the Marantz M-CR610 all-in-one system a suitable match with specifications that will compliment each other? If not, can you recommend an amp which would be a suitable match? Also, I have recently read about the importance of cables which I am also struggling to get my head around. Can you think of some speaker cables which would compliment the Focal Chorus 714V speakers? My budget is around 800 including the speakers which I have seen for 380, and a CD player which will be bought with the amp if the Marantz is not suitable. The music I listen to is mainly dance, funk and rock, if that helps at all.

ANSWER: The speakers you have selected are 8 ohm impedance and they suggest power area of 30 to 150 watts.

The stereo receiver is 30w into 8 ohms times 4. Since you are using it for stereo you can bridge the 4 amps into two amplifier drives and it produces 60 watts times 2 into 4 ohms.  So, that would give you a little better power capability.

As a general rule, amplifiers are an order of magnitude higher in audio performance than are loudspeakers. So, rightfully so, you should go heavy on speakers.

I do not give recommendations due to the many subjective factors involved.  For example, speaker sound quality is a matter of choice.  Further, they sound uniquely different in each acoustic environment in which they are placed.

As to patching cords, the high priced cables are merely a marketing hype. I defy anyone to hear the difference - scientifically conducted listen tests - between the expensive cables and those purchased at the discount store. I have personally conducted such tests and never found anyone who could reliably select one cable over another.  In the USA we have many Dollar Tree stores where everything is $1.00 or less.  Those cables work just fine for me and all who I send there.  So, spend the money on the speakers.

My only comment is if you like your music loud you may find you will need more power than the Marantz M-CR610 can deliver.

All the best.  Cheers.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your prompt reply, because the speakers recommend a max of 150 watts, does that mean the amp with the maximum amount of power, which I can purchase for the Focals, is 150 watts all together, or 150 watts per speaker?

Speaker power rating is not max; it is recommended range of power.

Power from the amps are each channel.  So, in 4 amp mode it will deliver 30 watts per channel. In the bridged mode it will deliver 60w per channel into a 4 ohm load.  But, your speakers are 8 ohms, therefore, it will not get full power of 60w.

But, don't get hung up on power ratings.  The amount of power delivered to the speakers is a function of the setting of the volume control when you are listening to the speakers.

Also, power is non-linear.  Audio tests on human subjects reveals that increasing the sound out of the speaker to a just detectable increase or decrease in sound level is about 3db.  It turns out that 3db is twice power level (or half).  So, increasing the power by a factor of 2 will only give a barely perception of increased power.  To double the sound level to the ear takes about 9db.  And, strange enough 10db is 10 times the previous level. So, if you wanted to be able to double the perceived loudness coming from the speaker you would need to increase the power to the speakers by about 9 times!  

So, if you are going to increase the sound loudness of your system you would need to get an amplification system that is much, much greater than the one you are looking at.

Hope this helps.  But, let me repeat, don't get hung up on power.


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Audio Design Engineer; systems, loudspeakers, cd/dvd players, etc. I am knowledgeable in all high end audio equipment and installations. MAKE SURE YOU GIVE A MAKE AND MODEL NUMBER AND CAR IF IT IS AN AUTO QUESTION. Note: I am getting some who ask good questions that take a lot of time to research but then the questioner fails to read the answer. Please don't ask questions unless you are seriously looking for an answer. If you find an answer to your question otherwise then let me know with your reply. Thank you.


Have been associated with audio design, standards, testing and component systems for over 40 years.

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