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Speakers for McIntosh MA5300 Amp

TheRealGru

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Feb 28, 2022
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Great site and forums. Decided to join tonight (finally).

Have the following so far and would like to get an assessment from the pros on this site. My room is an open concept loft. Space is 15 feet by 15 feet and 13 feet ceilings. I know... not the ideal space. Anyway...

My setup:
McIntosh MA5300 Integrated Amp (which I love by the way) and won't be replacing (at least for this condo)
KEF LS50 Meta
KEF KC62 Subwoofer
NUC Roon ROCK
Panamax M4300
DirectTV Receiver

A couple of questions for the audio pros.

1. I normally sit 12 feet away from the Metas. Is that too far knowing these are rather small speakers? Would I get better results with other speakers such as B&W 705 S2's which are more sensitive than Metas? I would rather stay with bookshelves and those that would get a wife's approval. I got this system built and promised any speaker upgrades will have clean lines. Well, 705s with that tweeter won't meet that requirement. LOL

2. Is the Panamax M4300 possibly interfering with the power of the MA5300? Should I get a power surge protector of some sort and just connect the amp to it and call it a day? I read a lot of information about power conditioners (not worth the investment) and am contemplating whether I should drop Panamax from my system altogether. I live in the 18 stories high rise with power generators and all and my power is mostly stable. I get 118V all day long.
 

srslee

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I also own a McIntosh amplifier, and last time I called McIntosh and asked about the power conditioner, they actually recommended just plugging the amp straight into the outlet. That being said, I haven't noticed a difference either way, and keep it plugged into my power conditioner (Furman Elite15 PFi) for peace of mind. Looks like the Panamax MR4300 also is considered a surge protector, although I have seen some threads discussing these power conditioners and questioning the effectiveness of the surge protection in these units.

If clean lines are part of the WAF deal, and you want to stay with bookshelves, I'd suggest taking a look at the KEF R3s. I know my wife is a big fan of the R3s aesthetically in white gloss lol, and I just bought a pair myself today. Especially at the distance you normally listen at, they should go a lot louder without distorting like the LS50 Meta may, and your MA5300 should drive them wonderfully. FWIW, one of the selling points for me was how high the preference score for the R3 was with an integrated sub, even compared to more expensive passive bookshelves (and the R3s are still on sale right now).
 

Head_Unit

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I normally sit 12 feet away from the Metas. Is that too far knowing these are rather small speakers?
Well, YOU tell US ;) because it really depends how loud you play. Does the sound seem distorted? Uni-Q has many positive factors, but the Achilles' Heel is the more the woofer cone moves the more it modulates the tweeter response. If things sound good, leave all well. If you're not satisfied, then somehow you need more woofer area. That could mean like KEF R3 or one of their center channels turned sideways into mini-towers as bookshelf speakers, presuming you like the basic KEF sound.
- Do you really have these in shelves? If not, does your spouse really find speaker stands attractive? Seems to me there are some clean-line KEF towers not so huge?
 
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TheRealGru

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Thanks for your feedback. No, they are on KEF S2 stands. Tried uploading the photo, but it's too large. Will try later.

I'm thinking of KEF R5s due to space constraints, if I was to change em. I like Metas but feel like I get get better sound. Brother in law has R11s and evertime I hear them i say: tower is a tower!
 

Andy211

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I just saw your post and felt I should reply, I hope I'm not too late as your post was several months ago. I too own a Mcintosh MA5300 and I use it in an open concept room with large dimensions and a cathedral ceiling. Like you, I use Roon and I sit about 12 feet away. I've wondered if I'm sitting too far way myself, but it sounds good, so I don't really worry about it. I've used bookshelf speakers (NEAR 10M-vintage 1990s) with a smallish MK subwoofer and it sounded great. I'm guessing your setup sounds great too. I eventually decided I wanted more mid-range and purchased Monitor GX-300 tower speakers. I don't use the subwoofer anymore, but for movies it might be nice. The Mcintosh with the Monitors fill the room easily on both high and low volume, and I never have to crank the MA5300. I'm also very happy with the overall sound quality. So if your wondering about moving to tower speakers, it worked well for me. Good luck with your search!
 
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TheRealGru

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Hi there! Funny that you ask. Since then I moved into Hegel H390 which I got a good deal on from the authorized dealer and have sold McIntosh. I liked the McIntosh, but Hegel has the heft I was looking for in sound.

As far as the speakers, I too moved on to towers. I have a pair of Focal Aria 926s coming my way by FedEx freight. I'll let you know what I think once I get them set up in my living room.
 

Andy211

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Thanks for the update. You certianly did get heft when you moved into the Hegel H390. Great choice. When auditioning the MA5300 my dealer used a pair of Focal floor standers, I don't know which model, but I enjoyed them quite a bit. If I were in the market to upgrade my first stop would probably be a pair a Focals. Congrats and enjoy!!
 
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