Which amps marry perfectly with Monitor 7A

I have a set of original 7a's. With peerless tweeters. They really sound good with my NAD 7240pe receiver running them, but I am ready to invest in a nice amp for them. I am undecided between tube integrated, with a separate phono stage or vintage solid state like Marantz, Mac, Sanui, etc with a good built in phono. I have a budget of $1500-$2000, but I just don't want to make a wrong decision and have to try to resale something. I have read a few things about avoiding tubes with these and stick with SS, which I am fine with if that is the consensus. I love vintage 1970's amps and would stay in that world forever, but am open to new. Anyone found the sweet vinyl set up with these that can steer me in the right direction. BTW I run mostly vinyl through a Thorens 160super, and an Ortifon 2m blue MM cart. Thanks, John

Comments

  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 2,555
    edited April 11
    I couldn't imagine tube amps to be a bad pairing with these (although they are not the most efficient so you may need higher power models). Vintage stuff is all fine and dandy however with the premium costs of a Marantz or Sansui also comes a couple of concerns everyone should be aware of. Firstly, cost for recapping. Second the scarcity of the parts available although some continue to make these parts since they are so popular.

    Could always go the SS Power Amp and Tube Pre route. I find separates to be a great doorway into better sound, gives you the ability to customize more and if something goes out it isn't the whole piece.

    Just food for thought, @mhardy6647 have you put your Monitor 7s on your tubes before? I have to imagine you have.
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  • pglbookpglbook Posts: 1,725
    edited April 11
    Welcome to CP.

    I also have a pair of Monitor 7As and have them hooked up to a vintage Yamaha CR 2020 recever. Yamaha CR series receivers and Polk Monitor series speakers (Monitor 5s, 10s, 7s, etc) are a great match. Of course the Yammie CR is a receiver and not an amp, which you had mentioned in your op, but it has great synergy with the Polk Monitor 7As and would be well under your budget. I also ran a Thorens 160 tt via the Yamaha CR 2020 and the sound through the Monitor 7As was fantastic.
  • Glad you say yammy pairs well, the new Yamaha a/s1100 is on my shortlist, or finding a 2010 or 2020. I hear the current a/s 1100, 2000, 3000 have very similar characteristics to the vintage ones.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,349
    edited April 11
    I couldn't imagine tube amps to be a bad pairing with these (although they are not the most efficient so you may need higher power models). Vintage stuff is all fine and dandy however with the premium costs of a Marantz or Sansui also comes a couple of concerns everyone should be aware of. Firstly, cost for recapping. Second the scarcity of the parts available although some continue to make these parts since they are so popular.

    Could always go the SS Power Amp and Tube Pre route. I find separates to be a great doorway into better sound, gives you the ability to customize more and if something goes out it isn't the whole piece.

    Just food for thought, @mhardy6647 have you put your Monitor 7s on your tubes before? I have to imagine you have.

    I tried mine with an EICO HF-81 (an IMO excellent sounding PP EL84 stereo integrated amplifier) -- the pairing was not propitious. I was quite surprised - not to mention disappointed - by that. I've never tried them with any other vacuum tube amplification.

    I -- ahem -- still think that they pair exceptionally well with Yamaha amplificaiton. I can only vouch for vintage Yamaha, though.

    My 7As spent three-plus decades happily and productively paired to this CA-610II (45 wpc).

    12312777693_480440b67e_b.jpgP1020541 by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
  • pglbookpglbook Posts: 1,725
    edited April 11
    Glad you say yammy pairs well, the new Yamaha a/s1100 is on my shortlist, or finding a 2010 or 2020. I hear the current a/s 1100, 2000, 3000 have very similar characteristics to the vintage ones.

    I also recently looked into getting a new Yamaha A-S 801 integrated amp but, in the end, I decided to have my CR 2020 worked on. I have heard excellent things about the Yamaha A-S series (801, 1100, 2000, etc). I have not heard them in person myself but trusted audio friends tell me that the new Yamaha A-S integrateds do sound close to vintage 70s Yamaha receivers, but with the added benefit of having all the modern digital touches. I don't think you can go wrong with any of those new Yammie integrateds. The older CR receivers are fantastic but they are over 40 years old so, like any vintage equipment, they will need servicing, recapping, etc. (which I just did to my CR 2020) so that must also be kept in mind when choosing between a vintage Yamaha receiver and a new Yamaha integrated.

  • aprazer402aprazer402 Posts: 1,511
    First off, WELCOME! The 7's are great speakers that along with the 10's gave Polk Audio it's initial big surge into the hi-fi market in the late mid-late 1970's.

    I would suggest that if you like the vintage Polk sound you consider moving up a little to maybe the SDA 2B's or SDA 1C's and match those with a more powerful amplifier. I think that would be a better use of a separate pre-amp/amp.

    The 7's will do quite well with a modest SS receiver or integrated amp, either vintage or newer and good sources and cables, as that's what they were typically marketed with. I would definitely keep the 7's but consider upgrading their crossover's as that will improve the sound more than just using a more powerful separate amp. You don't need to replace the tweeters as you already have the desirable Peerless ones.

    There are other update modifications to make to the 7's, like; sealing the cabinets for air-leaks, gluing the magnets, eliminating the fuse, and changing out the old binding posts...

    It's difficult to determine what condition your cabinets are in without seeing them. You probably wouldn't want to invest a lot of money and effort in something that is not in very good to pristine cosmetically.

    Just my opinions. Enjoy your journey! :)
  • verbverb Posts: 7,978
    Welcome to CP! I agree with @codycatalist about the separates, tube pre and SS power amp! I made the plunge and am very happy with em! :smile:
    Basement: Polk SDA SRS, Cary SLP-05 Pre, Enlightened Audio Designs CD Transport, Northstar Designs Excelsio DAC, Silnote Morpheus Ref2 Digital Cable, Marantz SA-14 SACD, McIntosh MC300 Amp, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Pangea Power Cables, Wireworld Oasis 8 RCA IC's, MIT Shotgun S3 IC's, MIT Shotgun S1 Bi-Wire speaker cables
    Office: PC, EAR Acute CD Player, EAR 834L Pre, PASS ACA Monoblocks, Denon UDR-F10 Cassette, Acoustic Technologies Classic FR Speakers, SVS SB12 Plus sub, MIT AVt2 speaker cables, IFI Purifier2, AQ Cinnamon USB cable, Groneberg Quatro Reference IC's
    Spare Room: , Antique Sound Labs Wave AV-8 Monoblocks, Tisbury Mini Passive Pre, Tjoeb 99 tube CD player (modified Marantz CD-38), Analysis Plus Oval 9's, Zu Jumpers, AudioEngine B1 Streamer, Klipsch RB-61 v2, SVS PB1000 sub, Blue Jeans RCA IC's
    Living Room: Peachtree Nova Integrated, Cambridge CXN v2 Streamer, Furman 15PFi Power Conditioner, Polk RT265 In Wall Speakers, Polk DSW Pro 660wi sub
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 3,390
    Welcome. I have fond memories of both my 7's and 10's. I did have one older Yamaha, but, would have to physically go look to see what model it is. I ran them for years with a Denon 80 watt integrated.
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII Upgraded by Rich Brkich Pre
    Butler Audio TBD 2250 Amp
    PS Audio DirectStream DAC and MemoryPlayer Transport
    LSA-1 Statement
    SVS SB4000 & SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

    Backup Gear:
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
  • JayMXJayMX Posts: 241
    I quite like my 7C’s on the ol Marantz 1060 which has been partially recapped. Good stuff! Have fun shopping! I wish I had budget like that for a new amp!
    bz3ih9rq9qz4.jpeg

    Current Collection:
    Monitor 4a (Peerless), Monitor 4b (Peerless), Monitor 5a (Peerless), Monitor 5b (SL2000), Monitor 7b (Peerless), Modified Monitor 7c’s (194’s, Dynamat, Sonicaps, Mills, H-nuts), SDA CRS+ (SL2000), RTA12c (194's), SDA SRS 2 (SL2000)

    Repair pile: SRS 3.1TL (198’s), RTA 11T's, (1) lonely RTA 11TL to become a center channel... someday...

    Pairs that have passed through:
    Monitor 5b (SL1000), Monitor 10a (Peerless), Monitor 10c (3x pair), RTA8, RTA8TL, SDA2, SDA2a, SDA1b, SDA SRS2

    ...and more to come, it’s a sickness.
  • Tomorrow I am going to my local vintage shop to listen to some amps and receivers. He goes through them, recaps, cleans the pots, etc. If I go that route, I could get a decent tube phono stage that I could build around down the road if I choose to upgrade my cartridge or speakers later, which would give me flexibility with MM, MC and various specs. Mostly what I am hearing is that these pair nicely with vintage SS amps. My polk 7 cabs are not in great shape, but after watching a member here that removed the vinyl and put on new veneer, maybe I could try that. I sort of knew I should stay with a modest integrated but just needed affirmation. Thank you all.
  • kharp1kharp1 Posts: 3,390
    I have 2 Marantz 1060's if you want to undertake the project of rehabbing. They could be had for the price of shipping.
    Main System:
    Joule-Electra LA 100 MKIII Upgraded by Rich Brkich Pre
    Butler Audio TBD 2250 Amp
    PS Audio DirectStream DAC and MemoryPlayer Transport
    LSA-1 Statement
    SVS SB4000 & SB2000
    Wireworld Equinox 7 bi-wire, Wireworld Silver Eclipse 7 IC

    Secondary Rig:
    Parasound P5, Audio Electronics by Cary Constellation
    Marsh a200s, Audio Elecrtonics by Cary Hercules
    Pioneer Elite DV-45a, Denon DVD-2910
    Klipsch Epic CF-1, Vandersteen 3CE sig
    Analysus Plus Oval

    Backup Gear:
    Pass Labs Aleph 30, McCormack DNA-125, Parasound A21
    Marantz SA-14S1
    Usher CP-6311/Tyler Acoustics Taylo Reference Monitor, LSA-1
  • delkaldelkal Posts: 591
    At one time the "word on the street" was that Polks matched well with Denon components. I have a Denon PMA receiver and Monitor 10's from 1988 and I can agree to this for the time period (and my budget at the time).

    With your budget and newer components you will likely be happy whatever you pick.
  • JayMXJayMX Posts: 241
    kharp1 wrote: »
    I have 2 Marantz 1060's if you want to undertake the project of rehabbing. They could be had for the price of shipping.

    Let’s talk! I have redone two 1060's (cleaning, caps, etc...) built the wood case In my post above. I’m always up for another project! Currently elbow deep in this model twenty six.

    ndcy97tjoktj.jpeg
    cjg7pvwzvouu.jpeg
    ukfk5pzj2ex0.jpeg
    2bn4jwpa3k0b.jpeg


    Current Collection:
    Monitor 4a (Peerless), Monitor 4b (Peerless), Monitor 5a (Peerless), Monitor 5b (SL2000), Monitor 7b (Peerless), Modified Monitor 7c’s (194’s, Dynamat, Sonicaps, Mills, H-nuts), SDA CRS+ (SL2000), RTA12c (194's), SDA SRS 2 (SL2000)

    Repair pile: SRS 3.1TL (198’s), RTA 11T's, (1) lonely RTA 11TL to become a center channel... someday...

    Pairs that have passed through:
    Monitor 5b (SL1000), Monitor 10a (Peerless), Monitor 10c (3x pair), RTA8, RTA8TL, SDA2, SDA2a, SDA1b, SDA SRS2

    ...and more to come, it’s a sickness.
  • ThomasDThomasD Posts: 258
    Just recently got back my refurbished Marantz 2230, put it in a new walnut cabinet and hooked up my @westmassguy TL'd 7c's. Man what a smooth, glass like liquid sound. The 7's love vintage power. B) Excuse the terrible pic, quick set up for my one day home while the wife was at work to hear the 2230 & 7c's together
    1y2agxpsga3u.jpg

    @kharp1 If @JayMX passes on the 1060's, I'd be interested.
    Carver M4.0t, M1.0t, M200t, TX2, C1, C2, Marantz 2230, 2010, Rega Brio, Marantz Imperial 7's, Klipsch Heresy III, Quartets, KG4's, KG1's, 'The Sixes', R-12SW, Polk SDA 2a's, Monitor 7cTL's, SDA CRS's, 4a's, Zu Audio Dirty Weekends, Pro-ject Acryl TT, Cambridge 851N, 351C, Panamax 5300PM
  • ThomasDThomasD Posts: 258


    I -- ahem -- still think that they pair exceptionally well with Yamaha amplificaiton. I can only vouch for vintage Yamaha, though.

    My 7As spent three-plus decades happily and productively paired to this CA-610II (45 wpc).

    12312777693_480440b67e_b.jpgP1020541 by Mark Hardy, on Flickr[/quote]

    @mhardy6647 Man, what a trip down memory lane seeing your CA-610 II pair. They were my last audio fling as a single man. Bought them at the local 'TEAM' audio store. Had them for 6 or 7 years. Sold them to buy a my first couch IIRC after getting married. Can't remember a darn thing about the couch and don't want to remember anything about the first marriage but can't stop thinking about those Yamaha's now. Great quality gear. Another of life's regrets!! B)
    Carver M4.0t, M1.0t, M200t, TX2, C1, C2, Marantz 2230, 2010, Rega Brio, Marantz Imperial 7's, Klipsch Heresy III, Quartets, KG4's, KG1's, 'The Sixes', R-12SW, Polk SDA 2a's, Monitor 7cTL's, SDA CRS's, 4a's, Zu Audio Dirty Weekends, Pro-ject Acryl TT, Cambridge 851N, 351C, Panamax 5300PM
  • westmassguywestmassguy Posts: 6,445
    ThomasD wrote: »
    Just recently got back my refurbished Marantz 2230, put it in a new walnut cabinet and hooked up my @westmassguy TL'd 7c's. Man what a smooth, glass like liquid sound. The 7's love vintage power. B) Excuse the terrible pic, quick set up for my one day home while the wife was at work to hear the 2230 & 7c's together
    1y2agxpsga3u.jpg

    @kharp1 If @JayMX passes on the 1060's, I'd be interested.

    Very Nice!
    Home Theater/2 Channel:
    Front: SDA-2ATL forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/143984/my-2as-finally-finished-almost/p1
    Center: Custom Built forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/150760/my-center-channel-project/p1
    Surrounds & Rears: Custom Built forum.polkaudio.com/discussion/151647/my-surround-project/p1
    Sonicaps, Mills, RDO-194s-198s, Dynamat, Hurricane Nuts, Blackhole5
    Pioneer Elite VSX-72TXV, Carver PM-600, SVS PB2-Plus Subwoofer
    Cables: Speaker: Furez 10/2 with GLS Locking Banana Plugs
    Interconnect: Furez 10/2 with SpeakONs
    ICs: Custom Furez by Douglas Connections
    Den:
    Bose 901 Series II Continentals Restored, Re-Built Equalizer with Elna Silmic IIs, Sonicaps, and Silver Mica Caps
    Carver CT-3 Pre, Carver C-500

    dhsspeakerservice.com/
    Exclusive Distributor of Gimpod's Custom SDA Circuit Boards

    "And keep her under 70, would you, huh? Betty likes a slow ride"
  • ThomasD wrote: »
    Just recently got back my refurbished Marantz 2230, put it in a new walnut cabinet and hooked up my @westmassguy TL'd 7c's. Man what a smooth, glass like liquid sound. The 7's love vintage power. B) Excuse the terrible pic, quick set up for my one day home while the wife was at work to hear the 2230 & 7c's together
    1y2agxpsga3u.jpg

    @kharp1 If @JayMX passes on the 1060's, I'd be interested.

    That may be the coolest set up ever. In the pass through, visable and reachable from both sides. Not sure the speakers love that space but it looks rad. Beautiful Marantz too. I have never heard vintage Marantz. I will be hearing a few soon when I get over to the vintage shop that recently opened about an hour from me.
  • And the gun safe in the entry way? You're a badass. My wife would leave me for those two infractions. Ha
  • ThomasDThomasD Posts: 258
    @johnwaynes44
    Just set it up to get my ‘Marantz Fix’. The 2230 doesn’t have a permanent home yet. Having a mcm stereo console built to house it. Love the Marantz sound and sure you will too. As far as the gun safe location, I got the wife’s approval to have in the living room if I made room for her jewelry. But it’s mostly guns. That’s another addiction for another thread.
    Carver M4.0t, M1.0t, M200t, TX2, C1, C2, Marantz 2230, 2010, Rega Brio, Marantz Imperial 7's, Klipsch Heresy III, Quartets, KG4's, KG1's, 'The Sixes', R-12SW, Polk SDA 2a's, Monitor 7cTL's, SDA CRS's, 4a's, Zu Audio Dirty Weekends, Pro-ject Acryl TT, Cambridge 851N, 351C, Panamax 5300PM
  • la2vegasla2vegas Posts: 3,722
    ThomasD wrote: »
    @johnwaynes44
    Just set it up to get my ‘Marantz Fix’. The 2230 doesn’t have a permanent home yet. Having a mcm stereo console built to house it. Love the Marantz sound and sure you will too. As far as the gun safe location, I got the wife’s approval to have in the living room if I made room for her jewelry. But it’s mostly guns. That’s another addiction for another thread.

    Pftt.. only one gun safe? Not much of an addiction. :#
  • ThomasDThomasD Posts: 258


    Pftt.. only one gun safe? Not much of an addiction. :#

    Only need one. It's only used to keep the extra AR's, 10 gauge's, spare 9 & 10mils, fancy little deringers, other assorted personal carry's and a vintage rifle or two along with a couple thousand backup rounds. This is Alaska but most of the dangerous wildlife is two legged. Had a State Trooper tell me years ago that their job was to 'uphold & enforce' the law and it was each individuals responsibility to provide protection for themselves, their loved ones and their own property. Never forgot it. I keep my important weapons out of sight but always within a few seconds reach. My wife also knows where each one is and has the knowledge & ability to protect herself if I'm not around.
    My apologies for going off thread. Back to the scheduled programming. Those 7's are one of Polk's true none SDA 'jewel' speakers and will really shine with some tlc and care. Mine impress me and make me smile every time I rotate them in.
    Carver M4.0t, M1.0t, M200t, TX2, C1, C2, Marantz 2230, 2010, Rega Brio, Marantz Imperial 7's, Klipsch Heresy III, Quartets, KG4's, KG1's, 'The Sixes', R-12SW, Polk SDA 2a's, Monitor 7cTL's, SDA CRS's, 4a's, Zu Audio Dirty Weekends, Pro-ject Acryl TT, Cambridge 851N, 351C, Panamax 5300PM
  • BMF35BMF35 Posts: 87
    Find yourself a Marantz 2325. It makes Cerwin Vegas and old Bose 901's sound decent. You should be able to find one in the wood case and already serviced/restored in your budget leaving some money for better cables.
  • My 7a's sound great powered by a Marantz 2325. You can really hear that warm yet clean signature sound.

    hykw1qnxmj31.jpg
    qz345stzo0vc.jpg
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,349
    My 7a's sound great powered by a Marantz 2325. You can really hear that warm yet clean signature sound.

    hykw1qnxmj31.jpg
    qz345stzo0vc.jpg

    You'll probably like 'em even better if you get them up off the floor.

    :)

    9606201717_d3fb6c6688_z.jpgearlypolkfamilyportrait by Mark Hardy, on Flickr
  • dromundsdromunds Posts: 8,315
    Yeah, as you will notice in the portrait above, the Monitor 7's had stands that tilted the speakers back (IIRC) 6 degrees for phase alignment purposes.
  • mhardy6647mhardy6647 Posts: 23,349
    dromunds wrote: »
    Yeah, as you will notice in the portrait above, the Monitor 7's had stands that tilted the speakers back (IIRC) 6 degrees for phase alignment purposes.

    ... and to get them up off the floor.
    They're -- not to be brusque -- kind of not that great sounding just sitting on the floor. Flabby and unbalanced. :(

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