Mono blocks with bookshelf speakers?

Always more to learn. I find myself looking at a set of mono block amps for my humble abode. I’ve hit a practical issue though. I use bookshelves and a sub. I’m getting the feeling that I should be using these with tower (full range) speakers. Am I being goofy looking at this pairing vs getting full range speakers? I do like the speaker setup I have, mostly looking for that tweak

Thank you.

Well, I guess it depends on the bookshelf speakers in question. Some bookshelf speakers compare directly to floor standers. Have you looked at the Schiit mono block options, AEGIR or VIDAR?

What are the bookshelf speakers in question? Knowing more about them, their stats, might help with suggestions/ideas.

I had not looked into those amps. I have now. They make some really nice items.

I’m trying to see how I would drive the separate sub. I’m not seeing the necessary outputs. Either I am missing something (95% of the time this is the culprit) or I simply need to look for amps that specifically have the outputs I need (not as abundant). FWIW I have KEF LS 50 Meta’s and a RYTHMIK sub. they work splendidly for me.

I’m questioning my source. It is nice but craigslist is evil. As a change of pace I thought I’d ask first instead of finding out later. I have an AVR now I use maybe 2x a year for video. I suspect monoblocks would sound better™ But there is a pretty large gap between AVR <–> monoblock. If I NEED full range speaker so be it. I’ll change tact.

I hope that made sense.

Sounds like you are putting the cart before the horse.

What aren’t you happy with (currently) or expect to benefit by from moving to separate power amps (mono blocks).

Your speakers, their placement, your room and it’s furnishings and to a certain extent your DAC and pre-amp (effectively your AVR currently) will all have far more effect on your overall sound than moving from the on-board amps in your AVR to external ones.

Your current speakers have 85dB sensitively, in basic layman’s terms that means that at 1m from the speaker when supplied with just 1 watt of power they will output 85dB SPL ie. pretty loud.

The point is an average fairly sensitive bookshelf speaker (85db) needs very little wattage (ie. normally no more than 50w) to output SPL levels that can cause hearing damage with extended listening.

There’s plenty of calculators online that will show you how speaker sensitivity, amp power/wattage, distance and SPL all interact — but unless you have extremely hard to drive speakers or speakers that have an extremely high maximum SPL output that you aren’t currently able to reach, almost any modern power-amp (whether built into your AVR or external) will have the output to drive them to capacity.

In short bookshelf speakers don’t need that many watts to drive them to their maximum capacity and power amps shouldn’t ‘colour’ your sound — so not a part of my system I would go out of my way to change first.

I have an AVR sending 50W to each channel. I’d like a more pure audio setup. I went with book shelves due to the cubic volume of my room, so now. I wish to try out a pair of the Marantz MA* series of mono blocks.

How do I connect a subwoofer? L+R is pretty clear. but I see no line/sub out I may use for this. My sub does not have any high level inputs. None of the systems I’ve looked at have a low level output.

Maybe I am not the use case for a pair of mono blocks. I’m trying to find out.

just my 2cents - when i moved from integrated ECI5mk2 towards monoblocks AW400 , following did happen:

  • there is absolutely perfect imaging (L and R channels are not impacting each other) - the ultimate test is any classical track (or other track with realistic soudstage) - even in the highest peaks played at “concert level”, the soundstage is never collapsing to mono
  • i am able to listen at very low levels, having all the fullness (bass) and the details of the recording (this might be caused also by the fact the monoblocks have double power of what actually speakers can maintain)

I’m not going to provide full list of improvements here - just those i believe are applicable also to any (good quality) bookshelf speakers (although it’s just my belief, as in reality i was always having floorstanders (Dynaydio S3.4 and Confidence C2mk2 - which are “power hungry” - e.g. need high-current amp to sound it’s best)

1 Like

Paul I think you need a pre amp for this to drive the sub and give you power control for the power amps (though a streaming Dac could do that part)

I was looking at these myself and was pointed in the right direction.

1 Like

So I’ll just apologize for the mental moment.
a preamp would make and amp integrated.
I’ve separated out the amp . . .


Maniac, that is my hope.


Not to worry Paul I got to exactly the same place as you looking at this a few months ago.

I was thinking but I don’t want a pre-amp I just wanted to use my streaming pre-amp.