Yamaha M-85 Slightly Disappointing?

Discussion in 'Yamaha' started by lambord, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. lambord

    lambord Member

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    Some might take this the wrong way but I purchased a Yamaha m-85 for $225 and I am not that impressed. Do any research for this amp and you will be bombarded with how "powerful" it is. Maybe my unit is not working properly.....I am driving Cerwin Vega VS-150's and or Cerwin Vega D-9's. I compared it to my Tandberg tr-2080 and I was not blown away. My Tandberg's claimed "75 watts @ 8 ohms" is probably underrated but it sounds more full and louder than my Yamaha's "280 watts @ 8 ohms". One thing to consider, I purchased a homemade/kit preamp with the Yamaha and I thought maybe the preamp was not working correctly, so i directly hooked my audio source into the Yamaha and it did get a little louder but still I was expecting a difference or better sound produced by the Yamaha than the Tandberg.

    Back story of Tandberg......My uncle purchased it new back in the day and barely used it, mint condition with everything working perfectly, with original service manuals and magazine, too bad he threw the box away a few years ago
     

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  2. Blue Shadow

    Blue Shadow I gotta get me a new title

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    How does it sound more powerful? Is it louder?

    I had an M-45 and preferred the class A setting on the amp. Sounded better.
     
  3. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights" Subscriber

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    The pre-amp....most likely.
     
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  4. chuckworkb

    chuckworkb AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I used to own one of those amps, and I thought it sounded really good. Maybe it needs to be serviced, or recapped.
     
  5. 808_state

    808_state Member

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    In my experience, the M-85 sounds better in the Class A setting as well.
     
  6. tubed

    tubed Lunatic Member

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    M-85/C-85
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. petehall347

    petehall347 the brandy coffee man Subscriber

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    just recognised your name . did you ever get that sansui working ?
     
  8. lambord

    lambord Member

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    Haha hey Pete! I got it working a little and then it blew again, I let my fathers Jukebox amp repairman look at it but he was no help....Ended up selling it recently for $70 to a guy that was going to repair it. Im in college now and am running out of space for my collection at home, needed to make room lol.

    I mean the Tandberg has a more full sound, the bass is more present and in my opinion accurate to the music. The class A option does not seem to make a difference, and I would be listening to it louder than its maximum 30 watts on class A. I thought it might be the pre amp, but even after I hooked my audio source up directly, it still wasn't too loud. Don't get me wrong, I would compare it to a Pioneer sx-770 or 880 fully cranked. but I have a Sx-1050 and it is defiantly louder than the Yamaha. ALSO I FORGOT TO MENTION. A sticker is on the back for this website.....( http://legendaryamps.com/index.html ) it is a website dedicated to this repairman redoing these amps, and the connections and the back for speakers were a big draw back from the factory, so this guy upgrades them and restores from what i understand. My Yamaha has the upgraded speaker terminals on the back, so I would assume everything is in working order if it has been to this guy because I would assume he would check bias for each channel and redo anything this commonly fails.
     
  9. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights" Subscriber

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    That explains it..I've reworked his stuff before.:rolleyes: He makes them look pretty and sticks a fancy sticker on the rear panel.

    He also has a pretty nice website.:cool:
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
  10. lambord

    lambord Member

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    So this guy is not reliable Avionic? Any ideas on what I should check to make sure its working properly?
     
  11. The Fuxtor

    The Fuxtor AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    In any case, that Tandberg is actually quite stunning!
     
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  12. tuffstuff1

    tuffstuff1 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    The vega's are easy to drive and the M-85 should drive those to pieces if it is working right.
     
  13. whoaru99

    whoaru99 Epic Member

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    Going by the picture posted, the level settings on the Yamaha look pretty low.

    OTOH, or perhaps regardless, the difference between power ratings is 5dB, give or take. While meaningful, it's not exactly like a feather vs. a bowling ball.
     
  14. lambord

    lambord Member

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    That is exactly what I thought, they are 4 ohm speakers that are very efficient, yet barely any of my pictures on my walls were rattling when the Yamaha was turned up. Yes I turned the volume knobs up on the Yamaha all the way....not that dumb. Correct me if I am wrong but I thought every 10 db was double the audible sound, if this is true then I would assume 5 db would be a noticeable difference let alone sounding at least equal, the Tandberg seems to out perform the Yamaha. I will do another A/B test tomorrow between the Tandberg and the Yamaha, but I wanted to know the communities opinion to see if maybe this Yamaha was just overrated.
     
  15. whoaru99

    whoaru99 Epic Member

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    I don't know. You're there, I'm here. It's really hard to gauge what's related in comparisons such as this. What's your relative indicator for "drive"? Volume control position, or?

    Both are reputable brands. When there is a disparity such as you bring to the table I'm always skeptical about "what's up with that"; something doesn't add up.

    I have Yamaha M-40 and M-80 and Cerwin D-9, but not the Tandberg. Either Yamaha and the D-9 are a pounding combo.

    Another possible factor is even a difference of the loudness contour between the Tandberg and the preamp you're using. If the Tandberg is heavy-handed on the loudness contour, relatively speaking, a fat bottom end sounds more powerful.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
  16. avionic

    avionic " Black Knights" Subscriber

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    Annular cracked solder connections. Incorrect parts. Stuff that they should have caught before charging some uninformed client and arm and a leg and a left nut.
     
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  17. rottalpha

    rottalpha Yamaholic Subscriber

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    put it this way, if that amp was working as it should, you would not be able to stay in the same room for long, if the atenuator was way up

    Find a reputable service tech. You will not be disappointed. If i were you I would have it serviced sooner rather than later.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017
  18. rottalpha

    rottalpha Yamaholic Subscriber

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    Also, if your T-berg has a line out from the preamp, I would use that ...just to rule out your preamp problem...but Yes, get the amp looked at....
    If you can, pop the hood, take some photos and post them here...look for bad solder joints, corrosion from DSG (Dreaded Sony Glue), NTE replacement parts ...
     
  19. rottalpha

    rottalpha Yamaholic Subscriber

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    :rflmao:

    I do not mean to disappoint you but he uses <$1/pair speaker terminals..(something like these:http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Pcs-5mm-Thread-Double-Banana-Socket-Speaker-Binding-Post-DT/252407484307?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid=222007&algo=SIC.MBE&ao=2&asc=41375&meid=a6ab21dc9e2d426e94483c86dcae0d18&pid=100005&rk=3&rkt=6&sd=190999347959)

    ..I would not call that an upgrade. Yamaha's speaker posts are not the best, but are light-years away from the cheapos this guy is using...if you have what I saw on his site a while back.

    Edit:
    I see that he leaves in the original RCAs. Those are really crappy and should be replaced.
     
  20. Chris Brown

    Chris Brown AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I ran two pairs of D-9's at one point, which should be similar to the OP's D-9 + VS-150 combo.

    The Cerwins have very high sensitivity, but bass will still eat up power very fast. I believe they also have a pretty wild impedance curve that dips down fairly low despite being rated as "8 ohm" speakers. They seem to suck up current. The D-9 speakers are rated 101db sensitivity but they always seemed to push my Yamaha M-2 to it's limits faster than any of my big JBLs, which have a sensitivity of 88db (L150) and 91db (L100T). Using two pairs of D-9s simultaneously obviously exacerbated that, though the M-2 still did not disappoint. Eventually I used a M-2 and a Yamaha P2201 to power each pair and that definitely worked better.

    IMG_1166.jpg

    In regards to the M-85 and the impedance curve of the cerwins. If you look at the M-85 manual, the specifications seem slightly strange to me. It lists (at 20hz-20khz) 260w at 8ohms, 295w at 6ohms, and 330w at 4ohms. I'm not really familiar with the design of the M-85 so I'm mostly shooting in the dark, but to only go from 260w to 330w when the impedance is halved usually means an amp lacks the ability to deliver lots of current. That might not be ideal for something like powering two pairs of cerwins simultaneously.

    edit: Just looked at the specs and noticed that the VS-150s are actually rated at 4ohms. Not sure if they are actually lower impedance than the D-9s or if they just increased the accuracy of their measurement methods between the two series of speakers. Either way, you are talking about a potentially very low-impedance load if you run both together, and even a single pair of 4-ohm speakers isn't necessarily a cakewalk for an amp.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2017

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