M700s incoming - suggestions to max performance?

All -

I have a pair of M700s incoming. What do people do to maximize their performance?

The rest of the system is an Exposure 3010S2 CD player feeding a Naim nDAC, an Exposure 3010S2 or Conrad-Johnson PF2L preamp, and Monitor Audio Gold GX300 speakers.

Thanks in advance!

Use the tube preamp and leave the amps fully powered up all the time. After you get past the 30 days and are sure you are going to keep them then better power cords though you don’t need to go crazy.

1 Like


The CJ is not tubed - it was one of their early solid state preamps. Good sounding in a very different way than the Exposure.

1 Like

I’ve always had the best luck with tube preamps in front of Class D amps but if both of yours are SS then go with the warmer of the two to start with.

That they can run with Infinity RS 1 b

1 Like

You’re going to hate me for this, but your ultimate destination might be to get a BHK Preamp, plus balanced cables, to go along with the M700 monoblocks.
As @dawkinsj already mentioned, you will want to keep the M700’s on 24/7. Seriously. After 2 weeks of being on continuously the sound will open up more, and at around a full month they should sound their best.
I have a pair of the M700’s, and as you can guess, they are fed by a BHK Preamp. I did have a SGCD feeding the M700’s, and had I not previously lived with Conrad Johnson tube pre and power amps for the last 20 years, I would have thought the SGCD and M700 combo was the best I ever heard at home.
I cannot say for certain, but my hunch is that you will get very good sound with either preamp you have feeding the M700’s.
Now, to actually answer the question. The things one can do to get the best possible sound quality:

  1. Leave the M700’s on all the time (both rear and front power buttons) except for when connecting speakers and preamp.
  2. Get a preamp with a balanced signal and run balanced cables from pre to power amps.
    (I run rca cable to the BHK Pre and then balanced from there to the M700’s)
  3. Choose a good balanced cable.
  4. Upgrade to a better power chord (I have NOT done this).
  5. Add a power regenerator like a Power Plant P12.
1 Like

I agree that a good Tube Preamp would pair well with the M700’s as many have done. While I can’t afford this route, I did the next best thing for about the same amount money. Again, I have an all Digital System so it may not work for you, The DirectStream DAC which replaced my SGCD is amazing and incredibly flexible. Known for it’s “Analog Like” sound signature. You could almost pass it off as “Tube like” Preamp since it has fixed or adjustable Volume Control that I feed directly into my 700’s. Balanced connections of course.

One other thing to maximize their performance, which no one else here mentioned…

Do NOT stack them!

Have them on separate shelves or place them side by side,

1 Like

I also have a pair on order - and no choice but to stack. What’s the downside of stacking? They’re shown as stacked in the PS audio photos so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

1 Like

I just will echo what others have said, leave them on as they get better by the hour for a month. I have them separated so they can breathe but I had them stacked for first 6 weeks and they sounded great. Balanced if you can. Good power always a plus. You will enjoy them I am sure. Good luck!

1 Like

All -

Thank you! I leave my gear on 24/7 anyway, or at least I have in the past (easy with Exposure, Naim, etc.). Sounds WAY better that way. I’ll also be sitting them side by side, having seen the Stereophile review where RD noticed a significant improvement in un-stacking (sorry, Shimrod!).

I thought about ordering a a BHK preamp while the Axpona promo was going, but missed it. Oh well! Probably a good thing, as I have a Naim XPS coming for the Naim nDAC.

I have two power amplifiers currently - an Exposure XXVIII (28), which is a dual mono design all the way to the mains input board, 70 watts/8 ohms, and a Linn Klout, which is 80 watts/8ohms. The Exposure sounds lighter on its feet and more lively (without being bright), and the Klout has a slightly tighter and deeper grip on bass. Given their age, I expect the M700s will be a rather substantial leap forward.

The preamps are interesting - the Exposure is much more “all of a piece,” while the CJ sounds much airier and detailed, but a little bit . . . sloppy. Not as organized as the Exposure.

And not to open a huge can of worms, but are there cable brands that work best with PSA? I have something of a mishmosh, mainly Wireworld Eclipse/Equinox.

They respond well to isolation (isoacoustic orea) and mass loading just put weight on top of them.

Also leave them on 24/7.

1 Like

It is going to depend on what you want to achieve with the cables. I do not have enough well-rounded experience with cables, just know which limited number of cables seem to sound better with my system depending on what components are connected and a tiny bit of why. I have old, and I do mean old, 20-year old Cardas rca cables from music source to BHK Preamp, and then New Audioquest Red River xlr’s between the BHK Pre and M700 monos.
The Cardas has a smoothness and bloom that seems appropriate between music source and the BHK Pre. I am tempted to get newer Cardas Clear Reflection xlr’s from the BHK Pre to the M700’s but the cost is quite high and I am happy with how the system sounds with the Audioquest Red River xlr.

Oy Vey. It make ZERO difference (I’ve tried both ways). We can thank Stereophile for that piece of Infinite Wisdom. But they did an honest review none the less.

1 Like

My Red River XLR Rock ! Cinnamon for HDMI.

1 Like

Thanks, that’s reassuring. So it sounds as though you’re happy with them?

1 Like

Hell Ya. For exactly a year now.

I’ve had a pair for 2 years last month. Fantastic. Leave on all the time. BHK pre feeding them…sweet.

Agree with isolation and damping. I also covered the top and bottom with generic Dynamat - no more case ringing.

They’re only stacked for the photo, not for best sound quality. Ask Paul about the effects of having power transformers stacked close together.

1 Like

Well, now delayed until May . . .