• If you ever spot Spam (either in the forums, or received via forum direct message) please use the Report button at the bottom of each post to make sure a Moderator can handle it quickly. Thanks for your help in keeping things running smoothly!

Question Amp to partner with B&W CM7

PeterB

Active member
Jan 19, 2021
9
6
25
I've been reading some posts on the forum about this but with the new amps that have entered the market, I would like to repost the question. I am looking for an amp to partner with my 10y-old B&W CM7s. They have been coupled to a NAD315bee, but the amp has been showing signs of fatigue recently, so I am looking to replace. Was looking at Audiolab and Rega but curious to know if anyone out there has any advice. Thx!
 

PeterB

Active member
Jan 19, 2021
9
6
25
Hello!

And thanks for the warm welcome!

I am looking at buying a new amp not used, budget under 1000€.

Sources: Technics turntable SL1210 MKII, NAD phone preamp, NAD C525 CD player.

I was actually charmed by the review of the Audiolab 6000A Play which has a built-in streamer, but I am still debating...
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
559
336
19,270
Well the Audiolab is a decent choice and my only reservation is over the streaming side. It uses PlayFi which as far as I can tell still doesn’t offer gapless replay. In practice that means that something like DarkSide of the Moon, or most opera recordings, have an unwanted gap between each track or aria. That would rule it out for me. (It was just about acceptable on the discontinued Chromecast Audio device at £30!)
Would you consider the slightly costlier Marantz PM7000n, currently available at under £900?

Or get the plain 6000a amplifier, and consider something like the superior Bluesound Node 2i for £499 for the streaming?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Al ears

PeterB

Active member
Jan 19, 2021
9
6
25
That's an interesting comment on PlayFi, I wasn't aware of that. Good to know!

I might as well concentrate on an amp first and add a streamer later. So that opens up the debate, right?

Looking at a decent amp to pair with my B&W CM7s, what else could be a good marriage for anything around 800€?

Am I allowed to say that I think the Marantz looks awful... :rolleyes:
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
559
336
19,270
Am I allowed to say that I think the Marantz looks awful... :rolleyes:
Yes, each to their own! The Audiolab is more minimalist I guess you could say. I overlooked that you’re paying in Euros - where are you based?
As I am in the UK the prices don’t necessarily correspond. Is there any dealer you can visit to see some kit and have a listen/play?
 

nads

Well-known member
Nov 29, 2007
448
18
18,895
If I had that set up and liked the sound I would look at a new NAD amp maybe one with a built in or add on streaming module.

shame the current amp does not have pre outs
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
829
175
19,070
I’d look the Marantz PM7007N to go with the CM7s if I were you.

I think it looks good - subtly beefy compared to the slimmer 6 series components.
 

PeterB

Active member
Jan 19, 2021
9
6
25
So, can I just ask why you think the Marantz is a good combination with the B&WCM7? I have heard it before but I am just curious...
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
829
175
19,070
The CM series was always smoother
So, can I just ask why you think the Marantz is a good combination with the B&WCM7? I have heard it before but I am just curious...
The CM series was always smoother sounding than the 6 series. And the slightly forward nature of the PM7007N will complement it well.

The only concerning thing about the CM7 is its impedance can dip pretty low. But it may not be too much of a problem.
 

PeterB

Active member
Jan 19, 2021
9
6
25
They do sound smooth when I compare them to some other speakers I have listened to, you are absolutely spot-on there! But I have grown so accustomed to them that I would find it hard to change. I just love how they render vocals and natural instruments...

I might go out and have a listen to the Marantz. (y)

On impedance... what you are saying is that they could do with a bit more power than 50W per channel, right? I also came across the NAD C368 today... or Rega Elex-R...
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
576
243
19,270
They do sound smooth when I compare them to some other speakers I have listened to, you are absolutely spot-on there! But I have grown so accustomed to them that I would find it hard to change. I just love how they render vocals and natural instruments...

I might go out and have a listen to the Marantz. (y)

On impedance... what you are saying is that they could do with a bit more power than 50W per channel, right? I also came across the NAD C368 today... or Rega Elex-R...
Impedance dips are a matter that's solved with current rather than power. Besides the Marantz, try Naim Nait 5si, Rega, Cyrus One HD (which goes really well with Bluesound Node 2i via the Cyrus dac), and Iotavx SA3 + PA3.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Al ears

PeterB

Active member
Jan 19, 2021
9
6
25
I am very closely looking at the Rega Elex-R. I had a chat on the phone with my dealer who recommended them to power the CM7s, so I will try to give that a listen once I can.

I mostly listen to my vinyl collection so I don't really need too many digital connections. Streaming would be nice but I can add that later as well, perhaps with a Bluesound Node.

Just curious about the comment about current rather than the power regulating impedance dips. So what specs to look at in an amp? :unsure:
 

Al ears

Moderator
I don’t know, current Rotels are a bit dry sounding. Personally I think they’re behind the curve a bit
To your ears may be and I acknowledge they're not for everyone. However it's the amp \ speaker combo that matters as amplifiers on their own don't have a sound. This is the tricky bit to get right.
 

PeterB

Active member
Jan 19, 2021
9
6
25
So, just got back from the HIFI store. I took my CM7s and auditioned Rotel A11 Tribute, Rega Brio, Rega Elex-R and Naim 5si.

There was a huge difference between to Rega Brio and the Rotel A11, the latter sounding flat, harsh and we needed to crank up the volume relatively high to get some decent sound. But for my ears, it sounded a bit... cheap.

I was immediately convinced by the Brio, it sounded really well with the B&Ws. Then switched to the Elex-R and the Naim, and yes, at higher volumes they were more in control of the sound with some more complex tunes.

But at almost double the price of the Brio, there was really no debate for me. Very happy with my choice, the Rega Brio.
 
  • Like
Reactions: manicm and Al ears

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS