Amplifier For B&W PM1s....Suggestions ?

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I am very out of touch with current hifi and I'm looking to put a system together. Absolutely love the sound of the B&W PM1s. Looking for an amp to go with them and need some suggestions to go demo.

I've been to 2 dealers, one only played me Naim gear, sounded nice but maybe a little "hard" compared to what I'm used to. Second dealer would only consider a Linn DSI and wasn't really prepared to enter any discussions regards anything else because apparently I need the Linn DSI. Linn was certainly warmer but I'm worried about future technologies with regards streaming and digital audio that may make an amp/media player redundant as new technologies come onto the market so I think I would prefer a dedicated amplifier (possibly with built in DAC). Would be prepared to spend up to 3k but by no means does it have to be the full budget. If someone thinks they may know a great amp for £200 that I should check out I'd be more than happy:) I will be predominantly playing ripped cds streamed from a device yet to be chosen with the usual array of tv, blu-ray players etc plugged into it . The main concern is the streamed music.
 
Talkingdrum said:
I am very out of touch with current hifi and I'm looking to put a system together. Absolutely love the sound of the B&W PM1s. Looking for an amp to go with them and need some suggestions to go demo.

I've been to 2 dealers, one only played me Naim gear, sounded nice but maybe a little "hard" compared to what I'm used to. Second dealer would only consider a Linn DSI and wasn't really prepared to enter any discussions regards anything else because apparently I need the Linn DSI. Linn was certainly warmer but I'm worried about future technologies with regards streaming and digital audio that may make an amp/media player redundant as new technologies come onto the market so I think I would prefer a dedicated amplifier (possibly with built in DAC). Would be prepared to spend up to 3k but by no means does it have to be the full budget. If someone thinks they may know a great amp for £200 that I should check out I'd be more than happy:) I will be predominantly playing ripped cds streamed from a device yet to be chosen with the usual array of tv, blu-ray players etc plugged into it . The main concern is the streamed music.

Hi Talkingdrum

What system/s have you previously used?

What do you generally listen to?

Will anyone else also use the system? If so, their listening preferences?

Is your preference for an integrated amplifier, pre/power or either?

The size of your room?

Your listening distance?

Your general listening level?

Power requirements?

Is the room lightly or heavily furnished?

What kind of presentation are you looking for the system to achieve?

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

Frank Harvey

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Personally, I'd prefer to buy an amplifier without a DAC, as amplifiers don't really change over the years, but DAC's can quickly become 'old hat' as far as technology is concerned.

Try ATC's SIA2-150 integrated amplifier, or even their pre/power, which is only £150 more. Along with the Quad Elite Pre and a pair of Elite Mono power amps, these two combos represent the smoother side of hi-fi, almost guaranteed not to offend. If you things livelier, try the Audiolab 8200Q pre-amplifier with either a pair of 8200M or 8200MB monoblocks. It's an excellent combination that impressed everybody at our last open evening with it's verve and detail, making it highly listenable. There's the option of using the CDQ CD player instead of the 8200Q Pre - it includes an integrated digital pre-amplifier with several digital inputs for use with other digital sources.
 
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Hi Musicraft

The system I'm replacing at the heart consists of a pair of Tannoy 15" monitor Golds which I absolutely love, driven by a very early JVC integrated amp bought new in 1977 (the combination worked suprisingly well). Can't remember model of amp as it's in storage. Had a very modern refurb done and those old and quite bashed Lancaster cabinets will just look out of place. I also want an amp that brings me into the 21st century that at the very least has a remote control.

I predominantly listen to Jazz followed by "World Music" (for want of a better term), African, Latin etc

Nobody else will be using the system, it is purely fo my listening pleasure (read sad git;))

I would prefer an integrated system because I'm trying to down size. I'm looking for a great sound with out the stereo equipment dominating the room.

The room is approx 5m x 6m (open plan kitchen living dining) and my seating distance for music listening will be around 4m.

General listening level: I wouldn't say loud but not a level you could comfortably conduct a conversation over.

Very little furniture at this stage (more to come). All hard surfaces including one wall being entirely of glass, all wood floors (I know it's hardly the best environment for a listening room).

Not sure what you mean by power requirements.

Presentation: I like a bit of warmth, looking for a big sound stage with a lot of detail without it being too clinical. In my previous setup the sound was just a joy to hear, it almost didn't matter what was playing you just wanted to listen to that sound. I know that's probably not very helpful but that's what I'm looking to replace.
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks FrankHarveyHiFi

Just did a google of the ATC SIA2-150 and I like the sound of that, I think that will definitely be on my list of amps to demo. I'd rather go with an integrated amp if I can as I want to keep that amount of boxes to a minimum without compromising on sound too much. If there's a one box solution I would definitely take it.

I take your point about the DAC and technology, that's why I'd rather steer clear of things like the Linn DSI.
 

CnoEvil

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Another amp to put on your audition list around that money, is the Musical Fidelity M6i, which is also a powerful amp with good current delivery.
 
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Anonymous

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The Harmon Kardon HK990 has 150 wpc into 8 ohms, Loads of current on tap, and a built in DAC, and they can be got for £750. All the amp you'll ever need.
 
Talkingdrum said:
Hi Musicraft

The system I'm replacing at the heart consists of a pair of Tannoy 15" monitor Golds which I absolutely love, driven by a very early JVC integrated amp bought new in 1977 (the combination worked suprisingly well). Can't remember model of amp as it's in storage. Had a very modern refurb done and those old and quite bashed Lancaster cabinets will just look out of place. I also want an amp that brings me into the 21st century that at the very least has a remote control.

I predominantly listen to Jazz followed by "World Music" (for want of a better term), African, Latin etc

Nobody else will be using the system, it is purely fo my listening pleasure (read sad git;))

I would prefer an integrated system because I'm trying to down size. I'm looking for a great sound with out the stereo equipment dominating the room.

The room is approx 5m x 6m (open plan kitchen living dining) and my seating distance for music listening will be around 4m.

General listening level: I wouldn't say loud but not a level you could comfortably conduct a conversation over.

Very little furniture at this stage (more to come). All hard surfaces including one wall being entirely of glass, all wood floors (I know it's hardly the best environment for a listening room).

Not sure what you mean by power requirements.

Presentation: I like a bit of warmth, looking for a big sound stage with a lot of detail without it being too clinical. In my previous setup the sound was just a joy to hear, it almost didn't matter what was playing you just wanted to listen to that sound. I know that's probably not very helpful but that's what I'm looking to replace.

Hi Talkingdrum

Thanks for your reply.

I think the main reason you found your previous system a joy to listen to was down to the Tannoy speakers. I am happy to be proven otherwise but i just can't help but feel that even though there will be certain areas where the PM1's offer an improvement over the Tannoy's however the overall scale, weight, depth, dynamics, attack, soundstage, power, drama etc. of the sound and its richness will still be enough to keep the Tannoy's ahead of the PM1's. With the size of your room i think you may end up playing the PM1's pretty loud and with the rooms hard surfaces, glass wall etc. i also don't feel this will help the little PM1's. I think the best thing to do is to demo the PM1's in your room. I appreciate what you are saying about cabinets looking out of place but i would recommend that you reconsider using your Tannoy speakers for a while yet and just replace the amplifier. As you like the Tannoy sound then as an alternative to your existing speakers, Tannoys newer speakers might also be worth a look.

Anyway, whether speakers are your existing Tannoys or the PM1's the two electronics i'll recommend are the Audiolab 8200CDQ and ATC's P1 power amplifier. The 8200CDQ is an excellent sounding component which is comprehensively equipped with a cd player (you may find this to perform better then streaming ripped cd's into the onboard dac), analogue/digital inputs, digital/analogue pre amplification and a headphone socket. The 8200CDQ can then be fed directly into the equally superb P1 power amplifier. The P1 is with amongst its other qualities a low distortion, powerful class A biased (up to 2/3 output) high current and damping factor design. The 8200CDQ/P1 combination has a presentation which is clean, powerful, bold, dynamic with superb resolution, width, depth and warmth (without becoming thick) pretty much right across the board.

Although two units i feel a combination of the 8200CDQ/P1 will at this price level offer minimal compromise. Alternatively at this price Naim's Supernait is also worth a look.

Btw, what i meant with reference to power requirements was that did you want the new amplifier to have a certain power figure/level.

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 
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Anonymous

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Thanks Musicraft, I know the Tannoys are going to be a hard act to follow but I was hoping with reasonable budget I could equal or better them. I have found a dealer who is willing to bring the PM1s to my home and I'll be getting my Tannoys out of storage to give me something to compare them to (haven't heard the Tannoys for over 18 months since the building work started). I must say I am coming around to the thought that maybe I should stick with the Tannoys, I have room for them and perhaps I could get the cabinets refinished. The PM1s don't particular fit in with my decor anyway.

I'll definitely look into that 8200CDQ/P1 combination, many thanks.
 

Frank Harvey

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Depending whether you decide to keep your Tannoys, I think you'd be better of looking at the ProAc D18's rather than the PM1's. They're quite different speakers, and I think you'll find the ProAc's are a little more like your Tannoys with regards to tone. The only drawback there is that if you're used to a dual concentric design, it's quite hard to move away from, and you tend to easily hear phasing problems with many conventional designs. If this is the case, take a look at Tannoy and KEF models in your price bracket.

Alternatively, if you like yours so much that you want to keep them, you could get someone (or even yourself with a little know how) to make some more modern looking cabinets to fit in with your decor. Make sure the internal cabinet dimensions are the same, and any bracing too, but externally, they could be made to look quite different. Plus, you could stain/paint them to match the woodwork or furniture in your living room.
 

pwiles1968

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As yet I have not listened to the PM1 but do have the 805s My guess is they will be similar, as suggested above the 8200 CDQ DAC/Pre Amp is an excellent partner for them especially given your music tastes, i have the CDQ and it is great with Jazz Acoustic vocal etc (Streamed from and Apple TV) well worth a listen or even a Home demo if you can get one.

For Power amplification I am not sure, Love the sound of my Bel Canto but there are not many of those around, The B&W's do deserve plenty of power, there are some PMC DS001 digital mono blocks coming out that sound interesting, the 8200MB's seemto be well reviewed well also the Onkyo M5000 is nice. I think you will be ok with the PM1 for sensitivity my 805 is about 4dB better than the PM1 and I have a smaller room but I have put 18dB of attenuation in my cables and still have more SPl that I could ever need :) Let us know which way you decide to go with the speakers.

I am hoping to get a listen to the PM1 some time soon at my friendly HiFi retailer if they sound anything close to the 805 they will be a great speaker, I am hoping they do not sound better :rofl:
 
Talkingdrum said:
Thanks Musicraft, I know the Tannoys are going to be a hard act to follow but I was hoping with reasonable budget I could equal or better them. I have found a dealer who is willing to bring the PM1s to my home and I'll be getting my Tannoys out of storage to give me something to compare them to (haven't heard the Tannoys for over 18 months since the building work started). I must say I am coming around to the thought that maybe I should stick with the Tannoys, I have room for them and perhaps I could get the cabinets refinished. The PM1s don't particular fit in with my decor anyway.

I'll definitely look into that 8200CDQ/P1 combination, many thanks.

Hi Talkingdrum

Your welcome.

Yes, overall i feel your Tannoy speakers will be a hard act to follow and even more so in your room. Fwiw, personally i would have the cabinets refinished and use the speakers for at least the next five years :) Big speakers :twisted: :grin: Old is gold ;)

Feed your Tannoys and power them with the 8200CDQ/P1 as this combination should give the speakers a wake up call :rockout:

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

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