Question B&W 603 S2 + SVS PB-1000 Amp Recommendation with Organ Issue

PlotinusRedux

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Decided on B&W 603 S2 floor speakers + SVS PB-1000 sub (wanted to hear the SB-1000 but they didn't have one) . Speakers are 8 ohms 88.5 sensitivity 200w RMS, 35' x 60' room 25' ceiling but seated about 15' from the speakers.

Completely lost on an amp--haven't had a stereo since college decades ago and didn't know much about them even then.

I listen to a lot of organ recordings that for some reason are about half the volume of normal recordings (esp Michael Murray's Bach at St. Bavo)--at max volume on systems where normal recordings would hurt your ears, these you can talk over in close to a normal voice--so do I need a high watt amp to boost them to loud (as an organ would be in a cathedral)? Recordings go down to the subsonic range--at least 16 Hz with the 32' pipes, though they can simulate 8 Hz, but I can live without that, and up to 12 kHz with harmonics up to 52.5 kHz (know I'm not going to hear those even if the speakers could reproduce them, far beyond human hearing), with all the stops open (as Murray likes) up to 192 pipes can sound at once in theory across that entire range between 10 fingers and 2 foot pedals * 62 stops (up to 9,600 simultaneous frequencies counting the harmonics) , though in practice max is probably closer to 96 pipes at once, each with its own timber and one key sounding multiple octaves and 3rd's and 5th's of the note played--I don't know if the amp affects that or not, and I know the B&W's aren't up to all of that, but I don't want the amp holding back what they can do.

Store recommended Denon AVR-X1600H 7.2 90W (at what ohms? No idea) which sounded good but I couldn't really turn it up in the store, and I don't care about surround sound and all the other crap--this is purely for listening to music through the B&W's + sub.

Comfortable price range is $600-$1,000, maybe could stretch that a bit further if needed but wife would scream around $1.6k or so (sorry, a Yankee, not sure what that is in pounds).

Any recommendations would be appreciated.
 
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rainsoothe

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Apr 30, 2012
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Decided on B&W 603 S2 floor speakers + SVS PB-1000 sub (wanted to hear the SB-1000 but they didn't have one) . Speakers are 8 ohms 88.5 sensitivity 200w RMS, 35' x 60' room 25' ceiling but seated about 15' from the speakers.

Completely lost on an amp--haven't had a stereo since college decades ago and didn't know much about them even then.

I listen to a lot of organ recordings that for some reason are about half the volume of normal recordings (esp Michael Murray's Bach at St. Bavo)--at max volume on systems where normal recordings would hurt your ears, these you can talk over in close to a normal voice--so do I need a high watt amp to boost them to loud (as an organ would be in a cathedral)? Recordings go down to the subsonic range--at least 16 Hz with the 32' pipes, though they can simulate 8 Hz, but I can live without that, and up to 12 kHz with harmonics up to 52.5 kHz (know I'm not going to hear those even if the speakers could reproduce them, far beyond human hearing), with all the stops open (as Murray likes) up to 192 pipes can sound at once in theory across that entire range between 10 fingers and 2 foot pedals * 62 stops (up to 9,600 simultaneous frequencies counting the harmonics) , though in practice max is probably closer to 96 pipes at once, each with its own timber and one key sounding multiple octaves and 3rd's and 5th's of the note played--I don't know if the amp affects that or not, and I know the B&W's aren't up to all of that, but I don't want the amp holding back what they can do.

Store recommended Denon AVR-X1600H 7.2 90W (at what ohms? No idea) which sounded good but I couldn't really turn it up in the store, and I don't care about surround sound and all the other crap--this is purely for listening to music through the B&W's + sub.

Comfortable price range is $600-$1,000, maybe could stretch that a bit further if needed but wife would scream around $1.6k or so (sorry, a Yankee, not sure what that is in pounds).

Any recommendations would be appreciated.
Hi. If you're not using a surround setup, DON'T get an AV reciever. Get a stereo amp instead. Now there's lots of stuff out there that can be a good match with the B&W, but since you're based in the US, you'll get much bigger bang for your buck if buying local brands - of which you have two stellar (imo) candidates - the Rogue Audio Sphinx v3 (but even v1 and v2 would be way above average) and Schiit Ragnarock 2. I strongly suggest having these on your list, and also not deciding on speakers without having heard a few alternatives - and again, since you're in the US, you have access to stuff that can cost just as much as the 603 s2 over there - Revel Concerta F35 or F36 (or even the Performa 3 M106 standmounts, since you wanna get a sub anyway), Goldenear Triton Five and Martin Logan Motion 40i (or their older gen Motion 40). You might find you don't even need a sub with some of these. And if you don't care for lateral dispersion you could also look at electrostatics, like the Magnepan LRS (don't be fooled by their price, they're a tricky speaker to drive).

If you were going to use the AV reciever as a source as well, get a cheap temporary one, like the Chromecast Audio (discontinued but can still be found) or Yamaha wxad10, or a Allo Digione + Schiit or Topping dac. Trust me, the Rogue and the Schiit amp will absolutely wipe the floor with the Denon AVR, but of course let your ears decide.
 

PlotinusRedux

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Feb 15, 2021
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@plastic penguin and @rainsoothe, thanks for the advice so far.

Unfortunately I'm fairly limited in what I can listen to--there is only one listening room within 400 miles, and it's at Best Buy, where all they had was A/V--I was starting to think that's what everything was now. I could make the drive but I'd have to be pretty sure what I wanted to listen to.

I do need something with good DAC's--I have a collection of high quality FLAC files (some 24-bit/192 kHz) not even available on phono or CD now--I suppose I could burn them to CD's but with some loss of fidelity, but that would add the cost of a good CD player.

One thing that confuses me about the suggestions--I don't see a separate output for a subwoofer or a way to set the crossover frequency. I *think* I need a subwoofer to handle the very low organ bass down to 16 Hz from the 32' pipes, the B&W's definitely needed one--no?

I know there are separate pre-amps that can handle the DAC conversion (and even Bluetooth for the wife who doesn't care much about sound quality and streams music) combined with a dedicated amp--but trying to research them I just get lost down rabbit holes. Is that a good option and even available in my price range?
 
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@plastic penguin and @rainsoothe, thanks for the advice so far.

Unfortunately I'm fairly limited in what I can listen to--there is only one listening room within 400 miles, and it's at Best Buy, where all they had was A/V--I was starting to think that's what everything was now. I could make the drive but I'd have to be pretty sure what I wanted to listen to.

I do need something with good DAC's--I have a collection of high quality FLAC files not even available on phono or CD now--I suppose I could burn them to CD's but with some loss of fidelity, but that would add the cost of a good CD player.

One thing that confuses me about the suggestions--I don't see a separate output for a subwoofer or a way to set the crossover frequency. I *think* I need a subwoofer to handle the very low organ bass down to 16 Hz from the 32' pipes, the B&W's definitely needed one--no?

I know there are separate pre-amps that can handle the DAC conversion (and even Bluetooth for the wife who doesn't care much about sound quality and streams music) combined with a dedicated amp--but trying to research them I just get lost down rabbit holes. Is that a good option and even available in my price range?

For your budget, you're asking a lot brand new, Super high wattage and massive control of speakers that aren't exactly easy to drive regardless of what the spec's say. And you want a top-quality DAC on top of that. New its not going to happen something going to have to give.

For your budget look second hand, some high-end monster Yamaha's, NAD pre-power from the early 00's Rotel would probably be a good shout as you have BW's

Actually regardless of what said above an AV amp is actually a good shout as they're designed to handle high volumes ie reference levels for very long periods of time. And you can easily time the sub with the fronts and set the crossovers not to mention all te input you can shake a stick at. Look out for Arcam's Antham's, Yamaha Rotel some pioneers and marazntz ( Antham, pioneer and Marantz are likely to also have EQ's if that matters) plenty on eBay in your price range and you could possibly forgo a dac at that point as well. As long as you have some sort of streamer with a Toslink, like a Chromecast audio for example.

If your not worried about EQ and the lastest and greatest processing DTS and Dolby what not, then look for a Yamaha DSP z9 or z11 ABSOLUTE monsters that still sound fantastic today and will handle anything you throw at them! there's a few on there right now. EDIT Forgot to mention you would be able to by amp your speakers as well with amps like this. Id buy one for a second system in a heartbeat.

In regards to subwoofers with stereo depending on what you have (SVS in your case) you just need to link to pre-out of a given amp and then set the crossovers on the back with the roll-off of the speaker, which is a guessing game with room gain with no measuring equipment but it's normally within around 5Hz or so.

In regards to what you can hear bass wise, its not all about what you can hear its about what you can feel
as well, that's the idea of a subwoofer and once you hear/feel that it's very hard to go back to just 2 speakers.

Keep your mind open what you're looking for at your budget doesn't exist today. Buy high-end from 10 years ago.
 
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rainsoothe

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Apr 30, 2012
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@plastic penguin and @rainsoothe, thanks for the advice so far.

Unfortunately I'm fairly limited in what I can listen to--there is only one listening room within 400 miles, and it's at Best Buy, where all they had was A/V--I was starting to think that's what everything was now. I could make the drive but I'd have to be pretty sure what I wanted to listen to.

I do need something with good DAC's--I have a collection of high quality FLAC files (some 24-bit/192 kHz) not even available on phono or CD now--I suppose I could burn them to CD's but with some loss of fidelity, but that would add the cost of a good CD player.

One thing that confuses me about the suggestions--I don't see a separate output for a subwoofer or a way to set the crossover frequency. I *think* I need a subwoofer to handle the very low organ bass down to 16 Hz from the 32' pipes, the B&W's definitely needed one--no?

I know there are separate pre-amps that can handle the DAC conversion (and even Bluetooth for the wife who doesn't care much about sound quality and streams music) combined with a dedicated amp--but trying to research them I just get lost down rabbit holes. Is that a good option and even available in my price range?
Schiit are an american company that operates exclusively online, you can't find them in dealerships. As far as I know, they offer something like 40 day moneyback guarantee within the US, along with (don't quote me on this) free shipping. So there's absolutely nothing for you to lose, AND you get to hear the stuff in your own home - and your room is just as important as any piece of gear in your system (perhaps even more so). The Ragnarok comes in 2 variants, one is bare, the second one is called "fully loaded", with phonostage and a DAC module (USB only i think). Their phono and DAC sections come from their standalone phono and dac products, and they're above average to say the least. So if your source is a computer or something, the fully loaded version could be all you need. If not, get the bare version and buy a separate streamer/dac.

The Rogue Audio Sphinx v3 is most likely also be available with full refund policy.

As for the subwoofer bit, they both have PREAMP outputs, so that's how you can hook up a sub. Indeed there's no crossover settings on the amp, but I think there's a way to hook up subwoofers at the speakers (there's a specific way to do this) but someone who actually knows how to do this should chip in. This might help with the crossover bit.

Now, the way I would go about it, would be to get a propper source+amp+speakers and add a subwoofer later, only if you feel you're really missing that 15-40hz spectrum. For the record, the very extreme of human hearing only reaches as low as 20hz, so most likely you'll be missing on ground shaking rather than sound :) So I'd shift this budget to better speakers/source, for instance Martin Logan Motion 60i go as low as 40hz, and their bass can quite overpower a smaller room if you ask me.

If you have a laptop as a source, a decent dac is all you need: Topping stuff I mentioned, or anything from Schiit (preferably Bifrost upwards) + many more.

If you don't have a source, look for a Bluesound Node 2i for a cheap streamer with great software, and add a Denafrips Ares 2 DAC at a later date, OR a Cambridge Audio CXN v2 (maybe sh) + Roon (to replace it's mediocre app) - (these last 2 options are what I'd do with my money).

But no matter what you end up getting, the Rogue and the Schiit will do an amazing job, and they're rather best buys imo, if you need some power.
 
Schiit are an american company that operates exclusively online, you can't find them in dealerships. As far as I know, they offer something like 40 day moneyback guarantee within the US, along with (don't quote me on this) free shipping. So there's absolutely nothing for you to lose, AND you get to hear the stuff in your own home - and your room is just as important as any piece of gear in your system (perhaps even more so). The Ragnarok comes in 2 variants, one is bare, the second one is called "fully loaded", with phonostage and a DAC module (USB only i think). Their phono and DAC sections come from their standalone phono and dac products, and they're above average to say the least. So if your source is a computer or something, the fully loaded version could be all you need. If not, get the bare version and buy a separate streamer/dac.

The Rogue Audio Sphinx v3 is most likely also be available with full refund policy.

As for the subwoofer bit, they both have PREAMP outputs, so that's how you can hook up a sub. Indeed there's no crossover settings on the amp, but I think there's a way to hook up subwoofers at the speakers (there's a specific way to do this) but someone who actually knows how to do this should chip in. This might help with the crossover bit.

Now, the way I would go about it, would be to get a propper source+amp+speakers and add a subwoofer later, only if you feel you're really missing that 15-40hz spectrum. For the record, the very extreme of human hearing only reaches as low as 20hz, so most likely you'll be missing on ground shaking rather than sound :) So I'd shift this budget to better speakers/source, for instance Martin Logan Motion 60i go as low as 40hz, and their bass can quite overpower a smaller room if you ask me.

If you have a laptop as a source, a decent dac is all you need: Topping stuff I mentioned, or anything from Schiit (preferably Bifrost upwards) + many more.

If you don't have a source, look for a Bluesound Node 2i for a cheap streamer with great software, and add a Denafrips Ares 2 DAC at a later date, OR a Cambridge Audio CXN v2 (maybe sh) + Roon (to replace it's mediocre app) - (these last 2 options are what I'd do with my money).

But no matter what you end up getting, the Rogue and the Schiit will do an amazing job, and they're rather best buys imo, if you need some power.
I'd second the Rogue Audio route unless OP can stretch to a Parasound Halo Hint 6
 

PlotinusRedux

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@rainsoothe Yeah, the 32' rank starting at C0 (16 Hz) is felt, not heard. I could live without it, it's used pretty rarely, but the 16' ranks are very commonly used and start at C1, so clarity down to 32 Hz is a must.

If you aren't familiar with organ fugues, the bass voice isn't rhythm like modern music--it is a separate voice whose melody is of equal importance to higher 3-4 voices and needs to match them in quality and volume (not louder or softer) and almost always uses the 16' ranks. On recordings there's usually at least one 8' rank (C2, 64 Hz) open so systems that can't go down to 32 Hz hear *something*, but there is a lot missing to the actual melodic sound of different timbres without the 16' ranks (*very* noticeable on the B&W's without the sub--the B&W's sort of played them, but very poorly and at a distinctly different volume, one reason I wanted a crossover, it was clearly straining the speakers' woofers and will be played sustained a lot).

Ideally the input would be from USB thumb drives--my laptop has no digital out and it's DAC's are--well, laptop DAC's. My main computer has it, but is in another room. Bluetooth even with AptX maxes out at 24-bit/48 Hz--which isn't *bad*, but the 24-bit/192 Hz is virtually equivalent to the master recording in the studio.

The bare Ragnarok looks good. The Cambridge lists support for 24/192, but has a lot of streaming stuff I wouldn't use (though if it can stream 24/192 over the network from my computer, that would be handy). Pre-amps are getting more into the territory I'm comfortable with, though--audio formats and DAC's I know something about, it's everything downstream from that (amp & speakers) where I get lost.

Thanks.
 
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rainsoothe

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Apr 30, 2012
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@rainsoothe Yeah, the 32' rank starting at C0 (16 Hz) is felt, not heard. I could live without it, it's used pretty rarely, but the 16' ranks are very commonly used and start at C1, so clarity down to 32 Hz is a must.

If you aren't familiar with organ fugues, the bass voice isn't rhythm like modern music--it is a separate voice whose melody is of equal importance to higher 3-4 voices and needs to match them in quality and volume (not louder or softer) and almost always uses the 16' ranks. On recordings there's usually at least one 8' rank (C2, 64 Hz) open so systems that can't go down to 32 Hz hear *something*, but there is a lot missing to the actual melodic sound of different timbres without the 16' ranks (*very* noticeable on the B&W's without the sub--the B&W's sort of played them, but very poorly and at a distinctly different volume, one reason I wanted a crossover, it was clearly straining the speakers' woofers and will be played sustained a lot).

Ideally the input would be from USB thumb drives--my laptop has no digital out and it's DAC's are--well, laptop DAC's. My main computer has it, but is in another room. Bluetooth even with AptX maxes out at 24-bit/48 Hz--which isn't *bad*, but the 24-bit/192 Hz is virtually equivalent to the master recording in the studio.

The bare Ragnarok looks good. The Cambridge lists support for 24/192, but has a lot of streaming stuff I wouldn't use (though if it can stream 24/192 over the network from my computer, that would be handy). Pre-amps are getting more into the territory I'm comfortable with, though--audio formats and DAC's I know something about, it's everything downstream from that (amp & speakers) where I get lost.

Thanks.
I was about to say that I'm not aware of DACs that can play from thumb drives, but apparently both the CXN and the Bluesound Node 2i have USB A inputs that serve this purpose. And yes, if you can set upnp up on your PC, all the streamers I mentioned can play from any upnp enabled device you have in your home network. Personally, I prefer having a large library and just using the app to access all the stuff instead of having to switch thumb drives or external HDDs. Speaking from experience, having bad/unstable software on your streamer is kind of a pain, so I'd go with the Bluesound (it's DAC is just OK imo, but you can always upgrade later, as it has digital outputs). And if you find one on the sh market or ex-dem, don't be afraid to purchase if the seller is highly rated, since there's no moving stuff that can be damaged with streamers (SH speakers, cd players or turntables are a riskier buy).

As for the organ notes, yes, I don't think you'll find any speakers that go that low, unless probably going into silly money, so a sub is mandatory if that's what you need, and you're making the right choice by looking at specialised subwoofer brands, like SVS (REL is another great option).
 

PlotinusRedux

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@rainsoothe So maybe the bare Ragnarok + Bluesound Node 2i? Or are the CXN's DAC's significantly better?

My only real question is will the 60W Ragnarok be enough to drive the B&W's, considering I have pieces that for some reason were recorded at a low volume to begin with?

The Ragnarok + Bluesound @ $2.1k has already blown the budget my wife thinks is "reasonable", but I can easily afford more and what she doesn't know won't kill her, so if I needed to stretch that a bit more for a more powerful amp I could.

Those Martin Logan 40i's look interesting, though I hated their electrostatics--but maybe they had bad placement/paired with a bad amp, or maybe electrostatics just aren't for me--had never heard one before.
 
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@rainsoothe So maybe the bare Ragnarok + Bluesound Node 2i? Or are the CXN's DAC's significantly better?

My only real question is will the 60W Ragnarok be enough to drive the B&W's, considering I have pieces that for some reason were recorded at a low volume to begin with?

The Ragnarok + Bluesound @ $2.1k has already blown the budget my wife thinks is "reasonable", but I can easily afford more and what she doesn't know won't kill her, so if I needed to stretch that a bit more for a more powerful amp I could.

Those Martin Logan 40i's look interesting, though I hated their electrostatics--but maybe they had bad placement/paired with a bad amp, or maybe electrostatics just aren't for me--had never heard one before.
No, it hasn't! not in the way you're thinking anyhow

The martins are very difficult to drive and you'll enter a whole new world of hurt with those. If your starting to look at this sort of budget then personally you need to start looking at very efficient speakers to take the strain money wise away from power. Your budget seems to creep up and up, very bad.

Some of the amps listed are just not going to deliver the dynamics you're after. Dac's and streamers are much of a muchness but if you start spending over $£800 then you need to start seriously considering a mac mini run headless.

If you like Schitt audio i'd look at there monoblock setup with some efficient speakers, start looking at the Klipsch heritage line or similar.

So, for example, Schitt fraya+ running into a pair of Aegir (mono blocked) running into some heresy 3/4's, forte 4's and if your lucky some ex dem forte3's, mix that with your subwoofer you'll have all the dynamics you need. Its 80watts a channel (mono) each side going into 100db+ speakers that will be more akin to 500watts aside. This is the star of the show in the Schitt line up that will deliver the goods with these speakers.

One of the only amplifiers i know that can deliver 500watts of power today is a musical fidelity m6 and m8. Whats that 4-5k on its own.

It will take the financial strain of the amplification and you will be acoustically amplifying instead it MUCH MUCH cheaper if buying new, but you're blowing the budget right out the water.

I think you need to take step back look at what you really need, we'll spend your money like water here and on most other forums.

Your original budget was $600 possibly $1600

As I mentioned in my post above you're not going to get power like that plus a DAC/streamer for $1600 not even 2k new! Let's take a blue sound from your budget $4-500 so let's see what you can get for $800 and keep the other half happy and leaving you little wiggle room in your budget for delivery costs (or you could get a Schitt Modi and Chromecast audio for $120 arguably better than the blue sound.)

I mentioned NAD and ROTEL lets start there second hand.

NAD, C272 very powerful, 150watts a channel, more importantly, it can drive 2 ohms so all the power you can shake a stick at, being NAD they will deliver what they say, there's one on the eBay for $599 right now so let's find a matching pre, let's use one of there integrated amps to keep the cost low, lets say a nice c320bee $100 or so, Bang on budget with a little left over for a bottle of wine. This system would be nothing to be ashamed of, it's fantastic and there's nothing on the market like this today at the prices you're looking at.

ROTEL really nice match for BW speakers though this will be a touch more pricey as Rotel keep their value better, especially their power amps, speaking of which let's start with that! How about, a lovely Rotel RB-1080 THX spec 2 channel amp, won't get much better than this even today. One on the big E right now for $800 what about a pre, again let's use one of there integrated amps to keep the cost low, Plenty of clean examples of RA 01 -02- 04s about starting from $200. Again nothing like this on the market today and still very relevant even at 20 years young.

These might need service here and there but they will deliver everything you asked in your original post and last a lifetime, they were built to last.

If you take anything from my advice its to step back and don't get swept up.
 
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plastic penguin

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@plastic penguin and @rainsoothe, thanks for the advice so far.

Unfortunately I'm fairly limited in what I can listen to--there is only one listening room within 400 miles, and it's at Best Buy, where all they had was A/V--I was starting to think that's what everything was now. I could make the drive but I'd have to be pretty sure what I wanted to listen to.

I do need something with good DAC's--I have a collection of high quality FLAC files (some 24-bit/192 kHz) not even available on phono or CD now--I suppose I could burn them to CD's but with some loss of fidelity, but that would add the cost of a good CD player.

One thing that confuses me about the suggestions--I don't see a separate output for a subwoofer or a way to set the crossover frequency. I *think* I need a subwoofer to handle the very low organ bass down to 16 Hz from the 32' pipes, the B&W's definitely needed one--no?

I know there are separate pre-amps that can handle the DAC conversion (and even Bluetooth for the wife who doesn't care much about sound quality and streams music) combined with a dedicated amp--but trying to research them I just get lost down rabbit holes. Is that a good option and even available in my price range?
As home demos are generally a no-no due to the pandemic, whatever amp you choose make sure it has a returns. If it isn't to your taste at least it gives you a safety net.
 

rainsoothe

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Some of the amps listed are just not going to deliver the dynamics you're after.

If you take anything from my advice its to step back and don't get swept up.
1. Imo the Rogue Audio at least is a pretty dinamic sounding amplifier.
2. You're right, I don't know why, but I was under the impression that the Sphinx was at the 1300$ mark, which would've left enough of budget for a sh Bluesound. But that was the price for the v1 Sphinx, the new one is at 1600.

@OP sorry for muddying the waters, even though I still stand by my suggestions quality-wise, but with the very important note that you have to see if transportation is free or cheap enough to allow you to return the product, since only you can tell if they work for you or not.
 
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1. Imo the Rogue Audio at least is a pretty dinamic sounding amplifier.
2. You're right, I don't know why, but I was under the impression that the Sphinx was at the 1300$ mark, which would've left enough of budget for a sh Bluesound. But that was the price for the v1 Sphinx, the new one is at 1600.

@OP sorry for muddying the waters, even though I still stand by my suggestions quality-wise, but with the very important note that you have to see if transportation is free or cheap enough to allow you to return the product, since only you can tell if they work for you or not.
I don't think you muddied the waters, what I think its doing is illustrating what really needs to be spent to achieve what the OP is asking and even then it's only scraping the bottom of the barrel and probably won't be much of step up to what they already have. Organ music it's not recorded quietly its because the dynamic range is vast, ie the speaker cant reproduces it, very little can. Its kind of fools errand TBH. There no replacing physics it will always sound small on a Hifi. it's not all about the bass with type of music its illustrating the size of it, its presence. Its an impossible ask.

I didn't really wont to mention it but one device that I know would deliver it is devilate (probably spelt that wrong) phantoms
they easily deliver a 10hz tone at silly volumes. But there way above budget for a pair.
 
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PlotinusRedux

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@millennia_one I'm confused on the pre-amp part of your post--are you saying get an integrated amp and just use the pre-amp output while ignoring the amp part of them? That's cheaper or better than just a pre-amp alone?

On DAC's, I didn't mean a separate DAC board (I didn't even know they existed), just decent ones in the pre-amp.

A mini-mac run headless, though--I use windows, but I probably have the parts lying around to build a dedicated PC--my old processor, RAM, etc., would be fine for that. But were you suggesting connecting the analog output from the mac (or Windows or Linux PC in my case) directly to the amp, or does it need to run through a pre-amp first? If you can run directly from computer RCA outputs straight to the amp without needing a pre-amp, I could even stick a sound card in it at some point with better DAC's than the motherboard.

Unfortunately I know I'm never going to be able to reproduce the experience of a live organ, but even that Denon AV through the SVS and B&W's I heard the 16' ranks clearly for the first time--and even felt the 32' rank, I wasn't sure it was even in the recording, though I *think* I've only got a couple of pieces with that stop open. At least clarity all the way down to the 16' ranks, and volume approaching a live organ, are really my main goals. Murray likes to play with a *lot* of stops open, and everything I've heard it on before it's been something of a muddled mess.

To simplify for me, you listed two amps--which of the two would you recommend most? Money really isn't an issue except for my wife who considers the whole thing "frivolous"--she's happy with her $30 bluetooth speaker--, and as you say no reason to spend more than needed to for me to enjoy it.
 
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@PlotinusRedux

1. For some reseaon pre's are either hard to come by or in the case of NAD they didn't make many of them at that price point making them rare and pricy when they come up, Rotel much the same and used there budget amps with pre out and then fazed out the power amps at the budget level. Simply put yes use the integrated as a preamp, it has the upside that its a nice back up if things need to go for repair.

2. That's fine it was just an example but if you have PC comments tucked away and don't mind the look in your room i'd do that. Will sound the same, blue sound at this price level It just a convenience thing more than anything.

3. To simplify-

If money isn't an issue and I assume you're keeping your speakers.

Musical fidelity is where Id start m6si500 specifically. And then look in and around that price bracket
hegal and so on

second hand

Both NAD and Rotel are fantastic but if i really had to pick one it would be the Rotel RB-1080, they were more expensive designs back in the day and it really shows not just sound but build, which is where the NAD's are let down they spent all the money on the inside.

BUT if you weren't keeping your speakers then that really opens another option, super-efficient speakers
like that made by Klipsch and their heritage line.

Heresy 4's/3's is you find some ex-demo with Schitt audios Freya+ and agire monoblock amps and a little modi dac would be an awesome set up with all the dynamics in the world.

These speakers will run with headphone amps of 2-6watts so 80 watts from the agire will blow the barn doors off. but its up to you.
 

PlotinusRedux

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Feb 15, 2021
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@millennia_one Those Heresy 4's look interesting, and I can surely listen to them--apparently they are manufactured in my state (Arkansas), though on the other side about 300 miles away. It says they're 8 ohm, so buy "efficient" I assume you mean the 99 dB sensitivity?

I was thinking my wife would object to the width going with her décor in the living room, but they look nice enough she said she'd be OK with them.

On the Freya+, I guess I'm getting a bit confused about what all a pre-amp does beyond DAC's, whose function I'm at least familiar with because they're in computer motherboards and sound cards, and computers are more my forte.

What do those tubes add to the sound, and is it a difference you can easily hear? I saw it mentioned mentioned an "active" and "passive" mode for the pre-amp--I presume you run the DAC card in active move? Do they have to be replaced frequently (I noticed the warranty is "5 years, except for the tubes, which are covered for 3 months)? I'm not sure if my wife would find them visually retro-pleasing or an atrocity that doesn't belong in her living room, though I suspect the latter.

I did find a Yahama z9 on EBay with 3 days left on the bid if it would sound better (especially if I stayed with the B&W's). It seems a waste to have that many connections on the back when I would only use 1 input and 3 outputs, but if it would sound better, I'd only have to laugh at all the unused connections once when I set it up.

Sorry for so many questions, just a complete neophyte on all this.
 
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D

Deleted member 116933

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@millennia_one Those Heresy 4's look interesting, and I can surely listen to them--apparently they are manufactured in my state (Arkansas), though on the other side about 300 miles away. It says they're 8 ohm, so buy "efficient" I assume you mean the 99 dB sensitivity?

I was thinking my wife would object to the width going with her décor in the living room, but they look nice enough she said she'd be OK with them.

On the Freya+, I guess I'm getting a bit confused about what all a pre-amp does beyond DAC's, whose function I'm at least familiar with because they're in computer motherboards and sound cards, and computers are more my forte.

What do those tubes add to the sound, and is it a difference you can easily hear? I saw it mentioned mentioned an "active" and "passive" mode for the pre-amp--I presume you run the DAC card in active move? Do they have to be replaced frequently (I noticed the warranty is "5 years, except for the tubes, which are covered for 3 months)? I'm not sure if my wife would find them visually retro-pleasing or an atrocity that doesn't belong in her living room, though I suspect the latter.

I did find a Yahama z9 on EBay with 3 days left on the bid if it would sound better (especially if I stayed with the B&W's). It seems a waste to have that many connections on the back when I would only use 1 input and 3 outputs, but if it would sound better, I'd only have to laugh at all the unused connections once when I set it up.

Sorry for so many questions, just a complete neophyte on all this.

Hahaha, Looks and what the wife passes through the door is a hard hurdle to overcome something that I can't help you with. I generally believe the Freye+ looks good in person though its not a standard size piece, it's quite small, lookup John Darko, he has a review of it on his youtube channel that clearly shows the scale. It's true the tubes will wear out over time but they will add to the sound in a way my vocabulary can't describe. So ill say it's nice but yes you can easily hear it and the Klipsch respond to it.

Yes, the Klipsch are made on your doorstep I have a pair here myself in merry old England. Fit and finish is amazing. And in my opinion, sound fab and there not all that intrusive in the room, I actually find more modern designs to be more intrusive. And yes there sensitivity i what I mean't

Ah the Yamaha Z9! It will sound phenomenal and they hold their value as they're pretty rare, people keep them even and for good reason, though they're somewhat outdated in regards to the processing, they're used as amps only, people buy outboard pre's, The amps inside are that good. They are built like :poop: brick house as there 35kg weight suggest and all that weight comes from the giant transformer in the middle. It has the drive, precision and weight that Yamaha are known for but also the delicacy and intimacy when called for. It was truly a product that could do everything and I pined for one but could never afford as I was in uni at the time.

If they produced something like that today it would cost 10k at least the components are such high quality with a copper sub chassis, the works they went all out.

You will have all the power you need and you can byamp the speakers which will show you what the speakers are really made of

The inputs, well you won't see them once in place, and you won't need a DAC it has a few built right in, sure you might not use any of surround processing and what not but whos cares when it sounds this good. Though it's very big and very heavy so will need a very very stable platform.

Lets put it this way I would happily put it up against any 2-3k stereo amp today and expect it to keep pace with them and beat them out in some cases. They just don't make like this any more.

It completely your choice though.
 
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