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Question B & W Nautilus 805 Speakers with Cambridge Audio CXA 81 Amp?

leepish

Member
Oct 25, 2020
1
0
20
Hi. I am new to this forum. My Musical Fidelity A300 amp finally died after a couple repairs. I bought it in 2000. I have just purchased the Cambridge Audio CXA 81. I have a pair of
B & W Nautilus 805 Speakers from the early 2000s. I am wondering if they will pair well with the Cambridge Audio CXA 81 Amp. Does the amp have enough power for these speakers? I do have a budget of about $1500 to buy new speakers if need be. I haven't set up my new amp, yet.

I would appreciate any help with this.
 

Al ears

Moderator
Hi. I am new to this forum. My Musical Fidelity A300 amp finally died after a couple repairs. I bought it in 2000. I have just purchased the Cambridge Audio CXA 81. I have a pair of
B & W Nautilus 805 Speakers from the early 2000s. I am wondering if they will pair well with the Cambridge Audio CXA 81 Amp. Does the amp have enough power for these speakers? I do have a budget of about $1500 to buy new speakers if need be. I haven't set up my new amp, yet.

I would appreciate any help with this.
Welcome to the forum.
Surely if you already own both of these bits of equipment you can answer your own question.
When it is set up see what you think, in my opinion it should have the power as the 805s seem reasonably efficient, but what the combination is going to sound like in your listening room I have no idea.
If you are used to the 805s it would be a pity to sell them on.
 

plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
988
172
570
Hi. I am new to this forum. My Musical Fidelity A300 amp finally died after a couple repairs. I bought it in 2000. I have just purchased the Cambridge Audio CXA 81. I have a pair of
B & W Nautilus 805 Speakers from the early 2000s. I am wondering if they will pair well with the Cambridge Audio CXA 81 Amp. Does the amp have enough power for these speakers? I do have a budget of about $1500 to buy new speakers if need be. I haven't set up my new amp, yet.

I would appreciate any help with this.
may i ask what was repaired on the a300 amplifier and by who ?
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
430
182
19,070
Hi. I am new to this forum. My Musical Fidelity A300 amp finally died after a couple repairs. I bought it in 2000. I have just purchased the Cambridge Audio CXA 81. I have a pair of
B & W Nautilus 805 Speakers from the early 2000s. I am wondering if they will pair well with the Cambridge Audio CXA 81 Amp. Does the amp have enough power for these speakers? I do have a budget of about $1500 to buy new speakers if need be. I haven't set up my new amp, yet.

I would appreciate any help with this.
As was said above, only you can tell, since you already bought the stuff. Were it my money, I'd have shifted that new speaker money towards better amplification, like a Naim Nait XS3 or used Supernait 2 (+ a Marantz CD5005 cd player if cd playback is really needed) and keep the B&W.
 

TrevC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2013
343
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19,070
my point was they are a different designs (internally) hence they should sound different and, possibly, better ?
Or possibly worse? I would expect two amplifiers with similar specs to sound so similar I wouldn't bother auditioning them. I would also expect either amp to work fine with those speakers.
 
Last edited:

plus 1

Well-known member
Dec 5, 2019
988
172
570
Or possibly worse? I would expect two amplifiers with similar specs to sound so similar I wouldn't bother auditioning them. I would also expect either amp to work fine with those speakers.
any views on the colin wonfor designs ?
(both his amplifiers and cables).
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
649
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18,970
Or possibly worse? I would expect two amplifiers with similar specs to sound so similar I wouldn't bother auditioning them. I would also expect either amp to work fine with those speakers.
I don’t think all amps are made equal, specs on paper may seem similar, but they won’t tell you the quality of the power supply, components etc,

You‘re making quite a blanket statement there.
 

TrevC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2013
343
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19,070
I don’t think all amps are made equal, specs on paper may seem similar, but they won’t tell you the quality of the power supply, components etc,

You‘re making quite a blanket statement there.
If they both meet the specs they will invariably both work just as well as each other. An amplifier that had an inadequate PSU would not meet the output power spec. If you're saying that What Hifi should test them to see if they meet the spec rather than just listen to them I agree. Nobody's ears are good enough to hear the difference between a 20 watt amp and a 200 watt amp if they only listen at 15 watts.
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
649
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18,970
If they both meet the specs they will invariably both work just as well as each other. An amplifier that had an inadequate PSU would not meet the output power spec. If you're saying that What Hifi should test them to see if they meet the spec rather than just listen to them I agree. Nobody's ears are good enough to hear the difference between a 20 watt amp and a 200 watt amp if they only listen at 15 watts.
Even at 15 watts the 200 watt amp may sound better. - because the 20 watt amp way well be clipping at that point, unless its transformer is up to the job, or it’s a true Class A amp. I still think your statement tries to cast the net too wide.
 

TrevC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2013
343
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Even at 15 watts the 200 watt amp may sound better. - because the 20 watt amp way well be clipping at that point, unless its transformer is up to the job, or it’s a true Class A amp. I still think your statement tries to cast the net too wide.
So you could hear the difference providing the 20 watt amp clips while you are listening to it well before it reaches its rated maximum power. Well of course you could. Doh.
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
649
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18,970
So you could hear the difference providing the 20 watt amp clips while you are listening to it well before it reaches its rated maximum power. Well of course you could. Doh.
Now now Trev, don’t be naughty and twist my words. You after all stated that a 20w amp and 200w will sound the same when both are pushed at 15w.

So which is it then?! And also note you totally ignore the elephant in the room - speakers. So, if you can point me to a nice true Class A 20w amp, I’ll get the hell out of here.
 

TrevC

Well-known member
Jun 12, 2013
343
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19,070
A 20 watt amp that is specified correctly won't clip until it gets to more than 20 watts, so there won't be any differences to hear at 15 watts. Nice class A? Solid state? Why bother. If you want to keep warm buy a heater. I did have a Musical Fidelity A1, but that isn't true class A above 8 watts and was annoying with its crackly volume control.
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
649
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18,970
Ok, but are you going to use the same speakers for both the 20w and 200 w amp? And for a 20w amp not to be clipping at full power it will have to be extremely well specified to the point where it won’t be cheap.

I seriously doubt that my mother’s little Denon Ceol 10 will drive B&W 607 too well, even though I’m tempted and it has digital amplification. I seriously doubt there are any 20w amps around that will drive the 607s satisfactorily.

The cheapest Marantz integrated amp i.e. the 6007 is an honest 45w amp.
 

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