B&W or Monitor Audio

Stone6000

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Hi all

I have a pair of B&W S603 S2 speakers around 20 years old. I'm thinking about switching them for a pair of Monitor Audio Silver SR6 from 2005.
I haven't heard the SR 6 but just read a lot of good things about them. So before I go any further in the process of purchase, I would like to hear from you if this is an insane idea or...
My amp is a Cambridge Audio Azur 851A (2x120W) and an old but decent CD-player NAD C521.
The reason for wanting to change my speakers is that I think they sound challenged when playing loud.
 
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Fandango Andy

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Hi all

I have a pair of B&W S603 S3 speakers from 1999. I'm thinking about switching them for a pair of Monitor Audio Silver SR6 from 2005.
I haven't heard the SR 6 but just read a lot of good things about them. So before I go any further in the process of purchase, I would like to hear from you if this is an insane idea or...
My amp is a Cambridge Audio Azur 851A (2x120W) and an old but decent CD-player NAD C521.
The reason for wanting to change my speakers is that I think they sound challenged when playing loud.

They are certainly decent speakers by reputation. You can put together components that will work together in theory. In practice the biggest variables are your room, and your personal preference. I would normally say audition them, in this instance as they are second-hand it sounds like that won't be an option. However, the beauty of good equipment, you can always sell it on. To avoid losing money, just make sure they are in good condition, and you don't overpay for them.
 
Hi all

I have a pair of B&W S603 S3 speakers from 1999. I'm thinking about switching them for a pair of Monitor Audio Silver SR6 from 2005.
I haven't heard the SR 6 but just read a lot of good things about them. So before I go any further in the process of purchase, I would like to hear from you if this is an insane idea or...
My amp is a Cambridge Audio Azur 851A (2x120W) and an old but decent CD-player NAD C521.
The reason for wanting to change my speakers is that I think they sound challenged when playing loud.
Having heard a previous incarnation of the Cambridge, the 840 with RS6s it sounded too mechanical. I've owned Monitor Audio RS6s since 2005, and can heartily recommend them with a number of amps. Alas the Cambridge is probably best avoided. Not a great combo.
 

Stone6000

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Having heard a previous incarnation of the Cambridge, the 840 with RS6s it sounded too mechanical. I've owned Monitor Audio RS6s since 2005, and can heartily recommend them with a number of amps. Alas the Cambridge is probably best avoided. Not a great combo.
I can buy the RS6 for around 185 punds in good condition. Any amp suggestion?

But if I keep my B&W, which amp would be a good match? Used or new. Pricerange around 500 pounds.
 

Horowitz

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I can buy the RS6 for around 185 punds in good condition. Any amp suggestion?
Sounds like a bargain price - they are excellent and highly regarded not just by me... (https://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/306monitor/index.html).
I have always had great results pairing my MA Silver RS6s with Arcam amps (doesn't really matter which one - I've had 4 and all play nicely). My friendly local dealer let me audition his recommended combination initially, and I've never seen/heard any reason to doubt his sound advice as I've gone down the amp upgrade channel. The traditional Arcam 'sound' is a shade mellower than Cambridge amps, and the RS6s are quite bright, lively speakers: bright + bright = listening fatigue (for most ears)!!
Only my experience in my listening environment, of course. It goes without saying that if you CAN audition the pairing, do so!
 
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I can buy the RS6 for around 185 punds in good condition. Any amp suggestion?

But if I keep my B&W, which amp would be a good match? Used or new. Pricerange around 500 pounds.
That’s about half the typical eBay price. Are you sure there’s not a catch?

If it is a boxed, local collection, and you can see and test first, you probably can’t go wrong. Bear in mind PP’s proviso about the pairing though.
 
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I can buy the RS6 for around 185 punds in good condition. Any amp suggestion?

But if I keep my B&W, which amp would be a good match? Used or new. Pricerange around 500 pounds.
Leema Pulse, Arcam, Creek Evo 1 or 2, Roksan Kandy (any iterations), midrange models from Marantz. The RS6s like a clean current. The RS6s have a nasty dip in ohms to around 2.5 dbs. Unless the amp has plenty of current it will distort.

If you want to keep the B&Ws Rotel is a cracking match. They share the same building and voice each other components to match.

Avoid like the plague brands such as older Cyrus, Naim, Cambridge or any brands that has brightness.
 
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Stone6000

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I thought the Cambridge 851A was a really good amp? Dual mono, 2x120W, XLR. It was the top of the line at the time and reviews were good. I'm aware of the standard low-end Cambridge models, but this was supposed to be aimed a whole lot higher at +1200 pounds new. Does anyone know this particular amp? I think it's very nice acutally. I would never buy a "standard" Cambridge product, but this one I think is good.
If I want to improve my current equipment, either I need a new amp or new loudspeakers. Or both. Arcam looks really nice as well. (Always wanted the CD5 player). I can get an Arcam FMJ-P35-3 3-ch. power amp for around 350 pounds used. I have an old NAD C320 integrated amp with pre outs, that I could use as a pre amp for the Arcam. Would that be an idea?

BTW I think NAD amps sound too bright for my B&W. Otherwise there are plenty of used NAD amps around.
 

Stone6000

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Any comments about the Arcam FMJ P35 + NAD as preamp combo?

Oh I just got an offer on a Arcam FMJ A39 integrated for 490 pund used and a A32 for 575 pund used. The latter got better reviews it seems.
 
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Any comments about the Arcam FMJ P35 + NAD as preamp combo?

Oh I just got an offer on a Arcam FMJ A39 integrated for 490 pund used and a A32 for 575 pund used. The latter got better reviews it seems.
The A39 is a really good sounding amp. However, despite its Class G amplification it still can suffer a little lumpiness in the bass, something both the B&W and RS6s can suffer.

I'm a big Arcam fan, owned their amps for 7 years but their bass can be a little muddled or ill-defined, hence why I changed to Leema. But no amp is perfect.

The A39 ticks most of the sonic boxes.
 
Any comments about the Arcam FMJ P35 + NAD as preamp combo?

Oh I just got an offer on a Arcam FMJ A39 integrated for 490 pund used and a A32 for 575 pund used. The latter got better reviews it seems.
Personally I would plump for the A39, although that does seem a cheap.

Only heard the A32 once years ago at a dealers - the speakers were Totem Arros, a little different to RS6s.
 

gasolin

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The mentioned ma speakers can have extreme peaks in the highs



306MA6fig3[1].jpg

122monitoraudio.MS500fig3[1].jpg
 
The mentioned ma speakers can have extreme peaks in the highs



View attachment 6121

View attachment 6122
I don't take any notice of these graphs, in real world listening, the graphs don't chime. I've owned these little suckers longer than anyone on this forum and demoed many different amps since 2005.

If paired wrong the high frequencies can sound metallcy but with the right amp they sing like little else at the price.

Room acoustics are more important than graphs.
 
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Rui

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i think monitor audio as better speakers but then it´s the way we hear it ,not common to all, allthough i´ve listened to very good B&W in the 80´s ,some huge blue speakers round ones but with big capacity with the teewter pigeont drop on top style with two big woofers ,maybe 30cms of diameter and in the lower part the brand is written not only B&W ,don´t know the model, it´s a german friend of mine that when retired came to live in the region i grew up and we met on the west coast beaches when teenagers(lot´s of perfectelly shaped women or young women and no swiming suits or nothing at all and in a ratio of 10 to one boy) ,in south interior of Portugal , sunny all year around ,the main reason some of my foreign friends came to live near me

sorry for drifting away but when thinking of this friend ,one memory led to another
 
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Rui

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in the graphics showed about monitor audio speakers the high peaked because of some part in a song ,what is seen most is mid frequencies and mid lows as mid highs not just highs, sorry but my technical english is very bad, this is the better i can explain it ,but i think it can be understood
 

twinkletoes

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603 s2 sound challenged when playing loud? thats not my experience at all with them.

BUT they do require really good amplification to control them , NADc370 for example from the same time frame would have been the been the bare minimum.

Marantz PM7200 was a good match and as were most Yamaha amps back then I havent tried any modern gear with them so can comment.

IMO, MA will be a side step or possibly a down grade from that time. I dont remember the reviews being good.

MIssion from the time were amazing, 783's were amazing and still are amazing just make sure the ones you look at have the driver recall done and replaced. These would be very much a step up from you have.

if you cant stretch to them, mission 703's big and bold and play loud with ease. or the newer m74 and m74i
mission and B&W in the budget -midrange had it all tied up at that time, nothing really challenged them for price to performance.
 
Would you pair the RS6 with the Arcam A32 integrated? Or the P35 power amp with a NAD C320 to preamp it?
Why are you looking at the A32 when you can have a newer A39? Both received 4 stars but that's irrelevant as going purely on stars received you can come unstuck. If you are judging an amp by reviews alone then my MK1 Leema Pulse is the better bet, that received the full 5 stars.
 

Stone6000

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I read that the A39 was not quite as superb. The test was on WhatHiFi "Arcam’s A39 is a powerful, authoritative stereo amplifier, but it needs to pay a little more attention to timing and subtle detail to be the full package"
 

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