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Listening Room Ideas - Feeding B&W DM603 S3s

izools

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2013
12
1
18,525
Heads up, this is a rambly post. Feel free to move along if that's not your thing :) If you don't mind a bit of a story however, settle in with a cuppa to hand.

So the OH and I are buying our first home together in the not too distant future and we're happy to be able to afford ourselves a dedicated listening room.

I've been throwing lots of ideas in to the hat and discussing many options with HWMBO.

Personally, my first experience of HiFi was in the late 80's; a friend of the family had Linn Isobarik's fed with the typical Naim Monoblock amps. I was only a toddler at the time so I'm unable to articulate what it sounded like. I just remember it looked really cool. He was quite the aficionado, he had Coles LS3/5As in his lounge to augment his TV, too.

I picked up my first copy of What HiFi in a waiting room when I was about 15 years old and was captivated by a review of some B&W DM6xx S3 speakers. I've always lusted after them from that day and it started on my foray into high quality audio.

Fast Forward 18 years and despite everything that's happened in the world this year things are looking very bright. I'm enamoured to find myself with someone equally enthusiastic about good quality audio as myself.

I only have a modest setup in our modest home just now, Yamaha RX-V379, Tannoy Mercury F3/F1/FC speakers and a Tannoy TS-10 Subwoofer. TV is a 10 year old LG 50" 1080P Plasma. I did have a better setup featuring B&W CM series speakers, a REL sub and an ARCAM amp but finances drove me to revert back to my old speakers some years ago which I'd kept in storage.

My current setup is the first setup HWMBO has heard that hasn't come out of an Argos catalogue. He's caught the bug now too.

In our new place the upgrade for our lounge will be obvious. Sony STRDN1080, Q Acoustics 3050i 5.1, and a Philips 55OLED754 TV.

The listening room I'd like to take more care over.

I initially considered picking up some Linn Isobariks and replicating that first setup I saw before I could even walk. I considered it for a long while but ultimately decided against it.

I'm quite set on kitting the listening room out with second hand gear. It's going to be a two channel analogue affair.

I've read a variety of reviews on B&W speakers spanning the last 20 years.

I read reviews of the CM8s wherin reviewers felt the driers weren't very well integrated.
I read reviews of the 683 S1s wherin the reviewers felt the sound was a little reserved, a little reigned in.

I revisited reviews of the B&W DM603 S3, and I felt that rush of nostalgia as the words that captivated my impressionable teenage mind years ago came rushing back and the more I read, from more sources, the more it was absolutely apparent that unanimously, these speakers left their respective reviewers flabbergasted at the performance they were offering for the price point, or even within double the money.

So. I've found a pair in damn near showroom condition which I'm collecting on Saturday. It's so common to find the drivers pressed in especially the tweeters but these show no signs of misuse.

What do I drive them with?

NAD? I'd like all my sources to be NAD for one, somewhat irrational reason.

Those are my initials. Yep, I know, makes no difference to the way things sound, but I'm pretty well set.

What Stereo Integrated amp would you pair these speakers with?

C320BEE? C356BEE? C370? C352? Am I mad for considering a NAD amp? Do I need to revise my approach and pull myself back in to the year 2020?

Other sources seem quite obvious, Rega Planar 1 Turntable, NAD C521BEE CD Player, and NAD 4225 tuner (simply because there's tons on eBay and I like the red LED frequency display)... But I'm open to suggestions and conjecture.
 
Last edited:

amormusic

Well-known member
Feb 24, 2016
114
31
4,620
Heads up, this is a rambly post. Feel free to move along if that's not your thing :) If you don't mind a bit of a story however, settle in with a cuppa to hand.

So the OH and I are buying our first home together in the not too distant future and we're happy to be able to afford ourselves a dedicated listening room.

I've been throwing lots of ideas in to the hat and discussing many options with HWMBO.

Personally, my first experience of HiFi was in the late 80's; a friend of the family had Linn Isobarik's fed with the typical Naim Monoblock amps. I was only a toddler at the time so I'm unable to articulate what it sounded like. I just remember it looked really cool. He was quite the aficionado, he had Coles LS3/5As in his lounge to augment his TV, too.

I picked up my first copy of What HiFi in a waiting room when I was about 15 years old and was captivated by a review of some B&W DM6xx S3 speakers. I've always lusted after them from that day and it started on my foray into high quality audio.

Fast Forward 18 years and despite everything that's happened in the world this year things are looking very bright. I'm enamoured to find myself with someone equally enthusiastic about good quality audio as myself.

I only have a modest setup in our modest home just now, Yamaha RX-V379, Tannoy Mercury F3/F1/FC speakers and a Tannoy TS-10 Subwoofer. TV is a 10 year old LG 50" 1080P Plasma. I did have a better setup featuring B&W CM series speakers, a REL sub and an ARCAM amp but finances drove me to revert back to my old speakers some years ago which I'd kept in storage.

My current setup is the first setup HWMBO has heard that hasn't come out of an Argos catalogue. He's caught the bug now too.

In our new place the upgrade for our lounge will be obvious. Sony STRDN1080, Q Acoustics 3050i 5.1, and a Philips 55OLED754 TV.

The listening room I'd like to take more care over.

I initially considered picking up some Linn Isobariks and replicating that first setup I saw before I could even walk. I considered it for a long while but ultimately decided against it.

I'm quite set on kitting the listening room out with second hand gear. It's going to be a two channel analogue affair.

I've read a variety of reviews on B&W speakers spanning the last 20 years.

I read reviews of the CM8s wherin reviewers felt the driers weren't very well integrated.
I read reviews of the 683 S1s wherin the reviewers felt the sound was a little reserved, a little reigned in.

I revisited reviews of the B&W DM603 S3, and I felt that rush of nostalgia as the words that captivated my impressionable teenage mind years ago came rushing back and the more I read, from more sources, the more it was absolutely apparent that unanimously, these speakers left their respective reviewers flabbergasted at the performance they were offering for the price point, or even within double the money.

So. I've found a pair in damn near showroom condition which I'm collecting on Saturday. It's so common to find the drivers pressed in especially the tweeters but these show no signs of misuse.

What do I drive them with?

NAD? I'd like all my sources to be NAD for one, somewhat irrational reason.

Those are my initials. Yep, I know, makes no difference to the way things sound, but I'm pretty well set.

What Stereo Integrated amp would you pair these speakers with?

C320BEE? C356BEE? C370? C352? Am I mad for considering a NAD amp? Do I need to revise my approach and pull myself back in to the year 2020?

Other sources seem quite obvious, Rega Planar 1 Turntable, NAD C521BEE CD Player, and NAD 4225 tuner (simply because there's tons on eBay and I like the red LED frequency display)... But I'm open to suggestions and conjecture.
Budget would help. Also confining yourself to NAD as it matches your initials sounds bonkers to me, but each to their own I guess.

I've had plenty of B&W's previously, although not heard that model. Also plenty of Arcam amps (and maaaany others too), but this is always a nice pairing. The two have a great synergy together imo.
 

millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
336
127
11,070
Budget will be question but considering the NAD’s in question come up at around the 150 - 270 range ,expensive in my opinion, how ever they are very good but the v370 has it problems. But will really drive the speakers with plenty of gusto. Owned both with mission m74 and 703s at the time. Man many A good time with this set up along with a c540 which I still have have!

I think if it where me I’d be looking for a rotel from the same era. The red Ring volume dial ones. Really “musical” Still impressive when I dig mine out of the atttic. You can pick them up for 60-200 for the more powerful versions

Add a good copy of the CD player I mentioned above and that will really sing.

You could also try some find some arcam alpha series goodness as well.

The problem these poor old units are starting to need some work, so are starting to become troublesome to find a unit in good condition. But is certainly possible.
 

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