New Bowers and Wilkins 606 S2...which amp?

Carter P

Member
Jul 14, 2022
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Hello

I have a new pair of B&W 606 S2s arriving today. Modest...but just what I need and, more importantly, what the current budget determines!

I'm thinking the Cambridge CXA61. Any thoughts?

Room size: 5m x 3.5m approx. Living room, wooden floors. It's going to be Electronica and Jazz mostly but will be interested to hear how Spirit of Eden, Solid Air and Five Leaves Left pan out.

Hope that provides an idea.

Any suggestions welcome.

Thanks
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
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Hi. Best way to know is to audition for yourself, because you might (and probably will) like stuff that I don't, and viceversa.

For my ears, I wouldn't pair CA with B&W, but would look at an Arcam SA10 or if you don't mind buying used, Arcam 39 or Creek Destiny, Roksan Caspian M2 (or Kandy K2 if the Caspian is too expensive).

If it were me, I'd buy SH - Arcam A39 my top pick, or the Roksan Caspian M2.
 
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Carter P

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Jul 14, 2022
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Hello again

Thank you daytona600 and rainsoothe.

I'll have a look at your recommendations and see how I get on.

I appreciate the quick responses.

Cheers
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Welcome to the forum.

Assuming you’re buying at Richer Sounds, make sure you can return it if you’re unconvinced. They have lots of alternative. Rotel was always a favoured match because B&W were/are Rotel importers.
 

Carter P

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Jul 14, 2022
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Thanks nopiano, plastic penguin.

It looks as if Rotel seems to be the way to go based on the feedback to my question.

Really appreciate all the sound advice, no pun intended- new to the forum, bet that one has never been used before.

The speakers have arrived by the way, very nice they are too. They sailed through the aesthetics test with my wife so that's most of my concerns sorted!

Thanks again
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Thanks nopiano, plastic penguin.

It looks as if Rotel seems to be the way to go based on the feedback to my question.

Really appreciate all the sound advice, no pun intended- new to the forum, bet that one has never been used before.

The speakers have arrived by the way, very nice they are too. They sailed through the aesthetics test with my wife so that's most of my concerns sorted!

Thanks again
Yes, @nopiano Is right about Rotel. I've been preaching this for years. Rotel and B&W share the same building on the S. coast, B&W are or were the Rotel's UK distributor. And they both voice their products to work well with each other. In hi-fi synergy is everything.
 
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manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
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Hi. Best way to know is to audition for yourself, because you might (and probably will) like stuff that I don't, and viceversa.

For my ears, I wouldn't pair CA with B&W, but would look at an Arcam SA10 or if you don't mind buying used, Arcam 39 or Creek Destiny, Roksan Caspian M2 (or Kandy K2 if the Caspian is too expensive).

If it were me, I'd buy SH - Arcam A39 my top pick, or the Roksan Caspian M2.
I think the B&W 606S2 would make a great pairing with the Arcam SA10.
 
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SteveH72

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Feb 25, 2020
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I’ve had the 606 S2s for a while and heard them with a range of amps. I can share my opinions but they’re nothing more than opinions; your experience could differ greatly.
They sounded very good with an Arcam SA10 but I found it just didn’t gel together. The Cambridge CXA 60 sounded dynamic and exciting, but for about half an hour, after that listener fatigue set in. Cyrus was detailed and nimble but, again, could be fatiguing. I‘ve heard a Rotel Tribute and was very underwhelmed. It sounded fine but was just a bit lifeless and bit uninspiring. There are many amps I haven’t heard but, to my ears, the pick of the bunch was Rega, both the Brio and Elex-R were terrific, with slightly different presentations. They just sounded so musical together.
Couple of caveats: this was all in my room, with my ears and my music. Yours will be very different. Secondly, as good as they are, I found the S2s to be slightly V-shaped with a slightly recessed midrange compared to bass and treble.
Nothing beats an audition, preferably at home. Good luck.
 
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SteveH72

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Feb 25, 2020
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This thread might interest you
 
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Carter P

Member
Jul 14, 2022
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I’ve had the 606 S2s for a while and heard them with a range of amps. I can share my opinions but they’re nothing more than opinions; your experience could differ greatly.
They sounded very good with an Arcam SA10 but I found it just didn’t gel together. The Cambridge CXA 60 sounded dynamic and exciting, but for about half an hour, after that listener fatigue set in. Cyrus was detailed and nimble but, again, could be fatiguing. I‘ve heard a Rotel Tribute and was very underwhelmed. It sounded fine but was just a bit lifeless and bit uninspiring. There are many amps I haven’t heard but, to my ears, the pick of the bunch was Rega, both the Brio and Elex-R were terrific, with slightly different presentations. They just sounded so musical together.
Couple of caveats: this was all in my room, with my ears and my music. Yours will be very different. Secondly, as good as they are, I found the S2s to be slightly V-shaped with a slightly recessed midrange compared to bass and treble.
Nothing beats an audition, preferably at home. Good luck.
Thanks for this Steve. It's all very subjective, I agree. I've been looking at all the amps you mentioned and I'll make a decision...some day. Really appreciate the contribution.
I guess if I don't get on with the new set up I can stuff the foam bungs in my ears!
 
Thanks for this Steve. It's all very subjective, I agree. I've been looking at all the amps you mentioned and I'll make a decision...some day. Really appreciate the contribution.
I guess if I don't get on with the new set up I can stuff the foam bungs in my ears!
Suggest you find a B&W dealer that stocks plenty of amps in that case, it would be a shame to have to utilise bungs in that way..... :)
 
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plastic penguin

Well-known member
I’ve had the 606 S2s for a while and heard them with a range of amps. I can share my opinions but they’re nothing more than opinions; your experience could differ greatly.
They sounded very good with an Arcam SA10 but I found it just didn’t gel together. The Cambridge CXA 60 sounded dynamic and exciting, but for about half an hour, after that listener fatigue set in. Cyrus was detailed and nimble but, again, could be fatiguing. I‘ve heard a Rotel Tribute and was very underwhelmed. It sounded fine but was just a bit lifeless and bit uninspiring. There are many amps I haven’t heard but, to my ears, the pick of the bunch was Rega, both the Brio and Elex-R were terrific, with slightly different presentations. They just sounded so musical together.
Couple of caveats: this was all in my room, with my ears and my music. Yours will be very different. Secondly, as good as they are, I found the S2s to be slightly V-shaped with a slightly recessed midrange compared to bass and treble.
Nothing beats an audition, preferably at home. Good luck.
Think given the has hard flooring, the Rotel could be ideal.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Nice one. That's reassuring. I'm considering the A14 M2. Seems to fit the bill.
Sounds good. Always worthwhile comparing different brands. I would suggest you demo as many amps as it's humanly possible.

You'd be surprised the amount of people who've chosen affordable B&Ws and found them too lively, regardless of amplification. The Bowers and Wilkins can sound great as a "instant impact" speaker, but over longer listening sessions can sound too in your face. This is why I asked why did you choose that brand.
 
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Carter P

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Jul 14, 2022
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Just out of interest, what made you choose B&W?
Sounds good. Always worthwhile comparing different brands. I would suggest you demo as many amps as it's humanly possible.

You'd be surprised the amount of people who've chosen affordable B&Ws and found them too lively, regardless of amplification. The Bowers and Wilkins can sound great as a "instant impact" speaker, but over longer listening sessions can sound too in your face. This is why I asked why did you choose that brand.
Hello. I'll certainly give it a go, amp selection. I have ancient Kef and Wharfedales. The B&W are new territory and I've had a listen to a few pairs and they seemed pretty agreeable - taking your 'instant impact' into consideration, hopefully we'll get on (me and the speakers that is :) ). I'll give them a whirl, see how it goes, if not they'll be a secondary pair for another room. Though I hope not.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Hello. I'll certainly give it a go, amp selection. I have ancient Kef and Wharfedales. The B&W are new territory and I've had a listen to a few pairs and they seemed pretty agreeable - taking your 'instant impact' into consideration, hopefully we'll get on (me and the speakers that is :) ). I'll give them a whirl, see how it goes, if not they'll be a secondary pair for another room. Though I hope not.
That's good. Problem with hi-fi is it isn't an exact science. There's no magic wand and reviews can be misleading.

I was on the hunt for speakers earlier this year and one of my favourite speakers only got a 4 star rating. No secret ingredient, just the right system in the right environment.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Hello. I'll certainly give it a go, amp selection. I have ancient Kef and Wharfedales. The B&W are new territory and I've had a listen to a few pairs and they seemed pretty agreeable - taking your 'instant impact' into consideration, hopefully we'll get on (me and the speakers that is :) ). I'll give them a whirl, see how it goes, if not they'll be a secondary pair for another room. Though I hope not.
What ancient pair of Wharfedales do you have?

I've owned the brand from the late 1970s (Linton XP2) and from the early 80s (E20 and still have in the attic)
 

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