search for a stereo amplifier for B&W 606

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Kloëtjüpke

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Mar 13, 2024
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Well, then I think I've figured it out. I think it's time for the next step, namely making a listening appointment at a dealer. Now look for one that at least has the Arcam a5 in store and preferably also some other brands that I had on my list so that I also have some material for comparison.
May I thank you all for your input, and as soon as I have made my final choice I will let you know here.
 

Kloëtjüpke

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Mar 13, 2024
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Just an update:
The decision has been made, I have made a choice.
After much deliberation, I finally chose Rotel. And not for my original preferred model, the A12 MKII, but it became the Rotel A14 MKII. This one actually didn't appear in my lists due to budget concerns. But thanks to a great offer, this model suddenly came into the picture and the price was so good that I simply couldn't ignore the offer. (the price was even lower than the A12 MKII).
I now have it at home and have already connected it, albeit in a provisional setup. I still need to connect some better cables here and there. But even though it still needs some training time, I am already very satisfied with the result. Together with my B&W 606(1) it produces a particularly warm and clear sound.
In short, I am extremely satisfied. And I would like to thank everyone who has provided me with advice here. I'm glad I didn't make any hasty decisions and gave myself the time to carefully investigate what the best choice would be for me. It's great that these types of forums exist and that there are always people willing to share their knowledge and expertise.
Thanks again and I will continue to follow this forum with great interest.
 

Rodolfo

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Excellent strategy, deliberation, negotiating, and choice. The original A12 is super-well connected and plays so very nice with my Sony CD player, Technics turntable, etc., and has made my Martin-Logan and Wharfedale mighty-mites sing gloriously for years now. Appreciate your excellent system, and you can now focus on and enjoy your music for many years!
 
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Integralista

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Feb 9, 2024
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thanks for your comment. I have also looked at the CA CXA81, but unfortunately it does not have a phono input. And then I would also have to buy a separate phono amplifier. And that wasn't really the intention, I don't like too much cable spaghetti. Besides the fact of the phono input, I have also read in various reviews that Cambridge Audio actually does not combine very well with B&W (sound-wise). However, I don't know if this is correct because I haven't listened to it myself yet.
Hi, which turntable/cartridge combination you are using? Integrated phono preamps in amp for 1000 eur is very often big compromise. Amp like Cambridge CXA 81 is so good, it deservs solid external phono preamp, cca for 300-400 eur. But depending on sound quality of your TT and your cartridge. Rega Elex-R or new Elex mk4 has such good preamp for MM integrated. Arcam Radia the same but phono in Rega is a lot better. And do not look on few cables if the sound is not good at the end. Sound quality is most important.
 

speedthing

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Apr 2, 2024
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Ive had Arcams for over 30 years and used to run them with B&W 601's that combo was quite warm my current set up is Arcam A15 with MA bronze 6's which I really like but was thinking of changing them out for some B&W CM9's
 
Ive had Arcams for over 30 years and used to run them with B&W 601's that combo was quite warm my current set up is Arcam A15 with MA bronze 6's which I really like but was thinking of changing them out for some B&W CM9's
Not heard the CM9 but have CM1s, from memory they produced punchy bass, although I wouldn't class them as great all-rounders.
 
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manicm

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Yup, think his MA Bronze are a better all-rounder.
I'm not so sure about that. The older Bronze speakers needed quite a bit of volume to sound musical, at lower volumes they were dry and sterile. I had a pair and sold them after a few weeks.

The CM1's were smooth but still clear. They were a step up in refinement over the then 600 series. And not too dissimilar to the then Monitor Audio RX (Silver) range.
 
I'm not so sure about that. The older Bronze speakers needed quite a bit of volume to sound musical, at lower volumes they were dry and sterile. I had a pair and sold them after a few weeks.

The CM1's were smooth but still clear. They were a step up in refinement over the then 600 series. And not too dissimilar to the then Monitor Audio RX (Silver) range.
The older Bronze sounded the best with a Roksan Kandy L3 or something similar. That hard domed tweeter needed an amp that would control the level of HF. It was the same with my RS6s, but I agree all MAs need an amp with a bit of heft.
 

speedthing

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Apr 2, 2024
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And is that a sound you need or do you prefer a prefer a presentation with a little more open?
Well i kind of do like that EQ for the stuff i listen to but i think im leaning to wanting more open detail these days. The thing is also im starting to see or hear the limitations of my room its 6 foot 8 by 11 foot 5 ive got MA Bronze 6 which i think i are just way to big for the room im not able to get them the min of 1.5 meters apart and i can in no way get them 3 feet away from the back wall. And you are right you do have to drive them quite a bit which means when start getting up to 50% volume it start to get quite boomy ;-( .
 
Well i kind of do like that EQ for the stuff i listen to but i think im leaning to wanting more open detail these days. The thing is also im starting to see or hear the limitations of my room its 6 foot 8 by 11 foot 5 ive got MA Bronze 6 which i think i are just way to big for the room im not able to get them the min of 1.5 meters apart and i can in no way get them 3 feet away from the back wall. And you are right you do have to drive them quite a bit which means when start getting up to 50% volume it start to get quite boomy ;-( .
I'm scratching my head as to why you are looking at floorstanders if it becomes boomy? The Bronze 6 and the CM9 aren't exactly compact floorstanders.

If it was my money, I would be looking at quality standmounts, and ones easy in terms of placement. Of course you'll sacrifice a little bass extension but you should limit or reduce any booming.

If you are determined to stay with floorstanders Dali Oberon 5 are compact enough and should sound the biz with Arcam.

For standmounts, some of my current favs are Amphion Argon 1 - they are more expensive but great VFM.

Not as warm or smooth as the Bronze but far more dynamic, easy to drive.

For something more affordable Focal Aria range. Always been a good match with Arcam and no reason why these newer ranges should be any different.
 
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speedthing

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Cheers plastic penguin for the advice im not really looking for floor standers i got a good deal on the MA's a few years ago and swapped out my B&W 601's. I kind of wished that id of kept them they where warm but they where never boomy so i am very open to a set of stand mounts luckily i kept the stands. Im just thinking that floorstanders are no good in the space that i have but when i bought the MA's i didnt really think about what effects they would have in the space i have now i have a new A15 Amp and the new CD5 to go with its becoming more apparent that the speakers are the thing in my system that need a rethink.
 
Cheers plastic penguin for the advice im not really looking for floor standers i got a good deal on the MA's a few years ago and swapped out my B&W 601's. I kind of wished that id of kept them they where warm but they where never boomy so i am very open to a set of stand mounts luckily i kept the stands. Im just thinking that floorstanders are no good in the space that i have but when i bought the MA's i didnt really think about what effects they would have in the space i have now i have a new A15 Amp and the new CD5 to go with its becoming more apparent that the speakers are the thing in my system that need a rethink.
Think it's more the size of floorstander that's the issue and not the floorstander itself. One of my favourite compact floorstander that I've demoed is the Neat SX2. Very expensive new but auction prices for used pair is much cheaper.

This pair is from a dealer who offer a 30 day returns.

 

speedthing

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Thanks I will definitely give those a look ;-) I bought my new CD player from my local Audio T first time ive bought anything from them. So I feel brave enough to go back in and maybe demo a few speakers ill have to make a short list think I could run to around £1200 but thats going to have to be a bit later in the year.
 
Think it's more the size of floorstander that's the issue and not the floorstander itself. One of my favourite compact floorstander that I've demoed is the Neat SX2. Very expensive new but auction prices for used pair is much cheaper.

This pair is from a dealer who offer a 30 day returns.

Excellent little speakers...
 
Thanks I will definitely give those a look ;-) I bought my new CD player from my local Audio T first time ive bought anything from them. So I feel brave enough to go back in and maybe demo a few speakers ill have to make a short list think I could run to around £1200 but thats going to have to be a bit later in the year.
Here's the pair I demoed alongside the Neat Iota Alphas. The tiny Iotas were great fun to listen to but limited, clearly, in depth of soundscape. But for a small box room the Iotas are excellent.
 

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