Question Trying to find an integrated amp for B&W603

IntermediateWater

Well-known member
Sep 11, 2020
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Hi there,

I'm currently new to this hi-fi world, so my knowledge might not be the greatest,

But I recently stumbled upon a deal that was almost $1000AUD off retail for a pair of B&W603 (2019 I think) I believe since the new anniversary version was coming out, this was on clearance.

So I jumped on that, and it arrived today. I currently have it hooked up to an old Onkyo Integra TX-DS989v2 7.1chreciever.

The room is quite a large room, as well as a decently high roof, so obviously that is also a big factor as well as speakers are routed through the ceiling all the way to the back of the speakers, so a LOT of cable length.

Anyways, with the current receiver I'm currently underwhelmed with the sound and am wondering if it's too under powered. The speakers sound great, great vocal clarity, enormous sound stage, overall impressed. Although the Bass is extremely lean and underwhelming. I know it's not going to be house shaking, but from the research i've done and the impressions, it seems like the Bass is great and good extension. Closer up I do hear it, but all the way back at the seating, it's almost non existent. I've tried various positions in the room, close/far to the wall. I got it to a decent spot now, but bass still has a lot to be desired. It just lacks that 'fullness' when I'm a bit closer and forward facing to the speaker.

I also should note I need to put the receiver to about 75% volume for it to sound loud enough, for context I usually listen to music about 75-80dB max.

I'm currently looking at purchasing a Rotel A14 integrated amp which is about 80w per channel RMS at 8 ohms. Wondering if this will make a difference. It will also move to a smaller livingroom. My budget is about $1000-1500AUD

TL;DR Currently underwhelmed connected to 7.1ch receiver, looking to buy an integrated amp

Sorry for the extremely long write-up but any help would be appreciated!
 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
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Oh, the Rotel will make a huge difference. You could also look into Arcam and Roksan stuff (Arcam might be a bit undefined in the bass dpt, though, but makes stuff sound bigger because of that). Rega, Marantz and Quad might be worth looking into as well.

These are just alternatives for you to audition, by the way, the Rotel will be great with your B&W.
 

IntermediateWater

Well-known member
Sep 11, 2020
5
0
520
Oh, the Rotel will make a huge difference. You could also look into Arcam and Roksan stuff (Arcam might be a bit undefined in the bass dpt, though, but makes stuff sound bigger because of that). Rega, Marantz and Quad might be worth looking into as well.

These are just alternatives for you to audition, by the way, the Rotel will be great with your B&W.
Firstly, thanks for the response! I've done a bit more research and I've come to a point where I have a couple options i'm considering.

The first option is the 'Rotel RA-1572 Integrated Amplifier' rated at 120w pch at 8 ohms for about $2,519 AUD possibly can get a better deal.

The second option is to spend a little more money and go with the 'Rotel RB1552 MKII Stereo Power Amplifier' Also rated 120W pch at 8 ohms. for about $1,619AUD

As well as the 'Rotel RC-1572 Preamplifier' for another $1799AUD though getting both from the same dealer i'd hope to get a bit more of a discount purchasing both.

Anyways, I was wondering what your opinions may be.

Another thing is, do you think the B&W603 when setup at a proper location against an actual wall will produce a good enough bass response? given it's powered properly without a sub? I don't expects floor shaking bass, but just enough to make the sound feel 'full' right now in it's temporary setup, it's somewhat recessed further into the room, the only 'solid' surface behind it is some PA speakers, so the bass port doesn't really have anywhere to go. Once I get an amp and move it to a smaller living-room setup, it will be able to be in front of an actual wall. Do you think these towers can produce enough bass? or should I be also looking into a sub?
I listen to a lot extreme metal (but also 70s prog), a lot of double bass drums, I like to hear the speed of them, but also the low end that comes with it. Don't need to be house shaking, but enough to feel a little power behind it.

Thank you for taking the time to read through this, I appreciate your help!

 

rainsoothe

Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
834
384
19,270
Well your budget escalated rather quickly :))
You really should try and audition. The B&W reportedly have a pretty strong bass, but whether it's enough for what you're seeking, that's another question. As for subwoofers, you might want to consider one of the dedicated manufacturers, like REL, SVS and Velodyne, otherwise, the ones made by speaker companies are usually not in the same ball-park.

What brands are locally available to you?
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
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Do not put the 603s up against the wall or you’ll kill the imaging and clarity. The bungs are an unsatisfying stopgap. I would say 25cm or more away from walls would be fine.
 

nn_in

Well-known member
Feb 23, 2015
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Try Denon PMA NE series .In the denon japan website a lot of images in the blogs show b&w higher end models paired up
 

matthewpiano

Well-known member
Nov 23, 2007
494
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The first thing I'd be doing is going through all your settings on the existing Onkyo receiver, and playing around with placement in the smaller space you intend to move the system to.
 
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nopiano

Well-known member
The first thing I'd be doing is going through all your settings on the existing Onkyo receiver, and playing around with placement in the smaller space you intend to move the system to.
Exactly my thoughts too. No point in guessing how the smaller room will sound, so try the speakers there, with the AV receiver first.
I‘m no fan of AV units for stereo, but what you’re describing strikes me as more a room issue, or settings on the AV needing changing.
 

MartinEvoke50

Well-known member
Aug 30, 2020
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Exactly my thoughts too. No point in guessing how the smaller room will sound, so try the speakers there, with the AV receiver first.
I‘m no fan of AV units for stereo, but what you’re describing strikes me as more a room issue, or settings on the AV needing changing.
MOSFET amplifiers are a match made in heaven with BOWERS & WILKINS speakers
 

nads

Well-known member
Nov 29, 2007
694
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cant Really go wrong with a NAD amp. Never heard the 603 speakers but some BW speakers do need a bit of driving. My old 703 speakers are bi amped with the NADs in my signature.

i am also interested in the size of your speaker cable. I would be doing a comparison with better cable with the amp temporally closer to the speakers . As if the cable is the issue you will be wasting money on a new amp.
 
Exactly my thoughts too. No point in guessing how the smaller room will sound, so try the speakers there, with the AV receiver first.
I‘m no fan of AV units for stereo, but what you’re describing strikes me as more a room issue, or settings on the AV needing changing.
If that doesn't work buy a Rogue Audio Sphinx...... :)
One of the best bangs for your bucks your likely to see for a long while.....
 

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