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Question Warm Amplifier Advice

Time Sparrow

Active member
Apr 12, 2021
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Hi
I am looking for some advice.
My current system is Nad C352 amp with Bowers and Wilkins 606 speakers with a Cambridge audio AXC35 cd player.
The sound is generally ok but can sound bright on some tracks, I bought an Cambridge Audio AXR100 which solved the problem but had to return it due to loud fan noise.
Being researching other amps but getting a lot of conflicting information. Generally looking for a warmer sound which will offset some harshness in some recordings.
My budget is approx £500.

Any advice would be much appreciated.
 

Time Sparrow

Active member
Apr 12, 2021
21
1
25
Thanks for your quick response.
I contacted richer sounds about marantz amps and I was told they are bright , even know I thought they were known as a warm amplifier. Also looked up the Rotel A11 tribute which seemed like a good fit but got lots of conflicting information about that as well.
Also concerned that my Nad as 80w per channel and a lot amps within my budget seem to be only 50w . Listen to mostly dance music with some rock as well if that makes a difference.
 

muljao

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2016
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Someone else may chime in. I have marantz for a long time, I like how they sound, I don't think I'd consider them bright, but my perception may be off
 

DougK

Well-known member
Dec 8, 2013
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Someone else may chime in. I have marantz for a long time, I like how they sound, I don't think I'd consider them bright, but my perception may be off
Never found them particularly bright myself, guess it all depends on what speakers are on the end of it and how the room is furnished.
 
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Time Sparrow

Active member
Apr 12, 2021
21
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Many thanks for all your responses, think this is going to require a lot of research.
And maybe increasing my budget.
 

manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
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Many thanks for all your responses, think this is going to require a lot of research.
And maybe increasing my budget.
Going against the grain, I don’t think it’s either your amp or speakers, but the CD player. I’ve had some experience with cheaper CA CD players and they’re not very good.

Try a used Marantz CD6006 before you change anything else.

In fact I would put your NAD amp back too.
 
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Al ears

Moderator
Hi
I am looking for some advice.
My current system is Nad C352 amp with Bowers and Wilkins 606 speakers with a Cambridge audio AXC35 cd player.
The sound is generally ok but can sound bright on some tracks, I bought an Cambridge Audio AXR100 which solved the problem but had to return it due to loud fan noise.
Being researching other amps but getting a lot of conflicting information. Generally looking for a warmer sound which will offset some harshness in some recordings.
My budget is approx £500.

Any advice would be much appreciated.
Only you can decide what is 'warm' as most of it is going to be down the amp / speakers combo. an amplifier on its own cannot be assessed in this way. perhaps the speakers don't help here. Go audition.
 

nopiano

Well-known member
Feb 15, 2009
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19,270
It may depend on what it is you’re reacting to. B&W of this 600 series can be a bit peaky, though at way higher frequencies than I can hear! They’re not mellow ime.

I agree with the suggestion to try a different CD player. Even trying a new position for the speakers, new stands, or an extra rug could make a difference, depending how everything is set up today.

Does judicious use of the tone controls not help? Maybe ‘dance music’, which I imagine isn’t ballroom or ballet, isn’t the smoothest character?!
 
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Time Sparrow

Active member
Apr 12, 2021
21
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25
Speaker positioning due to room layout is limited. Recently bought the Cambridge audio CD player , so maybe that wasn't the best move.
Will experiment with the tone controls , normally use the tone bypass. But I give them a try.

I did buy a Cambridge Audio AXR 100 receiver which the sound signature solved my problems at the expense of a slight bit of detail. But the fan was so loud I had to send it back. The build quality was also terrible compared to my Nad.

Appreciate all the responses.
 

SteveH72

Well-known member
Feb 25, 2020
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The biggest shaper of sound in a whole system are the speakers. The 606 (series 1, I presume) are terrific speakers but B & W are on the more forward side of neutral. Maybe these are what need to change?
On another note, I’ve never heard any Marantz product ever described as “bright”. I suspect Richer Sounds were intending to push another product your way. Probably a more expensive one.....
 
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Time Sparrow

Active member
Apr 12, 2021
21
1
25
I got the Bowers and Wilkins 606 a couple of months ago (series 1 not anniversary) to replace my Monitor Audio Bronze 2 as I found them to very bass light and a bit for a better word "dead" sounding. To be honest I like the extra detail the Bowers provide. I even changed back to the monitor audio bronze 2 to see the difference and they sound terrible by comparison. Forgot to say I also use a BK Xls200 mk 2 sub to provide extra bass.
Think the problem may reside in my room and speaker placement options or lack off.
Also my expectations may have been too high.
 

AndyCC72

Well-known member
Jan 13, 2021
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I had a Marantz PM6005 for years and the last thing I would call it is bright. Cracking amp for the money. Although I replaced it with a Cyrus One which blew it out of the water in every aspect. You can get one of them used for £500, lovely bit of kit IMO.

I’ve ran Tannoy floor standers and Kef LS50’s on both amps and the Cyrus is far better.

apparently the Cyrus house sound is considered bright but the new Cyrus One isn’t bright IMO. I’m a big fan.
 
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manicm

Well-known member
May 1, 2008
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I got the Bowers and Wilkins 606 a couple of months ago (series 1 not anniversary) to replace my Monitor Audio Bronze 2 as I found them to very bass light and a bit for a better word "dead" sounding. To be honest I like the extra detail the Bowers provide. I even changed back to the monitor audio bronze 2 to see the difference and they sound terrible by comparison. Forgot to say I also use a BK Xls200 mk 2 sub to provide extra bass.
Think the problem may reside in my room and speaker placement options or lack off.
Also my expectations may have been too high.
The current Bronze speakers are getting mixed reviews - but the positive ones rave about them. I'm thinking of getting the new 50.

I did buy a Bronze 2 in 2013 (was that the name? The bigger of the standmounts), and I know what you mean. They only came alive at higher volumes, but below a specific volume they also sounded a bit dry to me, not to my taste.
 

RoA

Well-known member
Feb 11, 2021
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Buy a cheap Chinese tube buffer (with tone controls). They work a treat. I've used one with a Tooping MX3 and the sound they made was mighty impressive. I remember changing the little tubes for NOS Mullards but even with the China tubes it did the job.

They only cost 20 quid or thereabouts.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,907
249
20,070
Hi
I am looking for some advice.
My current system is Nad C352 amp with Bowers and Wilkins 606 speakers with a Cambridge audio AXC35 cd player.
The sound is generally ok but can sound bright on some tracks, I bought an Cambridge Audio AXR100 which solved the problem but had to return it due to loud fan noise.
Being researching other amps but getting a lot of conflicting information. Generally looking for a warmer sound which will offset some harshness in some recordings.
My budget is approx £500.

Any advice would be much appreciated.
I know I'll get slaughtered for suggesting it, but...

I've demoed the NAD 352 a couple of times in the past and I just found, particularly the lower frequencies, to be overpowering. If poorly matched I think the NAD could be causing the imbalance.

In the past I've described NAD as the XR3i of the hi-fi world (not the magazine)

Try and get a home demo of a Rotel amp. I can guess your thoughts would be "no, no, too bright..."

Rotel and B&W work a treat together and it may restore that balance you are looking for.

The reason for conflicting information is hi-fi isn't an exact science.

Also, what's your room acoustics like? Hard flooring or carpeted with curtains...?
 

millennia_one

Well-known member
Sep 1, 2014
777
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If you want a "warm" powerful sound you need to look second hand from around the early 00.
Amps that springs to mind instantly is the Marantz PM7200 with its class A mode and speaker wise
and speakers from the same time frame Mission m7 (M74 m73 filled with sand) series kef Q series iq5se most certainly tannoys (even today's tannoys have something most brands don't).

but others have said if the room isn't filled with soft stuff then you'll always struggle to control the sound experiment by placing cushions around the room temporarily and hanging sheets on the walls and so on. You'll look mad but for 30mins work, you'll understand the room a lot more.
 

insider9

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
977
484
5,270
Hi
I am looking for some advice.
My current system is Nad C352 amp with Bowers and Wilkins 606 speakers with a Cambridge audio AXC35 cd player.
The sound is generally ok but can sound bright on some tracks, I bought an Cambridge Audio AXR100 which solved the problem but had to return it due to loud fan noise.
Being researching other amps but getting a lot of conflicting information. Generally looking for a warmer sound which will offset some harshness in some recordings.
My budget is approx £500.

Any advice would be much appreciated.
Unless you're willing to change your speakers do as much you can in terms of their positioning. If they're toed in have them firing straight. Other things you may consider are listening to them upside down (speakers, not you) and anything that takes you off axis.

If only some tracks are bright then I'm not sure I'd be going out and spending money. And I would also not worry about 50 vs 70W. Good quality 50W amp will crush a poor 100W one (nevermind 70W).
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
984
177
19,070
I changed my B&W 607 anniversary edition since i wasn't getting this feeling in my stomach that the speakers where the right one for my, not bad byt nothing special, decent bass a little bright but for the money nothing special.

Had to have some temporary speakers that doesn't cost a furtune, dali spektor 1 is for the money very impressive and i don't miss anything that the B&W 607 anniversary edition can, i wouldn't say better because i think the spektor 1 does nothing worse than the 607 ae than a little lower sensitivity
 

Time Sparrow

Active member
Apr 12, 2021
21
1
25
Thanks for everyone's advise, I am shocked by the amount of responses and I am grateful.
Been doing some more listening and maybe bright wasn't the right term. It's just on some tracks cymbals and high hats seem slightly distorted and not crisp.
For want of a better work a bit "splashy". Defiantly track dependant.
 
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