Which Amp to match My 805s

pwiles1968

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Mar 22, 2009
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My Current system is AV Based with a Marantz SR6003 Bi Amplified with 2 MA6100 Mono Block Amps, feeding my B&W 805s, the amp runs in pure direct and I also use it as a DAC fed with lossless audio from an older Apple TV.

The system sounds really Good but I am wondering if I can do better without spending silly money. I like the tonal Balance of the system as is, I would like to get more detail and staging if that is possible without loosing too much warmth, If I can get more bass out of the speakers that would be good but not at the expense of the control I currently have, I dont want anything Bright or too forward, My listening is varied but the system needs to sound at its best with Vocal, Instrumental and Jazz,

I was going to take a look at the Arcam A38 but this will be pushing the budget (£1 to 1.5k) as I will need a DAC, any suggestions on what else to look at? have thought about Audiolab Integrated short term then adding power on later?

Second bit of advice, I need to demo, but most places I will be looking wont have the 805's to listen to an recommendations on an alternative while demoing that has a similar character, I am hoping if I find something I like amp wise to get a Home Demo but in shop will be the first step to find something I like the sound of.
 
pwiles1968:
My Current system is AV Based with a Marantz SR6003 Bi Amplified with 2 MA6100 Mono Block Amps, feeding my B&W 805s, the amp runs in pure direct and I also use it as a DAC fed with lossless audio from an older Apple TV.

The system sounds really Good but I am wondering if I can do better without spending silly money. I like the tonal Balance of the system as is, I would like to get more detail and staging if that is possible without loosing too much warmth, If I can get more bass out of the speakers that would be good but not at the expense of the control I currently have, I dont want anything Bright or too forward, My listening is varied but the system needs to sound at its best with Vocal, Instrumental and Jazz,

I was going to take a look at the Arcam A38 but this will be pushing the budget (£1 to 1.5k) as I will need a DAC, any suggestions on what else to look at? have thought about Audiolab Integrated short term then adding power on later?

Second bit of advice, I need to demo, but most places I will be looking wont have the 805's to listen to an recommendations on an alternative while demoing that has a similar character, I am hoping if I find something I like amp wise to get a Home Demo but in shop will be the first step to find something I like the sound of.

Hi pwiles1968

I would be surprised if the A38 gave you an improvement over your existing amplification. With a budget of up to £1.5k i would suggest you also consider older amps such as Krell's KAV-400xi, ATC's SAI2-150 MK1 and the Marantz PM-94. I feel all of these three will offer superior performance. PM-94's can be hard to come by however it will be worth the wait as your 805's won't know what hit them!


All the best

Rick @ Musicraft
 

pwiles1968

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Mar 22, 2009
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Thanks for that, had not thought about used, the Krell looks interesting, could not find anything on the ATC other than the newer amps, power is not an issue but How do either of these sound?

Sound is my #1 priority but unfortunately I do not think the wife would let the PM-94 past the front door for me to listen to
.

Anything else used I should look at? Allays liked the Classe and Mark Levinson but not sure there are any integrated's I could afford even Used.
 

WishTree

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May 18, 2010
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pwiles1968:
My Current system is AV Based with a Marantz SR6003 Bi Amplified with 2 MA6100 Mono Block Amps, feeding my B&W 805s, the amp runs in pure direct and I also use it as a DAC fed with lossless audio from an older Apple TV.

If I get this right for Music Listening, the Marantz AVR is working as DAC + Pre-Amp. The way I see it, this is weakest link in your Music Playback chain (Hoping that your source music is in some lossless format). I do not know anything about MA6100 but I get a feeling that they faithfully reproduce what ever is fed to them and hence Power Amp section as well as the Speakers are set already.

Standalone DAC is the best money I have ever spent on one piece of equipment and I think this is the way to start with for any serious music listening

I personally feel that pre-amp section is the most under rated and Power-amps gets more 'forum space'. I do not know the reason but the pre-amp is crucial too. An AVR as a pre-amp + DAC does not live up to the expectations.

You can think of introducing a DAC and a pre-amp in your system

For movies - > AVR to Pre-Amp -> Power-amp -> Speakers

For Music - > DAC to Pre-Amp -> Power-amp -> Speakers

I like the M1 DAC but there are many out there with similar / better performance.

Pre-Amp wise, I think Rotel does pretty good which might be good match to B&W Speakers

I heard the Classe CAP Integrated with 803D. It is a world apart but it is too expensive for my current budget.
 

pwiles1968

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Mar 22, 2009
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WishTree:pwiles1968:
My Current system is AV Based with a Marantz SR6003 Bi Amplified with 2 MA6100 Mono Block Amps, feeding my B&W 805s, the amp runs in pure direct and I also use it as a DAC fed with lossless audio from an older Apple TV.

If I get this right for Music Listening, the Marantz AVR is working as DAC + Pre-Amp. The way I see it, this is weakest link in your Music Playback chain

I drive the tweeters Via the AV and Woofers Via the Mono Blocks (Bi Amp), and use the DAC in the AV. The system sounds good and IMO the DAC sounds better that the one in my CD6000ki, but I may get some gains from a budget DAC such as the Arcam but not enough to warrant changing that on its own.

I pretty much know How I want to set the system up I am after recommendations for amps to listen too that might suit may music tastes either Pre-Power or Integrated, initially I want to have a listen and see if I can make many gains in the system without spending too much.
 

pwiles1968

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Mar 22, 2009
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I am going out next week to have a Demo of some integrated amps will look at Audiolab, Cyrus, and maybe Roksan, any other suggestions for amps to keep an eye (Ear) out for?

Going to try and demo a Marants Ki Pearl Lite also but that will not be next week.

Edit Sorry will probably try Rotel Too thanks WT.
 
A

Anonymous

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I have a cyrus 8 with my 805s and I just got a musical fideilty v-dac to be used with my mac mini. Great result and very cheap improvement. I would strongly suggest to change your dac to v-dac or even a better dac if price is not that important.
 

pwiles1968

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Mar 22, 2009
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I have had a listen to the Audiolab 8200CD and the 8200A driving some Spendor A6 which were the closest I could get to my 805, really liked the Audiolab sound loads of detail and space around the artists. I also tried the Cyrus 8XPD but did not like it also very detailed but not keen on the vocals, not sure how to describe it possibly too forward? it would give me a headache. Roksan amp was ok too but think the Audiolab just beat it.

I am waiting on the Audiolab 8200CDQ and 8200P to be avaliable for a home demo (will be a few weeks at least) really like the idea of the 8200MB's but don't think I could afford them at the moment.

Hope to try the CDQ with my Monoblocks so bypassing my current DAC/PreAmp setup see how that sounds get an idea if my current AV amp is holding the system back, but I am hoping that the 8200P may be a step up over my Mono's purely because i should be able to use fully balanced connections.

For info I was using a MacBook (lossless Audio) as the source fed in to the Various DAC's for the shop demo's.
 

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