B&W 604 S3's owners, what amp do you use?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by AaronD, Feb 3, 2002.

  1. AaronD

    AaronD Stunt Coordinator

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    *sigh* Upgraditis is horrible [​IMG]
    I just purchased a pair of B&W 604 Series 3's and I'm looking into a good separate amp to drive them. I bought these mainly for music, but for now they are also serving double duty in my home theater and I will be purchasing a matching center channel soon.
    I'm looking for a two channel amp, but I also like the idea of a 3 channel amp so I can drive my entire front stage. Should I just look for a five channel amp instead?
    Currently the audio parts of my setup are as follows:
    H/K AVR-310
    NAD 522 CD Player
    Sony DVP-CX860 DVD/CD Changer
    B&W 604 S3 Mains
    A/R HC6 in the remaining positions (Center, Surrounds, Sub)
    I'm only planning on replacing the center channel soon and living with the AR's in the surround and sub positions for a while. I'm pretty happy with the sub, as it does the job just fine in my apartment.
    I'd like to eventually make the transition to a complete B&W speaker and separates system so this amp will need to carry over to that as well. I'd like to try and save some money, so perhaps I should get a two channel amp now with the idea of using that to power surrounds in the future?
    Thanks again for helping me feed the addiction... I absolutely love these B&W's though so I guess it's worth it. [​IMG]
    -Aaron
     
  2. Legairre

    Legairre Supporting Actor

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    Aaron,

    I apologize for going off topic. I'm planning a speaker upgrade this year after I get a pre/pro. I've listened to the Paradigm Studio series and was planning on listening to the 604 S3s, but my dealer doesn't have them in yet. My question is how are they.

    Thanks

    Legairre
     
  3. AaronD

    AaronD Stunt Coordinator

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    I spent about four nights last week doing serious auditioning of speakers. During that time I auditioned Definitive, Energy, Paradigm, B&W, and Klipsch. I made the mistake of listening to B&W's higher-end Nautilus line, and after that I was comparing everything else to them (ultimately I made a compromise with the 604's).
    The 604's are excellent speakers, however the Paradigm's can hold their own. I spent the last day comparing those two, and the sales men showed me something that really makes sense after listening to them. He spoke to me once with his hands cupped around his mouth like he was yelling at someone in the distance, once with his hand in front of his mouth about 4", and finally without his hands. This is a good way to sum up the tonal qualities of Klipsch, Paradigm, and B&W respectively. This doesn't mean that any of these brands are better than the other however.
    After comparative listening to the paradigms and b&w's I chose the b&w's because they had a focused smooth sound with excellent mid range and good extension. The paradigms seemed to have a bit of a blurred sound, like a picture that is slightly out of focus.
    I really think either is an excellent speaker, but really try and give the B&W's a listen if you can swing it. Speakers are a personal preference in the end, so YMMV.
    I'm very happy with my choice so far; Coltrane has never sounded so smooth.
    Good luck!
    -Aaron
     
  4. David Barteaux

    David Barteaux Stunt Coordinator

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    B&W speakers are manufactured and tested with Rotel as the two companies are affiliated. Rotel & B&W are sort of made for each other but its a matter of what sound good in you room in the end. I drive my B&W 604s2 with Rotel RMB-1095 amp. I am very pleased with this amp.
     
  5. AaronD

    AaronD Stunt Coordinator

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    I've done a little research tonight and I've marked the following products as 'interesting'. [​IMG] Any thoughts? I've catagorized them as attractive by cost and features:
    Price:
    Parasound HCA-750A (75Wx2)
    Rotel RB-1050 (70Wx2)
    Adcom GFA-5300 (80Wx2)
    Specs:
    Parasound HCA-1000A (125Wx2)
    Rotel RB-1070 (130Wx2)
    Adcom GFA-5400 (125Wx2)
    NAD C270 (120Wx2)
    -Aaron
     
  6. AaronD

    AaronD Stunt Coordinator

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    David--
    Thats good to know, I wasn't aware of that. Spec wise and price point wise I'm intrigued by the RB-1050. My only concern is if it's got enough clean power to make the 604's sing like they should. Although currently my H/K receiver only has 60wpc so it's still an improvement.
    Thanks,
    Aaron
     
  7. Legairre

    Legairre Supporting Actor

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    Aaron,
    Thanks for the info. I was looking into B&W because I have a Rotel 1095 and like David said B&W and Rotel have a close relationship. Over at Sound & Vision magazine's forum there's a guy called Hot Monkey who has lots of experience with B&W speakers. He usually recommends larger amps for the 604s because he says they are more difficult to drive. He also usually recommends Rotel amps with B&W speakers. I'd take a trip over there if I was you to search some threads and post some questions. He usully travels the "audio" and "home theater" forums over there. Here's a link.
    http://www.soundandvisionmag.com/cgi-bin/Ultimatebb.cgi
     

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