Best Receiver to Pair with B&W?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by EGM, Jul 21, 2004.

  1. EGM

    EGM Stunt Coordinator

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    I just received B&W speakers from my wife for my 30th birthday. Now I am planning on upgrading my receiver from my five-year old Sony 925.

    I was looking for any insight into what would be the best receiver sound-wise to purchase to go with my new toys...er I mean speakers. [​IMG]

    I've heard that Denon receivers pair well with B&Ws, however would like to have other options to choose from.

    Thanks for your help!

    GM
     
  2. Rob Kramer

    Rob Kramer Second Unit

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    You again?

    I compared the Onkyo 801 with the Denon 3803. I bought the Onkyo (but went with the 800).

    Denon = warm, B&W = warm, not a good match.
    (Denon and Kilpsch are a good match)

    I will say that I went back (not too long ago) and listened to the 3805 and the 600s. The sound was completely different. It was very bright this time. Must be the room-correction on the new Denons.

    If I could do it over again tomorrow, I would compare the Pioneers to the Onkyos. Having ilink at the same price point ($1000) is very tempting (especially since universal players still cant get analog BM & TA right).
     
  3. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    The obvious choice with those speakers is Rotel since the two companies work together with each others gear during their testing phase. Theres also a hugh number of Club Rotel members using B&W speakers and I know several of the Rotel staff members are also running B&W speakers in their homes.
     
  4. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    Denon is warm? I agree with your second impression that they lean to the bright side. They have never in my mind been considered warm...

    And B&W + Rotel will do nicely. Which one though depends on what speakers...
     
  5. EGM

    EGM Stunt Coordinator

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    I got 602 S3s for my mains. I am not sure that makes a difference.

    I also have to say, I have seen more reviews stating that the Denon is more bright than warm...but that also depends on your personal impression hearing them.

    I will take a look at the Rotels. Any suggestions on what model?

    GM
     
  6. Mark C.

    Mark C. Supporting Actor

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    Rotel makes a fine receiver, the RSX-1056. It's rated at 75 watts per channel, but they're real watts and are more than plenty to run 602s. The Rotel is pricey, I think about $1,300 US. But it's a quality product that can serve as the brain of your home theater for many years. You can simply add separate amplifiers to meet your power needs as you add speakers. If the Rotel is too pricey, consider Marantz. Their receivers can be a little bit on the high side price-wise, but their lower end models are very competitive with Pioneer, Denon etc.
     
  7. Drew_W

    Drew_W Screenwriter

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    $700-800 for the older 1055 on eBay/Audiogon/etc.
     
  8. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Galen,

    Since you are in the DC area, you should check out Myer-Emco. They sell B&W speakers. They also stock/sell the following receivers:

    - Rotel
    - Marantz
    - Yamaha
    - Sony ES

    You would be able to hear the B&W speakers with each of those receivers in an attempt to hear what might sound good with your speakers.

    Best of luck to you.
     
  9. EGM

    EGM Stunt Coordinator

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    Wayne,

    That's actually where I got my speakers. They had them paired with a Marantz receiver. They sounded good, but had nothing to compare it to.

    GM
     
  10. Rob Kramer

    Rob Kramer Second Unit

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    I did say that my impression of 3805 was that it was bright. However, I found my listening session with the 3803 was warm - so maybe that was the exception and not the norm, or perhaps just the newer models are producing the brighter sound.

    I would like to comment on the Rotel+B&W combo. Yes, I know that this is considered a standard paring, and a whole lot of people have this combo, however (here goes), the "combo" is not "Rotel+B&W" but rather "Rotel+B&W 800 series".

    The 700 series is more detailed than the 600 series, and the 800 series is more detailed than the 700 series. At the 800 level, you need a warm amp so that the detail stays controlled and doesnt get away from you. I feel (and I know others do too) that the 600s are too laid-back for the warmer Rotels.

    I dont think that there are many CLUB ROTEL members using 600s (or CLUB B&W members with 600s using Rotel equipment).

    Am I wrong?
     
  11. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Actually there are a few using 600 series speakers I believe. Since your dealer has a few different lines go and given them a listen and see if what your ears tell you...and then see you in club rotel[​IMG]
     
  12. EGM

    EGM Stunt Coordinator

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    Sounds like a plan...now I just have to convince the wife that my old receiver just won't cut it with my new 600s... [​IMG]

    GM
     
  13. Shane Martin

    Shane Martin Producer

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    Galen,
    I would consider NAD as well.
     
  14. Rob Kramer

    Rob Kramer Second Unit

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    I thought money was an issue here?

    http://www.ecost.com/ecost/ecce/shop...sp?dpno=101502

    If not, I would suggest Krell. Thats how I first heard the 601. The local B&W dealer is a "high end" dealer (he has the $40K Lynn speakers). He wasnt to familiar with the 600 series. I had him dig out a box of 601s (his only 600 series in stock). He then blew off the dust, opened up the box, and hooked them up to the Krell. Awesome. Even he was amazed by the sound coming out of those little 601s. I talked him into letting me take them home for a WEEK trial. Tried them out. Compared them to several others. Returned them a week later, and put in an order for a complete set - 4 601s and the lcr600 (he talked me out of the lcr60). A few weeks later I upgraded the front 601s to 602s.
     
  15. Yogi

    Yogi Screenwriter

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    To my ears B&W's sound best with Classe or B&K amps...YMMV
     
  16. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Since that shop carries Marantz, I'd listen to the 6400 and 7400. If you are going to spend more than that, the Rotel would probably be a better choice. If you aren't limiting yourself on dealers, I would second the NAD recommendation.

    Didn't hear a price range?

    The 602s are nice speakers, and despite what some say, I find them on the bright side, and the last time I listened to them it was with Rotel. They are not power hungry speakers, but less than average amplification will likely add to their brightness when the amp starts to struggle. I still have yet to hear the 700 series, but I was always a fan of the CDMs.
     
  17. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    I tend to NOT think that electronics (well, at least amps or amps that are part of receivers) have a signature sound. If they do, I would say they are broken, or at best, poorly designed.

    So, putting that prejudice aside, I have paired my series 1 B&W 600's (604, 601, CC6) with both a Marantz receiver (SR-96), and a NAD (NAD 762).

    They both sound very smooth to my ears. Pop in some well recorded software, and its great fun to listen to.

    I guess the only time I would get worried about matching speakers to electronics is if the speakers had some weird-ass impedance characteristics, and the receiver or amp in question where known to have issues with such characteristics.

    YMMV, IMHO, AFAIC.....

    BGL
     
  18. EGM

    EGM Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all the input guys, I have a lot to consider now.

    Is money an issue? Well, for those of us married it is always an issue. [​IMG]

    It was a major victory for my wife to spend money on my 'hobby'. Of course my argument is if I can spend $10,000 on your engagement ring, I should be able to spend at least that much on my home theater...Unfortunately that never seems to go over well.

    It appears I will be listening to a lot of different receivers in the coming weeks. I will let you all know what I select, when I do finally make up my mind.

    Thanks again!

    GM
     
  19. Shaun

    Shaun Second Unit

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    I think Meridian is another popular match with B&Ws but, I may be wrong.
     
  20. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    Come to think of it, I've never seen a Rotel piece of gear driving anything other than the B&W 800s at the Myer-Emco stores that I've been to. If you want to hear the B&W 600 series, it will definately be through a Marantz, Sony ES or Yamaha receiver.

    Galen, if you would consider checking out the NAD receivers, Sound Images (on Rt. 50 by 7 Corners) sells them. I don't think they sell B&W speakers, so hearing the two together would be quite hard. But, you could ask if you could bring in your B&W speakers and I'm sure they would accomodate you. Nothing but good experiences with that retailer for me. [​IMG]
     

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