Marantz vs Rotel - which amp for B&W N805

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Juan Carlos, May 5, 2005.

  1. Juan Carlos

    Juan Carlos Extra

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    Hello everyone,

    I'm in the market for a separate amp, but would like to get some opinions. I have a pair of B&W Nautilus 805s which are being powered by my Marantz SR6400 receiver for the time being. It sounds good, but it's crying for some juice.

    I was looking at the Marantz MM-9000 (5x150w) or a pair of MA-700 (1x200w) mono blocks cause I already have a Marantz receiver which I will use as my pre-pro. I can pick up a used set for about $600-700 (either MM-9000 or two mono blocks). I've never heard B&W with a Marantz separate amp, so that's why I'm looking for comments.

    On the other hand, every time I've heard the 805s they have been powered by a Rotel RB-1070 (2x125w) or RB-1080 (2x200w). So I was looking for either the Rotel RB-990, RB991, or RB-1080 (whichever is the best deal). I know what it will sound like with Rotel, but obviously the Marantz MM-9000 will leave me flexibility with adding more speakers later on.

    In comparison to the Rotels, MM-9000 is only 150watts, which I'm sure is plenty, but what really caught my attention is that the Marantz has a S/N ratio of 95db while all the Rotels have a S/N ratio of 120db! So... I don't know, comments?? I wish I could listen to them both, but I don't think I'll be able to.

    Btw, my budget is less than $800 (including shipping).
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I'm using MA500s via an 8300 for my main pair and it works and sounds great. I'd say the monoblocks would be the way I would go. I'd say even 500s would be good enough, because each speaker is getting it's own power supply. I only paid $300 for the pair used on Audiogon.

    I have only heard B&W with Marantz once, a pair of CDM 1NTs driven by a SR5000, and it sounded great. I was so impressed with that receiver that I would say that is what made me look into and ultimately purchase their gear (SR4000, 5000, 4200, 4400, 6200, 8300, MA500s, PM7000...)

    I'm not familiar with the 6400, but if it has RC5 output to control other Marantz gear, that could be a benefit with any of the Marantz amps because it makes them easy to turn on and off. I don't remember if the 6400 has 12v triggers, but if it doesn't, and the Rotels don't have signal sensing auto-on, you would have to buy something to trigger it/them or leave them on all the time.

    IMO, the Rotels will be better amps overall, but the Marantz amps would not be a bad choice either.
     
  3. Juan Carlos

    Juan Carlos Extra

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    Thanks for your input John. The 6400 is exactly the same as the SR7400 except it has 6 channel amplification, not 7 like the 7400. It does have the RC5 output. Another plus I've been hearing about the Marantz amp is how relatively cool they operate compared to other amps. That is what I like about my SR6400, it never gets hot.

    So you would recommend Rotel more? Could you specify a bit as to why please?
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The Rotel multichannels are going to have better power supplies and general quality than the MM9000 (not that there is anything wrong with the 9000). Given the choice between a 9000 and a comparably priced Rotel 5ch amp, I'd go with the Rotel. With the monoblocks, they will definitely hold their own though, especially if you do go for 700s.

    Soundwise, you will still be mostly hearing whatever signal the 6400 is feeding the amps, so sound differences will probably not be big at all. I chose the 500s because I felt they would be close, in terms of power and any sonic signature, to the 8300, but offer more power to the individual speakers. There was a pretty noticable difference, mostly at higher listening levels, with the 500s vs the receiver.

    None of my Marantz gear has ever gotten too warm. Temp is going to depend on how hard you are driving them.
     
  5. Juan Carlos

    Juan Carlos Extra

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    Oh no John, I wasn't considering Rotel 5ch amps at all. Mainly because of their price. I was only considering their 2-channel amps such as the RB-1080, RB-991, or the RB-990. I can get those around $700-800, where as the RMB multichannel models are all over $1000. I would like to, could if I waited, but have no need for them anytime soon. The Marantz MM-9000 is a steal at about $600 for a 5 channel amp, and that's a plus for me, but it is definitely not necessary since I will only be powering two pairs of speakers.

    Just curious, what kind of speakers do you have?
     
  6. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    I have 3 of these up front, and their smaller brothers, the A/V-1s out back. Not the most demanding speakers, but with their low impedance, they still like to have plenty of power.

    Don't pay too much for the MM-9000, they were selling for $699 brand new from Accessories For Less for about 6 months, so $600 isn't totally a steal.
     
  7. Mark Danner

    Mark Danner Stunt Coordinator

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    Please check out Audiogon and do a search on Rotel. Used Rotel RMB-1075's are going for about $700-$800. Its a pretty popular amp so there are usally one or two being offered. Now thats a steal. I think the 2 on there just sold so you may have to wait a little bit for another one to show up on the site.

    I tell you what Audiogon is the most dangerous site on the web. "Hmmm, I can get a Rotel RMB 1075 for $700....but for $400 more I can get an Anthem......and for another hundred a Sunfire.....etc." Before you know it you are planning on spending your life savings because you are getting a "deal" on the stuff.
     
  8. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    Audiogon is great, I've bought a lot of stuff from there. Yes, it is dangerous [​IMG] You could put a want ad up for any of the amps you are looking into also. I've gotten a lot of responses that way when an item I'm looking for isn't readily available.
     
  9. Juan Carlos

    Juan Carlos Extra

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    Yes, audiogon does have that effect. I've been looking through there for some amps. I've seen some crazy good deals before.

    Though I've never heard the 805s with the RMB-1075, I'm a little hesitant on picking that one up just because I've heard feedback from a lot of users with the Nautilus line stating that they are very power hungry and the 125watts from the RMB1075 just didn't seem to cut it for the 805. That's why I was only really looking at the 200watt amps from Rotel. The RMB-1095 is too much for right now, and I only have a 2-channel setup, so a 2-channel amp is ok with me.

    So between the Marantz and Rotel, which and why?
     
  10. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    I am running my N805's in my home theater with the Rotel RB991 and they sound great. I have the rb991 for my fronts and the rotel rb993 (3 channel) for my center and rear speakers. I really like the sound. I'm running it through an 985 rotel pre-amp/processor. I think the sound is fabulous. I got a great deal on it at the time and I'd buy it again.

    See the MY HT link below for a look
     
  11. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    Rotel and B&W are made for each other...quite litterally actually as both companies work together and share a common distributor in most of the world. The 1080 amp is a very solid amp would be my recomendation for those wonderful speakers. If the 1080 is too much see if you can find a used 991 as they're essentially the same amp as the 1080...esp the 991 MKII.
     
  12. Juan Carlos

    Juan Carlos Extra

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    Yes, I know they are basically the same company. So hopefully I'll find a good deal on a Rotel. Thanks guys.
     

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