Opinions on best receiver for B&W speakers

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by JimMIT, Jan 20, 2004.

  1. JimMIT

    JimMIT Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi folks. I'm new to HT and would like your help. I plan to "build" a modest system for a new home and need input on a receiver. After listening to a number of speakers, I'm leaning strongly toward B&W -- 602 S3's in front, an LCR60 center, CCM65's or CCM80's for surrounds and an ASW600 for the sub. I also liked the Paradigm Monitor 5's, but inasmuch as I will be placing the fronts in a cabinet, I need front ported speakers (so I'm told). As my budget will be somewhat limited, I've been looking at the following receivers (I've been unable to listen to all of them with the B&W's):

    Denon AVR-1804
    Integra DTR-5.4
    Marantz SR5400
    NAD T742
    Onkyo TX-SR601
    Yamaha TX-V640

    Your opinion(s) on which of these receivers are good matches for B&W speaker would be greatly appreciated. The more descriptive you can be the better, e.g., receiver A would make them sound too bright or receiver B is not powerful enough, etc.

    FYI my room is 18'x18'x12' open to a kitchen, dining room and foyer. I have no back wall & only one side wall and the Mrs. is loath to see speakers on stands -- hence the in-ceiling speakers for surrounds.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. CharlesD

    CharlesD Screenwriter

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    Jim

    I have 602 S3s and a LCR60 as well as 601s for the rears. Its not on your list but I just picked up a Rotel 1055 reciever and it works very well with the B&Ws (no surprise there.)
     
  3. JimMIT

    JimMIT Stunt Coordinator

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    Charles

    I understand Rotel makes a great product -- highly touted by many audiophiles -- however, it's out of my price range. Thanks.

    Anyone else? Come on fellas -- help me out here!
     
  4. chun howe

    chun howe Stunt Coordinator

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    i have audition these speakers also.
    they also has Rotel as their demo setup for B&W.

    i guess your best bet is to go with Rotel or consider changing to another speakers.

    from what i hear B&W speakers are a little soft (not as detail as paradigm) and you might want to pick up Yammi (they are known for bright receivers) but that's just my ears. you just have to go demo yourself A LOT.
     
  5. Jarrod

    Jarrod Agent

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    I've owned both the 600 series and now the CDM NT series - these speakers bring out a lot of detail in a soundtrack or song. That is what I love about B&W speakers.

    I initially had them paired with Yamaha. I love my Yamaha equipment but over time I came to understand why Yamaha recievers are labeled as "bright". There was a very sibilant quality to everything in this combo that at first sounded "detailed", but eventually I realized it was just an overemphesis on certain sounds. Over time this became unsatisfactory to me.

    I then added an H/K power amp to my B&W 600 series setup and was much, much happier. The warm quality of the H/K amp really smoothed things out. I don't know about H/K receivers but from everything I've read they have a warm, smooth sound that fits the description of the experience I had with this amp. You couldn't go too far wrong here.

    I later upgraded to Marantz MM-9000 amp and CDM NT speakers. This is my current setup and it is a very nice combination. Lots of power for my medium-sized space (15x18x10) and a nice warm sound that mates well with the B&W speakers.

    My dealer likes to pair B&W speakers with NAD equipment. It does sound fantastic - probably the best of the bunch that you mentioned. After hearing music on NAD/B&W combo I would think seriously about NAD with B&W speakers. The reason - NAD equipment brings out a stunning amount of detail and imaging and B&W speakers will take full advantage of this.
     
  6. JimMIT

    JimMIT Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks, Jarrod, for your very detailed reply. I hadn't considered H/K because I didn't care for the appearance (stupid reason, I guess). Perhaps I should reconsider.

    I agree with you about the detail of the B&W's -- with the receivers I've heard them on (none of which I can afford), they sounded clear without being "bright." I hope I can get an affordable receiver that sounds as good with them.

    I've heard from others that NAD mates will with B&W, but the T743 is $200 more than some of the others I'm considering.

    I'd really like to hear from anyone who has paired Denon with B&W's.
     
  7. Chris Lanni

    Chris Lanni Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Jim,

    Nice to see a (soon to be) fellow B&W owner, as they are phenominal speakers. I also own the 602S3's. I have four on the floor. Two fronts, two rears, and the LCR60 center. I have mine hooked up to a Marantz SR7200 and they sound great. Very detailed, not too bright, nor too harsh. I can sit and listen for hours and not get fatigued at all. The Marantz has never been a limiter for the B&W's. I highly recommend an analog sound meter and a calibration disc like Avia. I will indulge in a little blatant advertising as I believe in their product. Skip the B&W sub and go for one of the SV Subwoofers. I have the 20-39PCi mated to my B&W's and it is tremendously addictive. Probably not going to help you too much, but I get very excited by product I believe in.

    Gods Love
    chris
     
  8. chung_sotheby

    chung_sotheby Supporting Actor

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    I would probably say that either Nad or H/K would pair well with your B&Ws. I find Marantz to be the warmest of the receiver bunch, maybe better suited with Klipsch or Paradigms. Onkyo and Denon are very similar sound, very neutral and proper, with better amps in the Denon, so maybe they would pair up better with polks, rockets or axioms. Nad units, from what I have heard, tend to sound very similar to Rotel units, and since the 1055 is our of your price range (which seems to be $450-600), the Nad would be a great alternative. Hope this helped
     
  9. Chip E

    Chip E Screenwriter

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    I'd go for the Denon receiver, skip the B&W sub and like has been said, get an SVS sub. That would be spending every buck where it counts.. Just my opinion.
     
  10. Mark Danner

    Mark Danner Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey Jim, I have 603's, LCR 600, and 601's powered by a Denon 3802 and they sound fantastic. I wouldnt hesitate to buy another Denon receiver.
     
  11. Rich Wenzel

    Rich Wenzel Supporting Actor

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    I have the 605s2 series...having said that...i would say to go listen to the various triangle speakers in that price range...you might not get the 602s...listen to the titus or the comete...they are amazing...

    okay, you didnt ask that...here is my answer ot you...

    by sound, from your list, i would probably go

    marantz
    nad
    yammie but it would get the 1400, same price range as others...

    if i could pick a similar priced receiver not on the list, i would look at a HK525, 330...

    Rich
     
  12. JimMIT

    JimMIT Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks alot fellas; I value your input. I've narrowed my choices down to either Denon or NAD -- and you've helped me feel more comforable about that decision. Now I'll be making every effort to hear each of them with the B&W's before I buy one of them. Thanks again!
     
  13. steve nn

    steve nn Cinematographer

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    At present I run the Denon 1804 with the 602 S3s and the LCR 600. Very nice listening to, tight and crisp. Good luck Jim.
     
  14. Leigh_M

    Leigh_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Just to muddy the water, Onkyo also tends to be warmer. I didn't like the match with my Boston's, so I went with Yamaha to brighten thing up. I listened to the B&W and think they would be a great match with the Onkyo. Just my .02.
     
  15. Jorge M

    Jorge M Stunt Coordinator

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    Another vote for Onkyo. I run my 602s with an Onkyo 696, and have enjoyed the setup for about 3 years now. Never desired anygthing else.

    BTW, you can do better than B&W subs for the price, IMO. In my case, I went with SVS, of course.
     

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