which cables do you use for Nautilus 804?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Yoon Lee, Apr 28, 2002.

  1. Yoon Lee

    Yoon Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    I placed an order for a pair of Nautilus 804 at the cost of my broken bank. Until the speakers arrive, I have to find cables for them. Since my budget doesn't exist any more, I gotta find a best bang for buck cables. I remember reading some people saying 12 gauge home depot cable is just enough, and there are many MonsterCable lovers/haters. I also heard about AudioQuest, Kimber Kable, and MIT... I don't know which one has the best compatibility with Nautilus. I currently have Denon 3802, and once I recover from this, I plan to get Rotel or something comparable amp to power these.
     
  2. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    Yoon, as a big fan of B&W (I have CDM7NT), I would consider a higher end amp than a Rotel (even as a Rotel owner) to truely make those 804s sing. I upgraded my Rotel to a Marsh and heard a big difference in detail, this is even more important for a speaker like yours, NOT to bag on Rotel, they make a fine product and I use it for my rears, but your 804s deserve better imho.
     
  3. Mark C.

    Mark C. Supporting Actor

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    I use DH Labs Q10 biwires for my 804s. I purchased from www.jeffssoundvalues.com, who I highly recommend. Jeff will build the cables to your specs, if you're not handy enough (like me) to build them yourself. The cables are a great value and do justice to the 804s.
    As for amplification, I recommend you look at anything made by Classe.
     
  4. Todd_Michael_R

    Todd_Michael_R Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree with Rodney on that one. The Nautilus series does tend to pick apart your system and expose the weak points. Get the best amplification you can afford.

    But to answer your question: After a week of auditioning, I purchased some Kimber Kable 8TC to biwire my Nautilus 805s. I was A/Bing them with some Tributaries that I got for free when I bought my speakers. I'd recommend the 8TC to any 805 or 804 owners. Of course, before plunking down the cash for them, see if you can find a dealer in your area that can lend you a pair for a week or two.
     
  5. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    I can back up the DH Labs recommendation. I use the T-14 for my speaks due to budget constraints, but have heard nothing but good things about the Q-10.

    Other amp recommendations for those beauties include amps by Edge, Pass Labs, Theta (Dreadnaught), and Cinepro.

    I know your budget is tight but you will get upgraditis if you pair the 804's with a mid-fi amp...you will always wonder what you are missing. Didn't mean to start a flame war with that last comment...I'm sure that will rile up the ghosts.
     
  6. Camp

    Camp Cinematographer

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    Radio shack. It's all anyone really needs.
     
  7. Pete H

    Pete H Stunt Coordinator

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    You will enjoy the N804's with 12 gauge from Lowe's / Home Depot. Analyze your system after you have pulled some money together and look to improve the weakest part. It might be the wires, amp, receiver or whatever. You can enjoy what you have or you can focus on what you think it could be. The latter is not as fulfilling as the former.
     
  8. Yoon Lee

    Yoon Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for all those replies. So, how much should I spend on amp to justify N804?
     
  9. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    I would guess about $1800 MSRP for 2 channels minimum.
     
  10. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    "I would guess about $1800 MSRP for 2 channels minimum."

    Rodney,

    That budget is just about perfect for a Rotel. In fact, I think you will do just fine with a Rotel amplifier. Sorry to be a naysayer, and what the gentlemen have said up until now is absolutely correct. There are better amplifiers than Rotel. However, I have been powering my Nautilus 802s with a Rotel 1090 for about 2 months now. I have A/B'ed my Rotel with a McIntosh MC202 amplifier and I will be doing some other comparisons in the next couple of weekends with Krell amplifiers. While I fully expected the Mac amp to better the Rotel...it did not, to my ears. I was very biased going into the audition, thinking that the Mac was going to be light years ahead of my Rotel...I was wrong. I feel the same way about the Krell amplifiers, even after this let down from the Mac. With the price differences in amplifiers available...it is absolutely MANDATORY to audition them side by side with your speakers in your environment.

    You got yourself some incredible speakers. Take your time with auditioning the amplifiers to best fit you, your room, and your budget. There is no need to overspend.

    BTW...I use StraightWire speaker cables.

    Jeremy
     
  11. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    I agree that the best Rotels would work and be "good enough" for the 804, If I were spending $3500 on a pair of speakers, personally, would get an amp that was $1800 minimum, but that $2500+ would be a little bit better, "light years", NOPE, nothing in audio is "light years" when you are already talking about very fine equiptment. There are some that think that the amp and front end are the most important part (I heard at a freinds dealer a $6000 Theta amp and a similarly priced Theta pre-amp, hooked up to a pair of 602 with NO sub, and I was amazed at how good they sounded, it was so convincing that at that time I told myself that I would NEVER spend more than $1000 on a pair of speakers), the other camp is the one that believes that the speakers are most important (plenty of people out there with $1000 receivers with 805 and 804s), personally, I am in the middle camp-if you buy very expensive speakers, you better buy a very nice pre-amp and amplifier to go along with it.

    So, is the Rotel good enough???, sure it is (just as the CDM7NT, is honestly good enough for me at this point in my life, I truely love these speakers), I guess what I am saying is that you can't neglect other parts of your system, just because they have great speakers.

    Personally, I would buy a demo or used amp for the same price as the $1800 rotels, but if you only have about that amount of $$ and only feel comfortable buying NEW, the Rotel is your ticket.

    btw, Normally I would say about $2200 or more, but since I am very familiar with the Rotels, I think that it can do.
     
  12. JerryW

    JerryW Supporting Actor

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    I'd bet an Aragon 8008 2ch (200Wx2 @8ohms) would do wonders with the N804s, and it can be had for >$1000 used. I use a 4004 MK2 with my Prelude MTS and it's a "perfect" fit.
     
  13. Todd_Michael_R

    Todd_Michael_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Along with the Aragon aforementioned, I'd suggest the McCormack DNA-125 for $1650 IIRC (125x2x8, 200x2x4).
     
  14. Yoon Lee

    Yoon Lee Stunt Coordinator

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    So, when we talk about power amps, it means that we use 2 channel amps for just left and right and rest will be handled by receiver? Is it natural to say same priced 2 channel amp from same brand would sound better than 5 channel amp? How about power ratings? Is 100W amp good enough or that 200W+ amp would blow 100W amps out of water with its power? Is Outlaw power amp good match for Nautilus? I was originally considering Outlaw or Rotel 1075, not 1090... I prefer warm sounding amp believing N804 would bring out the details without help from amp on it.
     
  15. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    Sorry, I assumed that since we were talking about the 804s (and no mention of rears or center channel). I still feel like a great 2 channel for the mains and a very very good 3 channel for the center and rears is the way to go OR another good option is a 2 channel for the rears and a 3 channel for your front sound stage).

    About the 5 channel amp, this can be debated forever, and some will say that having at least 2 seperate amps is better because they have thier own power supply and can draw more current, etc.... so I guess they would have more "head room" and be more clear/accurate. Like I said this is debatable, like everything. Personally I beleive it, but that is my choice. There are some great 5 channel amps out there, but I would get at least 150W/channel for the 804s (again, people can debate about power forever as well and the true power ratings of amps, etc...) B&Ws usually like a more powerful amp to truely make them sing.

    GOOD LUCK.
     
  16. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    "So, when we talk about power amps, it means that we use 2 channel amps for just left and right and rest will be handled by receiver?"

    Or a multi channel amp, or 5 monoblocks, whatever you choose. I would elect to use a multichannel amplifier or your receiver for surround duties. There isn't a drastic need for Awesome power in the surround field, where the opposite is true for 2 channel music listening and movie scores in your mains.

    "Is it natural to say same priced 2 channel amp from same brand would sound better than 5 channel amp?"

    I don't know if it's "natural" or should be assumed automatically that they are better. However, most manufacturers have to make some sacrifices putting 5 amplifiers in one box....sharing power supplies is a big one. IMO, the best amplifiers are monoblocks. They are one amplifier with their own power supply and they are completely isolated from the other amplifiers in the system.

    "How about power ratings? Is 100W amp good enough or that 200W+ amp would blow 100W amps out of water with its power?"

    The differences between 100 and 200 watts is not enough to blow anything out of the water...that said, the Nautilus speakers will benefit from the added headroom. I think 150-200 watts should be your starting point at the budget you are allowing. If you are able to move up to the Theta, Krell, Classe' level, 100 watts will be plenty. The 804s are relatively efficient @ 89db. It's always a good thing to audition the amplifiers you are considering with your speakers in your room.

    "Is Outlaw power amp good match for Nautilus?"

    Could be...they have a pretty good return policy.

    "I was originally considering Outlaw or Rotel 1075, not 1090..."

    Cool. How many 804s are you getting? If it is just your front pair (mains), I would look at the Rotel 1080 as well. The 1090 is a big amplifier with a ton of power. The 1080 is pretty conservatively rated @ 200 watts (8 ohms) but actually does closer to 250 and 500 @ 4ohms. Great review last month in Stereophile.

    "I prefer warm sounding amp believing N804 would bring out the details without help from amp on it."

    Again, you NEED to audition these amps to figure it out when you get your speakers. For warm amplifiers, look at Mosfet built amps...B&K is a good place to start.

    Jeremy
     
  17. Scot Pritchard

    Scot Pritchard Stunt Coordinator

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    how about the B&K power amps would they do justice to a nautils or cdmnt speaker. i am using a 5 channel rotel 985 mkll to power my cdm1nt and center.
     
  18. MarkFrab

    MarkFrab Agent

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    [donning flame-proof suit]
    Yoon, wire is wire as long as it's thick enough. Save your money for better equipment.
    I run my N804s using wire from Radio Shack (You know the one - by the small QFC on Redmond way). [​IMG] I use a fairly high-gauge "flat" cable - RS sells it in 50-ft coils for a good price.
    Now, maybe I have a tin ear, but I did a demo at Definitive Audio between my RS wire and their $12K transparent cable and couldn't hear a single difference. I was listening to the N802s (to which I plan to upgrade using their 12-month trade-in plan) connected to some ridiculously expensive Mark & Levenson electronics. I say again, I heard [rant]no difference[/rant] between $1k-ft and $.50-ft wire.
    However, as in all things, YMMV. It wasn't a double-blind test, so I knew which wires I was listening to. Did my expectations cloud my perception? I'd like to think I listened objectively - but how can I be sure? The thing is, with all the debate about this particular subject - the "golden ear" listener always claims they can hear a difference even when all measurements don't show any. I don't know what they hear, so how can I say they don't hear something just because I don't hear it? Still, that's what I usually say anyway. [​IMG]
    BTW, I bi-wire my 804s and the HTM-1 center from my Sunfire Cinema Grand Signature amp (made in Snohomish, BTW). [email protected] ohms, 5 channels, for about $3.2K. I use the voltage connections for the bass-midrange and the current connections for the tweeters.
    I use the same wire for my ButtKickers.
     

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