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Amp query for MA Silver/B&W 600 series

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Markmw, Apr 28, 2003.

  1. Markmw

    Markmw
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    Hi
    Not sure if this is a duff question, but any feedback appreciated.
    Having moved flats, the system has come out of longed boxed retirement, so am slowly upgrading with the eventual aim of full AV system.

    2CH speakers are the next item on the shopping list and I have narrowed it down to Monitor Audio Silver S1 or B&W 601 S3 (one demo so far alongside the Kef Q1). Only demoed music (using Rotel amp/cd) and felt the S1 had a slightly more accomplished sound, but reckoned the 601 would fare better for films, so perhaps better overall.

    However, I'm concerned my old stereo amp (14yrs) won't cut it. It's a Pioneer A-443, rated at 80w (4ohms)/60w (8ohms). It's always had enough juice but I always felt it a bit sluggish. I won't be able to replace it in the short term.

    Music/film use for the amp is approx 65/35. I use my Pioneer 656a to play CDs/DVDs.

    Q1) How can I tell if the amp can deliver enough current to properly drive both these speakers, without actually demoing it? I have the manual but it's not overly helpful.

    Q2) The Silver S1s are rated 80w/6ohm/90db. I presume these are ok for the amp.

    Q3) Has anyone listened to the Silver S2s? With more bass it might be a better option, but does this unbalance the sound?

    Thanks
    Mark
     
  2. Godfather

    Godfather
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    The bought the S1s after comparing them with the S2s which had more bass but didn't sound as clean as the smaller S1s. I think the S1s are fantastic little speakers and a bargain at £250.
     
  3. Markmw

    Markmw
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    Thanks for the info. Where did u see the S1 for £250? Standard price seems to be 50 notes more almost everywhere.
    Cheers
    Mark
     
  4. Godfather

    Godfather
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    My mistake. It was £250 for the silver centre and £300 for the S1s. Got mine from Sevenoaks Swiss Cottage.
     
  5. Andywilliams

    Andywilliams
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    Hi Mark
    I brought the monitor audio s1 bookshelf speakers and matching centre from sevenoaks for £500.When you make enquires about the speakers tell them that a friend told you that you could get a good deal from them and you might get some discount you have nothing to lose.I do this when buying all of my equipment and havent failed yet to get somthing knocked off.
    Good luck Gonzo. ;)
     
  6. Godfather

    Godfather
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    Sevenoaks are giving away £50 worth of cables (of your choice) when you buy the MA silvers. Have a lot on their website.

    BTW there's a pair of S1s in natural oak on eBay.
     
  7. Markmw

    Markmw
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    Thanks folks - the Ebay item looks tempting

    If anyone's got thoughts on whether my current dinosaur Pioneer amp will have problems driving the S1s (or the B&Ws for that matter), I'd be grateful.

    Incidently, I was offered a very slight discount on the S1s on top of the £50 worth of cables, but I declined to make a hasty decision, once I realised that biwiring and banana plugs would shoot the overall price right up.

    Mark
     
  8. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Mark ...

    Don't worry about bi-wiring ... just buy the best cable you can afford and use a very short length between the two terminals on the back of the speakers in replacement for the metal shunt.

    As for if your Pioneer will drive the S1 ... it will drive them, but you will find that if later you upgrade to even a budget amp, but one capable of providing greater current, it will improve the sound from them. The NAD C320BEE or Rotel RA-02 are good places to start. This comment is even more true for the B&Ws.

    Vikki
     
  9. Gomez

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    Hi Mark,

    when chosing between MA Silver S1 and B&W DM 601, I would most definitely go for the S1.
    I've auditioned both at home (though I listened to the S1 only occasionally :) ) and finally decided for B&W, which I also liked very much and which fitted better into my budget.

    If you can afford the S1, go for it. It really looks stunning in that rosemah- finish (real wood veneer).

    Concerning the S2: A friend of mine is closely connected to MA here in Germany and personally prefers the S1 over the S2.


    Regards,
    Gomez
     
  10. Markmw

    Markmw
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    Thanks for all the replies. Have pretty much decided on the S1s - more clarity than the 601s and better balanced than the S2s.

    However, do people tend to find that Dealers will either give you a discount OR free cabling (eg Sevenoaks).

    Is it unreasonable to expect both a discount AND a certain amount of free cabling?

    Cheers
    Mark
     
  11. Nobber22

    Nobber22
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    On a £300 pair of speakers - yes. ;) Spend £2000 and your dealer is likely to be more generous.
     
  12. Dave R

    Dave R
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    I had always though I'd end up with B&W's having consistently read good reviews, but I auditioned the S8's against the CM4's and thought the S8's were a lot cleaner and more detailed. Interestingly, I too was initially using them with an even older amp - a Realistic model from about 20 years ago! However, it was rated at 80w RMS per channel, and the improvement was stunning. Having now upgraded to a new, expensive Amp, the increase this time is nowhere near as noticable.
    Vikki - why did you suggest replacing the biwiring link with normal wire?
     
  13. sounddog

    sounddog
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    I've never rated the CM series speakers very highly ... pretty to look at but not as good (IMO) as the 600 series ...

    Replace the links cause a big hunk of copper wire is gonna give better conductivity than a piece of gold plated steel that is supplied ... and anyway it looks better.

    Vikki
     

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