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Arcam AVR300 and B&W N805, good match?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers & Amplifiers' started by Ashmaster, Jun 6, 2005.

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  1. Ashmaster

    Ashmaster
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    Hello everyone,

    I have B&W speakers N805, HTM2 and 705. I'm currently seeking a new receiver to match them. Does anyone have experince with AVR300 & B&W. Will the the AVR300 be able to drive those speakers efficeintly?

    Furthermore, does anyone know whether the AVR300 would be replaced by a new model anytime soon?

    Thanks
     
  2. Hifi addict

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    the AVR300 and 805 will be a great match !!! no problem driving them as I am using the 803's on my AVR and they sound great. You can always bi-amp the 805's.

    The AVR300 will not be replaced with a new model soon as far as I know. The only extension is to a more expensive class... with the AVP700/P1000
     
  3. jont

    jont
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    IMHO Arcam and B&W are made for each other ... my alpha stuff, Diva and FMJ have had B&W 600 and 800 series to drive and it has always sounded really clean and consistent ...

    Jon
     
  4. Ashmaster

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    Thanks guys I was first considering to buy Rotel, but recently I find my self wanting to get Arcam. I have read that the AVP700/P1000 will cost more or less double the price of AVR300, do you think that their will be a big jump in performance to justify the increase in price?

    I read that the AVP700/P1000 will have HDMI connection which is a good plus and also it will pump more power, and will also have the advantage of seperates. However, would that justify the double price tag? hmmmm.

    The thing is I want to spend money on something that will last for a number of years. I don't want to worry about upgrading just a year after I purchase amplification.
     
  5. barnythebear

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    It really depends what you want to do. I found the AVR300 does what I want for DVD's etc. but I listen to more music. Therefore I managed to buy a great priced C30 preamp to go with my P25/3. Now I have the best of both worlds. As the gains are matched and the C30 has a processor mode all the bits fit together and sound fantastic.
    If its the video side your interested in then it would appear that the AVR700/P100 would be the way to go as there are extra options there. Have you looked at Crustyloafers posts on these? For basic DVD replay I donot think you can fault the AVR300.
     
  6. Hifi addict

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    The difference between HDMI (video) connection and component is not that big.

    As always ever, an increase in model will increase you soundquality. It's the question where you limit/budget is. The AVR300 is already very good, even with music !
     
  7. ruben20

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    The combination with the N805 is very nice. I'm looking into combining it with my a32/cd33 also.
     
  8. Ashmaster

    Ashmaster
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    barnythebear,

    I think that I'm a 60% music and 40% movies. I mean when ever I buy a new component for my system, I find myself testing it with music and never movies! However, for now I can't afford to have two systems, one Hifi system and another for HT. Therefore, I need a good surround receiver (or seperates) that will do both jobs very well. Also I don't want the price to be astronomical!

    Hifi addict,
    I though that you can only get High Def pictures through the use of HDMI! Could you get Hi Def using component?

    I think my budget limit would be maximum 50% above the AVR300 price tag. No way I could go over that. Thats why I'm considering the AVR300, because its good value and the price would be perfect.

    But then again I'm also considering to buy a plasma TV some time next year (with HDMI). Further, I also heard alot of rave reviews and comments regarding the AV8/P7 combination that is making me a bit gready and hoping that the AV700/P1000 combination would have the qualities of the AV8/P7 for cheaper.

    Another point that is keeping me from rushing to buy a receiver is all the news regarding the digital amplification that will be available from numerous manufacturers by the end of this year. Digital amplification makes sense to me, as all this problems associated with digital analouge conversion would be gone and thus better sound can be achieved much easier than with analouges. I wonder if Arcam is considering digital technology?
     
  9. Hifi addict

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    HDMI or component is just a way of transporting the signal, not converting it. And to my opinion I will never use the HDMI input on my receiver, but just directly feeding the output of my DVD player into the tuner, thus bypassing any loss in signal.

    My DV79 does not have full sound support over HDMI (only stereo) so I need to feed the soundsignal by digital cable to my amp.

    and on the price: you can add that money to your plasma or save a little bit more and add to the AVP700/P1000 or go 2nd hand.
    I think the point is, do you want to wait forever or but something now and start enjoying it !

    Digital amps.... well.... how long do you think that the development of these amps takes before it is mature enough?
     
  10. warrj

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    No. Nautilus series B&W speakers like lots of current. They may sound 'OK' with a relatively cheap AV receiver but they're really meant to be driven by serious amplification of the Krell/Chord variety. I drove a pair of 805s and an HTM2 with a Roksan five-channel amp (which, relatively speaking, had lots of current). It sounded reasonable. Upgrading to a 200W Krell really showed what these speakers are capable of. Trust me. An AVR300 will only show you 30% of what those B&Ws can do.

    Regards,

    Jules.
     
  11. Ashmaster

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    warrj,

    I have heard alot reagrding that the Nautilus speakers require alot of "juice" to drive them. However, many think that the N805 is not as demading as the other bigger Nautilus speakers with the FST mid-drive.

    I'm sure that what you say is true, however, Krell/Chord are brands that are very expensive and out of my league. I think the best 5-channel amp for the price would be the Rotel RMB-1095 power amp 200watts X 5 coupled with the Rotel RSP-1068. This would be in the same price range as the new Arcam AVP700/P1000. I wonder if the additional 65watts from the Rotel would make a big difference?

    Does anyone know whether it is possible to use 2 channels from the & channels of the Arcam P1000 to bi-amp speakers just like in the Arcam AVR300, cause that would be a great advantange over the Rotel.
     
  12. ruben20

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    The P1000 is a poweramp. If you split the signal, you're always able to bi-amp.
    I think the 805 will do just fine on the rotel or arcam you described.
     
  13. Ettepet

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    In the price range of the Rotel 1095 I would also very much consider the Emotiva MPS-1, which offers more juice and a better sound (Rotel=crap imo). It is not only in about the same price range (including shipment!) as the Rotel, but also offers 7 (modular) amp units, so you could already bi-amp. Here a review on Audioholics: link. :)
     
  14. booktrunk

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    Whilst yes an Arcam A300 will sound nice with N805 speakers. I do not think that you will be getting the best out of the speakers.

    It's not bad it's just not as good as it could be. I'd consider getting a p25 or P25/3 as well and bi-amp the fronts. (I don't know if 5.1 so i suppose could bi-amp with other 2 channels).

    What centre are you getting to go with them by the way?

    But seriously if you think about how much the speakers are and you are using 2 channels out of 7 and a pre that combined cost cirka 2/3 of the speakers... It's just they are outclassing the amp I think.

    Have you tried with 705s ? I would have thought pricewise they are more of an even match?

    steph
     
  15. Hifi addict

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    ashmaster: best way to move forward is to go out there and listen for yourself.

    To share some of my experiences: I always bi-amped using my AVR300 and in the beginning I tried a P35 for bi-amping and yes, it sounded a little bit better, but not enough to justify the extra price. Bi-amping with the AVR300 will bring the best out of your 805's and yes, adding an amp of 3000 euro's will add another level in your music but is that worth it? THAT'S the real question only you can answer
     
  16. roffe

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    I know B&W probably has a special status in the UK, so I may be swearing in church here, but here I go:

    I find most B&W speakers to be on the bright side of neutral. This is especially true for the more inexpensive models.
    BUT from the 703 model, something good has happened to B&W tweeters which in my opinion is a turn for the better. It is smoother and more refined in detail. When I compared to previous models of the 800 series, I found that I liked the 703 better. With the latest models of the 800 series, it seems that the tweeter improvement in 703 also is incorporated and refined further, but I still have only had brief encounters with these models, so this is not enough to form a conclusion.

    My opinion is that one should definately hear the combination before buying it. Older B&W models may in my humble opinion be a bit on the bright side for the Arcam.

    All that said, I think AVR300 is the best integrated surroundreceiver solution in the market when considering BOTH surround sound AND stereo music. The stereo direct function is just great, and in my opinion matches several integrated stereo amps up to the £1000 mark when it comes to pure stereo performance. It certainly delivers enough power, as a 1200VA transformer used for 7x100W simultaneously driven channels also performs exeptionally well when just 2x120W is required.
     
  17. warrj

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    I'm sorry but bi-amping the AVR300 won't bring out the best in a pair of 805s. The 805s totally outclass the AVR300. What really worried me when I drove my B&Ws with an inadequate amp was the possibility of damaging the speakers when the amp ran out of steam. B&W Nautilus are less sensitive (at some frequencies) than people expect. I'd look for a power amp which, ideally, doubled its wattage as the speaker's impedance halved.

    To be honest I have a kind of love-hate relationship with my 805s. They sound lovely but they are very "high maintenance". They 'only' cost me 1400 quid but, IMO, the financial implications of choosing Nautilus goes way beyond just buying the speakers. From the Arcam range I'd be looking at the P7 or P1s to drive Nautilus. Anything else and you're really wasting much of your investment in those speakers. It's like transplanting a Mondeo diesel into a Porsche IMO.

    Regards,

    Jules.
     
  18. Hifi addict

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    well, what I wanted to state is that bi-amping with the AVR300 will be an improvement compared with single-amping and if one was looking for additional music improvement, one need to go for double the price in amps (like the P7/P1 etc). And again, that increase in price/music is a decision that the topic starter needs to make.

    And: Adding 1000 pounds to your speakers as a rule, will give you a much higher increase in music quality than adding 1000 pounds to an amp. So imo going for better speakers and a "less" amp will be prefered above lousy speakers and a "good" amp. But that's not the topic we were handling here (there will be some exceptions to this rule)
     
  19. ruben20

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    I think a N805 bi-amped with a Avr 300 will sound superb. Driving 803's is another story...;)
     
  20. Ashmaster

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    I would love feeding the 805's with 200wpc amplification, however, I think the ideal budget that I want to spend on amplification fits the AVR300, I can go upto 50% more but I would have to suffer for a month or two. I would only consider buying an amp that is more expensive than AVR300 if the fact that 200wpc would make that much of a difference in SQ for my system (increase of say 50% in SQ over the AVR300) but I'm not sure how accurate this statement is.

    I'm currently driving my speakers with a cheap Pioneer (cost = 130 pounds) and I'm getting tired of it.

    I can't test or listen to different amps that I'm considering because I have to order them, therefore, I'm basing my decision purely on research (sad but true).
     
  21. WRG

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    I mentioned in previous post's that I sold my N805's but I had them with the htm1 and 805b rear with a velodyne hgs sub. I powered it with a DSP A-1 with no troubles...I don't know the size of other peoples room but I had no problems with power. Course too, I don't know what volume levels others played their 805's at but my was more than enough...I've pretty much sold off all the B&W gear and now purchasing Paradigm Signatures...of which I've heard bi-amped with the AVR300 are superb!
     

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