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B&W 603 vs. B&W 805

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by syellows, Jun 30, 2005.

  1. syellows

    syellows
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    Hi all,

    I'm about to change my current B&w 603 s3 speakers.
    I'm thinking of B&W Nautilus 805.
    I'll mainly use the speakers for listening to music and less for movies.
    Are 805's good choice to replace the 603's and what else do you recommend for budget of 1500 pounds?
    Will I need to add a sub to them?
    What about 705's? They are about half price.

    Thanks,
    Ben.
     
  2. stevos

    stevos
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    What is your system?

    Its not much point using 805's via a £500 or less amp.

    Other options
    Floorstanders
    Monitor Audio GR20 (i have a pair), Kef XQ5, B&W 704, Totem (can't remember the model), PMC (ditto). I have tried all of these and they are the best of the bunch to my ears.

    On the bookshelf option,
    it all depends on your system / music taste. I personally don't like the lack of bass produced from them, but then i have owned floorstanders for a long time. Don't forget you need to buy a stand for bookshelves and the total room they take up is no less.
     
  3. syellows

    syellows
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    Hi Stevos,

    I'm currently using Harman Kardon AVR7000, but intend to change it to something else (maybe Denon 3805). I really love HK sound, but the problem is that it has been on repair 11 times in past 5 years.

    I'll also be very happy to hear any recommendation for the receiver/amp to drive 805's up to 1500 pounds.

    Thanks,
    Ben.

    P.S. I would really be happy to hear how 805's sound, but where I live they don't have it anywhere.
     
  4. stevos

    stevos
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    The B&W's sound amazing (even for the money), the only reason I didn't buy them was the lack of low stuff, and I don't even like bass heavy music.

    I own a Denon AVR3802 which sounds very similar to the '05, and although great for surround mode (i see no reason to upgrade) it fails in stereo. With that as an amp i can't really tell any difference between my old mission 74 (£300) and my new MA's (£1.5k).

    However I currently use a Arcam A32 for stereo (using the processor mode to drive the fronts for AV and the denon to drive the rest) and the difference in stereo is stunning, the MA's make my once loved mission's sound a bit tinny.

    I read somewhere that you should spend 1.5x the price of the AV amp for the whole 5.1 speakers package. The denon costs around £800, so a complete set costing around 1.2k would be a good match, thus a single pair of speakers (like the B&W) costing £1.5k would be slight overkill.

    I haven't demo'd any AV amps in years (as said i am happy with my current set up) so can't really help.

    Sorry, not a lot of help I know.
     
  5. SKA.face

    SKA.face
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    The 805 are a huge step up over the 603,but you won't get the best from them using a Denon AV amp.To get the best from them would take serious pre/power amps,or very high interated.The 705 may suit you better,and be less demanding on amp quality.
     
  6. recruit

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    Agree with SKA.face the 805's really do thrive on quality electronics i am putting 250watts thru my B&W805S's and they really do need it infact they sound bloody good!!
     
  7. rags

    rags
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    aaah the wonders of the Parasound A51 - can give most speakers a decent thrashing !!
     
  8. syellows

    syellows
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    Thanks a lot guys. You've been very helpful.

    One more question:
    Can find anything decent to drive 805's for £1500?

    Thanks again,
    Ben.
     
  9. Harry T2

    Harry T2
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    What are your thoughts of incorporating a dedicated stereo amp into your system (ie £1000 stereo amp and a £500 AV amp – as an example) or a mid-level AV amp with a power amp to drive the 805’s (ie Marantz SR7500 with an additional 2 channel power amp).
     
  10. syellows

    syellows
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    Harry,

    It sounds great. Didn't think of it. :smashin:
    Do you have any recommendation for specific "stereo amp and AV amp" combination?

    Is there any £1000 stereo amp that will drive 805's properly?
     
  11. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Well worth looking for something like a used Krell KAV300 which will be well up to the job as well as pretty nearly unbreakable,and offering good sound quality.
    You may be able to find one at or near your price range.

    I'd agree with the other comments above about needing a good,high powered and tolerant amp,as I also have a set of 805's,driven by Krell KMA100s,and have heard a number of other well regarded amps fail to drive these little speakers properly.

    Krell,Bryston and similar would be very good choices....Bryston also make an integrated amp.
     
  12. Harry T2

    Harry T2
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    I am a bit too far away to know what exactly is available. But I think you are almost within reach of an Arcam FMJ A32. Some seriously good amps would be available 2nd hand if you are so inclined.

    At this point in time, have no thoughts on the AV amp without knowing more of your requirements.
     
  13. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Being honest,Harry,I think that whilst the FMJ is a decent machine,it will not do a pair of 805s justice,and will almost certainly struggle at high levels...your advice re used/ex-dem amps is exactly what I'd also recommended,with emphasis on load tolerant and powerful amps such as Krell and Bryston.both of whom make good integrated amps at the lower end of their ranges.
     
  14. syellows

    syellows
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    Thanks everybody.
    I think I have my answers now.
     
  15. Harry T2

    Harry T2
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    Your points are noted and I totally agree, however what else would you recommend new in the price range. It would do a much better job than any AV amp up to GBP1500.

    However it is a mute point, as syellows has a direction in his quest.

    Enjoy your weekend. See you on Monday.
     
  16. stevos

    stevos
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    So, what is your decision. Where is your money going?
     
  17. recruit

    recruit
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    :D
     
  18. alexs2

    alexs2
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    I think that really there isn't anything suitable in the new category in that price range...if you're going to pair a set of fairly demanding £1500 speakers with a relatively low priced amp/receiver (and I do use that term reservedly),the choices will be very limited.

    There are plenty of other speakers in that price range with lesser requirements in terms of load tolerant and powerful amps,but it all depends on what you want in terms of sound.
     
  19. Harry T2

    Harry T2
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    Thanks Alex. I have a feeling that our underlying ideologies may differ in terms of Hi-Fi systems.

    I assumed too much in the posts, that the 805’s was now a given, and giving them appropriate amplification by way of a dedicated power amp through a (half decent) AV pre-amp (again used loosely) was dismissed.

    I went down the path of a quality pre-amp plus the fact that Arcam amps I have been familiar with have an AV pass-through facility incorporating the initial requirement.

    Anyway, thanks for stepping in before I caused too much trouble.
     
  20. alexs2

    alexs2
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    It wasn't my intention to "step in" etc,but really to point out the requirements of the 805's as being perhaps a bit demanding for most £1k receivers/integrated amps.

    All the best...
     
  21. SKA.face

    SKA.face
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    Just picking up on this point,unfortunatly the pre section is the weak link,I?ve tried a AV amp against a CJ pre,with the AV amp,using a Bel canto power,the sound was thin and brash,with the CJ the sound was so much better,you could listen toit.Remenber the B&W 800 series aredemanding of sources and amps,otherwise they'll sound thin and brash.
     

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