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B&W 800s and TMA 250x3R

Discussion in 'TAG McLaren Audio Owners' Forum' started by Black 5, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. Black 5

    Black 5
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    Made the mistake of listening to a pair of 800s a while back but couldn't afford a pair :( . Massively impressed though!

    Anyway, what with the release of 800Ds and the prospect of acquiring ex-dem 800s at good discounts, I'm curious to know whether anyone here has the above speaker and amp combination and whether the 250x3R can handle the power requirements.

    Anyone with experience of this got any advice to give?

    Brian
     
  2. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Hi there,Black 5.....(nice part of the world to live in,BTW)....whilst I don't have personal experience of the newer 800 models(only the older ones),I would say that firstly the 250x3 is a great improvement over the 100x5 amplifier,and I would also add that all of the lesser Nautili are really current-hungry speakers,and happiest with the likes of Krell,Bryston et al(my own 805's included).

    If I were contemplating speakers of that class(unlikely given my wife's dislike of very large speakers,and the cost!),I really would seriously look at the bigger FPB Krells and SST Brystons....by all means also try the 250 Tag,but I'd honestly expect it to be left wanting compared to the ones I've mentioned,given my experiences with the smaller Nautilus speakers.
     
  3. johnson

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    Hi
    From past experience I think, to get the best from those speakers with TMA amps, you'll need to bi-amp.
    Regards
     
  4. Black 5

    Black 5
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    Interesting comments so far. If I were to biamp, would it make sense to use a 100x5R for high end duties and the 250x3R for bass?
     
  5. caleb

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    Hi There Black5.

    I have the B&W 802, and initially used the TAG 100x5 for these.

    NOT GOOD AT ALL!!!

    Next I tried the 250x3 and it was a much better comination.

    However, now I have a pair of Bryston 7B SST monoblocks to power them and it has made the speakers come alive.

    If you look at the power suggestions for these speakers, the 802 is recomended at 25 to 500 and the 800 are recomended at 100 to 1000 watts.

    I beleive this higher figure to be right for getting the speakers to perform.

    Don't get me wrong, the speakers will sound good with lower power, but they will nver be their best.
     
  6. johnson

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    Hi
    Exactly what I use.
    Regards
     
  7. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Personally I think the 800 need more power
     
  8. Plump

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    To be honest I am not sure that this general thing "like it or not" about TAG amps has anything to do with power or engineering.
    It is rather personal preference.
     
  9. alexs2

    alexs2
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    I'd disagree with that,Plump,certainly as far as my own experiences go.....at low volumes,the Tag's sound quality was actually pretty good,with plenty of detail,if a bit flat in terms of depth,but as soon as the power requirements went up,it all went bad.....quite obviously running short of power,and just sounded horribly compressed.

    My own fairly old Krells had absolutely no problems at all with the 805's and similarly unpleasant loads,despite a nominal output very similar to the 100x5.
    I do agree that the 250 is a much better amp,but still would expect it to struggle with a speaker like the 800,especially given the comments above.

    Of course,as far as sound quality goes,with power and load matching excluded,personal preference is the answer,but wasn't the point a few of us were making above.
     
  10. Black 5

    Black 5
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    With 800s? If so, do they work well at all volume levels?
     
  11. Kevinc

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    I in-home tested the TAG 250 monoblocks vs my Bryston 4BSST (300wpc) on my Nautilus 802s and couldn't tell any difference so I took the Bryston. At my dealers, I have also listened to the 802s with my Bryston 4BSST and his Mark Levinson 33H monoblocks and the only difference I could tell between them there was that the Mark Levinsons generate so much heat his air conditioning couldn't cope. However, the difference between any of these three and smaller amps like the 100x5 and Musical Fidelity A3 (120wpc) was astounding - the speakers were lacking in detail and sounded flat with the smaller amps. Finally, my dealer has also recently tempted me with a demo pair of the discontinued Nautilus 800s and in his rooms we tried them using them with my 4BSST and again his beloved Mark Levinson 33Hs. Again, I don't think I could tell much difference between the two amps except for the extra heat (you could toast bread on the top grilles of the 33Hs!), but I am inclined to think that if I stumped up for the 800s I'd step up to more powerful Bryston power on principle - the Nautilus range clearly needs a lot of current, and Bryston is still relatively good value (vs the 33Hs anyway...).
     
  12. singletrailer

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    Hej Johnson,

    up to now I ran my B&W 802D with one channel of my 250x3R each. Last night I changed for one speaker the setup and used two 250 channels in bi-amping mode. The result was quite interesting. While dynamics clearly improved the sound stage lost some detail. I am wondering now if this loss in detail is mainly due to me splitting up the AV32DP's output (using a pretty simple Y-adaptor and 2 good interconnects) to two power channels.

    How did you connect your AV32 to the 250x3R and 100x5R?

    Have you experienced any similiar loss in detail?

    Appreciate you feedback

    René
     
  13. johnson

    johnson
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    Hi Rene
    No loss in detail for me. None that I've noticed anyway.
    I use Nordost Blue Heaven Bi-amp interconnects.
    Regards
     
  14. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    We tried 802/801 and 800's with the 250x3R amp, the speakers need more power...... A couple of 7BSST's I'd say was the minimum to drive these things to their best...
     
  15. caleb

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    Hi Graham, are you talking a couple per speaker her in bi-amp mode or a couple for the two??
     
  16. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    We tried both, one per speaker and two per speaker, 2 per speaker was bloody marvelous.....1 per speaker was also bloody marvelous (only slightly less so) these things need huge amps.... Its only money mate...... Personally as you may remember I prefer the big PMC's over the B&W's but that is obviously a personal thing (like speaker choice in general).
     
  17. davee

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    Out of interest, anyone tried 805's or 804's? (Its only money when you've got it otherwise its a debt! ;)
     
  18. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    I would say 805's would be OK with a 250x3r, I've not tried the 804's. Bi-amping 805's did make a reasonable difference though as I seem to remember with mine......
     
  19. alexs2

    alexs2
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    I'd say yes with a 250x3,but definitely not with 100x5....I've already mentioned this here a few times,but when I was trying smaller speakers for what was then our new house,amongst others I tested a set of 805s with a 100x5 in our local dealer's very well appointed demo room.

    The speakers sounded lovely until the volume started to go up,and you could hear the amps clipping....I tried the 805s at home with a set of amps that dont mind difficult loads,and they were totally transformed.....both of those speakers,in common with the rest of the 800 series need good amps to get anything like the best out of them.
     
  20. Miron

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    Interesting piont:

    I know two people having tried (same) 250x2R and Bryston 4BSST for their speakers within few days.

    And while in one setup with big JMLAB Electras there was clear preference for Brystons , in another setup with KEF Refs noone could reliably tell the difference.
     
  21. davee

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    Dont suppose you remember the level that clipping occured?? I'm currently running Kabers which were/are reputed to be a difficult speaker, they sound good and so much better with the TAG kit but there is (of course) room for improvement :rolleyes:
     
  22. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Most of the Linn speakers(of that vintage anyway,as I owned both Keilidhs...passive and active,and then Keltiks) were quoted as being difficult loads,and certainly were in respect of being for the most part a 4 ohm load,with dips below that at some frequencies,and this made a number of amps throw in the towel at higher levels.

    As to the 805s....it was couple of yrs ago now,but I do remember thinking at fairly moderate levels,that the sound was hardening and compressing on peaks..the CD I'd chosen was Pat Metheny's "Beyond the Missouri Sky",which on one track in particular,has an enormous amount of LF information,so proved to be a good test for an amp and speaker,as well as being an incredibly detailed and close-miked recording(in several areas you can hear Metheny's fingers sliding over the guitar strings).

    Anyway...getting back on track,it wasn't loud by any means,but the amps struggled....compared to the Kaber,the 805 is a much less forgiving load(and speaker for that matter)so you may not have the problems I found.
     
  23. Welly123

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    Interesting thread…. And potentially quite expensive.

    I upgraded to 250MR’s from MF M250’s and noticed the following:
    - The M250’s sink plenty of current and drove my 803’s to virtually any volume without any sign of clipping.
    - The 250MR’s give more detail and a virtually zero noise floor (through balanced inputs), overall much better sound compared to the M250’s but clipping first becomes evident around +1~2db (minor) and noticeably at around +4db.

    The 250MR’s are superb amps: plenty of weighty controlled bass, excellent mid-range and high frequency…. But from the previous discussions it sounds like the Brystons could give the best of both Worlds.

    Damn…. Now I’m not going to be satisfied until I’ve heard the Bryston 7BSST’s and if they do indeed deliver the “best of both” then it’s gonna be expensive. Anyone interested in a pair of nine month old 250MR’s……

    Regards
     
  24. alexs2

    alexs2
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    I think you'd be very impressed by the Brystons,as I always have been on each occasion I've heard them,and the value aspect is also something to be considered,as is the guarantee at a full 20yrs.

    I'm sure your 250Ms would sell well,but take an opportunity to try any of the Brystons...the sound is similar to the older Krells,if a little less weighty(which can be a good thing),but without any of the long warmup times associated with the older Class A amps.
     
  25. GrahamMG

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    Careful here........ I made the same mistake once, the AV192R/32R also runs out of headroom at around +4dB volume setting (assuming normal calibration) and you might hear this and assume it is the amp clipping....... In our tests though it appears the Bryston does go louder before clipping compared with the 250x3R but that is pretty dammed loud and not normal listening levels really, I suppose it is down to protection circuits and where the manufacturer sets them, TAG amps seem a bit conservative, they might be right, they might be wrong but in any case you shouldn't be running an amp that close to the edge anyway for your speakers sake...........
    I wonder what happens if you calibrate "0" at say 80dBC, does this improve matters or make no difference?
     
  26. Welly123

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    Thanks for your comments Graham.... I will certainly want to "test" the Brystons before buying, hopefully at my place rather than a showroom so if there's little of no difference then it will save me a lot of money.

    Intersting thought about the calibration... I have not tried it but I will do so.

    Regards

    Russell
     
  27. GrahamMG

    GrahamMG
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    I'd wait for Steve or John/Udo to comment on if setting a different ref level makes any difference to how the AV192/32R reacts at +4dB and above, I only have a dim dark recollection of this from ages ago... I do know that the Bryston's gain is a bit different to the TAG's as the TAG had to be modified to match during that famous amp test at TAG HQ one very snowy afternoon..... Human nature detects the louder amp as better 9/10, that obviously isn't always the case.... LIke I always used to say "test at home, nothing else matters" and "its your money".....:)
     
  28. johnson

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    Hi
    Wasn't your old amp tested with the av192 also?
     
  29. Stevesky

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    The AV32/32DP/192R has approx 7.5dB of analog domain headroom, meaning it can churn out about 3.5volts RMS. Based on the gain and maximum power of a 250x3R (250watts) the AV will definately not clip before the amp. In fact based on the same amplifier gain the amp would have to be capable of over 1100watts (into 8 ohms) before the AV would just start to clip.

    In the case of the calibration value, it still doesn't affect the AV's ability to drive an amp. It just means for example, that a person who has a +3dB speaker cal value is driving their amps four times as hard than a person who has a cal value of -3dB to achieve Dolby reference levels in their room.

    Hope that helps.
     
  30. real batman

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    [Anyone interested in a pair of nine month old 250MR’s……

    Regards[/QUOTE]

    :hiya: :hiya: :hiya:
     

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