B&W 804S vs Monitor Audio Silver 8

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Speakers' started by Sepi, May 10, 2016.

  1. Sepi

    Sepi
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    Hello people.

    I am new to this world.

    I have a turntable (Project) and prephono tube box (Project) and i need to buy speakers and amplifier.

    I need you to help me to take decision between this:

    Monitor Audio Silver 8 (brand new speaker)

    or

    B&W 804 S (second hand.. 5 years old).

    I have listened to both with the same amplifier (Cambridge Audio CAX80) and obviously the B&W sounds bettter, but i have to say the Silver 8 is pretty good.

    Price of both speakers are very similar:

    Silver 8: 1500 euros

    B&W 804s: 1.700 euros

    only problem is that i am scared to buy a second hand speaker, but actually looks like new.

    Help!!!
     
  2. TomScrut

    TomScrut
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    I arent sure why you would have doubts about buying the speakers if they are in good nick and you have seen and heard the actual speakers.

    Also consider this, the 804s will retain their value for better than a new pair of speakers for the same price.
     
  3. Sepi

    Sepi
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    Thanks Tom. I guess i will follow your advice.
     
  4. stevos

    stevos
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    Absolutely no doubt the B&W's, unless they are in bad shape.

    The only issue is that your amp will not do them justice, so going with them will cause you to upgrade that before long and so add to the 'price' of your purchase.
     
  5. michaelkenward

    michaelkenward
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    Really? Cambridge amps aren't that bad.

    But the B&Ws should last a lifetime. Mine have.
     
  6. Sepi

    Sepi
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    About AMP i know i need more power so i think i am going for any of these 2 options:

    Cambridge Audio Azur 851A
    Rotel 1570

    (Both 120W)

    Any recommendation guys?
     
  7. stevos

    stevos
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    It is not that the CA amp is bad, it is not, it is that the B&W speakers are high end. You could plug a £2k+ amp into the speakers and there would still be head room for extra performance.
     
  8. michaelkenward

    michaelkenward
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    The old adage was that you spent equal amounts on the three main links in the chain: turntable (sic!), amp and speakers.

    But that must change when you are talking about old speakers. An amp that would match those speakers when new might cost less now. Or has the development of amplifier technology ground to a halt?

    I really can't bring myself to replace my decades old Arcam Delta.
     
  9. Sepi

    Sepi
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    I see... my idea is not to spend more of 1.500 euros for the amplifier... :(
     
  10. stevos

    stevos
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    Amplification tech hasn't changed much over the years.

    If the Arcam Delta is in good condition, it is still a really decent amp. I don't know if they still offer the service, but you could see if Arcam are able to recondition the Arcam.
     
  11. TomScrut

    TomScrut
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    Try get a Nakamichi AV1P or an Emotiva XPA in the classifieds if you aren't wanting to spend a lot on an amp. It's that they will sound good with the Cambridge but better with a better amp.
     
  12. Sepi

    Sepi
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    i went to the shop again to do a test.

    I brought my turntable ("Project 5.1 SE" with "Ortofon Samba MC") and my pre phone amplifier ("Project Tube Box II") and i tested with the Amplifier Cambridge Audio 851A + speakers B&W 804S

    I realized one thing.. that the CD player sounds better. I had with me 2 albums both in Vinyl and CD format to compare, and CD wins:

    Suede "Dog Man Star"

    Massive Attack "Heligoland"

    It is not that my turntable is bad... i am not big expert.. but with that cartridge and the tube box, i think should be good enough...

    Anyway.... i finally bought the speakers and amplifier. I have my turntable connected at home and i am happy... that is the important :)
     
  13. Sepi

    Sepi
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    I am not entirely satisfied with my setup. Maybe cause the room is too big but i only really enjoy listening to this system when playing very loud.

    As most of you already told me the Integrated Amp Cambridge Audio 851A is only 120W, so maybe not enough for the B&W 804S that many people tend to say need at least a 150W amp.

    Options (i need your advice here):

    - i sell my 851A and i buy the new integrated amp Rotel RA1592 (200W).

    - bi-amp the 851A (120W) with the Cambridge Audio 851W (200W). the A for high frequency and hte W for low frequency.

    - bi-amp the 851A (120W) with the Cambridge AUdio 651W (100W). The A for low frequency and the 651W for high frequency.

    - bi-amp the 851A (120W) with Marantz Power Amp MM7025 (140W). The A as high frequency and the Marantz as Low frequencies.

    I have already demo at home bi-amping with both power amp from Cambridge Audio. It really sounds better. It is just that it takes too much space, not sure it is the best way to optimize both amps...

    The Rotel option should be power enough for those speakers...

    The marantz power amp has very good price...

    HELP!
     
  14. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    In Post #12, you commented that you did not like the turntable as well as the CD. But a part of me wonders if that was a quality problem or a volume problem. The output of a CD Player is usually a bit higher than the output of a Phono Pre-Amp, though it varies slightly. So, if the CD is louder, it is going to grab your attention more.

    The difference was so drastic in my system that I had to put attenuators in the output lines of the CD to bring it down to the level of the turntable.

    I wasn't there, so I can't say if this is or isn't something you encountered. I can only say that on some systems it exists.

    At to Post #13, 120w is no small amount of power. It should be enough for just about any speakers. I'm not sure which version of the B&W 804 you have, but, in general, more power is always better.

    Bi-Amping may have some value for you, but it seems an expensive proposition.

    The 851A is about £1200, the 851W is about $1500, for a total of £2700.

    The Rotel RA-1592 is only £1900.

    If you want to dump big money into a high end system, then consider the Parasound P5 Pre-Amp with DAC+Bass Management and the Parasound A21 (250w/ch) Power Amp. Though the price is not cheap, but high quality equipment.

    Parasound Halo P5 Pre-Amp, DAC (Optical, Coaxial, USB), Active Bass Management - £1200 -

    Parasound HALO P5 Preamplifier

    Model Halo P5 « Parasound

    Parasound Halo A21, 250w/ch Power Amp - £2600 -

    Parasound HALO A21 2 Channel Power Amplifier

    Model Halo A 21 « Parasound

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Steve/bluewizard
     
  15. Sepi

    Sepi
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    Hello Steve,

    Thanks for your time.

    I already demo at home with CD and yes it is true the first impression is that the sound is better, but it is just louder (by 10 dB). For example a good level for CD was around -40dB and Turntable -30dB.

    So i forget about CD player.

    The main problem I have now with my current music system is that when music is not loud, the sound is flat, i dont feel like very good quality sound. If i want to make the sound system shine then i have to turn it louder but this way i get headache after 3 songs.

    I am not sure if i add more Watts that would help me appreciate more the music without playing it very loud, or this is nonsense.

    I believe the main problem can come from my room (very bad acoustics) cause high ceiling, windows not very good sealed, exterior noise, etc.

    I took some pictures for you to understand...
     

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  16. Hixs

    Hixs
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    A thick rug in front of the speakers will make an instant difference.
     
  17. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    It does seem as if you have some acoustic problems in that room. A Rug in front of the speaker would be a start, but I think it is going to take more than that.

    Also, while you speakers are a bit out from the wall, if you have the older 804, they can be a bit bass heavy. So, a bit more space behind them would tame that more. Typically when you moderated the bass, it also clears up the midrange.

    The speakers in this system, similar to your, seem at least a foot from the back of the speaker to the wall behind-



    Note the thick rug.

    steve/bluewizard
     
  18. TomScrut

    TomScrut
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    Yep, as people have already said, move them out further from the wall. I have owned the 804S and 803S and they both need space behind them. Also as has already been mentioned a rug would be useful; your place looks as if nearly every surface is very reflective.
     
  19. Sepi

    Sepi
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    Thanks Guys. Got it.
     
  20. Sepi

    Sepi
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    Pics attached. Carpet should be wider.. i know :D
     

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  21. Nicholars

    Nicholars
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    And the "lowest table award" goes to...
     
  22. Sepi

    Sepi
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    Well.. finally i replaced the Phono Preamp and the Azur 851A for a Mcintosh MA6700 Integrated Amplifier.

    This is a different story.

    :)
     
  23. TomScrut

    TomScrut
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    Good stuff! And to think some people think amps make no difference
     

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