B & W 805 amp replacement

Restored

Novice Member
I have been very lucky and a friend has lent me on long term loan a pair of B &W 805’s they are to replace my CM 7’s at present powered by a Arcam A 28, I have to say they sound superb, a great leap up from the previous speakers and I suspect they suit the room better. Now I don’t have to fork out for some speakers for a long time I was thinking of selling the Arcam and the CM 7’s and putting the money into a new amp, anyone got any opinions about 805‘s and the new Rotel 1592, seems to be well reviewed and seems to have some compatibility with B & W. Budget about 2k. Thanks in advance.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
If you like the geenral sound of the Arcam and the 805’s then you could use the Arcam as a preamp (using the prelims) and a fairly beefy power amp to drive the 805’s.

Something like the Nord Acoustics NC500 or possibly Purifi based amps Or the new Nad C298 power amp which is also Purifi powered.



If you can get out to listen to some combinations then this may be worth doing, Rotel 1592 vs Rega Elicit-R vs Arcam A28 driving a Nad C298. I think Sevenoaks may be your best bet to try these combinations. As a wide card them a Roksan M2 integrated may also be worth a listen.

Or at that budget you have the Lyngdorf TDAI1120 which is getting a lot of good reviews on here with its room perfect system.
 
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gava

Active Member
A few other ideas:

1. miniDSP SHD Streamer/DAC/Preamp/DSP/Dirac + power amp => Nord amp/ NAD C298/ ROTEL RB1582 MKII Power Amp - these are likely to be a bit over budget depending on the option you go for.



2. The new Cambridge Audio EVO 150


3. The very newly announced NAD C 399 (which looks super tempting, better in every way than the CA EVO 150 and could be my next choice but my speakers are easier to drive than yours I think so the Lyngdorf TDAI1120 is still in the frame).

 

Restored

Novice Member
Thanks both form that advise, I hadn't considered using the A28 as a preamp but I'll give that a look at, my biggest difficulty is that I live in rural Shropshire so no chance of getting anywhere where I can try out different combinations.. I do like the A28 sound but compared to the previous speakers these 805's need some driving and the vol has to be turned up at least a third more. I will read the reviews of all the suggestions, given Arcam sound is very pleasing, would there be any sense in going for an Arcam power amp and using the A28 as a preamp.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
The ideal power amp just increases the signal adding nor taking anything from the sound I.e. the fabled straight wire with gain. Most of the sound signature of the amp comes for the preamp section (of an integrated if you use the preouts). Therefore, if the power amp has a flat frequency curve, low enough levels of distortion at moderately high volumes and has sufficient power reserves to control the woofers (damping factor of 150+) then you will be good to go. The latest class D power amps are pretty good at driving difficult to drive speakers (lower sensitivity and low drop in impedance). The purify power amps inside the Nad C298 are probably the best about at the moment, the Hypex NC series comes close (NC400 or 500).
 
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Paul7777x

Distinguished Member
The MiniDSP Dirac is a great idea.

I’d say the 805s needing hefty current is a certainty. Seriously big current too.

This will certainly do the job very well and is a bargain at this price too.


As will this one,


Or, if you’d prefer the simplicity of an integrated then this will drive anything all day, very well indeed and will be the only amp you’ll ever need.

 
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Restored

Novice Member
Thanks again for all the suggestions I must say the Quad does look good value for money, if I use the Arcama as a preamp I presume the power amp is on all the time and the vol is controlled by the Arcam, interested also to hear that the sound is defined by the preamp, is that the case in all types of set up ie integrated as well ? The downside to all this could be that if I buy a good power amp, there is a chance in the future that my friend might want the 805’s back and there is no way I can spend mega money replacing them at their current prices so would have to settle for different speakers, but I guess Arcam Quad set up is never going to be too much for a comparable set of speakers.
 

iwf

Active Member
I can support the idea of Nord Class D power amps for the 805s. I’ve run that config for years, with a Mytek Dac for 2 channel streaming duties. For HT use I use the Mytek in bypass mode from a SR7012

More than enough power IMO
 

iwf

Active Member
Mine’s a Hypex NC500 in mono mode with 2 1200a700 smps and Nord Rev c buffers and Sparko op amps. Very transparent.

check out Colin’s Nord Acoustics’s site. I’m upgrading to a purifi based amp shortly, again supplied by Nord
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
@iwf nice amps, please do let us know your views on the differences between the NC500 and Purifi versions.
 

iwf

Active Member
Can I ask which Nord amp you are using ?
Actually now it’s the purifi based with the Rev C buffers. But it used to be a N500 dual mono. In truth I can’t tell too much difference but the purifi runs a lot cooler than the N500, but that might be down smaller SMPS and one rather than two.

but in my latest new my Minidsp SHD arrived today. plenty of gain to drive my 805s. Nex5 up is to try the DSP Dirac suite of toys
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Left field option - add a tube preamp to the Nord, best of both worlds, smooth sound and expansive soundstage from the preamp plus all the control you want from the class D poweramp.

Rogue Audio RP1 may be a good shout as it is a little more neutral than most tube amps and they pair their tube preamp with a Hypex module in the Pharaoh Integrated that gets good reviews. Plus the RP1 only uses two tubes and the 12AU7 are relatively cheap to roll. It’s also got a very good phono stage if you have a turntable.

Examples

 
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iwf

Active Member
I’ll be selling my N500 dual mono in the next few days actually. Home built but with nord buffers, and thus the option to upgrade the buffers to anything you like then play with different op amps
 

iwf

Active Member
I’m wondering whether I’ve good the best at the price point I think reasonable. I took delivery of a minidsp SHD. It’s a potential replacement for my Mytek Brooklyn and once Roon is sorted out will act a preamp and streamer.

The SHD is amazing, offering Mytek like DAC quality with room EQ. Setting aside HT, it and the Purifi Class D makes for a very good two channel solution
 

Restored

Novice Member
I like the idea of a tube preamp, and the one Rogue Audio one that the link went too looks a good deal, I have read a lot about the Nord amps and am certain I am going to get one, especially as they are in Cheltenham not too far from me, this one
which is on eBay at present considering all the upgrades looks a reasonable deal, in your expert opinions would it pair well with the rogue ? I only play CD's from an Arcam FMJ cd player although I am on the lookout for a Michell Focus one turntable. I really like the sound to the 805's so if I have to hand these back I will definitely seek out another pair as they seem to be some availability second hand.
Intersting about the steaming, but the internet here ( Ludlow ) is so back it would be frustrating and I do like the physical item.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
I’ve not heard a valve pre with class D power amp but it is a set up I am working slowly towards in the future, given the reviews of the Rogue Phoenix and the DK Design Vs1 (this is a class AB though) and some of the Unison Research hybrids it is certainly appealing to me.
 

Restored

Novice Member
I’ve not heard a valve pre with class D power amp but it is a set up I am working slowly towards in the future, given the reviews of the Rogue Phoenix and the DK Design Vs1 (this is a class AB though) and some of the Unison Research hybrids it is certainly appealing to me.
Okay i think I have decided definitely to get a Nord power amp and use the Arcam as a preamp as a start, and crucially keeps the cost down, whether I buy a new one or second hand depends on what becomes available, when I’ve done it I’ll report back as to how it sounds.
 

iwf

Active Member
So, I’ve now completed my NC500 rebuild, into a decent chassis, ready for sale at the weekend. But in making sure it’s working properly I’ve been running through my fav playlists and have compared it against my purifi amp. So two class D amps, the best in class with similar buffers and op amps.

and the difference…….

The Hypex has a little more drive to it, probably because it’s a pure dual mono design, whereas the purifi shared a PS. But subjectively I couldn’t really tell much diffference.

More importantly which do I sell?
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member

iwf

Active Member
The sensible person would retain the home build, and flog the Nord, but having had Colin‘s support over the years, I feel honour bound to actually to own one his proper builds
 

Restored

Novice Member
We’ll both sound tempting but as a ‘layman’ a self build sounds a bit scary, whereas perhaps Nord could sort out any future problems !
 

iwf

Active Member
home building a Hypex is more a case of assembly than anything else. Follow the diagrams and it’s difficult to go wrong. More importantly I’m likely to sell the NC500 for less than half the price of a new Nord
 

Restored

Novice Member
I guess as with most things it’s a question of confidence, as a craftsman I’ve tackled many jobs that have stretched my skill sets to the limit but none of them electrical ( I’m a bookbinder )
I’ll be interested to see your ads at the weekend, I’ll sign up to watch the for sale page !
 

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