B & W 805 amp replacement

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
If you look at the insides of the Nord (or any other Hypex or Purifi amps) then it is basically three circuit boards connected by a bespoke loom and then connected to the front and rear panel. The three boards being the smps power supply, a buffer and the amp board. Very simple and there are many kits out there, Nord and other complete amp sellers ass the buffer that you don’t typically get in the kits. If you add up the bits retail price then the Nord prices are a bargain, plus some Hypex board are only available to producers not diyers.
 

Restored

Standard Member
I agree looking around Nord do seem good value, but back to basics, I understand the power supply, and amp but what do the buffers do, and I notice the connection at the back of a lot of power amps are not phono or banana plugs as they are on my Arcam what is the name for those connectors, sorry to ask but all this is new to me.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
The three pin connector is an XLR connector.
 

iwf

Active Member
A foretaste before the weekend.

in answer to your questions though. Most power amps use a balanced XLR input. Don’t worry though if buying new you can spec RCA, or as do use an rca/xlr cable. On the back it can support banana plugs or bare wires.
 

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Restored

Standard Member
I guess you’ve decided which one you are going to sell then, I presume this is your home build, looks pretty neat.
 

iwf

Active Member
Yep, I’ve decided. My only question is how much more to tweak this build, by adding a 12v trigger or not. Ideally the buyer won’t be frightened to get a soldering iron out, if they want to extend it. But in reality it was simly connecting it all together. Though I’ve soldered the xlr, the newer versions even allow for screw fit.

Interestingly the inclusion of a buffer board with removable op amps allows an element of playing along the lines of tube rolling. Effectively the big players, like Bel Canto and NAD take the basic amps then add their own op amps and maybe cheaper power supplies.

This particular amp has been the cleanest amp I’ve ever owned. Powered up and without anything playing, there’s no sound at all from the speakers, almost like a black hole. That’s quite something when considering the 805d3s The only trouble is that it shows up poor recordings like nothing on earth.

Your idea of using an Arcam as a pre isn’t a bad idea. The arcam would add some warmth to what can be a dry sound. I’ll never go back to class AB amps and am probably suffering from diminishing returns by moving to the purify.
 

Restored

Standard Member
Sounds very interesting and I‘ll look forward to seeing the ’ad’ however not sure it would be for me, the prospect at this stage of breaking out a soldering iron is somewhat scary, I am it seems at the bottom of a steep learning curve and probably need the help of a manufacturer in terms of upgrades etc I guess I was hoping you would decide on selling the Nord
 

Restored

Standard Member
Okay so I bit the bullet, and went for a Nord 3 1ET 400A with a single PSU but do intend to upgrade to twin as soon as I can, I am using the Arcam as a preamp which I have found a bit fiddly getting it into processor mode, I am using the preamp outputs so I guess it is working as it should, any way sounds pretty good, great clarity lots of spaciousness if that a word and good bass, I want to sell the Arcam and buy a new preamp, sadly Nord can’t supply one at present any ideas. My inputs are Arcam FMJ CD player and a focus one turntable with a Stanton 500 Mm cartridge ?
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Nice one, glad you are happy with it. There are quite a few option for preamp for both line and mm input. Options I would look at include -

A very budget option that may be worth a look at would be the Tisbury pre and phono combo, very minimalist and the pre is a passive attenuator but may give a nice clean sound.

Khozmo passive preamp ( you can configure to your own system) plus a £500ish phono stage, something like the Moon 110LP or the Musical Fidelity MX-VYNL.

However check with Nord that their power amps can run with a passive pre or get the specs needed to check they are compatible.

The Rotel Rc1590 is a fully featured preamp with balance in/out and built in DAC, should give a good transparent sound and are usually good value second hand.

One option I would be interested to explore would be the use of a tube/valve preamp with the class D purifi power amp. The Rogue Audio RP1 has the valve sound but is less “tube” than others so may suit the power amp well But should give that large sound stage that valves give. Plus you can have hours of fun rolling the tubes for different ones to get the perfect sound. These are around the £1000 second hand.

Just a few options, happy hunting.
 
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iwf

Active Member
I can confirm the Nord will run with a passive style preamp. I ran mine until recently with a Mytek Brooklyn DAC +, which of course includes a MM input and a line input. that DAC would be significant improvement over the Arcam DAC, and the MM support is supposed to be very high class too.

Until I got recently into room correction my kit was ROON into the Mytek then into the Hypex Then the 805s. Stunning setup.

But as has been suggested there are several options for a pre. My Mytek should be up for grabs in the next weeks, if you’re interested.
 

Restored

Standard Member
Nice one, glad you are happy with it. There are quite a few option for preamp for both line and mm input. Options I would look at include -

A very budget option that may be worth a look at would be the Tisbury pre and phono combo, very minimalist and the pre is a passive attenuator but may give a nice clean sound.

Khosmo passive preamp ( you can configure to your own system) plus a £500ish phono stage, something like the Moon 110LP or the Musical Fidelity MX-VYNL.

However check with Nord that their power amps can run with a passive pre or get the specs needed to check they are compatible.

The Rotel Rc1590 is a fully featured preamp with balance in/out and built in DAC, should give a good transparent sound and are usually good value second hand.

One option I would be interested to explore would be the use of a tube/valve preamp with the class D purifi power amp. The Rogue Audio RP1 has the valve sound but is less “tube” than others so may suit the power amp well But should give that large sound stage that valves give. Plus you can have hours of fun rolling the tubes for different ones to get the perfect sound. These are around the £1000 second hand.

Just a few options, happy hunting.
Very interesting I had seen a review of the Rogue with Hypex amps, and have just read a review of the Purifi amps with a Schiit Freya plus which was most complimentary I might give them a ring, it is also priced around £1000.00. I think I would need to check witch Colin about compatibility first,i quite like the idea of mixing in a valve amp I know you said you would be keen to explore this option I wonder have you or do you know anyone who has done this. The Nord is so quiet absolutely silent between tracks stunning, and I have cable mains etc all mixed up at the back till I can get it sorted out. Doesnt seem to get anything more than slightly warm either although that might change with a second PSU. Do you know if the ROgue runs warm at all?
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
Emporium Hifi have an RP1 in at the moment, second hand at £1125, may be worth dropping them a line with questions. Audio Republic are UK distributors so again worth calling to ask question or see if they have exdemo or trade in units.
 

Restored

Standard Member
Emporium Hifi have an RP1 in at the moment, second hand at £1125, may be worth dropping them a line with questions. Audio Republic are UK distributors so again worth calling to ask question or see if they have exdemo or trade in units.
Yes I’ve seen that and I’ve been looking out a few reviews of it, all very favourable and it seems good for a phono I put as well, I have read it performs well with both valve and solid state power amps, just waiting to hear from Colin as to whether their preamps will be available in the near future or not.
 

Restored

Standard Member
I can confirm the Nord will run with a passive style preamp. I ran mine until recently with a Mytek Brooklyn DAC +, which of course includes a MM input and a line input. that DAC would be significant improvement over the Arcam DAC, and the MM support is supposed to be very high class too.

Until I got recently into room correction my kit was ROON into the Mytek then into the Hypex Then the 805s. Stunning setup.

But as has been suggested there are several options for a pre. My Mytek should be up for grabs in the next weeks, if you’re interested.
Interesting sorry to be ignorant what do you mean by ROON ?
 

Restored

Standard Member
Interesting sorry to be ignorant what do you mean by ROON ?
Okay just looked it up didn’t realise it was a streaming app hence into the Mytek.
I don’t have any interest in streaming which is fortunate as our internet connection is dreadful, only going to input CD and phono. I think I have read three or four reviews of valve preamps into either Purifi or Hypex they are all pretty enthusiastic so that definitely the way I am headed as Colin has no date at all for availability of Nord Preamps. I have to say the amp seems to be getting better I guess there may be some ‘burning in ‘ it’s astonishingly clear, and silent inbetween tracks, also the arc of sound is great very expansive ( I have spent a good deal of time adjusting the position of the 805’s ) I think either a secondhand Rogue R1 or a new Schiit Freya both seem similar in what they offer and seem to fit the bill for what I want.
 

Ugg10

Distinguished Member
@Restored put of interest which opamps did you go for in the Nord, iirc the Sparco is slightly warmer and the Sonic Imagery is a little more detailed?

There is a Holland HP200 on ebay at the moment that is slowly creeping up with lots of bidders, I suspect this may reach the £2-3k mark though.

There is also a black RP1 on Hififorsale, it’s been there a while so no idea if it is still available. Listing says 1st Jan 2022 but I think it was on there well before Christmas plus it is cheaper than the Emporium one.

 

Restored

Standard Member
Well I didn’t get a choice it came with it came with OPA1612 Op Amps I guess as it is entry level apparently “ no discrete regulators “ but that is at present way over my head.
The Holland is out of my budget but I hadn’t seen the Rogue on HiFi sales I’ll check it out
There is also a second hand Schiit Freya on eBay not far from here
 

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