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B&W805, are they good in "direct mode". Struggling with Stereo

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by Ashmaster, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. Ashmaster

    Ashmaster
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    Hi guys, please tell tell me what you think regarding this issue. I would really appreciate your feedback.

    I have recently went to a dealer to test amps that I might consider as my next upgrade. While I was there I have listened to the Arcam AV8 and Bryston Amp. The movie sound was great, however, what really impressed me was the sound while using the direct mode (stereo sound while bypassing all the processing and getting the signal directly to the amps), the sound was amazing.

    This was my first encounter with "direct sound", and I think that I'm hooked. Recently my freind bought a B&W setup CM4 and when we used it in direct mode (using his Yamaha RX-V2500) the sound was stunning, using any other type of processing wasn't even close in SQ. Therefore, I concluded that music would be best using the "direct mode".

    However, when using the direct mode, I assume that a full range signal will be sent to the Left and Right speakers, as no processing will occur, thus no crossover settings will apply and the subwoofer will not revceive any signal.

    This creates a new problem for me, as my Left & Right speakers are N805 and are limited in their bass capabilities (I don't want to sell them though). Furhtmore, my current receiver does not have "direct mode"

    The only way to get over this (in my opinion) is to first buy a seperate surround pre-amplifier and a surround power amplifier (thinking of the new Arcam). Then I should connect the Right & Left channels from the pre-amplifers to each of my two ASW675. Then connect the ASW675 to the right and left channels of the surround amplifiers. This way the 2 subs will act as part of the right and left speaker, furthermore, the sub will handle all the bass and will also handle the cross over of the remaining signal to the N805.

    In this situation, I might need to buy another sub to handle the LFE signal for home threater use.

    I could never get decent sound from my current system especially with music. I alway blame my receiver and DVD player for that, as they only cost $300 for both (Pioneer). When I listen to music in any mode, the sound sucks, whether it is in ProLogic II or setero or anything.

    I also know that I don't want to listen to my CDs in any surround mode, I want to listen to them in setreo. And I guess, the best setreo sound that I can get from a surround pre-amp/ surround amp is while using the direct mode. However, again, I know the limitations of my N805 especially in the low frequencies.

    Im tired of thinking about this. I really want to get good stereo sound from this setup, while still maintaining good HT.

    Sorry for the long post.

    Thanks guys, waiting for you replies


    My system:
    Mains B&W805, Center B&W HTM2, Surround B&W705, Subs two B&W ASW675
     
  2. Harry T2

    Harry T2
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    Yes, they are good.

    If it were me, I would simplify the sub situation and get a bigger/better sub with line in and speaker in connections rather than 3.

    The B&W speakers really do need something along the lines of the new Arcam amp. Equally, the AVR300 with a power amp is a viable option to biamp the speakers (at least the 802’s).

    If you are still using the $300 DVD player, you must also improve this. Either by a DAC upgrade, a dedicated CD player, or (if you must) a superior CD/DVD combo.
     
  3. alexs2

    alexs2
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    The front part of my system is similar to yours in terms of speakers,but if you're using a $300 receiver to drive a set of 805's,you aren't doing either them or your ears any favours at all.

    The bass end of the 805's whilst obviously limited,is surprisingly good,given a decent power amp,and the Bryston range of amps are a very good match,both in terms of quality,and ability to drive speakers with low impedances at low frequencies,which will make a lot of amps struggle(I found this when trying mine with a multichannel TAG amp,and remain very happy with a set of old Krells).

    As has already been said,you really need a more versatile and powerful receiver,or processor/power amps,which will allow you to get the best out of your speakers,and also keep your B&W ASW675's which should be perfectly adequate.
     
  4. Ashmaster

    Ashmaster
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    Thanks for the feedback guys. I will definately buy better amplification.

    However, do you think if I buy a seperate pre-amp processor/ surround amp, and connect the right channel from the pre-amp to one sub and connect the left chennel from the pre-amp to the other sub, then connecting the right sub to the righ channel in the amp and the left sub to the left channel in the amp. This way the subs will do the cross-over retaining the low freq and sending the rest to the amplifier to be fed to the N805.

    Will this give good sound while listening to music in seteo mode (comparible to floorstands). This set-up is included in the my subs manual and I don't know if it will give good results? Using the subs in this set-up will effectively make them work in stereo.

    What do you think?
     
  5. alexs2

    alexs2
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    With any decent receiver or processor,it's best to leave all the crossover work to the processor,and use a phono splitter to allow you to run both subs off the same output.

    Your solution would work,but relies on the sub's crossover and also sits in the signal path....FWIW.
     
  6. Ashmaster

    Ashmaster
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    Thanks alot Alex, Those are valid points. Do you think that the subsbeing in the signal path would effect the sound drastically?
     
  7. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Probably not,but worth considering from that viewpoint,and also from the convenience of setting up and using the prcessor to do all of the relevant work.
     

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