Biamp with P1s or Classe 2200

hubiedubie

Standard Member
Hi,
I have an Arcam C30, 2 P1s and B&W 804S speakers. I want to get the most out of these speakers so am going to upgrade my power amplification.

My options are to either:
1. Get another pair of P1s and biamp the 804s with 4 P1s
2. Get the Classe 2200 power amp.


Which do you think will be a greater improvement?

How noticeable will it be?

Many thanks,
Hugh
 

panos_k75

Standard Member
Hi,
I have compared the Classe with the Arcams and the Classe is a much better choice. Even the CA-2100 was better. Sound becomes punchier, more detailed and air. However the speakers were JM Lab 927 Be.

CA-2200 is considered on of the best 2 channel amps outhere.
I am really happy with mine.
Panos
 

andym

Novice Member
dami0n said:
Hi,
I have an Arcam C30, 2 P1s and B&W 804S speakers. I want to get the most out of these speakers so am going to upgrade my power amplification.

My options are to either:
1. Get another pair of P1s and biamp the 804s with 4 P1s
2. Get the Classe 2200 power amp.


Which do you think will be a greater improvement?

How noticeable will it be?

Many thanks,
Hugh

Hugh,

Forgive me because it's not what you asked, but the biggest improvement to that system would come from upgrading the speakers.

I wouldn't expect a big difference between the 2200 and P1. Audition them (of course) if you can, and find a dealer who will help you to do so properly i.e. blind and level-matched.

Andy
 

gregeas

Novice Member
I have a similar system: CD32-->C31-->P1s-->N804s. I'm not sure if the B&Ws need more power than the P1s can deliver, unless you are listening at very high levels (I live in an apartment and can't test this).

I agree with the previous poster's idea that the next logical upgrade would be speakers. The price of another set of P1s plus the used value of your S804s should get you a nice upgrade. Also, what is your source?

BTW, I am stunned by the improvement of the P1s versus the P35. Every aspect of the sound in my system seems to have improved.
 

gregeas

Novice Member
Squeezeboxes are pretty nice, eh?

Why not go for the D803s? From what I've gathered, that would be a major upgrade from the S804s...
 

hubiedubie

Standard Member
I thought about the 803S or Ds but decided they were too big for my room.
Another cheaper options is to get a P35 for the mids / trebles and use the 2 P1s for the bass. Basically, I want to get the absolute max out of the 804s possible.
Squeezebox is excellent. Great sounding with the Cyrus DAC!
 

gregeas

Novice Member
Here's my experience so far. I started with the A32/P35 bi-amping the N804s. This was a very good combination, but I eventually got the urge to upgrade, so I sold the A32 and bought a C31. It turns out that the C31/P35 combo was actually a downgrade. Without the power of both amps, the N804s lost the defined soundstage they had before. However, there was an improvement in clarity. Then, last week, I bought a pair of P1s, and experienced a huge improvement over what I had with the C31/P35. Bass is better, separation/detail are excellent, and the imaging is incredible. My system, for the first time ever, blows me away.

Not sure what this means for you, but the 804s definitely need power. The question is what kind of improvement you can get over a pair of P1s. Maybe you can arrange a demo before buying. Let me know what happens...
 

andym

Novice Member
I didn't want to get into talking specs but I find it very hard to believe that a CA-2200 (2 x 200W) will substantially outperform 2 x P1 (2 x 170W). I find it even harder to believe that a CA-2100 (2 x 100W) will do so.

If it's absolute power you want then maybe 2 X CA-M400 (2 X 400W) but now you're getting into serious money and, in any case, the recommended power range for the 804 is 50W - 200W.

Don't forget that doubling the power will give you a 'mere' 3 DB (actually 3.1) increase. The 804 has a sensitivity of 89 DB/W so at 100W output you're reaching around 109 DB. I'm told its impedance runs closer to 4 ohms so wind up the P1 to the max (c 250W into 4 ohms) and you're at 112 DB plus. Speaking for myself, I find such levels physically painful to listen to.

Simply put, if you want amplification to get the best out of the 804 you already have it.

Andy
 

panos_k75

Standard Member
a 100W amplifier is different from another 100W amplifier. Classe is pure high-end. Trust me I really wanted to not to be able to tell the difference between the Classe kit and the P1s. However the difference (with all the other elemets the same) was more than remarkable. P1s are very good, but not in the same league in my opinion. Audition is always a must as usual.
 

kishoo

Active Member
The Classe kit is VERY NICE...

The 5200 power amp is one of those power amps that take 2 people to lift them.

I reciently installed 5* B&W 800d's and a 5200 and the amp didn't even break into a sweat when running reference levels (118 db)

If you can afford to then bypass the baby Classe and plump for the biggie.....

As for the P1's... Damm nice amps but a better single amp is a better bet...


Kishoo
 

Tom @ Cinehome

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Interesting posts.
Funnily enough, I have a pair of 804s and a Marantz SA11 and I am looking at new amps to upgrade from my Arcam A22.
I have tried the Marantz PM11 / Krell KAV400xi / Copland CSA29 and MF A5 Pre / Pwr.
So far, the Krell and the MF have been shortlisted but maybe I need to try and P1s and C31 also.
 

andym

Novice Member
Kishoo said:
The Classe kit is VERY NICE...

Too right. First class kit.

Kishoo said:
The 5200 power amp is one of those power amps that take 2 people to lift them.

Indeed. (And at 53 cm it's also very deep which is something to be aware of.)

Kishoo said:
I reciently installed 5* B&W 800d's

I'm jealous. The 800D is the best speaker I've ever heard. But that's a cool £32.5K...

Kishoo said:
...and a 5200 and the amp didn't even break into a sweat when running reference levels (118 db)

I'm not quite sure what you mean by "didn't even break a sweat" apart from not clipping (and I should hope not for that money!). But neither do the P1s. They'll drive the 800Ds only a couple of db short of the Classe (into 4 ohms the P1 is 250W; the 5200 is 375W) but that's not really a sensible comparison. Either amp will drive the 800D to levels well beyond my tolerance. Let's not forget the thread started with a request to find better amplification for the 804 and the 804 will be a limiting factor well before you reach the limits of either amp.

Kishoo said:
...As for the P1's... Damm nice amps but a better single amp is a better bet...

There are many supporters in both camps for single v monoblocs. The arguments are put forward with almost a religious fervour by either side and I'm agnostic in this.

If we ignore price, of course it is preferable to have a "better" amp and we should all buy, say, the Krell Master Reference Series amps (or whatever your favoured holy grail may be). But I'd venture a guess that it would be very hard to tell the 5200 apart from the Krell MRS in a double-blind, level-matched trial. Or the P1 from the 5200. (Soapbox: the test must be level-matched and at least single-blind, preferably double-blind. Otherwise you might just as well choose by the looks.)

Andy

PS. I'm not trying to put anyone off the Classe range. Ace kit. But in the context of the original question I contend the system wouldn't be improved...
 

kishoo

Active Member
andym said:
I'm not quite sure what you mean by "didn't even break a sweat" apart from not clipping (and I should hope not for that money!). But neither do the P1s. They'll drive the 800Ds only a couple of db short of the Classe (into 4 ohms the P1 is 250W; the 5200 is 375W) but that's not really a sensible comparison. Either amp will drive the 800D to levels well beyond my tolerance. Let's not forget the thread started with a request to find better amplification for the 804 and the 804 will be a limiting factor well before you reach the limits of either amp.

Not breaking a sweat was a reference to the total lack of compression of dynamics that you often get when driving a large speaker with a amp that it getting towards the upper end of its performance envelope. Some amps sound edgey and unnatural when pushed hard, others sound soft. It just depends upon the design of the amp.

As for driving 800d's.They are a 'challenging' speaker to partner with amps and will often show up even high end amps inability to play loud and long....

Kishoo
 

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