I've Decided on the Speakers - Help with Cd/Amp


Standard Member
Have had a basic Denon seperates CD/Amp along with a set of B&W 601's for about the last 7 or 8 years and am starting to look at replacing/upgrading it all. I have decided on a set of B&W 805 speakers and just wondering what recommendations people would have for a CD player and Amp (pre and power). Speakers will cost me around £2k including stands, so have a budget around £3k for the rest. Mainly listen to Ambient/Electronic/Prog House. I welcome some recommendations.....


Distinguished Member

phil t

Well-known Member
Don’t forget that we all have different preferences and what one likes, another may hate. I know you said you wanted a cdp and a pre/power amp but, if you like the Musical Fidelity sound, the A5 cdp & A5 integrated amp are a cracking combination. You should also consider the Primare combination, Naim combination, Quad combination and Cyrus combination. Find yourself a good dealer and audition as many combinations as possible.



Active Member
Rega Saturn, Cursa/maia chord cobra I/c's
Naim as above
Quad CDP-2 99 pre and 909

the list goes on, it really is down to the sound you are looking for. I have heads B&W's of varying flavours really sing with Naim and Rega electronics.
One suggestion that is a bit off the wall, but having heard them I was very impressed with the latest Cambridge Audio boxes the 840A and C, yes its an integrated, and yes its from Richer, and together they are half your budget, but they are well worth a listen. (You could even pick up the 640P phonostage from Richer at the same time and stick a turntable in the mix as well:devil:)


Active Member
Have you thought about something like the Transporter instead of a CDP? Capable of excellent sound quality, and much more convenient.

Doron Or


I would try to audition the following:

It is being distributed through:

This amp is one heck of an amplifier.
A Sonus Faber Forum Acquaintance who has similar speakers to mine and and Arcam CD72 did a long comparison of this Lavardin IS Reference amp to a long list of very good amplifiers:
1. Unison Research S6
2. Unison Research Sinfonia
4. Unico Secondo (this one has pre-amp with tubes 2 x 100 Watts);
5. Prima Luna Monoblocks + Prologue 3 Pre-amp
6. Arcam Diva A85 (2 x 85 Watts);
7. Krell KAV 400 xi (2 x 200 Watts);
8. Pathos Classic MK III

This ~2000 BP amp beat them all in my buddy's comparisons.

Perhaps try to audition. I wish I could audition myself but there is no Lavardin dealer where I live.

For a CD Player I would look at a second hand Meridian 588, G06, G07 or better yet G08. There is not a lot better out there and anything better is pretty much around $7,000 (Audiomeca Mephisto IIx - http://www.tnt-audio.com/sorgenti/mephisto_e.html) or more for not a lot of gain.
The naim CD5x might be ok if paired with other naim gear. Otherwise it was too bright and "in your face" to my ears and pairing it with the B&W 805 which I happened to listen will get you one bright system. If that is your taste go for it but if are looking for something more balanced look elsewhere or stick to complete naim system.

Good luck,



Active Member
If you do end up considering an integrated amp - then make sure to demo the NAD M3 - it's a damn bargain!!


Active Member
So it's now two weeks later... You getting anywhere with your listening for the amp/CD to join your future B&W 805s?

I've been running the previous model (B&W Nautilus 805) for around 5 years now with Myryad gear, which I specifically put together because I fell in love with the clarity and tonal accuracy which Myryad brings to the combination, and I just love the shape of the 805 on the B&W stands (the WAF is also huge for that combination!). But I have to admit that while the combination is extremely neutral and tonally accurate, it does tend towards brightness with heavily processed pop/rock: Which I suppose is probably because that kind of stuff is naturally rather bright. This isn't helped by a room which is quite minimally furnished (including wooden floor). If I listened to the same music choice as you I'd probably have made a very different choice of CD/amp, aiming more for something with a little "added" warmth to counteract bright tendencies, or been forced to add carpet and other soft furnishings to my listening room.

Given your music choice, I do wonder what type of amp/CD combo you'll end up with, and whether you'll end up with something which isn't purely neutral in the interests of bringing listenability to the less well mastered CDs out there. So I'm interested to hear what your eventual choice will be.

On the subject of suggestions (assuming they might still be needed): I would recommend also considering Classe (maybe second hand), as they are after all owned by B&W and my own experience is that they partner outstandingly with B&W speakers. If I'd had a bigger budget when buying my current kit, there was nothing I heard which was a better match for the N805 than Classe.

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