Newbie. Can anyone help me get the right amp please

Mickey123

Member
I only use my computer to feed my TV what for all intents and purposes is used only as a monitor for said computer.

I do have a decent DAC to get good quality sound 'out' of the computer as opposed use the HDMI cable that goes from computer to TV. The DAC I use is a MOTU M2. (My freind who owens quite a high end recording studio told me these are amazing convertors at the price. )

I have just bought a mates B&W CM8s. Really pleased with them.

I am going to pick up a BK Monolith + at some point.

For now I need to focus on a good amp for the B&W that takes into account I want to add the sub at a later date.

Im not one for apps. Still have a phone with snake on it. Im about as 'UN' technical as you can get. I just want something I turn on and it sounds mint. There that's it.

Can anyone bottom line what I need.
 
D

Deleted member 24354

Guest
You haven’t actually told us whether this is for listening to music, watch movies or both. Do you want 2.1, 3.1, 5.1, 5.2.1, 5.4.1, 7.1, 7.2.1, 7.4.2. On top of all this, what is your budget?
Please give us some more detail.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Yes, please do. But for amps a powerful Rotel we’ll go nicely with your CM8, even though they are rated at 8 ohm, the ohm we’ll always go up and down. It’s never constant. As for sensitivity I think they are rated 90db, that’s good, but they still need some power to blossom. But it well always depend on what budget you have. People normally like to drive B&W speakers with a 200 watt amp. For the subwoofer you well be using you need an amplifier with either high line, pre out connection. As I’m not using a pc my self I well live that to other experts. But there are ways to connect the sound from your Dac to your amplifier of your choice, as I understand you use your tv screen as a Monitor for your pc. And as above is it for movies you need other options. But the speakers you have are very nice speakers!
 
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Russ_64

Well-known Member
What is your budget? Also if this is mainly for music then get a good stereo amp first as you may not need a Sub, unless you are aiming for a full surround sound system (5.1 - the .1 is a Sub).

A quote from the WhatHiFi review is: "The CM8s are biwirable and feature B&W’s Flowports to promote tighter, better-defined bass. Ideally, you should position them in some free space, with a little toe-in."

So maybe a quality amp that support Bi-wire (but all depends on your budget).
 

Mickey123

Member
Hi, sorry didnt get an email to say there was replies. First job, thanks for replying.

2.1, budget just something people would buy to accompany the B&Ws speakers. IE if it takes a £500 amp then so be it. Second hand is fine. I mean I wouldn't buy a Porsche and put white wall tyres on it. Id buy tiers that go with a Porsche. So, not being evasive just need an amp that will do the B&Ws proud. Again, dont need grand prix tyres either. So not wanting to buy a 20k amp for a grands worth or speakers. I guess money not important (to a level, hey im single, you choose to have a wife to manage your budget, I didnt) Just want something to match the quality of the B&Ws.


PS - Oh I need a sub. I want to be swimming in Bass. No wife remember? I want bass that a single man can enjoy. That shakes the windows out. etc. Not something that looks tidy and suits the mother in law blah.

Appreciate any replies. I know time is precious.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
If you love a sub then there's no need to consider bi-wiring as the sub will take over the very deep bass support. Do you want a sub with a dedicated sub pre-out or are you willing to go the high level route with a sub?

Are you talking about a multi channel receiver or just a stereo amp?
 

Mickey123

Member
Hi mate,

Ive decided of all the reviews and good comments on here id love a Monolith plus. So that will be my sub. Apparently the B&Ws CM8s are not great at bas and better at mids. People using them in isolation usually go for 9's or 10's. But people report great things with the 8s and a sub.

So ive decided on the CM8s and the monolith plus. Unless anyone has any objections to using the Monolith plus. Its onyl really the Amp or receiver or whatever there called. Basically I need the bit that will power the CM8s and it should have a through / sub out. It needs to be able to take the signal from my MOTU DAC what is Jacks or phonos.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
If you go for a surround sound receiver then you are going to have at least five or maybe even seven channels that are not going to be used. A stereo receiver may be what you are looking for.
 

Mickey123

Member
Thanks, Could I please borrow your expertise a little more. People talk of impedance and ohms and I dont know. Ill learn it if I have to but here in the future we literally swim in information. I have a different approach. For EG I love my car but have no clue how it works. I realism people have their passions and these days are very knowledgeable about them. So I try to help in my discipline and hope some kind soul feels thew same in theirs. Today its speakers and amps. So sorry if I seem a little lazy. People say things like do a google or learn all this yourself. But I dont wana be an expert or anything near. I just want to switch it on and it sound mint! ha.

So, Id like something that matches (IE suits the audio physics of) the CM8s and the Monolith plus. A remote would be cool too. And im not sure but from previous systems (admittedly much smaller than this) I need a way of sending under a certain frequency to the sub only and above to the CM8s.

Being able to run another set of stereo speakers without a sub in another room would be cool but not essential. This would be a lesser system than the main room the CM8s / Monolith would be in.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
You had some good suggestions already, but I would say the CM8 is sufficient in the deep bass depart. It goes down to 40h hz, I believe. For normal instruments like bass drums, bass guitar it should rock. It all depends greatly on the room! But as I understand you like a subwoofer. Nothing wrong with that😊. Im no expert, but as for ohm, you have something called ohms law. The higher number, let’s say 8 ohm, is easier to drive for an amplifier both at low, loud volume. The CM8 is rated 8 ohm, but I bet those speakers can go as deep as 3.8 ohm. That’s very low. So then it’s important to have good amp. Because the amplifier we’ll nedd more current to drive the speakers. Sensitivity is measured 1 watt one meter from the speakers, CM is 90 dB. If I’m not completely wrong this means that a pair of speakers with 85 dB, need 5 more watts to play just as loud as the 90 db. The CM is fairly easy to drive on paper, on low volume, but if you like to rock it could be a good idea to buy a quality amplifier, be it an ordinary stereo amp, or stereo receiver. A stereo receiver has a HDIM connection like tv. Well some AV Stereo Receiver do. That means you can connect a HDIM cable from your amplifier to your desired source, get both sound, picture. But a AV Receiver, or AV Stereo amplifier, I’m not entirely clear what do call them, as they are pretty new in the industry. But an AV Stereo Receiver supports only PCM (stereo sound) if I’m not entirely wrong when connected using HDIM. But some Av Receiver does also have dedicated subwoofer connection. That’s good because then the AV Receiver takes care of the subwoofer settings in the amp, like the crossover settings. If not you have to do it manually. But as I understand if including a subwoofer it’s a must to connect a digital eq to get the subwoofer blend in perfect with the two front hifi speakers. My two cents.
 
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Mickey123

Member
Good morning.

wooow, your whopping block of text plays havoc with my dyslexia (seriously). Ive had to swap it to word and break it into chunks some call paragraphs. Still, thanks for taking the time.

You say Ive had some good suggestions already. Please can I ask where? This is exactly what I want. Someone to say buy this. And give a few recommendations to whittle down the masses of products on there.

Great info on the receiver vs amp. Well, I guess I need an amp then. But a one that can manage a sub. Thanks, this has considerably narrowed my search knowing the difference.

Mean time I have been trawling the net to see what amps others have mentioned in the past to power the CM8s. Great news is with the CM8s being old now so are the a amps. Some incredible bargains about on due to them not being the latest model. You know like you can buy last years mountain bike for 50% off as its a different colour to this years. I love sheeple. Makes my purchases much cheaper just buying the 'ancient' 3 years out of print stuff.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
I’m sorry if was to technical😞. English is not my native language. But in short from my understanding you want an amplifier? A normal stereo amplifier, or a receiver which gives you surround sound? In short if you want a surround receiver which gives surround sounds there are many options. Denon perhaps. For a single stereo amplifier then a Denon, Arcam, Rotel well suit your speakers fine. If you wish to hook up a subwoofer to your preferred stereo amplifier you need either pre out or high line connection. High line connection are the speaker terminals. Then you have what’s called 2,1 hifi. One subwoofer, two front speakers. If you wish to go down the surround receiver road, then you need a receiver with a LFE connection. You connect the subwoofer to the LFE connection on your surround receiver. The surround receiver should automatically adjust the cross over settings on your subwoofer. Cross over settings can be complicated, so you need to experiment with subwoofer settings, and where to place your subwoofer. If you need connect the subwoofer to a normal amp, then you need to adjust the cross over settings manually. But I do believe you can use a digital eq to get the best cross over settings with both an normal stereo amplifier or receiver automatically, instead doing it manually. But then you need to buy some hardware like DSPEAKER ANTI-MODE 8033 CINEMA. It’s a small eq unit that many use with subwoofers. But there are other eq options that also can work like REW. It’s a software program you download to your pc. Then you have a popular software eq called Dirac, but that is most used for normal hifi. As for other options there are stereo amplifier with build dac, streaming. And also AV stereo amplifiers, meaning you can send sound, picture by using a HDIM cable from the AV amplifier to your tv. As for the options I mentioned I would perhaps buy something with at least 100 watts, as your speakers are bit difficult to drive. This is of course subjective! How loud do you play? What music do like? Do you have a large room? The CM8 is rated at 8 ohms, 90 dB. They are not that difficult to drive for an amplifier, but can be as the ohm can drop all the way under 4ohm if you play loud. That means it important to have an amplifier that is powerful. Sensitive is measured 1 meter from the speakers. 90 dB is pretty high. If let’s say the speakers are rated 85 dB, the sensitive is lower. You see? That means you need to have the volume control a bit higher then let’s say a 90 dB speakers. So again on paper your speakers are pretty “easy” to drive, but can be a bit difficult since the resistance (ohm) can drop to under 4 ohm. That’s how clear I can put it to you. I recommend you to read about speaker specs online. If you don’t mind buying used amplifier, yes there can be some good deals out there. I do hope this helps! There we’ll be others that can also help. Good luck. 😊
 
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Mickey123

Member
ha. arrrrggggg. haha. Mate, your messages are technical enough. Its the big blocks of text I was objecting too.......anyhow, thank you for taking the time.

If your not from the UK you may not get this but my native language is 'Geordie' so not so good at English myself. :)

Yes, a 2.1 system is what I am after. Only the amp/receiver left to decide upon. Thanks to yourself and the others who kindly answered im getting there.

Thanks again for all the info. I do appreciate it. Can I ask what you would use if you had the speakers I had (CM8s) and the Monolith plus sub? I would like the unit that drives everything to run the sub. IE have a built in cross over etc. I dont need fancy 2020 features. Im old school. A remote would be good though. HDMI will come from my PC direct into my Plasma. Audio from PC direct to amp. Phono or quater jacks.

Regards and thanks
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
My two cents. I assume you use a usb dac. If I streamed music from let’s say a laptop I would use the usb connection. But hey that’s just me. I don’t stream music from a pc, but an iPad. I just the iPad as remote for my music. But your question about sound from pc to your amp I’m a bit uncertain there, sorry. I understand you use your pc as tv screen for your tv. Correct? But I quite don’t understand your question regarding connection from your pc to amp? If you mean RCA cables, then do this if it’s possible? But best would be either optical, coaxial or usb in my opinion from your pc to your amplifier. New amps first: But for amps Yamaha AS-2100, Yamaha AS-1100, Hegel H190. Those are a bit pricey, but all should have pre out. Though Yamaha have two pairs of speaker terminals, hence high line connection. I’m not completely sure Hegel H190 has pre out. If it has it says on the back. A bit cheaper Yamaha AS 801, Hegel H90. Rega Brio R (not sure it has pre outs). Rega Elex R, again check pre out. Under those price classes new I think the Rega Brio R is your safest bet. Ops, sadly it seems Rega amps do not have pre outs! So then I’m not sure you can connect your subwoofer? You have to ask Rega owners. Apparently Hegel does not have pre outs either. But I do believe you can use the other connection on both Rega, Hegel to get a subwoofer going. Yamaha AS 801 has subwoofer out connection. Yamaha AS 2001 has pre outs. Then you have Marantz PM8006, it has pre out. So has older models like Marantz PM14-S1. The new Marantz PN7000N has subwoofer connection. Normally for pre out you need two RCA cables to your subwoofer. If it only says subwoofer out, you only need one RCA cable from your amp to subwoofer. From what I can see your subwoofer have the following connection: High Level Input, low level balanced (XLR) not RCA, and low level RCA, two inputs. So you need an amplifier with either two RCA pre outs then, or high line connection. Sorry, I’m not familiar with that subwoofer. Only tried XTC subwoofer. It was totally different vs yours! As for the new amps I mentioned they should sing well with your speakers. If you look at the used market you can find many Marantz reference models. And many others Cyrus, Denon.... You need to find out if the amplifier you chose we’ll work with your subwoofer. But regarding pre outs. I do believe you can use the other connection on an amplifier, like Rec out. Gibbsy, the moderator has a Rega amp ask him. He well probably know. You see I only used pre out. It’s the most used connection for subwoofer in a 2.1 hifi system. Good luck. Ps, I would at least have an amplifier with 100 watt in 8 ohm to get those babies to sing. 👍. Ps, a surround receiver like a Denon should have all the connection you need as it designed for movies. A surround receiver also has room eq correction build in. As for the new AV amplifier, 2 channel they also have subwoofer connection. Some do. The problem is sometimes it’s called LFE, Pre out, Subwoofer out. So it’s vey confusing on which amp you chose. 🤔
 
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Russ_64

Well-known Member
I think something like this could work for you:
Marantz NR1200 Network Receiver

but may also be worth going into a Richer Sound shop if you can. They can also advise you as your needs are quite specific and unique.
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Yes, ask the shop for assistance. But the Marantz amp above we’ll suit all your needs. Sorry for me rambling on about amps. It’s just that I’m very picky when it comes to hifi. And there are so many to chose from. Good luck. 👍
 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Yes, it well work fine since it has subwoofer out. Enough power for your speakers. The Yamaha A-S801 is great for your use. It well shake the house with your subwoofer. It has more less all the connection you need. I think you well be pleased.
 

Mickey123

Member
Thanks man. Gonna take me a month or so to get the extra cash. But ill update when done and dusted to say thanks and conclude.

Thanks again mate
 

Mickey123

Member
Hi All, I bought the Yamaha but I got the 701 instead of the 801 as it seemed far cheaper and did the same thing. Other threads said the 801s only advantage was it had a better DAC. Not being sure why I would want or need to reproduce the information inside the amp to analogue other than to get it to the speakers I took a leap of faith and got the 7.

Thing is there is no built in cross over that I can see. Im pretty sure feature wise the 802 is the same. So considering I was to add a Monolith plus sub some time soon, how was the splitting of the bass / mids&his to be achieved when originally recommended. Maybe I am missing something.

I perhaps should have looked further into this but couldnt see that far into the future due to my limited knowledge. I do like the Amp. It has a sub out. Wouldnt you think an amp with a sub out would have a built in crossover? No?

Regards
 
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gibbsy

Moderator
I perhaps should have looked further into this but couldnt see that far into the future due to my limited knowledge. I do like the Amp. It has a sub out. Wouldnt you think an amp with a sub out would have a built in crossover? No?
In a 5.1 system it's ideal crossover which is set in the receiver after calibration and all the speakers set as small would be 80hz. All those signals below 80hz would be taken up by the powered sub woofer allowing the speakers to be able to portray signals above that point. You would also have the dedicated LFE channel in operation, the .1 channel, which portrays the deep sound effects in the 5.1 soundstage, something that few speakers are capable of.

Crossovers can be set on the receiver if a sub is present otherwise the speakers will get a full range of signals and the crossovers would be governed by the speakers themselves. Receiver are designed to work best with a powered sub woofer active.
 

Mickey123

Member
Hi, thanks for reply. Its a 2.1 system.

At the mo I haven't bought the sub (Funds) .

But it occurs to me when I do buy the Monolith plus im interested in it has controls to control the level of how high the crossover on it goes.

However I can see anywhere on my amp where I can set such a thing for the attached speakers.

So if I have understood you correctly one I plug into the amp a sub cable it will automatically only allow sound over 80hz? Ideally I would have liked to have been able to say what the bar was. Not be forced to 80Hz.

P'd off I didnt foresee this issue. About 15 years ago I owned a pannasonic 5.1 receiver thingy. You could set it to whatever you wanted. Starting to wonder if this amp was the right purchase.
 

gibbsy

Moderator
it will automatically only allow sound over 80hz?
No. It depends on what the EQ system sets the crossover to. My speakers roll off at 40hz but is set to 80hz as this is recommended for the best listening as films are mixed with a design of a crossover of 80hz. I suggest you read the opening of this excellent thread.

 

Helix Hifi

Well-known Member
Congrats! Yes, I think the AS701 well suit your needs fine. From my understanding it has a built in subwoofer low pass filter around 90hz. Since you have large floor standing speakers set the crossover over settings on your active subwoofer around 60hz, then try from there. I have tried a subwoofer in my set up, I ended up around 80hz by using the pre outs on my amplifier. A Dac is a converter that converts sound from digital to analog. We only hear in analog, hence the Dac. But since you had your own Dac just bypass the Dac in your Yamaha then. The only downfall I see with your AS-701 is that I does not have USB input. That could be handy if you wanna play music from your laptop. The AS801 has a USB input. Plus from my reading a better chassis, and a better Dac.
 
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