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Power amp recommendation?

Discussion in 'AV Pre-Amp/Processors & Power Amps' started by Angioguy, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. Angioguy

    Angioguy
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    Hello,

    Recently picked up an Arcam AVR-300 AV receiver for my growing 5.1 home theater system. Up until now, I have been using an old pair of B&W DM 330's driven by an Adcom GFA/GFP-555 combo-- and they sounded good. When I hooked up the Arcam, I was amazed at the difference in sound quality. Then I listened to the B&W 803S's with a power amp built by a small company whose name I can't remember-- what I do remember, was literally being blown away by this system. I'm very happy with the Arcam and would like to continue to use it for my rear channels and as a preamp for my home theater system. I've been told that the 803S's require on the order of 200-250 wpc to truly deliver peak performance, so I'm wondering if anyone might recommend a 2 ch or even 3ch power amp that I might be able to use through the Arcam for a pair of B&W 803S's in front and the B&W HTM3S center channel. Have a feeling the 20 year old Adcom may not be quite on par with what I should be using for the 803S's.

    I understand that what sounds best is largely subjective, but if someone could recommend hardware based on past experience with these manufacturers-- as well as compatibility-- I would be eternally grateful... your recommendations would at least give me a good place to start.

    Thanks in advance,

    Angioguy :confused:
     
  2. slingshot

    slingshot
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    Well I just replaced my Arcam P90 with one of these http://www.iplacoustics.co.uk/sa_400_alner_hamblin_semi.htm
    for my fronts, there's nowhere to listen to them, but I'm well impressed with mine compared with the P90 it's better in every way, bass, midrange, imaging and top end. The only bit I'm not 100% happy with is the top end through my PMC OB1's is just a tad harsh.

    I was going to buy a Bryston 3B but I'm more than happy with this cheaper option. Oh and if your B&W are really that hard to drive you can always buy 2 and bridge each to give over 1000watts.

    Slingshot
     
  3. deaf cat

    deaf cat
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    Loved the sound of me AVR200 but found the more up beat tracks could have done with a tad more kick, so ended up with a Rega Maia3 power amp for the fronts, which lets the Arcam sound shine through lovely, and adds a decent bit of kick.

    Try different cables between your AVR300 and what ever power amp you plunge for as I am finding they can make an incredable difference to the detail, control and softness or rawness of the system.

    Have fun demoing.
     
  4. Angioguy

    Angioguy
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    Thanks for your thoughts. Going to demo some amps this weekend-- will keep you posted!

    Angioguy
     
  5. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Bridging may well improve power output on amplifiers that are designed for it,but you will notice that it worsens load tolerance in that an amp previously able to work into a 4 ohm or lower load,generally is able to drive loads of 8 ohms subsequent to bridging.

    B&Ws Nautilus range is a very hard range to drive adequately,with even the smaller models requiring a good,high powered amp,with suitable load tolerance,as the impedance of most of the models drops substantially below 4 ohms in the LF area,resulting in high current demands at low frequencies,which a number of otherwise well reviewed amps have trouble with.

    The Bryston you recommend is an excellent choice,and is often partnered with B&W,along with the likes of Krell,Theta,Levinson etc.
     
  6. Larkfield

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    I to have an AVR300, an 805's/HTCM2 combo, I used to run Meridian 507 power so a 509 if you can stretch to is a good bet. (Grahams Hi-Fi recomendation)

    Alternatively i would go for the top Rotel stuff, i heard some with some 802's the other day and it rocked, very powerful set up and not that expensive. THe Arcam P7 is again another amp to look at, not as good as the Rotel though.

    hope this helps.
     
  7. Angioguy

    Angioguy
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    Thanks for your thoughts. Just listened to B&W 803's with a McIntosh MC-252 power amp, which really sounded sweet. I'd like to use this combo for the mains and the Arcam AVR-300 for the center and rear channels, assuming there's no conflict in connecting the Mc to the Arcam. Is 3-4% off msrp a reasonable discount on about $12,000 worth of gear?
     
  8. alexs2

    alexs2
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    The Macs,as I'm sure you've found,are beautifully made,and built to last,as well as being very tolerant and powerful,and as good as any of the other high-end amps we've mentioned....if that's the sort of budget you have in mind,do listen to Krell,Theta,Levinson and Bryston also.
     

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