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Upgradeitis: Will n804s match into my system?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by meep, Aug 4, 2003.

  1. meep

    meep
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    Hi all,

    It's time to start considering a speaker upgrade again...

    I really appreciate the feedback i've received from forum members in the past an look forward to your thoughts on this one.

    I currently have (for those with sigs turned off);

    2x B&W 1NTs front
    1x B&W CNT centre
    2x B&W DS6 sides
    2x B&W 601S3s rears
    All driven by a Pioneer 2011 7-channel receiver (100W p/c)


    I've been thinking about upgrading those 1NTs for a while now and was leaning towards 9NTs. I'd also be putting in a stereo integrated to drive them for music as well as l/r for movies.

    However, now I have an opportunity to purchase a set of second hand N804s for a little less than the cost of new 9NTs. Dilemma :confused:

    If I go with the N804s, do people think they will integrate well with my CNT and 1NTs (which will be moved to side surround duties, replacing the DS6s).

    I would plan on replacing the CNT with a HTM1 in the future. (the guy selling the 804s also has a HTM2 but I gather that it does not match so well with 804s). For the next 6-12 months, however, I'll need to live with the CNT as there will be amps to purchase...

    Speaking of which, any recomendations for amps to drive the n804s and a (future) HTM1? I'd be happy to drive 4x surrounds from my 2011 for the moment. I'm thinking maybe put in place a decent power-amp now and continue using 2011 as processor until funds become available to upgrade that as well.

    Of course, I could go with the 9NTs thinking they would integrate better with my current set-up. Will the N804s be significantly better?

    I'm not going to consider N805s as if i had them, I'd always regret not having Sig805s and they're out of the budget right now (is this a silly attitude?)

    Thanks for any thoughts.

    Peter
     
  2. warrj

    warrj
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    Hi Peter,

    First thing I'd say is that buying a pair of 804s will probably mean that you'll eventually end replacing everything else with high-end gear. Therefore the 804s themselves may end up being a relatively small fraction of the budget which you'd need to spend in order to build a system which would do them justice. I'm nit trying to put you off (they are fantastic speakers) however it's important to be aware of what you're letting yourself in for.

    IMHO the 9NTs are nowhere near as good as the 804s. They're just not transparent enough.

    wrt HTM2/804 matching, a friend of mine has exactly this combo and I haven't noticed any tonal mismatch. The HTM1 would clearly be better but then it does share a lot with the 804 and is, therefore, very large (for a centre).

    Regards,

    Jules.
     
  3. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    I've encountered not one but several dealers who are of the opinion that N804s aren't worth the premium over N805s, and that if you are going to pay that much then you'd be much better off getting Sig805s or even paying more for 803s.

    I've never auditioned 804s myself, but I'm told that they sound rather unlike 805s and 803s (which match each other very well). It's been a long time since I listened to any CDM NT speakers, but foggy recollection suggests that they are not entirely unlike N805s in character, although much less clear and more muffled, so that would tend to suggest that the 804s wouldn't match them very well, and also that the Sig805s wouldn't either (as they are very different in tone from the N805/803), but that N805s or 803s would. But you should definitely listen for yourself rather than just take my word for it.

    (I'm not a huge fan of CDM NT speakers, as you can probably tell - I think they're OK, but not great).

    The HTM2 is a modified N805, the HTM1 is a modified 804, so will probably be closer to the 804 in sound. Having said that, the HTM1 is not too violently different from 803s in sound, so I guess it's not identical to an 804.

    How much were you proposing to spend on a power amp? Rotel would be the obvious candidate.

    The Sig 805s are a big step up from N805s, but then again £2500 is a big step up from £1400.
     
  4. meep

    meep
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    Thanks for the input guys

    I guess the real problem here is that the n804s are available for the same price as the 9NTs (new).

    I appreciate that if I go down this road that I'll end up investing a lot more long term but that's something I'm happy to do over time.

    However, I would not have considered N range speakers previously due to price new but when these ones are going for a tiny bit more that new N805s, the question raises itself, why not?

    For the same money, I can have 9NTs (new), n804s (used) or n805s (new) with some change.

    Nic, regarding amps, the Rotel RB-1070 (2x130W) would fit the immediate budget. would there be additional gain:)rolleyes: ) in the RB-1080 (2x200W) driving the 804s? (Not tied to rotel by the way, but using them as an example of the type of unit I'd be looking at). I alos have my eye on a bargain FMJ A32 but am worried that it will be underpowered for tne N804s (even the 9NTs).

    Thanks
     
  5. bamber

    bamber
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    I think the 804s will sound a fair bit better than the 9NTs. As a previous HTM2 owner I would strongly recommend going for the HTM1 if space allows.
     
  6. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    When I mentioned Rotel amps I was thinking of the 1075 and 1095.

    I don't actually know what the 804s are like in terms of amplification needs. The 805s aren't too bad. The 803s are a bit more current-hungry. Some of the numbers on B&W's website might suggest that the 804s are more 805-like than 803-like in that respect, but I don't know.

    I've heard 803s quite happily driven by an Arcam P7. 805s are not uncomfortable even with something like a Denon A11SR.

    If it were me I wouldn't bother with 7NTs or 9NTs, but that's just me. Why not see if you can pick up some second hand N805s for £900 or so, and then buy some better amplification as well?
     

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