Which Amp to Drive B&W Nautilus 804's

Gliese 581c

Distinguished Member
About to purchase nautilus 804's and was thinking of the Rotel 1075 to drive them. Would that be a good choice ? Or would anyone like to recommend a better amp (same sort of price range) to give them the juice these thirsty lumps require.
 

lovegroova

Well-known Member
The 1075 will do the job for now, but in future you will want to consider upgrading to something much more expensive in the Bryston/Chord etc etc range.

Another suggestion would be to get a good stereo power amp for the 804s, using the AVC-10 for the remaining speakers. Second hand is a great way to go on amplifiers. There is a Chord SPM1200c in the classifieds for about £2k or so which if I had the money, I would have seriously considered.
 

johnson

Active Member
Going from personal experience,the Rotel will not give you the sort of sound the 804's are capable of.
They will sound "nice" but this speaker is very current hungry(3.6ohms min)
You could bi-amp (as I do) and this would sort your problem.
Using one channel just to drive the current hungry bottom two drivers,and another to do the top two.
Regards
Simon
 

rags

Well-known Member
Arcam - I would definately go for a Rotel 1095 rather than a 1075 to go with the 804's. At that sort of price range other 5 channel options include -

Parasound 2205 - second hand for about £1100. Masses of power and should be able to handle the 804's with ease.

New Parasound A52 - £1,700

There is a Primare up for sale in the classifieds which may also do a good job.

Most other stuff you are going well above the £2.5k bracket unless you decide to buy second hand.

Use your existing receiver as a preamp untill you decide to buy a seperate processor to do the decoding.
 
E

esquire415

Guest
So you guys are saying that you really can't use the Rotel RA-02 (40W) or the RA-1062 (60W) to drive the 804s? Or perhaps even the 805s which are rated 120w per 8-ohm speakers? If you do drive a strong load with a weak amp, will the amp clip or will there be distortion in the sound at a certain sound level?

When Hi-Fi Choice did a shootout of integrated amplifiers, they actually tested them using B&W 804 speakers and the Rotel RA-1062 garnered the Best Buy. There was no mention of it having difficulty driving the 804s.

Group Test/Lab Reports: Rotel
 

johnson

Active Member
Any good quality amps will do as long as you have planty of current output for the channels feeding the bottom two drive units.
I use an amp with a basic 250watt(into 8ohms) output for the bottom and 150watt for the top.
As long as the amps sensitivity are the same they will work fine.
I know of a few people reverting to bi-amping Nautilus speakers because of their "difficult driving" characteristics.
At first I thought this was a down side to these speakers but when you here them properly driven they are wonderfull.
When I first had them being driven by a 150watt amp I thought they sounded great,but it'just I didn't know how great they could be.
I contacted B&w tech support and they told me the dual sets of binding posts were realy designed for bi-amping,stating bi-wiring was merely a fad!!
Regards
Simon
 
Z

Zoidy

Guest
Sherbourn 5120 @ £1895 as used in the top 2 cedia installs in the world bla bla .. 5 x 200w/8 300w/4 Zebra will build you 2 mono blocks into the 7 chan chassis and will then be able to add mono blocks as and when you need em :) or you could buy the 7 chan for 2400 ish and used 4 of the mono blocks to drive the fronts.. clearly an awesome thought :D

btw rags.. you display a tag of 1700 for the a52.. whats the price for an a51.. and where from? gotta love that exchange rate atm eh :D
 

johnson

Active Member
I have read the B&w website also.This was straight from a Nautilus tech.
Take it as you will,it's not necessarily my opinion,although I do have trouble understanding the validity of bi-wiring.
 

Crustyloafer

Distinguished Member
I would try running them with a Musical Fidelity A308 integrated amp, you can then add on a 308 power amp to biamp them.
 
E

esquire415

Guest
Anyone here with Nautilus speakers use the Jolida JD-100A or the Njoe Tjoeb 4000 for their CD player?
 
M

Mike430

Guest
Was just going to post something to try, but Crusty beat me to it...see if you can demo Musical Fidelity. I enjoy the MF amps for their price range when looking to drive higher end speakers. Plenty of power and they sounded that much better to my ears. Of course other amps sounded good, but they didn't do it overall when compared to the MF. See if you can test one at home...GL
 
S

SKA.face

Guest
I would add to the list the Bel Canto range of power amps,look at the evo 200.2 a class T digital amp,has amazing transparency,clean top end and a quick tight fast bass,to control the 804.
 

rags

Well-known Member
Hang on - maybe Iam getting confused here - isnt Arcam looking for a five channel amp ?
 
Z

Zoidy

Guest
nop.. Arcam does indeed want a multichan amp ;) but i assume the others are suggesting bi amping the fronts (with his intergrated and a new 2chan) to minimise cost ?
 

lovegroova

Well-known Member
Originally posted by Zoidy
nop.. Arcam does indeed want a multichan amp ;) but i assume the others are suggesting bi amping the fronts (with his intergrated and a new 2chan) to minimise cost ?
Correct. Arcam does want a 5ch amp, but given his budget (Rotel 1075 = £845 new, £400-£500 2nd hand), he would probably get better sound from his 804s spending the same sort of money on a 2ch amp. i.e. £900 spent on 2 channels will go a lot further than £900 spent on 5.

I've just had another idea. Get the 1075 use 4 channels for bi amping the 804s and the remaining channel for the centre, using the AVC10 for the rears.

Sorry to throw yet more uncertainty into the mix :confused:
 

Gliese 581c

Distinguished Member
thanks very much guys for all the help, I certainly have enough ideas to go on.... Remember, I need a channel for my subwoofer so that could go through the 10se too.

I may be dumb here, but how can I bi-amp using the 1075 ? Wouldnt I need 2 amp's ?
 

lovegroova

Well-known Member
Originally posted by aRCaM
thanks very much guys for all the help, I certainly have enough ideas to go on.... Remember, I need a channel for my subwoofer so that could go through the 10se too.

I may be dumb here, but how can I bi-amp using the 1075 ? Wouldnt I need 2 amp's ?
Arcam, firstly you don't need a channel for your sub as it has its own amplifier built in, just hook it up to your AVC10 using the low level input.

Here is whathifis definition of bi amping:

Biamping
Each drive unit of a speaker is driven by a separate amp channel, so a pair of two-way speakers needs two stereo amps, and two runs of cable to each speaker.

As the 1075 has 5 channels, you use 2 channels for the left speaker and 2 channels for the right.

To bi amp the 1075, you connect a Y phono lead to the left and right pre-outputs from the AVC10. thus giving you 2 phonos for each channel. i.e. you have split the signal in 2.

Then connect the 2 left outputs into the front left and back left inputs of the 1075 and do the same with the right. The front and back channels will be amplifying the same signal.

Then run 1 speaker cable from the front left output of the 1075 into the bass inputs of the 804s. Also, run 1 speaker cable from the back left output of the 1075 into the treble inputs of the 804s.

Do the same with the right channels.

Effectively you amplify the bass and treble parts of the speakers separately.

I hope this is clear but do look at this article in what hifi for more info http://www.whathifi.com/newsMainTemplate.asp?storyID=59&newssectionID=3
 

Gliese 581c

Distinguished Member
That was explained very well, thanks lovegroova.... So I would only need a 1075 and the a10 would do the rest.

I would still use the a10 as a processor which would cut out the need for a seperate one too.. ?
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
Just my 5 pennies worth here....I use a set of Krell KMA100's to drive my 805s,and whilst I'm not suggesting you run out and try to find some,my point is that the Nautilus range are notoriously current-hungry,as others have said.

The Rotel 1095 will drive the 804's,but won't do them justice,whereas the Parasound amps have not only the current delivery required,but also the sound quality for the right price.

Moving up a few levels,both Bryston and Chord are excellent choices,with superb sound quality,and a good match sonically for the 804s.
Also worth bearing in mind are some of the used Krell multichannel amps.
 

lovegroova

Well-known Member
I have been thinking about this a bit more, and would agree with AlexS' points although I'm not a fan of Parasound, but that's a personal foible.

I think Arcam, you would be better off not buying anything for the moment, and saving up the pennies (well, the pounds!) until you can afford an amplifier that will do the 804s justice.

In the meantime, the AVC10 can be used to power the 804s but won't be doing them full justice and they will still sound good. By waiting 6 months, you will be better off in the long run and when you do get a superior amp (such as the Bryston, Chord or Krell mentioned by Alex), you will enjoy it even more.

Keep your eye on ebay for amplifiers, there are a few Krell items on there now (A couple of KSA50s, a KAV300i and an FBP300c). I don't know how good these are, perhaps AlexS can enlighten us?

PS the FBP300c is being sold by someone called Berkshiresound who only accepts payment by wire transfer. There is a Showcase also for sale by someone called Norfolksound, who also accepts payment in the same way - looks a little dodgy to me.
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
Originally posted by lovegroova
I have been thinking about this a bit more, and would agree with AlexS' points although I'm not a fan of Parasound, but that's a personal foible.

In the meantime, the AVC10 can be used to power the 804s but won't be doing them full justice and they will still sound good. By waiting 6 months, you will be better off in the long run and when you do get a superior amp (such as the Bryston, Chord or Krell mentioned by Alex), you will enjoy it even more.

Keep your eye on ebay for amplifiers, there are a few Krell items on there now (A couple of KSA50s, a KAV300i and an FBP300c). I don't know how good these are, perhaps AlexS can enlighten us?

PS the FBP300c is being sold by someone called Berkshiresound who only accepts payment by wire transfer. There is a Showcase also for sale by someone called Norfolksound, who also accepts payment in the same way - looks a little dodgy to me.
Ok...KSA50....very good old style Krell amp with very nice sound quality,if a bit lacking in depth of sound field by comparison with newer models.
Virtually unbreakable,and will double it's power output right down into 1ohm loads,so don't be put off by the nominal 50W rating(which they all exceeded in any case)
KAV300i...very good value integrated amp,with plenty of power and good grip,but not as detailed as the Class A models(but a lot cheaper).
FPB series...all of these are superb,but still expensive power amps(even the early models),but if you can afford one,you won't be disappointed.
All of the Class A Krells have bags more grip and outright grunt than most other amps,with the exception of Levinson and Chord,which are built to similar standards.

I'd also second lovegroova's warnings about Krells on ebay currently,and whilst I wouldn't comment on those particular traders,there are a number of crooks trading Krells which never appear when bought....buy only from someone with good feedback,or someone who will accept a face-to-face meeting and handover...the same applies to a lot of high-end gear currently.
 

figlio

Standard Member
I have a similar situation. But I want an amp to drive the nautilus 802
I am getting them as a bargain.(Stg3300)

What amps do you suggest for these speakers?

the same amps that you suggest for the 804?
 

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