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best matched amp for new (new to me) speakers

38.130.85.3

Posted on March 19, 2017 at 12:57:04
chichaz
Industry Professional

Posts: 47
Location: Chicago
Joined: February 26, 2002
Hi,
I just upgraded my speakers to B&W 802. I have two Marantz MA6100 monoblocks that worked great with my previous speakers, KEF 103.3. I now have the option to purchase a Proceed 2 (Levinson-designed) power amp at a reasonable price. I could also double up on the monoblocks for another $300. My upgrade budget is meager at $500-600. What would you do?

My current source is (gulp) a Yamaha RX-V1200 HT receiver, using the preamp outputs. Don't worry, that's next on my list of upgrades!

 

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I would think about what you'll spend to replace the receiver, posted on March 19, 2017 at 13:21:51
G Squared
Audiophile

Posts: 4088
Location: Washington, DC Metro Area
Joined: November 16, 2004
And think about putting it all into one integrated amp.

 

valid point, but it'll be another few months before I have the $ for that. , posted on March 19, 2017 at 15:32:26
chichaz
Industry Professional

Posts: 47
Location: Chicago
Joined: February 26, 2002
I'm anxious to hear what these speakers can do in my space in the meantime.

 

RE: best matched amp for new (new to me) speakers , posted on March 19, 2017 at 15:48:04
AudioSoul
Audiophile

Posts: 4576
Location: north central AZ
Joined: July 9, 2005

How much power do you think you need to drive those speakers?

 

RE: best matched amp for new (new to me) speakers , posted on March 19, 2017 at 15:51:58
John Elison
Audiophile

Posts: 20793
Location: Central Kentucky
Joined: December 20, 2000
Contributor
  Since:
January 29, 2004
The monoblocks are 125-watts and the Proceed 2 is 150-watts per channel. That difference is insignificant. Therefore, if your concern is to provide more power, it would probably be better to double up on the monoblocks and biamp each B&W 802. Anyway, that's my opinion.

Good luck,
John Elison

 

RE: best matched amp for new (new to me) speakers , posted on March 19, 2017 at 17:10:36
PAR
Audiophile

Posts: 2375
Location: South London
Joined: April 15, 2013
Contributor
  Since:
January 12, 2014
You make no comment about what you may dislike about the Marantz amps nor what you like about the Proceed. Until you have a reason to change amps save your money.

 

RE: best matched amp for new (new to me) speakers , posted on March 20, 2017 at 04:47:50
BCR
Audiophile

Posts: 1811
Location: connecticut
Joined: April 7, 2009
Contributor
  Since:
November 16, 2014
If you like the amps you have, why bother? Save the money for the preamp upgrade that you have on your list!

 

RE: best matched amp for new (new to me) speakers , posted on March 20, 2017 at 06:13:32
chichaz
Industry Professional

Posts: 47
Location: Chicago
Joined: February 26, 2002
I was just wondering if bi-amping these would make a significant difference. These do sound a bit harsh in the higher frequencies. However as so many people have pointed out I probably need to get the receiver swapped out in favor of an integrated amp.

 

RE: best matched amp for new (new to me) speakers , posted on March 20, 2017 at 06:33:05
BCR
Audiophile

Posts: 1811
Location: connecticut
Joined: April 7, 2009
Contributor
  Since:
November 16, 2014
IMO, B&W's are on the bright side. What is your budget and what features do you need? Did you ever think about adding tubes into the mix? I don't think bi-amping would solve the problem.

 

RE: best matched amp for new (new to me) speakers , posted on March 20, 2017 at 09:19:59
chichaz
Industry Professional

Posts: 47
Location: Chicago
Joined: February 26, 2002
$1000 max for budget. Need DAC w/ optical, coax, USB and preferably WiFi; analog inputs for SACD, FM tuner, etc. Something at least 150WPC at 4 ohms. I just read up on the NAD C368 & C388, and the latter could work, but stretches the budget unless I can find one used.

 

RE: best matched amp for new (new to me) speakers , posted on March 20, 2017 at 10:01:12
BCR
Audiophile

Posts: 1811
Location: connecticut
Joined: April 7, 2009
Contributor
  Since:
November 16, 2014
Happy hunting!

 

RE: best matched amp for new (new to me) speakers , posted on March 20, 2017 at 10:55:23
dbphd
Audiophile

Posts: 745
Location: Montecito, CA
Joined: September 6, 2006
Contributor
  Since:
January 1, 2017
I used Proceed Amp 2s for years before switching to a Proceed HPA 2 and finally Parasound JC 1 monoblocks to drive a pair of KEF Reference 107/2s. I'm still using one of my Amp 2s (bought in the 80s from a Levinson dealer) in a secondary setup to drive a pair of LS50s while I await an Ayre VX-5 Twenty. Any harshness you hear should not be from the Proceed amp.

db

 

This is the best advice., posted on March 20, 2017 at 15:57:32
ppopp
Audiophile

Posts: 2617
Location: OR
Joined: October 10, 2002
Currently it's as if you have some Formula 1 wheels for the race track, but you have them on a Nissan Sentra.

You don't necessarily need more power (at moderate listening levels, we only need about 4 watts/channel for most modern 4 Ohm speakers of a reasonable (upwards of 85 db sensitivity).
Wattage ratings for amplifiers will tell about as much about it's ability to compliment any pair of speakers as the name of a dog will tell you about it's ability to catch a frisbee.

A good integrated like a Naim Nait XS would allow your speakers do wonderful things. Your Yamaha receiver has lots of features, but it's use as a pre-amp is limited to being very basic.
You can get a Naim Nait XS on the used market (they are usually in great shape) for about $1200. Your speakers will love you for it, and you will love the Naim.

 

Good things come to those who wait., posted on March 20, 2017 at 15:59:02
ppopp
Audiophile

Posts: 2617
Location: OR
Joined: October 10, 2002
Well worth waiting.

 

RE: best matched amp for new (new to me) speakers , posted on March 20, 2017 at 20:11:03
dbphd
Audiophile

Posts: 745
Location: Montecito, CA
Joined: September 6, 2006
Contributor
  Since:
January 1, 2017
You might want to look at the review of the Classe Sigma 2200i in the current issue of Stereophile, beginning on page 169, in which Tom Norton compares the sound of the 2200i with that of his Proceed Amp 5. He preferred the sound with his combination of a Marantz AV8802a and Amp 5.

db

 

thanks, posted on March 20, 2017 at 20:27:53
chichaz
Industry Professional

Posts: 47
Location: Chicago
Joined: February 26, 2002
eom

 

RE: best matched amp for new (new to me) speakers , posted on March 21, 2017 at 18:38:59
Mr Peabody
Audiophile

Posts: 861
Location: St. Louis, MO, USA
Joined: August 14, 2010
The MA6100 are decent amps for what they are but the Proceed is in a whole other league. If wanting to act now get the Proceed, it will sound better and drive the B&W's better.

 

RE: low output impedance amps, posted on March 24, 2017 at 05:45:15
BigguyinATL
Manufacturer

Posts: 3064
Joined: April 10, 2002

Those Marantz Amps should do fine... The 802's have fairly wide impedance swings - 802D (courtesy of Stereophile) shown. Earlier models are similar...

See their article/review for more details...
"The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat" - Confucius

 

RE: low output impedance amps, posted on March 24, 2017 at 06:23:16
chichaz
Industry Professional

Posts: 47
Location: Chicago
Joined: February 26, 2002
I just wish they weren't so harsh in the HFs. I have a Classe CA-5200 driving my 802D at work, not that I can compare the two. What's in between?

 

RE: low output impedance amps, posted on March 24, 2017 at 10:44:01
BigguyinATL
Manufacturer

Posts: 3064
Joined: April 10, 2002
Are you clipping? the MA6100 could use a little more powersupply or dynamics. I use Crown pro power amps and am happy. No risk tryout from sweetwater:

"The hardest thing of all is to find a black cat in a dark room, especially if there is no cat" - Confucius

 

RE: low output impedance amps, posted on March 24, 2017 at 11:44:42
chichaz
Industry Professional

Posts: 47
Location: Chicago
Joined: February 26, 2002
Hmm, nice of them to feature RCAs on a pro amp. Doesn't the fan noise bother you? The amp would have to be in the same room as the B&Ws over here...

 

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