Results 1 to 15 of 15
  1. #1
    AR Newbie Registered Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    3

    Which amp for B&W 683?

    Hi. I am newbie at Hi-fi and I need some advice.
    I'm buying a couple of B&W 683 and I am hesitating for the amplifier:

    -Denon PMA-1500AE
    Got great review and considered one of the best of his price range. Said to be neutral/smooth sound.

    -Rotel RA-06
    Said to pairing extremely well with 683s. More rough/harsh sound type.

    I listen to '70 music, both acoustic and electric rock. I want the music to be the most close to the way it's meant to be listened, with no colorization.

  2. #2
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Mortsel, Antwerp, Belgium, Europe, Earth
    Posts
    3,226
    out of those 2, I'd pick the Denon actually....

    great build quality, fantastic sound, and great power...

    my dad's using a RA-06 to drive his B&W 604's (like your 683's, just the previous series...), and it's having a hard time doing so. It works, but the poor amp is killing itselves trying to do so. it went in protection mode like 3 times already or so, and it runs DARN hot everytime you use it at a 'decent' volume...

    Then again, I used my previous amp, a Denon PMA700AE (just one step lower as yours), with 50 watts per channel, and a way smaller power supply, and it had less trouble driving the B&W's as the Rotel...

    btw, I don't know what your budget is, but at a not that much higher cost, there is a Primare I21, which I found exellent too...

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  3. #3
    Meh. Brett A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    North-Central MA
    Posts
    176
    Last autumn, I went through the process of auditioning amps to drive my B&W 683s. I concur with Basite that the Rotel might seem a little strained between them.

    When i purchased the 683's, I was using a Rotel RA 1060 integrated, which I think is similar to the RA-06 although the 1060 is 60wpc the the -06's 70wpc. It produced a nicely focused soundstage with good detail, but overall it was a small soundstage, kind of clustered in neat heap between the speakers---like the system had exhaled and couldn't catch an in-breath. On top of that, or maybe because of it, it was quite fatiguing to listen to for longer than 30 minutes a day.

    I have no experience (therefore no opinion) about Denon equipment.
    But in case it might be useful:

    On the way to making my final decision to purchase my Shanling A3000 integrated, I in-home auditioned a Music Hall Maven 2-channel receiver which was very fun and musical, if not a bit messy around the edges, A Cambridge Audio Azure 740A integrated which I found surprisingly dull and constrained. And a Krell KAV 400xi which was clear and focussed, but nevertheless did not sound pleasing between the B&W 683's.(very cold analytical---but I understand Krells are fussy about system synergy)

    I'm really happy with my decision to buy the Shanling. It has proven to fit well with the B&W's.

    To me, it is really important to listen to equipment in my home before I put my money out for it. I have the good fortune to live near a shop that sends loaner gear out with customers in the market for a particular unit. Many shops do this. Perhaps there one near you?
    Amp Shanling A3000-> speakers Vienna Acoustic Mozart Grand CD Rotel RCD 991 AE TT: Well Tempered Record Player-> AT OC9MLII -> Jolida JD9. cables from AQ, Siltech, Bogdan, Signal DH Labs, etc...
    Some pictures of it all

  4. #4
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Mortsel, Antwerp, Belgium, Europe, Earth
    Posts
    3,226
    Quote Originally Posted by Brett A
    Last autumn, I went through the process of auditioning amps to drive my B&W 683s. I concur with Basite that the Rotel might seem a little strained between them.

    When i purchased the 683's, I was using a Rotel RA 1060 integrated, which I think is similar to the RA-06 although the 1060 is 60wpc the the -06's 70wpc. It produced a nicely focused soundstage with good detail, but overall it was a small soundstage, kind of clustered in neat heap between the speakers---like the system had exhaled and couldn't catch an in-breath. On top of that, or maybe because of it, it was quite fatiguing to listen to for longer than 30 minutes a day.

    the RA-1060 is actually a better product than the RA-06, less watts, but better watts...
    yet, both were not enough to drive the 604/683's properly...

    the 'problem' with the 683's (and with most other B&W's) is that they have huge impedance swings, the 683's, for example are rated 8 ohms, but they dip to near 3 ohms quite often in the lower regions. Lower impedance requires more current, and the RA-06 just could not give that anymore.

    I fully agree with the 'boring' sound the rotel creates here, it seems to have muddy bass too compared to other amps I've heard with the 604's (including my denon amp, and my current Mcintosh, which barely even got warm driving the 604's to very high volumes...). The rotel had these more forward highs and IMHO wooly bass...

    The denon is a more neutral amp, but sounds way better IMO...

    I haven't heard the particular Shanling amp, but have heard some of their other products. Also a good way to go

    The primare has a HUGE resolution, it sounds really good, warm, but not too laid back, it doesn't lose detail, it sounds really 'quiet', like nothing else is going on besides the music. Great amp too...

    Keep them spinning,
    Bert.
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  5. #5
    Man of the People Forums Moderator bobsticks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    down there
    Posts
    7,124

    A counter opinion, sort of...

    ...or more of an observation. I ran a Rotel RMB 1066 in bridged mode to my Martin Logans and it had more than enough juice (read:current) to get the job done. This model is relatively easy to find used and pretty inexpensive. I first the amp on a set of 604's and it did just fine.

    Just an option.
    So, I broke into the palace
    With a sponge and a rusty spanner
    She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
    I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

  6. #6
    AR Newbie Registered Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    3
    Thanks for advices.
    Despite the fact that Rotel is part of B&W corp., I guess that doesn't mean the combo quality can't be discussed. Altought this amp is well-recommanded with B&W speakers, when I see what you write, I don't what to play hit-or-miss.

    Then I will go for Denon's amp. Looks like it's the more secure choice for me to be happy with the speakers. cause unfortunatly, there's no place of hi-fi shops nearby me to test amps.

  7. #7
    Ajani
    Guest
    My 2 cents:

    I like Rotel and I like B&W, but I hate the two combined (despite the fact that they are part of the same group of companies). Together I find them to be very fatiguing and way too critical of the music (harsh and bright). With B&W I'd probably opt for Denon or Marantz.

  8. #8
    AR Newbie Registered Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    3
    Anybody knows about the 840A v2 of Cambridge?

  9. #9
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Posts
    4,685
    The 840A is supposed to be a very good amp. I havent heard it personally but you can contact spearitsound.com and give them a call and see what they think about it. The reviews have been pretty good on their amps. I own the 840c CDP and its solidly built.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp, Pass X-1 Preamp
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Hybrid Tube Preamp and Ultra Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  10. #10
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    7,697

    Refinement

    Quote Originally Posted by Mi-fi
    Hi. I am newbie at Hi-fi and I need some advice.
    I'm buying a couple of B&W 683 and I am hesitating for the amplifier:

    -Denon PMA-1500AE
    Got great review and considered one of the best of his price range. Said to be neutral/smooth sound.

    -Rotel RA-06
    Said to pairing extremely well with 683s. More rough/harsh sound type.

    I listen to '70 music, both acoustic and electric rock. I want the music to be the most close to the way it's meant to be listened, with no colorization.
    As for me, given my tastes and listening room, with the moderately efficient, 90dB 683's, I'd go for refinement over brute power. An amp that has had consistently fine reviews is the Naim NAIT 5i

    Another amp I'd consider that has a bit more power, (100 wps vs. 50 as above), is the YBA YA201.

    But be warned that the Naim and YBA are both quite a bit more money than the Rotel or Denon.

  11. #11
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Posts
    4,685
    Here's a few other good lower priced amps.

    Cambridge Audio 740A

    B&K reference 200.2 and the lower priced 125.2 The 200.2 is just brute power and warmer sounding

    Parasound Halo A23 (this a a real bargain at $850) It has XLR inputs and its spec's are spectacular and so is the sound. 125wpc, torroidal transformer, 45 amps and 48K capacitance. The A21 is even better.

    Parasound 2250

    NAD C272

    Vincent Audio sp331

    Vincent Audio SV226 integrated amp
    Last edited by blackraven; 05-30-2008 at 11:27 AM.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp, Pass X-1 Preamp
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Van Alstine Ultra Hybrid Tube Preamp and Ultra Hybrid Tube DAC
    Martin Logan Original Dynamo Sub
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  12. #12
    RGA
    RGA is offline
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Posts
    5,559
    If you can swing it and must have solid state i would recommend you audition the Sim Audio Moon integrated i-1. It's $1500.

    I have requested the i-1 and matching cd player from Sim Audio to be one of the first things I review. I liked what i heard on my initial audition - lots of snap - open sound and a non fatiguing treble band - quite nice for $1500 and very nice for Solid State. The i-7 was also quite impressive but at a much much higher price.

    They also come with a 10 year warranty which is not quite as good as Bryston but it sounds a lot better and 10 years is still better than most and it's cheaper than the Bryston B60 by about $500.

    The Audio Refinement Complete is made by YBA and is basically a step in between the Integre and Integre DT(double Transformer).

  13. #13
    Meh. Brett A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    North-Central MA
    Posts
    176
    Quote Originally Posted by Feanor
    As for me, given my tastes and listening room, with the moderately efficient, 90dB 683's, I'd go for refinement over brute power.
    As an owner of 683's who tried a few amps with them (see post #3), I'd say they benefit from more power. Even listening to acoustic music at modest levels in a medium sized room, the B&W's open up with more power driving them. 60 watts per channel was not enough, 100 was adequate, I ended up with 200 wpc because then I was able to hear the blasts of Beethoven's 5th roll around the walls of the concert hall!---even at moderate volume levels.

    In that regard, the speakers may limit the choice in amplification to units with big numbers. This is my opinion based on my experience. Do with it what you will.
    Amp Shanling A3000-> speakers Vienna Acoustic Mozart Grand CD Rotel RCD 991 AE TT: Well Tempered Record Player-> AT OC9MLII -> Jolida JD9. cables from AQ, Siltech, Bogdan, Signal DH Labs, etc...
    Some pictures of it all

  14. #14
    I took a headstart... basite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Mortsel, Antwerp, Belgium, Europe, Earth
    Posts
    3,226
    I agree with Brett A, although I find that my 100Mcwatts were more than aquedate for 604S3's ...

    they need current, and preferably lots of it...
    Life is music!

    Mcintosh MA6400 Integrated
    Double Advent speakers
    Thiel CS2.3's
    *DIY Lenco L75 TT
    * SME 3012 S2
    * Rega RB-301
    *Denon DL-103 in midas body
    *Denon DL-304
    *Graham slee elevator EXP & revelation
    *Lehmann audio black cube SE
    Marantz CD5001 OSE
    MIT AVt 2 IC's
    Sonic link Black earth IC's
    Siltech MXT New york IC's
    Kimber 4VS speakercable
    Furutech powercord and plugs.

    I'm a happy 20 year old...

  15. #15
    Shostakovich fan Feanor's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    London, Ontario
    Posts
    7,697

    The overlooked factor

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett A
    As an owner of 683's who tried a few amps with them (see post #3), I'd say they benefit from more power. Even listening to acoustic music at modest levels in a medium sized room, the B&W's open up with more power driving them. 60 watts per channel was not enough, 100 was adequate, I ended up with 200 wpc because then I was able to hear the blasts of Beethoven's 5th roll around the walls of the concert hall!---even at moderate volume levels.

    In that regard, the speakers may limit the choice in amplification to units with big numbers. This is my opinion based on my experience. Do with it what you will.
    I can't really argue, Brett. In recommending amp power, the often overlooked factor is how loud the person likes to listen. Since we usually don't know how loud they listen, it is reasonable to overstate the recommendation to some extent.

    My typical listening level is <70dB although the classical music I mostly listen to has peaks +12dB or even more. My Magneplanar speakers are about 86dB efficient but even so my 120wpc amps are adequate -- even for Beethoven's 5th. They likely have more than typical headroom though. But if my typical listening level was a not unreasonable 75dB, I would need 3x the power. That's the way it goes.

    Many people would scoff at only 120wpc with Magneplanar MG 1.6QR's but I'm glad I didn't trade off refinement for power given my listening habbits.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Latest AudioReview Articles

Hot Deals

Latest News

AudioReview on Facebook