Building up the system

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  • 03-15-2005, 04:59 AM
    Building up the system
    Hello all,

    I'm seriously considering getting a B+K 200.5 amp to add to my system. I over temped my Denon 3803 last week listening to some music in 7 ch stereo. (She shut down as she was supposed to. Came back on and worked fine after coolin off).
    Basically this would be the next step for me to getting closer to going seperates. Plan being to amplify all channels and then get the pre amp when I can afford. Was considering the B+K Ref 50. or when I can afford whatever replaces it....

    What does anyone know about the S2 models that B+K has replaced everything with?

    Would anyone recogmend another amp? Or even Pre Amp?

    B+K was a choice for me due to it's affordability and warmth matched with my B+W's.

    You can see my equiptment list listed below in the signature.
  • 03-15-2005, 10:18 AM
    I have CDM 7NT's (the predecessor to the 704) and found very little synergy with B&K. It was just too grainy for my taste. The 700's are voiced very differently than the CDM's tho, so maybe it will be a better match now. I will say that B&K's are very well built and I enjoyed a ST140 for over 15 years without a hitch. They're just durable as all get out.

    If you would like something a little more neutral, Rotel mates well and always offers tremendous bang for the buck. You might also look into Parasound's Halo line, Adcom, or Aragon. I would seriously consider going used as well. Amps are generally safe buys because they have no moving parts. Check into audiogon and see if they have any used Brystons, Classe, or other brutes out there.

    Hope this helps.
  • 03-15-2005, 11:25 AM
    I can't agree with Topspeed more about going whatever price point you're looking at, you can usually save a bundle on the used market for power amps.
    I always highly recommend Adcom power amps because they're usually tough, and offer great bang-for-the-buck (especially for HT where you might be less fussy about super hi fidelity and not want to shell out $1000's for Bryston ampsor something). However, my experience with your lovely 703's is that they have a lot of detail in the highs, and might be considered a tad bright. I'm not so sure you want to add Adcom (which are known for being bright) to your 703's. I had the Adcom's driving my Studio 20's (also bright IMO) and it could be a bit much at times (though not noticeable for surround channels). For what it's worth I added a Rotel amp which was a wee bit less on the bright side for my Studio 40's.

    I've slowly added a few amps here and there over the years, so I'm up to 6 channels of external amplification (with the receiver handling the surround rears of my 7.1 setup) I'm currently using a receiver as a pre/pro, but when I find another good buy on a used power amp, or my RX-V1400 craps out or becomes too obsolete, I'm going to finally add a better pre-amp processor unit.

    So far my favorite pre/pros include Anthem, Rotel, Lexicon, and Krell. Probably in that order. Anthem appears to make really feature-packed gear at a decent price, and I'm not hearing many complaints. Depending on your budget though you can add a ton of other names to the list.

    You could be in luck, I think over the next few years you'll start to see more and more quality pre/pro's hit the used market, because we're only now hitting the point where people are looking to upgrade their original Dolby Digital/DTS 5.1 pre-pros.

    I like the idea of going to separates, especially on the cheap buying used...but I have to admit, it sure makes for an aweful mess of cables...whatever you do, keep this in mind when you start adding things, I've got a gawd-aweful mess behind my rack that just keeps getting worse. The biggest downside to separates, IMO.

    You'll find adding even 1 power amp to your receiver will relieve quite a burden from old RX-V795a receiver use to engage the fan quite a bit, you could cook eggs on the receiver. After adding the first Adcom unit to it took about 3 times as long for the fan to engage...

    Oh, forgot to mention, I was chatting with a guy on another website who spoke very highly of his 703's and Outlaw Audio mono-blocks...these are pretty inexpensive and have a huge fan-following...might be worth looking into,

    Good luck.
  • 03-16-2005, 03:15 PM
    Thanks Kexodusc and Topspeed

    So here is what I've kinda come to about this whole thing. Yeah the B+K was supposed to be warmer. and it was affordable. But apparently I'm not quite matched up to my liking and something is still a bit off.

    I have a pair of B+W 703's (Yeah the kinda bright ones, to my ears anyway). So I've got them pre amped out through a Denon 3803 to a B+K Ref 200.2 then through the AudioQuest CV-4s to the speakers. (CV-6 on the bottom half of the Bi wires)
    I'm not real happy with the sound right now. I wouldnt say it was fatigueing like my old Klipsch RF3's, but just has a lil too much treble, kinda harsh on the top end.

    So I am considering a Bryston 4B amp to replace the B+K. But maybe I can go with a less aggressive speaker wire and save some $$ and still like the outcome. From the research I've done on this matter the last few days the 703's like to be mated with a good amp. That was what steered me in the amp direction then it hit me today about cables.

    What would any of you recogmend I do for cables or do you not think that will solve my issue?
    What about Bryston matched with the 703's Good?? could do better?? Any recogmendations?
    Anything else you can think that will resolve this issue for me?

    I'm living in Puerto Rico right now so any decision I make I kinda gotta stick with. No real options for audio equiptment here. Mail order only really.

    Thanks everyone,
  • 03-16-2005, 07:48 PM

    Originally Posted by Stewrt
    What would any of you recogmend I do for cables or do you not think that will solve my issue?

    Wires will not solve your problem. This may sound obvious, but you did listen to the 703's before you bought them, right? Personally, I don't find them to be bright and in fact, they remind me a heckuva lot more of the 600's than the 800's. Have you checked your room acoustics? Do you have a lot of reflective surfaces like tile, glass, hardwood, concrete? Play around with the positioning and
    address the room acoustics. That could be your problem and lookee here, we just saved a grand or so :)!

    What about Bryston matched with the 703's Good?? could do better?? Any recogmendations?
    Bryston makes solid amps, no question about it. It's all going to come down to what you like. I've always been a sucker for the classic ARC tube sound but I didn't want to fuss with tubes right now. I run my CDM's thru a 3803 as well and after auditioning a ton of amps, I found the PS Audio HCA2 to be exactly what I was looking for. It has the sweetness and air of tubes mixed with the lightening fast transients and slam of the SS amps like Bryston and Krell. Throw in a pitch black background and we've got a winner. The magic was back!

    I'm living in Puerto Rico right now so any decision I make I kinda gotta stick with. No real options for audio equiptment here. Mail order only really.Thanks everyone,
    The HCA2 was replaced by the GCA series which you can get from or direct. Both offer 30 day return policies. You might check and see if some online retailers have HCA2's lying around but I doubt it. You can however find them on audiogon or ebay now and again.

    Hope this helps.
  • 03-17-2005, 04:57 AM
    I don't find the 703's bright in a bad way, just detailed, I find too many speakers people consider "warm" or "neutral" lose a lot of high end detail...just to clarify my earlier comments...still don't think you want to be adding any bright sounding gear to the speakers though.

    Topspeed summed it up well...cables aren't your problem...what length of runs are running for speaker wire? Just use your basic 14 guage and you should be fine...12 guage even will be enough, doesn't have to cost much.

    It really is going to come down to your preference though, I shill out for Bryston gear, it just rubs me the right way I guess...Topspeed loves his PS Audio. Personally, I'd like to own either right now, but their a few years away for me. One thing I've seen is that Bryston gear tends to hold its value in the used market like few other brands (not that PS Audio doesn't)...I think their silly 20 year warranty doesn't hurt. We said it before, but I really think that if you have to buy without listening, you might want to consider a used amp from either brand, at least you should be able to resell it to recapture most of your money if you don't like it.

    Let us know what you decide.
  • 03-17-2005, 01:59 PM
    As far as Hours on the speakers... ummm I've owned them for 9 months. Probably listen to them on average 1 to 2 hours a day. So that puts me at about, well at least 270 hours.

    I'm not saying they are bad. Just that I would like some recogmendations to tame them down a bit. Some recordings I love them, others I'm not so sure. and lately for some reason I'm noticing it more and more. Havent moved any furnishings or anything either. Although there is alot of tile and concrete in this house. I have the big fluffy sofa and huge area rug. Probably could use some wall treatment though.

    As for cabling. I have I believe 8 or 10 foot sections of CV-4. I have also tried an old set of 12ga OFC cables that I have laying around. Comparing the two cables were night and day. The CV-4s were more forward, and the 12g ofc were kinda muddy. I remember thinking then that whatever it cost it did sound better. I'm not a cable snob or anything.

    Thanks guys,