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  1. #1
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    Smile B&W 804's, any thoughts on them?

    I'm finally graduating college this December. Anyway, I was told I could get a graduation gift of speakers and a 2-channel amp to match. I have perfect pitch and appreciate good music. Since I'm in college, I cannot afford much, so this would be my very first jump into I guess entry level hi-end.

    The system I can get for graduation is a pair of B&W 804s with a Parasound Halo A23 amp to match.

    Is this a good match? I think B&W's are pretty good. I like all kinds of music, including high energy techno, rap, rock, acoustic, country, and classical. I play piano, so I enjoy a good piano sonata, something my current system couldn't dream of producing properly. I already have a decent receiver, so I just am planning to add the speaker amp combo, as that's what I'm able to get as a gift.

    Also, I've never heard B&W 804s, only the 603's, which I thought outclassed my current system with flying colors. But that's the price range I'm able to get as a gift, so I'll take it! :-)

  2. #2
    Just passing thru topspeed's Avatar
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    Good lord, I'll I got was a pat on the back!

    You could definitely do worse than a pair of N803's and the A23. B&W's are very well respected and quite frankly, if you liked the 603's...well as the saying goes, "You ain't seen nothin' yet." Prepare to be floored. The difference between the 603 and 803 is akin to a Honda Civic Si vs. the NSX. You simply can't compare them. 80% of all classical recordings worldwide are mastered with B&W's which is a testament to their accuracy with acoustic music, something you might appreciate. You can't go wrong with the Nauts, period.

    That said, you have 5 months to audition speakers so why not enjoy it? At this price point, your selection is enormous. Speakers are so subjective that only you can figure out what sounds best. Other highly regarded speakers in this price range are JM Lab, Von Schweikert, Magnepan, Martin Logan, Spendor, Revel, Dynaudio, Vandersteen and probably a ton of others I'm leaving out. They are all competent so get out there and choose for yourself.

    Geez, what a problem to have!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicguy04
    I'm finally graduating college this December. Anyway, I was told I could get a graduation gift of speakers and a 2-channel amp to match. I have perfect pitch and appreciate good music. Since I'm in college, I cannot afford much, so this would be my very first jump into I guess entry level hi-end.

    The system I can get for graduation is a pair of B&W 804s with a Parasound Halo A23 amp to match.
    Your so-called "entry level hi-end" isnt really that entry level. The 804s are quite the pricey speaker and the Halo isnt something too cheap either. When I grad next year in spring, I'll be lucky to receive a Bic pen. You are quite the lucky chap. Please dont take your present for granted as many of us will receive lovely plastic bic pens rather than nice audio gear.

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    The system I can get for graduation is a pair of B&W 804s with a Parasound Halo A23 amp to match.


    Hello

    Havent been listening close to the B & W 800 series resently, but here goes:
    Earlier on the 805 was imho the best one in the series. Fast, precise,and the one in the family that was best at letting go of the music (you know, when you listen to a musical stage, rather than two points in the room (the speakers).

    I know absolutely nothing about the amp.

    regards.

  5. #5
    RGA
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    You say that that is the system you can get? Are you getting money and this is what you can afford to get?

    The N804 is not really much of an improvement over the CDM 9NT and I think you can do a bit better for less money than the N804.

    I'd keep listening - B&W is a safe choice entry ticket to the high end world - nice speakers better than most - but I would keep hunting to make sure.

  6. #6
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    RGA, I'm not getting money and that is what I can afford, it's more like the B&W N804's and the Halo A23 amp are in the price range of the gift I'm getting. Basically, after I graduate, my dad will take me out to some stores and we'll pick it out together. Anyway, I've heard that the N804's are much better than the CDM series, which doesn't exist anymore. The CDM's evolved into the 700 series, I think, which are supposed to be comparable, if not better than the CDM's, and the N804 isn't much different in price than the 703s. I thought the 603's were pretty good, so the N804's should kick!

    Anyway, my dad will not buy used,so don't suggest it, unless he knows the person, since he got scammed REALLY bad a few years back from advice on a forum like this and doesn't trust people like that plus you don't even the warranty with that.

  7. #7
    RGA
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    Well I'm not suggesting used - certainly not internet buying used. Nevertheless High end stores do carry used speakers and you might say get the N802's a few years old for the same as new N804's and there is no copmparison to which is better. The N804 is better but not a blow you away better model over the CDM 9NT - and given the price I expect a blow you away better speaker - the point is moot now that the CDM's have stopped being made.

    The B&W's are a very good speaker maker that mix good looks with good sound (one of the few who do both). Nevertheless, there are others out there other than B&W - who don't have the marketing might but which you may like better. That is what I found. I think B&W is a good starting place - I had a pair - but listen to a lot of stuff over the next months and try and stay from being pre-sold. I use pre-sold to mean that people, myself included, read a bunch of reviews, we see the beautiful LOOKS of products and the big marketing companies like B&W can put famous names as supporters of their products - some use George Lucas others use Floyd Toole - others use research facilities like the NRC - and every company has a long list of the technical reasons their speakers are best. Some will talk about measurments, Tweeter technology, Woofer material, Time alignment, phase coherence and on and on.

    The best thing is to simply listen to stuff versus eachother at the stores in your town - find the BEST sounding ones to your ear - and THEN go look them up to make sure they're reputable and built well etc. I almost bought the CDM 1NT and then N805 - and had it not been for a dealer saying listen to a couple of to me unknown brands in relatively plain Jane looking boxes I would have missed out on much better speakers for less money. Neither of the brands look as good though.

    I'll tell you also that what is the best for $600-$1000.00 from a company isn't necessarily the best from the same company at $3,000-$10,000.00. Ie; While my choice for a Standmount is the B&W 602S3 in the $600.00 Range, which I recommend a lot to people, my recommendation at $2,000.00 probably won't be B&W - though one great thing about B&W is that I usually have them in the running at most price points.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicguy04
    I'm finally graduating college this December. Anyway, I was told I could get a graduation gift of speakers and a 2-channel amp to match. I have perfect pitch and appreciate good music. Since I'm in college, I cannot afford much, so this would be my very first jump into I guess entry level hi-end.

    The system I can get for graduation is a pair of B&W 804s with a Parasound Halo A23 amp to match.

    Is this a good match? I think B&W's are pretty good. I like all kinds of music, including high energy techno, rap, rock, acoustic, country, and classical. I play piano, so I enjoy a good piano sonata, something my current system couldn't dream of producing properly. I already have a decent receiver, so I just am planning to add the speaker amp combo, as that's what I'm able to get as a gift.

    Also, I've never heard B&W 804s, only the 603's, which I thought outclassed my current system with flying colors. But that's the price range I'm able to get as a gift, so I'll take it! :-)
    The Parasound A23 power amplifier looks to be a very good product. There are quite a number of other good manufacturers but if you like this one, it should drive most speakers quite well. I'll mention Bryston because they have a 20 year guarantee on their electronics, and the Bryston 3B is quite powerful.

    Speakers are more personal and you need to listen. I haven't heard the B & W 804. I did hear the 802 Nautilus some time ago and considering the price I was not impressed as the midrange seemed rather colored. I much preferred the Paradigm Studio 100, v. 2, which was the current model at the time, which was in the same room. RGA and I seem to have rather different tastes in speakers. RGA and I do agree that you should listen to a number of different speakers to see what you like.

    When we were traveling, although that was not the purpose of the trip, I was able to hear some good speakers. As we have a big subwoofer, we looked mostly at smaller speakers, though also at some floorstanders.

    I heard the B & W 705, which is a smallish standmount speaker and it is excellent. You could mate it with a subwoofer to get the deep bass and stay within your price range.

    I have been favorably impressed with the PSB Stratus series speakers and own the PSB Stratus Minis. These seemed to me to compare very favorably with much more expensive speakers.

    Both Paradigm and PSB have come out with new high end lines. I have heard the Paradigm Signature Series 2 and 8, and both seem excellent. I haven't heard any of the PSB Platinum series speakers, but they look extremely interesting, too.

    I heard the Sonus Faber Concerto Grand Piano, which sounded very nice, and the Revel Performa M20.

    A friend of mine has the Totem Mani-2 Signature speakers, a bit above your price range, and he drives them with Bryston 7Bs. They are a fairly difficult load, but the Parasound amp should be able to drive them satisfactorily. They are very nice speakers, and perhaps some of their somewhat less expensive models would be good, too.

    Kef, Energy, Quad, Mirage, and a number of others could be on your audition list, as well.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  9. #9
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    Oh I definitely plan to look into other speakers, especially with the price range I've been given to work with. What do you mean by the B&W being "colored"? I'm a little new to more advanced speaker technology, but I'd like to learn. I already have a subwoofer, and it works fairly well, I think it definitely goes deep enough for music. One feature I like a lot about the Parasound A23 is the output loops (supposed to be used to hook up an other amp) that can be used to hook up a subwoofer.

    I guess in the long run, I'm using this as a starting point to build a top-notch combined stereo and home theater system, therefore being able to add matching surrounds and center later on is important. As far as B&W goes, the Signature 805 is also in the price range (same as 804) but lacks bass. This really is a tough decision the more I think about it! I have a sub, but then again I would like a full range speaker. I like practically every type of music there is.

    So let's say speaker A kicks wicked a** on rap & techno and has good tight bass, but isn't clear and detailed with classical & acoustic, this is no good. Then again, say speaker B plays classical better than anything, but all other music is dull and lifeless, this is no good. I guess I'm a little confused.

    I'll check out the paradigms as there seem to be a ton of dealers in my area. My dad likes B&W's and is planning to get a system for himself as well. The Signature 805s look nice, but everything else in the series is so $$$, that even just out of college it'll take me a good while to put together a system. The 800 series is much more reasonable. But no, I'm not set on B&W, but the guy in the store said he only carries B&W's, since they're the best, but that's just his opinion. There are plenty of stores around.

  10. #10
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    Well, its hard to say...as one man once put it, bass is cheap - but good bass is hard to come by. I used to search around for a speaker that had good frequency responses so that I could encapture the essence of any type of music. But then I realize that most music does not even go that low. Techno and that reside in mid and lower-mid bass rather than deep bass so most speakers can handle it. Plus I also found that I was willing to give some bass up to get more of something else. I compared the B&W 600 series standmounts to the floor standers and, although the floorstanders had more bass impact, the midrange wasnt as good. I would rather have good midrange than good bass since most stuff resides in the midrange. Plus, our ears are most sensitive to the midrange at around 2khz I think it is.
    The speaker I'm about to buy could be split into a lower model of that speaker and a decent subwoofer. But I wouldnt do that...cuz that would take out something else I like.

    Jst me own opinion of course.
    Look slowly

  11. #11
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    consider Dynaudio contour and confidence series

    Have a listen to Dynaudio contour and confidence series before you decide. I once compared the B&W DM 602 to the Dynaudio audience 42 and the dyns won hands down.The contour and confidence series are in a different league. Check them out.You are for a surprise..
    I recently had the pleasure of listening to a pair of contour series bokshef speakers connected to a silverline series (pre-power combo) from NAD and they blew me away with startling realism.I don't remember the model number of the speakers though.

  12. #12
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    My experience with B&W speakers is very limited. When I was searching for speakers I listened to their nautilus line and wasn't very impressed by them at all. They were being driven by various amps including rotel, marantz and mcintosh products. Not everyone likes bipolar or dipolar products but to me regular speakers sound bland. In this price range you have some good bipolar/dipolar products including ones by Martin Logan, Magenpan and Definitive Technology. I would try to go and listen to as many different types of speakers (not just different manufacturers) as you can so that you can discover what types of speakers fit your listening preferences. 5 months is a good amount of time to research your speakers properly. Congrats on graduating and hope you enjoy your present whatever it may end up being.
    Definitive Technology Fan, Owner and Advocate!!!!! never paying retail IS half the fun of buying audio products!!!! Good shopping!

  13. #13
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    92, just out of curiosity, what speaker are you about to buy? Also, just wondering, has anyone heard the B&W Signature 805? From a B&W perspective (as that's all I've really known so far.. wish I could say BMW perspective :-)), from looking at the specs, the N804 definitely has enough bass for me, so I wouldn't even need to use my sub. However, how much different is the sound?

    Keep in mind that I've only heard B&W 603's (in addition to the Infinitys and Polks and Klipsch's in Best Buy), which I feel are better than anything I've heard. I do have perfect pitch, so details are always fun to hear. :-) Looking at the specs, the Signature 805's seem a tad lean on the bass, but with the amp I'm getting would do fine with my sub, which I can phase out at 50Hz. I'm just wondering if anyone's heard these. How much better are they than the N804's? I

    Anyway, I'm in no hurry, I won't be getting these babies until 5 months from now. I'm home now, and have much more free time to look at these before I go back to school.

    I've really enjoyed all your opinions. I just thought I'd throw my current system at you and see what you have to say about it:

    Receiver: Yamaha RX-V2400 (newest addition.. this guy rocks!)
    Speakers: Polk LS f/x (not bad.. have served me well for years)
    Sub: Polk PSW-650 (has A LOT of bass)
    Toshiba DVD/CD player
    27" TV with component video input

    Not bad for a start...especially for a college kid :-)

    The plan is to put the polks as surrounds when I get the new speakers, and have true surround sound. I know they don't match, etc. etc. but it'll make do.

  14. #14
    Feel the Tempo eisforelectronic's Avatar
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    How about Totem Hawk's. I thought the local dealer was going to cry while he was talking about them.

  15. #15
    RGA
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    First music has colour - I would not be in a rush to find speakers that remove it or more to the point can't produce it. Your budget can get you something better than the likes of Paradigm. My dealer carries them and B&W among others. Paradigm comes off as largely lifeless most of the time.

    The dealer that only carries B&W and says it's the best I would not take at value. This is what my dealer carries http://www.soundhounds.com/ - funny I did not buy a B&W or a Paradigm.

    None of this is to say they're bad - they're very good - and if I had an eye on home theater I would have B&W near the top or at the top of my list - and Paradigm in the bargain department.

    There are planty of brands that you and your dad have probably never heard of - because they don't run multiple advertising in EVERY issue of every magazine and flood the market with 9 different lines and are in every store. You can find a Ford and GM every block - Rolls Royce and Ferrari you have to look for a bit.

    The Signature 805 I have not heard - for that much money it better have bass response under 30hz - and it doesn't - you could probably get a dealer demo 802 for the same price - or a used 801. Positioning these two models however does not yield an easy time. Both require large rooms and I have found need to be 6 feet or more from a rear wall and at least 6 feet from side walls.

    Do try and listen to the Magnepan and Martin Logans and some high sensitivity high dynamic designs (horns etc).

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    RGA, thanks for your advice. I'll try to listen to some Martin Logan's. All the reviews on those are excellent. So I'm guessing you've heard them before? What are your thoughts on those? How are they different from B&Ws, soundwise?

    Just a slight concern. I'm planning to use these speakers for at least the next 10 years or so, something of very high quality to upgrade around, so I want something that's going to last.

  17. #17
    RGA
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    Basically - there are a lot of questions you need to answer for yourself. I agree - I would rather spend the most i could afford on speakers and build with it. My own speakers are upgradeable.

    Questions such as would youever want to try a tube amp? If you have speakers over the next ten years - then if you think you may want to go that route you will need a speaker that is tube friendly.

    Is home theater a priority or is itsomething that's not overly important? - I myself have 200 DVD's but i don't really care if I ever buy rear channel speakers - I once had surround sound but prefferred two good front speakers over 5 lesser ones.

    What kind of music do you listen to - some speakers suffer with bass material - some suffer with dynamics. Some are better suited to the midrange. How much bass are you willing to sacrifice etc?

    Issues of room size, positioning, looks of the speaker play a role.

    Martin Logan sounds very good but can be difficult to set-up as is Magnepan and neither impress me with bass and dynamics - ML is very clear nearly holographic in the midrange - they have an unboxy sound which many cannot live without - but what they trade to get that holographicness is something some like me cannot live without. It's a taste issue of course.

    I wanted the ability to buy a 9 watt Single ended tube amplifier(and still be able to create a thunderous amount of volume) - I wanted impressive bass response, I wanted to be able to put the speakers in corners or close to walls so they would not take up my whole room - and I wanted to be amazed by the sound(The most important bit). I was - now the issue is for you to compile a list of wants and to be able to keep your options open. The ease of driveability in my speakers helps because I can use either low or mega watt amplifiers but many speaker require a lot of power. Usually inefficient speakers have better bass and that is the treade-off but not in my case - where the speaker is very easy to drive offers more bass than most floorstanders 5 times their size and can do it on far fewer watts - but their ugly in relative terms to a lot of the competition - and people would be put off by them perhaps.

    This is why I say go and listen because we all have our own needs and wants - some want to get the feel that their money is going to a speaker with more physical parts, others think they need huge speakers, others hate any speaker that is in a box, others probably think it's only good if it has at least 12 drivers - others won't consider a speaker that is not horn loaded or is over 100db sensitive. The reviews? Everything gets a good review - almost.

    And throwing names at you to go listen to would be a bias - I have no way to know the type of sound you're looking for - B&W to me is a a good bet - looks good sound solid build. The reason to listen to others is for nothing else than to reaffirm your choice of the B&W's - or who knows you could find something you like quite a bit more.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicguy04
    Oh I definitely plan to look into other speakers, especially with the price range I've been given to work with. What do you mean by the B&W being "colored"? I'm a little new to more advanced speaker technology, but I'd like to learn. I already have a subwoofer, and it works fairly well, I think it definitely goes deep enough for music. One feature I like a lot about the Parasound A23 is the output loops (supposed to be used to hook up an other amp) that can be used to hook up a subwoofer.

    I guess in the long run, I'm using this as a starting point to build a top-notch combined stereo and home theater system, therefore being able to add matching surrounds and center later on is important. As far as B&W goes, the Signature 805 is also in the price range (same as 804) but lacks bass. This really is a tough decision the more I think about it! I have a sub, but then again I would like a full range speaker. I like practically every type of music there is.

    So let's say speaker A kicks wicked a** on rap & techno and has good tight bass, but isn't clear and detailed with classical & acoustic, this is no good. Then again, say speaker B plays classical better than anything, but all other music is dull and lifeless, this is no good. I guess I'm a little confused.

    I'll check out the paradigms as there seem to be a ton of dealers in my area. My dad likes B&W's and is planning to get a system for himself as well. The Signature 805s look nice, but everything else in the series is so $$$, that even just out of college it'll take me a good while to put together a system. The 800 series is much more reasonable. But no, I'm not set on B&W, but the guy in the store said he only carries B&W's, since they're the best, but that's just his opinion. There are plenty of stores around.
    "Colored" sound is an optical analogy. Say you take a photograph and the reds or greens or blues are too emphasized. The colors in the photograph don't look very natural. With speakers, too, when the frequency response is not even, then the speaker will be colored, imposing whatever it does on the program material. Since no speaker has a really flat frequency response over a wide dispersion area, all of them color the sound to some degree--but there are degrees and some speakers are very colored and others relatively neutral.

    Just as in photography, the things we take pictures of are usually colored, but we don't usually want the camera to impose some other colors on it. So, music has sound colors, but the function of the speaker is to reproduce them, not unduly impose its own colors on the music. Here are the measurements indicating a colored speaker:

    http://www.soundstagemagazine.com/me...ce3a_mmdecapo/

    The curves don't look pretty, but the speaker probably sounds pleasant enough most of the time, but accurate it is not. And I find accurate speakers sound good with most recordings, though not everyone does.

    Of course, recordings are not all done the same way by any means, so they are colored. The great speaker researcher, Dr. Floyd Toole, points out a "circle of confusion" in that recordings are made using particular monitor speakers and then the recordings are used to evaluate speakers. If you want some lengthy reads, go to the White Papers on the Harman International site.

    Anyway, with good recordings, everything in the stereo image should appear in its proper place and sound reasonably natural. The B & W 802 did not sound neutral to me using my usual test material.

    Now, here is a link to the measurement results of another B & W speaker, one I did like, the B & W 705. There is a minor dip about 2.5 kHz, but the off axis energy seems to help make up for this (you have to realize that what you hear from a speaker includes both direct sound and sound reflected off the walls and floor and other room surfaces and also furniture). The bass response is quite good for a small speaker. I would want a subwoofer with it, but the same is true for most speakers.

    Now, the best place for the main speakers is where they image well, usually well away from the walls. The best place for the deep bass reproduction is usually somewhere else, mostly in a corner, with a crossover below 80 hz. So, having sub-sat system usually makes a lot of sense.
    "Opposition brings concord. Out of discord comes the fairest harmony."
    ------Heraclitus of Ephesis (fl. 504-500 BC), trans. Wheelwright.

  19. #19
    Forum Regular gonefishin's Avatar
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    Hi there musicguy


    Looks like most of the above posters gave you decent advice. As others have said...your the only individual who can decide what is best for you. Just take your time and listen listen listen. Also, don't put too much weight in what others around here say...me included


    Some smaller speakers you may want to check out (in addition to the 804's. )





    ...just to name a very few. Of these choices my preference would be for the vmps.



    I also like horns (and/or H.E. speakers), but I can't think of any commercial offerings that are commonly available that I'd recommend. You do have some of the older vintage models (which some have great drivers)...but without modifications to either the horn, box or crossovers...they're a bit more colored than I really want. They still sound good...but


    enjoy! (Where do you live...perhaps someone has some speakers you'd like to hear that lives in your area. All speakers we would like to audition aren't always sold in a shop near us. But, sometimes you can find an owner (of said speaker) that lives near you. It's worth a try...once you narrow things down a bit


    have Fun!
    dan
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    enjoy the music!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicguy04
    92, just out of curiosity, what speaker are you about to buy? Also, just wondering, has anyone heard the B&W Signature 805? From a B&W perspective (as that's all I've really known so far.. wish I could say BMW perspective :-)), from looking at the specs, the N804 definitely has enough bass for me, so I wouldn't even need to use my sub. However, how much different is the sound?

    Keep in mind that I've only heard B&W 603's (in addition to the Infinitys and Polks and Klipsch's in Best Buy), which I feel are better than anything I've heard. I do have perfect pitch, so details are always fun to hear. :-) Looking at the specs, the Signature 805's seem a tad lean on the bass, but with the amp I'm getting would do fine with my sub, which I can phase out at 50Hz. I'm just wondering if anyone's heard these. How much better are they than the N804's? I

    Anyway, I'm in no hurry, I won't be getting these babies until 5 months from now. I'm home now, and have much more free time to look at these before I go back to school.

    I've really enjoyed all your opinions. I just thought I'd throw my current system at you and see what you have to say about it:

    Receiver: Yamaha RX-V2400 (newest addition.. this guy rocks!)
    Speakers: Polk LS f/x (not bad.. have served me well for years)
    Sub: Polk PSW-650 (has A LOT of bass)
    Toshiba DVD/CD player
    27" TV with component video input

    Not bad for a start...especially for a college kid :-)

    The plan is to put the polks as surrounds when I get the new speakers, and have true surround sound. I know they don't match, etc. etc. but it'll make do.
    About to buy Audio Note's AN/J spe. The cheaper model would be AN/K spe, but the J aint just about the bass, its a whole new level compared to the K.

  21. #21
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    FYI, here is a link to the latest price list from VMPS: http://www.audiocircle.com/circles/v...ic.php?t=10799

    You could try and see if you can audition the Odyssey Lorelei, Onix Reference 2, or ACI Panorama.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by musicguy04
    92, just out of curiosity, what speaker are you about to buy? Also, just wondering, has anyone heard the B&W Signature 805? From a B&W perspective (as that's all I've really known so far.. wish I could say BMW perspective :-)), from looking at the specs, the N804 definitely has enough bass for me, so I wouldn't even need to use my sub. However, how much different is the sound?

    Keep in mind that I've only heard B&W 603's (in addition to the Infinitys and Polks and Klipsch's in Best Buy), which I feel are better than anything I've heard. I do have perfect pitch, so details are always fun to hear. :-) Looking at the specs, the Signature 805's seem a tad lean on the bass, but with the amp I'm getting would do fine with my sub, which I can phase out at 50Hz. I'm just wondering if anyone's heard these. How much better are they than the N804's? I

    Anyway, I'm in no hurry, I won't be getting these babies until 5 months from now. I'm home now, and have much more free time to look at these before I go back to school.

    I've really enjoyed all your opinions. I just thought I'd throw my current system at you and see what you have to say about it:

    Receiver: Yamaha RX-V2400 (newest addition.. this guy rocks!)
    Speakers: Polk LS f/x (not bad.. have served me well for years)
    Sub: Polk PSW-650 (has A LOT of bass)
    Toshiba DVD/CD player
    27" TV with component video input

    Not bad for a start...especially for a college kid :-)

    The plan is to put the polks as surrounds when I get the new speakers, and have true surround sound. I know they don't match, etc. etc. but it'll make do.
    not sure if someone already caught this one, but why would you want to match the polk sub to any 800 series speaker? you wouldnt. that is not advisable. good luck with picking out a decades worth of entertainment from your graduation gift. be careful that if you do want to down the road get into home theater you get what makes sense. in other words, for what you want a sound system for, do you think it best to get the 2-channel amp?
    btw, both your speaker and amp choice are good. but it seems that you have 5 months to pick and choose, and since you are here on this forum, that choice may change a couple hundred times. cheers.

  23. #23
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    192
    Quote Originally Posted by musicguy04

    I've really enjoyed all your opinions. I just thought I'd throw my current system at you and see what you have to say about it:

    Receiver: Yamaha RX-V2400 (newest addition.. this guy rocks!)
    Speakers: Polk LS f/x (not bad.. have served me well for years)
    Sub: Polk PSW-650 (has A LOT of bass)
    Toshiba DVD/CD player
    27" TV with component video input

    Not bad for a start...especially for a college kid :-)

    The plan is to put the polks as surrounds when I get the new speakers, and have true surround sound. I know they don't match, etc. etc. but it'll make do.
    on second thought, heres a pretty neat idea: do you like your current home theater package? if so, and if you had the space, why not consider keeping what you have for HT in the HT space, and use your new stereo as a reference hifi system in another space. honestly, i wouldnt even consider mixing your old system with whatever new system you may get. and if you already like your HT set-up, then why get rid of it. you could have the best of both worlds! how cool would that be. a good ht room and a killer listening room.

  24. #24
    AR Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    68
    Thanks for all your replies. Well, I don't exactly have a home theater just yet. I have a pair of bookshelf front speakers, a sub, a decent receiver, and a DVD player. The sub really kicks with movies, so I like it a lot. Yeah, with the 804s, I wouldn't use a sub for music, only for movies. I don't have surround speaker or a center, so I'd just move my polks to surround until I could afford to get 805s if I go the B&W route.

    As far as the amp goes, I really like the sound of the Parasound Halo A23. Also, the loop outs make hooking up a sub very convenient, should I need to use one. I just stopped by the B&W store, and I head a rotel there, but I didn't really like it, I thought the vocals were muddy, compared to the Parasound of course! :-)

    Well, I realize I can spend about $800 on a component right now. SInce I'm new to this, I was wondering what y'all think will make my current system sound better right now, either adding a Parasound Halo A23 or getting a new CD player. I was thinking about the Arcam 73T, and I like the upgradeability it offers. Which do you think would make the most improvement with my current system right now?

  25. #25
    Forum Regular
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    8
    Hi MG04,

    These guys are giving you good advice. If you want to be happy with a speaker for 10 years, or even 1 year, it is very important that you do some lengthy auditioning. Even if it only reaffirms your decision, it is time well spent before you drop that much cash.

    I have listened to many B&W speakers; of most relevance, I've heard N805, 804, and 803. I currently own N803s as my mains with CDM 1SE rears (monitors similar to the 1NT). I run the 803 mains full range with a REL storm III sub for music and HT. I think the N805 is a great speaker, which needs to be paired with a quality sub. It's voicing is very good, but I found the more forward mid range of the 804 and 803 to be more to my liking. I agree with the above, that the 804 is very close in sound to the CDM 9NT, especially considering the price jump. I found the price increase from 804 to 803 to be more substantiated by the sound improvement. For VALUE, I place the CDM 9NT higher than the 804; I have not heard the newer 704. You should listen to all of these speakers (and more) and see if you agree with my opinion; you may not like something about one speaker that did not strike me.

    Other speakers that I would recommend listening to (may have been mentioned) are from Revel, Monitor Audio, Thiel, Linn, etc. Different technologies may open your eyes too, like ML and Magnepan.

    I agree with you, that it is most cost effective to have one system that plays music and HT well. That is what I have done in my system, by building a great 2 channel setup and then integrating a surround system around it. It's the best of both worlds, but your 2 channel may be only 90% of what it could have been in a dedicated room. The cost savings of only needing one room, as well as other things, is worth it IMO.

    If you have a 2 channel system that also works for HT, I see nothing wrong with using several 2 channel amps instead of one 5/6/7 channel amp. When you want a great 2 channel with good surround capabilities, I find that putting more money into one of several 2 channel amps is desireable. It is also flexible for upgrading and 2 channel amps will often give you more power, than a similarly rated 5 channel, when used in a HT setup.

    Considering your last question... If you are currently using a digital connection from CD/DVD to receiver, adding an amp will give you more improvement than adding a CD player. An amp should be picked to work well with whatever speakers you plan to get, but an amp is one of the items that may never need upgrading. I don't advise buying an amp on features, but do it on sound and build quality.

    Good luck.

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