Need some help with a B&W decision... - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 07-23-2013, 01:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Looking for some guidance here... The original plan was CM9's and CM centre... easy...done... No, then I start thinking "well, maybe I should just buy it right and go 804D" and of course my dealer says "why not the 803D?" If I "go big" on the 800 series, I am not going to have a choice in the beginning on amps. I've pretty much decided that it will have to be 2 Emotiva XPA-1 mono blocks to power either the 803 or 804 with an upgrade in the future, possibly a McIntosh (but thats another story).

I think I have definitely talked myself out of the CM9's. I already have a pair of CM8's in another room and I absolutely love them for the purpose they serve. But, for my dedicated theater room I want to jump to the 800's. What I'm struggling with is the difference in 804 to 803 could easily knock out a chunk for my projector. Is the difference between the 804 to 803 worth a few months wait on the projector?
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post #2 of 30 Old 07-23-2013, 05:29 PM
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The way I see it if you can afford it buy the 803D. Keeps you off the upgrade tread mill which will eventually cost you more.smile.gif
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post #3 of 30 Old 07-23-2013, 05:36 PM
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Projector technology changes constantly, there will be a better one next year for cheaper, but nice speakers like B&Ws can last a long time. I would get the nicest speakers you can afford. I would just get a pro-amp in the meantime like a Crown or QSC, they will be every bit as good as an Emotiva or McIntosh, they just don't look as pretty.
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post #4 of 30 Old 07-23-2013, 11:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoknlt4 View Post

Is the difference between the 804 to 803 worth a few months wait on the projector?

Yes.

B.
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post #5 of 30 Old 07-24-2013, 06:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input guys! That was kinda what I was thinking...
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post #6 of 30 Old 07-24-2013, 07:31 AM
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Also take a look at ATI amps. Great amps at a reasonable price.
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post #7 of 30 Old 07-24-2013, 07:37 AM
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Or get the Outlaw 7500 ( which is the equivalent of the ATI AT2005).


HTM Power Output @ 1% THD 2CH 8 ohms/2CH 4 ohms/ 5CH 8 ohms
$9,000 Classe CT-5300: 434.8/190/322.1
$8,095 Bryston 9B SST2: 151.3/245.5/148.7
$7,500 Denon POA-A1HDCI: 197.2/318/188.2
$5,899 Earthquake Cinenova Grande: 374.4/564.7/329.6
$5,699 ADA PTM-8150: 187.7/268.5/138.8**
$5,000 Anthem Statement P5: 400/642/383
$3,995 Cary Model 7.125: 158.6/313.1/148.5
$3,295 Butler TDB 5150: 250.5/393.7/227.2**
$2,999 NAD M25: 259.5/484.6/230.7**
$2,800 Sherbourn PA-7-350: 488.3/746.9/356.3
$2,799 Rotel RMB-1575: 319.9/510/317.9
$2,500 Parasound 5250: 325.6/546/298.1
$2,499 Rotel RMB-1077: 133/257 /118.0**
$2,499 AudioControl Savoy: 255.3/413.8/178.4**
$2,399 Marantz MM8077: 150.3/241.8/125.4
$2,299 Arcam P1000: 237/359/173**
$2,000 Emotiva MPS-1: 187/280/175**
$1,999 Anthem MCA50: 232.3/378.1/222.8
$1,800 Integra DTA-70.1: 177.7/266.7/137.7
$1,599 Outlaw Model 7500 (AT2005): 342.3/492.8/301.1
$1,200 Marantz MM7055: 152.8/236.4/117.8
$1,199 Rotel RMB-1085: 114.8/218.4/114.8
$1,000 Outlaw Model 7125: 189/269/142**
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post #8 of 30 Old 07-24-2013, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Or get the Outlaw 7500 ( which is the equivalent of the ATI AT2005).


HTM Power Output @ 1% THD 2CH 8 ohms/2CH 4 ohms/ 5CH 8 ohms
$9,000 Classe CT-5300: 434.8/190/322.1
$8,095 Bryston 9B SST2: 151.3/245.5/148.7
$7,500 Denon POA-A1HDCI: 197.2/318/188.2
$5,899 Earthquake Cinenova Grande: 374.4/564.7/329.6
$5,699 ADA PTM-8150: 187.7/268.5/138.8**
$5,000 Anthem Statement P5: 400/642/383
$3,995 Cary Model 7.125: 158.6/313.1/148.5
$3,295 Butler TDB 5150: 250.5/393.7/227.2**
$2,999 NAD M25: 259.5/484.6/230.7**
$2,800 Sherbourn PA-7-350: 488.3/746.9/356.3
$2,799 Rotel RMB-1575: 319.9/510/317.9
$2,500 Parasound 5250: 325.6/546/298.1
$2,499 Rotel RMB-1077: 133/257 /118.0**
$2,499 AudioControl Savoy: 255.3/413.8/178.4**
$2,399 Marantz MM8077: 150.3/241.8/125.4
$2,299 Arcam P1000: 237/359/173**
$2,000 Emotiva MPS-1: 187/280/175**
$1,999 Anthem MCA50: 232.3/378.1/222.8
$1,800 Integra DTA-70.1: 177.7/266.7/137.7
$1,599 Outlaw Model 7500 (AT2005): 342.3/492.8/301.1
$1,200 Marantz MM7055: 152.8/236.4/117.8
$1,199 Rotel RMB-1085: 114.8/218.4/114.8
$1,000 Outlaw Model 7125: 189/269/142**

Acu, it looks like you have the numbers backwards on the Classe amp? Not sure how it is rated at 434W @ 8 ohms and 190W @ 4 ohms.
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post #9 of 30 Old 07-25-2013, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by smoknlt4 View Post

Looking for some guidance here... The original plan was CM9's and CM centre... easy...done... No, then I start thinking "well, maybe I should just buy it right and go 804D" and of course my dealer says "why not the 803D?" If I "go big" on the 800 series, I am not going to have a choice in the beginning on amps. I've pretty much decided that it will have to be 2 Emotiva XPA-1 mono blocks to power either the 803 or 804 with an upgrade in the future, possibly a McIntosh (but thats another story).

I think I have definitely talked myself out of the CM9's. I already have a pair of CM8's in another room and I absolutely love them for the purpose they serve. But, for my dedicated theater room I want to jump to the 800's. What I'm struggling with is the difference in 804 to 803 could easily knock out a chunk for my projector. Is the difference between the 804 to 803 worth a few months wait on the projector?

I don't want to assume that you haven't done your due diligence, so please don't take this the wrong way, but have you had a chance to listen to the 800 series B&W extensively? To me at least, they sounds completely different from the CM series that you love. While the CM tends to have a bit of a laid-back and warm sound, the 800 series' diamond tweeter gives them a much more forward and sometimes bright sound.

The purple trace in this response graph is for the CM9s, extremely similar especially in the top end to the CM8s




Here is the trace for the 802D's




I would look at the 1k-10k range where the CM series and 800 series go in completely opposite directions. I'm not trying to discourage you from the 800 series, just keep in mind they have an extremely different sound from the B&W's that you've grown accustomed to.
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post #10 of 30 Old 07-31-2013, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simp1yamazn View Post

I don't want to assume that you haven't done your due diligence, so please don't take this the wrong way, but have you had a chance to listen to the 800 series B&W extensively? To me at least, they sounds completely different from the CM series that you love. While the CM tends to have a bit of a laid-back and warm sound, the 800 series' diamond tweeter gives them a much more forward and sometimes bright sound.

The purple trace in this response graph is for the CM9s, extremely similar especially in the top end to the CM8s




Here is the trace for the 802D's




I would look at the 1k-10k range where the CM series and 800 series go in completely opposite directions. I'm not trying to discourage you from the 800 series, just keep in mind they have an extremely different sound from the B&W's that you've grown accustomed to.

I wouldn't say I have listened to the 803D's extensively but what I had heard from them, they sounded AMAZING to me. I got a chance to A-B them with some CM9's and the CM's almost sounded muffled compared to the 803's. If that makes sense at all? I'm guessing that it sounded that way to me due to the brightness you are referring to. I appreciate the input though, I will most certainly sit down for another demo before I buy. I would really like to hear some 804's as well to see what differences there are between the 803 and 804.
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post #11 of 30 Old 07-31-2013, 11:38 AM
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Yea, any of the CM's will sound muffled compared to the diamond series. The 803's use larger low frequency drivers (7 v 6.5) and more drivers (3 v 2). You will get a fuller sound overall and definitely better bass extension. If you can afford the 803D's, without hesitation get them over the 804D's. As has been said earlier, projector tech constantly gets better and cheaper every year. Upgrading your display with happen every few years. Upgrading speakers doesn't need to happen except every few decades (i said need, not want biggrin.gif )
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post #12 of 30 Old 08-09-2013, 07:25 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm still struggling with this a bit... If paired with a sub (or two), what else am I gaining by going to the 803D? I keep hearing people say "bass response" when referring to the 803D, so does that mean that the mids and highs are going to be exactly the same?
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post #13 of 30 Old 08-09-2013, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoknlt4 View Post

I'm still struggling with this a bit... If paired with a sub (or two), what else am I gaining by going to the 803D? I keep hearing people say "bass response" when referring to the 803D, so does that mean that the mids and highs are going to be exactly the same?

I'm guessing you are looking at the 803 vs 804? They will be similar but not exactly the same. The tweeter and mid-range drivers with the 803 and 804 are the same, but the cabinets themselves are different and could have an impact on the sound. The 803D has a deeper and taller cabinet and I believe the tapering tube on the tweeter is a bit longer on the 803D which could effect how it sounds at the top end. The bass drivers are different, the 804 has 2 6.5" drivers and the 803 has 3 7" drivers. Even if you were to use a subwoofer, those bass drivers will still do plenty of work and they may sound different in the mid- to upper-bass. The bass drivers in both models are both crossed at 350 so anything 350hz and below will be mostly coming from them. Assuming you are crossing the sub at 80hz (or somewhere near it) they may have a different sound.

I don't think it will be a night and day difference between the two. In fact, you could easily make the argument to not get either one and go for 4 805D's and matching center with 2-4 subs. You never actually mentioned the size of the room, layout, or if you were looking at surround 3.1 3.0 2.0 or 2.1
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post #14 of 30 Old 08-09-2013, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by simp1yamazn View Post

I'm guessing you are looking at the 803 vs 804? They will be similar but not exactly the same. The tweeter and mid-range drivers with the 803 and 804 are the same, but the cabinets themselves are different and could have an impact on the sound. The 803D has a deeper and taller cabinet and I believe the tapering tube on the tweeter is a bit longer on the 803D which could effect how it sounds at the top end. The bass drivers are different, the 804 has 2 6.5" drivers and the 803 has 3 7" drivers. Even if you were to use a subwoofer, those bass drivers will still do plenty of work and they may sound different in the mid- to upper-bass. The bass drivers in both models are both crossed at 350 so anything 350hz and below will be mostly coming from them. Assuming you are crossing the sub at 80hz (or somewhere near it) they may have a different sound.

I don't think it will be a night and day difference between the two. In fact, you could easily make the argument to not get either one and go for 4 805D's and matching center with 2-4 subs. You never actually mentioned the size of the room, layout, or if you were looking at surround 3.1 3.0 2.0 or 2.1

It will be a "bonus room" type setup, 15X30(ish). It is going to start as a 2.0 system with projector but ultimately will become a 5.1 or maybe even 7.1 in the future. I'm spending more on the 2.0 system because it will be used more as a 2.0 and I am kind of indifferent on movie/surround sound. I'm basically trying to figure out if my reaction to the 803's would be "I should have spent the extra" or with the 804's, "I spent too much"... haha!

I have only heard the 803D's, i really wish I could hear a pair of 803's and 804's next too each other. The difference between the 803D's and the CM9's was HUGE but I guess that is to be expected.
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post #15 of 30 Old 08-09-2013, 09:40 AM
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I wish I was looking at 800 series for a "bonus room"! biggrin.gif

That being said, when I was looking for speakers I had the same mindset of caring much more about 2.0 than anything else. Unless you think you might get into listening to multi-channel audio (which it seems unlikely), I say put as much as you possibly can into your L/R/C. I put all my money into the front L/R. No sub (yet, DIY here i come!), no surrounds, and I've never had a second of regret. I say get the best you can possibly afford. Get the 803D and be happy!
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post #16 of 30 Old 08-09-2013, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoknlt4 View Post

It will be a "bonus room" type setup, 15X30(ish). It is going to start as a 2.0 system with projector but ultimately will become a 5.1 or maybe even 7.1 in the future. I'm spending more on the 2.0 system because it will be used more as a 2.0 and I am kind of indifferent on movie/surround sound. I'm basically trying to figure out if my reaction to the 803's would be "I should have spent the extra" or with the 804's, "I spent too much"... haha!

I have only heard the 803D's, i really wish I could hear a pair of 803's and 804's next too each other. The difference between the 803D's and the CM9's was HUGE but I guess that is to be expected.

I've done this comparison multiple times. With your size room you are going to be better off with the 803 vs. the 804. (It is not just a bass thing.) It only gets better going up to the 802, but if you are topping off price-wise then I would definitely do the 803 over the 804.

B.
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post #17 of 30 Old 08-09-2013, 11:23 AM - Thread Starter
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I've done this comparison multiple times. With your size room you are going to be better off with the 803 vs. the 804. (It is not just a bass thing.) It only gets better going up to the 802, but if you are topping off price-wise then I would definitely do the 803 over the 804.

B.

What disadvantages do you think there are with the 804's in that size room? I've heard different opinions on this and have heard about instances of 802's in much smaller rooms. It's the whole "you can always turn it down but you can't always turn it up" thing...
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post #18 of 30 Old 08-09-2013, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by smoknlt4 View Post

What disadvantages do you think there are with the 804's in that size room? I've heard different opinions on this and have heard about instances of 802's in much smaller rooms. It's the whole "you can always turn it down but you can't always turn it up" thing...

It's rarely about total volume, but quality at volume. You will have a fuller and more enveloping sound at any given volume in your very wide open home. The larger (and more) bass drivers means that they won't be having to work as hard at any given volume. Keeps the sound more accurate and with lower distortion.
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post #19 of 30 Old 08-09-2013, 11:36 AM - Thread Starter
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I wish I was looking at 800 series for a "bonus room"! biggrin.gif

That being said, when I was looking for speakers I had the same mindset of caring much more about 2.0 than anything else. Unless you think you might get into listening to multi-channel audio (which it seems unlikely), I say put as much as you possibly can into your L/R/C. I put all my money into the front L/R. No sub (yet, DIY here i come!), no surrounds, and I've never had a second of regret. I say get the best you can possibly afford. Get the 803D and be happy!

I hear ya man... I know this wil make people here gasp but I am even considering doing a CM center instead of a diamond center down the road. I know it won't be perfectly matched, balanced, etc.... but I bet it will sound fine for my movie needs. Here is a quick pic of the room I am building. I'm even starting with the $300 Elite Screen....

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post #20 of 30 Old 08-09-2013, 11:39 AM - Thread Starter
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It's rarely about total volume, but quality at volume. You will have a fuller and more enveloping sound at any given volume in your very wide open home. The larger (and more) bass drivers means that they won't be having to work as hard at any given volume. Keeps the sound more accurate and with lower distortion.

Oh sorry, I actually meant disadvantage with 803's... Brian was saying go with the 804's because of the room size.
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post #21 of 30 Old 08-09-2013, 08:15 PM
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Oh sorry, I actually meant disadvantage with 803's... Brian was saying go with the 804's because of the room size.

No, I was saying bigger is better. I agree with everything simp1 said.

B.
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post #22 of 30 Old 08-10-2013, 08:02 AM
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Acu, it looks like you have the numbers backwards on the Classe amp? Not sure how it is rated at 434W @ 8 ohms and 190W @ 4 ohms.

No, the numbers are correct.

Into 4 ohms, the Classe amp went into PROTECTION mode beyond 190W x 2 Ch! eek.gif

Not exactly what you want to see happen on a $9,000 amp! eek.gif
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post #23 of 30 Old 08-10-2013, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smoknlt4 View Post

I'm still struggling with this a bit... If paired with a sub (or two), what else am I gaining by going to the 803D? I keep hearing people say "bass response" when referring to the 803D, so does that mean that the mids and highs are going to be exactly the same?

I would rather have five 805D2 + five RBH SX-1010N subs than five 800D2 + zero subs in terms of pure overall sound quality.

Of course, there are other factors besides SQ. wink.gif

Everyone is entitled to a different opinion on the difference in SQ of the "mids & highs". But IMO, the sound the same. The only audible apparent difference is in the bass IMO.

IMO, the bass on these towers (800D2, Salon2, KEF 207/2, etc) are not any TIGHTER or more accurate or more musical than the bass on many subs, including the RBH SX-1010N. The bass on these towers are just simply LESS.

And the INTEGRATION of the bass-mid-high of the towers isn't any better than a modular 3-way monitor + subs system IMO.

So IMO, unless other factors, like aesthetic, prevail, I would go for the 805D2 and just get multiple accurate tight musical subs and place them around the room.

You could even place the 805D2 on stands atop subs like a big modular tower. biggrin.gif

That's my opinion based on my personal experience.

I will probably sell all my speakers one day and just keep five KEF 201/2 + five RBH SX-1010N + two Funk 18.0. wink.gif
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post #24 of 30 Old 08-10-2013, 02:51 PM
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When I was auditioning speakers recently I compared the CM9 vs. 804D and thought there was a dramatic difference between the CM9 and 804s. I very briefly considered the 803s and then the 804s but I didn't want to spend quite that much with my limited budget. I ended up with the KEF R900s which I really thought sounded great - probably a bit less bright than the 804s but more balanced to my hearing at least. All in all I've been very pleased with them but still think the 800 series B&W sound great. If I were you I would probably go with the 803 as you mention that you wanted to listen 2 channel as well and that is what led me to the R900 rather than the R700 or R500 - sort of went with the best I could afford that sounded great to me and knowing that I wouldn't second guess the decision afterwards. Good Luck!!
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post #25 of 30 Old 08-10-2013, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

No, the numbers are correct.

Into 4 ohms, the Classe amp went into PROTECTION mode beyond 190W x 2 Ch! eek.gif

Not exactly what you want to see happen on a $9,000 amp! eek.gif

Wow, are you serious?! Was this in your setup, or at a dealer's demo room? Could it have been something else in the system that could have caused it to go into protection at only 190W?
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post #26 of 30 Old 08-10-2013, 04:57 PM
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Wow, are you serious?! Was this in your setup, or at a dealer's demo room? Could it have been something else in the system that coud have caused it to go into protection at only 190W?

No. That was on the bench test at Home Theater Magazine, where they measured all kinds of amps over the years.
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post #27 of 30 Old 08-10-2013, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

No. That was on the bench test at Home Theater Magazine, where they measured all kinds of amps over the years.

Interesting. Although when you look at the specs on the CT-5300 it doesn't list the power output at 4 ohms, only 8 ohms. You'd think a $9000 amp would be able to handle 4 ohms speakers though.
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post #28 of 30 Old 08-10-2013, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaoChe View Post


Interesting. Although when you look at the specs on the CT-5300 it doesn't list the power output at 4 ohms, only 8 ohms. You'd think a $9000 amp would be able to handle 4 ohms speakers though.

Yeah, I would hate to see what happens at 2 ohms. eek.gif
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post #29 of 30 Old 01-21-2014, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, I ended up going with the 803D's and I couldn't be happier... and they just keep getting better. I'd say the only downside to them is they have made me not like my CM8's as much as I used to.... rolleyes.gif
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post #30 of 30 Old 01-21-2014, 01:59 PM
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I would strongly suggest going with Used pricing on amplifiers. Amps work great for a LONG time and you will save tons of money no matter which one you choose. There are several great places to buy used high quality amplifiers online.

Everyone else that said that speakers are your least depreciating asset, they are right. Projectors, Processors, and amplifiers don't hold nearly as much value. Used pricing on amplifiers and speakers are like money in the bank. I have sometimes gone 8 or more years with items and re-sold a used item at almost the same price I bought them. This gives you the freedom to swap out some stuff as you go along if you have fun doing that.

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