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B&W 802 diamonds- need help!

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi,

Looking to purchase a new sound system. Have a budget of $35k.

Option A:
a pair of 802 diamonds ($15000) + classe CA 5300 multi-channel amplifier ($9500)+ Classe SSP 800 Surround Processor $9500)

Option B:
a pair of 802 diamonds + classe ssp 800 surround processor ($9500) + Rotel RMB-1575 $2,800 + HTM2d centre ($5000) + DB-1 ($4500)


In option A im compromising on more speakers and investing in the amplifier. It would be a system i could build on overtime but would have to live with the 802s until i can afford to add more from the diamond series (absolutely in love with the diamond series)

In option B i have compromised on the amplifier and gone for the rotel amp and added the HTM2d centre speaker and DB-1 subwoofer.

Which option would be better?

My main use would be 40% for music, 40% tv shows (mostly downloaded mkvs) 20% movies (blu-ray/downloads)

Would really appreciate some suggestions. Thanks!
Edited by Omer Ahmed - 4/2/13 at 10:56pm
post #2 of 24
There is alot of documentation stating the you cant tell the difference between amps assuming they are capable of producing the needed current. You can get some nice bryston amps for less than 5000 and they have 20 year warrantys too.

I would recommend getting a cheaper amp and getting more speakers. I think you would be happier with more speakers.
post #3 of 24
I use a rotel 1095 with my 805s. I suspect they will drive your 802Ds beautifully. A used 1095 in great condition can be found cheap. Might be one of the best deals in used audio. What could you spend the $2000 savings on?
post #4 of 24
Omer - read this review. The reviewer drives SEVEN 802Ds with the Arcam AVR600. I own one and it is fantastic for music plus the room correction/processing is amazing. Class A operation. Retail is $5k.

802 diamonds ($15000) + Arcam AVR600 ($5000) + HTM2d centre ($3750) + 4 805D2 ($8000) + DB-1 ($3000) = $35k

http://www.arcam.co.uk/_ugc/file/avr600wsr-web.pdf
post #5 of 24
Note the reviewer's comments while drive the seven 802Ds:

"Allow me to get personal. In my job as a high-end reviewer (and as
a research scientist always pursuing perfection), I get to hear a lot of
spectacular systems and industry demos at the cutting edge. Many
of these systems cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. In many, just
the electronics doing the same job as the AVR600 cost about
$400,000 (seven dedicated monoblock power amplifiers, discrete
separate outboard DACs, surround processors, EQ, etc.). As you
see, I have been lucky enough to experience the very finest reproduced sounds this planet can offer, and I remember them very well.
The new Arcam AVR600, at the hub of my lab’s reference system,
gives me the finest sound I have heard in my life, from any system.
Ever. Anywhere. Regardless of price. Period."
post #6 of 24
The Arcam AVR600 puts out 120 watts per channel for all channels driven at 1Khz. They do not quote the specification for 20-20Khz nor the harmonic distortion figures, so the real power figures could be much lower for all channels driven 20-20Khz for decently low distortion. Furthermore the unit does not supply any higher power into lower impedance which remains at 120W into 8 ohms and 4 ohms.

802 Diamonds are very transparent and fairly demanding speakers in terms of amplifier power and sonic characteristics of upstream equipment, and any weaknesses there shall be quite audible.

IMHO power amplifiers with similar power specifications can vary greatly in their sonic quality, and 802 Diamonds should be partnered with a high performance amplifier that should provide a minimum of 200W into 8 ohms while increasing to above 300w into 4 ohms load 20-20Khz, all channels driven.

Classe electronics you have listed would be an excellent match, and there are many other options out there at lower and higher price points. But in my opinion you will not find an AVR that is suitable for this job
post #7 of 24
Arcam AVR600:
http://www.hometheater.com/content/arcam-avr600-av-receiver-ht-labs-measures

Five channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 82.0 watts
1% distortion at 95.5 watts

Seven channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 81.0 watts
1% distortion at 93.9 watts

Response from the multichannel input to the speaker output measures –0.02 decibels at 10 hertz, +0.00 dB at 20 Hz, –0.02 dB at 20 kilohertz, and –2.88 dB at 50 kHz. THD+N from the CD input to the speaker output was less than 0.034 percent at 1 kHz when driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load. Crosstalk at 1 kHz driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load was –74.68 dB left to right and –74.14 dB right to left. The signal-to-noise ratio with 2.83 volts driving an 8-ohm load from 10 Hz to 24 kHz with “A” weighting was –95.20 dBrA.



$1100 Pioneer SC61:
http://www.hometheater.com/content/pioneer-elite-sc-61-av-receiver-ht-labs-measures

Five channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 109.0 watts
1% distortion at 127.7 watts

Seven channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 99.4 watts
1% distortion at 110.3 watts

There was no multichannel input to measure. THD+N from the CD input to the speaker output was less than 0.011 percent at 1 kilohertz when driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load. Crosstalk at 1 kHz driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load was –79.63 decibels left to right and –79.14 dB right to left. The signal-to-noise ratio with an 8-ohm load from 10 hertz to 24 kHz with “A” weighting was –98.83 dBrA.


$2500 Pioneer SC68:
http://www.hometheater.com/content/pioneer-elite-sc-68-av-receiver-ht-labs-measures

Five channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 92.3 watts
1% distortion at 138.8 watts

Seven channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 90.0 watts
1% distortion at 113.8 watts

Response from the multichannel input to the speaker output measures –0.24 decibels at 10 hertz, –0.07 dB at 20 Hz, +0.89 dB at 20 kilohertz, and –1.87 dB at 50 kHz. THD+N from the CD input to the speaker output was less than 0.063 percent at 1 kHz when driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load. Crosstalk at 1 kHz driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load was –80.58 dB left to right and –80.87 dB right to left. The signal-to-noise ratio with an 8-ohm load from 10 Hz to 24 kHz with “A” weighting was –103.65 dBrA.



$1100 Denon 3312:
http://www.hometheater.com/content/denon-avr-3312ci-av-receiver-ht-labs-measures

Five channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 82.9 watts
1% distortion at 103.0 watts

Seven channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 79.5 watts
1% distortion at 96.8 watts

There was no multichannel input to measure. THD+N from the CD input to the speaker output was less than 0.005 percent at 1 kHz when driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load. Crosstalk at 1 kHz driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load was –77.40 dB left to right and –77.93 dB right to left. The signal-to-noise ratio with an 8-ohm load from 10 Hz to 24 kHz with “A” weighting was –108.68 dBrA.

So looks like the $1100 Denon & Pioneer output more power than the $5000 Arcam with both 5ch & 7ch driven, and still have better SNR, Crosstalk, THD.
Edited by AcuDefTechGuy - 4/2/13 at 2:46pm
post #8 of 24
I think Classe, Cary Audio, or Rotel processor + amp are good.

http://www.hometheater.com/content/rotel-rsp-1570-surround-processor-and-rmb-1575-amplifier-ht-labs-measures-rotel-rmb-1575-amp

Rotel RMB-1575 amp: 318WPC x 5Ch driven into 8ohms, 510WPC x 2Ch driven into 4ohms. Now that's POWER!

Five channels driven continuously into 8-ohm loads:
0.1% distortion at 268.5 watts
1% distortion at 317.9 watts

This graph shows that the RMB-1575’s left amplifier channel, with two channels driving 8-ohm loads, reaches 0.1 percent distortion at 273.4 watts and 1 percent distortion at 319.8 watts. Into 4 ohms, the amplifier reaches 0.1 percent distortion at 484.6 watts and 1 percent distortion at 510.0 watts. An input level of 129.3 millivolts was required to produce an output of 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load, indicating an overall gain of +26.87 decibels.

THD+N from the amplifier was less than 0.008 percent at 1 kilohertz when driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load. Crosstalk at 1 kHz driving 2.83 volts into an 8-ohm load was –104.74 dB left to right and –103.37 dB right to left. The signal-to-noise ratio with an 8-ohm load from 10 Hz to 24 kHz with “A” weighting was –102.55 dBrA.—MJP


http://www.hometheater.com/category/preampprocessor-reviews
post #9 of 24
I have a similar setup to your option B - but swapped the amp/pre-pro. I have 803Diamonds, HTM2Diamond center, Rotel RSP-1572 pre-pro, Classe 5300 amp and a Rotel 100wpc 2ch amp (7.1 setup). I like this setup - the funny thing is that I actually was in process of buying the Rotel RMB-1575 but it was severely back-ordered last year, so I ended up with the Classe amp instead...

My logic was that the amp will (hopefully) give me a longer-term investment than the pre-pro would. As tech changes, I saw myself possibly upgradring the pre-pro quicker than I would an amp (since that tech hardly changes) so it seemed to make sense to spend less on the pre-pro. I'm now in process of getting some 802Diamonds do go with my 803s and am glad I have the classe amp; though i would probably feel just as good with the RMB-1575, FWIW.
post #10 of 24
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelkingdom View Post

Omer - read this review. The reviewer drives SEVEN 802Ds with the Arcam AVR600. I own one and it is fantastic for music plus the room correction/processing is amazing. Class A operation. Retail is $5k.

802 diamonds ($15000) + Arcam AVR600 ($5000) + HTM2d centre ($3750) + 4 805D2 ($8000) + DB-1 ($3000) = $35k

http://www.arcam.co.uk/_ugc/file/avr600wsr-web.pdf

Appreciate you guys taking out the time. Im still very new to the technical side of speakers and amps (usually go with dealer recommendation)

So these are the two combinations i have narrowed down now.

Michael's recommendation- I see many of you have strongly recommended the AVR-600. But dont Avr's lack the power and current capacity required by 802 Diamonds to perform well at higher volume levels? Then again if avr-600 can get a decent performance out of my 802s i can afford more diamond series speakers. I could upgrade to separates in a couple of years.

or

Option B:
a pair of 802 diamonds + classe ssp 800 surround processor ($9500) + Rotel RMB-1575 $2,800 + HTM2d centre ($3750) + DB-1 ($3000)

Will the AVR-600 be able to match this processor + amp option?
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omer Ahmed View Post

Appreciate you guys taking out the time. Im still very new to the technical side of speakers and amps (usually go with dealer recommendation)

So these are the two combinations i have narrowed down now.

Michael's recommendation- I see many of you have strongly recommended the AVR-600. But dont Avr's lack the power and current capacity required by 802 Diamonds to perform well at higher volume levels? Then again if avr-600 can get a decent performance out of my 802s i can afford more diamond series speakers. I could upgrade to separates in a couple of years.

or

Option B:
a pair of 802 diamonds + classe ssp 800 surround processor ($9500) + Rotel RMB-1575 $2,800 + HTM2d centre ($3750) + DB-1 ($3000)

Will the AVR-600 be able to match this processor + amp option?

If your goal is home theater and you are set on the speakers above, then I would get them. It is easy to change out the electronics later if you want to "upgrade." I wouldn't trade separates for an integrated component (receiver) of any sort in my system.

It also seems strange that you were quoted retail on the 802s, but 25% off on the center and 33% off on the sub??

The Classe amps are beautiful pieces of gear. I don't think anyone here would recommend against them (price not being an issue).

Sounds like you are on your way to a spectacular system. Good luck!

Brian
post #12 of 24
Thread Starter 
Youre right. Retail for the htm 2 is $5000, DB-1 is $4500. Misquote on my part.

I agree with you. I might just start with the 802 D pair ($15000) + classe ssp 800 surround processor ($9500) + Rotel rmb 1575 ($2800). This would relatively be easier on the pocket and would be a solid base to start with. Then i can keep adding to this system in 6 months to a year by adding speakers and a sub overtime and eventually switching up the rotel with the classe amp.

I dont have an immediate need for 5.1 home theater system. I just need a system to enjoy my music and see what the 802s are all about.

The last home theater speakers i bought were McIntosh which i bought 8 years ago. Dont even remember the series. So I dont know what to expect but will honestly be pleased knowing that i will be getting at least 95% performance out of the 802s im about to purchase.
post #13 of 24
I drive my 802D2 with Marantz MA-700 mono blocks. I don't have any complaints so far (in my room in my house). But I’ve stated before that my dealer uses a pair of CA-M600 monos in their show room to drive a pair of 800D2. I have seen those amps clip at about 96-97 dbs in their room. All I am saying is that if you have a very big very “dead” room, you may need a lot more power. But for me, in my situation the ma700s are great.

But in my opinion, you should get the three speakers, and then worry about the rest of the system.
post #14 of 24
Why buy Classe + Rotel?

Makes no sense to me. Just get Rotel pre + Rotel amp and put the money into the speakers.

Even if people disagree on how amps and preamps differ or not differ, EVERYONE AGREES that speakers make the MOST SIGNIFICANT IMPACT, a lot more than amps and preamps.


Let's say the 802D2 is 90dB/w/m (spec 90dB/2.83v/m):

84dB/3m/1w
87dB/3m/2w
90/4w
93/8w
96/16w
99/32w
102/64w
105dB/3m/128w

THX standard is a MAX VOLUME of 105dB for speakers (85dB + 20dB Headroom) and 115dB for subwoofers.

So it takes 128 watts to play a volume of 105dB 3 meters away from the 802D2!
post #15 of 24
I don't think that equipment is good enough for those speakers. Rotel gear does not sound as good as Bryston or Mark Levinson. If I had those speakers I would not use a second-rate amplifier with them.

I would go with the new Bryston SP-3 processor, which is unquestionably the best on the market. It is $9500, but you will never need to buy another one. It also has a 20-year warranty, which I would certainly consider a huge plus.

Trying to get most equipment repaired after 5 or 10 years can be very expensive, IF you can even get it fixed!! With Bryston it gets done right away at no cost except for shipping. For 20 years! That is a great insurance policy and peace of mind.

There are many Bryston power amplifiers that you could go with, including mono, stereo, and multi-channel, and that is the way to go. I have the Bryston 3B-SST2, and with my Audio Research preamp the sound is to die for; there is NOTHING that sounds better. The 9B-SST2 is the 5-channel model that might be your best choice, and it is $8500.





Quote:
Originally Posted by Omer Ahmed View Post

Youre right. Retail for the htm 2 is $5000, DB-1 is $4500. Misquote on my part.

I agree with you. I might just start with the 802 D pair ($15000) + classe ssp 800 surround processor ($9500) + Rotel rmb 1575 ($2800). This would relatively be easier on the pocket and would be a solid base to start with. Then i can keep adding to this system in 6 months to a year by adding speakers and a sub overtime and eventually switching up the rotel with the classe amp.

I dont have an immediate need for 5.1 home theater system. I just need a system to enjoy my music and see what the 802s are all about.

The last home theater speakers i bought were McIntosh which i bought 8 years ago. Dont even remember the series. So I dont know what to expect but will honestly be pleased knowing that i will be getting at least 95% performance out of the 802s im about to purchase.

Edited by commsysman - 4/8/13 at 9:05am
post #16 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by commsysman View Post

I don't think that equipment is good enough for those speakers. Rotel gear does not sound as good as Bryston or Mark Levinson. If I had those speakers I would not use a second-rate amplifier with them.

I would go with the new Bryston SP-3 processor, which is unquestionably the best on the market. It is $9500, but you will never need to buy another one. It also has a 20-year warranty, which I would certainly consider a huge plus.

Trying to get most equipment repaired after 5 or 10 years can be very expensive, IF you can even get it fixed!! With Bryston it gets done right away at no cost except for shipping. For 20 years! That is a great insurance policy and peace of mind.

There are many Bryston power amplifiers that you could go with, including mono, stereo, and multi-channel, and that is the way to go. I have the Bryston 3B-SST2, and with my Audio Research preamp the sound is to die for; there is NOTHING that sounds better. The 9B-SST2 is the 5-channel model that might be your best choice.


Spend ~ $18K on electronics and ~ $15K on speakers?

Bryston warranty is 20 yr for ANALOG components only. Digital components like processors (SP3) get 5 years.

http://bryston.com/pages/warranty.html

And there is nothing second-rate about Rotel.
post #17 of 24
Comment without getting personal.

Thx

K
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Spend ~ $18K on electronics and ~ $15K on speakers?

Bryston warranty is 20 yr for ANALOG components only. Digital components like processors (SP3) get 5 years.

http://bryston.com/pages/warranty.html

And there is nothing second-rate about Rotel.

I agree, spending $18k on electronics and $15k on speakers does not make any sense.

Also, keep in mind that in 5 years whatever pre/pro you get will likely be very outdated as it will likely not do half the new things you will be able to do then...

of course, it will still sound good. smile.gif
post #19 of 24
I'm sorry but even if it did not overheat and you could get sound there is no way I would power speakers at that level with an AVR. If you can pop on in a Pioneer and it drives your $20k plus speakers good for you. I would be worried all the time. Same with the Arcam AVR and I love Arcam.

You would really like the Classe SSP-800. Mine has been great and great sound. It is getting a bit older now but has HDMI 1.4a. 4k coming. Will a new pre/pro be required to support 4k? As great as the 800 is I do think it will be revamped soon. I bought my mint Simaudio Titan amp on Audiogon at 50 percent MSRP a few years ago. Don't be afraid to shop amps on the used market. Most who spend a good deal of cash on this stuff take care of it. Used Amps are a pretty safe bet. Look for mint items.

I have owned the NAD Masters M15 (non HD original version) and M25 Amp. Awesome amp for at the time $3k. Today's prices should be similar. M15HD pre/pro is another nice piece at maybe half of the Classe SSP-800. NAD Masters is excellent stuff.

Good Luck and I would be careful driving 802Ds with an AVR. You would most likely buy it then dump it as its not meeting your needs. Careful. Your budget is super nice. Think long term and buy once be done(talking separates vs AVR especially amp and speakers). It may take a bit longer but boy have I gone around the upgrade bus. Nice to be pretty much done. And I also don't think a 50 50 budget in speakers/electronics is a bad thing. I mean after an 802D where do you go? 800s? At that point trying new electronics is the logical choice when speakers are set.

The two things that are guaranteed to not change in my set-up for years to come are speakers and amp.

My opinion only....

Good Luck

Rick
Edited by Mr.SoftDome - 4/8/13 at 7:54pm
post #20 of 24
Aren't there several B&W 800 owners on AVS who use Emotiva's XPR line of amps?
Oh yea, Bob Carver now designs for Emotiva now.
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by yelnatsch517 View Post

Aren't there several B&W 800 owners on AVS who use Emotiva's XPR line of amps?
Oh yea, Bob Carver now designs for Emotiva now.

I don't know. I am trying to put aside some of my perceived bias that I admit I have and try one their two channel amps with my little bedroom set-up. I think my B&W CM5 and center could use a bit more grunt than my Denon AVR can provide. I don't need much for this little bedroom system nor do I want to sink in a lot more money or gear into it.

Maybe in the next two months I will try. I am not convinced of LONG term reliability and yes I do think they look like Fischer Price " my first amp or pre/pro". But regardless I would be willing to try a two channel amp with my bedroom set-up.

I still like NAD in the mid-tier range. With 4k coming I would be a bit more cautious with dropping $10k on a pre-pro like I did a couple of years ago but Classe has outstanding quality and the analog section to me is outstanding.

Rick
Edited by Mr.SoftDome - 4/8/13 at 10:21pm
post #22 of 24
Yeah, as fast as pre-pros change, unless you are a multimillionaire, it doesn't make any sense to buy $10K pre-pro & $15K speakers. biggrin.gif

Get a nice high quality pre-pro & amp for about $4K total and put that money into speakers & 2 subs. Depending on your room, one sub may be perfectly peachy, but having 2 or more subs will even out the room response.

Instead of spending $4.5K on a single B&W sub, get 2 powerful subs from Funk, Rythmik, HSU, SVS or even JL Audio if you must have the B&M brand name.
post #23 of 24
I think there is ONE AVR that would be able to do a good job of powering those speakers.

The Cambridge 751R is only $2699, and it is rated to deliver 200 watts per channel to two channels at 6 ohms, or 120 watts per channel to seven channels with ALL SEVEN CHANNELS fully driven.

Nothing made by Pioneer or Arcam can come close (and they actually GIVE NO SPECS AT ALL for power output with all channels fully driven, because the results would make them look foolish).

I personally think the 751R has the most REAL POWER (at acceptable low distortion levels) of ANY receiver made.

.
You can certainly get a pre/pro and get a bunch of 300 watt monoblocks if you want more of everything, but there are very few speakers that the 751R will not handle.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.SoftDome View Post

I'm sorry but even if it did not overheat and you could get sound there is no way I would power speakers at that level with an AVR. If you can pop on in a Pioneer and it drives your $20k plus speakers good for you. I would be worried all the time. Same with the Arcam AVR and I love Arcam.

The two things that are guaranteed to not change in my set-up for years to come are speakers and amp.

My opinion only....

Good Luck

Rick

Edited by commsysman - 4/9/13 at 1:08pm
post #24 of 24
I would agree with the people on a dedicated power amp over an AVR. I would not turn an AVR up with these speakers. The speakers will make sound with an AVR, just not well IMO. These speakers need/take/love a lot of power. The Arcam AVR600 may be a nice unit. I wouldn't go that route.

You could start with one of the bigger Emotiva amps if on a budget, Bryston would be awesome as would Classe, Mac, Krell, Mark Levinson, McIntosh etc (look used on Audigon even). I would say you want at least 300w into 8 ohms to start. I love Rotel, but that may not even have enough juice if you have a large room and like to play loud. I started with a B&K Ref 200.5 which was 200w into 8 ohms and 375 ohms into 4ohms and that really didn't do it. I had to step up to bigger beasts for my smaller 803s.
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