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Help choosing Amp and Speakers

I've been shopping around my area (Thailand) and have found two amplifiers that I'd like to choose from: The Marantz PM7001 and the NAD C351. However, I'm having a hard time finding the speakers I want. So far I went into the B&W store, but found that they are asking a lot for the 686's ($900). The only other brands that I've been able to track down are Marantz, NAD, JBL, and Yamaha. I've also found a pair of PSB B-15 and B-25, but I don't know a thing about them. Can anyone be of help?

 

Cheers,

Keith

 

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Re: Help choosing Amp and Speakers

Hi there....I wish I am there shopping too, miss Thailand badly...me.

OK, for the amp I would choose the Marantz and if you can afford the KI version I would do so as it is a lot better as long as you ignor the gimmick class A button that rob a boogie factor out of the amp.
For some reason B&W in Thailand are very expensive compare to UK price!  I would try a very entertaining pair of Revolver RW16 for around 28,000 bath (which is more or less the same price here)....the obvious place to find one is Piyanas Hifi shop in Imperial, Ladprow rd, BKK.

good luck

Anonymous
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Re: Help choosing Amp and Speakers

 OK, I know this is a level or two down in price range, but I have a Marantz PM4001 paired with B&W 600 (S3)s (I also have the CD5001) and find the setup excellent. Sound is extremely detailed, and complex music never sounds crowded or confused, with good definition between sounds, and nice, natural note decay.

 I listen to an eclectic selection of musical genres, and the speakers handle all well. I believe Dark Side of the Moon to be and excellent point of reference for any system (though you may not like the record yourself, I should think you'd agree that it's multitude of different sonic types are an adequate quick test for a system) and it has become one of my greatest listening pleasures on my system. I often listen through it multiple times in one sitting, alone with absolutely no distractions.

 The small size of the speakers belies impressive bass extension, through which the speakers never loose their composure. The bass of speakers that, on paper at least, have better freq. response in the lower notes often impressed me less in testing. Although at times I have found myself wanting just a little more bass reach, the frequency response in this area has been significantly improved in the 686s according to B&W's website. To be fair though, whatever my setup, I think I would always find myself wanting just a little bit more, and the choice of compact, entry level speakers is aways going to limit bass potential anyway.

 The only other improvement I would really wish for is a little more 'punch' at the bass end of things, though this is only really a factor in the more dancey and beat-driven types of music that I listen to, and can easily be offset by use of the tone controls on the amplifier. This is something that I'd expect to be rectified by the choice of the significantly more powerful PM7001 amplifier though (70W to the PM4001's meager 30W), and its not really a problem for me anyway, as my focus when choosing my equipment was on tidy defined sound, something which I believe the Marantz - B&W combo to have in spades.

 Alternatives to the B&Ws could be KEF Q1s (The Q3s are nearer your price point, but I never tested these due to budget constraints). Also, you may find NAD's C352CT amplifier a worthy contestant; though I have always considered Marantz's build quality to be superior to that of NAD, and Marantz have upped their game yet again with their current series of products that were introduced around the middle of last year.
 

 I hope my comments were helpful, and not too much of a bore. Thanks for reading.

 P.S. In the wrong pairing B&W's otherwise fantastic Nautilus tweeters can sound a tad over-zealous; and Yamaha's products can often sound a bit bright, so be careful there. I've never had any experience of the two combined though.

 
 

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