I have heard Mclntosh MA7000 and Gryphon Diablo. Both of them are magnificent. Hard to say which one is better. As for the difference, Personnally, I think Diablo is like a slim handsome boy whereas MA7000 is like a boy with muscles. Agree with me?
The dealer also has other Amps. But he strongly recommends these two Amps as I only want an integrated Amp. If you were me, which one would you choose?
I have another important question. What's the capacity of an Amp that CAN drive a speaker? What's the key factor? Watt or something else? I've noticed the number of Watts of some of the Amps you recommend is relatively low. The recommended Watts for 802D on B&W website is between 50 and 500. I'd be appreciated if you tell me more.
If you have made up your mind that it is between these two amps, then you need a detailed and comprehensive listening session, preferably with a better source than the Oppo, with an eclectic mix of music.
Book another demo and make sure the amps are properly warmed up....and make sure you leave enough time to make the right decision.
On the music front you should, if possible, bring stuff you know well which covers:
- Bass heavy music
- Music that is complicated and has scale
- Piano, Violin, Human voice (especially soprano).
- Poor recordings.
Listen for the depth and control of the bass, accuracy of replicating voice and instruments, how well it copes with untangling complicated music, how bad recordings sound and how realistic the soundstage / imaging is.
You may find one amp sounds more romantic / musical, while the other sounds more controlled and neutral; or one is bolder, while the other is more refined and delicate......make sure you choose the one that will give the most long term listening pleasure, rather than the one that impresses over a demo but could prove fatiguing.
Try to ensure that you get the opportunity to try both (but certainly your favorite) at home....where you can assess things at your leisure in an unpressured environment.
You are spending too much money to get this wrong, so the dealer should work with you.
"Everything has been said before, but since nobody listens we have to keep going back and beginning all over again." André Gide
I did a listen with the 802D being run off a Gryphon, got to say I wasn't all that impressed. Then swapped the 802s for a set of Focal Scalas and much prefered this sound.
Couldn't say for sure if it was the amp or the 802s that I didn't like, either way it wasn't a match that blew me away.
I would certainly be making sure you try a few different amps before you shell over that much money. If you are set on an integrated amp it would be a shame not to give the Musical Fidelity AMS35i a listen before you commit, it is a special amp. Maybe a little underpowered for the 802s?
As Rick mentioned earlier the 802Ds are going to be big speakers in a rooom that size. You really do have to get them away from the walls and corners to get the best out of them.
Don't rush anything it's a big commitment, try to enjoy the experience.
Good luck, look forward to hearing how things turn out.
MF AMS-Primo / MF AMS-35P / Linn Akurate DS / Kef Reference 205/2 / Krix Epicentrix / Focal Dome 2 / JL Audio Fathom F110 & F112 / Yamaha RX-Z7 / Oppo Nuforce BDP-93 / PS3
Hi Newphonix,Long time no hear!
Thought we'd lost you as well as Alex and Roby!
Accuphase E350 amp, Electrocompaniet EMC1UP CDP, Siltech 25th Classic anniversary 330I XLR Harbeth Super HL5 on Sound Anchor Quod ELS63 stands, Chord Odessey2 speaker cable. Grado SR60 headphones.
Thank you all for your help! You are so warmhearted.
Acturally. I haven't made up my mind which Amp to choose. Since this size is maybe not big enough for 802D, then what about 803 or 804D? What's the most proper size for 802D?
It's very hard to "tell" someone else what to buy.
Can you list what amps you have access to.......I would like you to try amps like Musical Fidelity AMS 35i, Accuphase, Luxman, Electrocompaniet, Classe and Plinius.
I would also like you to try speakers like Kef Reference 205/2, Kef R900s, Proac, PMC and possibly Focal Utopia range.
IMO A cheaper speaker driven by a more expensive amp, can sound better than a very expensive speaker driven by a cheaper amp....especially if the room is smaller than ideal for the expensive speaker.
Please take your time and get this right first time.
Thanks for your warm wishes Mac. Still floating around here, just haven't been fingding too many threads that have been capturing my imagination. hope that you're well also & enjoying your recent addition.
I think that this is pretty much the list to look at.
Only problem with the Focal Utopia is that you start with the stand mounted Diablos & then jump up to the Scalas, which are a big speaker & a significant step up in price.
PMC & Kef will give you much better value for money than the 802s which will leave you more to spend on your amp and a better source.
Add Pass Lab onto your amp list if possible as well.
I've demoed a dozen "high-end" amps over the last couple of months. The differences are enormous. And once you have a very revealing pair of speakers, the differences between amps become even greater. As Cno says, it's really worth spending some time to get the right amp. You'll love yourself once you find the right one.
What classical music are you listening to?
I know what you mean... got a bit more interesting lately though.
Absolutely loving the Accuphase thanks... think it's a brand I will stick with and if funds ever permit will upgrade to E560... think I'll have a long wait!
I have access to Pass,Mclntosh, Classe, Burmester，Gryphon,Marantz and Accuphase amps. Which one is best for classics and symphonies? As I have said, I prefer balanced sound.
Well you have heard McIntosh, Pass Labs and Gryphon, so I strongly suggest that you listen to Accuphase and Classe as well......then pick the one which you prefer........."balanced sound" means different things to different people.
I am not saying anything new here, as this has been the consistent advice throughout this thread.
From the Accuphase range, have a listen to the E560, not sure if it will work well with the B&W's though, but superb with Focal apparently.
It seems to be more complicated than I thought. This week, I'll go to hear 802D driven by classe.
I'd like to know how important the s/n ratio would be in a music system! Different Amps have different s/n ratios. For example, Gryphon diablo and Mclntosh MA7000 are both hi-end Amps. But, s/n of Diablo is just more than 85db, whereas, MA7000 is more than 110db. Could you tell me why? Seemingly, MA7000 is far more better than Diablo. I don't think so. What about you?
When looking at an Amp / Speaker match, I check out the following:
- Power (W) into 8 Ohms and Power into 4 Ohms......if this doubles, you have a very robust power supply.**
- Current (A) peak to peak.....high current is good.
- Damping factor (ability to control bass unit)
- Power consumption at idle (a high standing current means a reasonable proportion of output in Class A).
- Weight (if an AB amp, it gives an idea of quality of Transformer)
** This is a great measure of an amp ie. how close it gets to doubling power as impedance halves.
- Sensitivity (The higher this is, the louder they will go for a given amount of power)
- Nominal impedance (approximate designed impedance)
- Min impedance (This tells you if you need an amp with good current)
- Frequency Response (gives an idea of how high / low they will go, but doesn't tell you about bass weight / definition)
- Amplifier requirements (what is the min power required).
Let your dealer guide you on which amps are suitable to drive the speakers, but not which sound best, as this has to be your preference.
If you go for a Class A amp, you want speakers of high sensitivity but low impedance, to make the most of its low wattage but high current delivery.
I'm far from the most technical person on here, but that is my understanding.
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