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power amp for B&W Matrix 805?

Postby Ausgang on Wed Aug 13, 2008 3:49 pm

Hi-

Just curious what power amp feeds your B&W Matrix 805s used in studio A?

thanks,
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Postby greg on Thu Sep 04, 2008 11:10 am

We are currently using the Hafler 500 amp with them.
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Postby MTAR on Mon Sep 08, 2008 11:28 am

i use a bryston 4B. great amp.
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Postby tw on Tue Sep 09, 2008 1:12 pm

i use an old bryston 2b with them.
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Postby elisha wiesner on Tue Sep 09, 2008 3:56 pm

i use a bryston 3b.

very happy with it.
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Postby cgarges on Wed Sep 10, 2008 2:29 am

Just got a Bryston 4B for mine, but have heard them with Hafler 500s, Hafler P3000s, another older Hafler (202 maybe?), several Crowns, a Yamaha, two different Crests, a Carver, and a BGW (along with the Hafler at Electrical). The Bryston is my favorite of all of them.

The Hafler 500 sounded great, but I experienced failure with two different ones I checked out when I first got my speakers. I went through most of those other amps while shopping for something of my own (except the Crest amps). I settled on a brand new Hafler P3000, which sounded almost as nice as the 500, but it too died after a little more than a year. I've used other Haflers at a few different studios and they've all sounded nice.

A further search for an amp of my own ensued and I was REALLY, REALLY impressed with two different Crest amps I heard at two different times. I liked both of them probably every bit as much as the Haflers I heard, but after this string of bad luck with amps, I decided to bite the bullet and just get a Bryston since they're built like tanks and have a great warranty and service record. I've been totally happy with mine so far.

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Re: power amp for B&W Matrix 805?

Postby phil j on Wed Aug 05, 2009 6:08 am

Would an amp rated at kicking out 70w per side into 8 ohms be underpowered for these speakers?

Got an option on a Rotel RB 1050 and am looking for opinions... Rotel and B&W are supposed to be a decent match, but not sure if the output rating on the amp is hot enough to do them justice.
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Re: power amp for B&W Matrix 805?

Postby steve on Wed Aug 05, 2009 3:38 pm

phil j wrote:Would an amp rated at kicking out 70w per side into 8 ohms be underpowered for these speakers?

Got an option on a Rotel RB 1050 and am looking for opinions... Rotel and B&W are supposed to be a decent match, but not sure if the output rating on the amp is hot enough to do them justice.

For listening at home, no problem. For analytical listening in a studio environment, where you're soloing-up instruments and occasionally using them as performance monitors in the control room, I'd say you'd be better off with more headroom.
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Re: power amp for B&W Matrix 805?

Postby squarewave on Wed Aug 05, 2009 8:24 pm

phil j wrote:Would an amp rated at kicking out 70w per side into 8 ohms be underpowered for these speakers?

Got an option on a Rotel RB 1050 and am looking for opinions... Rotel and B&W are supposed to be a decent match, but not sure if the output rating on the amp is hot enough to do them justice.

Rotel and B&W (and sister brand Classe' Electronics) are imported by the same firm (Equity Intl.) and therefore sold alongside each other at many retailers. In fact, many B&W dealers have been historically pressured to carry Rotel, even if they are already committed to other electronics lines (ask me how I know).

I would say that you definitely want more juice than 70w/ch, for the exact reason that Steve mentioned above.

Try something with some nuts, and go for the 150w/ch range.

If you are looking used, go to a reputable hi-fi store that accepts trade-ins. If you want to window shop online, audiogon.com is a great resource for used hi-fi.

Go solid state and stay with the blue chip hi-fi brands. There is a tendency in hi-fi for brands to quickly exit the industry and leave owners high and dry for parts, service, etc.

You can't go wrong with amps from Bryston, Ayre, Classe, Audio Research.
More reasonably priced would be NAD, Rotel, Parasound.

Also, Steve's Hafler is a vintage piece and a solid performer. Hafler has been acquired by the parent company to Rockford Fosgate car audio, and their later offerings are usually garbage. Avoid.
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Re: power amp for B&W Matrix 805?

Postby phil j on Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:32 pm

Thanks Steve, 2nd Rick... great info. I've heard this about the pressure on B&W retailers to stock Rotel before, so interesting to hear it again here.

Ultimately the Matrix 805's will be used for recording/mixing rather than just domestic listening so will have a look for something with a bit more grunt.
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Re: power amp for B&W Matrix 805?

Postby goosman on Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:21 pm

2nd Rick wrote:Also, Steve's Hafler is a vintage piece and a solid performer. Hafler has been acquired by the parent company to Rockford Fosgate car audio, and their later offerings are usually garbage. Avoid.


Hafler was shut down by Rockford-Fosgate a while ago FWIW.

www.hafler.com is still there offering some info and whatnot
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Re: power amp for B&W Matrix 805?

Postby squarewave on Thu Aug 06, 2009 2:26 pm

goosman wrote:
2nd Rick wrote:Also, Steve's Hafler is a vintage piece and a solid performer. Hafler has been acquired by the parent company to Rockford Fosgate car audio, and their later offerings are usually garbage. Avoid.


Hafler was shut down by Rockford-Fosgate a while ago FWIW.

http://www.hafler.com is still there offering some info and whatnot
Good to know. A friend bought one of the recent Haflers from some pro-audio wholesale place for a steal thinking it was a modern equivalent of the Haflers of old...

It was not. :(

I found him an NAD '2400 in great shape, and he is much happier.
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Re: power amp for B&W Matrix 805?

Postby Bob Weston on Sun Aug 09, 2009 1:22 pm

I've been told that the B&W's require an amp that can deliver high current in order to sound their best. Tube amps and Brystons are a few amps that will fit the bill.

I use a Bryston 3B.

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Re: power amp for B&W Matrix 805?

Postby phil j on Mon Aug 10, 2009 5:10 pm

Thanks Bob.

Related to this, does anyone have any opinions regarding bi-wiring for these speakers (or in general)? It seems to be all the rage within the music hi-fi crowd, but is it used much within the recording/mixing/audio engineering community?

There are some comments to the effect that bi-wiring is really just a bit of a fad promoted by hi-end speaker cable manufacturers in order to shift a few more units... seems like there are plenty of pro-arguments as well of course.
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Re: power amp for B&W Matrix 805?

Postby Short Circuit on Thu Oct 15, 2009 12:37 am

I used to work at a high end audio store and we bi-wired everything for demo. I never heard the difference. But hey, I also played in a rock band so take it for what you will.

I will say we sold twice as much speaker cable and that stuff ain't cheap. BTW the Matrix 801s are the best speakers I ever heard. I recommended them highly. We powered them with Krell.
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Re: power amp for B&W Matrix 805?

Postby seaweedhead on Sun Mar 21, 2010 10:32 pm

:smt006
So this power amp has to be paired to a pre-amp. Which one do y'all use?


Thanks!!!
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Re: power amp for B&W Matrix 805?

Postby seaweedhead on Mon Mar 22, 2010 11:13 pm

Or am I way off base because profession audio gear is line-level?
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Re: power amp for B&W Matrix 805?

Postby tarandfeathers on Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:06 am

seaweedhead wrote:Or am I way off base because profession audio gear is line-level?


Yes, the monitor outputs of the mixing desk feed the power amplifier directly. No preamp is necessary.
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Re: power amp for B&W Matrix 805?

Postby tmidgett on Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:43 pm

You might try Adcom. I have a GFA5500 (driving Matrix 801s) and rather like it. You do various mods and shit to them if you so desire.
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Re: power amp for B&W Matrix 805?

Postby blue_thunder on Wed Mar 06, 2013 4:56 pm

Don't think I can spring for a Bryston just yet. Anyone used a NAD 2600a to power their 805s? Is it detailed enough to use for mixing? Would it be better or worse than a Hafler 500?
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