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Amplifier for B&W 685's

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I recently started my adventure into finer music listening and speakers with my purchase of the B&W 685s. I love the speakers, they sound so much better than anything I have ever listened to before (I have not listened to much, none of my buddies are really into audio).

Anyways, I am currently powering them with a [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-VSX-D309-Audio-Video-Receiver/dp/B00004SD9E"]Pioneer VSX D309 A/V receiver[/ame], it is an 11 year old 5 channel A/V receiver. I feel like this is a great receiver to get my feet wet in the experience of the 685s, but I think the 685s have a lot more potential. So my question is what would be a great amplifier to unleash the 685s? I see many people like to pair their B&W's up with Rotel, Nad or marantz. I would just a stereo amp with enough beef to easily push the power hungry speakers (60w-100w).

And a final question, I use my computer to play all my music. My setup is Optical out from motherboard -> Pioneer VSX D309 receiver -> B&W 685's. The DAC in the receiver sounds better than my on-board computer DAC. But using this amp, what would be the best method to connect to my computer. The only way I can think of is using a 3.5mm to RCA cord. I will get an external DAC in the future but not now.

Final note: How much of an improvement in sound will I actually be seeing? I am looking to spend around $300 on the amplifier. If this seems like a silly price range for an amplifier to drive the 685s (too high or low) then let me know. Of course, the lower the price the better.

Thanks for all the help and input in advance!
    
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post #2 of 22
If you just have onboard sound you will pretty much be forced to stick to optical for now, as switching to the onboard DAC will give you a huge decrease in audio quality, regardless of improvements elsewhere in the setup.
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post #3 of 22
There a fairly easy load so that reciever would be fine. I use to work at a hifi store a few years back and we carried b&w and they can sound great driven properly and setup right.
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post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Would the biggest improvement in sound quality be adding a ~ $200 external DAC or a ~$300 Amplifier to my setup?
    
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post #5 of 22
Personally i feel the source adds the biggest impact next would be amplification then pre-amplification then last but not least cables ( there subtle at most ). If your venturing into hi-fi , room acoustics will make a bigger impact then anything and will cost very little if so inclined to know how build full range absorption panels and diffusors.
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post #6 of 22
Doesn't seem like that receiver even has pre-outs for the amp. If i'm not mistaken you'd have to use the computers onboard, which could be a pain to adjust volume in small increments. I think Toology is on the right track, that acoustics can play a bigger role than other things you have planned.
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post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
Okay well maybe this will help. This is my setup as it stands right now. Space is really limited as I am a college student and this is my temporary room during the summer. It is very small, like 10x12 feet so this is about the best I can do. I try to listen to music at the other end of the room. Having the speakers in the corners is not the best, the sound can seem a bit washy or muddy.

You also say that the source has the biggest impact. Do you mean file type i.e. MP3 or FlAC, or CD player versus computer?
_DSC0192.jpg
Edited by buddyboy - 6/17/11 at 9:02pm
    
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post #8 of 22
Seems like buying amps and dacs is a waste when you can't place the speakers properly and they will always have those characteristics due to poor placement. More power might even make things worse. Rooms seems pretty cluttered for 10x12. When I had a room that size, it seemed like it was roomier, but I didn't have a computer in it.
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post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikecdm;13913874 
Seems like buying amps and dacs is a waste when you can't place the speakers properly and they will always have those characteristics due to poor placement. More power might even make things worse. Rooms seems pretty cluttered for 10x12. When I had a room that size, it seemed like it was roomier, but I didn't have a computer in it.

More or less. The speakers should be toed in and in front of him, not to the sides. Otherwise he's just listening to room reflections.
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post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well I didn't buy the set of speakers for this one particular room, they aren't going to stay there for any longer than a few months. I bought them to for the future years down the road when I have more room for my things. They are where they are now and I will have to deal with it until I can something bigger.

Astrallite, as I said, I try to listen to the speakers near the other end of the room. But I could try pointing them at the desk, seems kinda silly but worth a try I guess.
    
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