New integrated amp for B&W 804D D3

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Bert Oz, Nov 9, 2019.

  1. Bert Oz

    Bert Oz Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    London
    Thank you, and for your personal recommendation. I love the silver but the rest of my system is in black so that's what I went with. I think both finishes look epic and love the piano black paint on the sides.
    Can't wait to set it up in my room.
     
    lonelysea likes this.
  2. Doc Savage

    Doc Savage New Member

    Location:
    Midlands
    So, how does it sound? I am debating buying the same setup for my living room, which isn't small, but it's also not huge.
     
    Echoes Myron likes this.
  3. Bert Oz

    Bert Oz Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    London
    Hi Doc.
    Apologies for the delay in getting back to you. Still working full time (school teacher) throughout the lock down in the UK so quite busy. Fully appreciate that I'm still getting paid when so many are losing their jobs or furloughed.
    On to the amp and speakers......My room is 17 foot by 14 foot so not small nor huge either. The new B&W speakers sounded great driven by the Rega Elex but the Yamaha really shows what they are capable of. Some here said the Yamaha would not have enough power to drive the B&Ws well but I have found it ample, normal listening is generally between 9.00 and 10.00 o clock on the volume dial.

    I'm no reviewer but agree with most of the reviews I've seen of the B&W and Yamaha. Highlights for me are the level of detail, soundstage (width and depth) and midrange (vocals sound fantastic). Bass is good but I found pulling the speakers out 3.5 foot to get the best soundstage did reduce the bass somewhat. I have always wanted to try a subwoofer since so many in this forum swear by them so got the matching B&W. Wow, not just better bass but seems to fill everthing out. Subtle but turn it off and you notice.

    The amp is big, oozes quality and seems built like a tank. Drives the speakers beautifully and although you won't miss any detail in the music I've found it silky smooth. I can listen quite happily for hours. Phono stage seems good for my modest turntable. Love the meters but my only wish would be a dimmer as they throw quite a lot of light. I think the new model has this facility.

    I would very much recommend the B&W 804D and Yamaha A-S3000. For me it's a great combination and I can't think of anything I'd change about the sound I have now. However at these prices (at least for me) you really have to audition as the sound may not be to your taste.

    Even after quite a few months I still really look forward to getting home and playing some tunes. I seriously haven't thought about changing anything in my system for months (although interested to see what thoughts are on the A-S3000 replacement). It would have to be a massive improvement to make me think about trading up though.
    Happy to answer any more specific questions about this combo Doc.
     
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  4. Hollowsanctuary

    Hollowsanctuary Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Montreal
    Glad you are working and enjoying your music too! I will have to look into this Yamaha amp. Do you know if it has HT bypass?

    I am hoping to demo a McIntosh (MA8900) soon. It’s a lot of money but since i”m spending so much time at home, and will not vacation this year, I can justify it.
     
  5. caracallac

    caracallac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ireland
    I’d second Richard’s recommendation of the Accuphase. Last year I visited my dealer’s shop and he had the 804d3’s running with an Accuphase e470 integrated. A very nice combination in my opinion.
     
  6. lonelysea

    lonelysea Forum Crustacean

    Location:
    Twin Peaks, WA
    I’m wondering the same thing. My 3000 is not yet a year old but I’m really curious about the 3200. I’m guessing the difference/improvement won’t be massive, but even a minor but noticeable improvement in sound quality is really intriguing to me!
     
  7. kjhawkm

    kjhawkm Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dallas, TX
    I have the A-S3000's little brother the A-S1100 and it does have HT Bypass. The input is called "Main Direct" which bypasses the internal pre amp. Going even further, I love that when you turn the amp into the On / Standby position and have it connected to your A/V receiver's trigger out (in my case also a Yamaha), then the A-S series integrateds will turn on/off automatically when the a/v receiver is turned on/off. Since I am using my a/v receiver for watching Netflix, etc and using it as an Airplay DAC, it means that I only have to turn on one component and it's great. This was one of the only integrated amps I found with a trigger input. Most have a trigger output.
     
    Hollowsanctuary likes this.
  8. G B Kuipers

    G B Kuipers Forum Resident

    Location:
    Netherlands
    Would you estimate the chance of improvement in a new model to be higher than 50%?

    Because I'd say, if you love the current 3000, any change they would make to the circuit design could just as easily result in a (perceived) decrease in your listening pleasure.
     
  9. lonelysea

    lonelysea Forum Crustacean

    Location:
    Twin Peaks, WA
    As I’ve said in other threads; I believe Yamaha takes these upgrades seriously. I don’t think they’d make changes that would drastically or even noticeably alter their amps’ presentation in a negative way.
    Although there’s only one way to find out...
     
  10. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Hot Stamper

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    Interesting. I would not have thought the A-S3000 would have enough juice to run these properly. I run my N804's with the parasound A21 (250 WPC). I noticed today there are 2 single 804D3's for sale on eBay for about $2k each. That's a pretty good price for a pair. I wonder how much of an upgrade they would be over my 20 year old N804's.

    OP, the fact you plugged in the A-S3000 and haven't felt the need to tinker since says a lot about the combo. Glad you are enjoying them.
     
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  11. Ivand

    Ivand Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Has anyone used the Rega Elex-R as a preamp with good results? I auditioned the Elex-R few years back and thought it had a satisfactory warm, rich sound.

    Thanks
     
  12. robertawillisjr

    robertawillisjr Music Lover

    Location:
    Hampton, VA
    The quality of the watts is more important than the quantity of watts.
     
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  13. Black Elk

    Black Elk Music Lover

    Location:
    Bay Area, U.S.A.
    They are both equally important. No point having an amplifier that delivers too little power but with zero distortion.
     
    George P likes this.
  14. Bananas&blow

    Bananas&blow Hot Stamper

    Location:
    Pacific Beach, CA
    I agree. But to power the 804's for what an A-s3000 cost you certainly could get a high quality preamp and a high current amp like a Bryston, Classe etc on the used market. I'm glad the A-S3000 worked out for the OP, but the 800 series is tough to power with an integrated amp in general.
     
    George P likes this.
  15. robertawillisjr

    robertawillisjr Music Lover

    Location:
    Hampton, VA
    True. But given the amps he was initially discussed... Of course a balance should be considered for any scenario but giving up a few watts for better watts is IMHO is always the way to go.
     
  16. Hollowsanctuary

    Hollowsanctuary Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Montreal
    do you have an opinion on McIntosh? I’m considering the MA8900 but have yet to demo it with my 804D3s. I currently have a Bryston 4B cubed (via an Anthem MRX 700) and although it has good power, I don’t like the definition and find it lacks presence.
     
    Bananas&blow likes this.
  17. robertawillisjr

    robertawillisjr Music Lover

    Location:
    Hampton, VA
    Sounds as though you may have a slight mismatch there. Audition the MA8900 by itself and let your ears decide. From what I have heard, it is a nice unit.
     
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  18. Bert Oz

    Bert Oz Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    London
    Agreed the measurements for the 804s indicate that may be the case but my room is probably quite small by US standards at 17x14 (feet) and the Yamaha drives them wonderfully at the volumes I generally listen at. Even when I crank occasionally it still sounds great, the same, just louder. In my opinion this is one special series of amplifiers.
     
  19. Dave Calarco

    Dave Calarco Forum Resident

    Anyone have a good experience matching a luxman with b & w speakers, 804s or otherwise? I have cm9s but would like to upgrade to the 804s or 803s (in a dream). I’m currently looking to upgrade my amp but want to consider this future speaker upgrade in doing so.
     
  20. Echoes Myron

    Echoes Myron Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Just something to consider--when I bought my 805 D3s, my dealer said most of his customers pair the 800 series with Mcintosh amplification.
     
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  21. Hollowsanctuary

    Hollowsanctuary Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Montreal
    My MA8900 is on order...it’s not even built yet! Can’t wait to play it on my 804s...
     
  22. Dave Calarco

    Dave Calarco Forum Resident

    Good to know. There is far too much information out there—and far too many opposing opinions on this forum—to reconcile and make sense of. I am sure there are many amps that will sound good with B & W speakers, but I might as well try to dial in what would work best for me moving forward before buying something that won't. I have a dealer who works with Luxmans and thinks they will pair nicely. Another dealer I know suggested Marantz. Then I read a thread on here in which a person did research in pairing 804s and went with Yamaha. I have heard from a local store—and you guys here—that Mcintosh would work well. That leads me to believe that all will work! But which to choose. I don't know. After just demoing phono stages and taking a couple weeks to make a decision, I'm not in a hurry to jump into another decision making process, but at the same time, I know my receiver is very lacking.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
  23. winged creature

    winged creature Forum Resident

    Location:
    Canada
    I say the Hegel H390
     
  24. Dave Calarco

    Dave Calarco Forum Resident

    Anyone know any Mcintosh dealers on this forum? I find connecting through here inevitably results in better prices than walking into a retail store.
     
  25. Black Elk

    Black Elk Music Lover

    Location:
    Bay Area, U.S.A.
    Which Luxman are you considering?

    There are a good many McIntosh/B&W 800-series users on the forum, so you could feel confident in going in that direction.

    I've used a lot of B&W 800-series speakers over the years, and own 802s, and written here many times that my advice is to go with high-power solid-state amplifiers from the likes of Pass, Classe, Ayre, Krell, etc. The types of amps which can double their power into halving impedances, because all the floor-standing 800-series speakers are 4 ohm nominal with dips to 3 ohms or lower. While my preference is for Pass (which I used for work), I own Classe monoblocks due to idle heat dissipation and no air-co!

    The new Benchmark AHB2 power amp is worth considering, especially as you could add a second when funds allow for more power.

    A big topic of discussion here is how much power is needed to drive 800-series speakers. My answer is that you can never have too much. They can suck up a lot of power, and if you have a high-powered amp which is still operating in the low distortion part of its output characteristic, then you will be rewarded with clean audio with oodles of headroom.
     

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