If Macintosh is the answer what was the question? The great advantage of Rotel is that they actually make things themselves while Adcom is a marketing company only who contract out all manufacturing. The well known 555 amp was suppose to have been made by at least 3 different companies with varying results. On the other hand many of their products have been quite good. It boils down to a question of choosing between two individual components, not between two companies.
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You will never know or hear the potential of your B&W's with either. Back in the day (early 90's) so many sold their 801's and were driven by entry level high end components. The B&W's will sound good with most gear but will excel and reach their full potential with McIntosh or may I say Krell. I have been using my Krell/B&W match and have not worried about upgrading. If you stretch a little to make it a great match it will pay off two or three times by not getting into the upgrading "buy and try" cycle. Been there, done that, take my word. Get Krell, Levinson or McIntosh whichever is your cup of tea ten enjoy the music.
I was a former B&W dealer[and Krell], I do not think Mac is a good match. B&W need an amp that really get hold of a speaker and the transformers that Mac uses don't help. A friend was using a 402 with matching Mac pre on Wilson Sasha speakers, which is another speaker that makes strong demands on amps. After hearing my Musical Fidelity M3 on them he sold the Macs, the big Musical Fidelity integrated amps are bargains, there was one like mine on here for $2200 recently, may still be. Will out power any Mac I have ever heard, weighs 90lb and will put out way over its rating into low inpeadences a la Krell. The new Krell 300 integrated is another very good amp at a very reasonable price.
I can certainly understand budget constraints as I do have them too. Yet the advice you are getting is sound. I used to have B&W CM4 and an all-Rotel stereo setup, including the RB1080 200Wpc amp. Great amp, BTW. I was happy.
Then I upgraded to 804S and to make a long story short I replaced the RB1080 for a McIntosh MC275 (75 tube Watts per channel). Even though it's rated at 75W vs 200W, it sounds more powerful and sounds a lot better. The trebble was particularly bothersome to me with the Rotel. Tubes and the aluminum tweeter work well, too. I kept the Rotel pre (RC1070) and CD player (RCD1072), and now I'm in the process of upgrading the RC1070 for a $5k pre.
So here are my suggestions/takeaways: don't cut yourself short on the amp. The RC1070 and RCD1072 are great for the money and relatively cheap. If you end up buying Rotel amp, don't buy RB1080 (too small for you, despite rated power). Maybe the RB1090 would do. I would stretch my budget and buy used McIntosh MC275 or MC252, or Classe, or Bryston.
I hope this helps.
If I were in your situation (i.e.: couldn't afford what I really wanted or what any of the above posters suggested) I would probably keep my eye on a budget line like you mentioned. Rotel, Adcom, NAD, Parasound, etc. I would take my time and do my homework, then buy used so I could resell fairly easily if it didn't work out. Narrowing down between 2 or 3 componenets as opposed to 2 companies as Stanwal suggested will help as well.
Take your time. You'll find something to hold you over and give you good, if not great just yet, sound.
As long as we're talking Adcom and Rotel, why not discuss Parasound and NAD?
Some Adcoms are designed (or consulted with) Nelson Pass. It's my understanding, however, that John Curl is very involved with many (most?) of the Parasound designs. The Halo series gets good press everywhere and the P3 and A23 preamp and amp from the Halo line are pretty affordable.
I haven't have much experience with the latest NADs, but some refer to them as the "poor man's McIntosh" and they have certainly been racking up some great reviews in the audiophile press.
Also +1 on finding used Bryston or Classe that you can afford.
I have an Adcom 5-channel amp in my HT from their now-defunct FAT series. It's a wide bandwidth MOSFET amp and I like the way it sounds and behaves a lot. With really good speaker cables it sounds like a much more expensive rig. Adcom still makes a high current 200 wpc 2-channel wide bandwidth (3-130 KHz) MOSFET amp in the GFA-5500. These can be had new for less than a grand.
Another approach may be to get the Adcom GFA-7605, a 5x125 wpc amp. Bi-amp your speakers and let the amp's center channel go idle. It'll give you 250 total watts per speaker.
Regardless of amp choice you should probably factor in bi-wiring for this level of B&W; most reviews recommend it and it's my understanding that their complex crossovers with multiple crossover slopes do better with bi-wiring.
So maybe you'll save up for a dream amp later when you can afford one. You can take the time to audition products from Ayre, McIntosh, Bryston, Classe, etc. and find the amp that really makes the 802's sing. In the meantime you still need a decent amp that will drive the 802's properly and keep you within budget.
If the review buzz for the Odyssey Audio Khartago is even half true, this may be the interim amp for you. Here are some reviews: TAS, Soundstage, Enjoythemusic, Goodsound.
STANWAL,This is the fisrt time I've ever heard that ADCOM
outsourced their products. If true, well I'm just very surprised. I own a GFA555 and now wonder where it came from. The quality of an80s amp is spectacular and now couldn't care less where it came from . But a truely new slant on an old product.
Its common knowledge, SOME of the 555s were very good, some were not. Many companies design a product and then have it made by a company specializing in that product; this is not always a bad thing. The Japanese company Jelco has only recently become well known despite making high quality tonearms for decades for other companies to be sold under their names. The problem is that sometimes a company will turn to manufacture A to make a product; after it is established it will then turn to manufacture B to make a cheaper version without changing the appearance or model number. This is what I had heard was the case with the 555 but I have not compared them myself. NAD is another respected marketer, who, so far as I am aware, does the design work and contracts out the actual construction to others. At least that was the case in the days when I was one of their dealers. But since so much of the industry has moved to the Far East and so many famous brands have been juggled between companies I will not pretend to have an exact knowledge of who is making what these days.
I hooked up a pair of 602's to my Krell 300S years ago and those only cost $400 new. I was blown away how they sounded and you can't get around better amps/pre amps to get the most out of your speakers. if you need to keep a budget for now then so be it but as long as you remember that your B&W's will continue to improve at every level when you upgrade your electronics then you will be fine. Just don't blow more cash getting there in steps =~(