I'm running my Sig 805's with a McCormack DNA 500. My previous
amp was a BAT VK500 which was nice but I found the
DNA 500 to be a considerable upgrade over the BAT. My
experience with the Sigs is that the more quality
power/current you throw at them the better they will sound.
Jeff Rowland Concerto (integrated): very quick, clean, and full of presence.
My B&W 804s work very well with a pair of Jeff Rowland 201 mono blocks. The 201s are tonally well balanced, with exceptional clarity, control and musicality that would certainly complement your high resolved 805s. Like all Jeff Rowland gear, their constuction and looks is outstanding. Definitely worth checking out.
My 33 w/ch Sugden Masterclass Integrated works great with my 805s.
I hauled my speakers around town, trying many different amps.
The Sugden Masterclass and Accuphase E530 were tops in my opinion.
Update: I've demoed the new CJ CA200 (185w/ch) Control Amp; it's basically a $6500 single-end only integrated. While I liked the mid-highs I thought that the low end sounded lose and lacked control. I found (if you check CJ's web site for how this amp works) that at mid-low volumes the amp started to sound more two dimentional as if I was listening to a lower powered amp. I only liked this amp at higher volumes and at those volumes the lack of low-end control became very apparent. I'm going to try the McCormack DNA amps today (thanks Cmach).
if you are open to tubes, try:
they all have plenty of "balls" and refinement ^_^
My vote would go to the Musical Fidelity A5 integrated or the A5CR seperates.
Off the top of my head...
If you like neutral highs, excellent midrange detail, deep and articulate bass, try a Pass Labs .5 series amp.
If you prefer your highs a little less forward, awesome midrange, and similarly great bass, oh yeah a little warmer room temperature too, try a Plinius.
There are plenty of others too. Rowland sounds expecially good with B & W too.
Update2, went back and demoed the CJ CA200 again. It sounded better, perhaps the first time there was a lose connection or something (demoed it at the dealer). I must say that the second time listening to the CJ CA200 that I didn't dislike it. It's warm sounding, perhaps sweet, but still a $6500 (185w/ch) integrated.
I also listed to the Mccormack DNA-125 and DNA-225 with the Mccormack Pre. The sound was a touch warmer than the Krell 400xi. The Mccormack kind of reminded me of the CLasse amp I previously owned. However, I can't say that I like the Mccormack that much better than the Krell 400xi to make the switch.
Update 3, demoed the Bryston 4B SST (300w/ch) with a tube pre (VTL5.5) with the B&Ws. OK this setup did not lack power and dynamics; I did find the Bryston amp slightly on the dry side with the B&Ws. Again I can't say that I would drop the Krell 400xi and spend three times as much...
This dealer just happened to have a McIntosh MC275 (suggested above by Szutinglee) next to the Bryston.
As a non-tube person (I'd listened to lower price tube stuff in the past) I have to say I was a bit stunned by the MC275 tube amp.
I re-listened to several of my demo CDs and decided that with many of the Classical and Jazz CDs I really liked the sound of the MC275 as compared to the previous solid-state amps. OK so this tube amp has thrown a curve ball into my plans. I'm going to listen to the Jeff Rowland next.
Why not go for the MA2275 Integrated?
The Mac/B&W combo is supposed to have nice synergy. You
may be on to something with the MC275. Good luck.
I have an Audio Research 100.2 and the LS 16 and they sound great with the 805's I do not know if they still make the 100.2 but it sounds great. I would highly recommend it. B & W's seem to like solid state.
rumor is ARC had to stop making the 100.2 because customers would buy it over the more expensive tube amps!
Used ones have actually gone up in value over the last several years. This is one of the true gems and rare "investments" in audio.
I was up until 2:00am this morning enjoying mine . . .
What don't you like about the Krell? I recently heard this Amp. driving a pair of 802Diamonds and it sounded great. You might be better investing in a pair of full-range Speakers. To better the 400xi is not going to be cheap...this Amp's sonics are well beyond its modest price.
The Krell 400xi was and is one of the best values in solid state integrated amps with 200w/ch. The 400xi has better bass definition than my current amp.
After much auditioning I decided on the Conrad Johnson 2500a (250w/ch) with a Manley tube preamp. The CJ amp & Manley preamp just sound so much better.
OK, so the Telefunken NOS tubes I put in the preamp helped. I feel that I have a little better resolution and detail with just enough tube smoothness.
u cant look pass Mark Levinson for your B&W.
just dont get the int 383
The Krell you have has great tight bass.. however the highs from it sound like crushed glass being packed into your ears with metal dome tweets. I have heard this combo. The 805 sig is an OUTSTANDING speaker. . with metal dome super-tweets which will reveal all.
I would get a conrad johnson MF2500A for the amp..use your krell integrated as a pre. Best of both worlds. I have also heard this combo..it sounded great/musical to me, compared to the analytical/dry Krell sound.
A tube amp will sound mushy and weak in bass compared to your krell integrated.
I have heard all these combos in the hi-end store I worked in, so I am not just spouting.
Enjoy your outstanding system!
Christobyl, perhaps you missed some of the thread but I did sell the 400XI and get the Conrad Johnson 2500a. I'm just sorry that I waited so long.
I did try some tube amps with the B&W Sigs and I did not think they worked well. I did not like the VTL and McIntosh amps with this speaker. I did not get to try some of the higher priced tube amps (>$5K)
I'm currently using a Manley tube preamp with Telefunken NOS tubes replacing the stock NOS tubes. Brendan at TubeWorld.com was a great help. It's a shame that more Agoners haven't tried the Manley preamp given it's price point and performance. Perhaps it's because Manley seems to focus on the Pro Audio market.
I feel that this preamp and amp combination yields more detail and resolution than the 400XI while having the soother, less harsh, high frequencies. I'm actually listening to music more with this new setup.
Ahaha yes I didn't read all of the threads..however I find it amazing you chose the amp I recommended! I love the c-j stuff, particularly the 2500. You are in sonic heaven!
I also use accuphase E560 for b&w sig. 805. Actually, bass and power is a litte bit soft. But when you put it near to wall, result may be better. Anyway, I think more power amp to serve b&w is necessary