I have read one or two comments in the past that say the McIntosh multi-channel amps aren't that good, but I take that with a grain of salt. I don't think you will get any major difference in sound, but the larger MC462 will likely have better bass control and heft.
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Not sure what the budget is for this, but I have 803's and they want to be overdriven in my opinion so you are light on the power. side for my taste... Unfort Big boy McIntosh power gets up there in cost. Anthem has a new 400x2 that's really impressive. I have 2 of those new Meridian amps mono blocked to mine and they are purely amazing. B&W want more power ;) Hope that helps
Thanks for all the info...I'm not against spending the money on the MC462 if it's really going to help with 2 channel sound. I'm just not sure how much difference a 7 channel 200 watt amp vs a 2 channel 450 watt amp is going to make...if it really helps with "bass control and heft" then it may be worth the investment. Thanks again.
IMHO the 452 will make a HUGE dif in the dynamics and bass even if the volume isn't loud.... its shouldn't be hard to find a dealer that has 452 and 803's on display both pretty common together at least around the NYC and tristate where I am. If you are in the NY/NJ area let me know and can prob help
B&W 803 D3 speakers - which amp?
An "impedance" vs "-phase angle" graph has never been done on the 803’s, but:
Here are the impedance phase graphs of all of the 800 range, no reason to believe the 803 won’t be the same, which are all very hard to drive in the bass (70hz - 900hz) given their measured impedance and also when it’s combined with -phase angle (EPDR) which can look even lower to the amp that hust the impedance alone.
These speakers need amps that have good current delivery, an owner should seek out amps the "can come close" to doubling the 8ohm wattage spec for each halving of the impedance, if they want to get the very best from the bass as well.
Thanks again for everyones input...I forgot to mention that I currently have the 803's bi-amped from the MC207 which I think is helping them sound pretty good. But based off all the suggestions I think I will talk with my local dealer and see about doing a in home demo with either a MC452 or a MC462.
I think I will talk with my local dealerUnless they’re blood, they’ll just sell you what they want, there’s no way they will say sorry can’t help out in this case if they don’t have the correct amp.
Just educated yourself in reading the above impedance/phase graphs I posted, which I think may have gone over your head, as you didn’t comment on them.
And then you’ll be able to make an informed decision without any bias coming into it. Google is your learning friend, so are Stereophile’s comments in their bench test pages on impedance v -phase graphs of speakers they test, take a little time to learn it and you’ll not only get the right amp, but your ears will thank you as well.
And don’t listen to anyone’s recommendation on amps, unless their first question before answering is "what speakers is it going to drive" and they know the impedance/-phase angle of them.
What is your preamp? Are you doing a separate dedicated stereo preamp with HT bypass and an AV pre pro or just using a single AV pre pro for both your stereo music and surround movie playbacks?
For your front 803 D3 speakers I would recommend getting a good quality stereo or monoblock amps and keep your Mac multi-channel amp to drive your center and surround speakers. The Mac MC462, MC452 or the MC301 monoblocks will be a good choice and will be a step up from your Mac multi-channel amp. Classe Delta series class AB amps will pair really well with your B&W 803 D3. Either the Classe CA-2300 stereo amp or the CAM-300 monoblock amps will be a better choice for your speakers than the Mac imo.
The B&W 800 series D3 were voiced using these Classe Delta series class AB amplifications. They have great synergy together and will sound excellent together.
These Classe Delta series products have been discontinued last year and can be had at discounted after market prices in used markets. You just need to find one. These Classe Delta series amps original retail prices were similar to the Mac amps. The Classe CAM-300 monoblocks were priced exactly the same as the Mac MC301 monoblocks. And the Classe CAM 600 monoblocks were priced exactly the same as the Mac MC601 or the MC611 monoblocks. But these Classe Delta series amps were discontinued products and nowaday can be had quite a bit cheaper than the brand new current model Mac amps.
Another amps that will sound good on your B&W 803 D3 would be the Naim 500 series stereo power amp with a separate PSU but this will be out of your price range. Mark Levinson amps will be a another good choice for your speakers too. Even the big flagship stereo power amp from Rotel called the RB-1590 stereo power amp will be another good candidate for your B&W 803 D3. The Rotel RB-1590 retails for only $3k and this amp is a dual monoural configuration it has separate power supply for each channel but it isn’t entirely dual mono configuration.
Rotel & B&W will pair really well together too and will sound good together.
I just replaced my MC205 with the MC452 and MC303.
I have 803 D3 fronts, HTM1 D3 center, and 804 D3 rear surrounds.
i have a Lyngdorf MP-50 - and I should also add that I have 2 SVS SB16 Ultras.
i can absolutely assure you that the MC452 makes a material difference in both 2 channel and home cinema.
B&W speakers should be given maximum amplification.
i have similar arrangement but I do not think I am getting the best of the speakers.
I have 4 x b&w 803 d3 + centre and currently all this is run by Arcam 850
could you please suggest how to improve sound ?
Would it be a good idea to buy Classé 5300 and then look for another processor ? Can I use my old Arcam and add the Classé as an amplifier only ?
Maybe it is possible to add powerful stereo amp to fronts and adjust Arcam to only rear and centre ?
Any advice would be appreciated