I've read many posts here and elsewhere that mention B&W speakers being very bright. In contrast the Martin Logan are frequently characterized as having smooth, non-fatiguing treble.
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1-1st of all, which 804-D, S, Nautilus, or matrix?
2-2nd, if your speakers stay true to the B&W pedigree, then it's not that it is too bright, but rather revealing of less than ideal sources before the speakers- whether source recording, cdp, electronics, cables. You need to upgrade probably the whole front end. demo some Classe, Macintosh, Bryston, et al. Search the forums here and read about equipment from B&w owners. Good luck.
This may be audiophile sacrilege, but I would get a Behringer 2496EQ. Mine is completely transparent, has no effect on transients, is dead quiet, and cheap! Simply create an EQ preset in the offensive band that knocks 1-3 dB off, and you're set. Take my word for it...it will save you piles of money and headaches and allow you to keep everything you have now.
The suggestion to try Cardas cables is a good one to tame some of the harshness, but is only a step in the right direction. You will need to get rid of the class D Emotiva amp.
You have already said no to tubes, which I eventually went with, on a long journey to find the right gear for my hyper fetailed JM Lab/Focals speakers. I really liked the speakers and knew that I would eventually find a way to get the sound I heard in the store.
McIntosh might not be such a bad idea but they are expensive. I never could find a great deal on a Mac and ended up buying a real small, real old power, cosmetically challenged amp to use with my vintage Klipsch LaScalas. The 2505 was an early SS model that put out 50wpc. It has the channel gain pots you can use for balance or even as volume pots instead of a pre. If you do that you are limited to a single source.
i forgot to mention. Although I am using Emotiva ERC-1, it is actually connected to a MF M1 DAC. I have also gotten rid of the Marantz 6003 as preamp and got a Adcom 750.
I am using Belden interconnects and looking at changing them to Chord CrimsonPlus XLRs. Power amp wise i will need some time to choose and get for the price involved. Do u think Chord CrimsonPlus is a good choice? Reviews also mentioned that VDH will sound smoother and warmer which might be a good thing for me but comes with a higher price tag.
Wonder if anyone has experience with Chord CrimsonPlus IC or should I just go for VDH?
I have 804S with McIntosh MC275 tubes and love it. You don't want tubes. At the time I auditioned McIntosh MC252 (ss) which was very good too. Try and audition. Classe was good too, but I myself preferred the McIntosh SS sound to Classe with the 804S. Mc also has good HT amps.
A used Rowland would also be a nice amp for these. Some have mentioned Mark Levinson too.
I agree with Elee. To further comment on my above post, I used to have Rotel CD, preamp and RB1080 amp with B&W CM4. I upgraded to 804S and it became bright and painful. I replaced the amp for a MC275 and it was great. So here's an example of the 804S revealing weaknesses of what was going on upstream. Then I replaced the pre with a Lamm pre (also tubes), and I'm loving the combination. Tubes and 804S, in my experience, are a great match.
If you can upgrade your cables now, you can do so without too much worry. It really didn't matter that I got the right amps, after I got the right cables, and before I got the right pre. That is my experience. I am sorry to hear that you can't find any used or is it new Cardas where ever it is, where you live. Did you try the Cable Co. in the USA? I am fairly confident that the better Cardas cables with "Golden" in the name of the cable are what you want. The biggest problem is price, these cables are expensive, even used. I don't know what Chord has that is similar.