B&W Matrix 801 Series 2 speakers

I happened to buy the B&W 801 S2 speakers locally as I was looking for speakers for 2 ch set up and came across a good deal on these last week. They came with matching Arcici that can be sand-filled but for now I have the speakers on the stands without sand or spikes yet - They are currently set up in a pretty good size living room with 2-store vaulted ceiling.

I have Adcom GTP-502 preamp and Anthem MCA 2 amplifier powering the speakers and 801’s sound good but I have read they can sound great with great components. I’m also aware that a bass alignment filter will help so I’m keeping an eye on eBay to find that.

My question is if the preamp and amp combo I have are good enough for the speakers. I’m budget conscious so don’t want to spend huge amount of money to upgrade equipment for small improvement in sound but willing to wait finding a good used equipment at a reasonable price. I have a chance to get a Sunfire Cinema Grande 5-ch amp that can be bridged to produce 400wpc. Would that provide a noticeable improvement in sound?

nice buy. Make sure that you drive them with good quality solid state (150W-200W), and bi-wired. Bass alignment filter will be a worthwhile upgrade. Budget conscious with these speakers is a contradiction if you want much better quality.
You’ll probably find this Stereophile page interesting, as it goes into detail about the usefulness of the bass alignment filter.

Given how you are using them, a miniDSP between your pre and amp will probably be a better idea, since you can not only re-create the BAF ’s effects, but you can clip any room nodes.

Works best with proper room acoustics.

Thanks guys for the responses. 

petg60 The Anthem MCA 2 amp I'm using is 200WPC I believe so should it have enough power?  I didn't specifically look for these speakers but just couldn't pass up a good deal on them :)

@ erik_squires   Can you explain more details about how a miniDSP can be used?  

Hi Cherish,
Just like the B&W alignment filter, you put the miniDSP between your preamp and your amp, and use it to EQ the bass response. You probably can find online documentation showing exactly what EQ was used, but I'd use it as a general guide.

If you are using them away from the walls, use the EQ to boost your bass a little, but since miniDSP is so flexible, you can also use it to help remove room modes.

Alternatively, get an Anthem pre or integrated which has all this built in.

P.S. - This isn't a new idea, vintage B&W as well as KEF speaker owners have used a miniDSP to substitute for the missing little boxes. It works really well.
Hi cheriszm,
you will find that MCA2 is not enough even though rated at 200w (small power supply), but all depends on the size of your listening room. My approach with this speaker would be more elitist and seek for a better power amp and later for a better preamp (in the used market-plenty to search), forget about DSP's or other corrections (save money for better amplification for start) & bi wiring. But that's me. When nearly there you will decide whether or not room correction is required. Take one step at a time as most probably you will spend many years with these speakers.
Sorry I didn’t have a chance to reply yet but I’ve decided to enjoy what I have for now and wait until I really ‘feel’ like upgrade is necessary (except for bass alignment filter or miniDSP since they are relatively cheap).  

The speakers sound pretty good with the equipment I have - I did bi-wire few days ago.  

Thanks all!
Hey Cherishzm,
How are you liking your S2s?   I have a pair that I picked up a few years back and have re-built around them.   They replaced some Infinity Kappa 9s,  Adcom GFP565 and GFA555II - ( all given to son).
 Mcintosh C2600, MC302 and MC252 are now used as front end and to bi-amp the beasts.

The speakers came to life with the MC gear with the preamp making most of the difference.  The Adcom GFP was really a limiter.  As you know, these are very critical of source (as is any good speaker) but I find myself listening more now and comparing less.  They need room to breathe and lots of power.  I'm waffling on sound anchor stands upgrade and haven't really given the BAF too much of a look after a lot of research.   Would be interested if you got one and if you like it (BAF).  Cheers. DVMC