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I have had Matrix 804's and they sounded great with Levinson or Joule Electra. I think they work better with solid state because of some dips in impedence which makes them hard to drive for tubes. As impedence dips, SS puts out more power. Most tubes put out less. (I think I am right, but I am no expert). I sold the B&W after I got the Joule and bought Merlins. Good luck.
In years of listening to friend's BW 800 and 801, the big krells are always a match made in the sky with these speakers.
the old ksa 250 + Jadis pre-amp = BW 800
the ksa300s + jadis pre-amp / blue circle pre-amp = BW 801.
It nice to have a tube pre-amp in that chain so sound could be more forgiving.
Or a warm sounding pre-amp mated with the Krells would also work
Solid state or tubes really isn't the question it's what amp you like the sound of best. There are designs of both types that are capable of handling B&W speakers. The key to audio is matching your speakers to a proper system (in particular a power amp that can cope with the associated speaker's characteristics). Could you imagine a Honda engine under the hood of a 1970 Dodge Challenger? Honda makes great engines no doubt but in this instance it wouldn't be a good match.
>>Could you imagine a Honda engine under the hood of a 1970 Dodge Challenger? Honda makes great engines no doubt but in this instance it wouldn't be a good match.<<
The current V-6 Honda/Acura engine is more powerful that 5 of the 1970 Challenger engine options. It would easily power the Challenger to acceptable performance levels at that time and with greater efficiency/less pollution/less noise.
Don't forget that today's engines are rated bhp (brake horsepower) i.e. the power available to the car at the drive axle. The horsepower ratings in the 60's and 70's were overstated in that regard. However, and to be fair here, many manufacturers underrated some motors due to potential insurance problems. Good examples of this are the Chevrolet L-88, Z-28, and ZL-1 options. Chrysler's 426 hemi is another example of understated power.