Best Amplification for B&W 802D

Hi -

I'm new to audiophile systems, and I don't want to become an expert. I just want it to sound good. I've been slowly building my system. I have a set of 802Ds, an 800 series center channel and CM5's for my rear channels. They sound like hell with my Denon AVR 3805. The center channel is too bright. There is virtually zero base response in the 802Ds and the highs can be painful. So, I'm looking to upgrade the amplification system. The local stereo salesman is recommending an Anthem MCA Amp ($2,800) and an Integra DHC-40-2 processor ($1,800). Any advice? I'm a single Mom and this is at the extreme of my price range. Will the system sound good if I add these components? My computer stereo system sounds better right now.
If you can, go somewhere where you can hear your speakers in a setup first before buying.

Or make sure you have a satisfaction guarantee with a clearly defined return policy.

Yes, it "should" sound pretty good, but actual goodness is in the ear of the listener. The question is will it? You won't know until you try. make sure you have an out if it doesn't meet your expectations.

Also, if you hear your speakers in a setup elsewhere, ask lots of questions to get some confidence whether or not that will translate into sounding good in your specific room before buying, even if satisfaction is guaranteed.
Hi Tathata, if you are new to audiophile systems that is one hell of a speaker you have there. As you have discovered, speakers like the 802D are very demanding on amps. Anything less and it will show up the amp mercilessly.

Unfortunately it looks as if you have gone for 5 speakers, so the salesman is correct with his recommendation for a quality 5 channel amp setup. If you wanted to save money, you could sell the rear speakers and center channel speaker and spend the money on buying the best amp you can get for your 802D's, which are superb speakers. The classic match for B&W speakers are Classe amps - not cheap, but you may be able to find some in the Classifieds.

Good luck.
If you want the best sound on a limited budget, go 2-channel for both audio and video. Less channels=less cost to do well and keep it that way.

Downside is you loose all those cool surround effects in movies if those matter.

I retain a 2 channel only A/V system for very modest cost that has top notch sound. Surround has never swayed me.

You do need a very good and beefy matching amp for those speakers.

Or, if you use a sub, you can probably get by with a less beefy amp power-wise if set up properly. Many recommend using a sub even with really good full range speakers for A/V systems. I use one with a pair of good monitors and a powered sub currently. You can get by with a lower power amp this way. It still needs to be a good amp though. Classe amps are a very good recommendation. Anthems are good as well from what I read and hear.
Take a look at a Rotel's RMB 1095, or the RB 1090 to add to your Denon, to name a couple of choices to look at.
Its very difficult situation, indeed. I am afraid that buying multichannel amplifier not at the level of your 802D will be waste of your money only.

I own 802D but I never use surround system for the reasons somebody else stated (sonically better invest the given budget into the 2-channel then 5-channel)

If you can sell your central and rear speakers and your current amplifier then for this money "plus" look for used Classe, McIntosh, Spectron (I have it), BAT, Plinius.

Best Of Luck!
Oh, it's easy! Get a Wyred 4 Sound Multi Channel amp.
No heat, lots of power to drive all speakers and great sound all in your budget.
I agree with Koestner. For your budget the W4S amp will be an excellent choice. I use an ST500 with my N802's and it has plenty of bass with excellent control, and it is not at all bright with the N802.
B&W 802D's need lots of power, and since they dip down into 2ohm region, lots of stable power down there too. I would recommend at least 200wpc into 8ohms, but doubling power at 4ohms and 2ohms.

The Anthem will definitely sound better than the Denon. Almost any standalone amp will, but it is far from the best match for these speakers, even in that price range. The Integra is a nice unit, great for HT, OK for music, but will also sound much better than the Denon.

Couple of questions we need to know: are you interested in music as well as movies? What's the split (whats more important?). What are your room dimensions and how far is everything (spkrs to back and side walls, listening position to spkrs)? Are you willing to spend more to upgrade later, or is this it as far as budget?

You have lots of great options:
1) keep the Denon as a preamp, and put as much money as you can in a great amp. The difference in sound quality will blow you away. You can do this several ways: buy a great 2 chnl amp for front mains for music, and cheap 3 chnl amp for ctr and surrounds, or buy a good 5 chnl amp. You can always upgrade preamp/processor later.

2)Get the new Integra processor and a good new multi-chnl amp.

3)Get a good used processor and/or used amp here on Agon and get much better bang for your buck.

If it were me, I'd probably get the new Integra processor and a used amp from here. There are some excellent multi-chanel amps available, including several Sunfire amps that deliver strong stable power, and it runs cool. W4S amps are really good, as are Parasound (an A51 5 chnl amp is on sale on agon right now). Classe, Plinius, McIntosh, etc are all great amps, but much more expensive.

If you get the right amp with enough power, you will be very happy with the sound improvement. It will be huge!

Good luck.

(PS- you will still need a sub for the best HT movie experience if you watch lots of explosions, etc).
My very good friend has the exact same speakers except a different model rear channel, but still B&W. He has the McIntosh MX136, McIntosh MC207 amp, MVP-871 and a JL113 sub...."Unbelievable"
What on earth possesed you to purchase a pair of B&W 802's?
Superb speaker but not really a great match with surround sound receivers. BUT, you should be getting a LOT better sound from them than your computer speakers.
I'm going to guess that there are some screwed up settings on your receiver. If that doesn't work then look at replacing receiver with either a big Rotel receiver or seperates.
Wow your not an expert but you bought B&W D 802's Who told you to get them? you need to spend about half of what you paid for them on electronics and cabling, Get rid of the receiver or get some bookshelf speakers for the rec. and surround. Those are some serious speakers for a novice. if you can afford the B&W's you should be able to get some good tronics , a 200-250 watt amp and a good tube preamp to start.
Go with Mcintosh a I LOVE IT. I have the B&W 802d also with a Mcintosh mc402 it's heaven! Or if you can swing it get the Mcintosh Mc501 monos. The 802ds need a mini of 400 watts to sound their best. You will not regret.