I'm going through a similar evaluation, so a couple of other candidates in that mix could include a Plinius SA250MK III used at about $3k and the BAT VK 500. So any opinions would also be appreciated.
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Also in similar problem 803 nautilus, bat vk-30se, cary cd player been using Sim W-5, ML 331, 332,conrad johnson MF-2500, classe CA-201, and now CA-401 i think it is the best so far execellent high outstanding full and sweet midrange, bass if fuller but not as tight as ML, classe seem to match very well with bw speaker especially for the midrange if you love mid like me you won't be disappointed. FYI bw speaker using classe amp in most of their electronic show.
I know someone who went to the B&W factory and they had Levinson amps plugged into the N800s for what it's worth. I know Electrocompaniet makes some nice high-current designs and even named their Nemo amp to coincide with the Nautilus line, so that may be worth a look too. I recently got a Marsh A400s to demo and to say the least I am extremely impressed, and it is a screaming bargain at around $2k. Best of luck.
I am an Edge Electronics dealer, so take this as you will, but the NL-10 is a very nice 220 watt amplifier with no solidstate glare and has enough speed to keep up with the microdynamics of any source. We heard it with the B&W N800s and they did quite well, though they were only 3 weeks new and some leeway had to be made for their not being broken in yet.
They really love fat power cables to play at their best, as do all good power amps, so you should probably factor that into your hunt as well... :-)
Hard to believe that Accuphase hasn't been mentioned. I tried a lot of product before settling on the $6000 model P450 which can now be found used for half that or less if you're lucky. Appearance is to-die-for with those big lighted meters & brushed gold faceplate. But the sound; I'm in love at last.
Well Turnaround, actually they did. I beleive my suggestion of two Threshold amps got a second nomanation. We had some "I remember when I used this SS" stuff, which the mind can't truly remember sound, thus the need for direct A-B comparisons. I do use Threshold now and always have, with B&W 802's. Threshold S or S/E is an excellent choice at bargain prices. And you can still get them repaired or upgraded through Jon at Vintageamp.com. Tom
i was on the same mission. the simw-5 is great and mates very well w/ 802. i got a great deal on pass aleph 1.2--a marriage made in heaven. got my pair for $5000. the extra power and current really opens up the 802's--more transparency, livelier sound, better imaging and depth. the b&w metal tweeters are much better behaved w/ the aleph's voiceing. i previous used krell and needed rolled off cables to deal w/ upper mid's and treble excess energy.
both the pass and the sim products are much more like real music through the b&w's. mccormack sounds good w/ b&w, but mccormack is brighter than pass or sim. i tried the 225. the old dna1 upgraded to A level has the same or simular virtues as the 225, but is less bright. with the b&w tweeters, brightness is a major system matching issue or at least is was for me. BOB-i hope i've helped?