This suggestion may get some raised eyebrows, but I've used the Krell 300i with my CDM-1SE's & have really liked it overall. BUT I didn't like the 300i at all with my Matrix 802's--they brought out the "solid state glare-i-ness" of that amp. But especially given your HT interest, it might be a good choice.
What about a Classe? or Plinius?
Also, you didn't mention any tube amps.....
You may need more power than the Bryston can muster. It is a fine sounding integrated (I previously owned one), but, I fear it won't do so well with the usually power hungry B&W's.
I now have the Plinius 8200 and it is really nice. It has plenty of power and is very refined. It has an HT bypass loop too, although the switch is on the back. BTW, I've heard (but can't confirm) that there is little sonic difference between the Plinius 8100, 8150 and 8200. Just a bit more power for each, and the 8150 and 8200 have the HT bypass. Of couse, if the price is close, go for the added power!
I owned the Simaudio Moon I-5 for a little over a year. At times it was magic, but often I found it lean and a bit tizzy on the top end. This was the case even when running Sonus Faber Concertinos and ProAc Tablette 50 Signatures. The I-5 is quite dynamic for 70W per side, and it throws a very wide soundstage. Percussion sounded very lifelike and exciting, but female voices were thin and brass instruments could at times be a bit bright. I would think these weaknesses may be even more pronounced with your B&Ws.
I also had the opportunity to own the Electrocompaniet ECI-3. This integrated shared many of the same strengths as the I-5, but was also more forgiving. It was just as dynamic and soundstaged as well as the I-5, but presented more natural female vocals. I think the ECI-3 would be a good match with a broader range of speaker types than the I-5, but that obviously depends on the person's taste.
Other than those two amps, I haven't heard the others you're considering. But I have heard Plinius separates and liked their sound very much. Plus the 8200 would have the power edge over the Simaudio and the Electrocompaniet. However, if you can find an ECI-4 at a good price you might consider that.
Good luck and enjoy the search!
Look into the Classe CAP-150. Theatre integration is a snap and you will get the same power as the Krell with a much smoother sound. Used prices are around a grand, leaving room for some Kimber wires (wonderful match for your speakers). I just sold off my CDM1-SEs and can say that there will be some very good synergy between the CAP and the B&Ws. If budget becomes a problem, the CAP-100 is identical save the power supply (hence the 100W rating).
Agree with 3728. The CAP-150 would be a great choice. In the future, as you continue to upgrade your system, the amp and preamp can be separated with the touch of a button meaning that you can either use it as a stand alone amp or preamp.
Heard Plinius extensively with B&W speakers, and it is the best sounding (to my ears) of all the aforementioned amps (except perhaps, for the Electrocompanient). Very warm, almost tubelike sound, SS grip, no fatigue. Try to get the 8150i...my dad ended up buying one. Auditioned Krell and others. Krell was FAR to bright, IMHO. YMMV. Cheers!
Ellery, I also enjoy a wide range of music. I have CDM1NT's with a Musical Fidelity A300 Int. Amp. for power, and the M/f A3CD on the front end. I am not using a sub at the moment as I live in a meduim size town home. Other then missing a few octaves of bass in the low end this IMHO is a great combination! The A300 has enough power to make the CDM1's sing. I get a nice big soundstage, with lots of detail and "air". You can pickup a New A300 for $1495.00 plus shipping!.. Good luck, Frank
I owned a pair of CDM1s when they first came out. Instead of telling you what to do, I will tell you what not to do.
I auditioned these speakers at a store that used Harman Kardon electronics. To me, they sounded more natural and musically truthful than the Matrix 805s, so I bought a pair of the CDM1 home.
At the time, I was using Nakamichi separates and an NAD 502 cd player. The CDM sounded dry and lifeless with this set up. I thought my amp is too dry to match with the CDMs, so I borrowed a Denon 8200 which is known for their liquidy smooth sonic characteristics eventho its sound is mid-fi, yet the CDMs still didn't come to life. Then I thought my preamp might be too dry, so I borrowed a Klyne preamp, and the sound is still dry as crackers. I returned the CDMs.
The reviews on Stereophile says you have to feed the CDM lots of high quality wattage, well, the Harmon Kardon receivers matched these speakers just fine. My
conclusion? These are great speakers, but they hate me.
I own Nautilus 805s, and have found them to really work well with tubes. At first I had a CJ preamp and McCormack DNA.5, then went to "Rev A". This was good, but then went to a AudioPrism Debut (Now Red Rose Music $$$), incredible midrange, but bass was a bit weak (I should NEVER have sold this amp, just bought a sub-that would have been magic). Then I went to Audio Refinement Complete, great little solid state integrated, but left me wanting... I have settled on Rogue Audio Tempest for now, and I love it. 60 watts in Ultralinnear, 30 watts in Triode (switchable), remote controlled volume (I never knew how much I missed this from my "Sony days"), and great, authoritative sound. Bass in UL mode is awesome, in triode it is a bit lacking. The Tempest is highly adaptable,, having preamp outs, both active and passive, if you decide to use a different amp later (it can also be mated to a Rogue 88 for a Bi-amp setup, the 88 is the same amp as the amp section of the Tempest), and preamp level inputs, if you decide you want to use a different preamp. I paid $1400 for mine used, but I think there's a couple of them on the site now for less than that. I can heartily Recommend Rogue, they are great to deal with and stand behind their products. Sound is great, the amp is self biasing, meaning no tube problems to deal with (other than replacing tubes every 1-3 years).
Anyway, I found that my 805's really like the Rogue! good luck
I want to thank everybody for their input and help on this issue. After milling i tover and over in my head, I decided to stay towards the lower end of my budget since the friend who is buying my NAD is going to buy the next amp. I ended up buying a Bryston B-60 (mainly for the warranty) and believe it or not, I like it alot. I am new in this high end game and now I know I am hooked. I thought my NAD sounded good...this is a whole new ball game. Once again, thanks for all your help everybody...next up, new interlinks & speaker wire (gonna go with homegrown) & then a new DVD/CD. Happy Holidays