The N803's do not play especially loud and need a ton of power to do their best 200-300 watts to begin with IMO.
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I don't understand that they don't play very loud. I've had 804's,803's,and now 802's. Yes they love power but my 803's played extremely loud with a Mark Levinson #383. Turnitup1234, your last paragraph explains what the B&W will sound like with good up-stream gear. They will let you know if something is askew. Peace and Good Listening,Pat.
I haven't heard N803's, but I have owned several B&W speakers, including M802's. I remember the review in TAS when the N803's first came out; they mentioned that they weren't at their best when played really loud.........
Also, I don't know your amp(s), but I second Philjolet's suggestion that most larger B&W 's like LOTS of power.
Playing "loud enough" and "sounding good" while doing it are two different things. Most good sized speakers hit a brick wall at somewhere around 105 - 108 dB's at an appr 8' - 10' listening distance. Momentary peaks may be higher, but if you try to sustain "rock concert levels" or "long duration crescendo's", most speakers will fall on their face. Smaller, less efficient speakers may not even come close to the aforementioned figures.
Rsbeck: I think that the speakers would give out LONG before anyone's ears begin to bleed. Even highly efficient horn loaded speakers like K-Horns and La Scala's can't do that. Not even sitting one meter from the speakers. That's because Klipsch rates even their "Pro" versions of these speakers as having a max output of 128 dB's @ 1 meter. Sure, they can cause permanent hearing loss, but bleeding out of your ears, no way. Especially not a far less efficient speaker like B&W's at a typical listening distance. Sean
>>but bleeding out of your ears, no way<<
Mmmm....I don't know how to tell you this, but -- it is just a figure of speech.
I didn't really mean you would sprout a plasma gusher from the ear holes. I
meant that with the right amplification, you could play them real loud. I've
heard them driven with a Plinius SA 250 Mark IV and they played real loud
and real clean. I am open to the argument that loud to me might not be loud
to Philjolet, but try telling that to Philjolet while he has buckets of human
ketchup pouring out of the sides of his melon.
I do believe in trying to recreate the volume of the actual event which to me is pretty loud as I often listen to rock/alternative music.
I remember one of the magazines mentioning the same thing about N803s being limited in volume...
I give this information because turnitup1234 sounds to me like he means business in the volume department and the bottom line is he should get another speaker IMO.
I bought the N803 and Arcam CD 23 on saturday, runing them with the Perreaux, sound great, but not where I want it to be..yet. WHen I turn it up...it is almost there...but not where I want it to go...at least yet!...
SO, I will do what was suggested, play with the system, move speakers around, this and that,
I also have the CD LAD, I get to demo it for a while. So , the option remains, keep the Perreaux or get an amp to match the CD LAD..etc. by the way:
the Perreaux 2150 B amp produces
200wt at 8ohms and 400 watts at 4 ohms.
The SM2 is great too but there is no remote control. bought in 1984.
It is time for me to have this luxury. so my friends, will let you know how it goes, and will enjoy the music thinkin of how cool this all is...I will say high level recordings on some of the CD's I have sound awesome, and the CD's that arent so good, sure sound not so good.
any ideas on plinius/perreaux please let me know.
I'm not familiar with older Perreaux amps. I started in this audiophool hobby only a couple of years ago. Now I've tried a couple of Perreaux current amps and they have all been impressive in every respect. They sound great, great dynamics, the best bass I've heard, clean highs, very natural midrange....and these things are built like tanks.
If before getting these speakers you liked the sound of your amps, I'd recommend trying a more current one, like the Radiance; I also like the 200iP a lot, so I'm guessing the separates from the Reference Line must be really good too. The 200iP has a little bit more of a sound of its own than the Radiance. The difference is slight, but is very likeable. The Radiance is more neutral, almost like that straight wire with gain ideal...
The damping factor(which would typically tell you about how good can an amp control a speaker load) of Perreaux amps is really high. There is nothing muddy sounding about the ones I've tried. Again I haven't tried your amps so I can't comment on them.