Question : Matching with B W 803 speaker

Dear Mr./Ms.,

Hello, My name is Kim and live in UK.
I'm considering to buy a set of amp(integrated or parated).
Currently, I have B&W Nautilus 803 speaker so I want to buy the best matching amp for B&W 803.
But, unfortunately, I don't have enough information about amps which fit with B&W 803.
What I have been tried so far was collecting information from several magazine such as "stereophile" and "what hi-fi". As you know, those magazine doesn't have any comments about amps which fit with B&W 803.
More worse, I didn't have chance to listen many amps.
Those are reasons I'm sending this mail on this site.
I usually listen classical music, ballads and jazz. Not frequently but sometimes I listen pop.
Some people says Linn or Naim is the best matching but some other people says Krell or Mark Levinson is the best.
The amps that I consider in my mind(ofcourse these are from some of magazines) are as below.
- If Integrated,
VAC(Avatar), YBA(Integre DT), Krell(KAV500i),
or Mark Levinson(No383s)
- If Seperated,
Bryston(BP20, 7B-ST), Advantage(S2, S250),
Krell(KAV250P, KAV250A),
Audible Illusion(Modulus 3A)+Cary (CAD-300SE Sig),
Meridian(518)+Audio Research(VT100 MKII)
or Sonic Frontiers(Line2, Power2)
Would you please suggest me any of above amp?
Or, would you let me know what amp(maker and model) is the best mathing with B&W 803?
I don't care if amp is integrated or separated.
Any other than above list also would be appreciated.
My bugget for amp is between 5000 ~ 15000 USD.


As you are aware, system matching is important, but also a matter of personal taste. Your budget allows a lot of flexibility. While maybe not being as specific as you might want, I will give my impressions of varying equipment with the B&W Nautilus series. I am only commenting on what I have heard--so many of the things on your list are left out.
Krell: Great bottom end, but the top end can be a little harsh with the B&Ws. For your musical tastes I would probably not go this route.
Bryston: Very reliable, excellent build quality, but not the end in fidelity. These are great efficient class A/B amps that can really rock--not what you want to do I think. In your price range I think you would be happy with something else.
Sonic Frontiers: It was some time ago that I heard this combination. It should be carefully considered. Tubes can be a lot of fun if you take the time with them (they can be finiky). I listened to it on 802s not 803s and while I'm guessing a bit I think the 803s might need a little more power than the power 2 offers.
Cary: I have not heard this particular Cary with the B&Ws, but I own a Cary 40M signature that I have listened to with 805s. So my comment here should be taken with a grain of salt. The imaging and presentation are really spectacular. I like the sound of the Cary amp very much, it's a colored sound--not the most neutral--but very inviting and very 3 dimensional.
Levinson: This is probably my favorite combination overall. I have not actually heard the 383 with the 803s, but have heard the 300 series separates, so it should be close. This to me gives excellent soundstage, dynamics, it's not harsh. It plays a very wide range of music equally well--unlike the Cary which I tend to prefer for softer types of music.
Linn: I haven't listened to this with the B&W, but have found that Linn equipment tends to work best with other Linn equipment. It's less mix and match friendly, at least it has been the few times I've tried.
Classe: This is one you did not mention that I feel is worth mentioning. Particularly the older amps. Model Ten with the 803s would be a great match. Smooth presentation, very dynamic, no harshness, good imaging (but not as good as the Levinson). I'm less familiar with their pre-amps.

Well, those are my opinions--I'm sure you'll get some that vary quite a bit. Good luck--when you do make a decision please post it and your findings after break in and listening a while.
I concur with Abstract7, and will add to your consideration both the Theta Dreadnaught and the Meridian 558: both have the power to run the N803s and are on the richer High Freguency (HF) side: the Krells and Brystrons could be harsh on the HF. I haven't heard the ML, but the commentaries are toward a great top-end: they may be too expensive, though. Tube amps will not have enough bottom-end for the N803s (to be esoteric, though, bi-amping with Tubes on the HF and a Bryston or Krell on the LF would be spectacular.

For a lower cost, mid-fi solution, try the B&K 3220 or the 2220 monoblocks: I run the monoblocks, and for the money are excellent (but not in the same league as the others).
I currently run BAT vk-1000s wih my 801s. Try a vk500 for less than 3k used. You will have more than enough power and you'll get beautiful sound as well. Save the rest of your cash for and excellent preamp and cd player. Good luck.
First, as Sam of Stereophile states, stay away from tubes. The N803's have a beautiful sound without the need for tubes. They will make solid-state sound wonderfull.I have listened to the 803's for hours both in the salon and in my room, with tube and solid-state gear from Mac. and Papworth. Solid-state from Densen, Bryston, Krell, Marsh, Rotel, and Mark Levinson. I traded in my C-J for the Mark Levinson #383. MAGIC!!! By the way, how big is your room? My room is on the small side. 12'9'' wide 15' deep 8' high. So I tried the N804's. Same great sound but a better voice in my room. So I used the money saved to go with better speaker wires. I hope this helps. Peace and good listening. Salty Dog.
Mr. Kim

I am using Sony SCD-777ES, Morrison ELAD and Bryston 4B-ST to dirve the B&W802. It sound really GOOD.
I would like to suggest follwing systems for your B&W N803:

1) Pre-Amp :
Morrison ELAD, Bryston B20 or Mark levinson 380.
2) Amp:
Bryston 4B-ST or Mark Levinson 334.

Good Luck.