Sugden - Electrocompaniet - Naim - Accuphase

This is my first posting! This seems a great place where a lot of audiophile knowledge is available ;-)

I’m in search for a great musical integrated amplifier and matching cd-player (same manufacturer) for my B&W Signature 805 speakers.
I mostly listen to pop, rock, 60s, blues, (no classical)
I’m looking for a musical pairing, slighty warm sound, not too analytical or cold sounding.
I want to listen for hours, so I’m looking for great mids and the highs have to be sweet (no harshness, or sharp s-sounds). Not too laid back either. With the very detailed nautilus-tweeter I don’t want an overdetailed and sharp sound, so the amp and cd shouldn’t be too analytical, and should be a little forgiven for bad (sharp) recordings.

Following models caught my attention:

1. SUGDEN A21SE and CD21SE
2 * 30 W class A amp. I’m wondering if this amp is going to drive my 805 with ease, as it is rather low powered? Is this pairing good for Rock music?

2 * 120 W (8 Ohm), 2 * 200 W (4 Ohm) and 2 * 350 (2 Ohm) transistor amp.
Electrocompaniet has a great reputation for building superb amps. I’m wondering if this rather new amp and cd-player is that good in their price range as their reference EMC 1/Up Cd player and NEMO class A amps, which where built to drive the B&W Nautilus.

Naim PraT should have enough drive for my speakers, but I’m worried that its drive will cause listening fatigue....

4. ACCUPHASE E213 and DP 400.
Smallest Accuphase integrated and cdplayer ( 2* 90W). Isn’t this pairing too analytical for the detailed Nautilus tweeter?

Can somebody give their opinions? I know that I shoud listen by myself, but there aren’t many great dealers in the neighbourhood... (closest: more than 150 miles, and he hasn’t all the stuff I want to hear...)

The Sugden A21a Series 2 was just tested by HIFICRITIC. IT had only 20 watts a channel so either the rating is different over there or it is a slightly different model. In any case I would mark it off as it had insufficient power and simply didn't sound good. Its rating on sound quality was a 16 compared to the top NAIT at about 50. I had Electro years ago as a dealer and was not happy with their reliability. Accuphase is well built but I haven't used any in years. I have a pair of older 805s which I like but the new tweeter is probably more like the ones in my Mini Utopias, which can sound bright. When you can't hear the component good reviews are about the only way. The Exposure 2010 is an exceptional amp in all reports I have seen, apparently preferable to the 3010. It is suppose to be very pleasant to listen to for long periods. Disclaimer, I have not heard them myself. HIFI News reviews on amps can be bought on CD for a fairly reasonable price, I bought them myself and they are quite helpful. I have found HIFICRITIC the best source of info, they take no ads so do not appear on line but you can look at their web site for a rating of some amps tested in the past. The Exposure Classic CD player is one of the best bargains in that field and is as good as anything less than 3x its cost. I would look at the Exposure line, I am a small dealer and have been considering carrying them because they supposedly offer very musical , fatigue free listening but the present economy has held this up. They are a favorite of Sam Tellig according to my memory, look at the Stereophile archives on line to see what they say. Hope this helps.
with b&w, of the three, electrocompaniet.
Not really applicable at all, but, I used an Edge G3 with Reference 3A MM De Capp -i, which was a great match. I lived with the Matrix 805s for about 3 years and would say they are more "analytical" then the 3As.

I love mis-information. The Sugden A21SE is rated and delivers 30wpc Class A. The A21a is its smaller brother and yes delivers 20wpc. I own the pairing of the Sudgen integrated and CD 21SE. The integrated is quite good reproducing well female vocal, acoustic piano and acoustic bass. It is lightening quick and makes nearly all other amps seem lethargic and veiled.

I've owned a plethra of high quality amps to include Onix, Luxman, GAS and VTL. I've also ran Reference 3A Integrale, English Mordaunt-Short and Dynaudio with the Sugden.

My current system as it stands is the aforementioned using an Audio Zone Blackgates upgraded DAC, with Poiema III digital cable, MAC silver/copper interconnects, LAT International speaker cables, Analysis Plus power cables all feeding Coincident UHS TRS Triumph monitors on Sound Organization massed stands.

The CD player is very respectable, however I would not put it up against a higher end transport only. I've owned a highly modified Parasound/CEC transport which to this day outperforms all that I've heard to include the Wadias. I no longer own it because it had difficulty with burned CDs and my wife did not like the top loader drawer and heavy puck.

The Coincidents are 94 db efficiency so in a smaller room the volume does not ever travel above 9:00 o'clock. Should power nearly anything you would want to pair with it unless you grab electrostatics or some very large floor stander.

Hope this has helped and dispelled any misunderstandings.
To add to the above:
* The sound you describe points to the Sugden or Naim amp; not that they are veiled -- but they offer a "bouncy" sound.
* The spkrs you have would be happier with the Electro's type of power.

I haven't listened to the Electro cdp.

Thus, speculating, you should go for the Electro from the power point of view OR the Naim, on the off chance that the amp's ¬80W/8ohm will suffice.

{The Sugden cdp is presented above & the Naim is good (enjoyable + robust sound, purportedly reliable).}

Electro ought to be a good fit.

I owned 805Ns some time back, of all the BW speakers, I did not find them leaning towards brightness. Placement and addressing cabling needs, signal and speaker, will ensure bright sounds are avoided... with pop and rock as preffs, I'd look to perhaps BATs int & CDP but I don't know the budget...

A mix of CDP & int might be in order too. Same same works for me with power line components, but not always with power & CDPs.... it's seldom that all power line device makers also make their own CDP... or even make them on comensurate levels.

Just 'cause the names are the same might not ensure synergy. one thing for sure... I'd add a sub so my int should have another set of outputs.
Can't say about the Sudgen. I do know that the Naim Super Nait is more than powerful enough for the B&W 805's. Open, dynamic, musical, inviting, involving and definately NOT fatiguing.
How the Naim gear has gotten it's rep for cold or fatiguing
is beyond me as I find it to err on the side of musicality if anything and simply drive the bejesus out of just about anything you put at the end of it. The new CDX2 w/digital out is amazing and matches perfectly with the Super. You can thank me later....*s*
Thanks for all your replies.
I've been offered a very interesting used Sugden 21SE-set for a temping price.
I'm still wondering if this A21SE 2*30 W (8Ohm), 2*40 W (4 Ohm) class A amplifier can really drive the B&W 805S, which are 88db sensitive and a minimum of 3,7 Ohm.
Will the amp run out of steam at fairly moderate volume, esp. with bass heavy rock music?
Thank you.
" or it is a slightly different model" Celtic66, what part of this did you not read?In any case I am somewhat prejudiced against Sugden: years ago I ordered the great, great, --- grandfather of this amp direct from them. It arrived in Chicago wired for English voltage and when I complained was told that I " had not specified a non standard voltage. " This type of thinking is responsible for their dominate position in the market today. Celtic also appears to regard passing along test findings from respected journals as misinformation. I do not.
Brevity is the soul of wit.

Following models caught my attention:

1. SUGDEN A21SE and CD21SE
2 * 30 W class A amp. I’m wondering if this amp is going to drive my 805 with ease, as it is rather low powered? Is this pairing good for Rock music?

The A21a is not mentioned.
I was reporting on a test of the A21A which did not meet its power rating and did not sound particularly good. Your assumption that the addition of SE somehow transforms it into a more powerful and much better sounding amp is based on what? SE editions usually take good sounding items and make them sound better by the addition of better parts, not turn pigs ears into silk purses. SE means special edition of a given product, not a totally different product. It is hard to see how the subistution of a few parts could increase the power output of an amp that could not meet its previous rating by 50%. If you believe it can perhaps I could interest you in some flying pig insurance.
In answer to your simple question whether the 30 watt Sudgen will drive the 805s to high levels with rock, etc.

The accuphase would be a good match with the Nautilus.
It wont be harsh especially when paired with warm cables.
Thanks for your replies.

I think I'm gonna delete the Sugden from my list. The excessive heat is something I don't like.

So, after some more reading and input from a collegue, I'd like to throw in PLINIUS in my short-list.

The contenders are:

Accuphase E250 with DP 400 cd
Plinius 9100 or 9200 with cd101
Electrocompaniet ECI 3 or 5 with ECC1 or EMC1-UP cd player

Anyone listened to the Plinius in combination with the B&W 805?

Not to muddy the waters, and I don't even know what they offer in terms of integrateds, but Classe electronics are often cited as being a good synergistic match with B&W speakers. And they're certainly not billed as being bright or edgy, so they might be worth adding to the list.

Best of luck.
Hi Soix,

I know B&W uses Classe-electronics, but tha t combo CAP 2100 and CDP 102 is way too expensive for me.

Nobody uses Plinius with B&w?
Kind Regards
I use an ECI 4 (same specs as 5, so I don't know what's different), paired with Harbeth SHL5s. Supremely smooth and musical amp with very non-fatiguing, natural-sounding speakers. Really good on most music, a little uninvolving with some. A bit too much of a good think, me thinks. I've read the EC is a great match with B&Ws, however.