Suggestions for integrated amps for B&W CM10

I recently bought the Bowers and Wilkins CM10 speakers, currently paired with Peachtree Audio Nova 125. Although, the clarity and details are phenomenal, I can't help but notice two shortcomings:

1. At times, things get a bit too bright for my taste -- also, I would prefer a bit more warmth
2. It doesn't seem that the Nova has enough authority to drive the bass drivers that well. I just feel that I can get more from these speakers on the lower end without adding a separate sub.

Now, I do realize that the speakers are fairly new with less than 30 hours on them, so maybe things will get better after the break in period. And I also realize that the placement and the room characteristics are not ideal.

But having said that, I would be interested in suggestions for what other integrated amps (or even separates if affordable) go well with the CM10s and provide a bit more warmth and better base. Budget is under$2500, new or used.
You have more options going with separates. Assuming the speakers are broken in, the harshness usually involves the preamp. My personal feeling on the matter, is to get an amp with more power and easier on the ears. And since you really can't get a great active preamp with your budget, I would use a passive.
In my experience B&Ws need decent power to sound good, and more important, lots of current from the power amp.

For a budget, I recommend Parasound power amps, the used discontinued HCA series, model 1500 or higher (200 W/Ch). Assuming of course you integrated amp has a pre-amp output to drive a separate power amp. You can often find these for about $500-600 used.

Regarding brightness, I have found for some B&Ws moving them a little further apart reduces the upper midrange re-inforcement you sometimes get. Clean power amplification is a must as these can be very revealing of HF distortion.
you say "at times" it is too bright ... maybe source and/or the media is the issue?? a bright recording SHOULD sound bright on a resolving system
B&W's are known to be a fairly bright speaker to begin with plus your matching it to a Class D amp that usually has the same rap.

I would suggest you give the Parasound Halo Integrated a serious look. Its Class A/AB and at 160 wpc into 8 & 240 wpc into 4, it should deliver all the warmth and power your CM10's need. Right at your budget of $2500 too brand new!
Thanks for the sound advice everyone. I see that pairing my Class D Peachtree with the CM10s is probably not the ideal setup. I will definitely look for Parasound integrated ... need to find a dealer in the Dallas area.

The sales rep at the Best Buy Magnolia Design Center is pushing the Rotel gear (either integrated or separates), saying that usually the synergy between Rotel and B&W is quite good. Rotel separates are coming out to be around $2700 as well.

What do you guys think of Rotel when compared to Parasound?
I am not surprised Magnolia would push Rotel as they are a Rotel dealer and the B&W Group has an equity stake in Rotel too. It doesn't mean that there is necessarily synergy with the two.

IMO, I consider Parasound a cut above Rotel. especially the Halo gear that has been designed by amp legend John Curl and is Class A/AB. Just check Parsounds website for a list of dealers in your area. If you are considering separates also, I would look at the NAD C275Bee power amp & matching C165Bee preamp. NAD is more on the level of Rotel and the NAD combo comes in at $2300. More attractive price than Rotel for comparable or maybe better performance. Good luck!
Paraneer, I would love to buy a Parasound integrated. Best Buy is currently offering a 36-month-no-interest plan on anything above 1500. Now, since I've already sunk in quite a bit of change on the CM10s (paid cash), the no interest financing deal is looking quite good. But that means I have to buy whatever (mostly Rotel or Arcam) that Magnolia carries.

The other option is to just live with the Peachtree for sometime and buy the Parasound when funds are available to justify another cash purchase. But that means waiting for at least one year.
I can appreciate wanting to buy a big ticket item at no interest. These plans can be attractive when used wisely.

But if the dealer doesn't handle the product you really want, then what good is the free financing? If you settle for something less, just to take advantage of this deal, you'll always be wondering "what if"? Worse, you'll probably end up selling the Rotel and upgrading to something else down the road and this will cost you even more money.
The other option is to just live with the Peachtree for sometime and buy the Parasound when funds are available to justify another cash purchase. But that means waiting for at least one year.
I would wait and get what you really want rather than compromise,. It will cost you less in the long run. The CM10's will be ready when you are. Good luck!
If for sure the Halo was what I wanted I would wait till I could afford one or, I would finance to buy it now as apposed to buying something else due to no interest. What would your interest be on $2500 for 12-18 months?

If I was not sure I would wait and continue explore my options. As ZD said, you have more options with separates.
As an after thought, the Halo has a built in DAC, phonostage and bass management. Are those items you need/want in a single package?
Arafiq, first congratulations on the CM 10s. That's just a fantastic speaker. My thoughts would be to hang in there until the B&Ws get a few more hours on them (about 100hrs). You may be right about the Peachtree.

Having just made a new speaker purchase myself I can understand budget constraints. I can suggest one relatively affordable amp you might want to check out: the Arcam FMJ A19.

It is working great with my B&W 683 S2s. It has pleasantly surprised me. Anyway, just a thought. Again, let those CM 10s settle a bit more. Take your time and enjoy the journey.


Mesch - I definitely care about the DAC, and it seems they're using one of the best in the business in the parasound halo. So definitely a big plus for me.

By the way, there's an ad on craigslist for parasound:

What do you guys think of this combo? Do you think the asking price is fair?
Samac, thanks for your response. I actually looked at the FMJ while at Magnolia a few weeks ago. For some reason, I just didn't feel that it had enough to drive the bass drivers on the CM10s. I might be wrong though. Other than that, I agree that it's a very sweet sounding piece.

And I know that not all watts are created equal, but if I'm buying something else, I want to make sure it has at least more power than my current Peachtree (@125 w).
Arafiq, glad you were able to hear the A19. The Parasound Halo looks like an outstanding option. I listened to the Anthem 225 about a week ago and it was excellent as well.

Lots of great stuff out there. You'll get those CM10s running great in no time.
By the way, there's an ad on craigslist for parasound:

What do you guys think of this combo? Do you think the asking price is fair?
Price is fair if the units are in good condition, both operationally and cosmetically. But the P7 is an analog surround sound preamp with facilities for 7 channels. And no DAC.

The seller is willing to split the pair and is asking $475 for the amp. Not bad, and it is still a current model and will drive your CM10's effortlessly. You can match it with Parasounds new P5 2 Channel preamp for only $1095 brand new. It is cheaper than the used P7 and has what you want. Now your at $1570 for the pair.
Paraneer, agreed. I would prefer a pre-amp with a built-in DAC, so actually the P5 looks like a better deal.
Now, my main concern is if the A23 would provide the kind of extended bass that's currently missing from the Peachtree. I don't know if the difference between the two amps will be considerable. My thinking is if I'm upgrading then get something which is more future proof - more wattage, current, etc than the A23. Perhaps, I should wait out for a A21 used deal?
Well I certainly agree that you can never have too much power. The A21 will provide it in spades. But by the time you add the cost of a new P5 and a used A21, I'll bet your back to what a new Halo Integrated costs.

I would think the A23 is more than adequate for your CM10's that are 8 Ohm nominal with a sensitivity of 90Db. The seller was driving Diamond 805D's with it and those are 8 Ohm and 88 Db sensitive. The A23 puts out 125 wpc into 8 and 225 wpc into 4 with 45 amps of peak current. I can't imagine that kind of power not getting the job done.

But I guess you won't know for sure unless you try it - the price is right and you could probably resell it for the same amount. If you get the bass response your looking for, then you can keep it and smile about the money you saved.

Maybe the seller will let you audition it with the 805D's? Hope it works out for you.
Paraneer, I really appreciate your advice. I think I'm going to pick up the A23 tomorrow. Next I'm thinking about selling the Peachtree Nova 125 to buy the P5. Come to think of it, I should probably also unload the LSA-1 Signature speakers that haven't seen much use in the last year or so.
BTW, I also saw the HCA 1500A on sale on eBay

Need some advice on whether to go with the older/discontinued model with twice the wattage, or stay with the relatively newer A23.
Musical Fidelity int amps pair well with B&Ws. That is what I run in my setup.

There's a MF Nu Vista listed for under your budget.

[no affiliation to seller]
Job INTegrated is $1700 delivered. It would be advisable to get the $300 Sweetcord power plug as well.

Initial feedback, after a week's run in, here:

11-13-15: Djverne
Have had the amp running over a week now. Just sat down to listen. the sound signature has smoothed out (warm and textured). This amp is tremendous.
Thanks for the suggestions. So I had quite an adventure this weekend. The salesman at the Magnolia Design Center insisted that I take the Rotel separates (amp: RB-1582; preamp: RC-1570) home and at least give them a listen, so I took them home and set them up.

So the first thing that struck me was how 'warm' the sound was. I immediately started missing my Peachtree, actually I regained a lot of respect for the Nova. While the Rotel combo had more heft and definitely a wider soundstage, I just felt that the clarity and details were not there. Perhaps, I'm not used to the warm sound of Rotel. Definitely, not my cup of tea. Also, for digital music, I feel the DAC in the Peachtree far surpasses the Rotel preamp - by a mile.

At this point, I have decided to return the Rotel separates back to Mangolia and pickup the used Parasound Halo A23 from a local buyer. I will see if I can use the Peachtree as a DAC and pre-amp for the time being. And when funds permit, buy a new or used P5.

Thanks for all the wonderful advice.
Thanks for the update.

Your post illustrates why most components should be auditioned if at all possible. It all comes down to what sounds best to you! After you audition the Parasound, wouldn't it be a hoot to find out you still prefer the Peachtree and had the right amp all along.

I commend you for going through all this effort to find out what sounds best to you. This is the way it use to be done before the internet.