Which amp for B&W 703s

Im upgrading my Musical Fidelity A3.2cr integrated for a 200-250watt power amp. Trying to keep it under $2,000 and therfore in the used market.
Ive reasrched A few amps but am able to hear them as the only high end store in my city in very limited. Looking at the Conrad Johnson 2500a as some reviws have been very good on it and it seems to go well with B&W 800 series speakers havent heard about the 703s with them.
The other amp choice seems to be the Krell 250A. Again some people have great results with the 800s.
I listen to rock and like imaging, dynamics, and volume. I find the MF 3.2 cr to be great in many ways but lacks power and snap.
Source is a Cary 303/200 which would be running direct into the amp.
Kicker is I can get a used krell for $6- to possibly $1,200 less.
Anyone with experience on a similar setup(s), id like to hear your thoughts.
I spent some time evaluating the 703s, and left unconvinced. Check out the reviews for the Usher new 6 series. Great review at AV Monthly
Is there a way to do an in-home trial with the Conrad Johnson and the Krell? Like the 800 series, the 703 seem to be very amp dependent. I was pretty impressed with the 703's but I have only heard them with a Rotel amp. I would imagine that they would sound really nice with Conrad Johnson or Krell.

Is the Usher 6 a new speaker that you carry in your audio store? I've heard very good things about Usher speakers and would like to give them a try.
Unfortunatly I cant audition them at all, I live on an Island off the west coast of Canada. Hence part of my dilema.

The 703s took along time to break in and with my old ARcam AR7 cd player the sound was horrrible. I upgraded to a Cary 303/200 the spekaers broke in and the sound is great.

Anyone chime in with a critique of the CJ 2500a VS Krell 250a.
I'm only familiar with Krell & CJ by reputation, but have not owned or listened to them. However, I own the 703's and power them with an older Audio Research SS (D-240). I utilize a Musical Design Tube preamp that has been tweaked (currently using some NOS vintage tubes) that really smoothes out the SS amp. I am very happy with the results. It took a long time for the 703's to break in, but now they sound very good. You could pick up an older model Audio Research for a great savings on Agon.

Keep in mind, regardless of what you read, amp technology has changed very little over the past decade. A great amp design ten years ago is a great amp design by todays standards. The real changes (very big changes) have been made in digital technology. Utilize this new technology with newer digital gear and find quality high-end amps with a little age (used) and enjoy that savings!

Good luck


The 700 series seems vaguely riminissent of the CDM NT's. I used KRELL on B&W's. Did then, do now. If you presently own a KAV 250 YOU'LL BE PLEASED. pERSONALLY i USE THE SAME AMP. aLTHOUGH i LIKE IT, i AM GOING TO EVENTUALLY USE IT TO DRIVE THE BOTTOM END, and another amp for the top. Krell is a very dynamic amp. Mates well with B&W. Also very revealing. They will show off, or up, your sources. THE THING ABOUT AMPS IS MATCHING 'EM TO A SPECIFIC APPLICATION.
You may want to look into Classe amps. Their older line is known to pair well with B&W, and their new Delta series line is no different. I have the CA-2200 paired with 802's, and I have heard the CAP-2100 integrated paired with 803's. I actually had the 703's home for a while, and used the big Rotel 5 channel, and tried them with a Denon integrated, since I did not like the noise floor characteristics of the Rotel. The Classe CA-301 should satisfy your need for volume, although it might be a little overkill (if there is such a thing).
The Classe does look like the kind of match Im looking for. Compared to the Krell KAV-250a I was looking at the Classe would seem to be more musical and warmer. Which is what i prefer and will take an anylitical hit for that. The reviews of them mated to B&W CDM9s(similar to 703s)were favorable.
Theres alot of choice in the used Classe amp market. Now my speakers are rated at 200watts. The 200/201 and the 300/301 Classe amps are at 200 and 300 respectivly. Is over rating the speakers advisable. I was under the impression that ratings on speakers were at a given distorion for the max power. Therefore the cleaner the signal the more you could get away with over powering them. But also have to consider the peaks would be higher as well. Also under the impression that a 300 watt amp would be more dynamic as it wouldnt have to strain on producing enough power for dynamic passages(source has a dynamic range of 112db).
The cost for those amps range from $1,300 for a 200, $1,600 or $1,800 for a 201(1,800 is one with side heat sinks, later model), $1900 for a 300 and finally $2500 for a 301.
Would there be a useable diffrence between the 200 and 300 watt versions(i do listen at loud levels often)? If anyone has heard these amps id like to hear what if any diffrence in the sound was.
Once amps get a little older >5 yrs do they need new caps etc or is the life of them longer? In other words is there a point where an amp is getting a little old and one should factor in a rebuild.
The new Krell KAV-400xi Integrated Amp. mates very, very well with your 703s. This is one powerful Integrated Amp. with excellent sound! It has an output of 200wpc > 8ohms and 400wpc > 4ohms it will easily power your speakers and sounds great with pop, rock and jazz music. I'm using it with the Krell SACD Standard and Nautilus 804s and haven't heard as good or better for the money. You could easily pick-up a Dealer Demo. for around $2K, it retails new for only $2,500.
Thanks for all the feedback
I ended up Buying a Belles 350a. Came down tothat or running apair of Bel Cantos 200.2 in mono or the Odyssey monos. Belles seemed to provide the tight bass and still be warm for those marathon listening sessions. As best I can tell from not being able to hear all of em.
For anyone out there looking at gear...I just added a Audible Illusions L-1 pre amp. Sound with the 703s has no high harshness to it when driven loud. Smooth and powerful. Detailed and NO listener fatigue.
I own a pair of B&W CDM 9NT's. My amp is a Conrad Johnson MF2250. they sound fantastic together. Since my speakers are a close relation to yours, I think if get the CJ amp, you will love it.