Any of the Rotel line work very and should be in you budget.
7 responses Add your response
I owned a Rotel RB-1080 and another Rotel Rc-995 preamp which were mated to a pair of Matrix 803 Series 3 speakers. Listening to smooth jazz sounded good in the first few minutes but after that, I felt there was something amiss. At first I thought it were the speakers but just by luck, I changed the RB-1080 to a Parasound A23 (125wpc). Wow, it changed the sound of music (no pun intended) completely around. That's when I realized that the RB-1080 was the culprit.
I have learned then to stay away from Rotel products.
But thanks for your input. And yes I am still looking at the Parasound Halo amps, even though they are regarded as mid-fi by the audiophile community.
Check out the B&W forum (if you haven't already) http://www.htguide.com/forum/forumdisplay.php4?f=22
I own 804s with Rotel amplification and have come to the same conclusion you have. Many people like the B&W and McIntosh or Classe sound. They are pricier, though. My dealer said, and others have confirmed, the amp is more important than the preamp with B&W. I am budget constrained as well, so I'm planning to upgrade amp first. In my case a tube McIntosh. You should pay a listen...I was surprised!
My two cents.
I've been running 803S'sssss for many years and started out with the Big Rotel 1090 (380wpc & 80A peak) with same 1070 preamp.
MSRP on the 1090 was $1999 back in 02-03(?) and I don't think they produce it anymore so you'd have to watch the classifieds. If you do, proceed with caution if your running off a 20A service using a 12 gauge or fatter powercord...the toroidal transformer in that thing is the size of a small pumpkin and you're likely to smoke something
something in the amp like this guy I knew did.
Don't let the magick smoke out!
Marsh Amps where also favorably rated and if I recall had good synergy with the 803S(?)
IMO you can't put enough current flow to the 803. Everytime I upgrade amplification the speaker changes in accordance with degree of ampflication improvement.