Looking for advice on a three-channel amp (e.g., NAD 906, ..

Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

Hi all! First time poster, part-time (wannabe) audiophile. I have a set
of B&W 600 series 2 fronts -- left, right and center. They are
currently powered by a mid-range Denon receiver, but I would like to
upgrade to a straight-up power amp. Since the drivers in the speakers
are matched, I am assuming that I should keep the power as consistent
as possible -- i.e., a three-channel amp.

First, any comments on my reasoning there? Would you recommend just
going for a two-channel amp and running the center off of the Denon
receiver's amplification? I am primarily concerned with two-channel
stereo sound, but would like my video setup to be very good as well (I
am less concerned about the rears, however).

Second, assuming that a three-channel is the way to go, what
brand/model(s) would you recommend? I am somewhat familiar with the NAD
line and would be comfortable buying a NAD. The 906 (3 x 30 watts) and
the 916 (3 x 90 watts) are discontinued, but I think I could probably
find a used one for a decent price. My budget is $600 or less
(preferably something closer to $400).

Finally, I'm sure that the 916 would be preferable, but would the 906
work as well to drive the B&W's? Or would it be underpowered?

Thanks for all your help!


-- P
4 answers Last reply
More about looking advice three channel
  1. Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

    google-alert@pmueller.org wrote:
    > Hi all! First time poster, part-time (wannabe) audiophile. I have a set
    > of B&W 600 series 2 fronts -- left, right and center. They are
    > currently powered by a mid-range Denon receiver, but I would like to
    > upgrade to a straight-up power amp. Since the drivers in the speakers
    > are matched, I am assuming that I should keep the power as consistent
    > as possible -- i.e., a three-channel amp.
    >
    > First, any comments on my reasoning there? Would you recommend just
    > going for a two-channel amp and running the center off of the Denon
    > receiver's amplification? I am primarily concerned with two-channel
    > stereo sound, but would like my video setup to be very good as well (I
    > am less concerned about the rears, however).
    >
    > Second, assuming that a three-channel is the way to go, what
    > brand/model(s) would you recommend? I am somewhat familiar with the NAD
    > line and would be comfortable buying a NAD. The 906 (3 x 30 watts) and
    > the 916 (3 x 90 watts) are discontinued, but I think I could probably
    > find a used one for a decent price. My budget is $600 or less
    > (preferably something closer to $400).
    >
    > Finally, I'm sure that the 916 would be preferable, but would the 906
    > work as well to drive the B&W's? Or would it be underpowered?

    $400 won't buy you much in the way of even a 2-channel amp, unless you
    get a real steal used. (And the low demand for 3-channel amps makes
    them a poor buy, generally.) Which Denon do you have, and how powerful
    is it? Although NAD makes decent affordable gear (if you don't mind
    schlepping it to the repair shop occasionally), I have a hard time
    believing that your Denon won't drive your front speakers just as well
    as a 3X30 NAD will. The best advice might be to save your money, but
    I'd want to know more details about what you have now--specific
    receiver and all speakers.

    bob
  2. Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

    <nabob33@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:d7iv1801l4u@news1.newsguy.com...
    > google-alert@pmueller.org wrote:
    > > Hi all! First time poster, part-time (wannabe) audiophile. I have a set
    > > of B&W 600 series 2 fronts -- left, right and center. They are
    > > currently powered by a mid-range Denon receiver, but I would like to
    > > upgrade to a straight-up power amp. Since the drivers in the speakers
    > > are matched, I am assuming that I should keep the power as consistent
    > > as possible -- i.e., a three-channel amp.
    > >
    > > First, any comments on my reasoning there? Would you recommend just
    > > going for a two-channel amp and running the center off of the Denon
    > > receiver's amplification? I am primarily concerned with two-channel
    > > stereo sound, but would like my video setup to be very good as well (I
    > > am less concerned about the rears, however).
    > >
    > > Second, assuming that a three-channel is the way to go, what
    > > brand/model(s) would you recommend? I am somewhat familiar with the NAD
    > > line and would be comfortable buying a NAD. The 906 (3 x 30 watts) and
    > > the 916 (3 x 90 watts) are discontinued, but I think I could probably
    > > find a used one for a decent price. My budget is $600 or less
    > > (preferably something closer to $400).
    > >
    > > Finally, I'm sure that the 916 would be preferable, but would the 906
    > > work as well to drive the B&W's? Or would it be underpowered?
    >
    > $400 won't buy you much in the way of even a 2-channel amp, unless you
    > get a real steal used. (And the low demand for 3-channel amps makes
    > them a poor buy, generally.) Which Denon do you have, and how powerful
    > is it? Although NAD makes decent affordable gear (if you don't mind
    > schlepping it to the repair shop occasionally), I have a hard time
    > believing that your Denon won't drive your front speakers just as well
    > as a 3X30 NAD will. The best advice might be to save your money, but
    > I'd want to know more details about what you have now--specific
    > receiver and all speakers.

    It also depends on what you will be listening to primarily. If movies, then
    the center channel can actually benefit from more power than the main L/R,
    since that is where the voices and much of the "action" centers. If music
    is your main goal, then focus on the L/R pair...the enter speaker can be
    driven by a lesser amp so long as it has a good, clear midrange. Second in
    importance would be bass. I suspect that you are correct in your assumption
    that a good L/R stereo pair with the Denon handling the center is probably
    the best bet if you can't afford three channels. But Bob is also right that
    you might be better off saving your money.

    Three channel Aragon 8008's are up reasonably often on audiogon for about
    $1250 and they are exceptionally good amps that would probably keep you
    happy long term if you can hold off until you can buy them. Just my
    opinion, of course, no "proof". :-)
  3. Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

    Plenty of Acurus 3 channels out there for cheap.
    John
  4. Archived from groups: rec.audio.high-end (More info?)

    nabob33@hotmail.com wrote:
    > google-alert@pmueller.org wrote:
    > > Hi all! First time poster, part-time (wannabe) audiophile. I have a set
    > > of B&W 600 series 2 fronts -- left, right and center. They are
    > > currently powered by a mid-range Denon receiver, but I would like to
    > > upgrade to a straight-up power amp. Since the drivers in the speakers
    > > are matched, I am assuming that I should keep the power as consistent
    > > as possible -- i.e., a three-channel amp.
    > >
    > > First, any comments on my reasoning there? Would you recommend just
    > > going for a two-channel amp and running the center off of the Denon
    > > receiver's amplification? I am primarily concerned with two-channel
    > > stereo sound, but would like my video setup to be very good as well (I
    > > am less concerned about the rears, however).
    > >
    > > Second, assuming that a three-channel is the way to go, what
    > > brand/model(s) would you recommend? I am somewhat familiar with the NAD
    > > line and would be comfortable buying a NAD. The 906 (3 x 30 watts) and
    > > the 916 (3 x 90 watts) are discontinued, but I think I could probably
    > > find a used one for a decent price. My budget is $600 or less
    > > (preferably something closer to $400).
    > >
    > > Finally, I'm sure that the 916 would be preferable, but would the 906
    > > work as well to drive the B&W's? Or would it be underpowered?
    >
    > $400 won't buy you much in the way of even a 2-channel amp, unless you
    > get a real steal used. (And the low demand for 3-channel amps makes
    > them a poor buy, generally.) Which Denon do you have, and how powerful
    > is it? Although NAD makes decent affordable gear (if you don't mind
    > schlepping it to the repair shop occasionally), I have a hard time
    > believing that your Denon won't drive your front speakers just as well
    > as a 3X30 NAD will. The best advice might be to save your money, but
    > I'd want to know more details about what you have now--specific
    > receiver and all speakers.
    >
    > bob

    Based on the responses, I am beginning to think that I should put my
    money into just a two-channel amp, and simply run the center speaker
    off of the Denon receiver. The Denon is an AVR-1700 and the speakers
    are B&W 603 S2s (the left and right) and the CC6 S2 (center). So, now
    that I've shifted the gameplan a bit, what brands/models of
    (two-channel) amps would you recommend? The upper limit on my budget
    for this amp is $600. The reason that I am leaning towards NAD is that
    I would like to eventually have a matching set of gear -- CD player,
    DVD player, amp, etc.

    Along those lines, I may as well ask another question that I am really
    curious about. My current CD/DVD player is a Toshiba SD-2109,
    definitely nothing special. I would like to upgrade to a much better CD
    player. Assuming that I am going to build out a NAD-based set of gear,
    I am looking at the C251i, or perhaps springing for the C541 (or
    C541i). What are your thoughts on that? Are there better deals out
    there?

    Finally, one more quick question. How much sonic degradation am I going
    to get by having the Denon reciever be the preamp? That is, I am going
    to have to run the preamps outs from the (NAD?) CD player *through* the
    Denon receiver and then to the two-channel power amp. Would I be better
    off buying an integrated amp instead? Or should I just invest in a
    power amp and add a better receiver or preamp later down the line?

    Thanks again for all your help!


    -- P
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