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Amp for B&W 803 D4 - upgrade Emotiva XPA-3 Gen 1 to Mcintosh, Purify or Hypex Ncx500 or Nilai

thewas

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Try DM640 or 640i (pictured) - previous model, for the ones in your first picture at the back. Drivers may be hard to find, let's hope it's something else.

BW-Bowers-and-Wilkins-DM640-4-Way-Speaker-Pair-Speakers-5_480x480.jpg
Such B&W DM 640 where my first good loudspeakers in 1992, still have them today in my little loudspeaker collection, from the days where B&W cared more about neutral measurements.
 
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siggen

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Here is my in-room response of my 803d4s without and then with room correction. Behind me is a half wall going into kitchen that goes into a formal dining room. My space is very complicated, I bet yours is at least a little better.
Those curves look great. I have a rectangular room 17x15, which opens to the kitchen behind the MLP couch, on the long axis. Just got REW and Umik-1 microphone setup, but still learning. REW isn't showing base response as low as yours, near 20Hz. Is that with sub? Your EQ'd curves look great to me. what EQ is that ? Audyssey, Dirac etc on AVR or DSP? thx.
 

Loysius

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Those curves look great. I have a rectangular room 17x15, which opens to the kitchen behind the MLP couch, on the long axis. Just got REW and Umik-1 microphone setup, but still learning. REW isn't showing base response as low as yours, near 20Hz. Is that with sub? Your EQ'd curves look great to me. what EQ is that ? Audyssey, Dirac etc on AVR or DSP? thx.
I don't have a sub in this room. I'm only using a miniDSP. My room opens to a long kitchen and formal dining room behind my love seat lol. I'm going to eventually put a sub behind my MLP recliner. Regarding your lower freq response, you could see if you have any cancellations you can correct by adjusting placement or adding bass traps to lower reflected waves. You also might have the headroom to just heavily boost your lower freq response, you may not know unless you try it. Before I added the very dense bass trap beside my right speaker I was getting cancellations out of my left speaker's bass response.

Here is a better picture of my room.
 

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Doodski

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I don't have a sub in this room. I'm only using a miniDSP. My room opens to a long kitchen and formal dining room behind my love seat lol. I'm going to eventually put a sub behind my MLP recliner. Regarding your lower freq response, you could see if you have any cancellations you can correct by adjusting placement or adding bass traps to lower reflected waves. You also might have the headroom to just heavily boost your lower freq response, you may not know unless you try it. Before I added the very dense bass trap beside my right speaker I was getting cancellations out of my left speaker's bass response.

Here is a better picture of my room.
Hmmz. A suggestion regarding speakers and room placement. Those speakers are not in the optimal positions with them either side of the fireplace. Having them located either side of the chesterfield area would likely be better for imaging and sound. It might require a room furniture adjustment but it should be better sound.
 

Loysius

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Hmmz. A suggestion regarding speakers and room placement. Those speakers are not in the optimal positions with them either side of the fireplace. Having them located either side of the chesterfield area would likely be better for imaging and sound. It might require a room furniture adjustment but it should be better sound.
Thanks for the suggestion and I totally agree but in my defense this livingroom was meant to be aesthetically pleasing and was why I chose these B&W speakers instead of choosing a better measuring pair of speakers. My upstairs HT is much better and centers around Revel F328bes. You're entirely right that properly spaced fronts sounds way better. The change just wouldn't fit the intended goal. I'll at least drop the tv down to the mantle soon.

I might convert the patio into a dedicated HT/sun-room oneday. I just need time and money. I'd put blackout curtains and a 98" tv out there. Another thing I considered would be to put a drop down 140" screen above my patio doors on the inside, set the projector ceiling mounted above the counter and sink, reverse the direction of the opening door, and have the B&W speakers straddle the patio doors. That'd be really fun and the idea seems to not bother the ocd wife. Who knows, sky's the limit. I'd also just take a bigger house with a luckier layout.
 

GD Fan

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Here is my in-room response of my 803d4s without and then with room correction. Behind me is a half wall going into kitchen that goes into a formal dining room. My space is very complicated, I bet yours is at least a little better.
Great looking speakers. Others here may bitch about the FR curves off the shelf but they definitely nailed the looks.
 

Doodski

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I might convert the patio into a dedicated HT/sun-room oneday. I just need time and money. I'd put blackout curtains and a 98" tv out there. Another thing I considered would be to put a drop down 140" screen above my patio doors on the inside, set the projector ceiling mounted above the counter and sink, reverse the direction of the opening door, and have the B&W speakers straddle the patio doors. That'd be really fun and the idea seems to not bother the ocd wife. Who knows, sky's the limit. I'd also just take a bigger house with a luckier layout.
Go hard or go home...lol. :D
 

49Hz

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Hello, maybe I can help on that one. I previously own a pair of CM9S2 and move one year ago to 803d4. The system is in the living room (about 14x23 but with an additional open volume for the kitchen). 803d4 are a clear step up compared to CM9S2. They go much lower. With the CM9S2 you don’t have that chest impact. Due to that I bought a sub (REL S5) which extend bass. Blending with CM9S2 was quite easy. When I switched to 803d4, they were too much bass. One of my room mode (around 50Hz) is clearly excited. I get a umik-2 to measure on REW. The measurements have confirmed hearing. A big bump in the 50Hz region. In my room, 803d4 go down to 19Hz but the decrease is then very fast below 19Hz. This has brings some issues… Blending with the sub was not any more possible because the sub was not going so low in frequency with the same level. Thus, the sub goes away and is now replaced with bass trap. I am now in the process of upgrading the preamp and amp (most probably from Pass). Currently, I have a integrated Musical Fidelity M6Si. It is ok to drive the 803d4 but clearly you can have better.
 

Bach

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You must be a very lucky guy to get a extraordinary disount on the speakers and the amp.
Btw. A Rotel Michi is also a good match for a 804D4.
Any way, be aware not to mismatch a speaker with a (simple) AVR, which is primairly intended for movies.
 

Galliardist

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Hello, maybe I can help on that one. I previously own a pair of CM9S2 and move one year ago to 803d4. The system is in the living room (about 14x23 but with an additional open volume for the kitchen). 803d4 are a clear step up compared to CM9S2. They go much lower. With the CM9S2 you don’t have that chest impact. Due to that I bought a sub (REL S5) which extend bass. Blending with CM9S2 was quite easy. When I switched to 803d4, they were too much bass. One of my room mode (around 50Hz) is clearly excited. I get a umik-2 to measure on REW. The measurements have confirmed hearing. A big bump in the 50Hz region. In my room, 803d4 go down to 19Hz but the decrease is then very fast below 19Hz. This has brings some issues… Blending with the sub was not any more possible because the sub was not going so low in frequency with the same level. Thus, the sub goes away and is now replaced with bass trap. I am now in the process of upgrading the preamp and amp (most probably from Pass). Currently, I have an integrated Musical Fidelity M6Si. It is ok to drive the 803d4 but clearly you can have better.
How far down are they at 19Hz?
 

Galliardist

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View attachment 298100
Red curve is 803d4, blue curve is my previously own REL S5. I do not use EQ.
Interesting. B&W’s advertised figures for the bass (19Hz in room) is met in your room. I expected something closer to the REL plot from the speaker!

It doesn’t appear to be the screechy bright 803D2 that I ran a mile from, at least.
 

chronos1701

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Measurement looks quite good up to 400Hz. No real need for a sub in your situation i suppose?
 

49Hz

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Measurement looks quite good up to 400Hz. No real need for a sub in your situation i suppose?
I do not feel the need anymore and in any case, I would have to go for a much bigger/better one than the S5 to blend it properly. But to be honest, working with full range like 803d4 in a real room is much more difficult than to work with a smaller speakers and a sub. I think it would have been easier to work with 805d4 and a pair of subs. As mentioned, I am the way of acoustic treatment (with significant cost) to manage room mode issue excited by the 803d4. You do not see them on the curve but the first mode of the room in the 20-25Hz is crazy high in reverb time. Fortunately, the content in music in this range is quite unusual and thus it is not a big deal.
 
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siggen

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I don't see any high frequency brightness either. In fact, got a really nice, flattish (+/- 2dB) plot, with gentle high frequency roll-off after Audyssey, as checked by REW. In fact, the only problem is too high base for some reason after EQ. This is easily fixed by some base trim. Music and movies sound big and bold, as compared to my CM9s.

I went back and forth between the Emotiva XPA-3, the Denon by itself, and even my desktop Aiyima A08 for the fronts. I know they are supposed to sound the same, but at similar volume (checked by both a Umik-1 and an ASM-1 SPL meter), the Aiyima sounded more "effortless", followed by the Denon, followed by the Emotiva.

Based on some SPL calculations, and allowing for Audyssey reducing max volume by 10dB, I figured I need somewhere between 40 to 80 watts for the fronts. For now, I am using the Emotiva, but am still thinking about an amp upgrade. That 0.1% THD spec for the Emotiva still bothers me, even though I probably can't hear it.
 

Nordling

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Here is my in-room response of my 803d4s without and then with room correction. Behind me is a half wall going into kitchen that goes into a formal dining room. My space is very complicated, I bet yours is at least a little better.
Hi Loysius, I see you placed your 803d4s very near to the front wall. That might explain the peak at 40Hz without room correction. Did you consider placing them farther from the front wall? That will change the frequency response without room correction and might improve imaging too.
 
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siggen

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Still debating with myself here. So I switched to just the Denon x4300H. (Warning - subjective words - In a non blind test, it sounds cleaner but leaner than with the Emotiva XPA-3. )

1. I re-ran Audyssey, and somehow, now the max volume setting is back to 99, not the 88 it was before. Any reason why? I thought engaging Audyssey always reduced it to 88?

2. I am surprised at how much volume I can get at my MLP. Even playing at level 60 to 70 is about the max I would go before its deafening. Does this really mean I have 30dB headroom from almost level 100 ? That would be about 0.1 watts being used ? !! I doubt this very much. What am I missing? Speakers are 90dB sensitivity per spec, 14ft distance.

3. No matter what actual power is being used, it seems plenty loud and clean, if a little lean. So would I gain anything from changing my x4300H? Its really similar to the AVR-x3600H reviewed here, and that reviewed good enough.
 
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