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Recommendations for amp to pair with B&W DM603 S3s


Joebah
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I am planning to again start using my B&W DM603 S3s (old, I know, but I have always enjoyed them).

 

My Rotel finally bit the dust after many years of service.

 

I am starting to do my own research, but thought I would see if anyone has a suggestion for a capable, but good-value-for-money amp to use with these speakers. I really don't know anything about amps/receivers.

 

Here are the specs from an old Stereophile review B&W DM603 S3 loudspeaker | Stereophile.com:

 

Description: "2½"-way vented-box loudspeaker. Drive-units: 1" (25mm) aluminum-dome tweeter, 6.5" (165mm) woven-Kevlar cone bass/midrange, 6.5" (165mm) aluminum-cone woofer. Crossover frequencies: 150Hz, 4kHz. Frequency response: 44Hz–22kHz, ±3dB on reference axis. Frequency range: –6dB at 34Hz and 42kHz. Dispersion within 2dB of response on reference axis: over 40° arc horizontal, over 10° arc vertical. Sensitivity: 90dB/2.83V/m. Impedance: 8 ohms nominal, 3 ohms minimum. Power handling: 25–150W into 8 ohms on unclipped program. Harmonic distortion: second and third harmonics, <1%, 55Hz–20kHz (90dB SPL, 1m). Maximum recommended cable impedance: 0.1 ohm.

 

Thanks!

Office desktop: iMac ((Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015) (4 GHz Intel Core i7) (512GB SSD) (32GB Ram)) => USB (Kimber Kable USB Silver) => V-Link 192 USB Input => V-Link Coax Output (AQ Sidewinder) => Schiit Bifrost Multibit Coax Input => Schiit Bifrost Multibit RCA Output => Schitt Pyst => Schitt Asgard 2 => (Audioquest - Mini-3) => Audioengine HD6 (slave connected with Audioquest Type 4 cable) (Pangea AC-14 Power Cord) (IsoAcoustic L8R155 stands) => Audioquest Sidewinders => Audioengine S8 Subwoofer

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Options are endless- some people might call me a heretic but for me the greatest value would be the Emotiva mini-x a-100. For just over 200UsD this amp will make your B&Ws sing. Only downside it only have one input. You could also explore the used market for used NAD, Marantz, Rega, Rotel etc etc. Plenty of options under 1k.

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Anyone have any experience with the Schiit Ragnorak?

Office desktop: iMac ((Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015) (4 GHz Intel Core i7) (512GB SSD) (32GB Ram)) => USB (Kimber Kable USB Silver) => V-Link 192 USB Input => V-Link Coax Output (AQ Sidewinder) => Schiit Bifrost Multibit Coax Input => Schiit Bifrost Multibit RCA Output => Schitt Pyst => Schitt Asgard 2 => (Audioquest - Mini-3) => Audioengine HD6 (slave connected with Audioquest Type 4 cable) (Pangea AC-14 Power Cord) (IsoAcoustic L8R155 stands) => Audioquest Sidewinders => Audioengine S8 Subwoofer

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The DM603 S3 specs indicate: "Power handling: 25–150W into 8 ohms on unclipped program."

 

Do I need to stay in the 25-150W range?

 

Based on that range what would be a good minimum powered amp to match with them?

 

Is it ok (or even good) to exceed that range (e.g., 220 watts at 8 ohms)?

 

Is there an ideal?

 

Thanks!

Office desktop: iMac ((Retina 5K, 27-inch, Late 2015) (4 GHz Intel Core i7) (512GB SSD) (32GB Ram)) => USB (Kimber Kable USB Silver) => V-Link 192 USB Input => V-Link Coax Output (AQ Sidewinder) => Schiit Bifrost Multibit Coax Input => Schiit Bifrost Multibit RCA Output => Schitt Pyst => Schitt Asgard 2 => (Audioquest - Mini-3) => Audioengine HD6 (slave connected with Audioquest Type 4 cable) (Pangea AC-14 Power Cord) (IsoAcoustic L8R155 stands) => Audioquest Sidewinders => Audioengine S8 Subwoofer

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The DM603 S3 specs indicate: "Power handling: 25–150W into 8 ohms on unclipped program."

 

Do I need to stay in the 25-150W range?

 

Based on that range what would be a good minimum powered amp to match with them?

 

Is it ok (or even good) to exceed that range (e.g., 220 watts at 8 ohms)?

 

Is there an ideal?

 

Thanks!

 

Not sure if you are looking for an integrated amp, or a straight stereo power amp, but I'd lean towards the high side of power output. There's a large variation in the "loudness" of program material. Music with a wide dynamic range seems to benefit from having more reserve power, and B&W's like to have a substantial amount of power.

if you go with a straight power amp, an output level limiter knob on the back is a useful feature. That way if you are controlling volume digitally, you don't have to dither it down too much running the amp full tilt.

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