AVR for B&W 602 S3 - T752 or SR7300 or 2803?


Hi all, long post. My apologies...but I'm getting really really close... :P

Some may recall I tried to buy a NAD T752 two weeks ago but the local dealer ran out of stock. Today I called again & they're still out.

Not wanting to waste a Saturday dayoff, I visited another dealer to listen to the Marantz/Denon again.

1) This shop is big on B&W. I think I should thank them. After just 5min of listening (I did end up spending 2+ hrs there, just to be 100% sure), I scratched my original plan of buying Polk RM6700 for my tiny apartment & decided to go all the way with 602 S3 fronts, LCR60 S3 Center, 600 S3 rears. If I have to mount everything on the ceiling to save space, so be it! :P

Did I make the right choice by going with B&W?

FYI, if it matters, my living/dining room measures 21'L x 13'W x 8'H. Since the kitchen is 1/2 open with a 6'W x 3.5'H opening over the counter top, I figured I can *almost* add another 8'L to the count, ie living/dining/kitchen is 29'L x 13' W.

2) If I assume the B&Ws are a good choice, which AVRs will be a good match? From previous posts I heard T752 will definitely be good, what about the other two? All 3 units are exactly the same price, which at least made budgeting easier.

The interesting thing is, this dealer carries both Marantz SR7300 & Denon 2803. But everyone in that store from owner to sales *recommended* me to take the Denon. I asked why & they said it's a better value compared to the Marantz. I told the guy about my NAD vs Marantz vs Denon delimma. He said he is unfamiliar with NADs, but I should skip the Marantz & try to choose between the T752 & 2803. Humm...

They only had the Marantz hooked up in the sound room however (why you may ask, if they wanted me to buy a Denon). They said all the Denons are still in boxes unpacked. I guess I can bug them to setup a Denon if necessary.

3) I am still aiming for 70-75% Music & 25-30% HT. I assume for Music, T752 will be cleanest, followed by SR7300, then 2803. Would I actually be able to hear the *cleaner* difference using these B&Ws? I think I am a sharp listener but I am no orchestra conductor. Unfortunately there is no way to hook up the T752 to the B&Ws as they are from different dealers.

I have heard only positive things about B&Ws. Also, if your dealer really prefers Denon, why isn't he showcasing that brand instead of Marantz? I would be suspicious of ulterior motives...

What a waste. Pairing B&W's to a Marantz or Denon:( . The NAD would be the least of the beasts for the B&W's.

My compliments on your choice of speakers. I have some older 601s and B+W is a very fine speaker line. You clearly made the right choice to move up to the B+Ws from the Polks, as well. Those Polks are a good system, but way too small for your room. The B+Ws should do just fine.

As for a receiver, I happen to think all three receivers will do well with the B+Ws, but some are going to do better than others. Given the fact that you are suggesting you will use this for 70-75% music, I think that eliminates the Denon right away. I have a Denon (I am listening to it right now) and the sound is polite and somewhat dry. When pushed, the musical reproduction gets a bit grainy sounding, not what you want when listening to music. The B+Ws are accurate enough that they will expose the flaws in your receiver's sound. (No sense in getting really nice speakers and then pairing them with an inadequate receiver). So to answer your question directly: yes, you would hear a difference through the B+Ws.

Both NAD and Marantz have a well deserved reputations for being very musical receivers. The sound is warm and liquid-like, and wonderful to listen to. I personally prefer the NAD, but I really like the 7300, as well. But I am also suspicous of why the salesman tried to steer you away from the Marantz. I suspect they have some 2803s to move. I am also surprised to hear of a dealer that has both Marantz and Denon as they are both owned by the same holding company. The parent has a stated objective to have those two brands sold through different channels--they don't want to be selling one brand against another in the same stores. Perhaps your dealer is dropping the Denon line in favor of the Marantz and wants to clear out the Denons (just a thought . . . ).

I would suggest that you await the delivery of the 752--I cannot believe it would be much longer. Tell your NAD dealer he risks losing a sale if he can't get it here in a reasoanble amount of time. Take the 752 home and set it up, in stereo first, and try it out. See what you think. You have already heard the Marantz driving the B+Ws, so now audition the 752 at your home through the B+Ws. If you don't like the sound, take it back and get the Marantz. (Alternatively, you can get a 752 over the internet if you don't want to wait any longer--I could suggest a few dealers who have them in stock at a good price).

Hi all thanks for the responses.

I think I just needed the pros on this board to give me a reality check, and reaffirm my selection of the B&W 600 series + NAD T752 combo is money well spent, that's all. :)

That B&W dealer has a tiny store. I said they're big on B&W because they have alot of stuff from the 800 down to the 300 series on display. These are all inside their one & only soundroom. Only 1 receiver in the room, yup the Marantz SR7300. They have a Denon AVR1803 hooked up to Mission FS1 in the main area beside a bigscreen. That's it.

They only stock the SR7300 & AVR1803/2803, not the complete line. I guess being only 1 of 3 B&W dealers in a city of 2+ million allows them to be selective. I'm sure their main revenue is from selling B&Ws & not AVRs. Also, I got the feeling the owner runs the shop more as a hobby. :)

I have a few more questions though:

1) I have a 8" Polk PSW250 sub with Line & Speaker Level In (no LFE) & adjustable Xover Freq 80Hz-160Hz. How should I hook this up to the NAD & B&Ws? Polk recommends hooking up the receiver's speaker out to the sub, then sub's speaker out to the fronts. Kinda weird.

2) I wasn't kidding when I mention mounting the B&Ws from the ceiling. The only way to place the pair of rear 600 S3 is to wall mount them 1 foot down from the ceiling & not at ear level. Will this be a problem for music (EARS or DVD concerts)? For H/T?

3) Suggestions for speaker cables & digital outs? My plan is to buy 75' to 100' of 12AWG entry level Monster Cable or Acoustic Research to hook up the 5.1, budget $100. And also a Coax out for the DVD/CD source, budget $50. I also heard about Kimber Kable & thought their braided wire approach made sense, but not sure about their price/quality.

4) Any idea how much SaturdayAudio & the like are selling a T762 for? I wouldn't mind knowing how much more I have to fork out vs the 752/742.

Thanks a bunch,



OK, now I understand what your B+W dealer is doing--he has "cherry picked" the receiver lines that he carries. The 1803 and 2803 are there as the only receiver he carries at their respective price points and the Marantz 7300 is what he offers at a higher price point.

1) As for your sub, if it has a "Line Level" in, then connect it to the receiver using the subwoofer out jack on the receiver directly to the line level in jack on the sub. This will give you the LFE. Ignore Polk's recommendation.

2) We all have some kind of installation issues. If you need to mount them from the ceiling, do it. I have seen some special ceiling mounts for speakers from Omni-Mount. Check out their website for recommended installations (speaker specific recommendations-pretty cool).

3) I recommend the Monster Cable XP speaker wire. It is reasonably priced 16AWG wire that is all you need and it is very high quality. You really don't need 12AWG. If you are looking to put the wire into the walls or ceiling, you will "Architectural wire", available from Parts Express (www.partsexpress.com) at reasonable prices. I particularly like their 14AWG in wall wire. As for interconnects, any Monster or Kimber Kable work well, but I don't believe you will hear any difference regardless of price. They all certainly sound better than the cheap stuff included with the electronics, but once you get a quality interconnect, I believe you have to have high-priced separates before you are going to hear any difference. Oh, also check out Tara Labs interconencts. They are really good and reasonably priced. You can get them from DMC Electronics (www.dmc-electronics.com).

4) No idea, sorry. However, I have priced a 762 at a few other dealers and they are asking anywhere from $999 to $1060.
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