Advice on expanding system


New member
Username: Jocdocnh

New Hampshire USA

Post Number: 1
Registered: Jul-06
I have a 15yr old 2channel stereo system that I'd like to expand into a surround sound system for theater as well. I have a pair of Aragon amps biamped currently providing 400watts per channel driving a set of B&W 801's..I'd like to add the needed 5 more channels to get to a 7.1 channel system. I saw a California Audio Labs 5ch. amp on eBay for $2500 that gives 200w/ch. Are they out of business? can't find them on web and their land line is disconnected. Would you touch that unit (demo)? I've also considered Outlaw equipment which seems to give good bang for the buck. Would you keep the Aragons and add 5ch of another amp or start over with 7ch unit? Also, ideas on speakers..I'm thinking of using the 801's for the front channels and adding center ch. sides and rears..recommendations? Do I need to add power hungry speakers like the B&W's to be able to balance the system? Also, what do people think about the Outlaw preamps? Thanks for your ideas.

New member
Username: Jocdocnh

New Hampshire USA

Post Number: 2
Registered: Jul-06
I haven't gotten any responses to this original post..I'd really appreciate some feedback. I have learned that Calif. Audio is OOB so i'm less inclined to buy a unit of theirs. I have to say the Outlaw is still looking pretty good to me. I bought a B&W HTM7 center channel speaker from the 700 series to go with the 801's so I've got 3channels covered wherever I end up using the 801's. I guess I'm still wondering about using the Aragon 4004's as 200w/ch x 4 versus 400w/ch x 2 and adding 5 more channels with Outlaw amp. I know the speakers are ordinarily the key decision but since I have the 801's and like the sound there, I'm planning to audition some more B&W's to add. Thoughts please on the amp situation?

Gold Member
Username: Nuck

Post Number: 3412
Registered: Dec-04
Hi John, sorry I missed your first post.
Nice problem you have there. The speakers you have are very very nice, as your power so far.

I recently have been working with B&W group on my own stuff, since B&W owns Rotel and Classe and has for over one year.
Seems these guys have been in bed for a while, and after a long chat, here's the skinny.
For 6 series speakers, they use Rotel. For us, that means normal gear(rotel, nad, others).
For the 7 series, the slope becomes more steep, depending on the model.
Now the 8 series is designed for very clean power, such as you now have.
Of course, my questions went to them in reference to Classe power, as they have done a lot together.
Have you heard any Classe amps?

Otherwise, the Outlaws (monoblock) I've heard seemed quite linear, although they were powering stats. Lots of reserve. The newer 200m seem to be quite sleek, and I wonder if the cap banks have the same reserve as the older ones. But considering the depth of gear you have now, an external cap bank might not be so much.

Another member suggested Nait gear as I like the Rotel 'house sound', these could be very favorable in your rears/secondaries. If Rotel sound good, Nain/Naim is the sound on steroids(much like the Outlaws I think.)

Have a look around, mate!

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