Wife green lights new system...now what?!! B&W w/NAD or Marantz


Ready 2 Buy
I'm in pure shopping mode and completely overwhelmed...but with the help of your comments on this forum, I'm quickly narrowing the possibilities. I'm planning for HT and music, and setting up a system in a room approx. 20x15 w/10' ceiling.

I started with Denon on the drawing board, but after auditioning the 2803, found it to be to crisp or dry. Now considering something "warmer" (if that's the right term).
B&W speakers/NAD/Marantz

I'm in love with the B&W 600 series speakers (probably 603 S3 towers up front with matched center/sub woofer, and 601 S3s in back).

I'm interested in a new NAD 773 w/T532 DVD, or a Marantz 7400 w/DVD 4300 or 6400. Hoping to find these models in stores in November?

Has anyone matched the current model NAD or Marantz AV receivers with B&W speakers? I thnk I'm getting close to a price range here where I can consider Rotel as well...but I haven't found that much info on Rotel. (Overall budget between $4 and $5K.)

Also, I'm wondering if I can ratchet my speaker configuration down a bit to save $$ and still adequately handle these receivers power outputs without giving up to much in sound quality. Maybe go with B&W 602 S3's up front w/matched center and sub, and 600 S3s in the back.

I'd like the benefit of some advise here before I have conversations with a sales person who will no doubt have to balance their own best interest with mine when making recommendations. Any thoughts or recommendations would be appreciated.

John A.
Other posts here report that an NAD receiver with B&W speakers is an outstanding combination and I think you are talking about a top-quality HT system. There are always alternatives. I can personally recommend, warmly, the NAD T532 DVD-player and I would not save by going down to the T512. My speakers are comparable (but older) Kef models with large fronts and smaller surrounds. Kef and B&W are old rivals with similar high build quality and audio priorities. You can't go wrong with B&W and they might please your wife more if what she likes is appearance (no disrespect, females can be audiophiles too but, as my wife says, the details seem to be a bloke thing).

My receiver is a 3-4 year old NAD T760 (replaced by T752) that lacks nothing, has wonderful sound, tons and tons of power even at stated 5 x 60 W, and is built like a tank, leaving me wondering about all these stories of NADs with problems. It could be said it looks like a tank, too. As regards family, once you have set it up (you should do that) then it is very simple to operate and has no flashing lights or unnecessary control functions: you can trust children to use it and they will easily learn how to switch surround modes, no problem.

Let the dealer know you want the best sound and take some of your own DVDs and familar CDs to test. If the saleman stays with you in the test you will quickly find out from his comments whether he knows anything. Take your time and remember you want lasting high-quality sound not instant impact. Listen for the details in the CDs you already know well.

John A.
PS Take wife along to the audition. Apart from the fact that she must like it, too, you can play "good-cop, bad-cop" and then even a forked-tongued salesman will have to talk sense if he wants a sale.

In this price range...check out outlaw 7100/950 combination for $1598. Sound wise...this setup gives up nothing to the fine receivers you're currently considering. :)

Ready 2 Buy
Thanks John A...you've confirmed my gut that has me leaning towards the NAD. The Outlaw 7100/950 combination looks interesting...I just need to get better educated on "separates"...fear of the unknown I guess. Can't say I especially like the look of the Outlaws...but I do like the fact that they don't look like everyone else. They're growing on me already.

Anyone care to comment on the Outlaw/B&W speaker combination? The DM602 S3's at the front of my speaker config should work right... or should I go up to a tower with more power handling capabilities?

John A.
Ready 2 Buy,

Hawk is your guy, and there are others who post who will know. Outlaw seems to have no wish to export, except to Canada. Here in Europe, I like everything I read about Outlaw, but have never seen or heard one. Exclusivity can be an attraction in itself, of course! Let us know what you find out.

Ready 2 Buy:

The B+Ws are an excellent system. If you want to save a little cash, replace the 603s on your proposed system with 602.5 S3s. I don't think you will notice a difference. The 602.5s are a floorstanding speaker, but as a pure two way, it is $300 less in price than the 603s. Good for your size room, too. Additionally, I agree that the 600s will do fine as your rear surrounds. That will save you another $100. Most people spend too much on their rear surrounds. I do recommend you spend a little extra for the better center speaker, the LCR 600 rather than the LCR 60. It is $150 more, but it is worth it as the 60 just doesn't have the detail of the 600 center. If you got the 602.5 fronts, with an LCR 600 center and 600s for the rear, you are up to ~$1550.

As for the Outlaws, they are a little cooler sounding than the NAD receiver. Their sound is closer to that of Rotel, which is a little leaner and somewhat crisp, but certainly not "dry" as the Denon you heard. I actually think you will be happier with the NAD for those speakers rather than the Outlaw separates, but it is a close call (but the real price of the Outlaws is about $1698 because you have to add the cost of interconnects).

With a 762 and a 532 DVD player (superb unit, BTW, and much better than the Marantz DVD player IMHO) added to the B+W system described above, you will have spent close to $3K, and you still need a sub for a full HT system. I highly recommend the Hsu Research VTF-2 for $489, which is a killer sub for the price (check it out at www.hsuresearch.com). I calculate your system price for this system to be about $3400, which is right in your budget.

Good luck!

Ready 2 Buy
Thanks Hawk...I'm definitely leaning towards the NAD...I called a few dealers and nobody seems to have NAD 762s in stock...and no firm availability on the new 773s. I'm in Houston Texas...are the NADs that hard to get? One dealer suggested I put down a deposit and get on the waiting list for when they do become available.

FYI, I'm talking to dealers in Houston and Austin, Texas.

Ready 2 Buy,

I just purchased a 762 from Saturday Audio Exchange (www.saturdayaudio.com). They are a dealer based in Chicago, but do phone orders for those out of state. I got it for $899. Last I heard, they only had a few left. Give them a call soon and see if they have any more in stock. The new 763 is supposed to be in stock around November 1.
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