Matching amp and speaker


Unregistered guest
I can find a lot of information on this subject on the web. Although everybody seems to have their own thoughts on the subject, in general everybody agrees that driving speakers with a too feeble amp is bad. But what is a too feeble amp?

Right now I'm looking for a speaker to match with my NAD c320bee amp (which has a minimum continuous power of 2x50W and an IHF dynamic power of 110W at 8 ohm).

I listened to the B&W dm603 s3 floorstander which I thought was a nice combo with the NAD c320bee. But someone suggested that the NAD does not have enough power for the 603's and I risk creating distortion and blowing my speakers in the long run if I play them often loud. (my room is 36m2 but I might use them on parties sometimes). The B&W states a power handling of 20-150W at 8 ohm for the 603's. An impedance of 8 ohm with a minimum of 3. And a sensitivity of 90dB.

What do you think? Is this a good combination or asking for problems? I definitely don't want to blow my speakers!!

Should I be more modest and choose for the B&W dm602 s3 for example? The 602 has the same impedance and sensitivity but a stated power handling of 20-120W at 8 ohm

I would really appreciate multiple opinions on this problem because I don't want to go wrong with my first 'real' hifi set. Of course I prefer the sound of the 603's floorstanders over the 602's bookshelves but if you think it is not a wise choice I would choose the 602's.


Bronze Member
Username: Culp4684

Post Number: 15
Registered: Aug-04
Hey Barry,

That's really strange. I was just checking out these same speakers today. I'm looking for a good pair of floorstanders in the $ 700 to $1,000 range. The shop I was at had B&W 603, Boston Acoustic VR2 and Klipsch RF25. I'm kind of leaning towards the Boston. It will probably take me two or three more visits before I finally decide.

I wouldn't worry about that match. The specs say that the B&W can go as low as 25 wpc and it is an 8 ohm speaker. Plus, and I think others will tell you this as well, NAD has always been modest with their amp ratings.


Silver Member
Username: Landroval

Post Number: 521
Registered: Feb-04
If you fell unsure why not take the C352?

Unregistered guest
Doing some more searching I also read posts of people who match the NAD c320bee with the highly praised Quad 11L bookshelve speakers or the Dynaudio 42 bookshelve speakers.

But if I compare the stats of the Quad 11L (Recommended Maximum Amplifier power, normal impedance 6 ohm, sensitivity 86dB)

or the Dynaudio 42 (IEC long term handling power 150W, impedance 4 ohm, sensitivity 86dB)

with the B&W 603 floorstanders (Power handling 20-150W, impedance 8 ohm, sensitivity 90dB) I would say the B&W 603 is much easier to drive for the c320bee than the Quad 11L or the Dynaudio 42.

btw can't find any RMS figures

Arrrrrgggggghhhh.....all those different opinions :-), what should I do...

1. changing the c320bee/c521bee for a c352/c542
2. getting a more modest speaker like the B&W dm 602 s3
3. or should the combination c320bee/c521bee with the B&W 603's be just fine

Bronze Member
Username: Kaisuliina

Post Number: 11
Registered: Jul-04
How I like others are having problems too :-)! I thought searching information makes things more easy to decide but it seems to be rather opposite. You are not alone with your arrrrrrrrrrrghs. Good luck! (I'm sorry this didn't contribute to the subject.)

Bronze Member
Username: Culp4684

Post Number: 16
Registered: Aug-04
Usually, NAD and B& W components are sold at pretty reputable hi-fi shops. Did they offer any advice?

Unregistered guest
I decided I'm going for another listening session to test the c352 as well.

My dealer thinks I don't need to upgrade the c320bee to the c352 for the extra power (he says the difference is very little) to drive the B&W 603's.

He thinks the NAD c320bee should be enough power if you take the powerdrive and soft clipping into account. As long as I don't go crazy and drive the amp past 11 o'clock.

(I also called another store of the same chain and the people there advised me to go for the c352 haha...arrgghh)
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