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scleary20's picture
Last seen: 6 years 2 months ago
Joined: Sep 25 2008 - 4:42pm
B&W 683 Amplifier Help


I recently just bought my first pair of good loud speakers in the B&w 683's. These are a huge step up from my previous cheap Klipsch bookshelfs. Before I purchased the system I kind of went the backwards way about it and purchased all the extra source equipment knowing that one day it would be for a great pair of speakers. Just to give you an idea I currently have for music:

Onkyo TX-SR707
Pro-Ject DebutIII
Oppo BDP-83

now this system is going to double as my television system so would also have:
Tivo Premier

So after opening the speakers and breaking them in, I started to feel like it was lacking something. The bass extension wasn't as low as it had been in the store and something about the midrange seemed off for some artists vocal's. My first assumption would have to be that the speakers are being under powered. The Onkyo lists as being 100w/channel but I am fairly certain that is not what I am receiving on the speakers.

So my question is what can I look for, in a decent amplifier around $300 that I can connect to the pre-outs of the Onkyo. I know that this is not optimal but currently I do not have the money to invest in a whole new preamp/amp combination. The b&w's are rated up to 200w a channel.

Does anyone have experience with these speakers as well as what they may be amping them with?



Jan Vigne
Jan Vigne's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Mar 18 2006 - 12:57pm
Re: B&W 683 Amplifier Help

I would encourage you to learn what I consider to be the single most important lesson of all in audio; don't just throw money at a problem.

B&W's tend to range from relatively easy to drive to rather difficult. However, the Onkyo should be sufficient until you've worked out other issues in your system and room. Merely adding a new amplifier will be somewhat unrewarding if the underlying causes of poor sound remain.

Jim Tavegia
Jim Tavegia's picture
Last seen: Never ago
Joined: Sep 1 2005 - 4:27pm
Re: B&W 683 Amplifier Help

You don't mention if the speakers are new, but if they are you should put about 200 hours on them before making any new gear decisions. That is what I would be doing.

Secondly, what was the amp (integrated or preamp/amp combo you auditioned them with? I might not be convinced that just combining your receiver with a new amp would work.

You have more detective work to do and remember that your room and the dealer's acoustical properties are also different. I doubt this is as simple as an amp change. We have all gone through this so don't panic and spend more money right away.

Once the speakers are broken in you may find all is well afterall. If that is not the issue then you have to decide if the expense of a new amp IS what you need to consider or are some room acoustic treatments are in order. Think of all the speaker movements the reviewers go through to find their sonic bliss in THEIR rooms.

jackfish's picture
Last seen: 4 years 1 week ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
Re: B&W 683 Amplifier Help

More than double your price limit, but a pair of Emotiva UPA-1 monoblocks (200 watts RMS) for $708 delivered would drive those B&W 683s nicely. For around your price point the UPA-2 (125 watts RMS per channel) would cost you $374 delivered. You can try either solution for 30 days and if you don't want it return it for a full purchase price refund. They also have B-stock with full five-year warranty which is reduced $25-$50 per unit.

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