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Integrated Amp suggestion to drive KEF R700

Wharfedale Diamond 11 Series

Shylo

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Greetings All !!

I recently bought a pair of KEF R700 floorstanders, replacing my earlier KEF Q7's. Very Happy with the improvement in playback straight out of the box. Am sure it will only get better

My KEF R700's are currently being driven by my Denon PMA 1500ae integrated amplifier (70 watts per channel @ 8 ohms). I have been advised that an integrated amplifier with a power output north of 100 watts per channel / closer to 150 watts per channel, should make my R700's sing. Is this advice accurate ? If yes, please advise biggest bang for my buck amplifier upgrade

Restof my rig is in my signature

Thanks in advance !!


Note : Fortunately I am not yet bitten by the "upgrade bug". Have been listening to my existing set-up (pre R700's) for the last 12 years. I cannot afford to change any of my audio equipment at short intervals (given associated financial loss). So, PLEASE help me get the amplifier selection right the FIRST TIME. I need an amplifier that I can enjoy for atleast the next 7-10 years
 

arunkvivek

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Hello Shylo,
What's your budget? Acoustic Portrait has launched a fresh set of products. You can check out their reference Thiaga range if you are interested.
 

MaSh

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What's your room size? That would dictate whether the new speakers need more power or not. Also, do you find a difference between the previous speakers and these? Do you find them lacking? If not, I don't see any reason why you should change your amplifier. Also, 70w to 100w is not going make a huge difference.

If you really want to upgrade, look at. Pre amp + power amp combo. That should give you a noticeable difference. Only if you really want to go to that level.

MaSh
 

Aanuj

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At a point of time I used to have the Denon PMA1500AE and the DCD 1500AE , absolute killer for the money. Though Denon modestly suggest the power to be 70 watts per channel the amp in full flow is an absolute monster and its not actually the wattage that made PMA1500AE such a monster but actually the current it could output. It can drive any speaker with ease. If you want to upgrade from the 1500AE to something more power full the next best upgrade is a Power Amplifier. If you dont buy a Bryston 3/4BSST, Usher R1.5 or Parasound A21 its better to stick to the 1500AE for now. The KEF R700 has a midrange to die for and the only problem a 1500AE/1600NE present to it is a slight hardening of the sound when driven hard or almost antisocial volume levels this is where a power amp will better or refine over the Denon integrated. The other way round is to get Tube buffer or Cayin tubed CD player in to the mix to smoothen things up.
 

RRR

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In my opinion, the Bryston will match better with the Kef if you do plan to get a power amp as Aanuj has mentioned.
 

Shylo

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What's your room size? That would dictate whether the new speakers need more power or not. Also, do you find a difference between the previous speakers and these? Do you find them lacking? If not, I don't see any reason why you should change your amplifier. Also, 70w to 100w is not going make a huge difference.

If you really want to upgrade, look at. Pre amp + power amp combo. That should give you a noticeable difference. Only if you really want to go to that level.

MaSh
Your reply is much appreciated. My room is a rather odd shape, difficult to explain. Starts out with a ceiling at 7 feet, thereafter the ceiling is at 21 feet -- rather voluminous room. Having said that, I sit about 10 feet from my speakers. Coming to the sound quality -- it was a significant jump up. There is so much more clarity across the board. What really struck me, was how holographic the sound feels from where I sit, compared to the previous speakers. Have stated away from a pre-power combo, as I thought, I wouldn't get anything half decent within my budget
 

Shylo

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At a point of time I used to have the Denon PMA1500AE and the DCD 1500AE , absolute killer for the money. Though Denon modestly suggest the power to be 70 watts per channel the amp in full flow is an absolute monster and its not actually the wattage that made PMA1500AE such a monster but actually the current it could output. It can drive any speaker with ease. If you want to upgrade from the 1500AE to something more power full the next best upgrade is a Power Amplifier. If you dont buy a Bryston 3/4BSST, Usher R1.5 or Parasound A21 its better to stick to the 1500AE for now. The KEF R700 has a midrange to die for and the only problem a 1500AE/1600NE present to it is a slight hardening of the sound when driven hard or almost antisocial volume levels this is where a power amp will better or refine over the Denon integrated. The other way round is to get Tube buffer or Cayin tubed CD player in to the mix to smoothen things up.
Thanks for such a detailed reply. I infact have the Denon DCD 700AE playing through my Audiolab M-DAC !! I seldom listen beyond a little more than regular listening volumes -- let's say 10:30 on the volume control (hope you got me there ??). If you are saying the PMA 1500AE is as capable as you say it is -- then I think I will stick with it for some more time and continue my search. Thanks for the names. Cheers
 

Shylo

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In my opinion, the Bryston will match better with the Kef if you do plan to get a power amp as Aanuj has mentioned.
Point noted RRR. Many thanks !! Any thoughts on the Trigon Exxceed ??
 

raghupb

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Greetings All !!

I recently bought a pair of KEF R700 floorstanders, replacing my earlier KEF Q7's. Very Happy with the improvement in playback straight out of the box. Am sure it will only get better

My KEF R700's are currently being driven by my Denon PMA 1500ae integrated amplifier (70 watts per channel @ 8 ohms). I have been advised that an integrated amplifier with a power output north of 100 watts per channel / closer to 150 watts per channel, should make my R700's sing. Is this advice accurate ? If yes, please advise biggest bang for my buck amplifier upgrade

Restof my rig is in my signature

Thanks in advance !!


Note : Fortunately I am not yet bitten by the "upgrade bug". Have been listening to my existing set-up (pre R700's) for the last 12 years. I cannot afford to change any of my audio equipment at short intervals (given associated financial loss). So, PLEASE help me get the amplifier selection right the FIRST TIME. I need an amplifier that I can enjoy for atleast the next 7-10 years

Stay with the rig with new speakers for some time.
70W is decent enough, though the speakers do love a bit of grunt.
If it sounds good and sweet for now, just sit back and enjoy.
If upgrading, get at least double the capacity of current setup (say 150/200W @ 8 ohms; and 250/300W @ 4 ohms)

I say this from experience having KEF R300s at home.
Marantz PM 7001 (70Wpc) can comfortably drive them.
I have a couple of monoblocks driving them in my rig.

Cheers,
Raghu
 
Last edited:

jls001

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I have been advised that an integrated amplifier with a power output north of 100 watts per channel / closer to 150 watts per channel, should make my R700's sing. Is this advice accurate ?

Concentrate on improving your speaker placement. Almost all of us grossly under utilise the potential of our chains due to sub-optimal speaker placement.

Also, be wary of anyone who tells you that higher wattage in amps is automatically superior.
 

Shinto

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If you are looking for a comparatively cheaper and best option,I would suggest a Yamaha AS1100 ,AS2100 if available or a used Yamaha AS 1000, AS 2000.
They are smooth ,neutral(warm side),well built amplifiers with ample power.

I myself use Yamaha A S1000 to drive my Harbeth 30.1's.

Harbeths are easy drive as per the manufacturer,but Yamaha brings out the Harbeth's potential much better compared to my Integra 30.1 power amp(Pre is FX audio tube amp).

(specs below for comparison)

Yamaha A S1000
  • 90 watts @ 8 ohms
  • 140 watts @ 4 ohms
Integra 30.1
  • 2 x 115 W @ 3 Ω
  • 2 x 90W @ 4 Ω
  • 2 x 45 W @ 8 Ω
I am not sure how Yamaha pairs with KEF.
 

Shinto

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eddie_fox

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@Shylo - My recommendation would immediately be the 'Trigon Exxceed'. At 130W at 8 ohms and 200 something at 4ohms, they have enough power to drive most speakers. Very musical and has a great Dac.
Contact Jochen if you want a new one. It is a little over 2 lakhs new, but if you are keeping I may even think of selling mine, not sure yet though. But at least you can borrow mine and listen for a bit if you like.
 

drkrack

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Greetings All !!

I recently bought a pair of KEF R700 floorstanders, replacing my earlier KEF Q7's. Very Happy with the improvement in playback straight out of the box. Am sure it will only get better

My KEF R700's are currently being driven by my Denon PMA 1500ae integrated amplifier (70 watts per channel @ 8 ohms). I have been advised that an integrated amplifier with a power output north of 100 watts per channel / closer to 150 watts per channel, should make my R700's sing. Is this advice accurate ? If yes, please advise biggest bang for my buck amplifier upgrade

Restof my rig is in my signature

Thanks in advance !!


Note : Fortunately I am not yet bitten by the "upgrade bug". Have been listening to my existing set-up (pre R700's) for the last 12 years. I cannot afford to change any of my audio equipment at short intervals (given associated financial loss). So, PLEASE help me get the amplifier selection right the FIRST TIME. I need an amplifier that I can enjoy for atleast the next 7-10 years
If you go by the Specs of R700 almost everything can be clarified.

Recommend Amp Power - 25 to 200wpc
  1. Impedence - 8ohm nominal, dips to 3.2ohm minimum : chances of high current draw
  2. Freq Response - 37hz to 40khz : will it be possible to reach 37hz convincingly with 25wpc amp or even 75 wpc amp?
  3. Max Spl - 113db : can you reach 100db with 25wpc? Even if you listen below 80db, you'd still want the speakers to be as detailed as they're in higher volumes. Is that possible with say, 75 wpc Amp?
  4. Sensitivity - 89db : Not bad but not great either.
  5. Type - 3 Way Bass reflex, two 6.5" drivers : We expect minimum 200wpc in subwoofer with 8" drivers, your Amp is looking at the crossover mostly.
Answers to most of the questions is unlikely in my experience. I'd not think of driving them with any amp below 150wpc. The Manfacturer usually mentions lower limits of Amplification requirements in a lenient fashion for commercial reasons. I usually mate with 75% or above of the max recommended amplification suggested by Manfacturer. Your Denon is no doubt a great amp but I'd go with higher amplification for R700.(The question here is about how well the amp is going to drive).

2L is a good budget, There's a Bryston @150wpc and Plinius 8000 @175wpc, Parasound a21 @250wpc, and Bryston 6B st @250wpc for sale on HFV classifieds. Look for them if you are open to pre-owned stuff, All are within your budget.
 
Last edited:

sandeepmohan

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Is this advice accurate ?

Amitabh,

No. An increase in watts alone means nothing. Quality of power is important. I am not entirely convinced of what Denon have been selling in the last decade, especially stereo components. Like wise for the the cheaper Marantz stereo gear

When I was auditioning the old Kef iQ9 for a friend, Pro Fx had it connected to their top of the line Denon Integrated costing almost 2 lacs. Yes; it did sound good. We got Pro Fx to send the speaker for a home demo and when connected to the Rotel RB-870BX, the sound completely transformed. That Denon was not doing justice to the iQ9.

To make the R700's sing, you need a really good integrated or head down the pre power route. Do try the Trigon Exceed. As a Trigon user, I highly recommend them.
 

Shylo

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Dec 3, 2013
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Stay with the rig with new speakers for some time.
70W is decent enough, though the speakers do love a bit of grunt.
If it sounds good and sweet for now, just sit back and enjoy.
If upgrading, get at least double the capacity of current setup (say 150/200W @ 8 ohms; and 250/300W @ 4 ohms)

I say this from experience having KEF R300s at home.
Marantz PM 7001 (70Wpc) can comfortably drive them.
I have a couple of monoblocks driving them in my rig.

Cheers,
Raghu
Thanks for responding
 
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