Need a decent amp for my Bose 901 speakers

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RahulH

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I want to get a decent stereo amp for my Bose 901 speakers for my living room. My budget is a max of Rs 60K.
Can someone guide me as to which specific amps I should look for?
 

RahulH

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Thanks Neo for the suggestion. I will look at the 375 BEE as suggested.

The 372 is not available but here is a list of recommendations that I got from vendors:

NAD 355BEE, Cambridge Audio 840A V2, Denon PMA 700AE, Harman Kardon HK 970

Any views on the above would be helpful:confused:
 
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marsilians

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I dont think the Nad will be able to drive the Bose to the full extent , try some Pre power combination which drive the 901s more effectively.

regards

Not entirely right. I suggest invest in a good AVR. While the NAD is good amp, a mid level AVR such as Denon 789 - 989 should drive the Bose speakers very easily. Same with Yamaha 6130 and above fall into the category.
 
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neo

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The Nad 375 will drive it well for sure do not worry about it.
Stick to an integrated stereo amp if your aplication is music only.
IMO Since bose is a bright sounding speaker Nad with it's warmer sound will gel well. Pair it with diff amps if you'd like but thought i've not heard the new nad's imo nad or may be the marantz 7001KI or higher will be the best bet. You can also try the classic parasound integrated, but not sure how it sounds.
Make sure you select the right spk cables & interconnects as well.
All the three amps will be available at lakozy so i suggest take your spk,fav cd's & get a listen.
All the best.
Cheers
 
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RahulH

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Does anyone have the contact numbers for the Roksan dealer in Mumbai? I tried the number printed in What HIFI but it seems to be disconnected.:(

I wanted to try out the ROKSAN Kandy K2 after all the rave reviews.

BTW, do any ofthe dealers let you try out the products at home with my speakers? Most of them want you to visit them to listen but considering that I have a very unusual set of speakers, I think I should audition them at home.
 
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marsilians

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Bose systems are never compared A/B in any reatiler or dealer showroom. The company does not encourage it.

If you must try a component with it, it is at your own planning and schedule.
 
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Asit

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Does anyone have the contact numbers for the Roksan dealer in Mumbai? I tried the number printed in What HIFI but it seems to be disconnected.:(

I wanted to try out the ROKSAN Kandy K2 after all the rave reviews.

BTW, do any ofthe dealers let you try out the products at home with my speakers? Most of them want you to visit them to listen but considering that I have a very unusual set of speakers, I think I should audition them at home.

About a month ago, I did call the guy (with number from what hi fi). He said he still had 4 numbers of the LIII still with him. Until he sells them, he was not going to get the K2. That's what he told me. He also has a strange way of stating the price.

Well if you end up auditioning the K2 some day, kindly let me and others know with comparisons (with other amps) if possible.
 
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dinyaar

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Does anyone have the contact numbers for the Roksan dealer in Mumbai? I tried the number printed in What HIFI but it seems to be disconnected.:(

I wanted to try out the ROKSAN Kandy K2 after all the rave reviews.

BTW, do any ofthe dealers let you try out the products at home with my speakers? Most of them want you to visit them to listen but considering that I have a very unusual set of speakers, I think I should audition them at home.

Hi Rahul,
The Roksan Distributor is Marbin Colah and his No is 98192 57839.I would not pair the Roksan amps with Bose 901. Ask Marbin if he has any old amps that u can try at ur home. I know this will not go down well with a lot but i feel a yamaha amp will drive the 901 s better than many of these popular integrateds. If u want to spend buy the newly launched yamaha 2000 series. Ages ago i had the 301 s with a Harman AVR which i gave to a neighbour who thought the speakers deserved better and we requested lakozy to send us the NAD C352 which was very positively reviewed. The result was less than satisfactory and the AVR produced much better music than the Nad integrated with the Bose!

Asit, Marbin is a friend of mine and he has a funny/ strange way about everything!!!!!!!! I doubt he will get the new Roksans in a hurry though.

RGDS
 
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RahulH

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Hey Guys,
After testing out my patience (since I found out its next to impossible to get an amp home for an audition) I finally managed to audition the Cambridge Audio 840A V2, the Denon 1500AE and the Parasound (P3 / A23) combo.
Try as I might, I could never get anyone from NAD to give me a chance to audition.
The 840 A V2 sounded good to my untrained ears but thought that it couldnt quite meet my expectations when it came to rock music though it played Indian classical quite well.
The Parasound combo is more expensive but sounded better allround.
The Denon was a let down and just didnt sound right.

I must commend Russel from Cambridge Audio who went out of his way to ship me the amp from Chennai so I could listen to it. Its no wonder that they have been awarded by Cambridge Audio for being one of Asias finest distributors.

In the end it was close between the 840A V2 and the Parasound and I opted for the Parasound.

Thanks to everone who responded to my new-be queries.
 
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Asit

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I finally managed to audition the Cambridge Audio 840A V2, the Denon 1500AE and the Parasound (P3 / A23) combo.......
In the end it was close between the 840A V2 and the Parasound and I opted for the Parasound.

Can you kindly give more details on your auditions? Can you compare the sounds more critically. Which city you live in and where have you bought your Parasound units from? Also, can you let me know how much did you pay for the combo? If there is any problem, please PM me, although I am sure others would be interested too.

I am looking at similar sort of amps in a different thread, you must be aware of. I am a little disappointed that you are not participating in any of the discussions in that thread, although your requirements are sort of similar to mine. You are calling yourself a newbie. That's fine with me. I myself am not much better than that. I would be really interested to know about your findings. Please do not hesitate. There is no obligation that you have to be correct, there is no such thing as being correct about an audition. It's all a bit subjective. I am especially interested because I got absolutely no data on the Parasound Halo P3/P23 combo.

Also you mentioned the parasounds being a bit pricey. You must have then tried the cheaper Parasounds, namely, the New Classic 2100 pre and 2125 combo. Did you try these and did you compare these with the Halos that you purchased?

Sorry for bothering you with so many questions. Answers to each will be highly appreciated.

And, lastly, congratulations on your amp purchase. Enjoy your music!
 
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sasikumar

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Hey Rahul,

Before ending with parasound, you also can try with pre - power combination of AUDIOLAB 8000 series ( power & pre combination is for higher power). I had a very good experience in Audiolab 8000a (integrated) with Bose 301.

Regards
sasikumar
 
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marsilians

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I am especially interested because I got absolutely no data on the Parasound Halo P3/P23 combo.

I own Para Halo JC1s for my music system and wanted to splurge on my "final" amp purchase and auditioned a fair bit from Musical Fidelity, Simaudio, Adcom, Linn, Carver and Aragon. Personally I found it one of the most musical amps in the business. i am an AV hobbyist and don't fall for reviews that use terms like "silky tones or amazing frequency response ..." I went through a torturous 3.5 months of listening to a fair bit of components and deciding on them. I bought them used though.

I am amazed at their build and play quality and would recommend anyone else to audition them if they want to buy a serious amp.

I also own an older 855a which also is very good for HT and sort of decent for music. I like parasound's signature and would recommend one.

I have heard the A23 many times and think it is one heck of component. It has a slightly different signature than the JC1 (priced differently). Both the circuitries were design by John Curl himself though the board and componets were picked by the CTC builder team for the JC1.

Two things that I watch out for parasounds are: the heat dissipation. Its does not get hot like any others but it definitely gets warm. Second are the connector and binding posts in the back. For the amount I paid I would have expected better quality. I think they skimped on these big time. I am only saying this because if you plan to transport them over long distances, you should pack them really well and ensure they dont get damaged.

Are there similar amps at the price point? Yes, but I love my para's.
 
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tharun

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I have used the 901 Bose , just for 3 months along with the Musical fidelity A3.5 amplifier , sound was horrible . the sound did improve after a change in amplifier ( Rotel power and pre ) , but still the sound from Bose did not suit my taste . I think the 901 needs ample power to drive them and as some earlier said , an integrated amp will not suit 901 and you should use a Power / Pre combination to get the music out of Bose.

Tharun Balakrishnan.
 
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reignofchaos

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I have used the 901 Bose , just for 3 months along with the Musical fidelity A3.5 amplifier , sound was horrible . the sound did improve after a change in amplifier ( Rotel power and pre ) , but still the sound from Bose did not suit my taste . I think the 901 needs ample power to drive them and as some earlier said , an integrated amp will not suit 901 and you should use a Power / Pre combination to get the music out of Bose.

Tharun Balakrishnan.

Its a junk speaker. No number of electronics upgrades will fix the basic problem.
 
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marsilians

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I have used the 901 Bose , just for 3 months along with the Musical fidelity A3.5 amplifier , sound was horrible . the sound did improve after a change in amplifier ( Rotel power and pre ) , but still the sound from Bose did not suit my taste . I think the 901 needs ample power to drive them and as some earlier said , an integrated amp will not suit 901 and you should use a Power / Pre combination to get the music out of Bose.

Tharun Balakrishnan.

The 901s sound muddy and inaccurate due to their design. You are always listening to room acoustics rather than the source due to the "direct reflecting" concept.
 
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RahulH

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I liked the Parasounds (P3/A23) Pre & Power combinations as they sounded good for most of my music taste.

I tried them out with Indian Classical (vocal (Kishori Amonkar and "Night Ragas" compilations: Both DDD recordings and instrumental), Jazz, Rock (Daughtry, Pink Floyd " Collection of dance..", CCR ), Blues (John Mayer "Where the Light is": Fantastic recording and songs), Muddy Waters "Gold", Western Classical & Opera (Herbert Von Karajan), Bollywood ("Hello"), Ghazals (Jagjit Singh).

I actually listen to all categories so wanted something that would play everything well.
I am not good at using the language used by magazines to describe the sounds but here goes:
The Parasounds excelled when it came to Indian Classical, Ghazals and blues: Essentially vocals were handled really well.
To play the Western Classical and rock, the volume had to be turned up otherwise they sounded a bit flat with less bass. They sounded fine once the volume was turned up.

One thing I did notice was that the good recordings sounded great but the poorer recordings sounded awful ( i haven't tried mp3 files yet). I guess I have to re-visit and classify my music collection :(. Any leads as to where I can get good recorded audio from in Mumbai?

I did not try any other Parasound combination and stuck with these as they were also recommended by AVMax (awarded as the best Pre-Power combo for 2008). I presumed that they were better than the Classic series that Asit mentioned. The P3 / A23 combo is available at an MRP of Rs1.13 Lakhs though I did manage to get them just below Rs 1 Lakh.
 
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venkatcr

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Rahul, at the outset, Congratulations. the Parasounds are excellent equipment and, in away, I envy you. I always wanted to have some Parasound unit. Maybe I will one day.

To play the Western Classical and rock, the volume had to be turned up otherwise they sounded a bit flat with less bass. They sounded fine once the volume was turned up.

This could be because the recording gain is very low. Don't worry, this is a not a fault of the Parasounds.

One thing I did notice was that the good recordings sounded great but the poorer recordings sounded awful ( i haven't tried mp3 files yet).

This is because the Parasounds are very transparent. One of the dangers of being transparent is that Garbage In-Garbage Out becomes the rule. You have to be careful what you play on the Parasounds.

MP3 on Parasounds? Zikes !! I would not be surprised if they come out completely flat.

Cheers
 
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RahulH

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Hi Guys,

Needed some advice from all the pros out there:

Now that I have bought the Parasound (P3/A23), I wanted to figure out the following to get the best possible sound:

1. Should I change my interconnects. I currently use Monster interconnects. Though its decent at the moment, I would like better Bass and detail (doesnt everyone? ;)) if possible. any suggestions are welcome.

2. The Parasounds have a provision for Balanced connectors. The manual says these should be used for the best sound. Would you go with that advice? If so, which is a good brand for these type of connectors and where could I find them in Mumbai.

3. The speakers (Bose 901) come with an active equaliser which I have currently placed between the Pre and Power amps. The Parasound preamp (P3) provides for an external loop. Should I use this for connecting the active equaliser or should I stick with what I have done.

4. Any good places in Mumbai where I can get audiophile quality CDs (especially in the Blues genre)? Planet M never has anything that I look for. Still have to visit Rhythm House at the other end of the city.:D
 
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