B&W 805 D4: which 5 channel power amp should I go with (home theater): Parasound or Rotel

Hearing Hans Zimmer score play during scenes from The Dark Knight, Inception & Interstellar is life changing. The 805 D4 works great for l/r speaker for movies. Of course I need to add a center channel which would either be the HTM81 D4 or the HTM82 D4 but I’ll save that for another discussion.

Here are the power amps I’m looking at:


- Halo A 51

- Halo A 52+


- RMB-1585

- RMB-1585MKII


I’m not able to go into an audio store to test out power amps  so I would like your expert opinion on which might work better with these speakers or if you have any recommendations for 5 channel power amp then I would gladly go take a look at those online.


Thank you for your time.



Those Parasound and Rotel models are going to sound different from each other. Hard to know which would be a better match for what you're looking for. What would you say are your top goals from the sound reproduction of the amplifier?

This is as good or better than anything else you’ll find, and that it’s only $1200 is a bonus…


Plus, if you like what you hear and get the itch you can send it to SMcAudio and have them modify it to a SOTA amp.  Best of luck.

Do power amps help with brightening or warming the sound of speakers that are pretty much bright? Like if I wanted a warmer sound which one of these amps would be warm sounding if that's a thing?

The surround speakers are not the most important.
The center and fronts are .

I have ATI 200W/ch ; 4 channels ; class D ;and I am very pleased with it.

ATI is very good and very reliable.


You can always look at McIntosh multi channels for B&W

maxwave - The fronts will be 805d4. Center I'm looking at the HTM81 D4. I'm in a small dedicated home theater room (10x13). I plan to add room treatment by Spring. Just need help picking out the right power amp for me. I'll check out ATI :)

For surrounds I'm not sure. I don't really care as I'm really just focus on the 3 front speakers. I might not add surrounds but I'd like to be future proof.


For subs I'm looking at SVS pb2000/pb3000 and Perlisten R210S/12S

I got to hear the 804D3s with my McCormack DNA 0.5 amp and it was a nice pairing. The McCormack doesn’t warm up the sound per se, but it has a nicely fleshed-out midrange that balances out the treble nicely and, most importantly, doesn’t aggravate the diamond tweets. The other thing the DNA 0.5 did was allow the 804s to image/soundstage like crazy — big, wide, and deep.  I’m not sure but the Halo amps might be a little warmer sounding so that’d be worth exploring, but I would certainly avoid the Rotel amps as they won’t help you at all. Hope this helps.

I think NAD makes a multichannel amp with Hypex modules you should also consider.

Are you open to used equipment? Because the Bryston 9B SST is what I use with a Magnepan system - just a little to the warm side, 20 year warrantee. Yes, 20 years - I've abused Bryston amps with never a failure.

SST series is quite a bit cleaner than ST series, warmer than the SST 2 series - or so I'm told. I use a 9B SST in the HT and a 4B SST for bass in the 2 channel system.

Good luck!

Since Rotel and B&W are in the same corporate group and based on using them together personally these two companies are a great match.  

we have sold parasound previously a nice amp but parasound is having major issues right now


a better sounding more flexible amplifier is the primare eight channel amplifier you can run two channels as a 475 watt stereo pair

XLR and RCA inputs for each of eight channels of amplification with 150 watts per channel output into 8 ohms, with a maximum output of 1500 watts.

Each pair of output channels can be bridged, allowing the amp to provide power to virtually any multi-channel speaker configuration, either on its own or with an A35.2 stereo amplifier.

For an extraordinarily powerful two-channel bi-amplified system, one fully bridged A35.8 delivers peak power of 4 x 375 watts or 750 watts per pair per channel.

Additional convenience features include auto-sense turn-on from standby and auto standby after an absence of input signal for twenty minutes which can be turned off allowing the A35.8 to remain on indefinitely if preferred.


we used this amplifier at axponna and it was extraordinary



audio intellect NJ

primare dealer


Do power amps help with brightening or warming the sound of speakers that are pretty much bright? Like if I wanted a warmer sound which one of these amps would be warm sounding if that's a thing?

@candyisdandy I'd recommend the Parasound A-models if adding some warmth is your goal. I'm not sure what issues AudioTroy is referring to, but I see the A 51 and A 52+ as currently available.

@nekoaudio I’m looking at the A51 and A 52+ and the only major differences I can find is that the A51 is slightly older with 250-watt-per-channel power output at 8 ohm & the A52+ is 180 watts at 8 ohm if using 5 speakers. Also the $2k price difference if I do go with the A51. I’m just wondering if I’m in a 11x13 room and don’t plan to blast these speakers loud all the time should I just go with the A52+ or is it better to have more power and go with the A51?



@candyisdandy the extra headroom is usually nice. The volume difference between 180W and 250W isn't much. But the A 51's current capacity is higher, and that can translate into audible improvements even a the same volume, given that the B&W speakers you are considering do not just stay at 8 ohms impedance.

The Parasound A51 is tempting me. Now I’m just wondering will my bedroom now dedicated small home theater be able to handle all that power on my 15 amp outlet...

Just my two cents from your comment:


I might not add surrounds but I'd like to be future proof.



I can't imagine my Home Theater WITHOUT rear surround speakers.  I even have Front Surround in-wall speakers.  My setup is Left, Right, Center, Rear Surround Di-Pole mounted overhead on a duct shaft, Front In-Wall Surrounds, and a Sub.  Watching action movies is amazing.  I'd really recommend installing rear surrounds at minimum while you are initially setting it up.

The old THX certified Halo amps are better than the newer Plus versions just FYI. 


I have the ATI 4005 amp and it is great for HT. You can contact Ralph at Interactive Home system. He is knowledgeable and will spend time discussing what is best for your system.


I think Rotel ,  even Michi seem to be on the brighter side. I would sound demo a lot of videos if you can't listen in storehttps://youtu.be/xoMQK6MDm4o?feature=shared

Own Rotel RMB-1555 and loved the improvements made when added to my setup (wider, deeper soundstage, more oomph. You name it). It allowed my Anthem receiver, now used as a pre-amp, to really sing!

However, Rotel warranty, at least in Canada, is definitely questionable. When I contacted Rotel Canada to mention a problem, I was literally laughed at. First, I was told warranty started when dealer unboxed unit as a demo (this is illegal in Quebec and also preposterous). When I mentioned this, I was then told the S/N indicated the unit was no longer under warranty. An answer I cannot contest as I have no knowledge of their serial numbering system.

There are other good (better?) products on the market, sold and serviced by serious OEMs who really stand-by their products and respect their customers. My advice is to keep looking (Anthem, Emotiva, NAD, Bryston, etc.) and if Rotel remain your first choice buy knowingly!

reflexively i would have voted for parasound, which i've always liked, but @woots makes a very valid point about rotel and b&w playing well together because they're from the same company--synergy is always critical--so i vote for rotel.

I have B&W 804s.  They have a thirst for power.  I have an Anthem MCA 325 feeding them 225 wpc.  The sing so sweetly, especially when they're played loud.  I used to have a Rotel 1095 (200 wpc).  I thought it was great.  When I went to my local AV guy when it died after 20 years, he recommended an Anthem.  So now I have the 325 for R/C/L, and the MRX 540 acting as a pre amp and sending 110 wpc to my rear speakers.  Throw in ARC Genesis for room correction, and a REL S/510 sub and everything sounds fantastic.  Music, TV, and movies.  I listen to music mostly:  sacds, cds, blu rays, and streaming.

@jaycee12  makes a good point. We are buying parts and service as well as finished product - we are investing in trust as well as (this week's) function.

Mcintosh five channel amplifier would be perfect. I got one and it's plenty of power



As above, Anthem 225i or Rotel 1095 is a sweet match.


Happy Listening!

I like the Rotel 1585 MKII from your selection options, I use a (2) 1585's in my system with an array of speakers from their 700 series with exceptional results, if for whatever reason you need additional power in a (2) channel setting the Rotel 1590 is also a worthy piece for your consideration, in my case I pair them with a Marantz 8805.   Best of luck to you in your search I hope it works out as well as ours has with whatever choices you end up with !   :  )

I currently use an Ascom 7605 but have also used ATI and was quite happy too.

I listened to both the A51 and Rotel 6 yrs ago.  Both are awesome.  I liked the Parasound better.  More muscle.  If I had to do again I would get the A31 for the front three and a A23 for the back or even the 2125 v 2 new classic for the back.  Unless you are driving big surrounds the A51 is overkill.  My 2 cents.

I have owned several B&W speakers and currently have the 805D4s.  Rotel makes good amos for the money, but the 8 series has impedance dips that Rotel doesn't handle well.  IIRC, the Diamonds (8 ohm nominal) drop to under 4 ohms in the lower treble.  I find that Rotel sounds a bit brittle in the highs driving my B&Ws.  I've used Classe and Pass with better results.  In fact, my 30W Pass pushes them much cleaner at high volume than did my 200W Rotel because it handles the low impedance much better.  Something to consider.  Good luck!



As above, Classe' is a sonic match as well. 


Happy Listening!