B&W Matrix 800

Hi there,

What pre-amp and power amp go well with the Matrix 800??

I prefer mono-blocks.

On the moment I am using Aragon palladium K1 two on each side. And the Theta CasaNova. Now I know that I can do better on the pre because this is a HT pre. But is Pal K1 the way to go???

On the moment they do not sound to bad but, on low volumes they miss transparancie and they can be more musical I think.
Whitch combo will let my speakers sing???

Maybe: 7B SST, Classe Omnicron, Pass X600, Levinson......

(I prefer a pre with a pass tru channel)

Anybody have any experience with these speakers???

please help me out here



I had a pair of M800's (upgraded to Signature 800's). I initially used a Threshold S450E which was fine. I then tried a Goldmund 9.5++ and a Goldmund 29, each of which sounded great, but neither of which was reliable. I then finally upgraded to Levinson 33H's, which were (and are) out of this world (be sure you have a dedicated 20 amp circuit for each one, though). I tried the Bryston 7B's, and they left me cold.

If you don't have one, I strongly recommend that you try to find an old Krell bass alignment filter for use with the M800's. The standard one from B&W is not very good, and if you don't use any bass alignment filter, you won't hear what the M800's can do in the bass region. With the Krell, they are truly awesome.
I had Matrix 800's. These want all the power you can throw at them. I biamped with Levinson 33H up top and a 336 on the bottom, through a Bryston 10B sub crossover.

They still could have used more power. Be prepared for the expense of making these speaker sing.


Paul :-)
OK, you've got me on the subject I enjoy the most ... my B&W800's. If done right, they are the biggest bargain in the audio game, and probably the last component that I would ever replace.

I've had mine for about a dozen years. You may be able to run a search on my many threads about them.

First to answer your question about power: Although they are very efficient (93db/watt), they love power; good clean power. If done with good quality components upstream, the should sound fabulous at either high or low volumes. As I have upgraded my electronics over the years, the 800's have improved with each step.

In the preamp department, I went from the Krell KSL to the KBL to my present KRC-HR. I doubt that I will make any more changes in this department for a long, long time.
In the amp department, I went from the Krell KSA250 to the KSA300S to adding the FPB300.

Far and away, the biggest improvement came when I actively biamped them under the direction of Dan D'Agostino. He directed me to make some minor rewiring of the 800's and then I use his KBX crossover with the special board that includes not only the custom crossover points but also the bass alignment filter. I use the FPB300 for the mid/highs and the KSA300S for the bass. (Before he made his own speakers, Dan D'Agostino called actively biamped B&W800's, "the best speaker on the planet, regardless of price.") One of the people at Krell took home the actively biamped 800's, and said that they put out more bass than his IRS V's and he was only using the FPB200's for the B&W's.

Personally I and others have compared the actively biamped 800's to the 800N's and the N's were blown away. The only speaker that I have heard that I might consider, if money were no object, would be the $75,000 Pipedreams. But before I made that change, I would first go to four big Krell FPB monoblocks.

Keep your present power amplification and look up actively bi-amping the spkrs (see Richard above). If I remember correctly, Northcreekmusic offered some such service. Better still, just communicate with Drrdiamond!
Please don't bother about the preamp for now: it's not driving the spkrs:). Cheers

Texas 25,

I have had pair of the Matrix 800's since they came out and still use them in a secondary system. i am looking for
another pair pair to match to mine for home theatre.
You are welcome to call me at anytime to discuss your questions. Thank you.

i shall get a pair of 800 at sunday.. too bad just sold my fpb450mcx, i still have 2 pairs of cello performanceII amp, however i still cannot find one KBX B&W800

DRRdiamond: "He directed me to make some minor rewiring of the 800's "
like to know how...

Accuphase F25 crossover - wondering anyone have experience of that?