B&W 683 floorstanding and Marantz HD-AMP1-something's wrong

Beginner audiophile here . Recently purchased the 683’s and the Marantz. The speakers are 8 ohm with an 89 db. The Marantz is rated at 8 ohm 35 watts/ 4 ohm 70 watts. Speakers are used, integrated amp is new. I listen to classical music. Chamber music, piano recitals sound very good…but when I moved to the Solti/CSO Verdi Requiem ( a huge ensemble blockbuster) from Decca (CD) I immediately noticed problems. Individual solos, highlighted winds, sounded ok, but strings and choral work had a crumbly feel…a gritty feel to it. The same problem is also present in my headphones… I’m guessing that the marriage between the Marantz and the B&Ws is not a good one… Looking for help…suggestions…anything


That would tend to rule out problems related to the amp’s interaction with the B&Ws, and point more toward an amplifier problem, whether clipping, or simply malfunction. 35 watts isn’t a lot of juice for dynamic transients.

Is it possible that the on-board DAC is the source of the problem? I know see the problem of the integrated amp- you can’t isolate any one component. Of course I knew this from watching videos and reading reviews…but one doesn’t really KNOW it until one has the actual experience. Thus the audiophile’s 1000 mile journey begins with his first setup…

I could be wrong, but I expect that if the DAC were causing this kind of problem, it would be evident on all kinds of music, not just large, dynamic works. If you have access to an external DAC, you can try plugging that into one of the amp’s analog inputs and see if you have the same problem. If you do, you know it isn’t in the DAC. You say the amp was purchased new - if it’s defective, I assume you can return it for another unit, or possibly a refund and try something else.

If it weren’t for the fact that you’re getting the same artifact through your headphones, I’d say your amp is clipping. But with you hearing the same thing through the cans, that seems unlikely.