Paradigm studio 100 v5 or B&W CM9 or PSB Synchrony Two - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 01-31-2010, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm looking for some opinions on studio 100 v5's vs CM9's vs PSB Synchrony Two's. I'm still looking for a store to listen to these speakers but wanted to get some opinions here too.
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post #2 of 25 Old 01-31-2010, 10:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Is there another thread with the answer to this question? I found comparisons of CM7 to Studio 60s but nothing exactly what I'm looking for.
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post #3 of 25 Old 01-31-2010, 11:01 PM
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I've listened to all of them one size down. CM7s are my favorite at this price point. They are all really, really good - you have to listen for yourself.

If you can't... Do you prefer jazz, classical, acoustic, blues, etc? B&W easy choice. Do you prefer Motorhead? Paradigm. All of the above? PSB.

Ron
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post #4 of 25 Old 01-31-2010, 11:02 PM
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also, do you live near a Revel dealer?

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post #5 of 25 Old 02-01-2010, 04:18 AM
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I have no ideal your musical or theater choices but out of the speakers listed , the B&W CM9's are by far my favorites for all thing sound.
I have posted this story many times but I will in short again for you. I was out with a friend who was shopping for speakers. We listened to the CM7's , I feel in love. I had higher end speakers at the time I loved dearly , I wanted to buy the CM7's and bring them home. They impressed the hell out of me for music as well as theater and concert video. WOW!!!! Months later I got to hear the CM9's O my GOD!! I was melting in the chair I was sitting in. A moment of silence over took the room , my heart raced , I have found my next speaker and again I was not shopping for speakers. I was and still am very pleased with my current speakers but I will own the CM9's. They are fantastic. There price point is fantastic for there performance. I would put them up against anything there. Excellent.

Whats beautiful about this series is they are equally musical as well as theater speakers. Not all speakers can claim doing both jobs with excellence. These are one of those that I felt are. I am extremely picky about my speaker choices.
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post #6 of 25 Old 02-01-2010, 05:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrishRally View Post

I'm looking for some opinions on studio 100 v5's vs CM9's vs PSB Synchrony Two's. I'm still looking for a store to listen to these speakers but wanted to get some opinions here too.

100 v5's vs CM9's my picks
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post #7 of 25 Old 02-01-2010, 05:39 AM
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I have to agree with Mantis10. I auditioned a pair of CM9's last week vs. the Studio 100's. I have never heard the PSB's so no idea about those. I was very very impressed with the CM9's. I preferred their neutralness over the Paradigm's brightness. I played a scene in Bourne Ultimatum a few times A/Bing back and forth between them and you could hear the difference in the tone. Some people like that for their movies. I didn't. Musically, the warm, soothing nature of the CM9's won me over. I just sat back in my chair, closed my eyes and smiled. I could have sat in that dealer's demo room for hours.
So, I am on the lookout for some B&W's. I'm just trying to decide now if it's worth finding used 804s or go with mint or new CM9's for probably a little lower cost. Either way, I will be a future B&W owner.
So it all depends on your tastes as well as your mixture of listening habits. Also, are you looking for a 2.0 system only or are you wanting to add a center and/or surrounds?
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post #8 of 25 Old 02-01-2010, 06:02 AM
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B&W's are warm, not neutral, Paradigm are neutral, one day people will get this... until then, do not believe people when they say Paradigm are bright, completely untrue, just about all professional reviews echo this sentiment as well.

Anyhow here is a review of the CM 9 and the data that shows why they are considered warm:

http://www.hometheatermag.com/floorl...em/index4.html

Studio 60 v5 chart:

http://www.soundstagenetwork.com/mea...m_studio60_v5/

Your ears may say differently, but the data does not lie.

Because of this, the general consensus is that B&W are good for music since they will hide bad recordings, but not so good for HT, it has been said more than once on this board their center channel is not that great.

Paradigm will give you the more pop needed for HT, that is why I have the V5's since we are 80% HT. The Paradigms on bad recordings, since they are neutral, can be fatiguing. For example, we listened to some Diana Krall this weekend, with the V5's it was like being there, very detailed and in your face, but in a good way, not a "bright" way, I imagine with the B&W's it would have been more laid back and smooth experience.

I also checked out the Sync ones, those speakers are like butter, I loved them, but they were out of my price range, they too are a warm speaker but a notch IMHO above B&W CM series.
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post #9 of 25 Old 02-01-2010, 06:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobBas View Post

B&W's are warm, not neutral, Paradigm are neutral, one day people will get this... until then, do not believe people when they say Paradigm are bright, completely untrue, just about all professional reviews echo this sentiment as well.

I agree with this. It isn't that Paradigm speakers are bright, it's that MOST recordings are tipped up. ..When listening to well recorded music Paradigms do not sound bright at all. ..A mainstream example of a beautifully recorded song would be "What do you do/ the Glory of Love" from the (eponymously titled) Lyle Lovett and his Large Band. I used this song (along with others) when shopping for speakers. ...I listened to the Studio 100's extensively and never found them to be bright. It's a misnomer. ..I very much dislike bright speakers. ..My last four speakers have been: Spica TC-50's, PSB Stratus Minis, Vandersteen 3A Sigs, and now own Paradigm Signature S8 v.2's. ..I've not owned B&W's but have always found them to be fairly neutral as well.

I recommend buying the most neutral speakers you can find then use the tone controls on your pre-amp (or processor) when necessary to adjust slightly for bad recordings. ..If instead you opt to buy a speaker that makes bad recordings sound good, you'll end up disappointed when listening to properly recorded music. The assertions of the purist aside, tone controls (or equalizer) can be your friend.
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post #10 of 25 Old 02-01-2010, 06:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobBas View Post

The Paradigms on bad recordings, since they are neutral, can be fatiguing. For example, we listened to some Diana Krall this weekend, with the V5's it was like being there, very detailed and in your face, but in a good way, not a "bright" way.

lol.
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post #11 of 25 Old 02-01-2010, 06:50 AM
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There is a pair of CM 9's on Audiogon for $2500 or best offer. no affiliation.
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post #12 of 25 Old 02-01-2010, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maestro J View Post

lol.

I'm not sure what's funny about that statement. What you like is not necessarily what your neighbor will like. I happen to like ACCURATE speakers. Hence, I will be purchasing a pair of Paradigm 100 v5's soon. The CM9's, to me, sounded like the high-mids had a wet blanket thrown over them (as RobBas said, the frequency response curves don't lie).
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post #13 of 25 Old 02-01-2010, 09:03 AM
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On that CD, we had it turned up, and it was forward sounding... just being honest about my speakers. I don't need to sing the praises of my speakers to feel good about the purchase, I love my speakers, just stating on some recordings, the Paradigms can sound forward, but by far they are neutral speakers that have gotten a bad rap from people who do not know the difference.
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post #14 of 25 Old 02-01-2010, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobBas View Post

Because of this, the general consensus is that B&W are good for music since they will hide bad recordings, but not so good for HT, it has been said more than once on this board their center channel is not that great.

The issues with the B&W center is in a whole different line, and in particular, one center which is the HTM61. The issue with this speaker is it's 3-way with the tweeter in the middle, and the mid and woofer on opposite sides, therefore creating off-axis dispersion issues. The other center in the 600 series, the HTM62, doesn't have this problem.

The CM line centers, on the other hand, are great and have no such issues whatsoever. The CMC2 especially, which is the matching center for the CM9, is excellent.

It's hard to go wrong with the CM9, which is a fantastic speaker, and closer to the 800 series that its price would suggest. They are also amazing for home theater, perhaps a tad bit better for HT than for music actually.

It's of course best to demo all three of these speakers yourself to make sure which one you like best, but definitely don't skip on auditioning the CM9s before you make a decision. I have a feeling you'll be blown away.
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post #15 of 25 Old 02-01-2010, 09:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boyce89976 View Post

I'm not sure what's funny about that statement.

It's very unusual for a Diana Krall disc to be labeled a "bad recording". If anything, her discs are excellent recordings and amongst the favorites for "audiophiles" to demo speakers with, particularly for testing realistic presentation of vocals, which in itself is a good barometer of a speaker's texture, tone and balance.

If Diana Krall sounds bad on your speakers, most likely the issues are with the speakers or the set-up, not because it's a "bad recording"!
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post #16 of 25 Old 02-01-2010, 10:12 AM
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..Just a comment about the "brightness" label that is often affixed to a speaker.

Before shopping/comparing speakers it's helpful to first spend some time listening to real and non-amplified instruments. ..It's surprising to discover how real instruments - such as trumpets, saxophones, flutes, and even violins - can sound bright even in a properly treated studio. ..And this is certainly true of electric guitar and synthesizers too. So before blaming the speaker - whichever brand it may be - one should consider what it is they are listening too.

Another tip: In addition to bringing along your favorite music CDs, consider bringing along recorded voices of your kids or wife. ...I have a Sony Digital Voice Recorder which allows me to transfer recordings to a computer, and then burn them to CD. ..It's very easy. ..How well does the speaker do in recreating these sounds that you know very very well??
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post #17 of 25 Old 02-01-2010, 10:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syd123 View Post

Another tip: In addition to bringing along your music when comparing speakers, burn onto a CD the recorded voices of your kids or wife. ...I have a Sony Digital Voice Recorder which allows me to transfer recordings to a computer. ..How well does the speaker do in recreating these sounds that you know very very well??

Nice idea, but the problem would be in the execution. Unless your kids' or wife's voice was recorded with high-quality professional-grade equipment, the discrepancies between what you hear from the speaker with your aural memories of what that voice should sound like would likely be a result of the recording and not the speaker. Even with good equipment, how a voice is recorded can have major effect on how it sounds on the recording, i.e. the proximity of the mic, the ambient surroundings, recording levels, etc. Normally when we hear live voices, we're able to "filter" out a lot of the variances, but a mic will pick up the sound waves as they are presented to it. Therefore, for example, an echo from talking in the bathroom would sound exaggerated in a recording, whereas live, our brains will naturally filter a lot of that echo out.
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post #18 of 25 Old 02-01-2010, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyaDawn View Post

Nice idea, but the problem would be in the execution. Unless your kids' or wife's voice was recorded with high-quality professional-grade equipment, the discrepancies between what you hear from the speaker with your aural memories of what that voice should sound like would likely be a result of the recording and not the speaker.

Yes, your correct, it would be difficult and as such shouldn't be the only test one relies on. A better test would be to bring a quality Digital Field Recorder (about $500. ..You may know someone who has one and can borrow it) to the audio store along with your wife or child, then - in the same room with the speakers - record he/she reading a paragraph of text and (if possible) playing an instrument like guitar, woodwind, violin (however badly). Next, play it back through the playback system (these devices have line-level output jacks) and speakers under consideration. I would even situate the subject b/w the speakers and adjust the output of the amp to closely match. Then compare the two. ...Again, this is VERY FAR from perfect. But I'd say it's better then relying entirely on listening to a bunch of songs of which you know absolutely nothing about how much care and consideration was given to preserving their fidelity during the recording and mixing process.
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post #19 of 25 Old 02-01-2010, 11:29 AM
 
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I auditioned the new 68x series just prior to the new CM series. My friend (also the salesman) insisted that I listen to the CM's. My preference was the CM9 and CMC2.
I was seriously considering the CM9's. I then listend to a different brand that I had never considered. Ended up with them instead.

I recently went back to the B&W dealer and listened to the CM9's in a different room. The first time they were in a room with a couple dozen pairs of speakers and as many receivers, etc. They were played on a Denon 3808 and sounded very very good. The last time they were in a better treated room and switched between a Lexicon receiver and Rotel seperates (RMB 1575 amp). They were very bass deficient in this room for some reason. We also listened to 805's. The Klipsch RF83 was the best by far on that day.

What am I trying to say? I guess that the room makes a world of difference. so as has been said sooooo many times. Try to audition in your room.
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post #20 of 25 Old 02-01-2010, 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KyaDawn View Post

It's very unusual for a Diana Krall disc to be labeled a "bad recording". If anything, her discs are excellent recordings and amongst the favorites for "audiophiles" to demo speakers with, particularly for testing realistic presentation of vocals, which in itself is a good barometer of a speaker's texture, tone and balance.

If Diana Krall sounds bad on your speakers, most likely the issues are with the speakers or the set-up, not because it's a "bad recording"!

It was her live concert in Rio, just did not sound as great as some of the other stuff we have heard, dunno just being honest.

Quote:


*The CM9's, to me, sounded like the high-mids had a wet blanket thrown over them (as RobBas said, the frequency response curves don't lie).

Ouch... well there are a warm speaker, but I thought they sounded good, just not as lively as the Paradigms. B&W's err on the warm side, which is not a bad side to be on considering some of the recordings nowadays. This is once again why I did not buy them for HT, you really need a more lively speaker.
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post #21 of 25 Old 02-01-2010, 03:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mantis10 View Post

I have no ideal your musical or theater choices but out of the speakers listed , the B&W CM9's are by far my favorites for all thing sound.
I have posted this story many times but I will in short again for you. I was out with a friend who was shopping for speakers. We listened to the CM7's , I feel in love. I had higher end speakers at the time I loved dearly , I wanted to buy the CM7's and bring them home. They impressed the hell out of me for music as well as theater and concert video. WOW!!!! Months later I got to hear the CM9's O my GOD!! I was melting in the chair I was sitting in. A moment of silence over took the room , my heart raced , I have found my next speaker and again I was not shopping for speakers. I was and still am very pleased with my current speakers but I will own the CM9's. They are fantastic. There price point is fantastic for there performance. I would put them up against anything there. Excellent.

Whats beautiful about this series is they are equally musical as well as theater speakers. Not all speakers can claim doing both jobs with excellence. These are one of those that I felt are. I am extremely picky about my speaker choices.

Keep your arse out of the auditioning room. If you never heard it you never miss it. If you like the CM's that much then you really should not audition a very good speaker. You just might find the replacement for the CM9 after you get them. The CM9's sound better than most speakers costing at least $500 a pair.



Just kidding of course. I really liked them.
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post #22 of 25 Old 02-06-2013, 10:57 AM
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Hello Mantis10,

I saw your comments online, and since electronics is your field, I am interested to hear your feedback. I have the Totem Forest soeakers, but I an considering replacing them with the B&W CM9. I am using a Musical Fidelity 3.2 integrated amp (120w) to drive them, with a Rotel 1072 cd player, with the Musical Fidelity X10 v3 dac. Also have turntable for vinyl ($1500 investment).

My room is BIG. 22x24, with a 16' cedar sloping ceiling. At high volumes with classical orchestras, the Forests seem to be straining. They seem ideally suited to a more standard, smaller room. I have hardwood floors too, so the sound can be a bit bright with some music.

I can get the B&W's for $3000, and I am selling the Totems online for $2750, so it's a break even thing price-wise.

What do you think? I listen to 65% jazz; 20% classical; and 15% pop/world. Very into acoustic music of all sorts. I heard the CM 9's in a shop here in Vancouver, and was VERY impressed. But I can buy the 9's in Oregon for $3000 no tax; vs. $4400 in Canada. So I don't want to use the local dealer to make the comparison, then not buy from him. What do you think?

Thanks.
Alan

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post #23 of 25 Old 02-06-2013, 07:32 PM
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If you twisted my arm...I would go with B&W.

I really really disliked the entire Paradigm Studio Line up and PSB didn't ring my bell either.

B&W were really nice. I think there are allot better out there for the price that I like more...but you gave me three to choose from. Of course...there is no accounting for taste.
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post #24 of 25 Old 02-07-2013, 04:53 AM
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I would go PSB and B&W. I do not like the Paradigm sound.
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post #25 of 25 Old 02-07-2013, 05:44 AM
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I currently own Paradigm Studio 20's, but I'm leaning towards Triad for my next home theater build since their in-walls can handle larger venues and are more sensitive. That said, I've heard the entire Studio v5 line, B&W's and the PSB's. Nothing I've ever heard compared to the PSB Platinum's (sadly they don't make them any longer). B&W's, IMO, remind me of a more refined Klipsch sound. Not as forward, but warm - and therefore not as fatiguing. The Paradigm Studio line fits between the PSB Platinums and the B&W's by being very neutral in the midrange. I would say almost analytic. You get the sense of near perfection in the midrange, which makes the lack of perfection in the bass and upper frequency's that much more noticeable, but this comes without fatigue.

It's all a bunch of trade offs - but for home theater, with a massive CC690 holding down center duties, I think the Paradigms win hands down.

Why is there NO perfect equipment, only compromises?
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