Brand Loyal to B&W but seriously looking for alternatives - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 37 Old 06-24-2012, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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I have really enjoyed the CDM1s i have owned for most of the last decade but the center channel went out on me and I am thinking about upgrading now. I like the sound as well as the look and style of the speakers which is really important my wife. That said this is a major expense and I need to have an open mind and look at some other brands before I buy for the next decade. I am currently looking at CM9's with a cm 2 center. Can anyone provide advice on other choices ?

I have a large basement with a home theater . There are no doors on the room and stairs that lead to the second floor. I use a rythmik sub with the CDM1's currently Below are my priorities in order. Id love to see some options in the in a similar price range, some more cost effective alternatives and some direct from the manufacture alternatives if possible. I currently power the system with a Denon AVR-891 and realize some of the options I am looking at will require a different power option, please feel free to recommend something cost effective here as well since I am really hitting the walls of the budget on this.
  1. Clean accurate sound for music at the high end of reference levels
  2. The speakers themselves have to be attractive and something the wife wont kill me for putting in the room. This means not too large and no futuristic styling.
  3. Solid for home theater. While this is important it is absolutely third.

I have included a couple images of the room so you can see what I am working with . It is far from an ideal sound stage

399

399
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post #2 of 37 Old 06-24-2012, 08:04 AM
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The ones I would recommend as a great with anything speaker is the deftech 8060-st towers with matching 8060-cs center.The towers are great for music but can really pound for movies when required too...smile.gif

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post #3 of 37 Old 06-24-2012, 08:10 AM
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For the most part, I also like the B&W sound and the CM9 should be a nice move up for you. For something else, I do recommend giving Dynaudios a listen. Look at the Focus line (Focus 220). You'll be pleased with these for the next 10 years. At 4 ohms, the Focus may or may not be a challenge for your AVR891.

The ProAc Response would be another suggestion.
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post #4 of 37 Old 06-24-2012, 08:39 AM
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post #5 of 37 Old 06-24-2012, 09:22 AM
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I recently bought a pair of Gallo Acoustics CL-3 speakers, and they are the best speakers I have ever heard for under $4000. The sound quantity and quality are both quite amazing, as they are relatively small floorstanding speakers that put out far more sound than would seem possible; huge orchestral sound and soundtracks are reproduced with incredible dynamics.

They come very close to the Vandersteen 3A speakers I have at my other home, which are some of the best in the world.

In addition to incredible definition, sonic purity and detail when playing music, they are also the best speakers I have ever heard at reproducing TV/movie dialogue. They are also extremely handsome, with a dark rich real cherry-wood finish.

They are selling them online at an introductory price of $1595 with a 60-day free home trial, shipping free both ways. Pretty hard to lose on that deal. I would recommend them as a bargain if they were $3000; at this price they are almost giving them away.

Most highly recommended!!

By the way; the current issue of The Absolute Sound has a review of them; they loved them too.
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post #6 of 37 Old 06-24-2012, 11:44 AM
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I am surprised by some of the recommendations here. For clean and clear sound being driven at reference level using a Denon 891, none of the recommended speakers are going to achieve that. You need to be looking at high SPL performance based speakers.

Also, what is your budget.

I would like into Chase Home Theater and Klipsch Reference Series speakers.

Maybe the KEF Q series, but they many not be sensitive enough.

I like Deftech speakers for home theater, music not as much.

Triad speakers would be a strong recommendation as well but they are not cheap.
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post #7 of 37 Old 06-24-2012, 11:52 AM
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There have been a few people on AVS in the past who were thinking B&W but ended up with Focals. As a former B&W 600 series owner, it just seemed to me from the testimonials that people that like B&W sound found something they liked better. And they have great finish options. You might want to research and ask questions in the owners thread.

Otherwise, I agree with pronghorn about the Ascend Sierras. Since they are an ID brand, you won't be able to audition them locally, but they would be worth the shipping to give a listen.

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post #8 of 37 Old 06-24-2012, 12:02 PM
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If you have used the CM9s before i don't think you would ever look at another speaker. they only direction to go from CM9 is the b&w 800 line, but this a whole different level of speakers.
only other brand i could put out there is Genelec or Focal. I know first hand how powerful and clear Genelecs are but i don't think your wife would like the way they look very much. Focals look great and the few i have heard sound great too (but have a future look to them)
look into trading your amp for a Rotel amp with at least 200w per channel to power the CM9s.
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post #9 of 37 Old 06-24-2012, 03:18 PM
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Add Focal 807v and the matching center on your audition list.

And maybe think about an Emotiva XPA-3 to power them!!
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post #10 of 37 Old 06-24-2012, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CKWells View Post

Add Focal 807v and the matching center on your audition list.

X2 on Focal
http://www.dedicatedaudio.com/inc/sdetail/13211

If you want to aim higher - The Electra
http://www.musicdirect.com/p-38925-focal-electra-1007-s-bookshelf-speakers-pr.aspx

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post #11 of 37 Old 06-24-2012, 04:30 PM
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The first thing to do is do some research about what speakers will best fit sonically in that space. The proximity to the left front corner and the unbalanced positioning versus the right hand side offer some challenges.
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post #12 of 37 Old 06-24-2012, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CKWells View Post

Add Focal 807v and the matching center on your audition list.
And maybe think about an Emotiva XPA-3 to power them!!

He will need a new receiver as his model does not have pre-outs..

These speakers my be a good fit though as long as he has a sold subwoofer.
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post #13 of 37 Old 06-24-2012, 05:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMovieNut View Post

The first thing to do is do some research about what speakers will best fit sonically in that space. The proximity to the left front corner and the unbalanced positioning versus the right hand side offer some challenges.

Totally agree. This room is screaming for an acoustically transparent screen with in-wall speakers behind it. Triads would be a great fit.
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post #14 of 37 Old 06-24-2012, 07:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

Totally agree. This room is screaming for an acoustically transparent screen with in-wall speakers behind it. Triads would be a great fit.

I wish but it's is 3.5" to concrete blocks on the other side of that wall and there is no way I am getting approval for another screen as well. Not to mention I am really happy how the fire hawk does in daylight like you can see in those photos.
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post #15 of 37 Old 06-24-2012, 07:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldMovieNut View Post

The first thing to do is do some research about what speakers will best fit sonically in that space. The proximity to the left front corner and the unbalanced positioning versus the right hand side offer some challenges.

I know this isn't ideal. Any suggestions ?
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post #16 of 37 Old 06-24-2012, 08:09 PM
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Have you thought about finding a used center channel and not upgrading? Otherwise I agree the Ascend Sierra-1s might work quite well in that space.

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post #17 of 37 Old 06-25-2012, 01:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

He will need a new receiver as his model does not have pre-outs..
These speakers my be a good fit though as long as he has a sold subwoofer.

Dang... be careful then because the Focals dip quite low in impedance, and some receivers will not like that at high volume levels.
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I know this isn't ideal. Any suggestions ?

Worry about it later, and learn to use REW (or whatever measurement software takes your fancy), then have fun fixing it with room treatments!
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Originally Posted by postrokfan View Post

Have you thought about finding a used center channel and not upgrading? Otherwise I agree the Ascend Sierra-1s might work quite well in that space.

Go away!!



smile.gif J/K... But the nerve to suggest someone not upgrade. Ha ha.
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post #18 of 37 Old 06-25-2012, 05:42 AM - Thread Starter
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I think I have come to terms with the fact that I need something better to drive any of these.

I was thinking an Emotiva XPA-5 | 200W x 5 and a HT receiver with the standard array of today's bells and whistles?
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post #19 of 37 Old 06-25-2012, 05:49 AM
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You could be fine with an XPA-3 since the receiver would only be driving the surrounds, and HT receivers put out more into 2 channels than 5.

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post #20 of 37 Old 06-25-2012, 06:11 AM
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By OPer
"Clean accurate sound for music at the high end of reference levels"

What is your listening distance? It looks like around 12' to 13' guessing from the pictures. Clean reference levels from that distance is going to take a lot of speaker. I would look at something that uses compression drivers. Klipsch Heritage line would work well, but may not pass the wife factor.

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post #21 of 37 Old 06-25-2012, 06:56 AM
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If you are considering tower speakers, you might want to also listen to another nice British competitor of B&W, a set of Monitor Audio RX8, which are really impressive at their price, and are about the same size as the CM9. I heard a set of RX8 recently, and the build quality and sound are amazing at that price. They can really throw a nice music soundstage. These are very solid, inert cabinets, and they are great if you need all-around speakers that are good for music and HT both. They also have a RX Centre model.

http://www.monitoraudiousa.com/products/silver-rx/rx8/#/overview

http://www.monitoraudiousa.com/products/silver-rx/rx-centre/

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post #22 of 37 Old 06-25-2012, 07:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Science Sales 5 View Post

By OPer
"Clean accurate sound for music at the high end of reference levels"
What is your listening distance? It looks like around 12' to 13' guessing from the pictures. Clean reference levels from that distance is going to take a lot of speaker. I would look at something that uses compression drivers. Klipsch Heritage line would work well, but may not pass the wife factor.

Mike, I agree with you that he should be looking at high SPL speakers based on his needs. I just don't think he has room for the Heritage speakers. I love the sound of the THX Ultra2 line as well from Klipsch, but again, he won't have room for proper placement.
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post #23 of 37 Old 06-25-2012, 11:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snarks View Post

I have really enjoyed the CDM1s i have owned for most of the last decade but the center channel went out on me and I am thinking about upgrading now. I like the sound as well as the look and style of the speakers which is really important my wife. That said this is a major expense and I need to have an open mind and look at some other brands before I buy for the next decade. I am currently looking at CM9's with a cm 2 center. Can anyone provide advice on other choices ?

If you have auditioned KEF & Revel and you still like the sound of B&W better, then stick with B&W.

If you like KEF & Revel better, then there are some nice deals.

KEF Q900 / $1284.00

Revel F12 / $1264.00

Delivered pair.
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post #24 of 37 Old 06-25-2012, 11:24 AM
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If you have auditioned KEF & Revel and you still like the sound of B&W better, then stick with B&W.
If you like KEF & Revel better, then there are some nice deals.
KEF Q900 / $1284.00
Revel F12 / $1264.00
Delivered pair.

I don't think he has room for large floorstanding speakers.

OP, you should look at something like this perhaps:
http://www.definitivetech.com/Products/products.aspx?path=Floor-Standing_Speakers&productid=Mythos_One

Or this:
http://www.definitivetech.com/Products/products.aspx?path=Floor-Standing_Speakers&productid=Mythos_STS_SuperTower

OP, you will want a speaker with good SPL, that is not too wide or too deep. Ideally you sholuld have 1-2' between your speaker and the wall. You won't have that, but the smaller the footprint the better. Otherwise you will be compromising sound.
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post #25 of 37 Old 06-25-2012, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

I don't think he has room for large floorstanding speakers.

That was just to show the good prices. KEF & Revel also makes bookshelf speakers. Deals on those are also around.

Another monitor speaker to consider is the Soundfield Audio M1. This is an accurate audiophile speaker with a built-in powered subwoofer!

Personally I recommend the SPARK speakers: biggrin.gif

Soundfield & Salk
Philharmonic
Ascend
Revel
KEF

All offer accurate audiophile monitor/ bookshelf speakers.
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post #26 of 37 Old 06-25-2012, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ack_bk View Post

I don't think he has room for large floorstanding speakers.
OP, you should look at something like this perhaps:
http://www.definitivetech.com/Products/products.aspx?path=Floor-Standing_Speakers&productid=Mythos_One
Or this:
http://www.definitivetech.com/Products/products.aspx?path=Floor-Standing_Speakers&productid=Mythos_STS_SuperTower
OP, you will want a speaker with good SPL, that is not too wide or too deep. Ideally you sholuld have 1-2' between your speaker and the wall. You won't have that, but the smaller the footprint the better. Otherwise you will be compromising sound.

In the OP, he states he is currently looking at CM9s, which are pretty big towers.

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post #27 of 37 Old 06-25-2012, 03:39 PM
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+1 on the comments about reference sound. I don't think the OP understands reference loudness very well. You can have reference sound, or you can have WAF, but you can't have both.
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post #28 of 37 Old 06-25-2012, 03:46 PM
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Personally I recommend the SPARK speakers: biggrin.gif

Gawd you're korny! tongue.gifbiggrin.gif

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post #29 of 37 Old 06-25-2012, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
J/K... But the nerve to suggest someone not upgrade. Ha ha.

I know, I know. Unbelievable.

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post #30 of 37 Old 06-25-2012, 08:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

Gawd you're korny! tongue.gifbiggrin.gif

I know. I know. I know. biggrin.gif

Or maybe SPARKS:

Salk
Philharmonic
Ascend
Revel
KEF
Soundfield

eek.gifbiggrin.giftongue.gif
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