Official Bowers and Wilkins M-1 Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 57 Old 07-23-2013, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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I feel there is way too much happening on the Bowers and Wilkins general speaker thread. I wanted to make something a little more specific to discuss these speakers. I just purchased the updated versions and am loving them. So, I would love to hear from other owners. How do you like the speakers? What amps are you using? What subwoofers are you using? What crossover works best? Please feel free to add any comments.

My current setup:

5 Bowers and Wilkins M-1's (64hz-23khz +-3db)
SVS pb-1000 subwoofer (19-270hz +-3db)
Pioneer SC-1222k Class D Amp (120WPC/600Watt Total Output)

Room size 4400 cubic feet
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post #2 of 57 Old 07-23-2013, 08:48 AM
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How do you like them?
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post #3 of 57 Old 07-23-2013, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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I have only had them for a couple of days. So, I am going to hold final judgement until they have fully broken in, and I have calibrated the system after that point. Regardless, I understand that no satellite will compete with much larger systems, but I just can't integrate bigger speakers into my room and maintain a good look. So far though, I am very impressed with the M-1's, especially compared to my last set of speakers (orb audio mod2/4). Although I like the orbs when I had them in a smaller room, once I moved them into the bigger room, they sounded very thin and the sub was not blending with them well at all. However, the M-1's have a very nice midrange with much more body (Although not the equivalent of bookshelf or floorstanding speakers), and they seem to be blending very well with my sub. They are just as clear as the orbs were but with more detail and an expanded FR. Here are some pics of my setup. I still plan on getting a TV riser to fit the center speaker because it's blocking a very small portion of my screen.




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post #4 of 57 Old 07-23-2013, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I would also love to know about the older versions of the m-1's and any differences between them and the newer ones.
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post #5 of 57 Old 07-23-2013, 11:07 PM - Thread Starter
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One last thing, what gauge of speaker wire are M-1 owners using? I am currently using 16 AWG. Is anyone getting better results going with thicker wire?
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post #6 of 57 Old 07-24-2013, 07:50 AM
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post #7 of 57 Old 07-24-2013, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmanyon View Post

One last thing, what gauge of speaker wire are M-1 owners using? I am currently using 16 AWG. Is anyone getting better results going with thicker wire?

Personal experience leads me to recommend Professor Ohno's OCC copper in your system. Like most cable companies, several of the boutique brands simply buy his copper and slap their names on it for a hefty price, but there are some online companies who use OCC at fair prices.
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post #8 of 57 Old 07-28-2013, 11:00 PM - Thread Starter
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How hard have people pushed these speakers? I have gone down to -20db on blu-rays, and the speakers still seem to play clearly without distortion.
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post #9 of 57 Old 07-29-2013, 07:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Do you own either version Richbasv?
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post #10 of 57 Old 07-29-2013, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmanyon View Post

One last thing, what gauge of speaker wire are M-1 owners using? I am currently using 16 AWG. Is anyone getting better results going with thicker wire?
The M-1 they are good little speakers I have two for surround backs in my bedroom plus im using 14 AWG speaker wires
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post #11 of 57 Old 07-29-2013, 11:41 AM
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Quote:
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I would also love to know about the older versions of the m-1's and any differences between them and the newer ones.
The woofer are different, I had old ones to,i got rid of them
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post #12 of 57 Old 07-29-2013, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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How hard have you pushed your m-1's Chise? Do they play clearly louder than the older versions?
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post #13 of 57 Old 07-29-2013, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmanyon View Post

How hard have you pushed your m-1's Chise? Do they play clearly louder than the older versions?
Yes they do,so far 80 percent of volume on my 3311 denon on five channel stereo when play music
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post #14 of 57 Old 07-29-2013, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm pretty much in the same boat as you. My amp, the pio 1222k, is 120wpc. It seems to play clearly up to -20db. I was a little worried at first as the m1's are recommended for 100 wpc amp, but from talking to people on this forum, it seems like a stronger amp is always the best route to go. It provides headroom and complete control over the speakers. It's a much better option than a weaker amp, and with the low sensitivity rating on the m1's, I'm pretty happy with my receiver.
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post #15 of 57 Old 07-30-2013, 01:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmanyon View Post

I'm pretty much in the same boat as you. My amp, the pio 1222k, is 120wpc. It seems to play clearly up to -20db. I was a little worried at first as the m1's are recommended for 100 wpc amp, but from talking to people on this forum, it seems like a stronger amp is always the best route to go. It provides headroom and complete control over the speakers. It's a much better option than a weaker amp, and with the low sensitivity rating on the m1's, I'm pretty happy with my receiver.
As long you are happy with that's all it matter.
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post #16 of 57 Old 07-31-2013, 10:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Yea, I'm very happy with the setup so far. I would love to hear any other M-1 owners opinions or setup optimizations for these speakers.
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post #17 of 57 Old 08-13-2013, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
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If anyone else has these speakers, what subs and crossover settings are you using? Just trying to keep this thread alive, haha.
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post #18 of 57 Old 09-04-2013, 03:33 PM
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I have a low-brow 5.1 system consisting of a Marantz 1402 (50 WPC), Orb speakers, and a good sub (Rel 218). (I have a separate 2 channel system for music with B&W CM7s). My room is quite large, with a vaulted ceiling. The Orbs do an admirable job, given these conditions, but my wife was complaining that she was straining to hear dialogue, especially on older TV shows and movies that don't have a proper distinct center channel. I just replaced the center Orb speakers (two of them combined) with a single B&W M-1, recalibrated, and dropped the sub's crossover from 120Hz to 90Hz. This is a marked improvement in terms of audibility. The midrange is greatly improved (what BW does best) as is the treble.

My impression is that it is hard to hang these from the ceiling at an angle, so I am probably going to keep the rear/surround orb speakers, but am contemplating upgrading the L/R speakers next. Since I don't use this system for music playback, I am wondering if it is worth the additional $500 upgrade. The Orbs seem ok for sound effects.

Anyone know if you can remove the rotatable nameplate tag without it looking terrible? That thing in front of the driver irritates me.
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post #19 of 57 Old 09-24-2013, 03:07 PM
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Anyone using floor stands with them?

The official ones from B&W are $300 a pair.

I've searched around and it appears something in the design prevents them or makes it difficult to be mounted on 3rd-party stands.


I want to use them as surrounds (pair them with my 686 and HTM62) for TV watching. But the idea of spending $800 for a rear LR setup is making me think twice.
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post #20 of 57 Old 09-24-2013, 03:23 PM
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I don't see why any stand that provides a flat mounting surface wouldn't work. Might not look as pretty as the official B&W stand.
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post #21 of 57 Old 09-24-2013, 03:33 PM
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It sounds like you would remove the table stands to mount on the official stands and so the official stands provide cable management. So to use with a third party stand, you'd have to keep the regular table stands on the speakers.

I guess then, you can tack it to a flat surface but these are bigger than the normal stands you'd get with satellite speakers so may need a bigger stand than desired.
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post #22 of 57 Old 09-26-2013, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wco81 View Post

Anyone using floor stands with them?

The official ones from B&W are $300 a pair.

I've searched around and it appears something in the design prevents them or makes it difficult to be mounted on 3rd-party stands.


I want to use them as surrounds (pair them with my 686 and HTM62) for TV watching. But the idea of spending $800 for a rear LR setup is making me think twice.
They will work fine for surround backs,I have the same set up.
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post #23 of 57 Old 09-26-2013, 12:09 PM
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I bought them at Best Buy last night and opened one of them. It's a weird setup. The table stand is like a dock, with the speaker cables terminating there and then being routed through the arm, which can be locked.

Then when you pull off the table stand, you have this weird wall bracket, where again you must route the speaker cables. The manual had diagrams but no instructions.

I returned it but after talking to the BB guy, their installer would install everything, including routing the speaker cable through the walls, for $110 per speaker.

This would be with 16 or 14 gauge speaker wire and I'd probably need 30 feet each. Good speaker wire would cost $50 at retail for these.

So I may see if I can get wire from Monoprice and if they'd install these.

Otherwise, the only other surrounds they sold that wasn't a part of a 5.1 package was a pair of Definitive Techs for $440 a pair plus $50 for the wall brackets so about the same price as the M-1s. The BB Magnolia guy said the B&W had better sound, which is to be expected but these would be surrounds, though good to know that I could use them in the future as booksh
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post #24 of 57 Old 09-26-2013, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wco81 View Post

I bought them at Best Buy last night and opened one of them. It's a weird setup. The table stand is like a dock, with the speaker cables terminating there and then being routed through the arm, which can be locked.

Then when you pull off the table stand, you have this weird wall bracket, where again you must route the speaker cables. The manual had diagrams but no instructions.

I returned it but after talking to the BB guy, their installer would install everything, including routing the speaker cable through the walls, for $110 per speaker.

This would be with 16 or 14 gauge speaker wire and I'd probably need 30 feet each. Good speaker wire would cost $50 at retail for these.

So I may see if I can get wire from Monoprice and if they'd install these.

Otherwise, the only other surrounds they sold that wasn't a part of a 5.1 package was a pair of Definitive Techs for $440 a pair plus $50 for the wall brackets so about the same price as the M-1s. The BB Magnolia guy said the B&W had better sound, which is to be expected but these would be surrounds, though good to know that I could use them in the future as booksh
Wow it sound like you have big room,Well I put mines in my bedroom on the night stand.
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post #25 of 57 Old 09-26-2013, 01:57 PM
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No the room isn't big at all. I would think the M-1 would do fine as bookshelf speakers but as surrounds, they should be way more than enough.
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post #26 of 57 Old 09-26-2013, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by wco81 View Post

No the room isn't big at all. I would think the M-1 would do fine as bookshelf speakers but as surrounds, they should be way more than enough.
Don't worry you will enjoy the M-1 for surround or use them for fronts.
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post #27 of 57 Old 09-26-2013, 07:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wgscott View Post

I have a low-brow 5.1 system consisting of a Marantz 1402 (50 WPC), Orb speakers, and a good sub (Rel 218). (I have a separate 2 channel system for music with B&W CM7s). My room is quite large, with a vaulted ceiling. The Orbs do an admirable job, given these conditions, but my wife was complaining that she was straining to hear dialogue, especially on older TV shows and movies that don't have a proper distinct center channel. I just replaced the center Orb speakers (two of them combined) with a single B&W M-1, recalibrated, and dropped the sub's crossover from 120Hz to 90Hz. This is a marked improvement in terms of audibility. The midrange is greatly improved (what BW does best) as is the treble.

My impression is that it is hard to hang these from the ceiling at an angle, so I am probably going to keep the rear/surround orb speakers, but am contemplating upgrading the L/R speakers next. Since I don't use this system for music playback, I am wondering if it is worth the additional $500 upgrade. The Orbs seem ok for sound effects.

Anyone know if you can remove the rotatable nameplate tag without it looking terrible? That thing in front of the driver irritates me.

I don't know if you can. The plate is secured by something that can be stretched, so you may be able to pull it out and then cut with scissors.
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post #28 of 57 Old 09-26-2013, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wco81 View Post

I bought them at Best Buy last night and opened one of them. It's a weird setup. The table stand is like a dock, with the speaker cables terminating there and then being routed through the arm, which can be locked.

Then when you pull off the table stand, you have this weird wall bracket, where again you must route the speaker cables. The manual had diagrams but no instructions.

I returned it but after talking to the BB guy, their installer would install everything, including routing the speaker cable through the walls, for $110 per speaker.

This would be with 16 or 14 gauge speaker wire and I'd probably need 30 feet each. Good speaker wire would cost $50 at retail for these.

So I may see if I can get wire from Monoprice and if they'd install these.

Otherwise, the only other surrounds they sold that wasn't a part of a 5.1 package was a pair of Definitive Techs for $440 a pair plus $50 for the wall brackets so about the same price as the M-1s. The BB Magnolia guy said the B&W had better sound, which is to be expected but these would be surrounds, though good to know that I could use them in the future as booksh

Because of their low FR and small size, the M-1's could be used in any part of your surround system. They are pretty versatile little speakers.
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post #29 of 57 Old 10-14-2013, 09:53 AM
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Is anyone using the M-1s mounted to the walls?

I'm trying to install them for surround channels.

The diagram it comes with seems to suggest (there are no words, just pictures) that ceiling mounting is not supported.

But if you put them on the wall, there isn't as much range allowed by the ball mount arm as I had hoped.

I haven't mounted them yet but just putting one in the wall bracket and loosening up the ball joint, it doesn't allow much range. Only like 15 to 20 degrees to the left or right, so it's not going to allow it to be aimed towards the center and downwards (because I was hoping to mount them high, either on the ceiling or on the wall near the ceiling).

Maybe the dispersion is good enough that they don't have to be aimed directly at the sweet spot?
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post #30 of 57 Old 12-04-2013, 04:16 AM
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I had my M1's for 3 months and unfortunately I returned them as faulty.

 

They had a good sound as front speakers in a 5.1 system but the build quality was poor. The special connectors that connected the speaker body to the base failed. One speaker had an intermittent connection, you would pick up the speaker to move it and it would stop working. The other speaker stopped working as the little metal clip inside the base had broken off as it looks like it had been poorly built/aligned to the body pin.

 

The B&W dealer was superb and took the speakers back without question. I got a full credit refund and upgraded to some B&W 686 bookshelf speakers with the normal cable connectors. I just added some gold banana plugs to my 14AWG cable and they are perfect. The 686 are much better speakers - excellent bass response, better dynamic range, integrate well with ASW608 Sub, and look great too. If you are looking for quality speakers to last 10+ years go with the 686 and avoid the M1's. I hope this helps some others thinking about the B&W smaller speakers. 

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