Sonus Faber Cermona M (Home Theater Use) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 07-24-2013, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I currently have CM-9's used for my home theater system which is used 80% home theater and 20% music. I know that the B&W's sound great with home theater but truly shine when listening to music. I recently got the chance to audition B&W 802D and Sonus Faber Cermona M's head to head. I as a big B&W guy fell in love with the Fabers. I am strongly considering moving up but since my main use of the system is movies I wanted to know if anyone here has experience with the Sonus and what knowledge they could shed on the situation.

Thanks in advance guys
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post #2 of 11 Old 07-25-2013, 07:23 AM
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Mustio23,

No direct experience, only what I've heard and read. Did you observe where the Cremona Ms were placed relative to the walls in the room? I've lusted after cremonas, but I don't have the space to let them breathe. My only suggestion would be to make sure that you have the space for them. Most people seem to like them.
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post #3 of 11 Old 07-25-2013, 10:52 AM
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Definitely need to give them room to breath. IIRC they have two ports on the back of each speaker so placement in relation to the back wall will have a big effect on the sound. I'm sure others will chime in on this, but my personal feeling is the music vs HT speakers has gotten a bit overblown. Music and movies both require dynamic range, clarity, good imaging, wide soundstage, etc etc. Speakers have no idea what they are playing. All they know is that they are getting fed an electrical signal and they must translate it into sound. And, if your speakers aren't very good at playing music, how are they supposed to play the musical scores in movies any better?

I've heard the Cremonas and 802D's together as well, and considering you like your CM9's so much it actually isn't too much of a surprise that you like the Cremona's more than the 802D's. The 800 series B&W and CM series have very different characteristics. While the CM series is a bit laid-back and warm, the 800's are a little bright and in your face (thanks in large part to that diamond tweeter). In my mind, the Cremona's are a logical choice when moving up from the CM9's, whether for music or movies. They have a similar type of sound but seemed to have better low end extension and a clearer high end. All that to say, assuming you pair them well with a good sub, I think they'd be excellent for movie watching.
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post #4 of 11 Old 07-25-2013, 01:50 PM
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What a great dilemma! Both are great speakers! I think the real answer is you need to audition both with a couple of your favorite movies and also think about your room. But with that said: for mostly home theater use, I might give the nod to B&W for the extra detail--as long as you have a good sub.

Here's the longer response to your question and my reasoning: Today I have B&W 703s and CM series in use as part of a 7.1 home theater and Cremona Ms in a separate 2 channel rig. I probably spend 60-70% of my time listening to music in the living room vs. movies in the family room / theater.

I started with B&W 703s used them for both music and movies even though it was only part of a two channel system. At times I thought they were a little fatiguing but I'm sure a lot of that was the reflections from the plaster walls in my old house. I say this because when I moved to a newer house with drywall and more of an open floorplan I thought they sounded better (softer). But I still thought they were a little bright and did change my integrated amplifier and cabling. (flame suit on) I liked the differences in the 703's sound even more. Subtle differences, but they were there IMHO. And even though my system was still 2 channel, I thought the B&Ws especially shined when I was watching a movie on blu ray. The detail of the speakers are great for that.

Fast forward a little and I was starting to get the urge to upgrade. So when the B&W diamonds first came out, I went to audition them thinking I would be stepping up from my 703s. I listened to the complete 800 series, but the diamonds didn't do it for me--very accurate but not the bass I was really looking for. (again personal preferences on sound) However, in the same showroom were Cremona Ms. It took about 1/2 a song for me to hear the difference and know the Fabers were a good choice for me. There's a bit more depth in the bass and a warmer sound, which I prefer. I bought them and 2+ years later, I'm still very happy. As an alternative, I probably could have added a nice sub to the diamonds. But space didn't allow at the time.

So while basking in bliss of Cremonas, the question was what to do with the 703s which were in storage. Like I said, I thought they were great in home theater use. Plus I had a long term goal of building a surround sound system in the family room. So after my demo, I had decided that what the 703s really needed was a subwoofer. And it was a good addition. However, by the time I was ready to do more, the 700 series was long gone and the CMs were out. So I bought a CMC2 center and 2 pairs of CM5s to provide surround. It's a little mix-n-match, but I think it all pairs pretty well and I'm very pleased with the results. This is all powered by a Denon 4520.

My GF/now fiance has been through all of this with me. While she thinks I'm a little obsessive cool.gif, she does hear the differences between the two systems. She prefers the B&Ws for HT.

So how do I bring this all back to your original question: If I was only going to have one system, with the majority of my listening music, I'd build it around the Cremonas. (Of course that means I'd need the matching Cremona Center and eventually Auditor or Elipsa surrounds. smile.gif ) But if the majority of my listening was movies, I'd probably go B&W and add a 2nd sub.

So trust your own ears and happy shopping!!
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post #5 of 11 Old 07-25-2013, 02:40 PM
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mustio23,

You might get more opinions in the Sonus Faber owners thread....http://www.avsforum.com/t/1099570/sonus-faber-owners-thread

I'm not to familiar with the Cremona M speaker, but I will say that the sound signature of Sonus speakers is on the warm side,
yet well defined & non-fatiguing . I've heard B&W 800 series speakers, and to my ear, they have more of a neutral sound (detailed also).

It all depends on what you like as a listener. I have a Sonus Faber home theater setup, and am completely happy with them. And
they are terrific with music also. IMO

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post #6 of 11 Old 07-25-2013, 07:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Amazing information guys, thank you for the incite. To breakdown the audition setup there was some big differences with the setups, however not in the B&W 802's favor. THe B&W's were incredibly well powered. McIntosh amp per speaker with Mcintosh receiver and Mcintosh CD player. The Cremona's were powered by a Marantz receiver. As you can tell though staging was similar though, about the same distance from the wall and the same angle.




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post #7 of 11 Old 07-25-2013, 07:56 PM
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Hm, looks exactly like the magnolia design center I used to work in smile.gif ah memories, terrible terrible memories.
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post #8 of 11 Old 07-26-2013, 05:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mustio23 View Post

Amazing information guys, thank you for the incite. To breakdown the audition setup there was some big differences with the setups, however not in the B&W 802's favor. THe B&W's were incredibly well powered. McIntosh amp per speaker with Mcintosh receiver and Mcintosh CD player. The Cremona's were powered by a Marantz receiver. As you can tell though staging was similar though, about the same distance from the wall and the same angle.

Curiuos: How was the staging not in the B&Ws favor? Which Marantz were the Cremonas powered with?
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post #9 of 11 Old 07-26-2013, 07:00 AM
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If it is the same set-up across all MAV and MDC locations, it would most likely be the Marantz Reference Line PM-15S2B, their integrated amp.
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post #10 of 11 Old 07-26-2013, 07:43 AM
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I bought my Cremonas from Magnolia. When I auditioned, they had them connected to McIntosh and they sounded great. I think the 802s were connected to McIntosh as well. But it seems like the other 800 series were connected to a Peachtree system. I was just curious as my integrated is a Marantz PM-11s2. A little more power (I think) than the model you mentioned and it does a fine job with the Cremonas. But I have to admit that I wouldn't mind trying more power and seeing blue meters staring back at me when I listen.

I don't want to talk up other forums because of all the great people and info I've found on AVS. But I see a lot more discussion about Sonus and especially McIntosh over at Audio Aficionado.

Maybe the OP can share info on the rest of his/her system and ultimate what they decide to purchase?
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post #11 of 11 Old 07-26-2013, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuz1 View Post

[

Curiuos: How was the staging not in the B&Ws favor? Which Marantz were the Cremonas powered with?

The reason for not being in B&W's favor is because I felt during the audition that the Cremona's actually sounded better in the same room and the Cremona's were not powered equally. I wish I could have heard them hooked up to the McIntosh setup. Sim1yamzn, your correct, it was the reference series line powering the Cremona's.
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