B&W CM9 vs. competitors? - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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Old 11-18-2013, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Landmonster View Post

Hi guys.

I'm the original poster in this thread... and I'm just posting an important update.

I recently auditioned the B&W CM9s more carefully. I spent a few hours listening to many tracks of music.

For a better comparison, I also demoed them in the same room against B&W CM10s, and B&W 804s, and some Sonus Fabers for $3500 (Forget the model)!


Clearly, to my ear, the 804s were the winner. Overall, they just sounded the most natural and life-like. It was obvious to everyone in the room. The Sonus Fabers, while not bad, did not do anything special for me. They were slightly less impressive to me than the B&W CM9s or 10s. My girlfriend commented that "They sounded hollow", whatever that means.

I really wanted to like the CM9s, but after hearing the CM10s and others, the CM9s just sounded somewhat disappointing to me.

First of all, the CM9 highs almost sounded like they had a big blanket in front of them. After a while, this became kind of aggravating to my ears. The B&W CM10s had a clear advantage over the CM9s in the high notes. The highs just sounded much more clear, and life-like... whereas the CM9s were not. I suppose that effect is due to the tweeter design difference on the CM10s vs Cm9s.

Secondly, the CM10s also just had more a "big" room-filling sound, which was nice. When I was hearing the CM9s, it definitely sounded like I was listening to speakers... which was kind of disappointing. The sound stage just wasn't that huge or impressive... it felt kind of enclosed, and not very tall.. if that makes sense. The CM10s had more of the ability to fill the room with full sound, which seemed more believable and enjoyable.


I also listened to some B&W 805 Diamond bookshelf speakers, the B&W CM5 bookshelfs, as well as some expensive Martin Logan bookshelf speakers..... and I think I really just don't like the bookshelf sound. Like the CM9s, it just sounds to me like I'm listening to "small" speakers. The sound stage just wasn't that huge or impressive, and I don't like that. I like room-filling, enveloping sound. No bookshelf that I've heard yet can do that.

The only speakers that really did that were the B&W CM10s and the 804 towers.


Does anyone else agree with these obseverations? Are the CM10s worth the extra money over the CM9s, or should I be looking at other brands with that budget?




As an aside... while I was critically listening to the B&W CM9s.... a couple randomly walked in, listened for 20 seconds, and said "That sounds cool, we'll take a pair of those", and walked out. eek.gif Which kind of made me think.... are we being unnaturally obsessive about this? Or are those people unusually careless with a $3,000 purchase?

Same sentiments here. For 805, you might as well upgrade to 804 as they take up the same floor space. I just reserved a pair of 804 and as what they say, hopefully diamonds last forever.

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Old 11-18-2013, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by tailorrmade View Post

FWIW. . . Pay attention to the amplification when you are comparing A vs B. I absolutely LOVE the CM9s when I first heard them but they were powered by a pair of Rotel monoblocks. Now, I don't think they will ever sound as good as that with an AV amp. Still good but not as good. Some of the speakers you have been considering are more efficient speakers and IMHO will give you better sound with the amp you're considering.

You mean external amps vs. AV Receivers?

I suppose some speakers w/ low impedance coupled with large phase angles > +/-45 degrees may be difficult for some AVRs to handle at louder volume/ farther distance.

But there is nothing special about Rotel vs. other quality external amps (ATI, Parasound, Outlaw, Emotiva, Crown, etc.) that are capable of high output (power, current) and stable down to 1 ohm.
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Old 11-18-2013, 06:35 PM
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While waiting for my 804 to arrive, what would be a good amp for it? My ears are not so sensitive so I am eyeing at the Marantz 5008 by bi-amping 2 channel outputs to the 804. Is this a recommended approach or do I really need to go all the way to 7008?

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Old 11-18-2013, 08:51 PM - Thread Starter
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So now I'm confused.
All I know is that I don't like book shelfs (at least with no subs), and I don't like the CM9s that much anymore.


Should I get a new pair of B&W CM10s? (Dealer offered me $3200, btw) I was satisfied with the CM10 sound.... and I think the CM10 has the best looks of the bunch, but at $3200, they are still probably the most expensive of the bunch.

Should I shop around for a used pair of B&W 804s or bigger?
I found a nice set of 804 Nautilus for $2400. I don't know exactly how these compare to the diamond.... but the 804s sounded much better than anything in the Best Buy show room.... FWIW.

Should I just buy an ID brand speaker like Aperion Verus Grand? ($2000ish
) To me, the CM10s were definitely better than the CM9s, but not "world's and galaxies" better. Many people have claimed that the AVG is superior to the CM9.... so that would seem like it might come close to the CM10. If so, that's a bargain at $2000
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:37 PM
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Worth trying the Aperion VGTs as they cover shipping both ways.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Ayre K-5xeMP, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650.
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

Worth trying the Aperion VGTs as they cover shipping both ways.


Do you have any thoughts how they'd compare to the Cm10s?


Also, what do you think about the resale value between the two? I never see any Aperion Verus Grands for sale..... but if I can get the B&W CM10s for $3200, I don't imagine I'd take a monstrous beating?
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:47 PM
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I'd personally go with the Salk's. You can call Jim and probably set up a listening session with a local owner. www.salksound.com They have a list and I know that there are Salk owners in the Dallas area.
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Old 11-18-2013, 09:50 PM
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Have not heard the CM10s, only CM7s which were discontinued. I would compare the CM10s to Kef R700/900 or Revel F206/208 if at all possible. The VGTs are very good, just that I would prefer Kef or Revel. 804s, now next step up...

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Ayre K-5xeMP, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650.
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Old 11-19-2013, 03:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by charmerci View Post

I'd personally go with the Salk's. You can call Jim and probably set up a listening session with a local owner. www.salksound.com They have a list and I know that there are Salk owners in the Dallas area.

I've heard good stuff about Salk. Do you feel they are superior to Aperion Verus Grand?
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Old 11-19-2013, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Landmonster View Post

I've heard good stuff about Salk. Do you feel they are superior to Aperion Verus Grand?
Salk Veracity STs would be a great option based on feedback from this Forum. You need to get out and audition more brands. Even if 8 of 10 preferred brand X over Y, what if you were one of the 2?

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Ayre K-5xeMP, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650.
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Old 11-19-2013, 09:56 AM
 
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Keep in mind,your going to be waiting for months for those Salk's. I doubt you can return them,being as they are a special order item. I didn't like the grill's on the Grand Verus. But other than that they sounded better than the CM9' IMO. The grand Verus monster is huge and sounds great also. $699 for Verus Grand center or $1250 for the B&W center. Like others have said,you get free shipping both ways,no reason not to try them.
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Old 11-19-2013, 02:53 PM
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I have come to the conclusion that buying new speakers is pretty much a crap shoot unless you can audition all the speakers in your home. Replaced all the audio in my setup over the last 6 months or so including the AVR . Replaced 8-10 year old Klipsch towers and center (RF5/82s) with Def/Tech 8060s to start. DTs never sounded quiet right in my setup but I kept trying to make them work until beyond the return period. Lost ~$1,250 when I finally got rid of them. Researched this section of AVS again, found Aperion among others and read any test reports I could find. Chose Aperion VGTs based upon test results, appearance and build. By build I mean they had the size and number of speakers etc. of much more expensive speakers (i.e B&W). Final factor in selecting the VGTs for a try out is that I could easily return them at no cost. I am so happy with them that I later bought VG bookshelf's for side surrounds and replaced my original Forte center with the VG Center which required surgery on a $2k AV console to fit.

In short, you can do research, ask for advice on speakers but never get a definitive non subjective answer to your quest unless you make a decision to actually try them at home. Just don't make the mistake I did with the DTs. Good luck.
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Old 11-19-2013, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Landmonster View Post

I've heard good stuff about Salk. Do you feel they are superior to Aperion Verus Grand?

Nope. Haven't heard any Aperions.

There is at least one (maybe two - no updates on a second one) Songtowers for sale on the Audio Circle website.

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=120513.0
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Old 11-19-2013, 05:35 PM
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I have a pair of CM9s and the matching CM2 center channel. I can say they are very picky about placement and found them more power hungry than my av receiver can provide. I have them paired with a JL F112 sub. It is not the largest sub, but it sounds fantastic and has a small foot print which I needed at the time.

In the workout room, I have a pair of Kef R300s. They are fantastic speakers. Kef has a direct sales website that will allow you to do home demos. I did buy the Kefs local due to finding a better deal after auditioning a lot of speakers.

I wanted to try Salk, but I want to hear a speaker before I buy it.

If I were to start over, I would try a pair of Kef R300s with a SVS SB13-Ultra. Later on, you could add a second sub.

I do suggest trying a lot speakers before buying.
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Old 11-19-2013, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by canelli View Post

I have a pair of CM9s and the matching CM2 center channel. I can say they are very picky about placement and found them more power hungry than my av receiver can provide. I have them paired with a JL F112 sub. It is not the largest sub, but it sounds fantastic and has a small foot print which I needed at the time.

In the workout room, I have a pair of Kef R300s. They are fantastic speakers. Kef has a direct sales website that will allow you to do home demos. I did buy the Kefs local due to finding a better deal after auditioning a lot of speakers.

I wanted to try Salk, but I want to hear a speaker before I buy it.

If I were to start over, I would try a pair of Kef R300s with a SVS SB13-Ultra. Later on, you could add a second sub.

I do suggest trying a lot speakers before buying.

Which AVR did you use for CM9 and CM2? Is CM2 worth the upgrade over CM1?

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Old 11-19-2013, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Landmonster View Post

So now I'm confused.
All I know is that I don't like book shelfs (at least with no subs), and I don't like the CM9s that much anymore.


Should I get a new pair of B&W CM10s? (Dealer offered me $3200, btw) I was satisfied with the CM10 sound.... and I think the CM10 has the best looks of the bunch, but at $3200, they are still probably the most expensive of the bunch.

Should I shop around for a used pair of B&W 804s or bigger?
I found a nice set of 804 Nautilus for $2400. I don't know exactly how these compare to the diamond.... but the 804s sounded much better than anything in the Best Buy show room.... FWIW.

Should I just buy an ID brand speaker like Aperion Verus Grand? ($2000ish
) To me, the CM10s were definitely better than the CM9s, but not "world's and galaxies" better. Many people have claimed that the AVG is superior to the CM9.... so that would seem like it might come close to the CM10. If so, that's a bargain at $2000

People are just expressing their honest opinions, which you may end up respectfully disagreeing, like I do all the time. biggrin.gif

If you have a lot of time, try out those companies that offer free shipping on returns (risk free) - Aperion, NHT, KEF Direct.

The 804 Nautilus for about $2K would be nice.
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Old 11-19-2013, 06:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Landmonster View Post

So now I'm confused.
All I know is that I don't like book shelfs (at least with no subs), and I don't like the CM9s that much anymore.


Should I get a new pair of B&W CM10s? (Dealer offered me $3200, btw) I was satisfied with the CM10 sound.... and I think the CM10 has the best looks of the bunch, but at $3200, they are still probably the most expensive of the bunch.

Should I shop around for a used pair of B&W 804s or bigger?
I found a nice set of 804 Nautilus for $2400. I don't know exactly how these compare to the diamond.... but the 804s sounded much better than anything in the Best Buy show room.... FWIW.

Should I just buy an ID brand speaker like Aperion Verus Grand? ($2000ish
) To me, the CM10s were definitely better than the CM9s, but not "world's and galaxies" better. Many people have claimed that the AVG is superior to the CM9.... so that would seem like it might come close to the CM10. If so, that's a bargain at $2000

Of course you're confused. You asked for it and the group flooded you with subjective opinions. Remember what I said. Buy what what you like, not what someone else likes. AcuDefTech's approach is golden. Try them at home. Something is likely to appeal to you.
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Old 11-19-2013, 06:48 PM
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Just to add to the confusion biggrin.gif you can try some PSB Imagine or Synchrony speakers from Crutchfield for up to 60 days and at most it would cost you $10 to ship them back if you don't like them.

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Old 11-20-2013, 11:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisdemello View Post

Which AVR did you use for CM9 and CM2? Is CM2 worth the upgrade over CM1?

This is absolutely essential. I tried the Martin Logan Electromotion ESL's with my Onkyo 805 and they sounded bright and lifeless. So I started trying the other speakers out there,but I replaced the 805 for the Onk 818. Tried other brands,Aperion was really good,especially for the price. But I brought home the electromotions esl's again and wow, what a difference with the 818.. I still can't believe the sound from those ESL's.
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:16 PM
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Just to add to the confusion biggrin.gif you can try some PSB Imagine or Synchrony speakers from Crutchfield for up to 60 days and at most it would cost you $10 to ship them back if you don't like them.

Wow, is that a new policy? Just $10 to return the entire order?
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Old 11-20-2013, 12:19 PM
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Wow, is that a new policy? Just $10 to return the entire order?

Don't know if it's new or not but it is pretty nice. In fact depending on the circumstances it might not cost you anything for the return.

I did anexchange, RF52s for the 62s and it didn't cost me anything in return shipping. And this is to and from Hawaii no less. eek.gif

I've had nothing but great experiences with Crutchfield.

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Old 01-10-2014, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

The Denon X4000 should be a great receiver.

As for the speakers, tons of good speakers at this price range. Personally I think there are several better than the CM9s, but others may prefer the CM9s and that's fine too.

Consider these alternatives:

PSB Imagine T2 (around $3500/pair)
KEF R500 (around $2600/pair)
KEF R700 (around $3500/pair?)
Ascend Sierra Towers ($2000-$2700/pair depending on options)
Revel F206 (around $3500/pair)
Sonus Faber Venere 3.0
Aperion Audio Verus Grand towers
Salk Songtowers
Monitor Audio Silver 8 or Silver 10 (brand new models just coming out)

You'll get lots of debate about which is better. Depends on your room, listening habits, personal preferences, etc. I think the CM9s are pretty nice but a little pricey for what you get. I think just about any of the ones I mentioned above are better speakers for the money. But like I said, others may prefer the CM9s, and that's fine too.

You might also consider getting bookshelf speakers (like PSB Imagines, KEF R300s, Ascend Sierras, Revel M105 or M106, etc), saving some money there, and buying two quality subwoofers from a place like Hsu, SVS, Rythmik, etc.

Edit: Also consider Paradigm Studio 60v5 or Studio 100v5 floorstanders, or Studio 20v5 standmounts. I'm sure there are many others as well that I haven't mentioned.

which of these speakers are the most laid back?

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Old 01-10-2014, 09:28 PM
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The Kef R series are fairly laid back but still amazing detail. The previous XQ line was not. The Aperion Grand Verus are very laid back but a bit less detail. Can't comment on the rest.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Ayre K-5xeMP, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650.
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:07 AM
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I had auditioned the CM9 the 804 and then the Revel 206 and 208 and KEF R series (R500 and 900). I went with the KEF R900. Very well balanced - the Revels were a little too bright/forward for my ears - KEFs also had great detail but not as forward. Liked the KEFs and Revels better than the CM9 - the 804s were on a different level but the KEFs (taking cost I to account for me) were neck in neck.
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Old 01-11-2014, 07:47 AM
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which of these speakers are the most laid back?

Any of them, once you get your room acoustics situation straightened out.

Remember that if you buy a higher end AVR like the X4000 you are probably paying $100s for Audyssey XT32. You are therefore throwing lots of your money away if you don't exploit it.

If you do exploit Audyssey, it is going to smooth out and balance the response of your speakers in your room greatly. It will not make them all sound the same and it won't make the outlyers sound great, but it will tend to minimize the obvious differences.

The remaining characteristics of your speakers that Audyssey can't affect very much is their nonlinear distortion and their off-axis response.

If you don't have a good subwoofer, the best thing you can do about nonlinear distortion is to get a good subwoofer or two or four.

That leaves off-axis response. The most effective thing you can do to optimize that besides picking speakers that themselves optimize that gets us back to room acoustics.

I keep hearing someone say room acoustics. Does that mean that there is a bad echo in here? ;-)
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Any of them, once you get your room acoustics situation straightened out.

Remember that if you buy a higher end AVR like the X4000 you are probably paying $100s for Audyssey XT32. You are therefore throwing lots of your money away if you don't exploit it.

If you do exploit Audyssey, it is going to smooth out and balance the response of your speakers in your room greatly. It will not make them all sound the same and it won't make the outlyers sound great, but it will tend to minimize the obvious differences.

The remaining characteristics of your speakers that Audyssey can't affect very much is their nonlinear distortion and their off-axis response.

If you don't have a good subwoofer, the best thing you can do about nonlinear distortion is to get a good subwoofer or two or four.

That leaves off-axis response. The most effective thing you can do to optimize that besides picking speakers that themselves optimize that gets us back to room acoustics.

I keep hearing someone say room acoustics. Does that mean that there is a bad echo in here? ;-)
I like my sound quite well with Audyssey off. Not a fan and I do have XT32. I know you are quite knowledgable in audio but there are a large number who are also not fans. Depends on the room and speakers IMO whether it will be a gain.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Ayre K-5xeMP, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650.
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Old 01-11-2014, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Any of them, once you get your room acoustics situation straightened out.

Remember that if you buy a higher end AVR like the X4000 you are probably paying $100s for Audyssey XT32. You are therefore throwing lots of your money away if you don't exploit it.

If you do exploit Audyssey, it is going to smooth out and balance the response of your speakers in your room greatly. It will not make them all sound the same and it won't make the outlyers sound great, but it will tend to minimize the obvious differences.

The remaining characteristics of your speakers that Audyssey can't affect very much is their nonlinear distortion and their off-axis response.

If you don't have a good subwoofer, the best thing you can do about nonlinear distortion is to get a good subwoofer or two or four.

That leaves off-axis response. The most effective thing you can do to optimize that besides picking speakers that themselves optimize that gets us back to room acoustics.

I keep hearing someone say room acoustics. Does that mean that there is a bad echo in here? ;-)
I like my sound quite well with Audyssey off. Not a fan and I do have XT32. I know you are quite knowledgable in audio but there are a large number who are also not fans. Depends on the room and speakers IMO whether it will be a gain.

(1) It is true that Audyssey can be faked out by a room with really odd acoustics.

(2) It is also true that some people get used to skewed frequency response and actually don't like it when things get straightened out and smoothed up.

(3) There is also considerable bias against Audyssey from the same kind of people who wanted amps with no tone controls because they felt that they always messed up the sound.

(4) It is also true that a really good technician can do better than Audyssey with the right test equipment and their own well-trained hearing.

Finally, if you buy new speakers, the first 3 items are tossed in a hat, shaken up real well, and pulled out by a blindfolded man - you! ;-)
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Old 01-11-2014, 10:28 AM
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Is audessey just as worthwhile with a 2.0 or 2.1 system?
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