B&W CM9 v Sonus Faber Toy Towers - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Old 11-11-2014, 02:01 PM - Thread Starter
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B&W CM9 v Sonus Faber Toy Towers

Hi guys

I'm currently waiting to move house and have had B&W CM9s in storage for a while now. I've come across an opportunity to buy some Sonus Faber Toy Towers which I would like to get, I'm just looking for a change from the CM9s. I mainly listed to music, stereo. Has anybody demoed or owned these two speakers and can offer a comparison? If not, have you owned or own one or the other, what are your thoughts?

Thanks
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Anybody hear the toy towers? Thanks
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Old 11-12-2014, 10:17 AM
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I would highly recommend them. As with most of the Sonus Faber line, they err toward the warmer side, but without losing detail. You will need to play with positioning, but that's normal with most higher end speakers. Highly musical and you definitely will not be disappointed. Get them.
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Old 11-12-2014, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you so much, I was worried about going from a more expensive speaker to the SF toys. I think the CM9s are almost double the price when new. What I'm after is a really enjoyable listen rather than transparent/monitor like sound. Are there any other speakers I should consider to compare against the sonus Faber toy towers?
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Old 11-12-2014, 02:38 PM
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I believe there are basically two camps in the audio world. Analytical and emotional. It's a personal preference. I have owned and gone through a great amount of speakers and gear, trying to find my own personal nirvana. I actually started off with different models of B&W's, and moved on to models from ML, Vienna Acoustics, Avalon, Audio Physics, Sonus Faber, etc., etc. I recently took a break because I realized that I was losing sight, or sound, of what I had originally set out to find. We each have our preferences, but I am impressed when I can "feel" the music and not when I "analyze" it. I don't want to start listing speakers that you should try, because it would send you on the hunt for perfection, when you may already have it. The Sonus Faber's may not be as technically accurate as some other brands, but they have "musical soul", and they are a speaker company I would recommend with no hesitation. Give them a try. Experiment a bit with placement. From things you have said, I think they would be a good match and I don't think you would be disappointed. Price is also not always an indicator that one piece of equipment is definitely better than another. There are always surprises.
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Old 11-12-2014, 03:54 PM
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What do you find lacking about the CM9? I think it is an outstanding speaker. To clearly beat them you need to step up to the Diamond line or something like Focal Electra Be.
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Old 11-13-2014, 06:05 AM - Thread Starter
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I don't feel the music enough with the CM9. They are in the analytical camp in my view.
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Old 11-16-2014, 08:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Do, the CM9's are now sold. Although I've been originally thinking about the Toy Tower, I'm now thinking of possibly the Venere 2.5 or 3.0

I'm a little unfortunate that I'm in Ireland and the Sonus Faber dealer only imports on order, so really need some guidance from you experts!!

Thanks
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Old 11-16-2014, 04:49 PM
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Interesting that you think the CM9s are analytical. You didn't mention the rest of your gear and that could definitely play a role.

I would suggest listening to some Dynaudio. They have very smooth sound. Their Focus line is where it really starts to get very good!
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Old 11-17-2014, 12:12 AM
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I've owned a pair of B&W 685 S1, and currently own a different pair of British towers - the Monitor Audio RX6. I've listened to the CM9 quite a few times over the years so I'm familiar with them. The CM9 are no doubt fantastic speakers, and have great dynamics, pinpoint imaging, and are very revealing and detailed. I would agree, however, that they are more in the "analytical" camp. I always found them a bit clinical or sterile, with a bit too much of an "in-your-face" character to the treble. The CM9 aims more for accuracy, which most people tend to like.

I also own a pair of the SF Toy monitors -- they present a very different sound from my RX6 and the CM9. Like Wolf2 said, they err toward the warmer side of things, and their general disposition is toward a pleasantly rolled off treble. Their goal is less at accuracy and more at making most anything played through them sound "pleasant." I feel more emotionally connected to the music when I listen to my little pair of SF Toy than on any other speakers that I've owned. It's definitely a sound that's colored, not entirely accurate, and not everybody's cup of tea.

The Venere line are IMO voiced a bit more forward than the Toy line was, but still have a familiar Sonus faber sound. Their largest departure is that they are the first SF speaker to be built in China instead of Italy.
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ht Panasonic 60" ZT60, Monitor Audio Silver RX6, RX Centre, RX1; ML Dynamo 700, Marantz SR5006, PS3, Panasonic BDT500, Oppo 103D, ATV, Nexus Player, Panamax M-5100PM
2ch Sonus faber Toy Tower, REL T3, Marantz PM8004, Sony ST-SA50ES, Sony BDP-S1000ES, Apple TV, Peachtree Audio DAC•iT, Sony 32" W650A, Panamax MR4300
+ Sony 65" X850B, Monitor Audio Radius 90HD, FiiO A1 amplifier, Apple TV, Sony BDP-S5100, Monster Power HTS1600
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Old 11-17-2014, 01:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, I've actually had a pair of Focus 160s but I thought that they were even more analytical than the CM9's, I guess that's real proof that I really have to listen and make my own mind up. Unfortunately, it may mean further $$ losses as I move on equipment that doesn't fit the bill. It is very hard to get extended home demos here
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Old 11-17-2014, 08:23 AM
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Thumbs up

You may want to look at the Opera speaker line. They are made by Unison Research. Very similar to the Sonus sound w/typical Italian finish.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:15 PM
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I was not fully aware of your situation, but now I understand a little better. What is the rest of your system comprised of? Since it is hard for you to audition gear, we might be able to give some recommendations.
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Old 11-22-2014, 11:42 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf2 View Post
I was not fully aware of your situation, but now I understand a little better. What is the rest of your system comprised of? Since it is hard for you to audition gear, we might be able to give some recommendations.
Thanks Wolf, I've a Naim Unitiqute, but I'm planning for it to be used in a bedroom system. I've no main amp yet.. Source is sonos connect, but may get a separate dac to be used with a Nas drive w/flac files
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Old 11-22-2014, 02:09 PM
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Not sure what kind of budget your have, but I will throw out a couple of amp ideas and others members could also give you some suggestions. You could take a look at / listen to some integrated amps by Simaudio, Musical Fidelity, Creek, Vincent, Rogue. Hope this helps with some ideas.
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Old 11-25-2014, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf2 View Post
Not sure what kind of budget your have, but I will throw out a couple of amp ideas and others members could also give you some suggestions. You could take a look at / listen to some integrated amps by Simaudio, Musical Fidelity, Creek, Vincent, Rogue. Hope this helps with some ideas.
Thanks Wolf. I once had a Naim Nait Xs. I did an A v B with an Arcam avr200 - i didn't notice any difference ( granted that I only demo'd for an hour, so maybe not long enough).

My budget would be approx $800 for amp. I have a sonos connect, so I am debating whether or not to use it ( and it's dac) to stream spotify, or buy a separate dac ( or maybe an amp with integrated dac) or thirdly, bypass the sonus and use a NAS to stream flac files to some sort of streamer!!! Too many choices!!!
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Old 07-02-2015, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatuglyguy View Post
I've owned a pair of B&W 685 S1, and currently own a different pair of British towers - the Monitor Audio RX6. I've listened to the CM9 quite a few times over the years so I'm familiar with them. The CM9 are no doubt fantastic speakers, and have great dynamics, pinpoint imaging, and are very revealing and detailed. I would agree, however, that they are more in the "analytical" camp. I always found them a bit clinical or sterile, with a bit too much of an "in-your-face" character to the treble. The CM9 aims more for accuracy, which most people tend to like.

I also own a pair of the SF Toy monitors -- they present a very different sound from my RX6 and the CM9. Like Wolf2 said, they err toward the warmer side of things, and their general disposition is toward a pleasantly rolled off treble. Their goal is less at accuracy and more at making most anything played through them sound "pleasant." I feel more emotionally connected to the music when I listen to my little pair of SF Toy than on any other speakers that I've owned. It's definitely a sound that's colored, not entirely accurate, and not everybody's cup of tea.

The Venere line are IMO voiced a bit more forward than the Toy line was, but still have a familiar Sonus faber sound. Their largest departure is that they are the first SF speaker to be built in China instead of Italy.

I've been looking for a pair of speakers for my build-from-scratch 5.1 HT system. 60% music, 40% movies.

I've been auditioning B&W 683 S2, CM8 S2, CM9 S2, CM 10 S2, GoldenEar Triton 5,3, Def Tech, Paradigm 85F, Monitor Audio Silver 6 & Sonus Faber Venere 3.0 & 2.5. While Paradigm 85F & CM10 sound the best, they are outside of my price range.

I'm settling on the Sonus Faber Venere 3.0 (floor model at Best Buy/Magnolia @ $2K with what they claim to be 100-120 hrs of listen time) because it's gone from outside of my price range ($3500 / pair) to now $2000/pair.

Love to hear your thoughts on it. Is it a good deal for my price range and my situation below. Should i be really worried about the made in China stigma? I talked to the Sumiko guys (Distributor) and they said they are building a new Venere 4.0 (made in italy) to improve the reputation of this Venere line (China stigma is not good) and introducing the new Chameleon line (made in Italy) with Chameleon T listed at $2K!

Here's my situation:
- My room - 14 ft wide by 15 ft length (seating area) & 24 ft length (including my open kitchen behind the seating area). Hardwood floor with no rug. Windows to one side & open dining area on another side.
- My music - classical (orchestra), pop/rock, jazz, everything
- Thinking of picking up the new Pioneer SC91 receiver ($1000) at Best Buy. I tested the old SC81 with the Venere 3.0 and it worked quite well.
- Will use Venere Center

Last edited by pchangavs; 07-02-2015 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 07-02-2015, 02:02 PM
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@pchangavs I'd say go for it. The Veneres sound great and the China stigma is not really that big of a deal. I'm assuming the Chameleons won't sound quite as nice as the venere line given the low price. That's a really nice deal for the 3.0s and I'm sure they're in fine condition. Nothing wrong with buying used or demo, it's a great way to save money. Magnolias can already get the Chameleon line but as of now they're special order only meaning no demo pair to check out.

It sounds like the only challenge may be the material/configuration of your room in regards to sound.

ht Panasonic 60" ZT60, Monitor Audio Silver RX6, RX Centre, RX1; ML Dynamo 700, Marantz SR5006, PS3, Panasonic BDT500, Oppo 103D, ATV, Nexus Player, Panamax M-5100PM
2ch Sonus faber Toy Tower, REL T3, Marantz PM8004, Sony ST-SA50ES, Sony BDP-S1000ES, Apple TV, Peachtree Audio DAC•iT, Sony 32" W650A, Panamax MR4300
+ Sony 65" X850B, Monitor Audio Radius 90HD, FiiO A1 amplifier, Apple TV, Sony BDP-S5100, Monster Power HTS1600
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Old Today, 08:05 PM
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Just bought a pair of REL T9 sub to go with the Sonus. Wow, what a big diff in terms of the bass! Is that a good pairing?
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