Thanks for the comments. Now I feel better, but that massive guilt feeling is returning. I'm going from stereo to 4.1 or 5.1 and so I'll be buying either the new Onkyo TX-NR905 receiver or maybe a big Emotiva 200 WPC amp. Reviewers say the BW CDM 9NTs really sound better with plenty of power. It seems that BW and Rotel are the same company somehow, and that they sound great together. So maybe I swallow hard and buy Rotel muscle. Since we can't go out and drive anymore in the U.S., I don't mind putting money into this hobby. With the info you all have provided, I'll keep all the packing material and sell the 9NTs on Ebay if they really dissapoint. It's the PITA factor there that bothers me. BTW a mint pair of black Nautilus 805s went fast for $1775 on eBay two weeks ago and that sort of led to my admittedly high bid on the 9NTs. The seller says mint and he just has rave evaluations on ebay. He's sold a lot on there. It's amazing to me that the N804s were $3,500/pair new and now are mint on Audiogon at $2100, as I am told above. N805s were $2,000 new and now are mint on Ebay at $1775. I think the buyer of those at $1775 and me with the 9NTs at $1975 probably both overpaid a little, but so be it. Anywho, I am fortunate that these will be my rear surrounds, not my front mains if they could be a lot better.
BTW, I read for six weeks on the net, researching speakers. I heard some Dali Icon 2's at a custom installer, and he was willing to sell me them used for a grand. They are bookshelves, and not much base, but the mids and highs were impressive with an Arcam amp. Female vocal especially. Then he let me hear the next step up in Dali's, a floorstander with a woofer or two. They sounded horrible!
I recently heard at a dealer a famous British competitor to B and W, floorstanders at ~$1300 with one woofer and two woofers at $1500/pair. The bigger ones were clearly better in A-B comparison. Then I went back 3 weeks later and heard those big ones play an Aix Records DVD-A I took in. OH GOD, they sounded cheap. Constrained and constricted, like cheap little speakers playing in little, narrow cabinets, which is what they are. Just awful. People are paying $1500 for that?? Geez. I sure hope the 9NTs at $2600/pair new are a LOT better than that. I recommend that you all look at www.allisonacoustics.com
and see the Allison Ones. I bought mine in 1976 from Harvey Sound on W. 45th St. in New York. Allison is back in business, the Ones are in somewhat narrower but deeper cabinets now, same drivers, and a little more refined furniture. (Mine are 40 3/8" tall, 19 1/16" wide (!) and 10 1/8 deep. The current ones are 41.31 tall, 15.75 wide and 11.25 deep). Two tweeters, two mids and two 10" woofers in each cabinet. At over 19" wide, mine impress visually and then just enthrall you sonically. Not a lot of dealers, but if you want to just hear fantastic speakers, hear them. MSRP $5300/ pair but Ill bet they can be had for $4000. If you have that to spend, you owe it to yourself to hear them.
And try an Aix Records DVD-A. See my raves over on the Surround Sound formats site here on avsforum. People try them and then they post raves. They are dual disks, DVD-A on one side and DTS 5.1 on the other. You will hear what your system can do for the first time ever. Just stunning fidelity. www.aixrecords.com
The 703/CDM9nT in my experience has more bass than the N805, N804, 805s, but the 800 series had better treble in my opinion. The speaker you got should be mighty fine nevertheless. As long as it is truly mint condition, and everything works as it should, i'd say you have a good chance of being satisfied with the amount you paid and the quality you will get. Could you have paid less? Sure, but thats always true.
From what I have seen on Audiogon, mint N805 goes for 1200$. Ebay might have slightly higher prices.
Enjoy your speakers![/quote]