Best setup for B&W CM9, Pioneer SC-67 - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-05-2013, 01:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok ok, so I'm a newbie. But I have an amazing ear having grown up all my life with music. I really struggle with the nuances of a setup (cabling, pre/pro,crossovers etc) BUT I can tell when something sounds good vs. ok vs. bad.

On to my question. I just bought a Pioneer SC-67 to power two B&W CM9s that I'm looking to pair up. I have been reading on some other forums that these two speakers are really a burden on AVs like the Pioneer which can lead to killing the amp.

I don't know how accurate this is or isn't, but does a separate amplifier really benefit this setup? Eventually I'm going to purchase a separate sub + center + 2 rear speakers for a HT setup.

My general question is what components are an absolute requirement for ensuring maximum sound reproduction from the CM9s or a similar mid-high end speaker system. This would include cables, specific AV settings, sub pairings etc.

Sorry for the overly general post, but I think there are some of you out there that will understand smile.gif
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-05-2013, 07:16 PM
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Ok ok, so I'm a newbie.
I'll try to take that into account.
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But I have an amazing ear having grown up all my life with music.
I would not be so sure of myself if I were you. In addition to rubbing people the wrong way, you are liable to have your ego seriously deflated at some point. Better to start out humble and build on that.
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On to my question. I just bought a Pioneer SC-67 to power two B&W CM9s that I'm looking to pair up. I have been reading on some other forums that these two speakers are really a burden on AVs like the Pioneer which can lead to killing the amp.

I don't know how accurate this is or isn't,
It's bulls**t.
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but does a separate amplifier really benefit this setup?
No.
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My general question is what components are an absolute requirement for ensuring maximum sound reproduction from the CM9s or a similar mid-high end speaker system. This would include cables, specific AV settings, sub pairings etc.
Nothing—especially cabling—would be an absolute requirement. I would say the preponderant view on site is that any 12-16 AWG speaker cable will do the job. Do not waste money on foolish cables. They will do nothing but lighten your wallet.

The next thing for you to consider isn't any component. It's the room you are putting them in. Tell us about that.

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #3 of 8 Old 04-06-2013, 12:42 PM - Thread Starter
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I would not be so sure of myself if I were you. In addition to rubbing people the wrong way, you are liable to have your ego seriously deflated at some point. Better to start out humble and build on that.

Thanks for the response Mcnarus- my apologies I really did not intend for it to come off that way, I was maybe trying to convey (the wrong way) that I'm not your typical clueless person that walks into best buy and thinks TV speakers sounds amazing.

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Nothing—especially cabling—would be an absolute requirement. I would say the preponderant view on site is that any 12-16 AWG speaker cable will do the job. Do not waste money on foolish cables. They will do nothing but lighten your wallet
.


The Magnolia guys swear that the Audio Quest cables are the way to go, and yeah they are about $300.00 for 8ft. I don't think it makes much difference but I haven't had much of a baseline to test against.

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The next thing for you to consider isn't any component. It's the room you are putting them in. Tell us about that.

It's a 15x30 open space that has concrete floors and concrete ceilings ( think loft), it takes lots to move air in this space. There is only drywall on one side, the rest are floor to ceiling windows, not sure these are ideal conditions for sound but the B&W Panorama 2 did not cut it in this space.

I plan on eventually adding a dedicated REL T9 speaker ( don't know if this may be too much).
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-06-2013, 06:15 PM
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I was maybe trying to convey (the wrong way) that I'm not your typical clueless person that walks into best buy and thinks TV speakers sounds amazing.
Well, that's one kind of clueless. wink.gif
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The Magnolia guys swear that the Audio Quest cables are the way to go, and yeah they are about $300.00 for 8ft. I don't think it makes much difference but I haven't had much of a baseline to test against.
Well, here's the thing. If you buy the Audioquests, they will sound like seven kinds of wonderful. But if I slip into your house at night and secretly replace them with generic stuff from Home Depot, when you wake up in the morning they will still sound like seven kinds of wonderful. Human hearing is incredibly suggestible, and that's what's going on. It's not just price, either. The mere fact that the BB drone praised them will influence how you hear them. (And don't take this personally. We're all subject to the same subconscious effects.)

The bottom line is that cables and wires have so little effect on the signal passing through them that they cannot affect what you really hear. Now, the guys at the audio store won't tell you this, because they're trying to sell you something. And the guys who write for the high-end audio magazines won't tell you this, because their job is to make you believe in the wonders of their advertisers' products. But the people who really know the science behind audio, and especially the science about what humans can and cannot hear—they will tell you this.

By a wide margin, the two most important factors in what you actually hear are the speakers and the room you put them in. Not necessarily in that order.
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It's a 15x30 open space that has concrete floors and concrete ceilings ( think loft), it takes lots to move air in this space. There is only drywall on one side, the rest are floor to ceiling windows, not sure these are ideal conditions for sound
Man, my first-cut advice would be, buy a pair of headphones. That may be the only way you'll hear anything decent in that room.

But rooms can be fixed. Are you in a position to fix yours?

If you can't explain how it works, you can't say it doesn't.—The High-End Creed

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post #5 of 8 Old 04-07-2013, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Unfortunately I can't fix the room, so perhaps I should update the questions somewhat: What's the best type of setup for a room like this? Is it simply going to be bigger= better?
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-08-2013, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Manzola View Post

Unfortunately I can't fix the room, so perhaps I should update the questions somewhat: What's the best type of setup for a room like this? Is it simply going to be bigger= better?

If you want your audio system to sound as good as possible in an iffy room, you bought the wrong speakers.

However, you didn't buy the worst speakers possible for an iffy room. The CM-9s are actually way above average in this regard and excellent speakers in their own right!.

Cables and amplifiers are the absolutely wrong direction to look if you desire improved sound quality. I've done quite a bit of detailed technical research on the benefits of upgrading a system by bypassing the AVR's internal amps, and the news I find is mostly bad. Fancy cables are beneath the pale. They are massive sucker plays.

There are technical indications for amplifier upgrades, but I see none of them in your current description of your situation. Ditto for external DACs and other signal processors.

The first most obvious apparent omission from your system involves engaging the benefits of your AVR's automated system optimization feature (MCACC)

Have you followed the instructions on page 45 of the user manual? MCACC may not be a 100% fix but it can be strong beneficial medicine. If it doesn't take you the way you want to go, you can back it out quite easily with no money spent.

The second most obvious omission from your system is a good subwoofer. You may think that you just spent the big bucks on big strong floor standers to avoid having a subwoofer, but that is not how things work. Normally I advise people to spend as much money on their subwoofer as their AVR, and in your case that recipe could yield some pretty impressive results.
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-08-2013, 10:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Arnyk,

Any specific reasons why bypassing AVR's amp is not a good thing technically speaking?

I haven't used MCACC because I thought it was specifically for surround setup vs. 2.1 like I have.

I agree about the sub- I wasn't specifically looking for beefy floorstanding speaking to bypass having a sub- I just listened to the CM9s and was f**** blown away by what I heard ( demoed them with some classical music, I was speechless).

Are there any subs that play well with bass heavy music (have a low frequency response) but also have exceptionally good response? Basically be earth shaking nasty but also hold its own with being taught and accurate ( is this even possible at a <2000 price?) I was looking at the REL T-9.
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-08-2013, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Manzola View Post

Arnyk,

Any specific reasons why bypassing AVR's amp is not a good thing technically speaking?

The goal would be to bypass it with something that would sound better. Since AVR amps are pretty good, that can be a tough task except under special conditions.
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I haven't used MCACC because I thought it was specifically for surround setup vs. 2.1 like I have.

AFAIK it can help 2.1 systems. Like I said before - worth a try for what an hour's fooling around and no money out of your pocket?
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I agree about the sub- I wasn't specifically looking for beefy floorstanding speaking to bypass having a sub- I just listened to the CM9s and was f**** blown away by what I heard ( demoed them with some classical music, I was speechless).

The CM9s are fine speakers, but not IMO supernatural. ;-)
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Are there any subs that play well with bass heavy music (have a low frequency response) but also have exceptionally good response? Basically be earth shaking nasty but also hold its own with being taught and accurate ( is this even possible at a <2000 price?) I was looking at the REL T-9.

Key brands are IME SVS, Hsu, Velodyne, etc. I find Rel subs to be pricey for what they actually are. The sub I use at home right now is a Paradigm 12 incher, but I'm using it with less beefy speakers than you have.
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