At my holiday home I've got B&W... 602 S3 fronts, 601 S3 surrounds, LCR60 S3 center, Energy VSW10 sub, all running off a Pioneer VSX-820-K... punchy, warm, and it's made music come alive for me.
I upgraded my speakers to the CM8 recently, same location and this is where the problem comes in... they feel flat to me in stereo mode.. They're more neutral and transparent, yes - they can really highlight a bad song, they can make electric guitars wail in ways that make my hair stand on end, and create a nice deep sound stage - but they altogether lack the warmth and "body" of the 602 S3's up front.
They sounded lovely when I auditioned them - but that being said, I wasn't familiar with the Katie Melua tracks that were being played, and the CM8's were running through a decent DAC and a Musical Fidelity power amp at the previous owner's place... as opposed to my TV outputting a FLAC straight to the AVR... but then again, said combination sounds perfectly fine to my ears on the 60x series speakers.
So either the AVR doesn't have the bollocks to drive them well, or my untrained caveman ears just don't know how to appreciate the CM8's for their (more accurate?) tonal rendition of music.
Which is it? Please help. I'm starting to suffer a bit of a case of buyer's remorse here.