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Energy RC-70 vs B&W CM9?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I've been using Energy RC-70 speakers in my stereo system for over five years now. My pair is so old it's actually in the rare rosenut finish which has been discontinued since 2008 or so -- truly beautiful looking speakers!

But, the one constant thing I've heard over the years from the various audio dealers in my area is that I can do better. In other words, the RC-70s are holding back the true potential of my system. I am powering them with Rotel separates and an RCD-1072 CD player. The dealer which sold me my Rotel components always tell me about the Rotel/B&W synergy and it has sparked my interest in the CM9's. I wouldn't mind shelling out the expensive money for the CM9s if they are a big improvement over my Energy's. Now, they're essentially the same design configuration; a 3-way driver tower. But from what I've gathered online, the CM9 has excellent clarity and resolution.

I haven't heard the CM9, so if you have experience with this speaker (or have heard both B&W and Energy) please offer your insights/opinions on them. Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThumbtackJack View Post

Hi,

I've been using Energy RC-70 speakers in my stereo system for over five years now. My pair is so old it's actually in the rare rosenut finish which has been discontinued since 2008 or so -- truly beautiful looking speakers!

But, the one constant thing I've heard over the years from the various audio dealers in my area is that I can do better. In other words, the RC-70s are holding back the true potential of my system. I am powering them with Rotel separates and an RCD-1072 CD player. The dealer which sold me my Rotel components always tell me about the Rotel/B&W synergy and it has sparked my interest in the CM9's. I wouldn't mind shelling out the expensive money for the CM9s if they are a big improvement over my Energy's. Now, they're essentially the same design configuration; a 3-way driver tower. But from what I've gathered online, the CM9 has excellent clarity and resolution.

I haven't heard the CM9, so if you have experience with this speaker (or have heard both B&W and Energy) please offer your insights/opinions on them. Thanks in advance.

Don't do anything until you hear them in your own room.
post #3 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by 5seonds View Post

Don't do anything until you hear them in your own room.

I agree. Ask your dealer if you can demo the CM9s in your house and see for yourself. If you do go with the CM9s, there are a bunch of people out there that would be happy to take those Rosenut RC-70s off your hands!
post #4 of 30
I had RC-50s. They were OK. I have heard the CM9s and they are excellent. Clearly above and beyond the detail the RCs can provide. The CMs do need a sub though IMO to get really good low end.

These two speakers are in two different leagues though, so I don't think it really is a fair comparison.
post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drewTT View Post

These two speakers are in two different leagues though, so I don't think it really is a fair comparison.

Thanks Drew. What do you mean by that though? Are the CM9s considered warm? Because that's what I'd describe my RC speakers like...smooth and fatigue free.
post #6 of 30
For me, they are considered warm speakers. If you are into long hours of listening to music, you will like it. I used to have studio 100 but now changed to CM9. Now, I listen to music at night till I fell asleep.
post #7 of 30
Yes, the B&W CM-Series is very good. I listened to CM7's (a few years back) connected to Audio Fidelity integrated amp/CD player, I was very impressed with clean detailed sound. Nice soundstage. Transparency. Seeing this I would love to have CM9's with a CM Centre-2, and CM5 rears.

The other thing is that the CM-Series are a more recent development than the RC-Series. The RC-Series, while very good product (especially for the price), are a few years old now (first released back in 2005/2006?). And Energy (now "Klipsch Inc.") still sells essentially the same product, no real major new development's (the new Veritas are a mix of existing Energy technology).

I still have my original cherry veneer RC-30's, RC-LCR center, RC-R rears, and love them (in my living room system). I use a new Denon AVR-2112CI, they sound very good still.

But I jumped to Monitor Audio Gold GS-Series a few years back, they are a few notches better in detail for my theater system. Now the Gold GX-Series are out, I'm craving them now
post #8 of 30
How do the cm9's stand to the 6.3 veritas? Any opinions ?
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanii19 View Post

How do the cm9's stand to the 6.3 veritas? Any opinions ?

you mean the new Veritas 6.3 towers? I would like to know as well. Seems the new Veritas product is a mix of 1rst-generation Veritas technology mixed together with RC-Series technology. Not sure if these latest generation Veritas exhibit more refined sound-quality than their predecessors?

Check out these 1rst-generation (or I believe 2nd-generation?) Veritas 2.4i against the latest Veritas 6.3, very interesting:
http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/e...ritas_v24i.htm
http://www.energy-speakers.com/produ...s/?sku=1012107

I just purchased a pair of Veritas V-Mini's (pretty close to RC-Mini's), they sure look pretty nice (especially for the price). Curious to hear sound though. These will be wall-mounted for a 2ch bedroom system. We'll see if I need to add a subwoofer?
post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThumbtackJack View Post


Thanks Drew. What do you mean by that though? Are the CM9s considered warm? Because that's what I'd describe my RC speakers like...smooth and fatigue free.

When I heard the cm9 I thought they sounded pretty neutral. The mids and highs were very detailed. Clearly superior to my rc50s at home at the time.
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCoastD View Post

I just purchased a pair of Veritas V-Mini's (pretty close to RC-Mini's), they sure look pretty nice (especially for the price). Curious to hear sound though. These will be wall-mounted for a 2ch bedroom system. We'll see if I need to add a subwoofer?

I have a pair in my living room and you will want a sub if you want bass. They are great little speakers (clear and detailed) but you can't expect them to produce very much bass given the size of the cabinet and driver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drewTT View Post

When I heard the cm9 I thought they sounded pretty neutral. The mids and highs were very detailed. Clearly superior to my rc50s at home at the time.

I had RC-50s and thought they were lacking a bit in the mids as well. I moved up to the RC-70, which solved that problem. Both are really good for home theater use but the 70s are a step above when it comes to 2.0 or 2.1 music.
post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCoastD View Post

you mean the new Veritas 6.3 towers? I would like to know as well. Seems the new Veritas product is a mix of 1rst-generation Veritas technology mixed together with RC-Series technology. Not sure if these latest generation Veritas exhibit more refined sound-quality than their predecessors?

Check out these 1rst-generation (or I believe 2nd-generation?) Veritas 2.4i against the latest Veritas 6.3, very interesting:
http://www.soundstage.com/revequip/e...ritas_v24i.htm
http://www.energy-speakers.com/produ...s/?sku=1012107

I just purchased a pair of Veritas V-Mini's (pretty close to RC-Mini's), they sure look pretty nice (especially for the price). Curious to hear sound though. These will be wall-mounted for a 2ch bedroom system. We'll see if I need to add a subwoofer?

The V6.3 is very similar to RC-70, with a brighter tweeter. I have both the RC-70 and the last generation Veritas V2.3i. They are not even in the same league. Although the RC-70 is a very good speaker for its price, it lacks the precise imaging, airiness and tight bass of the V2.3i. So I do not think the V6.3 should be comparable to the previous generation Veritas towers.
post #13 of 30
There is quite a step up from the RC-30,50 to the RC 70. Whether you would like the B W more is something you would have to decide and like others have said listen to in your room if you can. I don't get the speakers being the weak spot for you and sound like they are trying to get more money. The RC 70s are very capable speakers.

I bought my RC 70s around the same time you did and bought them because they were my favorite of all the speaker I heard regardless of price (ingnoring the $5000 and above speakers). On paper the BW may be better but they may not suit your taste or are not enough improvement change.

In the last year I transistioned from the RC to the new Veritas line. I prefer the Veritas to the RC but they are not in the same league as the old Veritas line. Check the link below for my impressions between the RC 70s and V6.3
post #14 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalgaryCowboy View Post

I don't get the speakers being the weak spot for you and sound like they are trying to get more money. The RC 70s are very capable speakers.

That is what I was under the impression, too. They said that my RC speakers are geared more towards home theater rather than music, but I only listen to music on them. And, I also keep hearing about Rotel & B-W synergy together so I guess they are considered an "ideal" match?
post #15 of 30
My guess is the synergy is they sell both

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThumbtackJack View Post

That is what I was under the impression, too. They said that my RC speakers are geared more towards home theater rather than music, but I only listen to music on them. And, I also keep hearing about Rotel & B-W synergy together so I guess they are considered an "ideal" match?
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by CalgaryCowboy View Post

My guess is the synergy is they sell both

Bingo!

Those CM9's are very nice and a definite upgrade in sound quality, but if you find the elevated mid bass on your RC-70s appealing (artificial punch), you might think the B&Ws are a little dry sounding.
post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Instance View Post

the RC-70 is a very good speaker for its price, it lacks the precise imaging, airiness and tight bass of the V2.3i. So I do not think the V6.3 should be comparable to the previous generation Veritas towers.

exactly what I thought
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThumbtackJack View Post

I also keep hearing about Rotel & B-W synergy together so I guess they are considered an "ideal" match?

well, The B&W Group is the official distributor of Rotel products. I would assume B&W does extensive development of their loudspeaker product using Rotel gear (as well as assorted other gear, including Classe, etc.,...). So it would'nt surprise me that Rotel electronics (pre-pro's, amps) mesh good with B&W speakers.
post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay1 View Post

if you find the elevated mid bass on your RC-70s appealing (artificial punch), you might think the B&Ws are a little dry sounding.

to me one of the best attributes of the RC-Series is their mid-bass (mid-range), voices sound beautiful. The mid-range and bass is very nice on my RC-30's.
post #20 of 30
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to give an update to this thread. I finally got around to hearing the CM9 at a dealer recently. They were on similar amplification to what I currently have. They didn't sound bad, but I don't think it was a good as the RC 70s I own. I thought they did sound a little harsh in the upper registers, which is surprising since every review I've read describes them as warm. I thought detail retrieval was just as good as the 70s, it was just the treble that gave the CM9s a slightly different voice.
post #21 of 30
Thread Starter 
I did some snooping around online and apparently B&W's alleged brightness issue is due to their engineers crossing the speaker over at such a high frequency. I'm not sure if that's the case with this CM model I auditioned, but I believe the old 600 series models had this issue.
post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThumbtackJack View Post

Just wanted to give an update to this thread. I finally got around to hearing the CM9 at a dealer recently. They were on similar amplification to what I currently have. They didn't sound bad, but I don't think it was a good as the RC 70s I own. I thought they did sound a little harsh in the upper registers, which is surprising since every review I've read describes them as warm. I thought detail retrieval was just as good as the 70s, it was just the treble that gave the CM9s a slightly different voice.
Thanks for the update. I remember reading this thread when you started it. I heard the cm9s next to the cf70s at Magnolia and while the cm9s were a step above they sounded very similar and since I got the cf70s for $400 a pair at the time I couldn't justify the price for the cm9s. The cf70s were fantastic for what I paid for them and I still miss some aspects of their sound, but they did cause fatigue after a while of listening. Shortly after having a bad case of upgradeitis after upgradeitis I got a killer deal on the rc line and have been happy ever since. I still see speakers that I want to buy, we all do that's why we are on this forum, but as much as I have spent on audio in the last two years I need to just enjoy and take a break.... well after I get my 2nd VTF-15!
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saints View Post

Thanks for the update. I remember reading this thread when you started it. I heard the cm9s next to the cf70s at Magnolia and while the cm9s were a step above they sounded very similar and since I got the cf70s for $400 a pair at the time I couldn't justify the price for the cm9s. The cf70s were fantastic for what I paid for them and I still miss some aspects of their sound, but they did cause fatigue after a while of listening. Shortly after having a bad case of upgradeitis after upgradeitis I got a killer deal on the rc line and have been happy ever since. I still see speakers that I want to buy, we all do that's why we are on this forum, but as much as I have spent on audio in the last two years I need to just enjoy and take a break.... well after I get my 2nd VTF-15!
But you're comparing the CF-70s, while the OP is talking about the RC-70. Are they the same speaker?
Edited by 2tvsonecup - 12/27/12 at 9:43pm
post #24 of 30
i think the best thing to do would be to go to your local best buy magnolia - they all are supposed to have cm9's and rc-70's on the floor so you can demo them side by side. i went there and listened to the cm9's but didn't really like them compared to the paradigm studio 100's i heard with rotel amps. i didn't have time to demo the rc-70's but i'm going to go back b/c i'm considering the veritas v6.3
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saints View Post

The cf70s were fantastic for what I paid for them and I still miss some aspects of their sound, but they did cause fatigue after a while of listening. Shortly after having a bad case of upgradeitis I got a killer deal on the rc line and have been happy ever since.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tvsonecup View Post

But you're comparing the CF-70s, while the OP is talking about the RC-70. Are they the same speaker?

If I'm reading this correctly I believe the op had the CF-70 but then got the RC-70.
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick_WI View Post

If I'm reading this correctly I believe the op had the CF-70 but then got the RC-70.
Oh right, I missed that. At any rate, I've been reading the RCs have a much better sound than the CFs.
post #27 of 30
The CM9 is one of the B&W speakers I really like the sound of, but I do think it's somewhat overpriced. It's not uncommon to find it used on eBay or audiogon - at which point it's not overpriced ; )
post #28 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2tvsonecup View Post

Oh right, I missed that. At any rate, I've been reading the RCs have a much better sound than the CFs.

I have not heard the CF line of speakers, but from what I've gathered they're a bit brighter and forward in presentation than the RC speakers. The CF line was the first Energy line after the Klipsch buyout IIRC. They arrived in 2009 while the RC series debuted in summer 2005. Geez, it's hard to believe the RC line has been out that long!
post #29 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post

The CM9 is one of the B&W speakers I really like the sound of, but I do think it's somewhat overpriced. It's not uncommon to find it used on eBay or audiogon - at which point it's not overpriced ; )

They are beautiful sdg, especially in the piano black. I would love to hear them in my own room in my own house. I find it best when the salesmen leave the room and leave you alone with the speakers and your music, rather than being in the same room sitting next to you listening. I understand they wanna make a sale but it's a little awkward, even though I visit them frequently.
post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThumbtackJack View Post

They are beautiful sdg, especially in the piano black. I would love to hear them in my own room in my own house. I find it best when the salesmen leave the room and leave you alone with the speakers and your music, rather than being in the same room sitting next to you listening. I understand they wanna make a sale but it's a little awkward, even though I visit them frequently.

The best advice I got here on the forum was to audition the speakers in my own space/home ; ) Good luck!
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