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B&W CM8's vs. PM1's with Sub (or?) for Mcintosh MA6600

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'm stumped and thank you in advance for any advice.

I just purchased an open box Mcintosh MA6600 and I'm now listening for speakers.

I have a 24' x 14 room. I'm in the 3,000 dollar budget range and I'm open minded.

I'm looking at B&W CM8's (floorstanding) or going bookshelf on stands with the PM1's and a sub (and I have no idea what sub).

It will mainly be for music and it also will be used for some straight movie watching without surround sound.

I've thought of also looking at PMC and haven't found a local dealer yet with stock. I'm in Southern California - San Fernando Valley area.

Your thoughts?

Thank you.
post #2 of 4
Go with a pair of Salk Songtower super charged, or, Philharmonic3's or even Ascend Acoustics Sierra-1 towers. You will not find any better speakers for 3,000$. I was skeptical at first, I went and demo'd all the usuall, b&w/klipsch/Dynaudio/Dali/Paradigm/focal/monitor audio/ect...and eventually I ordered a pair of Ascend Sierra-1 bookshelves, and to put it lightly, these blew away any of the others in the 3k and under category. I think I paid 700 used for a trio of Sierra-1's. I also recently picked up a pair of Salk Somgtowers, and although I expect these will best anything in the 4k price range, I still haven't gotten to hook them up yet. The only other speakers that I liked anywhere near as much as my Ascends were the B&W 800d's. But at over 25k for a pair of those, I am quite satisfied with my Sierra-1's. As a matter of fact, I might be selling them soon, so that I can afford a pair of the Sierra-1 towers or Philharmonic 2's.
post #3 of 4
Congrats on the McIntosh purchase. ..I bought an MA6600 a few months ago and couldn't be happier. ..One of the big surprises is learning just how little power I actually use during normal listening. ..The meters barely crest 2 watts and I'm already nearing the point of upsetting the neighbors. ..My speakers are very efficient, so this won't be the case for everyone of course.

I use my McIntosh to drive Paradigm Signature S8 v2s. ..They're a wonderful floor-stander but a bit outside your budget.

My advice is to NOT seek recommendations here at AVS but rather do a google search, call around, etc.. and compile a list of what brands are on display at B&M stores within whatever distance you're willing to drive, then set up appointments to go and listen. ..Obviously, bring along your own music and make sure whatever electronics are being used to drive them have all tone/ eq controls defeated or set to flat. ..Then just listen and listen and listen. ..Listen to floor-standers, listen to stand-mounters w/ sub-woofer combinations, etc... You're spending a lot of money, so let your own ears be the judge. Chances are good that you'll find a brand/model that works very well for you. Vandersteen, Dynaudio, Revel, Paradigm, PSB, etc. are just a few examples of what you're apt to find within a reasonable distance and all are good brands that engineer their speakers for accuracy. ..Any one of these when set up properly in a reasonably anechoic room will sound wonderful.

The problem with enthusiast forums such as this is that there is a tendency for the connoisseurs you find here to always direct you to the obscure brands. ..Big names like B&W and Paradigm are disliked by many simply b/c they're too mainstream. ..Which is not a good reason to disqualify them from consideration.

And don't be overly swayed by the "your money will go further by buying a direct-to-customer brand like Salk, or ...." b/c it's not necessarily true. ..These brands may cut out the middleman (ie., the dealer) but their relatively small size puts them at a considerable disadvantage when it comes to material procurement, R&D, production costs, etc.. Economies of scale greatly favor larger brands. Plus, these larger brands are more apt to be around in 5-10 years should you need a replacement driver or wish to sell them (far better resale if brand still in business)>
post #4 of 4
Hi

I am not an enthusiast or audiophile and was in the same boat. I auditioned a lot of B&M speakers and i kind of agree with Martycool and not so much with syd123. In my opinion (for what its worth) , in the price range Phils and Salks outperformed the bigger brands quite a bit...I understand the whole argument about enonomy of scale , but humbly reject that notion. Besides i personally dont see a huge risk of warranty with speakers. Most of the smaller brands will honor the warranty if something were to go wrong, just my 2 cents..
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