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B&W CM9 vs. competitors? - Page 2

post #31 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landmonster View Post

Well, I agree that it is somewhat difficult to hear the intricacies of each speaker in the showroom. You're overwhelmed with all the choices, plus you're distracted by the salesman who keeps talking, and you're listening to some unfamilar sound tracks or demos, etc. It is only after hours of uninterrupted listening at home where you may truly pick up all the nuances of a speaker.


With that said, I was still very impressed with the B&W CM9s. You don't have to study a speaker in-depth to know if it is generally good, or not. I think I would be happy enough with them, at least until I heard something "better". My primary question in this thread was, "Are there other speakers that sound as good, for less money?"

I just started looking... and I hate to jump to rapid decisions, and I also hate paying retail. Buying the first pair of retail speakers that I like seems foolish... it goes against who I am.

Diminishing returns is huge.

I think there are many less expensive speakers that sound just as good. But it's all a matter of opinion.

If you have time, try NHT. They offer a 30-day return policy with free shipping both ways - even on return.

If you must buy towers, the NHT Absolute Towers and Classic Four are great IMO. I've owned NHT and I can recommend them without reserve. I think you will need subs with all speakers. That is why I like bookshelf. But if you like towers, then buy towers.

Bottom line, you just have to see for yourself. smile.gif

Aperion & KEF Direct also offer free returns.

Others are Revel F12 or KEF QQ900 or Focal. Ascend, Philharmonics, Salk, SVS, etc. But most do not offer free returns. You will have to pay to ship them back.
post #32 of 118
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Diminishing returns is huge.

I think there are many less expensive speakers that sound just as good. But it's all a matter of opinion.

If you have time, try NHT. They offer a 30-day return policy with free shipping both ways - even on return.

If you must buy towers, the NHT Absolute Towers and Classic Four are great IMO. I've owned NHT and I can recommend them without reserve. I think you will need subs with all speakers. That is why I like bookshelf. But if you like towers, then buy towers.

Bottom line, you just have to see for yourself. smile.gif

Aperion & KEF Direct also offer free returns.

Others are Revel F12 or KEF QQ900 or Focal. Ascend, Philharmonics, Salk, SVS, etc. But most do not offer free returns. You will have to pay to ship them back.


That's interesting. Are NHTs good anymore? I Thought they were no longer as good as they were, so I hadn't really considered them.

I had a cool system back in the day, which consisted of NHT 3.3s up front, with NHT 2.5is as surrounds. How does their current stuff compare to that?
post #33 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landmonster View Post

That's interesting. Are NHTs good anymore? I Thought they were no longer as good as they were, so I hadn't really considered them.

I had a cool system back in the day, which consisted of NHT 3.3s up front, with NHT 2.5is as surrounds. How does their current stuff compare to that?

People I've talked to think that NHT have not missed a beat.

But if you have already owned NHT speakers, then it makes sense to try something new. biggrin.gif

Is SQ the ONLY reason you looked at with B&W?

Or is the nice aesthetic and name brand part of the reason? biggrin.gif
post #34 of 118
I've always been a fan of the Paradigm Studio series for the price. For 3K for a pair of 100s on a discount you'd be hard pressed to find a better deal. They're research facility is second to none, and the build quality is super impressive.
post #35 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landmonster View Post


That's interesting. Are NHTs good anymore? I Thought they were no longer as good as they were, so I hadn't really considered them.

I had a cool system back in the day, which consisted of NHT 3.3s up front, with NHT 2.5is as surrounds. How does their current stuff compare to that?


I used to own the NHT Classic Fours. Nice sounding speakers but IMO they are not worth the price they go for new. I'd be looking for a used set in nice condition which is what I did. I may be picking up a pair of KEF Q900's this evening to play with. I'll see how that goes.


Edited by XStanleyX - 11/13/13 at 10:44am
post #36 of 118
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Is SQ the ONLY reason you looked at with B&W?

Or is the nice aesthetic and name brand part of the reason? biggrin.gif



No, SQ is not the only reason.


1) I really like the Piano black finish on speakers. That's a main consideration for me, visually. I don't want speakers with some crappy finish or appearance.

2) I liked the fact that the B&Ws had very wide, sturdy bases, with no low-hanging sections of cloth!

Something I haven't mentioned yet is that I have 2 cats!! As such, I don't want speakers that seem top-heavy or unstable, because I'm sure my cats will try to jump onto them at some point. Also, I can't have cloth covered speakers like the DefTechs, or low-hanging grills that my cats will view as scratching posts!
post #37 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landmonster View Post

No, SQ is not the only reason.


1) I really like the Piano black finish on speakers. That's a main consideration for me, visually. I don't want speakers with some crappy finish or appearance.

2) I liked the fact that the B&Ws had very wide, sturdy bases, with no low-hanging sections of cloth!

Something I haven't mentioned yet is that I have 2 cats!! As such, I don't want speakers that seem top-heavy or unstable, because I'm sure my cats will try to jump onto them at some point. Also, I can't have cloth covered speakers like the DefTechs, or low-hanging grills that my cats will view as scratching posts!

Utterly understandable.

Aesthetics, logistics, among other things are all important.

I think if you love the CM9 for many reasons, go for it. You will see people say a lot of things for and against the CM9 and other speakers.

I would audition other speakers like KEF R900 & Revel F208. If you like them just as much, there are dealers willing to help with pricing. I know some if you need help. wink.gif

If you still like the CM9 better, then buy the CM9.

The only Achilles heel with B&W is that their on-axis and off-axis frequency responses don't measure as well as speakers like Revel, KEF, RBH, etc.

But if you prefer the aesthetics and SQ of the B&W, then the measurement is a mute point.

So go audition speakers that measure well - Revel, KEF, RBH, etc.
post #38 of 118
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Utterly understandable.

Aesthetics, logistics, among other things are all important.

I think if you love the CM9 for many reasons, go for it. You will see people say a lot of things for and against the CM9 and other speakers.

I would audition other speakers like KEF R900 & Revel F208. If you like them just as much, there are dealers willing to help with pricing. I know some if you need help. wink.gif

If you still like the CM9 better, then buy the CM9.

The only Achilles heel with B&W is that their on-axis and off-axis frequency responses don't measure as well as speakers like Revel, KEF, RBH, etc.

But if you prefer the aesthetics and SQ of the B&W, then the measurement is a mute point.

So go audition speakers that measure well - Revel, KEF, RBH, etc.


After spending all day reading reviews of experienced reviewers, the consensus seems to be: CM9 = Good, not great. Expensive for what you get. Maybe a little warm.



I'm still highly interested in the Aperion Audio Verus Grands! They have kick ass reviews, and come in Piano Black, have very friendly return policy, and an affordable price point.
post #39 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landmonster View Post

After spending all day reading reviews of experienced reviewers, the consensus seems to be: CM9 = Good, not great. Expensive for what you get. Maybe a little warm.



I'm still highly interested in the Aperion Audio Verus Grands! They have kick ass reviews, and come in Piano Black, have very friendly return policy, and an affordable price point.

I would not trust "reviews".

And "experienced reviewers" don't have the same exact preference and perception as you. They also hate speakers that don't measure as well. biggrin.gif

I have heard the CM9. Paired with great subs for bass, they sound as good to me as many other speakers out there.

But I would still look at Revel F208 & KEF R900. These speakers measure extremely well and sound great to many people.

IOW, the "perfect" speaker is the one that has great sound, aesthetics, measurements, price, etc.

But what if they all sounded equally great to YOU? That's what matters. YOU.

And then what if you liked the aesthetic of the CM9 more than all of them?

So just listened to many speakers. Then see which sounds best, looks best, etc.

But I would not trust "rave reviews". You may agree or you may not. biggrin.gif
post #40 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

I would not trust "reviews". They also hate speakers that don't measure as well. biggrin.gif
I wouldn't say that. What I would not trust is reviews that are either totally subjective, with no measurements, or totally objective, with no listening impressions. Both are a necessity to give a balanced review.
Quote:
But I would not trust "rave reviews".
There I tend to agree, especially if there's no objective data, which is so often the case with 'raves'. Subjectively the best review is a totally blind listening session, where the reviewer doesn't know what he's listening to, and can't be influenced by pre-conceived notions or, especially, the price.
post #41 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

I wouldn't say that. What I would not trust is reviews that are either totally subjective, with no measurements, or totally objective, with no listening impressions. Both are a necessity to give a balanced review.
There I tend to agree, especially if there's no objective data, which is so often the case with 'raves'. Subjectively the best review is a totally blind listening session, where the reviewer doesn't know what he's listening to, and can't be influenced by pre-conceived notions or, especially, the price.

What I mean is that everyone has an opinion.

The OP needs to listen for himself and decide, instead of basing the decision on anyone's opinion.
post #42 of 118
Landmonster, you should be able to find some dealers in your area that carry KEFs, Revels, PSBs, B&Ws, etc - although probably not all at the same dealer!

Visit some dealers and see what you like - in terms of sound, looks, price, etc. You may find independent dealers willing to bargain a little on price (maybe 10% or so, but it will vary widely).

When doing listening at dealers, keep in mind - as Arny said - that you'll be demoing the speakers AND the room at the same time, ie, the speakers won't sound the same in your room as they do in the dealer's room. But I think you can still get some idea of the look and feel of the various speakers out there.

If, in the end, you still pick the CM9's, that's totally fine, but at least you will know you looked at some others. As I said before, plenty of good speakers in this range, and in the end it will come down to whatever you like best. I doubt you can 'go wrong' with anything that has been discussed here.
post #43 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

Landmonster, you should be able to find some dealers in your area that carry KEFs, Revels, PSBs, B&Ws, etc - although probably not all at the same dealer!

Visit some dealers and see what you like - in terms of sound, looks, price, etc. You may find independent dealers willing to bargain a little on price (maybe 10% or so, but it will vary widely).

When doing listening at dealers, keep in mind - as Arny said - that you'll be demoing the speakers AND the room at the same time, ie, the speakers won't sound the same in your room as they do in the dealer's room. But I think you can still get some idea of the look and feel of the various speakers out there.

If, in the end, you still pick the CM9's, that's totally fine, but at least you will know you looked at some others. As I said before, plenty of good speakers in this range, and in the end it will come down to whatever you like best. I doubt you can 'go wrong' with anything that has been discussed here.

For me, discounts for B&W would be about 15-20%, while KEF & Revel would be about 30-40% depending on models.
post #44 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

Welll, I could point out that showroom listening tests are highly questionable because you often hear more showroom than speakers. And that's no knock on BB's showrooms, its just the facts of life.

True. But that is the case with any speaker. At least he heard some he liked.
post #45 of 118
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

For me, discounts for B&W would be about 15-20%, while KEF & Revel would be about 30-40% depending on models.

I found a dealer willing to sell the B&W CM9s + Denon X4000 for $3430! That's much better than Best Buy retail...

I'm still interested in these internet-only value-peakers, like Aperion, Ascend, and Salk. Problem is... I can't find any direct comparisons on them to eachother. frown.gif
post #46 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landmonster View Post

I found a dealer willing to sell the B&W CM9s + Denon X4000 for $3430! That's much better than Best Buy retail...

I'm still interested in these internet-only value-peakers, like Aperion, Ascend, and Salk. Problem is... I can't find any direct comparisons on them to eachother. frown.gif

It's a disease known as audiophilia. Lots of us here have it. Always wanting to know whether speaker X would be an upgrade to what we have now. smile.gif
post #47 of 118
SVS has the Ultra towers in the outlet section for $849 with free shipping and a 45 day trial.
post #48 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landmonster View Post

I found a dealer willing to sell the B&W CM9s + Denon X4000 for $3430! That's much better than Best Buy retail...

I'm still interested in these internet-only value-peakers, like Aperion, Ascend, and Salk. Problem is... I can't find any direct comparisons on them to eachother. frown.gif

A local authorized B&W dealer ?

That's great. If not local, then I bet Best Buy could price match.

It seems almost impossible to find all the speakers you want in the same room to do a direct head-to-head comparison.

There are no other brands locally like Revel, KEF, Monitor Audio, PSB, Paradigm, etc?
post #49 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

It's a disease known as audiophilia. Lots of us here have it. Always wanting to know whether speaker X would be an upgrade to what we have now. smile.gif

Thanks to all the golden ear audiophiles who claim all kinds of subjective things. Well, if they spent $25,000 on speakers, I suppose they might want to believe it. biggrin.gif
post #50 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Thanks to all the golden ear audiophiles who claim all kinds of subjective things. Well, if they spent $25,000 on speakers, I suppose they might want to believe it. biggrin.gif

What kind of crazed lunatic would spend $25,000 on speakers??!?!

Oh, wait..... wink.gif
post #51 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

What kind of crazed lunatic would spend $25,000 on speakers??!?!

Oh, wait..... wink.gif

There are a few of us crazies. biggrin.gif

Some of us claim less audio nirvana than others. wink.gif
post #52 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landmonster View Post

I found a dealer willing to sell the B&W CM9s + Denon X4000 for $3430! That's much better than Best Buy retail...

I'm still interested in these internet-only value-peakers, like Aperion, Ascend, and Salk. Problem is... I can't find any direct comparisons on them to eachother. frown.gif
I can only comment on the Aperion. I had the VGTs and VGC for a home trial. Very laid back and absolutely no listener fatigue. Very good bass extension and control. Also, fairly forgiving of recordings. Gives up a bit in detail but very musical. However, since you are looking at HT, I felt all three of my Kef systems, past and present were better for home theater. But anyone with them has a great system and better than at least 95+% of the US, for sure. May be worth a home trial.

Just my opinion - yours may be different.
post #53 of 118
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

I can only comment on the Aperion. I had the VGTs and VGC for a home trial. Very laid back and absolutely no listener fatigue. Very good bass extension and control. Also, fairly forgiving of recordings. Gives up a bit in detail but very musical. However, since you are looking at HT, I felt all three of my Kef systems, past and present were better for home theater. But anyone with them has a great system and better than at least 95+% of the US, for sure. May be worth a home trial.

Just my opinion - yours may be different.

That's interesting. I read a very powerful review that states basically the opposite of what you're saying. frown.gif (This is why this is very frustrating)

I will try to summarize what I recall..... it was written by a guy who claimed to be a retired professional audio engineer, who made a living mixing CDs and movie-sounds in recording studios. He wrote a review on a speaker forum about the Verus Grands. He said that no consumer-grade speaker in the past 20 years has impressed him as much as these did. This was the first consumer speaker that he believed he could have actually taken with him to work and mixed a professional CD with... they were that accurate. He felt they were EXTREMELY accurate.

Previously, before auditioning the Verus Grands on their 30-day trial, he owned a pair of B&W CM9s. He was doing A/B comparisons back and forth with them. The VGs so impressed him in his living room, he put the B&Ws up for sale the next day....

(reviews like that are powerful, because it's so hard to find direct A/B comparisons of high-end speakers)


So, you say "Gives up a bit in detail but very musical." He said something like "Gives up a bit in music, but very detailed" confused.gif /bangshead

Maybe you are both correct, but what you're hearing is differences in the electronics, different acoustics in the room design, and variances in your media selections?? Maybe humans simply hear things differently too? IDK.
post #54 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landmonster View Post

That's interesting. I read a very powerful review that states basically the opposite of what you're saying. frown.gif (This is why this is very frustrating)

I will try to summarize what I recall..... it was written by a guy who claimed to be a retired professional audio engineer, who made a living mixing CDs and movie-sounds in recording studios. He wrote a review on a speaker forum about the Verus Grands. He said that no consumer-grade speaker in the past 20 years has impressed him as much as these did. This was the first consumer speaker that he believed he could have actually taken with him to work and mixed a professional CD with... they were that accurate. He felt they were EXTREMELY accurate.

Previously, before auditioning the Verus Grands on their 30-day trial, he owned a pair of B&W CM9s. He was doing A/B comparisons back and forth with them. The VGs so impressed him in his living room, he put the B&Ws up for sale the next day....

(reviews like that are powerful, because it's so hard to find direct A/B comparisons of high-end speakers)


So, you say "Gives up a bit in detail but very musical." He said something like "Gives up a bit in music, but very detailed" confused.gif /bangshead

Maybe you are both correct, but what you're hearing is differences in the electronics, different acoustics in the room design, and variances in your media selections?? Maybe humans simply hear things differently too? IDK.
I did a weekend of AB'ing between new Kef XQ40s and the VGTs. A bit more detail in the XQ40s but better bass in the VGTs. However, the rear ported VGTs were given the placement advantage as the were a marginal fit in my room. I only did music that weekend but always felt the VGT/VGC combo was very good but not stellar on movies. Room has a big impact which is why I asked earlier about your room.
post #55 of 118
Thread Starter 
My room is a big rectangular living room, with 1 side open to the kitchen area. Ceilings are about 10 feet. I'm not sure of the exact length and width measurements.... I'd say 15W x 20D maybe?
post #56 of 118
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

I did a weekend of AB'ing between new Kef XQ40s and the VGTs. A bit more detail in the XQ40s but better bass in the VGTs. However, the rear ported VGTs were given the placement advantage as the were a marginal fit in my room. I only did music that weekend but always felt the VGT/VGC combo was very good but not stellar on movies. Room has a big impact which is why I asked earlier about your room.

How much do the KEFs cost anyway? Their website is pissing me off since it doesn't list any prices.
post #57 of 118
In this price range you really need to consider the SVS Ultra Towers too.

https://www.svsound.com/speakers/ultra-series/ultra-tower#.UoaPD3COTAk
post #58 of 118
This is a great read guys, Very informative as I'm in the same shoes
post #59 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landmonster View Post

How much do the KEFs cost anyway? Their website is pissing me off since it doesn't list any prices.
I believe the R700s list for $3500 which would be a good fit for your room. Should get a 10-20% discount, guessing. Revel F206s would be worth a listen also. You are correct, each of us have our own preferences so we can help guide auditions but what you like is what counts.
post #60 of 118
How does cm9 compared to 804 diamond?
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