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B&W CM9 vs. competitors? - Page 3

post #61 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)

That's how it is. No matter what you buy, you will hear all kinds of things.

Even if you bought the Salon2 or KEF 207/2 or 800D2, you will still see less-than-stellar remarks because everyone has a different opinion. biggrin.gif

The only way that will ever stop is if everyone owns the same speakers. biggrin.gif

I think many of us understandably expect a lot from speakers, including the ability to play great bass while playing crystal clear detailed high resolution midrange & treble.

That is why some people just let the speakers play only the upper bass - midrange - treble and let the subs play everything below 80Hz.
Edited by AcuDefTechGuy - 11/16/13 at 8:01am
post #62 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.

Landmonster, you are going to get yourself frustrated and you must understand that you are reading subjective reactions to different products all of which were heard in different listening rooms than yours. Go listen to some speakers near field and pick the one that moves you most.
post #63 of 118

Just be careful or you'll turn into a speaker junkie like AcuDefTechGuy. :p

post #64 of 118
Thread Starter 
Lol.

Well, initially I actually liked the B&W CM9s. My initial impression was that they sounded much better than most speakers I've ever heard, and I would probably be satisfied with them.

I was mostly impressed with their clean sound quality, I was also impressed by their sturdy base, and relatively high grill .... to keep my cats from damaging them. I also like their appearance.

I don't think some of you people realize that all speaker designs are not appropriate for people with cats. My cats will likely try to jump on them, and may knock something over that is unstable. They would also view something like a DefTech as a huge scratching post! I can't have it covered with cloth, or low-hanging cloth.

The CM9s looked very nice, in addition to being cat-proof. The sound was very good... so I was intrigued. I'm further intrigued now that I can get them for $550 less.


So whats the bottom line on the CM9s? Are they good speakers? In the world of speakers.... are they considered mid-range, or entry-level-high-end? Is there anything substantially better out there for $2450 or less? Are the CM9s something you'd be embarrassed to own in front of "audiophiles"? lol.



I plan to go back and listen to them again more carefully. Previously I just did home theater sequences... this time I will try music and more critical listening. I will also try to find some other stores where I can audition comparable stuff. The only confusing and frustrating part of this is trying to find something better, for cheaper.... based soley on internet reviews.
post #65 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landmonster View Post

So whats the bottom line on the CM9s? Are they good speakers? In the world of speakers.... are they considered mid-range, or entry-level-high-end? Is there anything substantially better out there for $2450 or less? Are the CM9s something you'd be embarrassed to own in front of "audiophiles"? lol.
[/B]

B&W has a sterling reputation for making excellent speakers. The ones they sell to the mass merchants do not have the same "class appeal" as the higher end speakers sold through high end audio dealers but they are competitive with others in their price range. I think they might be considered mid range. What matters is not what someone on an internet forum thinks is better. What matters is what you think is better. Why would anybody be embarrassed to own any audio gear. You buy the gear for yourself not because of someone else's opinion of it. I'm a former audiophile who thought nothing of spending 5 figures on a preamplifier. I got over that years ago and now operate with modest equipment. I'm not embarrassed about it. It is my choice. I could have another 5 figure preamplifier if I wanted but I don't want one. I've posted pictures of my modest equipment many times on AVS. My system sounds terrific despite its fairly modest cost and my stereo speaker pair cost 1/3 of what you are planning to spend.. Yours can sound teffific too if you do it sensibly and the most sensible approach is to satisfy yourself, not someone else.
post #66 of 118
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by FMW View Post

B&W has a sterling reputation for making excellent speakers. The ones they sell to the mass merchants do not have the same "class appeal" as the higher end speakers sold through high end audio dealers but they are competitive with others in their price range. I think they might be considered mid range. What matters is not what someone on an internet forum thinks is better. What matters is what you think is better. Why would anybody be embarrassed to own any audio gear. You buy the gear for yourself not because of someone else's opinion of it. I'm a former audiophile who thought nothing of spending 5 figures on a preamplifier. I got over that years ago and now operate with modest equipment. I'm not embarrassed about it. It is my choice. I could have another 5 figure preamplifier if I wanted but I don't want one. I've posted pictures of my modest equipment many times on AVS. My system sounds terrific despite its fairly modest cost and my stereo speaker pair cost 1/3 of what you are planning to spend.. Yours can sound teffific too if you do it sensibly and the most sensible approach is to satisfy yourself, not someone else.


That's the thing. I don't want to ruin myself financially just to have the best home theater in my zipcode.... lol. I'd rather move to a nicer house, before that. I want to have good sounding stuff obviously, but some of the insanely expensive items are offensive to me.


I don't want to buy anything that will drastically lose it's value. That's something I haven't mentioned yet. When and if I want to upgrade, I want to be able to sell my stuff on the used market without taking a beating.
post #67 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landmonster View Post

That's the thing. I don't want to ruin myself financially just to have the best home theater in my zipcode.... lol.

There you go again comparing to others. What I'm trying to get across is that nobody else but you matters in the decision.

Quote:
I don't want to buy anything that will drastically lose it's value. That's something I haven't mentioned yet. When and if I want to upgrade, I want to be able to sell my stuff on the used market without taking a beating.

Audio gear is not an investment. It doesn't gain value with time like fine wine. You will always take a beating when selling it. Set a budget. Find what you like and don't exceed the budget. It's that simple.

I know you want specific recommendations but I'm trying to get you past that. If good sonics at a reasonable price is what you are after then buy a pair of bookshelf speakers and a subwoofer. You can buy a good subwoofer for $500 from folks like Hsu and SV Sound. These people also sell reasonably priced bookshelf speakers. Or you can look at something made by B&W since you like the brand or even look at some options from my brand. Speaker sound is very subjective. Price has less than most people think to do with the quality of sound from speakers. I've heard $50,000 speakers that sounded plain old disappointing and yet my sub $1000 speakers sound great to me. But what you like. Forget what other people like.
post #68 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landmonster View Post

That's the thing. I don't want to ruin myself financially just to have the best home theater in my zipcode.... lol. I'd rather move to a nicer house, before that. I want to have good sounding stuff obviously, but some of the insanely expensive items are offensive to me.


I don't want to buy anything that will drastically lose it's value. That's something I haven't mentioned yet. When and if I want to upgrade, I want to be able to sell my stuff on the used market without taking a beating.


I can't give you colorful prose of why I think one speaker is better than another, but I can tell you that I was in your same dilemma. I was looking for 90/10 home-theater to music. I can also tell you that we all hear differently and some people prefer a different sound. I originally went to a couple audio specific stores and demoed Paradigm, B&W CM series speakers, and also a friends Thiel's. My home speakers to compare to these were (still in the living room) a KEF 2005.3 system. Needless to say the CM's and Paradigms were much better. Of course the rooms they were in were set up better than mine. One store was putting me into some Paradigms under my budget, and said the next step up over my budget really wouldn't bring me that great of an improvement to justify the money. Basically the law of diminishing returns. The other store selling the B&W's recommended I by the best LCR I could afford, especially the center channel for home theater, and spend money on the surrounds as I got a chance. Both stores by the way recommended I go cheap on the surrounds as it was just ambient noise. I was all set to get a set of CM9's and CMC2 center and figure out a way to afford matching surrounds for a 7.1 system. After reading multiple posts on here I decide to give ID vendors a chance found a person relatively close that let me listen to their Salk speakers. I was hooked on the ribbon tweeters and the quality of the workmanship. It didn't hurt that Jim Salk was real easy to talk to on the phone and matched the speaker cabinets to my shuffleboard table cabinet without an up-charge. They also had high WAF, which is very important when spending that kind of money. I took the "buy the best LCR you can" mantra and went with it. I can always upgrade surrounds later....if I felt I needed too. I ended up buying Supercharged Songtowers and a Supercharged Songcenter and NHT 2.1's for surrounds and a Rythmik sub. Couldn't be happier. The NHT's match well with the front LCR and I have found that the Salk's are so nice for music that I started rediscovering listening to music again. 4 NHT 2.1s on sale ran me $320 vs $1500 for a pair of CM5's which let me put more into the front 3. Salk's don't come up for sale often on the used market but they hold their value quite well when they do. I would recommend you check around to see if there is anyone in your area who would let you demo some speakers at their home (again same issue as they may sound different in your room) or check with different ID companies to see about demoing their speakers for a while. I believe you will get more speaker for your money from an ID vendor than speakers bought at a mass market place.

Having said that, if you like the CM9's go for it. They are a good speaker and the company has a great Hi-Fi history. Had I not auditioned the Salks, I probably would have been oblivious to them and would have been perfectly happy with the CM9's. It's not like your buying a Bose system....
Edited by Jdgate - 11/16/13 at 10:51am
post #69 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jdgate View Post


Having said that, if you like the CM9's go for it. They are a good speaker and the company has a great Hi-Fi history. Had I not auditioned the Salks, I probably would have been oblivious to them and would have been perfectly happy with the CM9's. It's not like your buying a Bose system....

Buying CM series is like buying Bose. Both are over priced IMO.
post #70 of 118
Thread Starter 
How about any of these used speakers? Decent?


KEF 900 https://app.audiogon.com/listings/full-range-kef-900-s-nearly-new-kef-900-s-rosewood-2013-10-26-speakers-19057-levittown-pa

KEF 700 https://app.audiogon.com/listings/full-range-kef-r700-floorstanding-loudspeaker-in-rosewood-brand-new-2013-10-31-speakers-37075--2

B&W 804N https://app.audiogon.com/listings/full-range-b-w-804n-speakers-2013-11-10-speakers-60008
post #71 of 118


I'd call those R900's a good deal. Of course shipping will cost you more. My son picked up a pair of Q900's from a gentleman who moved to the R900's and was able to listen to them. He thought they sounded pretty darn special. They are very well reviewed.

post #72 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landmonster View Post



So whats the bottom line on the CM9s? Are they good speakers?

Again, that depends on whom you ask.

Some people believe that unless the speakers both sound great subjectively & measure great objectively, then they are not good speakers.

Some people only care about how the speakers sound subjectively, even if the speakers measure like Bose & Zu.

Bottom line, B&W don't measure very well objectively, but they may sound great to some people subjectively.
Edited by AcuDefTechGuy - 11/16/13 at 3:32pm
post #73 of 118
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Again, that depends on whom you ask.

Some people believe that unless the speakers both sound great subjectively & measure great objectively, then they are not good speakers.

Some people only care about how the speakers sound subjectively, even if the speakers measure like Bose & Zu.

Bottom line, B&W don't measure very well objectively, but they may sound great to some people subjectively. Contrary to hearsay, B&W are not that difficult to power since their min impedance usually don't go below 4 ohms and phase angel are usually below 30 degrees.

If a speaker doesn't measure well objectively, how can it sound good?

I could see where a speaker measures well, but doesn't sound good for some unrrelated reason.... but not vice versa.
post #74 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landmonster View Post

If a speaker doesn't measure well objectively, how can it sound good?

I could see where a speaker measures well, but doesn't sound good for some unrrelated reason.... but not vice versa.

Some think a speaker that measures flat is dull. Some prefer more low end, others more mids, and others like more highs. Bottom line is what ADTG said. It is subjective.

Measurements will vary from room to room. When all is said and done it really only matters what the listener wants in a speaker.
post #75 of 118
How does cm9 compared to 804 diamond?
 

 

 
post #76 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisdemello View Post


The CM9’s listening-window response (a five-point average of axial and +/–15-degree horizontal and vertical responses) measures +0.83/–5.12 decibels from 200 hertz to 10 kilohertz. The –3-dB point is at 60 Hz, and the –6-dB point is at 49 Hz. Impedance reaches a minimum of 3.41 ohms at 116 Hz and a phase angle of –68.80 degrees at 66 Hz. Sensitivity is 92.5dB.

The 804 Diamond measures about +/-5dB from 200Hz-10kHz on axis. Voltage sensitivity was 89.3dB(B)/2.83V/m. Impedance reach a minimum value of 3 ohms at 108Hz, there is a combination of 4.5 ohms and a 53° capacitive phase angle at 72Hz, and the impedance remains below 4 ohms for much of the midrange and the top octave.

I stand corrected about the B&W's power demand. A combination of phase angle of +/- 45 degrees or more and minimum impedance of under 4 ohms means that they "may" be difficult to power for some AVRs and external amps "may" be a good idea.

The CM9 has a variance of about +/-3dB, but the 804D has a variance of about +/-5dB. Off-axis for 804 is not smooth and probably the same for CM9.

Most standard variance for good FR is no more than +/-3dB, with +/-2dB being better, and +/-1dB (NHT Absolute Zero, Klipsch KL650-THX) being about as good as it gets.

That's the objective part. But as you can see, these speakers can sound pretty great subjectively.
post #77 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

The CM9’s listening-window response (a five-point average of axial and +/–15-degree horizontal and vertical responses) measures +0.83/–5.12 decibels from 200 hertz to 10 kilohertz. The –3-dB point is at 60 Hz, and the –6-dB point is at 49 Hz. Impedance reaches a minimum of 3.41 ohms at 116 Hz and a phase angle of –68.80 degrees at 66 Hz. Sensitivity is 92.5dB.

The 804 Diamond measures about +/-5dB from 200Hz-10kHz on axis. Voltage sensitivity was 89.3dB(B)/2.83V/m. Impedance reach a minimum value of 3 ohms at 108Hz, there is a combination of 4.5 ohms and a 53° capacitive phase angle at 72Hz, and the impedance remains below 4 ohms for much of the midrange and the top octave.

I stand corrected about the B&W's power demand. A combination of phase angle of +/- 45 degrees or more and minimum impedance of under 4 ohms means that they "may" be difficult to power for some AVRs and external amps "may" be a good idea.

The CM9 has a variance of about +/-3dB, but the 804D has a variance of about +/-5dB. Off-axis for 804 is not smooth and probably the same for CM9.

Most standard variance for good FR is no more than +/-3dB, with +/-2dB being better, and +/-1dB (NHT Absolute Zero, Klipsch KL650-THX) being about as good as it gets.

That's the objective part. But as you can see, these speakers can sound pretty great subjectively.

Your statements confirm (to me) that measurements mean little in real world performance.
post #78 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landmonster View Post

If a speaker doesn't measure well objectively, how can it sound good?

That's why it's called "subjective". biggrin.gif

Anything is possible.

A lot of people love B&W, DefTech, GoldenEar, Zu, Wilson, Vienna Acoustic, and other speakers that don't measure as well as Revel, KEF, PSB, Paradigm, etc.

It depends on what is "important" to you.

If subjective SQ is the only thing important to you, then don't worry about measurements.
post #79 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by MUDCAT45 View Post

Your statements confirm (to me) that measurements mean little in real world performance.

What they should confirm to you is that very limited measurements aren't very helpful at all, not that measurements mean little. More extended sets of measurements mean lots in the real world.
post #80 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post


The CM9’s listening-window response (a five-point average of axial and +/–15-degree horizontal and vertical responses) measures +0.83/–5.12 decibels from 200 hertz to 10 kilohertz. The –3-dB point is at 60 Hz, and the –6-dB point is at 49 Hz. Impedance reaches a minimum of 3.41 ohms at 116 Hz and a phase angle of –68.80 degrees at 66 Hz. Sensitivity is 92.5dB.

The 804 Diamond measures about +/-5dB from 200Hz-10kHz on axis. Voltage sensitivity was 89.3dB(B)/2.83V/m. Impedance reach a minimum value of 3 ohms at 108Hz, there is a combination of 4.5 ohms and a 53° capacitive phase angle at 72Hz, and the impedance remains below 4 ohms for much of the midrange and the top octave.

I stand corrected about the B&W's power demand. A combination of phase angle of +/- 45 degrees or more and minimum impedance of under 4 ohms means that they "may" be difficult to power for some AVRs and external amps "may" be a good idea.

The CM9 has a variance of about +/-3dB, but the 804D has a variance of about +/-5dB. Off-axis for 804 is not smooth and probably the same for CM9.

Most standard variance for good FR is no more than +/-3dB, with +/-2dB being better, and +/-1dB (NHT Absolute Zero, Klipsch KL650-THX) being about as good as it gets.

That's the objective part. But as you can see, these speakers can sound pretty great subjectively.

Thanks for the numbers. I have not heard CM9 but am thinking of getting 804, partly due to its looks :o

post #81 of 118
Thread Starter 
Well, it seems like if someone "subjectively" thinks a speaker sounds good even though it has bad measurements, it seems like they are "subjectively" wrong. They are enjoying it, no doubt, but they are enjoying something incorrectly.


It would bother me mentally knowing that my speaker has inaccurate measurements.


So.... do all B&Ws have bad measurements? or just certain products?

What speaker brands are known to have universally good measurements?
post #82 of 118
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by beaveav View Post

What they should confirm to you is that very limited measurements aren't very helpful at all, not that measurements mean little. More extended sets of measurements mean lots in the real world.


Do detailed sets of measurements exist on speaker brands? Which ones test most accurately?
post #83 of 118
I recently heard the CM-10. They sounded very good. You may want to give them a listen.smile.gif
post #84 of 118
Thread Starter 
Hi guys.

I'm the original poster in this thread... and I'm just posting an important update.

I recently auditioned the B&W CM9s more carefully. I spent a few hours listening to many tracks of music.

For a better comparison, I also demoed them in the same room against B&W CM10s, and B&W 804s, and some Sonus Fabers for $3500 (Forget the model)!


Clearly, to my ear, the 804s were the winner. Overall, they just sounded the most natural and life-like. It was obvious to everyone in the room. The Sonus Fabers, while not bad, did not do anything special for me. They were slightly less impressive to me than the B&W CM9s or 10s. My girlfriend commented that "They sounded hollow", whatever that means.

I really wanted to like the CM9s, but after hearing the CM10s and others, the CM9s just sounded somewhat disappointing to me.

First of all, the CM9 highs almost sounded like they had a big blanket in front of them. After a while, this became kind of aggravating to my ears. The B&W CM10s had a clear advantage over the CM9s in the high notes. The highs just sounded much more clear, and life-like... whereas the CM9s were not. I suppose that effect is due to the tweeter design difference on the CM10s vs Cm9s.

Secondly, the CM10s also just had more a "big" room-filling sound, which was nice. When I was hearing the CM9s, it definitely sounded like I was listening to speakers... which was kind of disappointing. The sound stage just wasn't that huge or impressive... it felt kind of enclosed, and not very tall.. if that makes sense. The CM10s had more of the ability to fill the room with full sound, which seemed more believable and enjoyable.


I also listened to some B&W 805 Diamond bookshelf speakers, the B&W CM5 bookshelfs, as well as some expensive Martin Logan bookshelf speakers..... and I think I really just don't like the bookshelf sound. Like the CM9s, it just sounds to me like I'm listening to "small" speakers. The sound stage just wasn't that huge or impressive, and I don't like that. I like room-filling, enveloping sound. No bookshelf that I've heard yet can do that.

The only speakers that really did that were the B&W CM10s and the 804 towers.


Does anyone else agree with these obseverations? Are the CM10s worth the extra money over the CM9s, or should I be looking at other brands with that budget?




As an aside... while I was critically listening to the B&W CM9s.... a couple randomly walked in, listened for 20 seconds, and said "That sounds cool, we'll take a pair of those", and walked out. eek.gif Which kind of made me think.... are we being unnaturally obsessive about this? Or are those people unusually careless with a $3,000 purchase?
post #85 of 118
Some people are just more sensitive than others - or just don't care. I know people who love Bose! eek.gif

I have friend that couldn't hear the difference in a couple different speakers that I used to own. I was playing a pair that I had and said, oops, wrong pair. When I changed them, he said he couldn't tell the difference.
post #86 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Landmonster View Post


As an aside... while I was critically listening to the B&W CM9s.... a couple randomly walked in, listened for 20 seconds, and said "That sounds cool, we'll take a pair of those", and walked out. eek.gif Which kind of made me think.... are we being unnaturally obsessive about this? Or are those people unusually careless with a $3,000 purchase?

The guy most likely already had his mind made up prior to entering the store.

Everyone understands that you have to buy what your instinct tells you.

I may not agree, but I am not the one buying here. biggrin.gif

I sure don't think bookshelf speakers sound "small". They sound "small" because they don't have good bass. Add 2 large accurate tight musical subs and they will sound LARGER than most $25K BIG towers IMO.

There are many variables here. The comparison is done randomly, not level matched, among other things, and the speakers with fuller bass will sound fuller overall and the speakers with less bass will sound small and hollow.

Objectively, the CM9 actually measures better than 804D. But subjectively, you have to buy what sounds best.
Edited by AcuDefTechGuy - 11/18/13 at 12:33pm
post #87 of 118
FWIW. . . Pay attention to the amplification when you are comparing A vs B. I absolutely LOVE the CM9s when I first heard them but they were powered by a pair of Rotel monoblocks. Now, I don't think they will ever sound as good as that with an AV amp. Still good but not as good. Some of the speakers you have been considering are more efficient speakers and IMHO will give you better sound with the amp you're considering.
post #88 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post



I sure don't think bookshelf speakers sound "small". They sound "small" because they don't have good bass. Add 2 large accurate tight musical subs and they will sound LARGER than most $25K BIG towers IMO.

I haven't made any specific comparisons but my opinion is like yours. Add a sub to your speakers and they will start sounding like high end products - maybe better than some. I've used subs for 2 channel listening for at least a dozen years.
post #89 of 118
Agreed. At times I wish I had ponied up for a nice set of bookshelves and better subs. Definitely going that route next time
post #90 of 118
Land Monster,I was in the exact position you are in a year ago. I listened to all those speakers. My girlfriend and I did not like the CM9's for the price. I had some RX8's that were better for $800 less. I also had the Aperion Grand Verus and those were better than the CM9's also. I had them all in my house,not at the same time. I also had Mirage OMD15's,those were nice. I had def tech BP8060st's also,they were decent. None in my opinion compared to the Martin Logan electrostat esl's. Set up in your home,not at best buy,they are the most trasparent of all the speakers I've heard. Just a joy to listen to. Smooth,clear,tight. The sound fills the whole back wall. None of those other speakers do that. They also sound stellar for home theater. That's just my opinion. But people that come over and hear them,let alone see them just drop their jaw. I have a power sound xs30 pair up with them and it sounds incredible. The xs30 has dual opposing 15" woofers with 750 watts. Its sealed not ported.
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