Originally Posted by 2dflyer
Is the 700 series worth waiting for? My preference would be a 704 S2. The size is better and is at the top end of budget. But the local dealer offered their CM9 demos at about $250 less than 704 S2 retail. So new smaller model with improved drivers or older larger for less money? I've listened to the CM9 today but haven't heard the 704 S2.
Originally Posted by laserjock II
Wait it out
Originally Posted by markmon1
The difference between the 704s2 and cm9 is huge. Wait it out.
Sound advice thank you. I was able to listen to the 704 S2 today, along side a couple of other comparably priced towers, and was exceptionally impressed.
Take all this with a grain or two of salt as I'm not experienced in comparing speaker performance but, from what I recall of the CM9, the 704 mid range was much better defined - crisp is the only pedestrian word I can think of to describe the difference. Courtesy of and thanks to our local Magnolia HT and design centers I can say the same is also true of two others I was able to listen to today (Martin Logan Motion 40 and Definitive Technologies BP9060). I liked the Martin Logan ribbon tweeter but felt the difference was minimal compared to 704 mid range advantage. I may not have given the BP9060 a fair shake but think the powered sub muddied up the mid range.
I won't say the 704 upper frequencies were more forward than the CM9, but they too were much better represented. I guess what I mean is I felt the CM9 upper range was overwhelmed by the mid range - maybe too soft or out of balance with respect to the relative volume I expected to hear. The 704 mid/upper range balance is more like what I hear on my Grado SR325is headphones, which I recall being advertised as relatively neutral.
Most here would likely want to add a sub, but I think bass response was comparable across all 4 speakers - at least for what I'm most interested in and listen to. It's a least good enough out of the box that you could start with the 704 S2 and add a sub later when another $700 shows up in the cookie jar.
I compiled a stack of basic CD stuff to listen to on the CM9 but settled on 2 ch Steve Wilson's "Luminol" off "The Raven That Refused To Sing" as my go to. Not my idea, but a good one in my estimation and what my comparisons are based on. (Ref Mike Mettler, Sound and Vision, 24Jul13 Triton 7 review)
One other thing that may have flavored the comparison is differences in amps. The CM9's were powered by a 60 WPC Rotel A12 integrated amp at one dealer, all others by a 120 WPC Yamaha RX-A1070 AVR at the 2 Magnolia centers I visited. Acoustic treatments were not present in either case and I know Magnolia did not apply any room correction.
While on the subject, props to our local Magnolia centers for having multiple amp and speaker brands and model choices wired up for simple side by side comparison. For the most part the people were knowledgeable, attentive, and very helpful. The set ups were efficient and effective so the time I spent with them was very well used. Maybe this is the norm but has not been my experience in other places.
I also have to admit to previously being thrown off a bit by references to B&W and Best Buy in the same sentence. I understand now the relationship and highly recommend Magnolia as a destination for the neophyte audiophile.