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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, so last week I got a pair of Polk Monitor 40s to see what they are like. They are OK. But, the day before I recieved them, I was at a B&W dealer again and listened to 686s, 685s and CM5s. Wonderful sound! Especially the CM5s. As I have posted before, $650 a pair has a low WAF. My question is this. Is there anything in the $300/ pair range that might come close to the 685s or CM5s for sound? I have listened to many but, nothing in that price range comes close. How about ID companies?

Thanks again guys!
 

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If you buy what you want and like in the first place, you'll save more money in the long run. Upgrades cost money. I really like the CM5, especially in a smaller venue. Maybe tell your wife if you do the B&Ws, you won't have to upgrade for years and years. I happen to think B&W is the real dealio...
 

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I know this doesn't really answer your question but I'm going to throw it out there anyway: speakers are the only device in your entire system which physically reproduce sound. You can have the greatest components ever created by the hand of man but if you speakers aren't appropriate it won't matter anyway. I recognize that this economy stinks and that peoples' financial situations are all different. However, I will argue that $325 is not a ton of money for a quality speaker like a B&W (especially considering you could/should own them for MANY years - I've had my M&K's for over 10 years and have no plans to ever get rid of them). The way I'd look at it is like this: You just purchased a pair of speakers which you deem to be "ok" which means that every time you listen to music, watch TV, or watch a movie you will be thinking to yourself, "Man, this does sound "ok" but it would sound so much better on the B&W's!" As such, I say save a while longer or make some other sort of compromise in your system and hold out to get speakers you really like. If you keep your current Polks and plan to sell them later, keep in mind that the resale value on speakers is horrible.


As far as looking at other brands, the only speakers I have found to sound good enough to my liking within the $300/pair price range is Paradigm. My first pair of "real" speakers were Monitor 3's (8" woofer) and were priced at $400 per pair. If I recall correctly, the Monitors with 6" (or 6.5"?) woofers were closer to $300 per pair. Of course, there are many other brands out there with other folks might prefer but to my ears Paradigm is the only one which comes close. And I still vote for the B&W's
 

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Scotty's right. And for everyone who has regrets with their last speaker purchase, let me ask you this: Are you regretful that you didn't pay enough and they don't sound as good as you'd like? Or are you regretful that you spent a bit too much and they sound wonderful?
 

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The bad thing about this hobby is that you can spend lots of money. One of the good things about this hobby is that if you buy smart, equipment tends to last a looooooong time.


My main L/R speakers ( Magmepan MG3.6) are 6 years old. Their predecessors (Magnepan MG3.5) were 10 years old when I upgraded. There was nothing wrong other than my lust for the latest and greatest.


My center channel (Boston VR12) is about 15 years old.


My surrounds (Boston VR-M60) and rears (Boston VR-M/X) are about 7 years old.


My subwoofer (Velodyne F1500) is about 15 years old.


I have a pair of ADS Braun L1590 Series II speakers in storage that are 22 years old and in fine shape.


My amp that drives my main speakers is a 22 year old Nakamichi PA7 that's still going strong. I can have it recapped for under $300 if I want to but so far no need.


My receiver is a 6 year old Harman Kardon AVR7300.


The only "new" piece of gear I've acquired recently is my Oppo BDP-83SE that my wife bought me for Christmas 2009.


The only piece of audio / video gear I think I've ever had fail was the PS3 that the Oppo replaced. The PS3 (BD drive) croaked within 2 years but that wasn't really audio gear in my mind.


All my stuff was bought new so I know its full history.


The point of all this is that audio gear tends to be very reliable and last a long time without a lot of maintenance assuming you don't abuse it. How many other hobbies are like that? Most people who spend money constantly on audio are either neurotic or have found out that they made bad choices to begin with and are "upgrading" to compensate for poor decisions in the past.


Personally, I'd say get a good quality system that you can live with for 5 to 10 years and only upgrade when technology changes drive real obsolescence with your existing stuff or it provides a tangible improvement in enjoyment like DVD to Bluray as an example. Other than digital formats for audio / video or things like electronic room correction software, not a lot has changed in the last 25 years. Amps haven't evolved much. There are no new transducer technologies. Materials yes, but totally new ways to excite air, no not really. Copper wire is still copper wire. If anything the price of entry for a good system has come way down and price/performance is better than ever.
 

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Magnefied: Nice Maggies, and those L1590s are so old, I was still in retail sales when they came out. They're not Braun, at all, but they're a/d/s/ from the Godehardt Gunther era. They are arguably the best full-range speakers a/d/s/ ever made; even better than the L810. I'd hook them up in a 2-channel system somewhere. Great bass, lots of punch, good dynamics, razor-sharp detail. If you haven't broken the metal grill attachments yet, you're the only one who hasn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys. The sales rep said was that B&W has a very tight reign on their products and that they are almost never discounted. He would not budge $1 on his price. Is this typical for B&W? I will try to do some "splanin" to the wife. Of the Boston, Monitor, Paradigm, Polk, Klipsch, Def Tech, No other speaker had detail and depth and all around sound like the B&W 685s. Focal 806Vs were second. (OK, the CM5s were awesome too)

I don't want to put down the owners of these other brands. it is just MY opinion. (hell, I bought the Polks)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlsaudio /forum/post/18140411


Thanks guys. The sales rep said was that B&W has a very tight reign on their products and that they are almost never discounted. He would not budge $1 on his price. Is this typical for B&W? I will try to do some "splanin" to the wife. Of the Boston, Monitor, Paradigm, Polk, Klipsch, Def Tech, No other speaker had detail and depth and all around sound like the B&W 685s. Focal 806Vs were second. (OK, the CM5s were awesome too)

I don't want to put down the owners of these other brands. it is just MY opinion. (hell, I bought the Polks)

I for one do not take offense because the only one that matters is you. I really liked their Diamond series but there was no way I felt they were THAT much better then what I have now to pay that much more. I'm pretty sure there will be people that would think I'm crazy but again the only one that matters is me
.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Scarpelli /forum/post/18140272


Magnefied: Nice Maggies, and those L1590s are so old, I was still in retail sales when they came out. They're not Braun, at all, but they're a/d/s/ from the Godehardt Gunther era. They are arguably the best full-range speakers a/d/s/ ever made; even better than the L810. I'd hook them up in a 2-channel system somewhere. Great bass, lots of punch, good dynamics, razor-sharp detail. If you haven't broken the metal grill attachments yet, you're the only one who hasn't.

Thanks. The L810's were my first exposure to ADS in the late 70's and I was floored at the time. In their day they were very impressive relative to the competition at their price point. I bought the L1590's from Tweeter in Boston circa 1988 and they stayed in the system until 1994 when the MG3.5's replaced them. They went back into their original packaging and I think I've only had them out once since. The metal grills are perfect. The only thing I can remember "breaking" is a couple of the little rubber sockets that the metal grills plug into. They loosened up and fell out of their holes in the cabinet. That was fixed with a drop of glue. I keep thinking about pulling them out for a 2 channel system in the basement pool/bar/family room area. I also considered them as surrounds but they're a little big for the role. I just can't seem to bring myself to get rid of them. They have been carted from our house in New England to the Caribbean for three years (in boxes the whole time) and back again. My only regret was not purchasing the factory biamp module that made them self powered. In retrospect, that would have been really convenient.
 

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You don't have to apologize to anyone - speakers are very much a subjective taste. I for one always liked B&W but never owned them because I purchased my speakers when working at a specialty shop (and had a sweet discount). At the time I bought an M&K 150THX system paired with an MX-350 sub. Despite my discount it was still a major purchase for me because I was making nowhere near what I make now. I was listening critically to a bunch of music and blu-rays on Friday night and all I could think about while doing so was, "Man - I'm glad I didn't skimp when I bought these!" My speakers are in fantastic shape and the only time I will replace them is 1) if some sort of catastrophe happens (e.g., fire, theft, etc.) or 2) the woofers themselves age so much that they cannot be repaired for a reasonable cost. Also, keep in mind that different home theater technologies age at different rates. Speakers specifically age at one of the slowest rates so spend wisely
By the way, I heard that B&W will be introducing headphones soon - I just might have to pick up a pair!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlsaudio /forum/post/18140411


Thanks guys. The sales rep said was that B&W has a very tight reign on their products and that they are almost never discounted. He would not budge $1 on his price. Is this typical for B&W? I will try to do some "splanin" to the wife. Of the Boston, Monitor, Paradigm, Polk, Klipsch, Def Tech, No other speaker had detail and depth and all around sound like the B&W 685s. Focal 806Vs were second. (OK, the CM5s were awesome too)

I don't want to put down the owners of these other brands. it is just MY opinion. (hell, I bought the Polks)

I got around 10% off my B&Ws (Chicago suburbs) which is maybe what you should be able to get. If you are ever down this way, I can give you my salesman in a PM. Note B&W doesn't allow internet sales; not sure they could mail them to you on a phone order either. The other option is to look for a used pair on ebay or audiogon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have looked on Ebay and have found a few. They always seem to be on one of the coasts however. They are non existant on Craigslist!

Fortunately, I do have time on my side. I will keep on the hunt!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlsaudio /forum/post/18139357


OK, so last week I got a pair of Polk Monitor 40s to see what they are like. They are OK. But, the day before I recieved them, I was at a B&W dealer again and listened to 686s, 685s and CM5s. Wonderful sound! Especially the CM5s. As I have posted before, $650 a pair has a low WAF. My question is this. Is there anything in the $300/ pair range that might come close to the 685s or CM5s for sound? I have listened to many but, nothing in that price range comes close. How about ID companies?

Thanks again guys!

you can get the Paradigm Studio 10's in that range
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have listened to the Dime Atoms and they are good. I just thought they may be a little small for my room. (12X16) I will look into the PSBs. I will try and find a dealer. None I have seen in my area yet.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlsaudio /forum/post/18142086


Studio 10s for $300/pair?? Where?

oops i thought you meant each
 
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