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B&W CM series

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by jonan73, Dec 21, 2004.

  1. jonan73

    jonan73
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    Hi!
    I know the CM series are EOL, but do anyone own them?
    How do tehy compare to other speakers set:
    1) music-wise
    2) home-cinema-wise?
    I have the CM4, CM2 & CMC and I'm not entirely satisfied with the sound... although it's probably my amplifier (denon 2802) and a very old dvd player from Sony...
    So, if some people here have experience with them, thanks for sharing with me. Hope I won't be disappointed, because they were super expensive!
    Take care,

    Johann
     
  2. SKA.face

    SKA.face
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    Johann,

    They should sound pretty good,that's if you like the B&W sound.They are tarted up 600 series,which in themselves are good budget boxes.For my A/V set up,I use some old B&W P6,and to be honest,through my Pioneer AV amp,DVD player,sound awful when playing stereo music,flat,compressed sound,the P6 have much more to give.

    In A/V mode they sound much better,not SOTA,but enjoyable.What is it you feel is lacking,or feel dissapointed about them?
     
  3. jonan73

    jonan73
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    thanks for your answer. I feel it is lacking dynamics. (English is not my mother language). I mean, that if I listen to the Mozart Requiem, when the chorus starts, you are supposed to feel something suddenly coming... and it is as if it didn't have the power...
    Then, if I watch movies 8Ok, I like them quite loud, but not overkill), I often have to put the volume up on my Denon 802 up to -7 or -5 to get something decent...
    Cables are long (about 8-9 meters), but decent quality (10£ a meter).
    I know eversthing is cabled correctly... so i was wondering if it is the speakers or the amplifier that is a bit too "weak". I have of course heard these b&w before spending about 1800£ on them and I'm fairly sure tehy sounded different.
    That's all I can tell, considering i'm no expert :)
    Johann
     
  4. RayP

    RayP
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    Johann,

    I've had the CM4s and CMC for nearly four years and I love the sound the CM4s produce but I'm not so happy about the CMC. I drive them with a Denon A10SE and a Meridian 206 CD player (15 years old). I also have a Philips DVD950 for movies but I'm probably going to change that soon.

    If you're unhappy with the dynamics I suggest you first consider a better source. If hi-fi rules from 30 years ago still apply the source is the most important followed by the amp with the speakers last. The logic behind this being that any information lost cannot be retrieved later. It sounds like your speakers are too good for the rest of your system. I don't mean to be rude by saying that but they are very revealing and any short-comings in your source player or amp will be ruthlessly exposed.

    If you're serious about your music you should consider a separate CD player - DVD players are not good at music until you start spending serious money (700 UKP, 1000 Euros or higher). The A&R Arcam DV78 or DV79 would be a good choice for music and movies.

    Once you get a new source then re-evaluate your system but I think with B&W loudspeakers and a decent source you would need a better amp than the 3803. Maybe a A10SE or better?

    Hope that helps.
     
  5. jonan73

    jonan73
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    It's not even the 2803 I have, but the 2802...
    I want to keep some cohesion (visual and sound-wise), so I will probably get the same brand for amplifier and dvd-player.
    I found this Denon super easy to set up.
    I can get in Switzerland the 3805, new for 600£
    Same price for the DVD player 3910.
    Only thing is that I won't be able to hear them (mail order) and there are much fewer listening rooms than in the UK.
    Are the Arcam within the same price range? I saw on the boards lots of people been undecided between these 2 brands...

    Finally, slightly off-topic, I don't really understand ona technical point of view how come there is so much difference for the CD quality. My newbie, novice and IT view is that music is binary (0 and 1). you cannot have a 0 better in some situations... So, until fairly recently, I thought the only thing that make a difference is the amplifier. I knoww this is wrong, but don't understand why... Help me geta bit more educated today, please ;)
     
  6. recruit

    recruit
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    Jonan - that is a very good price for both units and i would say that they would probably both offer a big inprovement over what you have already.. :)
    The amplifiers in the 3805 will be much better than in the 2802 and more powerful aswell it will also have better DACS for sound too & that will apply to the 3910 it will give you a much better sound thru you're B&W's.

    John
     
  7. RayP

    RayP
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    Woops! Sorry :oops:
    Be careful. The tonal balance of a system depends very much on the tonal balance of each item. The B&Ws are quite smooth so you will need a dynamic sounding amp and a neutral sounding CD/DVD player to give you a neutral sound. Home demos are a must really. Try to hear your proposed system at home first.
    Arcam are expensive - around 1000 UKP or 1400 Euros for the DV79. But, it will be better (musically) sonically than the Denon 3910 and will give you years of good service. It can also have its firmware upgraded via CDs although a dealer would probably do that for you. I appreciate finding a A&R dealer in Switzerland could be difficult.
    It's difficult to put into words but it boils down to how good the transport is (better transport = less jitter) and the quality of the laser reading the data. Compromises are made in DVD players to keep them competitive. I can clearly hear differences between my 400UKP Philips DVD player and my Meridian (1000 UKP 15 years ago) when playing music. The Denon players are great for movies but not so good at reproducing music. Same goes for floor-standing loudspeakers and sub/sat systems. Consider separate CD and DVD players. The 3805 should be fine but read reviews first.

    Happy listening!
     
  8. jonan73

    jonan73
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    But listening and having them demoed is almost impossible.
    Firstly, very few people still have the CM series in shops to try.
    Then, having realy demos is difficult in Switzerland.
    I will be in the UK (London area) for 3 days middle of January. Any retailer I should visit there for a demo? I could get the VAt back, which would make the deal quite interesting for me ;)
    is the Arcam DVD player "neutral", as you put it? What about the amplifier?
    Thanks again :)

    Johann
     
  9. RayP

    RayP
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    Hi Johann,

    I think the best place you could visit is Superfi who have several stores around the UK and London. They stock B&W, Denon and Arcam so you can get first hand knowledge from their staff. Here's their web site... www.superfi.co.uk/index.cfm/page/pages.cfm/id/18

    I haven't listened to the Arcam so I can't give you a view on how it sounds. We all have different tastes in what we find acceptable but all B&W speakers probably have a similar tone and the lads in the Superfi branch will be familiar with the CM range so they'll be able to give you some good advice. Remember too that your room furnishings will have a big effect on the sound. Bare polished floors will be more acoustically "alive" than a carpeted room with heavy curtains. Make sure you tell the staff this.

    Good luck and I hope you have a succesful trip.

    Cheers,

     

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