Question B&W M1 vs high end set up

Scott76

Active Member
Hi all
Been thinking a while about moving up from my awsome M1 mk2 speakers to something like monitor audio gold or platinum range.
Just worried how much difference I'll hear for such an outlay as only used for movies. Thing is I had a full on XTZ cinema set up before downsizing to the M1's as split from the ex.
Honestly I couldn't beleive the detail in those little speakers and sounded even better for surround duties than t the XTZ's, weather that's due to the upgraded tweeters in the mk 2 or changing from a Marantz to a cheaper Denon amp I don't know. Been thinking about a full size set up for a while though just wondered anyone else taken such a leap ?.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
If you like the B&W sound then naturally you should at least get a demo of 700 range. Stepping up to 800 range is going to cost lot more and bit questionable for a purely movie system.

700 range has new driver technology - no more the kevlar drivers which they were known from ages, but they are quite bright sounding overall (measurements). It may also trick you thinking you hear more detail. Not sure about M1 sound to those which the Mk2 came 2012 so they are quite old. Hard to believe M1s sounded better than XTZ Cinema, but clearly there is something you like in the B&W sound so that is why i would consider something from their higher hifi ranges.

Arendal 1723 THX or 1723 S THX would be another alternative if your use is mainly movies. They have certain qualities that other typical hifi ranges doesn´t have if you read what people have reported. With Monitor Audio Gold and Platinum you are also paying for the uber gorgeous finish. They also use MPD transducers which i would want to hear how they sound with high volumes (movies).

Just some random thoughts...
 

Scott76

Active Member
If you like the B&W sound then naturally you should at least get a demo of 700 range. Stepping up to 800 range is going to cost lot more and bit questionable for a purely movie system.

700 range has new driver technology - no more the kevlar drivers which they were known from ages, but they are quite bright sounding overall (measurements). It may also trick you thinking you hear more detail. Not sure about M1 sound to those which the Mk2 came 2012 so they are quite old. Hard to believe M1s sounded better than XTZ Cinema, but clearly there is something you like in the B&W sound so that is why i would consider something from their higher hifi ranges.

Arendal 1723 THX or 1723 S THX would be another alternative if your use is mainly movies. They have certain qualities that other typical hifi ranges doesn´t have if you read what people have reported. With Monitor Audio Gold and Platinum you are also paying for the uber gorgeous finish. They also use MPD transducers which i would want to hear how they sound with high volumes (movies).

Just some random thoughts...
Thanks mate, interesting.
 

Rick84

Well-known Member
I had the monitor Apex for a few years and those little speakers were truly brilliant for movies but did lack for music. If you want to keep to on wall have a look at the ATC HTS range.

I’ve just started to build back up my system after splitting from the wife and I’ve gone for Arcam av20 and Kef ls50 Meta which are arriving tomorrow.
 

Scott76

Active Member
I had the monitor Apex for a few years and those little speakers were truly brilliant for movies but did lack for music. If you want to keep to on wall have a look at the ATC HTS range.

I’ve just started to build back up my system after splitting from the wife and I’ve gone for Arcam av20 and Kef ls50 Meta which are arriving tomorrow.
And do you notice a huge difference for movies?. I get bigger full speakers will be better for music. I think it's because the M1's are bright sounding so those shattered glass/gunshot scenes in the surround channels really shine through.
I guess having gold or platinum range would be best to set them to large as well.
 

Rick84

Well-known Member
I can’t comment on my current setup as the speakers (Kef ls50 meta) aren’t here just yet . Compared to the ATCs there was a massive difference, the ATCs were definitely more balanced and neutral sounding but didn’t put you on the edge of ya seat like the MA Apex did. Like you’ve said already, glass shattering & gun shots had the ability to literally make ya sh*t yourself.

But with the ATCs, there was a lot more detail and transparency across the whole range which was also very noticeable.
 

BlairH

Active Member
Interesting that you found the M1s better than the XTZ cinema setup. I still have my original M1s kicking about (might use them as height speakers somewhere) but I wouldn't imagine the newer versions would be that much better; though haven't heard them myself.

Which sub are you using?
 

gibbsy

Moderator
I had KEF 3005se Eggs which at that time were a contemporary of the B&Ws. When it came to upgrade time I stayed with KEF and just upgraded the front three in the first instance. The audio performance was certainly better for film and TV with the larger speakers displaying a wider and more immersive soundfield. I kept the Eggs on surround duties for another year or so before further upgrading the front stereo pair.

The upgrade to better quality speakers certainly worked for me but soon had me lusting after better amplification. It's a slippery slope to bankruptcy.:thumbsup:
 

Scott76

Active Member
Interesting that you found the M1s better than the XTZ cinema setup. I still have my original M1s kicking about (might use them as height speakers somewhere) but I wouldn't imagine the newer versions would be that much better; though haven't heard them myself.

Which sub are you using?
I kept the XTZ cinema sub as can't get better for the money unless you want to spend a lot more.
I had the PV1 sub and it was terrible, rattled like hell when turned up so sold that and kept the XTZ which made a lot of difference.
 

Apone

Well-known Member
The M1 speakers are a true satellite speaker and for what they cost, they are a nice little speaker for the money. You did the right thing getting rid of the PV1D. That sub was more for people who want style imho.

You mention the Monitor Audio Gold and Platinum speakers and I would say that any of these will crap all over an M1 for both music and movies. Only you can be the judge if the cost vs performance is worth it.

I had a sub sat MK set up for over 20 years and moved on to full range speakers and kept my MK sub and have never been happier. MK was good and I can see why they are used in studios but like you I fancied a full sized set up with speakers that were better for music (in films) and were as good as or better than my existing MK's for the crash bang wallop side of things.

I'd say audition at home from a good dealer if possible and if you like what you hear then go for it but don't be surprised if you later find yourself changing the amp to a better model or going processor/power amp to get the most out of the new speakers.

If you can also try the centre channel along with the L/R speakers then great, otherwise if you can just get a pair of L/R speakers on a home loan then tell your AVR that you don't have a centre channel so that you can get a feel for if you like what you hear.

If you want to try something different, the JBL LSR 305 speakers are cheaper(!) than BW M1 speakers AND they have amplification built in as they are an active studio monitor.

To run the JBL's, you would need pre amp outputs from your AVR. I have 3 of these for LCR and to me they are better than MK in many respects - not least the cost vs performance ratio.

Believe me - they will beat a lot of speakers that cost three time the price. Highly recommended.
 

Scott76

Active Member
The M1 speakers are a true satellite speaker and for what they cost, they are a nice little speaker for the money. You did the right thing getting rid of the PV1D. That sub was more for people who want style imho.

You mention the Monitor Audio Gold and Platinum speakers and I would say that any of these will crap all over an M1 for both music and movies. Only you can be the judge if the cost vs performance is worth it.

I had a sub sat MK set up for over 20 years and moved on to full range speakers and kept my MK sub and have never been happier. MK was good and I can see why they are used in studios but like you I fancied a full sized set up with speakers that were better for music (in films) and were as good as or better than my existing MK's for the crash bang wallop side of things.

I'd say audition at home from a good dealer if possible and if you like what you hear then go for it but don't be surprised if you later find yourself changing the amp to a better model or going processor/power amp to get the most out of the new speakers.

If you can also try the centre channel along with the L/R speakers then great, otherwise if you can just get a pair of L/R speakers on a home loan then tell your AVR that you don't have a centre channel so that you can get a feel for if you like what you hear.

If you want to try something different, the JBL LSR 305 speakers are cheaper(!) than BW M1 speakers AND they have amplification built in as they are an active studio monitor.

To run the JBL's, you would need pre amp outputs from your AVR. I have 3 of these for LCR and to me they are better than MK in many respects - not least the cost vs performance ratio.

Believe me - they will beat a lot of speakers that cost three time the price. Highly recommended.
Good advise, thanks mate.
 

Scott76

Active Member
Now I'm thinking of MK 750LCR and K4 rears as so much online how great they are, but miles better than the M1's 🤔
 

Nayfne

Distinguished Member
Now I'm thinking of MK 750LCR and K4 rears as so much online how great they are, but miles better than the M1's 🤔
I have this exact setup, coming from a KEF T105 T series setup, the MK deliver the goods, the biggest jump for me was the quality and detail of sound coming from the centre speaker.
 

Scott76

Active Member
I have this exact setup, coming from a KEF T105 T series setup, the MK deliver the goods, the biggest jump for me was the quality and detail of sound coming from the centre speaker.
We're the rears a big step up as I feel the M1's are already fantastic at surround duties ?.
 

Nayfne

Distinguished Member
We're the rears a big step up as I feel the M1's are already fantastic at surround duties ?.
In my setup and room, i would say yes, but YMMV .
 

Cyrusgsxr

Active Member
Hi all
Been thinking a while about moving up from my awsome M1 mk2 speakers to something like monitor audio gold or platinum range.
Just worried how much difference I'll hear for such an outlay as only used for movies. Thing is I had a full on XTZ cinema set up before downsizing to the M1's as split from the ex.
Honestly I couldn't beleive the detail in those little speakers and sounded even better for surround duties than t the XTZ's, weather that's due to the upgraded tweeters in the mk 2 or changing from a Marantz to a cheaper Denon amp I don't know. Been thinking about a full size set up for a while though just wondered anyone else taken such a leap ?.
I did the exact opposite of what you did , I started out with 11 x M1 mk2 with one 12.17 edge powered by a Denon 6300h and used Audyssey xt32 I think the Denon had at the time ! , The M1 s paired up well with the Denon at a novice level , I then switched to XTZ cinema base layer 3x M6 and 4 x S5 and kept the 4x M1s as atmos , here I noted a distinct lack in dynamics and scratched my head wondering why I wasn't hearing the expected from my XTZ system??

At this point I was also a bit annoyed that the M1s sounded noticeably brighter than the XTZ base layer so upgraded them with another 4 x S5 to keep tonality exact . So I took the advice from many knowledgeable forum members and embarked on the route of Pre Pow as @Apone mentioned .

I realised that the base layer was really under powered and lacking dynamics whilst the M1s were receiving all the power they required fed from the Denon , so effectively I was getting the effect of driving a sports car with a hair dryer for an engine .

I then used the Denon pre outs to a Rotel 1512 power amp as a stepping stone , this gave me the confidence to move to full Pre Pow as I knew by this time that the Denon was the weak link , so I added a Marantz 8802a Pre and a Rotel 1572 power amp to compliment the 1512 , this combination I found feeds the XTZ cinema system adequate power with huge dynamics , pretty soon I added a second XTZ 12.17 edge and by this time the XTZ cinema were singing a very sweet tune , I later upgraded from Xbox x to Panasonic UB9000 as my spinner , I then jumped on the so called hype of minidsp Dirac over Audyssey and I cannot wait to get my hands on a second 88BM unit to polish off my set up .

To summarise , and I don't wish to offend you in any way . I think there have been multiple delusions as to your perception of M1s being better than XTZ cinema series , different environment new room perhaps ? pre conceived ideas that your downgrade would sound horrible ? improper pairing of equipment with your XTZ system .

My opinion is that a mid to high end Denon paired with B&W M1 mk2 from a couple of years back makes for an excellent entry level system , but in no way could they possibly be compared to a decent XTZ set up .

My advice would be consider carefully your route forward before re investing because each step will limit or dictate your next move , does your amp have pre outs if so invest in good quality amps for the type of set up you aim to achieve and seriously reconsider XTZ as if you do go Pre Pow u will never look back .

My system works as 2 in 1 based on the capability of the UB9000 and Marantz pre , I get hdmi atmos in blueray mode and dedicated customisable dacs for analog stereo in music mode , the M6 x2 and 12.17 edge x 2 are way beyond anything I ever heard barr Tannoy TDM12s or Mackie hr824 but that is a different story lol
 

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