Bowers & Wilkins CM10 S2 & Marantz PM-14S1 SE

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Speakers' started by retrouk, Mar 17, 2017.

  1. retrouk

    retrouk
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    Hi everyone, I am looking to upgrade my Marantz PM8005/SA8005 to the Marantz PM-14S1 SE Amp & CD player. At the moment I have the Bowers & Wilkins CM9 S2 and the 70 wpc on the Marantz PM8005 is more than enough to drive the CM9's. The Marantz PM-14S1 SE is rated at 90wpc. From a review I have read on the web, the CM10 S2 goes very well with the Marantz PM-14S1. Just wondering if the 90 wpc is enough to drive the CM10's. As always any help and advice is always appreciated. Here is a link to the Marantz website :- Marantz UK | PM-14S1 Special Edition

    Thanks :)
     
  2. PiperCub

    PiperCub
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    I don't think that would be much of an upgrade from initial looks at the specs between the two amps. It looks like you are spending around £1800 on the new amp and £1600 on a new CD player.

    Are you just changing to suit new marantz models mainly?

    You are driving the b and w's well it sounds like with just 70watts, and how much power it gives seems ok to you for listening at normal levels. So unless you disco it up, I wouldn't be looking at more power necessarily, but this does help for coping with music and dynamics etc.

    That type of budget around £3k gets you well into a pre and power route and much better dacs for improving things like clarity and dynamics etc. At these prices seperate pre and power amps will probably work better than intergrated.

    I wouldn't change the CD player, spend all the money on amps for all out sound improvement. I'd look at other brands as marantz don't offer a pre and power route. Some amp with loads of detail to add balance to the outright kick of the b and ws. Musical fidelity, Cyrus maybe.
     
  3. retrouk

    retrouk
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    Hi PiperCub, nice to meet you and thanks for your helpful reply. I'm really wanting to ideally just upgrade my speakers from the CM9 S2 to the CM10 S2 for a bit more high end treble and bigger presentation due to the additional driver in the CM10. According to Bowers & Wilkins site, they recommend a 30w - 300w amplifier for both the CM9 & CM10. That indicates to me that the PM8005 should be able to drive the CM10's perfectly well at the volume levels that I listen to. With regards to the difference between the PM8005 and the PM14 S1 SE and the matching CD player they are both from Marantz Reference Range and are compatible with Hi Res audio. That was the only reason for looking at both of those components and also the added 20 wpc power should I ever need it. The test will be when I do have the home demo of the CM10's connected to my current equipment. Let's see if the PM8005 can handle the CM10's.
     
  4. PiperCub

    PiperCub
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    A bigger presentation (at any given volume) can be achieved by better and more powerful amps, because the speakers will work more easily with this added power. A bigger presentation is another way of saying things like 'increased soundstage' (the way the speakers are not appearing to sound to come from one point but a larger area) and 'scale' which could be interpreted the same way.

    Treble can be introduced with an amp that majors on detail or is just balanced towards the treble side of bass and treble. I can definetely understand how those b and w's would need a bit of treble as they are, when I heard them in the b and w store in Worthing, tuned on the side of bass.

    With your speakers I think you could get more for your money with the suggested amps below, which are good choices for this detail and greater power. The marantz amp you are thinking of wouldn't be much of an upgrade in terms of power. I doubt you'd notice much of these extra things you want with this suggested marantz. Also you aren't getting much for your money for 90watts. It says in the the information leaflet for the pm-14s1 Se that it is optimised for hi-res. I couldn't understand what they meant by that, as any standalone amp without dac, would be, as long as it's decent quality. So ignore that 'spin' as marketing. As regards your point on the CD player having hi res and matching the amps hi res capability, your CD player already does this with USB as it has a 192khz / 24 bit dac, but cd will be 44.1khz/16 bit. You didn't comment on if you just play CDs or have hi resolution files above this cd quality, using a streamer perhaps into your amp or pc straight into the CD player?

    A pre and power route would probably be better, and if you intend to upgrade later this route gives you an ability to monoblock power amps, ie add another same amp for each speaker, if you can't do this within budget. I've included some intergrated amps too.

    So firstly this is a good thing to read when choosing an amp. Some people will say on here that criteria like THD are not an issue as most amps are have a very low THD but I think they do matter, and if Cambridge Audio do it's sensible to compare it in amps when making choices and listening, which is the main part.

    5 Important Specifications To Consider When Choosing An Amplifier

    It looks like your budget is £3600 plus potentially selling your existing marantz amp, £4K. I'd keep the CD player as the one you are looking at offers no more 'hi-res' than your existing CD player.

    1) Musical Fidelity M6si , best MF amp within budget (£2749) and very well reviewed - 220watts @ 8 ohms, beating the marantz 90w/8ohms, THD 0.007% , beating marantz 0.02%, S/n ratio comparable. This amp has a pre amp section and two power amps in dual mono spec, in one box, which means the pre amp and power sections (the dual mono bit) are discrete circuits. This can have a huge bearing on sound quality, effectively it is a pre and 2 power amps in one box, so is a great choice. I suspect the marantz is not a dual mono type design and has the same pre and power amp sections on the same board.

    http://www.musicalfidelity.com/uploads/catalogerfiles/m6si/5_MF_M6si_Flier_v1_web.pdf

    Musical fidelity do major on detail so I think this amp would be a great match. It also has a async USB for 24/96 kHz for hi res playback.

    I heard this amp in the new encore amp

    Maybe use the rest of budget on a hi res streamer if you don't have one?

    2) cyrus combo of pre 2 dac qx pre amp and dac in one box (£1500 ) and cyrus stereo 200 class d power amp (£1895). Total £3,395

    Stereo 200 - 200 watts at 6 ohms.

    Pre amp has a qx cyrus upsampling dac converting all sources to 24bit/192khz.

    Cyrus major on detail and resolution and don't be fooled by small cases, this cyrus amp packs a big punch. This route could offer the opportunity of adding another stereo 200 and using them as mono blocks. You can also add a power supply later to the pre amp (psx-r) for more resolution.

    3) Leema acoustics, Tucana 2 intergrated amp £4K, 150 watts @ 8 ohms

    Better thd than marantz and more power. Leema are known for detail too.

    Or for more flexibility how about the elements range going for a pre amp and power amps, but I'm somewhat put off by poor reviews, but the Tucana 2 has great reviews.

    4) maybe audiolab who are also good for detail.

    I'd avoid brands like naim, and arcam which major on smooth bass and thats something your speakers seem to have in spades.

    Hope this helps.
     
  5. chienmetallique

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    Shame you can't get your hands on a Nakamichi AVP1 (now sold out) new version due out soon AVXP1, see IOTA Electronics for info. It drives my CM9 s2s beautifully.
     
  6. retrouk

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    Hi, many thanks for both of your replies. I have a lot to think about. With regards to Musical Fidelity, my dealer stocks their products and also stocks Marantz products including their Reference Range. What I have found out though from people in the trade is that an amplifier's quoted wpc is just one factor to be taken into account, but is not the end all and be all. What matters is how the circuits inside are constructed an many other factors. With regards to the Marantz PM-14S1 Special Edition, it has a rated wpc of 90w at 8 ohms and 140w at 4 ohms. If you then look further at the specification, Marantz tell you how the circuits inside are constructed and then you can see what you are paying for. As mentioned previously the PM8005 that I have drives my CM9 S2's brilliantly and I don't have to turn the volume dial up very much to enjoy my CM9 speakers. I will also say that I really like the Marantz design and having read a few reviews on the web, the PM-14S1 SE has no issue driving any speakers. It has been tested with for example the CM10 S2's going right up to 11k - 12k speakers. I guess I will have to audition a bit, but I think the Musical Fidelity MF M6si might be a bit out of my budget. I think the first test will be to try the CM10's with my Marantz PM8005 and then take it from there :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  7. retrouk

    retrouk
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  8. PiperCub

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    I think you are maybe missing the point about power of amps. If you are content with the marantz I would do nothing because buying the new marantz amp and CD player you mentioned would get you infinitely less sound improvements than a different amp upgrade of the type i mentioning, which appears in budget. It's actually less price with the musical fidelity m6si than combined cost of the new amp and CD player.

    The point about power, is it enables the speakers to work better dynamically too, that means the way the sounds in a track are taught and on and off and not reverberated, so music is more real. Also things like speed too. The soundstage is the other thing. Now these things work better even at lower volumes. A better quality amp will be more detailed too.

    It's not a case of whether an amp drives a speaker. A £200 amp would drive my speakers, but with the same dynamics, detail, rhythm, soundstage, speed, and layering as my amps? Absolutely no way.
     
  9. retrouk

    retrouk
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    Hi PiperCub, thanks for your reply. I now understand things a bit more clearly now after your explanation. Having said that, could the M5series be a better alternative as that amplifier is definitely within my budget : - Musical Fidelity | M5s Series
    Thanks :)
     
  10. PiperCub

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    You are not using the budget on the CD player towards the amp? I think the 5 would be good, but probably nowhere near as good as the M6si, which would having much more power, suit the size and power capability of your speakers. It could be too the 5 is too similar to your marantz at similar price. But the best way to find out is have a listen.
     
  11. Jodel

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    Ignoring the value for money aspect, I found the CM10 S2 a big step up from the CM 9 S2 when I listened to both on demo - the improvement was not subtle, it was very obvious. If you already like the B&W sound, I think you'd be very happy with the CM10 S2.

    One note of caution though, when I listened to them it was via an integrated Arcam amp at about 125 watts rating (A39). I also listened with a Rotel pre-power combo at 200 watts rating. I ended up buying the Rotel pre-power units (see my signature below).

    I don't think I play my system particularly loud, but I do have it at detached house levels which non Hi-Fi enthusiasts would probably consider quite high. I think the CM 10 S2's definitely need a bit of 'oomph' behind them and I find mine do really wake up and sound better at higher levels. They could probably cope with a good bit more power than the 200 watts I have available. Had the Rotel 350 watt power amp been available when I bought my units, I probably would have gone with that rather than the 200 watt.

    Which brings me round to the amplification - you mentioned that you can have a home demo and I think this would be well worthwhile to see if your present amp can do the CM 10's justice. If there is a possibility of listening to a more 'beefy' amp as part of the demo, that would probably be very helpful too, both with the CM 10's and your own CM 9's.

    Having more power in the amp is a bit like driving a big powerful car rather than a supermini - you may not need / want the power all the time, but it's great to have effortless grunt on tap.

    Have fun with your selection and keep us posted :).
     
  12. retrouk

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    Hi Jodel, nice to meet you and great to hear that you are enjoying your CM10's. You have said exactly what my dealer has said which is that there is a big step up between the CM9's and CM10's. My honest feeling is that I think my amp will be adequate, but then again to do the CM10's justice, an amp upgrade would be worthwhile. The thing is that I really like the Marantz sound. Marantz & Bowers & Wilkins always go well as a combination. Secondly the build quality of Marantz is second to none. Having found out that the Marantz PM-14S1 SE is specifically tuned to the UK market and actually seen a review saying that the combination goes very well with the CM10 S2's, I think that this will be adequate for me. The next step up from the Marantz-14S1 SE is the 3k Marantz amp which is just too much for me to spend on an amplifier. I mean when am I going to use the full 90 watts power anyway. This is what it exactly says on the Marantz website with regards to the internal amplifier circuitry :-
    Marantz HDAM Technology
    Featuring discrete circuit components, as opposed to an integrated circuit, our exclusive HDAM technology preserves analogue signal purity, delivering wide band audio with expansive dynamic range along with an inaudible noise floor. A total of 24 HDAM SA2 and SA3 units are employed in the phono, line level, headphone output, pre-amp and power amp stages.
    Fully Discrete High Current Amplifier Stages
    For compatibility with the widest range of speaker impedances, the power amplifier stages feature high current power output devices, and for maximum channel separation, each amplifier stage features segregated circuitry along with individual massive extruded aluminum alloy heat sinks with a large effective radiating area that provide fan-less and noise-less heat dissipation. The amplifier is rated at 90 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 140 watts per channel into 4 ohms, assuring high stability and wide dynamic range, even with lower impedance speakers.

    Finally somebody who did have the PM8005 has upgraded to the PM-14S1 SE and they have said it's a big jump in quality and sound from the PM8005. That is exactly what I am looking for. I just can't see an amplifier from Marantz Reference Range not being enough for the CM10's. Will keep you all updated :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2017
  13. retrouk

    retrouk
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    I can't remember which forum thread it was, but it was to do with how well internally amplifiers from different brands are constructed. A few people did say that the way Marantz does it is the best. Here is a link showing the inside of the PM-14S1 :- http://us.marantz.com/Assets/Images/Products/PM-14S1/PM14S1 Top_Down_Angle_LR.jpg

    As compared with for example Rotel 1570 inside :- RA-1570

    Just to add my dealer does also sell Rotel. Will try to have a listen to Rotel and Musical Fidelity also and see what I think. Once again thanks for all your replies and help :)
     
  14. PiperCub

    PiperCub
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    Jodel said "Having more power in the amp is a bit like driving a big powerful car rather than a supermini - you may not need / want the power all the time, but it's great to have effortless grunt on tap."

    That's not a great analogy with hi fi as power tends to be useful at all levels so dynamics and soundstage can be benefitted at lower (normal) listening levels. You don't decide if you want dynamics for example, and some of the time, you want it all the time as it makes music more realistic. Powerful amplifiers don't just equate to more bass and volume if needed.

    A better car analogy is with torque on a car, it's there in all lower and upper gears.
     
  15. Jodel

    Jodel
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    Pipercub - I agree, it's probably what I was trying to say actually :)

    Retrouk, I think you're approaching this quite sensibly. Listen for yourself, then decide what YOU like. It doesn't matter what 'some bloke on the internet' thinks, If you are happy with the sound that is all that matters.
     
  16. Access

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    I think he CM 10's would suck the life out of your current amp if you turned it up loud. They are über power hungry speakers to say the least.
     
  17. retrouk

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    Hi, I think all of you are correct with regards to my current amplifier and also the Marantz PM-14S1 SE not having enough power to drive the CM10's well enough. Having spoken to Bowers & Wilkins today, I was told that a much better match for the CM10's would be the Rotel RA 1592. The Rotel RA1570 might be okay for a medium sized room, but the RA1592 would be better. Might also look to upgrade my cd player to the RCD 1570 so that both components match. Now this I believe will be a fantastic combination :)
     
  18. PiperCub

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    Agree current amp not match for CM10's. Id avoid Rotel though, which I don't think are up there with other makes I recommended especially Musical Fidelity. Matching components wont cut it for improving SQ against better amps. B&W will recommend Rotel because they distribute this brand and have an interest in it! It doesn't necessarily mean that they pick this brand for sound matching purposes if commercially they have an interest.
     
  19. retrouk

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    Agreed PiperCub :)
     
  20. Access

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    I wouldn't discount Rotel just because of the B&W connection, the fact remains they do work well together. I've listened to the CM 10's with the 1552 power amp and it sounded sweet as a nut.
    If you're used to Marantz and B&W it's worth a listen.
     
  21. PiperCub

    PiperCub
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    These types of b and w's are known for having a bit of bloom in the bass areas, and rotels are quite punchy and powerful but not hugely dynamic. So as compared to something like the MF amps which give better precision and bass dynamics, it will be better combo.
    Rotel might work well, but we are talking about doing best, and what a speaker doesn't do quite so well, can be tamed by the qualities of the amp. It's better to sort that out before you buy.
    I've heard rotel amps on b and w's and it's not the nicest match for me. Powerful and scale but the subtlety, clarity and dynamics of a different speaker in the same price bracket, I don't think so.
     
  22. Access

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    As usual you're right and nobody else can have an opinion.
     
  23. PiperCub

    PiperCub
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    When what hi fi reviewed the rotel rb1582 they stated "slight shortfalls in transparency and agility" which is another way of saying detail and dynamics.

    They also talked about it giving plenty of scale. I totally agree with this from what I heard.

    So that was exactly my previous point, for speakers that give lots of bass and can be a bit bloomy on that, I don't think it's ideal to match it with an amp that doesn't make up in other areas like agility and gives loads of scale to already hugely 'scaleable' speakers. Unless your thing is to exacerbate these to the maximum. That's why a slightly leaner and more detailed amp like the MF which is more dynamic too would i think work better.


     
  24. Wall Of Sound

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    I believe Rotel are somehow associated with, or owned by B&W, so they were always going to recommend them to you :)
     
  25. Access

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    So I should believe What HiFi over my own ears?
    Also I have not said that one is better than the other, unlike you're usual stance of "this is right, you are wrong". I simply said you should not discount Rotel based on the fact they are distributed by B&W, you also shouldn't discount them based on a WhatHiFi review.
     
  26. PiperCub

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    No I'd believe your senses. I was using the what hi fi review to support my view of its sound based on listening to Rotel amps and b and w speakers, and to say it's not a great match in my view. IVe trialed Rotel amps too and in the b and w store in Worthing (where I used the live) they have all the Rotel stuff. So I'm not basing my view on the hi fi press alone.
    You called Rotel 'sweet as a nut' and I challenged that because I don't think they are great. You are entitled to your opinion as much as I'm entitled to mine.
    TBH I don't think Japanese makes are, on the whole, a match for audiophile British hi fi makes.
     
  27. Access

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    But they have a sweeter sound sig than MF, and as the OP has expressed an interest in hearing a Rotel amp I wouldn't discount it without listening to it first.

    Anyway, this is getting off topic and as you say, we are both entitled to our opinions.
     
  28. PiperCub

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    Yes I wouldn't discount it before listening to it too, but I'm not sure what you mean by sweeter.
     
  29. Access

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    More laid back, smoother sounding.
     
  30. PiperCub

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    I'd totally agree with that. You are talking about a richer bass presentation. That's the difference you can expect but I think matching is all important ie do you exacerbate these smoother qualities the speakers have, or tame them. A matter of taste. But the op could buy naim amps if he wanted tons more smoothness and they would do that an awful lot better than rotel with better detail too. More expensive mind but in the price bracket of the op.
     

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