New B&W FPM speakers arriving soon


Active Member

Had a loongg demo yesterday and have ordered a pair of B&W FPM4's, FPM5 for centre, FPM2 for rears and a PV1 sub yesterday. This is to replace my Sonus Faber kit which is just too big for my new house.
I was looking for a more compact stylish look now the g/f is paying half the mortgage!! Ordered the kit in black as most tv's seem to be going that way now, TV's for another day though.

The dem went like this.

I was unsure of how much money was realistically in the budget for a stylish compact system, not that much I thought, so I was considering something along the lines of the B&W MT30 package, or Monitor Audios.
Now if I tell you that my Sonus kit is very good, we're talking £2700 retail with no sub, Grand Piano Home, Solo centre and Wall rears then I was going to be in for a quality drop shocker.

So we turned up at the dem and I explained to her that it didn't make sense to take a huge drop in quality and she had to agree. So I immediately discounted the smaller kit and headed straight for the FPM's. 8) She liked the look of the FPM's, result.

So 'Ben' hooked up the FPM's and we had a listen to some movies, firstly without the sub as I thought there's no way she's going to spend £1000 on it so lets see how they sound now. I've got an old Yamaha sub we could use for now and then get a PV1 later on I thought.

Not good was the answer, the sound was all treble and midrange as I supppose you should expect. The cabinets physically aren't big enough to produce good bass. Turned on the sub and all was good, happy with the sound although my Sonus kit does sound smoother.

Now for music listening. This was a bit of a headache for 'Ben' as I wanted to listen to the FPM4 speakers in stereo, without the sub then with.
Without the sub they sounded pretty shabby to be honest, the midrange and treble were really sharp, no bass to speak of hence everything was lopsided. The lack of bass highlighting the midrange, couldn't live with that.

Now add the sub, easy I thought but noooo. First we tried a Naim all in one unit but 'Ben' couldn't get it to output an LF signal to the sub in stereo, no sub. So he put on an Arcam receiver, now we got some LF signal but it was weak, as if the amp was limiting the output. Could he get into the menus to check the crossover settings, could he *&^%. By mucking about with the crossover and turning the sub up I got some good controlled bass out and was finally able to listen to stereo proper.
Things improved a lot and were very listenable, I could live with these I thought. The sound was still on the bright side but I remember my 602 s3's were the same and they calmed down a bit.

Conclusion of all this is that I am going to miss my Sonus as they do sound better but I've got a good trade off between size and performance. I can't accomodate full size speakers anymore so had no choice but to change. But it has rammed home the fact that a sub/sat system, even one where the fronts are 22" x 7" x 4", can't compete with good full range floorstanders for music though.


Oh and after our 2hr demo the g/f didn't bat an eyelid when 'Ben' told her how much the sub cost!!

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