1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

upgrading b&w 600's to cdm nt/n800's

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by memmerson, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. memmerson

    memmerson
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Messages:
    466
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Devon
    Ratings:
    +16
    Hi,

    I have a b&w 600 s3 setup (603, 601, 600, lcr60) and have been thinking about upgrading to the cdm nt's or n800 range of speakers.

    I could upgrade to the cdm range now or wait for a year or so and go for the n800 range then. obviously this is a personal decision, but what would you guys do in my position?

    also, what benefits would floorstanders bring if I used a sub for lfe?

    i'm thinking about going for the 1nt, asw cdm, cnt & 2x snt

    opinons appreciated!

    M
     
  2. sounddog

    sounddog
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Messages:
    3,370
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    107
    Location:
    Leicestershire, UK
    Ratings:
    +461
    we asked our local hifi shop a very similar question to this.

    Their answer was it wasn't worth upgrading unless you go to the n800 range.

    Yes there is a difference inbetween but "not that much of a difference".

    We have found no fault with anything else we have been told by them.

    *shrug*

    I'm sure some people will disagree but I liked their explanation etc.. and i'm going along with that until someone proves it wrong.

    Cheers

    Steff
     
  3. memmerson

    memmerson
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Messages:
    466
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Devon
    Ratings:
    +16
    Thanks Sounddog, I was hoping that would be the case. I'll bypass the CDM's and start saving for the N800's.

    Before I get the speakers though I guess I should probably upgrade my amp (marantz av9200) first!? In your opinion what poweramps and receivers should I be considering for future use with N800's?

    Thanks

    M
     
  4. EvilMudge

    EvilMudge
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    N800s demand serious quality amplification.
    Think Bryston. Krell and Chord if you want decent performance. They will work with the better one box AV amps and receivers, but you will miss out on a lot.
    Check out ES-Lab's DX series if the above are a little too pricey (DX-S4 £2500, 2 channels, 200+ Watts per channel, total control of a dynamic speaker like the Nautillae.)
     
  5. sounddog

    sounddog
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Messages:
    3,370
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    107
    Location:
    Leicestershire, UK
    Ratings:
    +461
    All depends on how much money you have.

    I would have thought at that sort of money, looking at a seperate processor and power amps would be the best way forward.

    So starting at £1000 srp for the Rotel RSP1066 (1098 which is due out soon) and upwards to things like the Arcam AV8, Tag 192 thingy whatever it's called, Lexicon, etc.. for your processor.

    To be honest we are at dreamland for me at this point. I'm amazed we've even managed to get the Rotel processor.

    I suppose power amps, start with the Rotels and go upwards. I have no personal opinion as I haven't tried them but a lot of people seem not to overly impressed by the tag power amps so it seems, Rotel 1095 or 109(0 or 1s) They are the big powerful Rotels which is probably the sort of thing you are after. The Arcam P7 seven channel power amp which seems good, to go with the AV8, then onto Bryson and Krell.

    I'm sure there are millions of other combinations that I have totally left out, so I apologise in advance for what i've missed out, but that will give you some vauge ideas of where to start.


    The cheapest way I would have thought would be Rotel RSP1066 and even a 1075 5 channel power amp to start with ;-) You can always use it later if you go onto much bigger things to run your 4 rear channels :)

    Really it all depends on your budget. Go into a couple of good hi-fi shops and PLAY listen to as many things as you can without exhausting your welcome over a few listening sessions :clap:

    Steff

    Edit: See evilmudge I wos typing this I think when he posted. I agree.
     
  6. memmerson

    memmerson
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Messages:
    466
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Devon
    Ratings:
    +16
    thanks for the replies evilmudge/sounddog! I think I have enough there to get my research started! :)

    evilmudge, you did not mention rotel. any reason?

    also just one last question. at the moment I don't have a sub because I've always been under the impression that a good floorstander is adequate, but the impression I get from these forums is that really, they are a neccessity!

    My question is, with my 603's would I notice much of a difference adding a sub? if so what should I go for? (i assume the b&w asw675 would be a good match?)

    thanks again

    M
     
  7. sounddog

    sounddog
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Messages:
    3,370
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    107
    Location:
    Leicestershire, UK
    Ratings:
    +461
    Rotel is cheaper then the other which is one factor.

    So it does not have the "badge" value. The 1095 is 5 x 200watts and its half the price I would have thought of the competition. It might only be 97% as good as them but for half the price... The Bryson (sp?) are I think all individual monoblock amps in one big box, I am not sure if the Arcam is similar?

    It doesn't really have the kudos of the other brands, but it's a good starting point.

    Steff

    Edit: I didn't spot the bit about the sub. I think YES you do need one for AV if you look at the frequency response of your speakers the 603 is in the 40something range, the 675 is down to 22-25Hz range, I can't remember exactly.

    The 675 is the beastie of the 600 series range and price wise it isan't to much more. Yes I know it's expensive but well it seems a nice way to spend 600 quid :)

    I hope I don't get shot for this... but this forum is so pro velodyne that i'm sure you will get comments about going for a velodyne, but as you have the 600series speakers, and the 675 gets good reviews, and it seems quite powerful then I think you cannot go far wrong with that. Of course there is the standard proviso of Demo it and if you don't like it then don't go for it.
     
  8. EvilMudge

    EvilMudge
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Rotel are pretty much supreme in the bang for bucks stake. However those N800s are seriously revealing and the Rotel sound doesn't IMHO go quite far enough. Not that you won't be happy with a powerful Rotel and an N800, but you will find that improvements can be made by going to higher specced amplifiers.
    Hope this clears things up.
     
  9. ReTrO

    ReTrO
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2000
    Messages:
    3,498
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    High Wycombe, Bucks, UK
    Ratings:
    +59
    Which speakers from the Nautilus 800 range are you looking at?

    I guess not the actual N800 to start with (£11K).
     
  10. midlander

    midlander
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2002
    Messages:
    183
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Ratings:
    +6
    If it's any help, I'm biamping N804s with an Arcam A85 and P85 combination. I use the A85's fixed gain mode to power them as fronts for surround. I don't doubt they'll sound better with a big Chord power amp, but have you seen the prices?:eek: They sound excellent now and I like the fact that I can get even more from them in the future.
    I wouldn't go for the N805s - good as they are - because they just haven't got deep enough bass.
     
  11. sounddog

    sounddog
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Messages:
    3,370
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    107
    Location:
    Leicestershire, UK
    Ratings:
    +461
    I'm not suggesting that the Rotel stuff is the bee all and end all ... but it's a good step on the way if you can't afford to buy Bryston / Chord / Krell amplification at the same time as buying N800 series (or similar level) speakers.

    The Chord 130W (into 8ohm) Power Amp is £2250 (RRP) ... the Rotel RB1070 (also 130W into 8ohm) is only £495 and even the RB1090 (200W into 8ohm) is only £895. Now I'm not going to claim that the Rotels are a match for the Chord ... but they WILL drive the N800 series speakers to 90% of their true potential. It's then upto you how much you're prepared to spend on getting that last elusive 10%.

    As midlander said ... the N804s work fine with bi-amped A85/P85 - and the Rotels are going to have similar (if not better) control and power.

    Vikki
     
  12. Jeff

    Jeff
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,489
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Basingstoke
    Ratings:
    +256
    I would expect bi-amped A85/P85's to outperform a Rotel RB1070 and possibly the RB1090 by some margin.
     
  13. sounddog

    sounddog
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Messages:
    3,370
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    107
    Location:
    Leicestershire, UK
    Ratings:
    +461
    Not going to argue cause I've never tested nor seen any comparitive tests / reviews. The relative quality of Arcam and Rotel power amps wasn't the point of my comment.

    My point was more that moderately priced amplification will power top end speakers to a large percentage of their potential compared with multi-thousand pound amps.

    Yes the Chord / Bryston / Krells of this world are needed to get the BEST from N800 series (and similar) but Arcam / Rotel / (maybe even) NAD - 218THX, etc - will give good performance for lot less allowing you to upgrade in stages.

    Vikki
     
  14. Jeff

    Jeff
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,489
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Basingstoke
    Ratings:
    +256
    It would be good if memmerson could point out what speakers in the range he was thinking of getting. The amplification requirements for a N805 is going to be very different to a N800. If he was thinking of the N800, he's got a lot more money than I have. :)
     
  15. dunkyboy

    dunkyboy
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2002
    Messages:
    633
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    London
    Ratings:
    +6
    In my fairly limited experience (I had one short demo of the CDM-1NTs on mid-level equipment and one in depth comparison between the 1NTs and N805s with serious high-end stuff) I have to say that the difference between the N805 and the 1NT is quite minimal. Certainly nowhere near big enough to justify the price leap from £750 to £1400!!

    I must say, though, that even the CDMs require serious amplification to shine. The first, limited demo I had of them was with a Marantz CD6000 KI CD player and Cyrus 5 amp and they sounded pretty unimpressive. The treble was sweet and fluid and beautiful, but the midrange was unexciting and the bass was soft, loose, and uncontrolled.

    However, when I did an extensive comparison between the N805 and 1NTs, using a [£2000] Linn Ikemi CD player and multi-thousand pound American power amp (can't for the life of me remember the brand, but it was a beast of a high-end amp), the CDMs really came to life, with beautiful, powerful bass and the same sweet treble. Switching to the Nautili improved things little. Maybe a bit more detail in the treble, but that's all I could pinpoint at the time.

    Anyway, going by my experiences, I would get the CDM-1NTs and use what I saved from not getting the Nautili to buy some serious amplification. :)

    Cheers,

    Dunc

    P.S. - Many will tell you that the standmounted N805 (and possibly CDM-1NT?) is superior in many ways to its bigger Nautilus siblings, particularly in imaging and bass quality. [Somehow I doubt this extends all the way to the 802, 801, or 800!] And with a subwoofer filling in the low end, I don't see any reason to go for big, bulky, expensive floorstanders unless you've got a particularly large room.
     
  16. sounddog

    sounddog
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2002
    Messages:
    3,370
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    107
    Location:
    Leicestershire, UK
    Ratings:
    +461
    dunkyboy ...

    I think what you're saying makes sence - that B&W sound good with comprable priced amplification ... but sound great if you go for amplification thats higher end.

    Even the "baby" 600 series seam to be like this ... give them a NAD C320 and they sound good ... give then higher powered Rotel amplification and they sound great! A point that has been made a couple of times recently.

    Decide on your budget (assuming you're looking at 803/804/805) and compare the N800 series with lower end amplification, to the CDMs with high end amplification totalling the same price and decide which you prefer. It also depends if you're buying speakers now, with a view to upgrading the amplification later.

    Back to memmerson's original questions ... I'd look at getting speakers and poweramps, using your Marantz SR9200 as a processor initially - maybe even using it's internal amps to power rears and just buying power amps for the fronts (depending on exactly what speakers you buy!).

    Vikki
     
  17. NicolasB

    NicolasB
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2002
    Messages:
    5,885
    Products Owned:
    1
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Emily's Shop
    Ratings:
    +567
    Amplification is certainly a big issue with Nautilus speakers. As a very rough guide you should aim to spend about the same amount of money on the processor and power amp as you do on the front three speakers. For example, if you bought a pair of Nautilus 803s and the HTM1 centre (£5K) then an Arcam AV8 and P7 would be a fairly good match (£5500). I'm a big fan of the Arcam FMJ range, including the P7. Some people round here will tell you that it doesn't have enough current capacity to drive Nautilus speakers properly. It depends a bit on whether you are using all 7 channels, and what volume you like to listen at. But personally I think you wouldn't go far wrong with an Arcam/803/HTM1 combination. But that's quite a step up from CDM NTs!

    Lack of bass with 805s is not necessarily an issue if you have a decent subwoofer and a processor that does a good job of bass management. The Signature 805s have been getting a very good press on this forum lately - some people even maintain that, coupled with a good sub, they sound better than the Nautilus 802s. Not having listened to either I couldn't comment.

    I've never cared for the CDM NT range much, although I know some people like them.
     
  18. selexus

    selexus
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    S'funny how things like this happen all at the same time !

    I was in Audio T in Camberley this week auditioning the CDM 7's and the rsp1066.
    I currently have B&W 602.5's driven by a Rotel 1075 and controlled by a Yam dsp-e800.
    After the demo i came to the conclusion that the 1066 is a must buy (tried it with the 1075/602.5 combo) for me. A step up in overall performance with a large improvment in staging, and that the CDM's don't offer that much of an improvment for an extra £800 over the 602.5's.

    Although i did spend about 10mins just quitley staring at the Nautilus signature 800's they had in, beautiful, just beautiful :eek: :) and at £16000 so they should be !!:eek:
     
  19. meep

    meep
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2002
    Messages:
    587
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Location:
    Ireland
    Ratings:
    +46
    selexus

    Interesting to hear your experience - quite opposite to mine!

    I will in no way claim to be an audiophile and find terms like "slow", 'airy", 'detailed" difficult to comprehend but....

    When I auditioned my new speaker set, I compared B&W 603s with a pair of CDM NT1s.

    The CDMs sounded far better to me than the 603s; I could better differentiate the various instruments (detail?), the bass was more defined and the overall experience was more satisfying.

    Granted, the bass on the 603s was fuller but I went with the CDMs and paired them up with a velodyne CHT-15 so that sorted that problem out!

    I didn't even look at the natulis range as pricing was an issue. I currently drive the 2x CDM1NTs and a CNT with a pioneer VSX-D2011. (4 rears are weedy panasonics, to be replaced soon...)

    I'm very very happy with that set-up (big smile on my face with movies), though I always wonder if music would sound better with a dedicated CD deck and stereo amp........

    I know this is probably a different level from the original posters intentions but I find it interesting how subjective this whoile area can be.....

    Peter
     
  20. memmerson

    memmerson
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Messages:
    466
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Devon
    Ratings:
    +16
    wow! I just spent the last half hour catching up on the replies!

    My lounge is about 17x17ft so I don't think I would get away with the 800s!!! well... that and the financial issue.

    I was thinking about going for the 805, htm1 and 2 x scm1, with a sub. Is there an argument for larger fronts when a sub is used?

    I will almost definately be purchasing equipment in the following order: amp, processor, speakers. And will probably get the amp relatively soon. I think the speakers will have to wait until I can afford to get them all in one go (about a year). Although saying that, I might upgrade pairs individually? Do you think mixing the 600s with the 800s would sound ok?

    midlander, you recommended against the 805's due to lack of bass. is this assuming that I wouldn't have a sub or would you suggest something bigger regardless?


    Thanks

    An extremely conflicted Marc
     
  21. selexus

    selexus
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    Meep, my good man.

    I think you got the wrong impression from my post. I did find the CDM's better than my 602.5's i just didn't find enough of an improvment to warant spending £1250. I'll definatly agree with your comments about the CDM's sounding more detailed, allowing a more defined presentation of the listening piece.

    Just had a look at your web page. Lovely loft conversion. Your a luck man and no mistake.:smashin:

    Marc,

    Your upgrade path seems to be a sensible one for someone on a budget. I too will be saving for much better equipment rather than buying slightly better now.

    Cheers
     
  22. midlander

    midlander
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2002
    Messages:
    183
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Ratings:
    +6
    I meant 805s are lacking bass when used on their own for music use. I use the 804s without a sub for music, for films I add a Yamaha sub for the low end rumble. I'm of the opinion that for music I want the best kit I can afford, surround sound is less important (I don't have Nautilus surrounds, for example).
    I've not heard 805s with a sub so I can't really comment but would have worries about integration. Wouldn't you have to buy a very good (ie: expensive) musical sub? In which case pay the extra grand and get the 804s.
     
  23. memmerson

    memmerson
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2002
    Messages:
    466
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Location:
    Devon
    Ratings:
    +16
    Thanks midlander, that is pretty much the reason why I went for 603's instead of 602's. My reasoning for opting for standmounters (805s) is because I will need a sub even if I go for floorstanders (804s). Also I tend to watch films more than listen to music nowadays anyway.

    I think I stopped regularly listening to music about 2 years ago when I knackered a pair of (really good sounding) 30 year old pioneer speakers that originally belonged to my dad. He bought them with one of those reel-reel tape players! This may sound strange but I remember them sounding better than any speakers I have had or heard elsewhere since. I just don't seem to get the same buzz about music anymore :confused:

    Thanks again

    Marc
     

Share This Page

Loading...