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Used B&W or new?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by imho, Jul 4, 2005.

  1. imho

    imho
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    Been looking at the B&W 705 for some time now. Really like the "B&W Sound".
    Then I noticed a guy selling the CDM 9NT for £100 pounds less.

    I've searched the forum up and down, and it seems everytime someone mentions the 9NT, everyone go "boo! Get the 805S!".
    And when people ask about the 705's .. "boo! Get the 704's!" :confused:

    I suppose that if I get the 705's I have to get a sub too .. (cause I'd like to impress my shallow friends with my excellent home theater!).
    My room is middle sized and I mainly listen to music, but would like to impress said shallow friends :D

    I need to toss out my current receiver/gear, so If anyone have suggestions on receivers / rear speakers / centre speaker, I'd really appreciate it (I'm quite new in the "hifi" game) :)
     
  2. alexs2

    alexs2
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    very much depends on what your budget is,and how much you wish to spend....what you're looking at is essentially a cross-section of B&W's range,from the CDM,through the 700 series and up to the Nautilus 805.

    When I bought my 805s,I did much the same looking around,and tried the CDMs first,before going to the 805s....I also tried the 804,and came down in favour of the 805,which although smaller overall,just had a better defined and tighter sound,with better detail overall(and a few others have noted the same thing).

    If you have the money,and don't mind buying used or ex-dem,the 805 is by far the best of the bunch,although the 705 is still an excellent speaker,and to my ears,well ahead of the CDM series.

    With all of these,and especially the 705/805s,you will need a good,load tolerant and powerful amplifier to get anything like the best out of them,and my experience was that the 805s had a well specc'd 100x5 TAG amp on it's knees fairly rapidly....at the budget end of the amp ranges,I'd recommend Rotel,and moving up from there,Bryston and Krell work very well with them...don't go for much less than 100W/channel,if you want decent levels either,as they are pretty inefficient.

    If you wanted a receiver to go with these,I'd be inclined to try Denon and Marantz in terms of sound quality(i.e. a little softer)or perhaps Pioneer if you like a brighter sound...all are well specc'd and well made,but try to listen to as many as possible in your own home first.

    As to subs.....really,even if you bought a floorstander like the 704 or similar,you will still benefit from a sub,as very few speakers at any price are truly full-range,and a good sub,plus more compact speakers will if properly integrated,give you a very good result.
     
  3. SKA.face

    SKA.face
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    Personally I wouldn't bother with any of them.I would look for (maybe hard to find)but they are about some older B&W802 series 3 matrix.They will blow the other away,find a decent well looked pair,well under a grand.

    Remember though the 800 series are demanding,very demanding of your amps,and will show up a poor source,but get it right and they will reward.

    The CDM,NT,700 are OK,the CDM1 being my favorite as the other are too bright.The 700 series have superb bass control,but I felt lacked emotion.
     
  4. inzaman

    inzaman
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    Thats interesting, i have never heard or read about that before, i will have to bring some 805s into the equation. I have been soley focused on looking for 804s but will now increase that search criteria to include the 805s.
     
  5. imho

    imho
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    Thanks for the replies, I really appreciate it :)

    I've just recently discovered how enjoyable it is to have "quality sound" in my own livingroom.
    But the thing is .. I really don't know jack **** about hifi. 2 weeks ago, I didn't know the difference between an amp and a preamp .. wonder if I can pull it off ..

    I've heard the 805s and the 704 play .. and they are just awesome. They produce just the kind of sound "I'm looking for". As you guys mentioned .. these kind of speakers are demanding, couldn't just connect them to my VSX-1014 .. so this time, I'm shopping "backwards". Speakers first, then the rest.
    Thing is tho .. I'm trying to get as much as I can for my money.
    My budget? Well .. lets just say that my tv budget was pretty small .. but I now have a 505HDE on the wall .. (but the 802D are a bit over the top ;) )

    I've looked around and I can't seem to find any used 803's .. but I did find a pair of used 805.

    "omg, this guy shouldn't deal with grown up hifi like this! He should get a basic setup first, then work his way up!"

    Well .. this might be true .. but I've set my mind on B&W, and thats that.
    So if that means that I have to put another mortage on the house, that is what I'll do! hehe ..
    If needed I'll get some help setting it up, so I don't crash and burn on the first day.
     
  6. rags

    rags
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    Inzaman - if your budget allows you should search out a pair of 803 speakers. Well worth the money in my opionion over the 804 especially if you are into music.
     
  7. inzaman

    inzaman
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    Rags, they will be mainly (or entirely) used for movies which makes me slightly cautious about going with the 803s as i am not sure what difference there will be over 804s/805s in this instance.

    As i have a dedicated cinema room my thought process was to keep my current 704s for music (these are currently L&R in the cinema room) to be used in the dining room, and replace these with speakers from the 800 range to match my HTM1 for use in my cinema room.

    But i am also debating or thinking of going with the 800 series in the dining room and keep the 704s in the cinema room. I do or will use the cinema room more, but entirely for movies.
     
  8. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Not at all....always buy the best you can afford,and it can avoid loads of unneccessary expense over the yrs.

    I do see rags' point as well....I think the 803 is a better all rounder(as it should be,given the price) than either of the others,but I think the gap between the 804 and 805 is actually pretty small,and in many respects(to my ears anyway,and in my house),the 805 was better.

    Our requirements for a set of speakers were quite different to many in that we'd gone from a large set of active speakers(Linn Keltiks) which simply could not be set up to work properly in a very old timber framed house,to needing something compact which would work without exciting every room mode.

    inzaman....the 800 series will obviously do as well on music as for AV use,but in terms of listening to music,they will obviously be way ahead of the 700's....just much more demanding in amp terms as well.

    Again,just my opinion,but I really didn't find the 804s worth spending the extra on over the 805s.
     
  9. imho

    imho
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    I've decided to go for the 805. Thanks for your replies!
    Guess I have to post in another section of the forums for tips about equipment ;)
     
  10. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Depending on your requirements for either separates(processor/power amps) or receivers,it would be the quickest way,but do bear in mind the need for a good powerful amp with load tolerance as well.

    Receivers...Pioneer and Denon will drive them adequately,but won't deliver anything like the best sound quality they're capable of.

    Processor/power amps...at the bottom of the range price wise,Rotel are well bulit and offer good value,and the prices just go up from there.
    My own is a mixture of TAG and Krell,but there are plenty of good alternatives incl Bryston,and many others.
     
  11. inzaman

    inzaman
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    I might go with the 800's for movies then as i am putting the amplification that way. I do have a Rotel 985mkII power amp that gives 100 watts per channel which is currently driving the three fronts, i will add to this by buying another Rotel 985 to then biamp the fronts, the receiver drives the rears.

    It is worthwhile knowing and gives me an extra angle to go at :)
     
  12. rags

    rags
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    Inzaman - the 803 will present a bigger sounfield than the 804 and is quite surprisingly quite a different beast. Sounds a bit smoother, has a much better bass response and the drivers seem to work a touch more in harmony with each other. I am not saying you will be dissapointed with the 804s - just that the 803s are def better.
     
  13. inzaman

    inzaman
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    Cheers Rags, looks like i will have to try and get some demos of all three then.
     
  14. kalayl

    kalayl
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    I recently (6 months ago) purchased the 703's, the largest in the "new" 7-range, and can only say that I am over the moon with them. They're nice and tight, punchy in all the right places and the mids and highs are clear and present in the room. Although my 5.0 setup consists entirely of B&W speakers, I'd fancy matching the 703 fronts with some 7 centers and rears to get a more matched and balanced all-round sound.
     
  15. Dan-uk

    Dan-uk
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    Funnliy enough, I've recently moved house and am getting a YSP-1 as my front room is now not big enough for my B&W 603's, 601's ASW 600 and LCR60. Can anyone advise what they are worth 2nd Hand as a set. Mint nick and hardly used. I'm trying to find out if IU can justify selling them as if the 2nd hand price is too low, I'll keep them for an eventual loft conversion or something :)

    Cheers

    Dan.
     
  16. inzaman

    inzaman
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    What 7 series were you thinking?
     
  17. Pat Marcus

    Pat Marcus
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    As you can see from my sig Im quite into the B&W sound. I actually preferred the sound of the 804s to the 803s which seemed over smooth and lacking in bite. The 805s were just too small sounding. However, the new 805S using the tweeter from the signature model and a new better bass driver is a wonderful speaker and very good value at £1600. The new 804S and 803S are great, too but not quite the stunning bargain of the 805S. The step-up to the 803D takes one into another realm entirely but then at £6000, it should.

    I need to echo some of the other comments. You will only get the best out of any B&W 800 series (new or old) if you drive them with an amp capable of delivering lots of CURRENT. This is not the same as lots of watts.
    The problem with AV receivers (and there are some good ones about - one of my friends recently did a 4-way £1000 test and ended up plumping for the fantastic £1200 Rotel which easily bettered the arcam avr300) is that they siply dont deliver enough current to make high-end speakers sing. You need a power amp to drive them and the minimum you should consider is one of the big rotels, anything recent from the Naim stable, a meridian 557, 559 or G57, one of the entry level Chords, anything from Classe (B&W's partner), or Bryston, or Krell, Hovland, Halcro, Gamut, Primare or one of a handful of other fine manufacturers.

    I only got my 804S singing properly with my G559 (300 watts per channel into 8 ohms and so much current it's scary).

    With any older model 800 series you should replace the phase plug with a metal one from the new range. It makes an audible difference to the quality of the midrange.

    happy listening and dont be afraid to do things in steps.
     
  18. inzaman

    inzaman
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    Good write up Pat, i am thinking of the new 805S but i dont know how they will go tonally with my HTM1 due to the changes that have been made to the new range by B&W.
     
  19. recruit

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    Inzaman - I am running the new 805S's and have to say they are amazeing speakers for there size at present i have them Bi amped with Cyrus Kit and they absolutely sing, i have been listening to alot of different speakers lately ProAc, Spendor to name a couple and i can honestly say these little beauties knock them all dead, the bass is taught and really punchy which i love and the midrange and high frequency detail is dug up in spades, if music is you're priority then i could not recommend a better speaker and all the good reviews that have been printed ref to the 805S's are absolutely true :thumbsup: they are a bargain at £1600.
    If you could get a demo of them do, but also see if they intergrate well with the HTM1 as it does use a different tweeter which could cause problems for the front soundstage but how much i would not know.

    Regards
    John
     
  20. DarkAngel

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    The CDM9NT is a very good loudspeaker. A friend of mine has got a pair and the sound is perfect in my eyes, the midrange is very good alonng with the bass and treble are very refined. They do sound better than the 705, becuase they sound a bit light and the bass is not well defind.


    Go for the CDM9NT they are a bargian :>
     
  21. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Yes,in price terms they are a relative bargain for the performance offered,but in real terms,and given suitably good amplification,the 705 is better,and the 805(in all of it's incarnations)is substantially better again,but both the 705 and 805 particularly,benefit from better amplification then the CDM,which are easier to drive.
     
  22. kalayl

    kalayl
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    I was thinking a pair of 705's for rears?
     

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