What would rival B&W Nautilus 803s for home cinema?


Distinguished Member
As indicated on other fora I'm currently considering a home cinema sound system round about the £15K level. One setup I have listened to and quite liked:

Arcam FMJ DV27 DVD player
Arcam FMJ AV8 processor
Arcam FMJ P7 power amp
B&W Nautilus 803 front speakers
B&W Nautilus HTM1 centre speaker
B&W Nautilus SCM1 rears
M&K MX700 subwoofer

As this is the speaker forum we'll try to confine ourselves to speakers. :) What alternatives ought I to consider?

Some obvious possibilities:
1) M&K S150/S150C/SS150, with the advantage of the tripole rear speakers.
2) M&K S150P active speakers (losing the power amp)
3) Meridian DSP5000/DSP5000C/DSP33 active speakers (with no power amp and a meridian 568 processor).
4) REL Stadium (or Stentor?) subwoofer, or perhaps B&W ASW4000 (about which I know nothing).

The system will be used for about 90% films and 10% music, but I'm beginning to think that good musical ability may also lead to good sound quality in films in ways that matter to me. I like words such as "clear", "precise", "tight", "neutral", "transparent".

What else ought I to be considering or auditioning?

Gordon @ Convergent AV

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Good choices.

Others to consider ar Snell XA series system. XA75, XA55' and SR30 surrounds. No subs as the XA75's have PS10 subs built in.

The Snells are extremely cinematic while the B+W's are exceptionally accurate and well suited to music reproduction. Snellls are good at both. Unfortunately I doubt you'll hear the Snells anywhere down south.



P.S. I know it's a long way , but it's a lot of money you're going to spend. The Home Cinema Show in Glasgow on 19/20 Oct will have a complete THX Ultra2 system set up and calibrated by me in the Arcam room. It will have the electronics you are considering along with a compete Snell XA1900/SR30 speaker package and a Barco Cineversum 80 DLP system. If you wish to attend as my guest I'll gladly send you down some free tickets (if you can get yourself up here). Myself and StereoStereo regularily do work in London area so you don't need t worry about distance on our behalf. We will play DVD-Audio and Film.

Ian J


Your M&K choices are on the right tracks but even better are the M&K Pro range and I would suggest the MPS2510P THX speakers. have a look at them on http://www.mkprofessional.com/mps2510.html and Uncle Eric (our Power Buy guru) will be able to arrange a good price for you.

There are now a few members who have gone the M&K Pro route (including myself) and the general feeling is that the speakers are better than the equivalent domestic product at a cheaper price.


Distinguished Member
Thanks. I would ask your opinion on the processor and amp, but of course I can't because this is the speaker forum. :(

Gordon: thanks for the offer, but I think Glasgow may be a little too far to come, I'm afraid. Big new cities scare me. :eek:

Ian: Have been in contact with Uncle Eric....

Any more thoughts? Maybe on subwoofers...?


Active Member
DEFINITELY don't overlook ATC. I'm not certain how much you can afford, but I suspect you could probably stretch to the Concept 6 system (or some mix & match variation thereof), and I would be *extremely* surprised if you weren't blown away! ATC make some of the most amazing speakers in the world. (Reviewing the Concept 7 system for Stereophile, J. Gordon Holt said he considered it to be "the best speaker system in the world." :D) Plus you get the added benefit of active speakers - i.e. no need for expensive power amps.



Distinguished Member
(checks price of ATC Concept 6)

£21400?! :eek:

Even including the power amp stage I think that's a bit out of my league. I'm aiming for something like £15000 for the whole system. That would put it over £25000. Maybe if I win the lottery....


Active Member
D'oh! Thought it was cheaper than that..... sorry. :(

Thing is, I'm not sure what sort of surrounds you want but you really wouldn't have to get the SCM-20 towers that the C6 system comes with. ATC are good with mixing and matching their kit, so you could get, say, the SCM-50's across the front and a pair of Active 10's for the rears, with the C6 sub...

That would come to........ £18 grand, including all power amplification, or thereabouts. And I can assure you the Active 10's are no slouches - I have a pair for my main stereo speakers and they're fantastic.

Anyway, just a thought. I like my ATC's so much that I feel compelled to sing their praise and spread the gospel. :D



Active Member
Just realised you said £15k for the whole system! Sorry again! You could knock £2 grand or so off the sub and go for, say the C4 sub, or maybe a Velodyne HGS? Ooh, then you could knock off another £2 grand or so by getting a third SCM-50 instead of the C6 centre (as long as you have the room for a vertical centre speaker...) Still £16k ish... Hmm.

Four SCM-20 towers, C4 centre, C4 sub - yours for a paltry £12.5 grand. :D

I dunno, be creative. :)

But I do urge you to have a listen to some active ATC's. I really do think you'll be blown away.


P.S. - Don't worry, I'll ease up on the ATC pimpin' from now on okay? :D


Distinguished Member
Some of the things I'm vaguely considering (Meridian all-digital stup, for example) come to nearer £17K than £15K so I'll bear the ATCs in mind.

Sonus Faber Cremonas sound interesting too. I've listened to the Sonus Faber "Home" combination. The main pair, "Grand Piano", not bad, on a par with B&W Nautilus 805s, maybe even slightly better. The centre channel is pleasantly cheap at £400 but a bit fuzzy. (B&W Nautilus HTM2 is better, although more than double the price).

Having fun tracking down a Snell dealer. Snell's distributor sent me a list, but the first place I tried on it don't stock them. :rolleyes:


Here's where my (your) dosh would go.....

Meridian 598 progressive DVD Video / Audio player (MHR)
Meridian 568.2 Digital Surround Controller (MHR)
M&K MPS2510P's (or non powered MPS2510) front 3
(Best to get a hum-dinger of a front 3 1st)
Velodyne HGS-18 Subwoofer

If non powered speakers, then:

Bryston 9B THX or Parasound HCA-2205 THX or Meridian 558.2 power amps.

I've probably gone over budget & depending what speaker choice is (powered or non-powered) will dictate your amplification & might give you dosheroonies to get surrounds with

I'm off to the bank to demand a loan & speak to Jane, who happens to be rather nice looking actually!


Active Member
Originally posted by NicolasB
Gordon: thanks for the offer, but I think Glasgow may be a little too far to come, I'm afraid. Big new cities scare me. :eek:

Watching Taggart too much :D
Glasgow is very easy to get to and find your way around, nothing scary, the razor gangs aren't in St. Vincent Street, but there are some fantastic specialty cake and coffee shops nearby.
Second biggest retail centre outside London, think Manhattan with a Scottish accent, drop the fb off at Buchanan Galleries and nip 'round to Gordon. Glasgow is No Mean City.

Then there's the delights of The Batcave to savour...


Distinguished Member
Visited Uncle Eric's "Batcave" last night - would anyone like me to do a review of his system? And if so which forum ought it to be on if I want to mention speakers and a projector in the same post?


Well-known Member
I love to hear about it, especially if you tried some CD's with Godzilla and the M&K setup? The other reviews from Eric, etc talk about films exclusively. How about in the speaker forum?


The Cremona range now has new center, awsome, I ordered one, new monitors (sattelites), and subwoofer...

Must admit, I would not be giving that amount to a UK dealer for new kit.

Let's see thats about $23K so my first port of call would be Audiogon to pick up some used bargains.

Lexicon MC12 or Theta Casablanca 11 (c. $7k)
Merlin VSM/TSM Millenium speakers (c. $7k)
Theta Dreadnaught Power Amp NEW, $4k plus $500 for voltage conversion.

Ship to the Uk and pay taxes and that little lot has still cost just over £14K

Now add a Velodyne sub courtesy of Eric and an Arcam DVD player and you've got a £32K system for roughly half the UK price.

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