Will these improve my sound beyond recognition?

goatywoaty

Well-known Member
Hiya everyone,

I hope I dont bore you to death with this thread, but my setup (proposed and only my speakers are set up ATM) is worrying me...

Ive basically decided on some B&W CDM-1SEs, an Arcam amp, some half decent cable, and a half decent cd-p...oh and some ok speaker stands!

I now have my CDM-1SEs thanks to Colin and also some Chord Rumour 4 from Mark :)

I have ordered an Arcam A85, and the CDP I am still undecided on but will probably go for something 2nd hand with a £200 budget I think.

I have just quickly set up my speakers with an old pioneer 70's amp (35wpc I think) using some cheap gale 160 biwire cable and my pc is the source playing a few mp3s at present (connected with a cheapy cable). They are stood on small tables about 40cm high (dont have any stands yet)

Now to my ears they dont sound too impressive, they are just ok, but not exactly musical at all...My question really is, do you think that once I get them on proper stands (im thinking some Atacama SE24s filled with lots of dry sand), using the Chord cable, and powered by the Arcam, and a decent source connected to them that, will they sound massively different?

I think that when I get it all sorted I will still listen though my PC sometimes for a few things and for that I will get a reasonable length of decent speaker cable and get it terminated (is this a good solution?).

I am just a bit impatient here I know, and I should just shut up and wait till I get it all sorted out, then see if its different...I guess im just looking for a little reassurance here! Does anyone have any idea what will make a significant difference, and is this in fact a reasonable system to expect some good results from?

Ive attatched a pic of what its like at the moment, and will take a photo once I have everything plus it all tidied up (im making a stand for the tv at the w/end with my dad which the amp etc will go in).

This will be my first real hifi and I want it to put a smile on my face like when I listened to my gf's dad's setup (a B&W Arcam combo). I also wouldnt mind if my friends had a listen and it blows them away, as ive got a few friends who are hifi cynics (my parents are too thinking about it!).

Basically if you have lost it what I am planning to get, the final system should comprise of:

B&W CDM-1SEs on Atacama SE24 stands (sand filled) with Chord Rumour 4 (biwire) with an Arcam A85 and CDP (undecided at the moment)

Oh and another question if you can cope with it! :devil: Will driving my CDMs with this 70s Pioneer damage them at all? Im not going stupid with the volume or anything like that so I didnt think they would, but there again I want to be careful with my equipment....

Hope my post hasn't bored you all to death!!!

Cheers people and thanks for any thoughts you may have :)
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
I think you've almost answered your own question,in the form of....

"I have just quickly set up my speakers with an old pioneer 70's amp (35wpc I think) using some cheap gale 160 biwire cable and my pc is the source playing a few mp3s at present (connected with a cheapy cable). They are stood on small tables about 40cm high (dont have any stands yet)"

Playing MP3's via an old Pioneer amp,and balancing the speakers on tables is a recipe for poor sound.

As you know,you need a proper set of stands,to get them off a resonant surface,and a decent amp to drive them with,plus source material to actually do them justice.

Be patient,wait until you've got the rest of the system,and be prepared to see how much better a decent set of speakers can sound when run properly....the CDM-1s are capable of far better,when given a good amp and source.

In the meantime,the old amp won't do any harm,assuming its working properly,and isnt being flogged to death.
 

goatywoaty

Well-known Member
Thanks for your advice Alex, I think I really know this from reading hundreds of posts on here and elsewhere, its just im wanting the reassurance :rolleyes:

The pioneer is on just under a quarter of its volume and thats plenty loud enough for me so thats good news that im not damaging them in any way :)

Does anyone else have a simmilar system and what do you think will change my system the most? Source or Amp? or are those both equal?

My gf's dad's setup is an A85 powering some CDM-7NTs, I was hoping that because im getting the A85 powering the much smaller 1SEs they would control them a lot better with the same power but a smaller design, so in theory would sound better (just obviously with not as much bass)...

Talking about bass, thats a concern with me, but I will wait and see if the stands make a difference.

When I have made the stand and got everything together as I said earlier, I will post a pic and comment on how it sounds :)

Cheers :clap:
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
goatywoaty said:
Thanks for your advice Alex, I think I really know this from reading hundreds of posts on here and elsewhere, its just im wanting the reassurance :rolleyes:

My gf's dad's setup is an A85 powering some CDM-7NTs, I was hoping that because im getting the A85 powering the much smaller 1SEs they would control them a lot better with the same power but a smaller design, so in theory would sound better (just obviously with not as much bass)...

Talking about bass, thats a concern with me, but I will wait and see if the stands make a difference.

When I have made the stand and got everything together as I said earlier, I will post a pic and comment on how it sounds :)

Cheers :clap:
The CDM-1 and the Arcam should be a very pleasant match,in that both have a pretty well defined and clear sound,and the Arcam will have sufficient power for the CDM-1s.
They won't neccessarily sound better,but certainly different,given the different room and source.
The stands will almost certainly clean up the bass,and help with the overall sound,by raising your speakers off a resonant surface,and getting them out into the room.
You will need to experiment with positioning them,to get the best out of them,as most speakers do work best when moved away from nearby walls and corners,but you'll have plenty of time for that.

Bass....being honest,don't expect the CDM-1s to go very deep,but they will produce good levels of clean bass within their limits,and if it is insufficient,you can always think about a sub at another stage....just choose something that complements them.
 

goatywoaty

Well-known Member
Thanks Alex,

Cant wait to hear it :)

Im not really expecting deep bass like with a sub, but as long as its nice and punchy I know I will like it :)

I know I should really demo a CDP but the thing is, there is no way im going to go into a shop to demo, then go away and buy it second hand which is what I want to do. My aim was to spend a reasonable amount and get the best system I could second hand...so another question;

What CDPs do you think would be a good match with my proposed setup?

Ive heard different makes have different sounds, Nad being warm, Rotel being a bit less coloured etc (correct me if im wrong please!)

The gf's dad's setup was with an Arcam CD82, but im not sure if I can afford that at the moment with their 2nd hand prices...

I hear good reports about Marantz CD players, any opinions on them?
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
Both the Arcam and Marantz range of CD players are good,well respected machines,but you really DO need to try before buying,as this is one of the most important parts of the system,and whilst you may end up buying elswhere,your local dealer really ought to be able to help if he stocks these or others,since you've already bought a considerable amount of gear.

In the Arcam range you could take a look at the CD73,which is upgradeable at a later date to CD82 level....what sort of budget did you have in mind for the CD player?
 

Crustyloafer

Distinguished Member
You need better stands too. If you are interested in mine I'd be willing to travel half way between Edinburgh and Huddersfield.
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
Crustyloafer said:
You need better stands too. If you are interested in mine I'd be willing to travel half way between Edinburgh and Huddersfield.
If you're selling...you know where they go.
 

goatywoaty

Well-known Member
Oh no, ive bought the rest of my things from here (the amp from ebay) so local dealer cant help...

I was thinking around £200...Im not really sure if this is going to be enough now though by the looks of things...Just seen a Marantz CD17 KI sig which looks interesting but I have no idea what that will go for, some reviews of it look favourable....



Hi Chris,

Sorry I really cant afford what you are looking at for your stands, would the stands im looking at (atacame se24) be a poor choice in your opinion? Would your stands be that much of an improvement over them?
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
OK...I see what you're getting at,but buying a CD player blind is quite a difficult thing,as you're relying solely on someone else's view of what you might like.

Both the Arcam and the Marantz are very good players and the CD17 was very well regarded,although the Arcam is upgradeable,and so may offer you a better overall package.

As to the sales of stands....please remember the rules,and conduct anything like this in the appropriate section of the forums,where those should be listed.
 

goatywoaty

Well-known Member
Im not interested in them anyway TBH, just wondered why they would be so much better (£150 better :S) than some SE24s...

Thanks for all your advice Alex, I might have a trek to my local hifi place and see if they could hook a cdp up to a system simmilar to mine, or do hifi places let you take it home to demo (cant immagine this?)
 

alexs2

Well-known Member
goatywoaty said:
Im not interested in them anyway TBH, just wondered why they would be so much better (£150 better :S) than some SE24s...

Thanks for all your advice Alex, I might have a trek to my local hifi place and see if they could hook a cdp up to a system simmilar to mine, or do hifi places let you take it home to demo (cant immagine this?)
Most decent dealers WILL let you take gear home,usually on receipt of a deposit or credit card....dont be afraid to ask.
 

goatywoaty

Well-known Member
Ah ok, didnt know that :)

May give that a try once I have everything sorted. As for connecting it to my PC, would a length of decent speaker cable be able to be terminated with Phono plugs one end and a jack on the other end? And do you think this would sound ok for music and games played on my computer? I know this would be a weak source and im not suggesting it as a main source but I would want sound from it sometimes :)
 
D

Dr.EM

Guest
No, speaker cable will not do for connecting a line level signal like the PC. You need shielded cables for the job. There are plently of twin phono to 3.5mm cables around now for doing it.
 

Antpink

Novice Member
Wonderful speakers - used to have a pair, with originally a Marantz 67SE cdp and Rotel (can't remember model number) hooked up - speakers isolated with industrial looking stands, spikes to floor and speaker (forgotten brand, US made). Sounded lovely, and with a lot more bass than you might think - certainly up to most music listening duties - try it before you go for a sub, you'll be pleasantly surprised, I think. Upgraded to MF X-Ray and A3 amp, which introduced more detail, but less "sparkle". I found that these speakers were ones that definitely benefited from biwiring, and toeing into the listening point, if that's of any interest.

These speakers are a class act, and having sold them on (or exchanged for a gas fired bbq shipped in from the US, in reality) I listened to them in their new home a few months back and was still enormously pleased with the sound they produce. And this is after 9 years of service with only one tweeter going belly up in year 8.

Get a decent cdp and amp and you'll be delighted with the setup.

Sorry I cant offer advice on the brands to audition, as my choices were limited where I was buying to a lot of US brands, NAD and Rotel, Marantz and dime a dozen Japanese brand receivers, until MF finally started selling in the US a few years later (only through postal sales, but my brother's gear is MF so I had a good basis for making this decision).
 

goatywoaty

Well-known Member
Thanks for the advice guys :)

Im really gutted, my A85 amp has fallen though. The guy on ebay who I bought it from has just told me that while packaging it he has dropped it so can I cancel my cheque or he will send one back :mad: :mad: :mad:

Paid £300 as well, im just thinking maybe he didnt drop it at all and he sold it somewhere else for more, either that or hees going to list it for auction (I paid the £300 as a buy it now price)

Im pretty mad as I wanted it sorted and im not sure what amp to go for, whether to still go for the Arcam or something else...

The arcam looks good but you can only get them 2nd hand now and finding one at a reasonable price probably is going to be a task and a half :(
 

goatywoaty

Well-known Member
Bit of an update, secured a Marantz CD-63 mk2 KI Sig so ive got that, my B&W CDM-1SEs and Chord Rumour 4, now for the amp and speaker stands!

Im still after an Arcam amp I think, though ive seen a powerful Nad amp on ebay and im just wondering whether or not to go for it as im not sure how it would sound!
 

fish99

Active Member
goatywoaty said:
Now to my ears they dont sound too impressive, they are just ok, but not exactly musical at all...My question really is, do you think that once I get them on proper stands (im thinking some Atacama SE24s filled with lots of dry sand), using the Chord cable, and powered by the Arcam, and a decent source connected to them that, will they sound massively different?
The stands make a huge difference. I've got the SE24s here which I picked up off ebay for £30. I've got mine two thirds filled with kiln dried sand (B&Q) which tightenned the bass up massively. Mine came without bottom spikes, but Atacama supplied replacements for £10, and they made a big difference too.

You should get your speakers further apart too.
 

conkerman

Active Member
Check out Rotel amps, these work well with B&W speakers in general, should suit the full bodied sound of the KI sig (If i remember them properly).

I wholehartedly agree that you need a good set of stands.

Gaz
 

goatywoaty

Well-known Member
Thanks for the replies guys,

Id love some SE24s but no one on ebay has any that are round here so i could pick up :(

As for distance between speakers, I can only get them about 1.5m apart as the door is in the way and my warderobe is there which i dont mind it being close to, but surely there should be some space between it and the speaker?

I think its either going to be Arcam, Rotel, or possibly Nad, it just depends on what price I can get an amp for...
 

fish99

Active Member
My e-bay seller actually posted me my SE24s :D They survived too, although the makeshift box they were in was a bit worse for wear.

My speakers are only 160 cm apart, which is the absolute best I can do in my room. The sound difference between 160 cm and 100 cm was surprisingly big though. I've got about 40 cm gap to the side wall.

I'm no expert but I suspect the sound will reflect off the cupboard. Once you've got everything setup, including stands, you could see if covering the cupboard with a blanket makes any difference since it should absorb rather than reflect the sound. That should at least tell you if the cupboard is a problem, although it's not much of a fix.
 

fish99

Active Member
I dunno really, but hopefully someone else will know. I think it might. On the other hand it could make the sound reflect off at a different angle straight into your ear ;) You'll have to experiment.

I wouldn't worry too much about how your setup sounds right now. You won't really hear how good it is until it all comes together. For me, until I ordered some spikes for the bottom of my SE24 (the ones I bought didn't have any), the whole system was pretty dissapointing. £10 spikes made all the difference.
 
S

SKA.face

Guest
The Atacama will be fine with the B&W,the spikes are poor but good enough stands.160cm distance apart is good also,keep away from walls rear and side.

The Chord cable is great too,but on the amp front,i'd try the new Audiolad,I had my CDM1 with Audiolab and a Micromega cdplayer,it was one of my favorite set ups.
 

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