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mkurtz's picture
Last seen: 7 years 2 months ago
Joined: Aug 3 2011 - 2:00pm
B&W CM9 vs. 684's vs Beolab9

Hi everyone -

Like you all I love music and finally am able to get a great system. Mostly 80% for music. 20% for movies/TV. Am looking for recomendations. I bought the Velodyne DD-10 sub. Looking to buy the speakers and receiver.

I heard the B&Q CM9's ($3,000) and B&W 684's ($,1000).  CM9's are 3X the price of 684.  Not sure if the sound quality is 3X better. What do you think? For center am thinking B&W HTM62.  Have not looked at rear speakers yet.

Also heard B&O Beolab9. Super expensive but great sound. Compared to B&W?  Which other brands/models at a much lower price point compare? Lot of their price seems to be branding.

Will welcome suggestions for a receiver and lastely good places to buy online at good prices. 

Thank you all in advance!

jackfish's picture
Last seen: 5 years 1 week ago
Joined: Dec 19 2005 - 2:42pm
You might fare better

on a home theater forum, but B&W speakers are well regarded.  I would concentrate on a two-channel system if you are 80% music. You'll get more back for your buck and movies sound pretty good too.  All that HT stuff has way too much processing for my tastes.  But that's just me.  Good luck!

JoeE SP9
JoeE SP9's picture
Last seen: 5 hours 18 min ago
Joined: Oct 31 2005 - 6:02pm

I agree with jackfish. If 80% music is what you listen to, build a good two channel system first. You can always add surround later. IME very few if any surround receivers do two channel music any justice. Plus, a good two channel system does movies pretty well. Minus surround of course.

With the sound of speakers your opinion is the only one that matters.

bierfeldt's picture
Last seen: 58 min 48 sec ago
Joined: Oct 26 2007 - 2:30pm
I just went through this process and looked at the B&Ws

I literally just went through this process with my wife.  She is very sensitive to high pitches and found most speakers under that price point to be tinny.  Neither of us were fans of the 684s but I have a baseline of a pair of Infinity Kappa 8.1s which are great speakers and I was not going to step back in quality from them.  Whether it is worth a step up in price to go to the CMs vs the 600's is a matter of personal preference.  In my case, I needed to outperform the Infinity's to justify the spend. 

We listened to every speaker in the 600 and CM lines from B&W and fell in love with two, the CM5s and the CM9's.  The CM5's with that sub would save you a fair amount of money and sound almost as good as the CM9s.  They are $1500 for a pair.

If you are absolutely set on floor standing speakers (which I was till I heard the CM5s and then the Sunfires), you might also look at Definitive Technologies Bipolar series.  The BP7002 is a great sounding speaker and I beleive you should be able to pick them up for about $2000 a pair.  Though, they go down to like 15hz making the sub somewhat unnecessary. 

If you are willing to consider satelites/bookshelves with a sub-woofer, by all means look at the CM5s.  In an 80% music system the CM line is really great.  I have a 50/50 music to video system and ultimately settled on the Sunfire HRS line largely because of the audition.  They were almost as clear as the B&W CM5s for music but I thought they were superior to the B&Ws for soundtrack reproduction and were half the price.  I would argue they are far superior to the BAW 600 series.  The HRS SAT4's list at $900 a pair but you should be able to haggle down to about $725 to $750 for a pair.  I did a 7.1 system using all Sunfire's.  Excluding the sub, I paid $2650 for 7 speakers excluding tax (4 SAT4s for front and rear, a SAT4C which is the Center, and 2 SAT4BIPs which are the side's in my 7.1 system but would be the rear in a 5.1 system).    One thing though, they are not available online.  Go to the website to find a local dealer. 

I have separates and went with the Marantz AV7005 pre/pro with Marantx MM8003 8 channel power amp.  This is adequate for a 10 x 20 space but not overpowering at 140w a channel.  In a larger space, this would be under powered. 

Marantz has a SR7005 receiver which is very nice for about $1700.  Integra DTR 80.2 is exceptional albeit a touch more expensive in the $2300 range.  Onkyo offers almost the identical receiver and I think it is $100 less.  I don't know the model offhand but it is the flagship item from them.    Denon has the AVR4311 CL which you should be able to get for about $2000.  Yamaha also has the RX-A2010 which I just demo'd and was very impressed.  I am planning to replace an old Onkyo in my family room and am personally torn between the Marantz and the Yamaha. 

accessories4less is a good online retailer and usually has sharp pricing.  I bought a lot of my cables from them along with the power amp.  Crutchfield has okay pricing but a very liberal return policy and good selection.  In every case, a local retailer was at or below the online prices with the exception of my power amp. 

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