B&W CDM 9NT vs. PARADIGM STUDIO 100V3 [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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02-10-2004, 04:50 AM
Which speaker is better for both jazz and slow rock music ? any input???? thanks.

02-10-2004, 04:57 AM
My preference of the two on *any* music would be the paradigms.

I have yet to hear *any* combination of electronics that the cdm-9nt played on that the tweeter didn't screw things up. That tweeter has a hard, metallic edge that calls attention to itself. I am not saying this to bash B&W, because I like the nautilis line, as well as some of the entry level designs like P5, Dm etc.

The Paradigm sounds more seamless to me. If I had the cash burning a hole in my pocket for one or the other, I'd buy the Paradigms.


02-10-2004, 12:45 PM
Of the many audio sites, this one seems to have the most B&W vs. Paradigm clans.

A lot of this will depend on what's driving your speakers. What kind of source equipment are you using?

The Paradigms are a little more forgiving, not as difficult to drive, and more efficient so that could be a factor for you. The B&W's are very responsive to source equipment so if your front end isn't up to the task, they'll let you know in no uncertain terms. For the record, I bought CDM 7NT's over the Studio 100's after a side by side comparison being driven by Theta amps. The differences are subtle as they are both very good speakers for the money.

BTW, the Nautilus tweeter definitely needs time to settle down. When auditioning, make sure the B&W's are well broken-in otherwise they can sound a tad shrill and sibilant.

02-10-2004, 05:21 PM
Hi, thanks for posting a reply. I have a Rotel RSP-1066 controller matched with the Rotel RMB-1095 amp.I don't have the means to audition both side by side so I am finding it hard to mke a decision as to which speakers to get.

02-10-2004, 06:03 PM
I did notice that these two brands get a lot of controversy.

B&W gets bashed. A lot. B&W is like paradigm, in that it has an amalgam of models, ranging from boom and sizzle, up to reference monitor quality.

Certain upper end B&W's are voiced for different uses. My favorite model overall has to be the Nautilis 802. The N801 would be my choice for classical music.

B&W/ Paradigm speakers have a different sound to be sure.

Paradigm, OTOH gets less respect than it is due IMO. This is probably because:

Paradigm is not expensive enough. It carries little to no snob appeal because it does not have a huge price tag, and an overly elaborate box.

Paradigm does quite a bit of R&D and the steady improvement over the years indicates they have been striving for musicality, and listenability.

They also make thier own drivers which are closely matched.

I have seen waterfall plots and measurements, and yes, the studio series paradigms measure quite well.

It may come down to taste/flavor, but I feel like both brands have great strengths and do not deserve the bashing they get.

FWIW: I hope that break-in is true for the B&W cdm-nt series. If that tweeter smooths out then it would get my vote also.

02-10-2004, 07:19 PM
Firstly I'm going to couch this the best way as I can so the paradigm owners junp down my throat. I have not heard the V3 series so I will comment on the V2 versus the 9NT. Remember the latter is a bit older model and the V3 is brand new.

Not that age necessarily has anything to do with it but you should know that the CDM line is no longer sold new. For 4kCdn the CDM 9NT lists at versus the ~$2300.00Cdn of the Studio 100V2 - the 100V2 was the better value the 9NT the better speaker. SO was the CDM 7NT and the CDM 1NT to my ear. The B&W's along with the JM Labs comparative lines were some of the only speakers using metal tweeters that I could live with.

Many high end stores may not use good electronics or position them well or or and or. That applies to many a speaker not just B&W which is why I generally won't comment on a speaker until I've heard them in a few set-ups...in fact I won't usually if my first experience was a bad one...or i will state that it could have been other factors...including my mood...which has an affect. Heck If I judged B&W off the N801 the first time I heard it I would have made a reference to Bose - the number is only a digit off. But thankfully I heard it in a better set-up and now understand why Classical recording studios use the speaker so wildly. I do however prefer the N802.

The B&W's do have a problem in the upper midrange often referred to as a midrange suckout - there is a slight driver integration problem when instruments move from mid to high - it's not always there but it often noticeable...so much so that even Stereophile's review of the 700 series mentions that integration is cohesive as if to stress the problem is resolved. I doubt it.

Have said that, however, I recommend a lot the CDM series because despite that flaw I prefer the trade-off to the Paradigm which has a recessed laid back treble but one that sounds bright at the same time like a treble coming out of a cavern...The spealker's dynamics are compressed though bass is punchy...it has a dichotomy of opposites that I don't particularly care for as if it's trying to be neutral by overcompensating problems. I have heard both companies side by side with the best gear available on this planet i should think with tubes without tubes in treated medium and huge rooms in small rooms in home theater not in home theater in several locations even with receivers.

My conclusions are simple:
For rock and home theater and build quality and Impressive size and power the Studio 100V2 is a heavily flawed but entertaining speaker that for the money offers good solid value for most people.
Build 8/10
Sound 7/10
Value 8/10

The B&W 9NT is a more refined sounding product that seems at ease with more types of music and will be excellent also in a home theater set-up...however it has some driver integration issues requiring work to reduce the mid band suck out because that will draw your attention to the tweeter - when that happens you're in trouble. The 9NT is also very expensive really for what you get and because of these issues does not make me want to ruch out and buy. Indeed, it would make more sense to buy the N805 and a sub(but then I think other combos not from either of these companies offers way more. So the 9NT I would give

Build 8.5/10
Sound 7.5/10
Value 6/10 (4k is just too much for not enough of a gain - Especially when you have to spend more on amplification).

The 7NT on the other hand is a better value IMO.
Build 8.5/10
Sound 7.5/10
Value 8/10

02-10-2004, 10:59 PM
Hi, thanks for posting a reply. I have a Rotel RSP-1066 controller matched with the Rotel RMB-1095 amp.I don't have the means to audition both side by side so I am finding it hard to mke a decision as to which speakers to get.

Well your pre and amp will do nicely with either speaker. I've always found Rotel to be slightly on the warm side of neutral so it should match the CDM's very well indeed. The main difference I heard between the two was that the CDM's handled fast transients, especially in the mid bass and bass better than the Studio's while the Paradigms provided more low energy and thrust. With the B&W's there was no overhang in the notes, just quick and accurate music. I'm a drummer/percussionist so I tend to pay attention to bass lines and transients probably more than I should. What did it for me was listening to Dave Weckl's Master Plan, track 7. This is a big band piece with a walking bass line that is the dominant groove. On the B&W's, each pluck could be heard and felt while in some of the more complex passages the Studio's became a tad blurry or smeared if you will. Mind you, if someone didn't do this side by side, you would never notice. The differences are small simply a matter of taste.

You're doing the right things by bringing your own music that you're very familiar with. Many good shops will allow you to demo speakers in your own home and therefore see how they react to your own acoustical environment. This is, of course, ideal. However, if the ideal is not the reality, I'd suggest pulling your Rotel equipment and bringing it to the shop (in the unlikely case they don't carry what you have, which is a stretch considering Rotel's market saturation). Either way, at least you'll know which speaker sounds best with your front end.

You really can't loose on either one if you ask me. They are both very good at what they do. In the end it's your money therefore it's your choice.

Good luck and buy what moves you.