• 04-12-2004, 01:36 PM
    bletchley
    Booskshelf speakers, B&W 805s and CM2s, and bass
    Hi all-

    Thanks for reading. I need your help.

    I am a music fanatic, but a neophyte to the world of better-than-average audio equipment. I am in the midst of making a step up, and feel good about the decisions I have made for my new amp and cd player. But I'm wavering a bit on the speakers, and need some advice.

    I have just purchased (ordered, really) a Bryston b60 integrated amp, and a Rotel 1072 CD player. I love the way they sound, and am really excited for them to arrive.

    I am strongly considering buying B&W Nautilus 805 speakers. It's a bit more than I wanted to spend, but I want to have speakers that do my system upgrade justice. And my fiancee has all-but-mandated (okay, mandated) that I purchase bookshelf speakers.

    I've auditioned the 805s twice, and love their sound. I've compared them to the B&W CM2s, but the 805s really blow them away.

    The thing is the bass. The 805s just don't carry the low bass octave. I'm not interested in shaking the foundations, but there are some songs that just sound a bit odd without a deep bass upon which the song is predicated. At first, the songs just sounded odd-- and then I realized that it was just the absence of that bass.

    Would this issue be resolved if I get a sub-woofer (I think I can borrow a pretty good one from a friend)? Is there another bookshelf speaker that doesn't have this bass issue, or is it endemic to bookshelf speakers (which I've never owned before)?

    Basically, is the 805 the smart buy if I can get a sub-woofer? Is the CM2 adequate? Is another bookshelf speaker better?

    Thanks so much for any and all advice.
  • 04-12-2004, 02:55 PM
    topspeed
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bletchley
    Hi all-

    Thanks for reading. I need your help.

    I am a music fanatic, but a neophyte to the world of better-than-average audio equipment. I am in the midst of making a step up, and feel good about the decisions I have made for my new amp and cd player. But I'm wavering a bit on the speakers, and need some advice.

    I have just purchased (ordered, really) a Bryston b60 integrated amp, and a Rotel 1072 CD player. I love the way they sound, and am really excited for them to arrive.

    I am strongly considering buying B&W Nautilus 805 speakers. It's a bit more than I wanted to spend, but I want to have speakers that do my system upgrade justice. And my fiancee has all-but-mandated (okay, mandated) that I purchase bookshelf speakers.

    I've auditioned the 805s twice, and love their sound. I've compared them to the B&W CM2s, but the 805s really blow them away.

    The thing is the bass. The 805s just don't carry the low bass octave. I'm not interested in shaking the foundations, but there are some songs that just sound a bit odd without a deep bass upon which the song is predicated. At first, the songs just sounded odd-- and then I realized that it was just the absence of that bass.

    Would this issue be resolved if I get a sub-woofer (I think I can borrow a pretty good one from a friend)? Is there another bookshelf speaker that doesn't have this bass issue, or is it endemic to bookshelf speakers (which I've never owned before)?

    Basically, is the 805 the smart buy if I can get a sub-woofer? Is the CM2 adequate? Is another bookshelf speaker better?

    Thanks so much for any and all advice.

    The CM was created to appeal to the "designer" in all of us...read: our wives. They are 600's in a suit and tie with the commensurate premium. If you want to see if you can save some $$, check out the 704's or 703's as they will give you a healthy dose of Naut sound w/ an extra driver to augment the bass. BUT, they are floorstanders, sooo...

    Standmounts image spectacularly, blend well, and allow greater placement options. What they don't do is the bottom octaves. For that you'll need a sub and for the 805's, a very fast, very musical one at that. Because of the Naut's speed, a very good sub that will seemlessly blend with them won't be cheap. I'd guess >$1K but if you can find one for less, by all means do and let us know while you're at it! BTW, if your better half is mandating standmounts, no doubt for decorative issues, I can't wait to see how you're going to convince her that a great big box is going to be a wonderful addition to your interior decor ;). See honey, these floorstanders are actually a better option!

    Are there better standmounts? Of course...just maybe not for you. Audio is so subjective that what sounds great to one person may sound terrible to another. I have B&W's and love them. If however, you'd like to try a very different sound from the Nauts (and save a whole cemetary's worth of dead presidents) you might check out Von Schweikert Audio's VR1's:
    http://vonschweikert.com/vr1.html
    This is a complete departure from the B&W house sound in that they are a warmer, more full bodied speaker than the Nauts and they drop down to 40hz versus the 56hz attained by B&W. That's a considerable difference. If the 805's are a Syrah, the VR1's are a Cab. RGA's Audio Note's are full range standmounts although you may have a challenge w/ the WAF.

    The 805's are great speakers, no doubt. Just make sure you are taking your time and listening to a lot of different brands so you're sure you know what kind of sound you're looking for. At this price point, the list of quality speakers is endless so do your homework and enjoy the journey.

    Good luck and buy what moves you.
  • 04-12-2004, 03:26 PM
    bletchley
    Thank you very much for your response. I'll try to track down a place to audition the Von Schweikert speakers.

    Also, I think (also for aesthetic reasons) that I may have to put the speakers on an actual shelf... not an official stand. Should that affect my choice of speaker?

    Thanks again for the help.
  • 04-12-2004, 03:46 PM
    Prefuse
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bletchley
    Thank you very much for your response. I'll try to track down a place to audition the Von Schweikert speakers.

    Also, I think (also for aesthetic reasons) that I may have to put the speakers on an actual shelf... not an official stand. Should that affect my choice of speaker?

    Thanks again for the help.


    I was going to recommend the Dynaudio Special 25 standmounts, a bookshelf speaker that IMO does not need a subwoofer and is also quite attractive. However, the fact that you will probably place your new speakers on a shelf will limit most of your speaker choices to ones that are front-ported. For rear-ported designs (like the Special 25) you could use the supplied port covers, but I tend to think that this gives a less than ideal sound.

    Considering how much money you are investing in your system, I would seriously consider putting the speakers on some solid stands, where it is easier to control speaker placement and listener height.
  • 04-12-2004, 04:00 PM
    topspeed
    Big time.
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bletchley
    Thank you very much for your response. I'll try to track down a place to audition the Von Schweikert speakers.

    Also, I think (also for aesthetic reasons) that I may have to put the speakers on an actual shelf... not an official stand. Should that affect my choice of speaker?

    Thanks again for the help.

    As they are actually going on a shelf, now you need to stay away from any rear ported designs. The limited space may induce "chuffing" and other nastiness, especially at higher volumes. The 805's have a front flowport so no worries there. The VR1's aren't really ported although they have a smaller-than-your-finger hole in the rear of the enclosure. Albert Von Schweikert calls this a "pressure release" port designed to allow the transducer to "see" a larger cabinet, which is what allows it to drop to 40hz. You can place a VR1 on a bookshelf with it's supplied cones right next to the back wall with no detriment to the sound. Polk Audio also has a nifty solution in their PowerPort which is essentially a flared cone pointed in towards the port that directs the air flow around the back of the enclosure. Their LSi7 and LSi9's are very well regarded and utilize the Vifa Ring Radiator tweeter. I don't think they are in the same class as the N805's but may be worth a listen at any rate. Hey, any time you can get great sound while saving money, you're ahead of the game, right?

    Good luck and buy what moves you.
  • 04-12-2004, 06:17 PM
    RGA
    For your budget I would recommend Audio Note's K Spe or J Spe. The latter is a large standmount and you will have to buy the Audio Note stands and they're not cheap. The KSpe slaughters the N805 in both bass and dynamics and it can be run of low powered tubes - hey you may want to go that route one day down the road and the B&W's won't let you - because you'll lose even more bass and lose more dynamics. The N805 was my favorite standmount for a long unti the Reference 3a Mm De Capo and Audio Note K Spe came along...actually the K has been selling since the early 90s and is still selling...ain't broke don't need to fix it. Find a place to audition and if you like what you hear buy last years model new at www.soundhounds.com for $1500.00Cdn or ~$1100.00US. They retail new for $1950.00US.

    As for looks they are old fashioned retro looking. However the wood finishes are exceptionally good and they the K Spe is all internally wired with 99.99% pur silver and the connectors are also silver. Soundhounds only has Beach and Cherry wood(which I have). The only thing that makes them less visually appealing is the cover...because then it's just a square boring look.

    The sound however is not. The Wife factor is interesting because the Audio Note's are designed to be placed very close to a wall (~8-15cm) or better yet in a corner - which means they're out of the way. You won't likely get listener fatigue. All their speakers are upgradeable later if you wish - unlike most other companies. The K line starts at $1950 and is upgradeable to a $5950.00Version or a $7950.00Version(But this has to be purchased outright because part of it is the expensive wood and laquer). The AN J starts around $2500.00US and goes to a $18,000Us model And the AN E starts around $2700.00 and goes to a $30,000.00US version(not out yet). They're also working on a Tube powered Subwoofer.

    Here is a picture of the E, J and E. http://www.triodeandco.com/Prod_Loudspeakers.html

    The K is an Acoustic suspension design with a bass roll-off that offers next to no boom while being very deep for a standmount this size - and will play to loud levels without the compresion you'll get from the N805.

    Their name is bigger in the UK but they're starting to roll out wider in the U.S. because they're making more affordable gear more dealers can afford to carry them. Pretty tough for a dealer to sell $250,000.00 Tube amps and $20K speakers.
    http://www.audionote.co.uk/
  • 04-13-2004, 10:13 PM
    nusiclover
    since you like b&w...
    you may want to look at the new 705 series. this speaker, which looks much like the 805, actually goes down 10hz lower to 46hz (not sure what this means specifically, although im sure others here can tell you, it does mean substantially lower). They are also about a grand less! When i auditioned these i was quite impressed with the bass quality and could not personally tell the big price difference in sound. Also, with the saved money you could look into a REL subwoofer that , IMO, would highly compliment the 705's. But, to agree with topspeed here, i think you outta look at the VR-1, since i could not believe the incredible heart-pounding bass produced by such small bookshelves. The vinishes on the Von Scweikert are also beautiful!! Most definitely wife-pleasing. I have yet to hear Audio Notes, but i know that RGA really likes them :)
    One other thing to consider is that B&W tweeters on both 805 and 705 are meant to provide a wide dispersion - setting them in cabinets will more than likely hinder this feature. You may want to definitely do an "in-home" test to know for sure if you still like them.
  • 04-13-2004, 11:04 PM
    92135011
    unfortunately, I dont think AN will work here...
    If you want Bass, then AN E is the way to go. However, AN E is basically a short floor standers on stubby stands. Actually, it may sometimes be larger than floorstanders, due to its wide baffle. In addition, it might not pass as a fashion product if that's a big issue. It's a very plain speaker with 2 drivers. However, plain could be beauty as well. BTW, if you want to get an E, you could also build one yourself for less money.
  • 04-15-2004, 12:17 AM
    manek
    You bass issue can be easily sorted out with other bookshelves.
    If you are going to put your bookshelves on a shelf..then make sure they are not rear ported as that will cause your bass to boom and get muddy.

    You can try the following
    Cadence Arita bookshelf
    Jamo D830 bookshelf
    Canton bookshelf
    Dynaudio 52SE

    They all go reasonably low and may remove your sub out of the equation..

    manek.
  • 04-23-2004, 12:49 PM
    kiscoperisco
    Hello. Escuse my english... I'm spanish.

    If you like the 805's, buy them... but (I didn't try your amp) they need a lot.

    For bass, the only way is... Storm III, by Rel. Beleave me, I'm owner.