• 12-26-2004, 11:55 PM
    Need Help: 705 or CDM 1NT?
    Hello Friends,

    I am in the midst of choosing a speaker:

    Speaker 1: USED B&W CDM 1NT (no box, no manual, no plug, no cable jumper, slight dent on the cabinet) for eq. US$ 567

    Speaker 2: BRAND NEW B&W 705 for eq. US$ 1,111

    I have not audition the broken-in 705. The CDM 1NT is quite satisfying but a aggresive on the high frequency (I am supposed it is the cable & component matching; the guy was using old Adcom system).
    Is it worth the money to buy the new 705? Or, is the CDM 1NT is more worth it? Kinda lost. Your enlightment is greatly appreciated.
  • 12-27-2004, 12:48 AM
    The obvious answer is whatever sounds best to you.

    I enjoy my 1NT's very much and to be honest, prefer their voicing over the 705's. The new 700 line is a little too close to the 600's rounder, fuller sound than the 1NT's, which lean toward the Naut's more neutral, pacier sound. Neither is better than the other, again it's all about preference. Both are very fast, controlled, and posess decent, if not ground breaking, extension in the bass (for a standmount).
    You could certainly do worse ;).

    Your impressions of the 1NT's brings us to the objective differences, believe it or not. The 1NT's are very transparent and notoriously picky about what you run upstream. If you don't have a decent front end (i.e. separates) you might be better off with the 705's as they are purported to be more forgiving. The 1NT's are all too happy to highlight any deficiencies in the chain so take a look at what you'll be using and this may help you make the right decision. I have read that the 700's don't play well with OTL amps so keep that in mind as well.

    Very nice speakers you've chosen there. Whichever you pick, I'm sure you'll be delighted.

    Hope this helps.
  • 12-27-2004, 08:30 AM
    If you can pony up the cash, I will recommend that you go for the B & W 705, I think that the 705 is very neutral speaker, I have heard the S805, in comparison the 705 is not a bright speaker, it does not suffer from the aggresive treble that you mentioned of CDM 1NT but is nicely smooth, I cannot speak for it's transparency perse against the CDM 1NT. Note, it does not have much deep bass, so this is one loudspeaker that will benefit from a subwoofer to reinforce its sub 50Hz region.
  • 12-27-2004, 12:19 PM
    I would not bite on a set of speakers that you cannot hear first, so definitely give the 705s a listen before you decide. The CDMs are generally very well regarded, but they have their fair share of detractors. The prominent high frequencies that you noted on the CDMs have been noted by others as well. Some people like that quality, others don't. Before you go blaming the cables or the amplification, you should try them out in a different room. Room acoustics typically have a far bigger (and measureable) impact on sound quality than anything having to do with the cables or the amplification, which tend to have much more subtle differences.

    The new 700 series also has its naysayers as well, but they are also a lot easier to try out before buying, since you can easily find them in stores. Price difference in this case is huge. But, one thing that I would keep in mind with the CDMs is if you plan to eventually build a 5.1 multichannel speaker configuration, it might be difficult to find the matching center and surround speakers, especially if you want to match colors.
  • 12-27-2004, 01:26 PM
    The trouble is that that seems pricey for a used speaker in that condition - they retailed for about $1200.00US when they first came out. The CDM 1NT has more body to the sound than the 705 which has poor dynamics and a nasal thin midrange. Though the price of the 705 at what you can get them for is pretty good if that's for the pair.

    The thing is with the CDM 1NT which I admired and recommended is that the treble isn;t really the problem but the breakup suckout in the upper midrange - basically ther is no sound so you can hear an audible hick-up when the driver passes from woofer to tweeter - I never founnd this to be a deal breaker because most other speakers I auditioned had other problems that to me were worse. The 705 interestingly exhibits less of that problem - but the entire life was sucked out of the speaker fixing it to my ear.

    Rooms do have an effect on speakers no question but at the same time few stereo dealers have atrocious rooms - most of the ones I have been in resemble typical homes so you should be able to "position" the speakers in those rooms to get the best their capable of providing. If the speaker sounds bright or a bit etchy frankly I would avoid them.

    I would also try other speakers - Dynaudio's Audience 42 and 52, Audio Note's AX Two, Gershman's X1, PMC's TB1 or TB2 off hand are speakers I would be looking at new and if you are considering used speakers the field opens WAY up. I would also post this on http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/speakers/bbs.html You will get suggestions from people who have heard a lot of speakers that I don;t have access to but you might which are supposed to be very good from Spendor, Harbeth, ATC, Von Sweikert, Green Mountain Audio, etc etc.
  • 12-27-2004, 01:59 PM
    If you're leaning toward the CDM 1NTs, I would check all the B&W dealers within reasonable driving distance for a demo pair w/warranty and accessories. I auditioned a demo pair of 1NTs at home after the 705s came out and if I remember correctly the price was around $750. IMO, that was a bargain, but they weren't right for my set up.

    I found the treble to be very open, detailed and refined. I can't stand an obnoxious tweeter, but I didn't find the 1NTs' treble response to be fatiguing at all. My problem with the 1NTs was their lack of bass extension. I didn't have room for a subwoofer. Also, I wasn't sure if the Kevlar midrange drivers were fully broken in, but I didn't have the speakers long enough to confirm. They sounded great with classical music. Strings playing in the high registers were smooth and sweet rather than painful. But, classical music is only a small part of my collection. They sounded thin with rock, pop and jazz. After reading some reviews indicating that they need a lot of power to open up, I thought maybe my power amp (Acurus A100 - 100wpc) wasn't enough for them. The bottom line was I really couldn't make use of their strengths.
  • 12-27-2004, 05:30 PM

    I meant to say that the 705 does not suffer from the relatively aggressive treble of the CDM 1NT, a trait also present in the S805 but to a lesser extent, in other words it is more mellow speaker. I agree with the others, it is better you listen, as for the price difference, you have the good USD to blame for that as the price difference btw CDM 1NT and the 705 over here is about GBP150. As for bass the 705 is a bookshelf in the traditional sense of the word i.e. no deep bass and no midbass bump tricks, which thinking about it is more line with current british sound thinking, it seems quite a few of the speaker manufacturers over here are eschewing midbass bumps, maybe the increasing popularity of the subwoofer is making that approach increasing superfluous.
  • 12-27-2004, 06:09 PM
    I find the CDM to be enjoyable..
    but considering the price, especially, used (missing box, port plug, manual, dent), I know it is slightly not justifiable.
    The 705 that I auditioned was yet to be broken in.

    Initially, I was looking for either Contour 1.1 or 1.3 Mk II. Lovely sound. However, several dyn owners that I met, gave me the impression that:
    Dyns are excellent speaker BUT
    After broken in, presumably 2 years or so, the tweeters begin to roll off badly. Making the midrange sounds full, but eventually not so. This is not my opinion since I have not had any Dyn

    The Dyns I auditioned were driven by Jadis (tube, 60something watts). As I said: lovely sound, but poor dynamic (I guess 60something watts are not enough, eh?). I began searching for either one, didn't look for B&W.

    One day, I had the chance to audition B&W Signature 805 with Bryston amplification. Satisfying. Tried the 705, quite satisfying. Then came the CDM 1NT (Darth Vader look in black, I think). Still thinking about the Contour.

    Last week, exhausted searching for contour, tried the Audience 52 & 42. I think they were more 'alive' than the Contour (but box less classy). Then there was this friend's audio shop, where I got all the 'roll-off issue' of the Dyns

    Enlightment...please...enlightment, friends
  • 12-27-2004, 10:19 PM
    DYnaudio is a 4ohm speaker - was the Jadis connected using its 4 ohm tap - does Jadis even have a 4 ohm tap - is Jadis a coloured tubey sounding tube amp?

    Dynaudio needs bags of power - which is my main complaint with them because you are forced to buy SS amplifiers - but if that's not a concern they're still a fine speaker.
  • 12-27-2004, 11:17 PM
    I can drive my Audience 42's on 40 watts at 8 ohms on my amp and they are about as easy to drive as my B&W 603s2's were. Hopefully the rumor you heard about the treble rolloff after two years isn't true for the newer models. I have heard that the Contours and higher models do need gobs of power to be driven efficiently. The Audience line is a little more leanient, IMO..