Further Thoughts on the B&W CDM1 Speaker

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by TubeHiFiNut, May 6, 2018.

  1. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    Been listening to the Mission MS50 speakers in the living room system since I got them (good sign) but hooked up the B&W CDM1s today as part of the Unity Audio Cancer Fighter Speaker Cables review (check it out in The Doorway room).

    The B&Ws have me in a bit of a quandry....

    I want to like them. They are really pretty speakers. Certainly look like they mean business. And I have heard them sound good in other settings with other gear.

    Hence my quandry. :(

    The CDM1 is not SE friendly. The SET 845 amps gave it a shot but the combination failed to inspire and connect me to the music.

    About that time, I was able to negotiate a "return hi-fi to the living room" agreement with my Bride because she really likes the way the B&Ws look. Much better in her eyes than the Klipschorns I had in here that originally got hi-fi banned from the living room. ;)

    So hooked them up in the living room and tried a nice Luxman integrated amp on them.....meh.....no connection with that combo either.

    Currently have the little TPA3250 amp on them and it's closer but I think the amp starts to run out of gas just about the time that things start to boogie.

    I'm thinking that I will have to pull out the triode wired ARC D160 or Yamaha B2 to kick these things and get them going. ;)

    Or maybe try the Quicksilver Monoblocks that are now running KT90s....? That might work.

    But none of those amps will end up in the living room.....no space.

    Maybe the Topping TP60? @Celt speaks very highly of the TP60. :)

    I am determined to get the CDM1s to sound good....to get the performance of which I know they are capable.

    And so, the saga continues. :)
    Celt likes this.
  2. MikeyFresh

    MikeyFresh Moderator Staff Member

    Negotiate some space for that D-160, thats a push-pull kick in the pants the CDM1 simply cannot ignore.

    All you'll need is an engine crane to hoist it into position:

    Engine crane.jpg
    Last edited: May 6, 2018
  3. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    The ARC D160 will definitely give you a hernia. ;)

    This one was modified by my dear friend Fred Thompson (God rest his soul). Fred was a Navy Radar man and was one of the most gifted tube amp builders I ever met.

    He modified it to run KT90s in triode and changed it from being a slightly hard sounding amp to an incredible sounding Triode amp that became the primary amp I use on my Martin Logan CLS. Emotional connection in spades.

    There is no doubt that it would take control of the CDM1s and make them sing.

    Thank you @MikeyFresh for bringing back fond memories of a very dear friend.
    Last edited: May 6, 2018
    MikeyFresh likes this.
  4. Celt

    Celt Peanut Head

    Heck....give the TP-60 a try...from PE, you'll have 45 days to return it if you decide that it isn't your cup of Lipton!
    TubeHiFiNut likes this.
  5. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    I'm heavily leaning in that direction.

    Cost of entry isn't too high.

    The amp is small and will fit in the available space.

    And if I can't make up my mind in 45 days, the cost of indecision isn't too high. ;)
  6. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    @Celt - This is your doing! ;)

    Ordered an "open box" Topping TP60 from Parts Express for $176 with new warranty and the same 45 day return window. :)

    We'll see how it does on the CDM1 speakers. :)
    Celt, MikeyFresh and airdronian like this.
  7. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    Should add that I'll do a quick review in the Solid State Room.....if I can find it, that is. ;)
  8. Celt

    Celt Peanut Head

    Give it 50 hours for break-in. I think you will be pleased with it. I know that I and some others (who are persnickety) are!
  9. Audionut

    Audionut Next Round Is On Me

    Watching with great interest, currently using mine in master BR in stereo mode for tv and non critical background music listening. They have not paired well with either of my receivers (nothing worth mentioning).
  10. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    If you believe the reviews, the CDM1 needs big dollar (solid state) gear to sound their best.

    I am hoping that the Topping TP60 will do the trick.
  11. Audionut

    Audionut Next Round Is On Me

    Looking forward to your thoughts on it. If time permits I’ll lug them over to my “listening room” and see what they do with 100w/side solid state mcintosh power.
  12. Celt

    Celt Peanut Head

    One thing I failed to mention on the TP-60 is to not bother with the supplied IEC power cord....it's a silly, short weeny thing and the amp demands better. I use a 14 gauge cable with a ferrite choke up near the IEC end.
    It makes a world of difference!
  13. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    Thank you, @Celt . Appreciate the recommendation. :)

    I have some nice heavy hospital grade power cables and plenty of ferrite chokes. I'll be sure to use them with the Topping when it arrives. :)
  14. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    You have a pair of CDM1s?
  15. cableguy

    cableguy Junior Member

    I've never really understood why B&W gets so much attention. I feel the same way you do @TubeHiFiNut in they they aren't SE friendly, and need lots of good power to sound the way everyone raves about. I think it may have a lot to do with the complex crossovers that sucks the life out of most amps. They're sonic signature borders on dry. But, hey, we all hear differently ;)
  16. JimPA

    JimPA Junior Member

    Probably because of the Nautilus 801 with the 15" woofer.

    Abbey Road studios have used many of the B&W line.

    I agree with how the complex crossovers suck the life out of most amps.
    They do require a large room.
  17. Audionut

    Audionut Next Round Is On Me

    Why yes I do, first real set of hifi (to me) speakers purchased. A gateway onto several sets that have came through my doors. They just look like they mean business! High WAF too!
    MikeyFresh likes this.
  18. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    The 801 definitely requires both a large room and a high power/high current amp.

    I've heard them sound very good with a synergistic amp, in a suitable room.

    I've also heard them sound not so good when either the amp or room criteria were not met.

    I'm definitely getting the feeling that the CDM1 has similar requirements.

    We'll see how the Topping does when it arrives.

    Due to WAF, I don't have much flexibility with placement.
  19. TubeHiFiNut

    TubeHiFiNut Administrator Staff Member

    High WAF in spades! :)

    What are you using to drive them?
  20. airdronian

    airdronian Junior Member

    For a number of years I had a pair of odd B&W's - the Concept 90.

    They were powered with a Carver M1.0t and they would soak up as much power as could be produced. Never triggered the APOC. Got to the red "Headroom Exhausted" led on the amp. They actually sounded decent with some power behind them. Not for apartments at that level I can tell you. Ended up selling these to a friend who still uses them.

    I saw a pair or two at Sound Hounds in Victoria last time I was there. With manuals, they must have been there a very long time. That's where I bought mine, ages ago.

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