Good B&W speaker upgrade choice for home theater?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David Barteaux, Dec 26, 2001.

  1. David Barteaux

    David Barteaux Stunt Coordinator

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    Iam thinking of upgrading my B&W 604S2 mains and LCR6S2 center to the B&W Nautilus 805's and the HTM1 center. I am looking for advice from other B&W owners to determine if this would be a good upgrade choice as I use my system mainly for home theater. I'm using a Bag End Infra18 sub for the LFE.
    I know as a pure music system this would be a good choice, but would home theater dynamics suffer? Would I be better going with another brand around the same price as the 805's for the upgrade?
    Cheers[​IMG]
     
  2. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    Hello, Dave, aye...[​IMG]
    I've been living with B&W Nautilus for several months now. My budget would only stretch as far as the 804s and HTM-2. As it turned out, that was more than far enough.
    I might suggest going with the 804 for the mains and the HTM-2 for the center. The HTM-2 is actually a closer sonic match to the 805/804, and perhpas even the 803. The grand (US) you save on the center would offset the higher price of the 804s. I think you will find the 804 a much better choice for music, although it is probably a bit of overkill for HT.
    Additionally, if using the Nautilus speaks in a theater system, the type of amplifier and controller becomes rather more important than with more forgiving speakers. The B&Ws are very revealing, particularly in the mid and uper frequencies. The harshness of some film soundtracks can be mitigated to some degree with a warmer sounding amp (such as a MOSFET design) and a controller that offers THX processing or some other form of theater re-equalization.
    Though not usually mentioned as a home theater speaker (probably for cost reasons), I have found the B&W Nautilus to excel at all types of audio reproduction, music and movies.
     
  3. David Barteaux

    David Barteaux Stunt Coordinator

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    Yes Robert I agree. But the also think the 804's would be overkill for home theater in my medium size room. P.S. I made a mistake on my original post. I should have said the HTM2 not the HTM1..sorry.

    I am also debating if I should first upgrade to Rotel RMB-1095 5CH amp to mate with my Denon 3801 or go the speaker route. I do like the look of the Nautilus speakers though.
     
  4. HankM

    HankM Second Unit

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    David,

    I would upgrade to the seperate amp first. Your current B&W system is good. I believe better amplification is always first, then speakers. If you got the 805's first then you might not like the 3801's internal amp driving them. As Obi said, the Nautilus speakers are very revealing.
     
  5. Jim_F

    Jim_F Screenwriter

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    I went from 602S2s with an LCR6 S2 to the N805s with HTM2 this year. One of the most satisfying upgrades ever. I'm convinced that these are the best speakers (to my ears) that I can use in my small, overstuffed room (I can't use floorstanders at all, otherwise I would have probably ended up with N804s)

    They're a significant improvement for both music and HT, but I really wasn't feeling a need for improved HT performance when using the 602 S2s.

    Then, of course there is appearance to consider. I went from black 602 S2s/LCR6 S2 to natural cherry N805s/HTM2. Now there's beauty that's more than skin deep.
     
  6. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

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    Dave, Denon 3801, huh? I have to echo what Hank says. If it were the Denon 5800, I would say fine, but the Denons lower down the line (at least the ones I have heard) would not be the best choice for B&W Nautilus speakers.
     
  7. Vinny Petronio

    Vinny Petronio Stunt Coordinator

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    You should audition The CDM7NT/CDM9NT series from B&W they will surprize you as they have the nautilus tweeter and are full range speakers and a lot cheaper, avalible in black or natural& red cherry finish I could not tell the difference when listening to them versus the 800 series I now have the CDM7 series with matching center and love them for music and home theater, they are powered by Parasound 2500u with the 1205a 5 channel amp I upgraded from 602s2 series and will never look back thats how pleased I am with there proformance.
     
  8. Mark C.

    Mark C. Supporting Actor

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    I second the CDM recommendation, at least with the amplification you have now. I have Nautilus 804s, but only in my two-channel system. They're powered by a Classe CAP-101. I wouldn't power them with anything less.

    In my HT, I have CDM1SEs and the matching center up front and 601S2s for the rears. This is a great setup, particularly for a smaller room. Beautiful HT sound and not bad for music either. I was powering this setup with a Nakamichi AV-10 receiver for two years and it did the job nicely. Your Denon would power the CDMs fine. I recently moved up to Rotel separates. Rotel and B&W were made for each other.
     
  9. David Barteaux

    David Barteaux Stunt Coordinator

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    Thank you for the advice with regard to my amplification. I do feel that the Denon 3801 amps are not bringing out my speakers full potential. I have been considering the amp upgrade for a while now. I also tried the Rotel 1075 with my reciever before I purchaced the B&W 600's and was suprised how much better things sounded. I guess I will see what kind of trade I can get for my existing speakers before I make my decision.

    Again, many thanks.
     
  10. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    I echo what vinny said. I had the 602, and recently upgraded to the CDM7NT and CDMCNT, I won't turn back. Yhe 804, and 803 are great soeakers, but for the $$ I think that teh CDM7NT matched my needs very very well. I also agree that you might want to upgrade your receiver, I am now running a Parasound 1800 pre/pro, and a rotel 3X150 amp (soon to be upgraded to a marsh sound design 400s amp). I could tell a big difference from running my Yamaha 995 to the seperates (even though they aren't top of the line stuff).

    Good luck.
     
  11. Vinny Petronio

    Vinny Petronio Stunt Coordinator

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    Thats funny because I upgraded my 995 as well to the2500u
    I really love my CDM7 series and down the road the only change I will make is upgrade the 1205a to the 2205 more power like Tim on tool time would say!!![​IMG]
     
  12. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    Vinny, the 2500u is a very nice unit that I would love to have, BUT there is no way I could afford it. I am getting a 2 channel amp (more my mains/cdm7nt) that retails for over $2000, but I am getting a great deal through some connections I have. I have very high taste in audio, but a very small budget. I have gotten all my stuff either as gifts (after I have done the research, IT HELPS to have a dad that is an audiophile), on a great sale at a retial store (the parasound), friends that work in the industry, or hand my downs from my father or uncle.

    I got the 1800 for under $700 (a great price considering it retailed for over $1200), and I was gettting sick of waiting ot the mythical outlaw unit.

    how do you like your 2500u??
     
  13. Vinny Petronio

    Vinny Petronio Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Rodney,
    I really love my parasound 2500u with bass management it is everything that I will proubly ever need in a prepro, it is so clean the sound stage is very wide I am going to buy the module for 6.1 that they offer which will enhance my listining pleasure even more, on music I feel there is none better, The auto calabration mode works great I did not have to bring out my sound meter the system doe's it all figures distance in feet, as well as delay time, and volume to all my speakers including the sub + 10 year warrenty to boot. You should check out their web site and read the reviews and I will say no more!!
    PS I to have champane taste on a beer mans salary it took me a long time to save for my home theater.[​IMG]
     
  14. Legairre

    Legairre Supporting Actor

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    David,
    If your thinking about a new amp definately go for it. I just upgraded from the amps in my Denon 3300 to the Rotel 1095.
    Here's a link to a thread I posted about the improvements I noticed. You won't be disappointed. A seperate amp made a big difference.
    http://www.hometheaterforum.com/htfo...threadid=34751
     
  15. Shanthi

    Shanthi Stunt Coordinator

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    I auditioned serval times with CDM 7/9 and 805 and concluded that 805 are far superior. If you are planning to buy a good sub, then 805 are way to go for Music and HT.

    my two cents...
     
  16. David Barteaux

    David Barteaux Stunt Coordinator

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    Well I just placed my order for the Rotel RMB-1095 amp. The 805's would have looked sweet but I think the amp route will provide the best upgrade path at this point. I paid $1650 US and feel I got a pretty good deal.
    Anyway, good advise guys. I always appreciate the help I get from this forum [​IMG]. I hear Pearl Harbour DVD sounds pretty good. Bring it on!
     
  17. Legairre

    Legairre Supporting Actor

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    David,

    You will not be disappointed. Do you have a shelf big enough to support it?
     
  18. Vinny Petronio

    Vinny Petronio Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey David,
    Why to go I have listened to both the parasound and the rotel either one will do you right and not disapoint you in any way make sure that you allow room for it to breath I placed mine on the bottom shelf which gave me more ventalation and support for all that weight[​IMG]
     

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