My final comparison of B&W's N804 vs. CDM 9NT

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Arnel Enero, Jun 8, 2002.

  1. Arnel Enero

    Arnel Enero Stunt Coordinator

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    I just did my final comparison (before the big decision) between the Nautilus 804 and CDM 9NT. Some of you might remember that I posted a thread asking for suggestion what to listen for during comparison, and I thank everyone who participated in that thread.
    I just figured maybe some other people here are in the same situation as mine, so sharing the result of my comparisons might give 'em some ideas. So here goes:
    The 9NT seemed a bit brighter in the treble, somewhat "splashy" at higher volumes, in comparison to the N804. I wouldn't call it "spitty" because the relative brightness was not at all aggresive nor irritating, just some obvious peaks in the otherwise "sweet" balance. The N804, on the other hand, seemed to have less midbass. But this gave me the feeling that the bass on the N804 was more articulate and well-defined. And this character is btw a good match for my room (underdamped). The midrange sounded the same on both speakers, to my ears at least.
    Although I noticed no difference in imaging (both are good), there was no contest when it came to soundstage depth and width. The N804's soundfield expanded better than that of the 9NT, giving a feeling of grandeur on full-scale orchestral works.
    I think both speakers did good during my comparisons, but I've finally convinced myself that the difference in sound is well worth the extra $900. I also proved to myself that I wasn't paying enough attention to differences during my previous auditions that I didn't notice such differences. Or maybe one tends to find differences more easily when the mind is pre-set into detecting it. [​IMG]
    So my new N804 in natural cherry finish will be delivered within the next three weeks (they ran out of this color, they only had the red cherry). I regret that the red cherry won't match my furniture... that color looks much more elegant, don't you think so?
     
  2. Karl L

    Karl L Agent

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    Congratulations Arnel! I just picked up a pair of 804's in red stained cherry wood, and have been enjoying them for both music and ht. The HTM1 in red cherry is currently on order, so hopefully that will show up sometime in the next couple of weeks. One observation I've made so far is that for stereo music listening while im getting a wide "cabinetless" soundstage out of the 804's its without much depth. Could this be due to the fact its running solely off a Pioneer 49-tx, or rather due to the small size of the listening room (16x13)? Is this something a seperate amp could help out with? And yes, they are a heck of an elegant looking speaker...enjoy!
     
  3. Chris Tsutsui

    Chris Tsutsui Screenwriter

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    Good choice, you didn't settle for less so the $ can be justified by having a peace of mind. [​IMG]
    A way I found to tune the bass "through physics" is by moving the speakers towards and away from the back wall. I have to keep this in mind when I audition speakers because some are closer to the back wall than others.
     
  4. Frank_S

    Frank_S Supporting Actor

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  5. Karl L

    Karl L Agent

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    Thanks for the reply Frank. I might be able to pick up the Aragon 2005 amp for a really great price. Any experience with this one? Also a rookie question for you or anyone else who may be able to help. If I buy this five channel amp and use my Pioneer 49-tx as a pre what do I do about the rear 7th channel hookup? Do the speaker wires for the rear stay attached to the rear speaker input on the Pioneer, while the Aragon gets all the other speaker wiring an rca inputs from the pre out terminals on the Pioneer? Thanks in advance. Karl
     
  6. RajeeK

    RajeeK Second Unit

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  7. BobRoulier

    BobRoulier Second Unit

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    Karl,
    you got the idea keep your 2 surround back speaker wires hooked up to the 49tx speaker terminals, while the other speaker wires will attach to your 5 channel amp and rememeber when you connect your rca's pull the u shaped clips from the back of the reciever and plug in your front left and right cables into the second row below where it says power amp in! and the others are marked as well. dont loose those clips put them back in when your not using a sepate amp. I currently am using the 49tx paired with a parasound 2205 for my paradigm studio 100s. You will notice a very nice improvement in soundstage and bass.
    Good luck Bob[​IMG]
     
  8. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    Karl,

    Some good suggestions have been made. Careful placement is a HUGE issue with any speaker. Make sure you spend alot of time finding their "perfect" position.

    Also, I think you are on the right track thinking about upgrading the amplification for your front end. I have a Denon 5800 with similar specs to your 49TX. There is a big difference between the internal amplifiers and outboard amplification. I also run Nautilus mains. To open them up, you will benefit from a seperate amplifier. I do agree with Frank though. Give them some time to break in. Also, good speaker wire and biwiring is a must, IMO. Nautilus speakers are extremely revealing. If you have a weak link in the system, they'll tell you. What is your source? I just bought a Sony 9000ES and it helped a bit with Redbook playback, but I'm thinking there is more upside to a dedicated CD player. Alex Prosac, a fellow HTF'er brought his Rega CD transport over the other night and it sounded wonderful. My point is that there can be many weak links to check, but that weakness is definitely not your 804s. Go through everything that precedes your speakers. You'll be pleasantly surprised when you get the system tweaked the optimum way.


    Jeremy
     
  9. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    thanks for the review, I will be upgrading my CDM7s to 804s soon.
     
  10. Karl L

    Karl L Agent

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    Guys thanks for the input. Think I have the speakers placed just right now which helps somewhat. Jeremy, I'm using a Pioneer Elite DV-38A as my cd player right now. Thinking about possibly going for the Sony XA777ES when some more dough comes in. Both redbook audio, and SACD performance are supposed to be superb on the Sony. What would you recommend in speaker wire that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg? The middle of the road Monster Cable I'm using may be one of the weak links. As far as getting an amp, I'm working on either picking up a Classe 150 or a Theta Intrepid.

    Hey RajeeK, weren't you moving back down to SD? Better hit it up before summers over, the ladies down at the beach have all been asking about you! Thanks again all for the good advice, Karl.
     
  11. RajeeK

    RajeeK Second Unit

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