Looking to upgrade my speakers (have B&W)

Posted by: cmulder

Looking to upgrade my speakers (have B&W) - 12/28/08 05:01 PM

Okay, I have an Onkyo 605 and a medium sized room. Current setup is my center speaker is a B&W VM1:

http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/display.aspx?infid=1185

The front speakers are LM1:

http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/display.aspx?infid=1503

I don't know what the rear speakers are as they are in ceiling installed by previous owners but sound pretty good.

I also have an ASW300 Subwoofer, but I can't find it on B&W website.

Anyway, I was thinking of upgrading. I need bookshelf speakers for the front and a fairly thin center speaker because the place for it above the TV is fairly thin. I am looking for a significant upgrade over what I have but would like to keep it under $2000.

Also, I was wondering about adding two more rear speakers (for 7.1), but the problem is it would be very difficult to run wires now so I was thinking about wireless so I would like some recommendations on that--they would be in the ceiling speakers. Right now I have two rear speakers right above the couch that sits against a wall. So the two surrounds would be halfway between the fronts and the rears.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Looking to upgrade my speakers (have B&W) - 12/29/08 12:19 AM

An upgrade from what you have except for maybe the rears, is purely subjective as you appear to have a fairly good small speaker judging from the listed frequency responses, possibly a sub upgrade is all you really need. Something like the EP500 or EP600?

How thin do the speakers need to be, could they be on wall mounted style like the Axiom 'W' series? I would look at the M22 or the W22 and you could possibly use the new T2 to replace the in-ceiling speakers you presently have. For surrounds I would suggest the QS4 or QS8 if you have the room and with the QS speakers you may just find you won't need to use the inceilings for rear surrounds depending on the rooms seating arangement.
Posted by: cmulder

Re: Looking to upgrade my speakers (have B&W) - 12/29/08 12:41 PM

Only the center speaker is an issue--the space is 6 inches alhtough it can stick out a little from that.
Posted by: cmulder

Re: Looking to upgrade my speakers (have B&W) - 12/29/08 12:52 PM

 Originally Posted By: jakewash
An upgrade from what you have except for maybe the rears, is purely subjective as you appear to have a fairly good small speaker judging from the listed frequency responses, possibly a sub upgrade is all you really need. Something like the EP500 or EP600?

How thin do the speakers need to be, could they be on wall mounted style like the Axiom 'W' series? I would look at the M22 or the W22 and you could possibly use the new T2 to replace the in-ceiling speakers you presently have. For surrounds I would suggest the QS4 or QS8 if you have the room and with the QS speakers you may just find you won't need to use the inceilings for rear surrounds depending on the rooms seating arangement.


Would the T2 work as a surround? My surrounds are in-ceiling so the QS4 or 8 would stick out
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Looking to upgrade my speakers (have B&W) - 12/29/08 02:15 PM

I'm not a fan of In-Ceiling speakers for surrounds as they don't surround you like a true surround speaker. The Qs8's point towards each other and wrap the sound around you, that is what you want. If the wiring is run to the ceilings, you might be able to reuse that wiring and figure out a way to mount the Q's to the ceiling.

In regards to B&W, my only exposure is when I almost purchased the B&W 703 floorstanding speakers, that is until I heard the m60's and m80's. For less than half the price, they sounded as good or better than the 703's. I would think any of the bookshelf speakers in the Axiom line up would perform better than those smaller speakers.
Posted by: cmulder

Re: Looking to upgrade my speakers (have B&W) - 12/30/08 03:39 AM

 Originally Posted By: sirquack
I'm not a fan of In-Ceiling speakers for surrounds as they don't surround you like a true surround speaker. The Qs8's point towards each other and wrap the sound around you, that is what you want. If the wiring is run to the ceilings, you might be able to reuse that wiring and figure out a way to mount the Q's to the ceiling.


Yes, but my wife won't let me have them sticking out of the ceiling. And honestly, the two surrounds are directly overhead of the listening since the couch is right up against the end of the room (there is no space in back) and one side of the room opens up to the kitchen--so its not really setup ideally for surround speakers anyway.

 Originally Posted By: sirquack
In regards to B&W, my only exposure is when I almost purchased the B&W 703 floorstanding speakers, that is until I heard the m60's and m80's. For less than half the price, they sounded as good or better than the 703's. I would think any of the bookshelf speakers in the Axiom line up would perform better than those smaller speakers.


Well, I want to get the M22--problem is the space I have for bookshelf is 19.375 inches and the speaker is 19.8. So I need about half and inch. Can I plane the top and bottom of the speaker? You wouldn't see it anyway once its in the cabinet.
Posted by: davidsch

Re: Looking to upgrade my speakers (have B&W) - 12/30/08 08:17 AM

 Originally Posted By: cmulder
Can I plane the top and bottom of the speaker? You wouldn't see it anyway once its in the cabinet.
I would plane the entertainment center shelves before I planed the speaker. How much are the CM5 and 705? It seems they would be an upgrade from the LM1 and you can keep using your center speaker that works for you.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Looking to upgrade my speakers (have B&W) - 12/30/08 09:35 AM

No, speakers are made of MDF with vinyl wrap, I would not advise trying to cosmetically change them, unless you want to ruin the speaker.
Posted by: cmulder

Re: Looking to upgrade my speakers (have B&W) - 12/30/08 12:07 PM

 Originally Posted By: davidsch
 Originally Posted By: cmulder
Can I plane the top and bottom of the speaker? You wouldn't see it anyway once its in the cabinet.
I would plane the entertainment center shelves before I planed the speaker. How much are the CM5 and 705? It seems they would be an upgrade from the LM1 and you can keep using your center speaker that works for you.


Found this by Googling:

 Quote:
Bowers & Wilkinsís new CM Series will be available in October and will be priced as follows:

CM9 $1,500 each

CM5 $750 each

CMC2 $1,250 each

ASW 10CM $1,500 each


Thing is I really want to upgrade the subwoofer as well. Not a big deal because I'll move the speakers I have to a condo that we have in mammoth where I have really cheap speakers now and then move those into our bedroom where we have none. I would suspect that equal B&W quality speakers & SW are going to be significantly more expensive.

Posted by: cmulder

Re: Looking to upgrade my speakers (have B&W) - 12/30/08 12:10 PM

 Originally Posted By: sirquack
No, speakers are made of MDF with vinyl wrap, I would not advise trying to cosmetically change them, unless you want to ruin the speaker.


Well I could change the shelf height, but that would require more work. But I would think the M22 is a significant upgrade from the next smallest bookshelf model and would perform significantly better. Also, since I would get the 150, I would think that would pair better as well. My room is 1800 CF but only on three sides with imaginary wall. The fourth side is completely open to the kitchen adding another 1500 CF or so of space. So I'd like to have sufficient power in the speakers to handle the room.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Looking to upgrade my speakers (have B&W) - 12/30/08 12:26 PM

Have you considered the W22, and mounting it outside the cabinet? I think you may have performance issues placing any bookshelf (including B&Ws) inside a cabinet.
Posted by: SirQuack

Re: Looking to upgrade my speakers (have B&W) - 12/30/08 01:36 PM

There is nothing wrong with the m3's or even m2's for that matter.
Posted by: alan

Re: Looking to upgrade my speakers (have B&W) - 12/30/08 02:08 PM

Hi cmulder,

As kcarlile has pointed out, you might be better off using a pair of the on-wall W22s, which are essentially identical sounding to the M22s.

Whichever you choose, you'll find the Axioms are a huge upgrade in sound quality to the B&W LM1s. When I was editor at Audio magazine in New York, I had an opportunity to evaluate the LM1s. While in terms of industrial design, they are very attractive, the sound quality of the LM1 was quite colored and non-linear.

Any of the Axiom M2, M3, M22 (or their W wall-mount equivalents) you'll find are very neutral, detailed and transparent compared to the LM1.

Regards,
Posted by: fredk

Re: Looking to upgrade my speakers (have B&W) - 12/30/08 04:38 PM

It must be nice to have such a large database of speaker auditions in ones head. \:\)
Posted by: cmulder

Re: Looking to upgrade my speakers (have B&W) - 01/01/09 10:43 AM

 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
Have you considered the W22, and mounting it outside the cabinet? I think you may have performance issues placing any bookshelf (including B&Ws) inside a cabinet.


They are not inside a cabinet--they are on a bookshelfs--just that the shelfs only go 19.3 inches apart.