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#346901 - 05/02/11 12:35 AM M3 v3 vs B&W CM5
korie Offline
regular

Registered: 05/02/11
Posts: 6
Hey Everyone,

I'm looking for a pair of bookshelves to put on stands for a 2.1 setup for my living room. The living room/kitchen area is ~ 16ftx25ft, and these speakers will be used for mostly casual listening and fairly high volume for parties etc..

I was originally planning for a pair of B&W CM5's, and I went to listen to them the other day and thought they were great, but I wanted to explore some cheaper, options as well first. The M3's seem to get fairly decent reviews, and are basically a fraction of the cost of the B&W's, so they have really peaked my interest.

The thing that concerns me most is I dont want a very bright sounding speaker, which is what I loved about the B&W's. They had a laid back, but detailed sound, and the sound field was immersive. I already have a very bright sounding set of speakers (Polk RTi A9 mains for my HT/media room), so I want something more balanced and musical. So basically I'm curious how the M3's would do in this situation?

I know a lot of people seem to recommend the M22's over the M3's, but to be honest, I hate the look of the M22's, especially on stands, which would be a must. And since this is for a living room, they have to look good, and be wife friendly.

So any feedback or advice would be great.

Oh and I will be pairing them with a sub such as the SVS SB12-NSD or similar (already a very satisfied SVS owner).

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#346903 - 05/02/11 12:57 AM Re: M3 v3 vs B&W CM5 [Re: korie]
Ichigo_Kurosaki Offline
devotee

Registered: 06/18/10
Posts: 463
Loc: Japan
Well I can´t tell much about B&W and M3´s since I only have M22´s, QS8´s and just got my KEF Q300 yesterday. My initial considerations were B&W 685 and the M3´s for a 2.0 system. AFter reading some reviews online heard good stuff about the KEF Q300 having a slight better sound than the B&W. The thing is that the Q300 is not as that appealing to the eyes as the B&W you are considering. Looking at the pictures thought they weren´t really nice. After getting them on my home and setting up on the stands, which receive them for free (B&W STAV24), they really look nice. The sound is very similar to the M22´s ( just listened to 1 day, so can´t give you much info), but they have more bass. Taking in consideration you will be getting a sub if your speakers lack a bit of bass is not a issue. For 2 channel mode I do believe that the M22´s lack a bit of soundstage. If I were you I would be then considering getting the floorstanders. Well, this is my opinion only. Pretty sure other people will have different opinions and may give you a better advice though.
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#346904 - 05/02/11 12:59 AM Re: M3 v3 vs B&W CM5 [Re: korie]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10621
Korie, welcome. Yes, I certainly would recommend the M22s which I use, especially with the sub that you mentioned. It's puzzling why you comment about the appearance in comparison to the M3s, since the only significant difference would seem to be the height.
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#346908 - 05/02/11 01:43 AM Re: M3 v3 vs B&W CM5 [Re: JohnK]
korie Offline
regular

Registered: 05/02/11
Posts: 6
Originally Posted By: Ichigo_Kurosaki
Well I can´t tell much about B&W and M3´s since I only have M22´s, QS8´s and just got my KEF Q300 yesterday. My initial considerations were B&W 685 and the M3´s for a 2.0 system. AFter reading some reviews online heard good stuff about the KEF Q300 having a slight better sound than the B&W. The thing is that the Q300 is not as that appealing to the eyes as the B&W you are considering. Looking at the pictures thought they weren´t really nice. After getting them on my home and setting up on the stands, which receive them for free (B&W STAV24), they really look nice. The sound is very similar to the M22´s ( just listened to 1 day, so can´t give you much info), but they have more bass. Taking in consideration you will be getting a sub if your speakers lack a bit of bass is not a issue. For 2 channel mode I do believe that the M22´s lack a bit of soundstage. If I were you I would be then considering getting the floorstanders. Well, this is my opinion only. Pretty sure other people will have different opinions and may give you a better advice though.


I would like floorstanders, but my wife is tired of seeing huge speakers on every floor of the house (RTia9's in basement HT/media room and JBL floor standers upstairs in bonus tv room). So my compromise is bookshelves on stands with a modern elegant look.

Originally Posted By: JohnK
Korie, welcome. Yes, I certainly would recommend the M22s which I use, especially with the sub that you mentioned. It's puzzling why you comment about the appearance in comparison to the M3s, since the only significant difference would seem to be the height.


IMO the height of the M22's is what makes them awkward looking, especially on stands.

How do the M3 and M22's compare for sound imaging and soundfield? I want something that I can just sit and listen to and get a real 3d immersive feel to them too...

Am I asking for too much at this price point?

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#346909 - 05/02/11 01:50 AM Re: M3 v3 vs B&W CM5 [Re: korie]
JohnK Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/11/02
Posts: 10621
Keep in mind that they use the same tweeter and that the dispersion of the upper frequencies which control the width of the soundstage is therefore essentially identical.
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Enjoy the music, not the equipment.



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#346910 - 05/02/11 01:53 AM Re: M3 v3 vs B&W CM5 [Re: korie]
2x6spds Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 03/16/02
Posts: 3088
Loc: CA, USA
M3s are spectacular speakers. I used a pair of M3Tis with a 5 watt per channel SET tube amp, Velodyne 10" subwoofer, and an Ah! Njoe Tjoeb tube output CD player. I experienced the GLORIOUS WALL OF SOUND. The sound stage was huge, high, wide and deep. The highs have a crystaline but sweet purity. The mids, well, it's why I love audio.

I also have a pair of M22s driven by a 100 wpc vintage Harman Kardon flagship solid state amp, Sony CA9ES CD player and 12" Velodyne subwoofer. Sound quality is incredibly good. The M22s are taller and tend not to disappear into the room like the M3s do.

The joke about the M3s is not only their enormous sound quality, but their ridiculous low price.

Grab a pair. You won't be disappointed.


Edited by 2x6spds (05/02/11 01:53 AM)
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#346912 - 05/02/11 02:05 AM Re: M3 v3 vs B&W CM5 [Re: 2x6spds]
korie Offline
regular

Registered: 05/02/11
Posts: 6
Originally Posted By: 2x6spds
M3s are spectacular speakers. I used a pair of M3Tis with a 5 watt per channel SET tube amp, Velodyne 10" subwoofer, and an Ah! Njoe Tjoeb tube output CD player. I experienced the GLORIOUS WALL OF SOUND. The sound stage was huge, high, wide and deep. The highs have a crystaline but sweet purity. The mids, well, it's why I love audio.

I also have a pair of M22s driven by a 100 wpc vintage Harman Kardon flagship solid state amp, Sony CA9ES CD player and 12" Velodyne subwoofer. Sound quality is incredibly good. The M22s are taller and tend not to disappear into the room like the M3s do.

The joke about the M3s is not only their enormous sound quality, but their ridiculous low price.

Grab a pair. You won't be disappointed.


Thats exactly the effect I'm looking for, however I won't be using any tube or vintage amplifiers. More than likely I will be powering them with a Sonos ZP-120 media player/ampifier, however if I'm not thrilled with the performance I might look into adding an amplifier like an Emotiva UPA-2 (love my xpa-5) or a Rotel RB-1552 if it fits the budget.

I think I will probably order a pair and give them a try and if I'm not thrilled I always have the 30 days to return them. That being said I need to choose a finish for them as I don't really like the stock finishes. Does anyone have any feedback on the ebony finish? Is it much of an upgrade over the black oak?

I really like the Walnut with white covers, but not sure its worth the extra $150. And the Piano black would be my #1 choice, but it doubles the price of the speaker, which I can't justify. smirk

Decisions, decisions...

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#346931 - 05/02/11 09:36 AM Re: M3 v3 vs B&W CM5 [Re: korie]
bdpf Offline
aficionado

Registered: 06/28/08
Posts: 769
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Originally Posted By: korie
I think I will probably order a pair and give them a try and if I'm not thrilled I always have the 30 days to return them.

Exactly, this is the best you can do and you have pretty much nothing to loose except the very reasonable return shipping cost.
_________________________
Bruno
M80s/VP180/QS8s/EP600/AVR-890
------------------------------------
"The problem is choice..."

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#346948 - 05/02/11 11:58 AM Re: M3 v3 vs B&W CM5 [Re: bdpf]
Adrian Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/27/08
Posts: 6865
Loc: It's all about the location.
Perhaps during the 30 day trial on some M3s, you could convince your B&W dealer to let you try the CM5's in your own home as well! that would be the ideal situation.
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Half of communication is listening. You can't listen with your mouth.

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#346949 - 05/02/11 12:05 PM Re: M3 v3 vs B&W CM5 [Re: bdpf]
avjunkee Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/28/10
Posts: 110
Originally Posted By: bdpf
Originally Posted By: korie
I think I will probably order a pair and give them a try and if I'm not thrilled I always have the 30 days to return them.

Exactly, this is the best you can do and you have pretty much nothing to loose except the very reasonable return shipping cost.


You would also lose whatever you paid for any non-stock finish.
_________________________
M80s, VP180, QS8s, EP800 v3

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