B&W CDM7 NT Floorstanding Speakers

CDM7 NT

User Reviews (79)

Showing 1-10 of 79  
Bryan Hunt   AudioPhile [Mar 13, 2008]
Strength:

Detail, detail, detail. Amazing clarity. Almost too clear, if that's possible, to the point where the music doesn't sound 'real'. However, I like the clarity.

They also sound good with inexpensive amps, as well was the top dollar stuff. That's important, because some good speakers will only sound good with real high end equipment.

Weakness:

Sometimes too bright. They can bring on listening fatigue after a while. Treble can be annoying--the metal dome Nautilus tweeter just gets brash and tiring after a while. I've had this speaker for 5 years, so it's not like I'm not used to it. When you compare it to a speaker that isn't as bright, like one with a silk tweeter, you'll really notice the difference.

Also, although you hear all the bass notes well-defined, the bass has no 'slam' at all. Very bass light. That's not a big problem with me, as I'm not a heavy bass fan. But it would be nice if it sounded 'fuller'. You'll want to use a sub with it to get real full-range sound.

Amazingly detailed speaker. If someone dropped a pin during the recording session, you would hear it. They look nice, aren't too big, can play loud and handle all kinds of music well. Wonderful for acoustic guitar music--they do that VERY well.

Customer Service

Never dealt with them.

Similar Products Used: KEF reference 3, reference 4, B&W CDM9nt.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
Bryan   AudioPhile [Feb 15, 2008]
Strength:

Amazing clarity, detail, soundstage.

Weakness:

Light bass, sometimes too bright.

I auditioned a lot of speakers before choosing these, and these were the cheapest of them all: Kef Ref. 3, Paradgime Sudio 100, Cambridge Towers, Snell, and a few others. I actually had all these speakers in my home at the same time (on loan), and hooked them all up via a switch box. The amp was an old Dynaco 150--not the best, but good enough to hear the differences.

Amazing detail, especially for acoustic guitar music. Each instrument is clearly revealed in a precise soundstage. I don't know how they do that, but they do it. The other speakers couldn't match that level of transparency. The Cdm7's don't have oo much bass mass, but you do hear every note.

Since buying these, I also have bought the CDM9nt for a different system, and the Kef Reference 4 (outstanding jazz speakers, if not as detailed as the BWs). While these CDM7nt speakers can go a bit bright (the B & W sound), you learn to live with it and enjoy hearing every sound in the recording, including a pin dropping down the hall and around the corner from the recording studio. The big Kefs can't do that.

Customer Service

I had a blown tweeter at one time, and it was replaced under warrenty. No problems other than that.

Similar Products Used: see above
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
steve westwood   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 27, 2007]
Strength:

lightning speed, liquid mid range, highly detailed , accurate sound stage and gorgeous.

Weakness:

cant think of any obvious weakness other than minor reservations on punchiness on rock material and lack of brightness when tube driven but thats probably just with my sysytem.

as stated by others , these speakers have fantastic mid range and when tube driven give a liquid mid range and simply beautiful vocals. Try some India Arie, Joss Stone, Corrine Baley Rae etc and the hairs will stand up on your neck.
Speed and timing are lightning quick and bass is tight and extended but not possibly not as punchy perhaps as some rockers would like. In my opinion this seems quite source dependant. Dynamic material (anything by electro disco group Yello - especially "tied up " ) on vinyl is punchy enough and speed and timing of these speakers is amply demonstated- just fantastic.
With tubes amps the top end brightness is tamed and if anything maybe a tad too much. I have been listening without the tweeter covers and think its a little brighter without them. These speakers replaced "a pair of wardrobes" otherwise known as SD acoustics SD 1's which had more front thn my other half could tolerate. Some reviewers rate the NT tweeters very highly and they are very good but it was hard act to follow after the ribbon tweaters n the SD1's.
i have a HT set up with these and a REL sub integrates well with the neutric connector and gives worthwhile extension.
Overall delighted especially as they please even when not in use.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
steve westwood   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 27, 2007]
Strength:

lightning speed, liquid mid range, gorgeous.

Weakness:

cant think of any obvious weakness other than minor reservations on punchiness on rock material and lack of brightness when tube driven but thats probably just with my sysytem.

as stated by others , these speakers have fantastic mid range and when tube driven give a liquid mid range and simply beautiful vocals. Try some India Arie, Joss Stone, Corrine Baley Rae etc and the hairs will stand up on your neck.
Speed and timing are lightning quick and bass is tight and extended but not possibly not as punchy perhaps as some rockers would like. In my opinion this seems quite source dependant. Dynamic material (anything by electro disco group Yello - especially "tied up " ) on vinyl is punchy enough and speed and timing of these speakers is amply demonstated- just fantastic.
With tubes amps the top end brightness is tamed and if anything maybe a tad too much. I have been listening without the tweeter covers and think its a little brighter without them. These speakers replaced "a pair of wardrobes" otherwise known as SD acoustics SD 1's which had more front thn my other half could tolerate. Some reviewers rate the NT tweeters very highly and they are very good but it was hard act to follow after the ribbon tweaters n the SD1's.
i have a HT set up with these and a REL sub integrates well with the neutric connector and gives worthwhile extension.
Overall delighted especially as they please even when not in use.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Peter Duminy   AudioPhile [Aug 05, 2004]
Strength:

Very open clear detailed sound. Bass is tight and deep with excellent detail. Wonderful styling and finish

Weakness:

A little pricey in Canada, but wait till you see them in your living room!

I am going to be honest with you all from the start. I worked for B&W in the 1970's before coming to Canada. I was on their design team on the DM6 and some other projects. Having said that I have owned Mission in the past and Cyrus Loudspeakers. It was time for me to upgrade and I listened to many designs and Company's products. There was something however about this machine that grabbed my ear. It is the clarity that has to be heard to understand my comments. I feel a smooth tube sound Amplifier works the best, giving a fast neutral sound. Bass is deep and so quick, with excellent power handling, and a smooth mid and high band that has an airiness that is enchanting. The styling is very eye catching, and the finish of the enclosures is truly first rate. I do not receive any endorsement fees or perks from the Factory, so what i am writing are my own unbiased feelings. In my opinion, A Hard Act to Follow!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
TWag   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 21, 2004]
Strength:

Good all around ability to separate sound both in music and in movie format. Plus, the wife likes the way they look.

Weakness:

Might lack fullness if not mated to the right components. Quality signal in means quality signal out.

I have enjoyed these for almost a year now and wanted to share my experience as I have used these reviews to begin my research when purchasing a product. These CDM's are part of a 5-channel B&W system, and are definately the key when playing an explosive scene in a movie or for 2 channel music playback. I was using a Yamaha RXV-2400 with audioquest biwires. The speakers are noticeably bright when new, and become more natural once broken in. The movies played from the Denon player comes across clean and with remarkable separation, no matter what the volume. The music playback is inviting and gives new life to vocals when surrounded by a loud soundtrack. For example, I played my wife's Ray of Light CD by Maddonna because the bass would distort her voice in a stock stereo setup. When the 7NT's were used, her voice came on, and there was perfect separation and clarity. I've enjoyed dozens of movies with these and agree with the previous reviews about these speakers being paired up with the right components. I finally moved up to separates and already notice the fullness in the midrange that I felt was missing. I noticed the same result at a hi-fi store nearby who used the same speakers with Rotel separates. So if your at the level of contemplating more expensive quality speakers, make sure you have the right equipment to play them. By the way(for the wives), my wife loves the way the cabinets look.

Similar Products Used: Yamaha RXV-2400, Monster powercenter, Denon DVD player, Audioquest cables, currently upgrading to a Classe SSP-60 with a Earthquake Cinenova amplifier
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
topspeed   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 30, 2003]
Strength:

Extended, airy treble Lush and smooth mids Fast, accurate bass with loads of energy Amazing build quality. Cabinet resonance? What's that?

Weakness:

Not forgiving of poor source equipment Sensitive to placement Break in time is long

A terrific speaker for both 2 channel and HT apps. I'm far more into music and auditioned tons of speakers including Vandy's, Paradigm Studio, DefTech, M&K, Boston, Mission, and Dynaudio amid others. Of those auditioned, the B&W's did the best job of melding the best qualities together. The 7NT's are gorgeous, impeccably built speakers. Using real solid wood veneers of your choice, these are rightfully considered fine furniture. Much has been made of the Nautilus tweeter and it is well earned. Terrific extension with the right amount of air present in the upper registers but no sibilance. This speaker loves jazz and vocals. The mids are lush and silky smooth and exhibit a graceful integration with both the tweeter and woofer. The bass is lightening fast and very accurate. No boominess but more than enough energy and thrust. Actually, fast is a good way to describe the overall sound of the CDM's. There's no overhang in the sound, just music. Now, you will not experience all that this speaker can provide if you hear them driven by a receiver. This speaker demands quality amplification. They are not terribly efficient and can be tough to drive. Trust me on this, I found out the hard way. The difference between their sound with my Denon 3803 and when driven by my PS Audio HCA2 is nothing short of revealatory. I actually thought my sub was still on the first time I ran the 7's with the HCA2. System matching is paramount with the 7NT's. The 7NT's are very transparent and thus very intolerant of poor source equipment. If you have a weak link, these speakers will let you know in no uncertain terms. This may seem like damning praise however the truth of the matter is that if you want to approach how good this speaker can sound, you'll need quality upstream equipment. Garbage in=garbage out. There are forgiving speakers out there, the 7NT's are not one of them. Are these the best speakers in the world? Of course not. They are however the best I heard for my taste in my system at this price. Your mileage may vary.

Similar Products Used: Mission Argonauts, Energy Audissey 5+2, AR, Dynaudio, etc.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jwamyung Kim   Casual Listener [Sep 11, 2003]
Strength:

huge sound stage. million dollar tweeter

Weakness:

weak base looks ( it could be strength to others ! )

I have used Kef104.2 model for more than a dacade. It was good speaker for every kind of musics. This B&W model is the first one from its company and I am really excited to have one of those. Frankly, I was really hesitant to switch to B&W because people using Kef is not easily pursuaded into its 'the famous' tweeter. I could not start this article without mentioning the tweeter of B&W. It is not like any other tweeters of any other brand and quite strange looking at first sight. However it sounds very good indeed. Looks are not important in listrning to music, right? Other than looks, this speaker is quite a merchandise. It is not heavier than my prior speaker( 22lbs ligheter ) so base is not that profound one. However it has its own way of kicking base. More than any other thing, this speaker has huge sound stage which makes it suitable for the front speakers of.1 ch set. I am quite happy purchasing this speaker. Now, I am only ready for another upgrade of amps !!!

Similar Products Used: Kef104.2
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Chris   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 18, 2003]
Strength:

Detail and imaging is spectacular. That is not a retread of other posts on this site - it really is the hallmark of this speaker. The depth of field is simply the best I found at this price point. I would dare to say that it was as good as the 804s at 1500 dollars more. And even then it is barely a difference (part of that is due to a difference in amplification most likely in the demo experience as well.) By the way - turn these things up and up and up. I have yet to find a speaker that is more pleasant to listen to when set to (in the words of Nigel Tufnell)"11". Louder and louder and louder - they just take it and increase in their overall stage presence - it is alomost as if they dare you to keep going. It really is something special. Build quality is first rate (as it should be at this price point) so that is somewhat of a given. Mid range detail is better than anything else that I have heard under 5000 dollars. B & W sold their soul to the devil of detail somewhere along the line to get the midrange detail figured out the way they have. I dare you to find a speaker that recreates percussive sound the way this does.

Weakness:

Finicky. You have to put in the time to place these correctly or you will not reap the benefits. Be prepared for some of your cd's to sound like crap. These are not going to forgive lousy recordings - they will amplify ever little poor decision that was made in the studio - but they will highlight all of the good ones!

There are people (audiophiles or self proclaimed ones) much more qualified to discuss the technical aspects of this speaker than I am. However, I think it appropriate to give readers a real world, socks on the floor of the living room, dirty dishes in the sink review of these speakers. So - that being said - here we go. 2000 dollars is a lot of money - for most it is a few years of convincing a spouse that this is the right thing to do or a little bit of overtime here and there. The best that can be said about the CDM 7NTs is that it may be one of the most rewarding checks you will write in your life. I have had these speakers for a little over a year now and wanted to get a true sense of them before I posted a public review. A few things to consider on the 7's - If you do not have decent upstream equipment, do not judge these speakers until you do. They are not terribly inefficient but they do not really shine until you power them appropriately. Second, if you are in the market for the 600 series (ie 605s etc), I would make the jump if you can afford it at all. The increased sensitivity in the imaging is worth the price alone, let alone the finish and furniture like quality of these pieces. Third, the burn in period is not 15 hours. It is not 30 hours. I would be reluctant to say that it is even 50 hours - bring them home, turn them on, and leave them for about a month. I found that the character of these speakers changed a great deal after a very long burn in period - in particular, the extension in the bass. Fourth, if you are not going to place these speakers appropriately (ie spousal debate over "that looks bad there" "can we please move that into a corner" - I know because I have had the conversation) do not purchase this speaker. If you do it would be akin to buying a BMW motor and chasis but not actually putting the motor in the car. Both look great, they have all of the qualities of a fine automobile, but something is just not right. So consider your set up a lot before you jump in for 2 grand. These are finicky in their placement - not in a way that is unexpected - but depth of field and detail is what you are paying for here - if you are not going to listen to them with that in mind, save yourself the money. If can hold true to placement and power - you will be very happy. Detail is superb, imaging (that full sense of an entire stage set up in front of you) is so deep that it is almost confusing, and bass is so musical that you almost forget it is there. For those that are making the jump to this kind of quality after living with pretty run of the mill speakers are going to have an adjustment period with the bass. It is not that there is a lack of bass - its that the bass will sound so significantly clearer than what you are used to that it may spark the question of "what's wrong?!?!" I found in my system (Marantz SR 8200) that bi wiring was a great move. Under the advice of the guys at Definitive in Bellevue, I ran two 12 gauge lines (Tributaries) from each of the left and right posts on the receiver to the bi wired positions on each speaker. (ie - 2 posts on receiver into 4 posts on the speaker). This only improved an already great sound - I would love to hear these with more power but as it stands - the set up with my Marantz is wonderful and quite sufficient at the moment. If you have questions about these, please feel free to email me @ thebwcdm7nt@hotmail.com - I would be happy to answer questions or comments.

Similar Products Used: Paradigm M&K Mission Marantz
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Happy Go Lucky   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 13, 2003]
Strength:

Build, Finish, Treble, Speed, Punch, Looks, Dynamics, Resolution, Grip.

Weakness:

Can sound bright, harsh and tinny if not matched to suitable electronics not only of high quality but also of the right timbre of sound (I would say they need warmer electronics like NAD, QUAD, PRIMARE, Tube gear etc) to tame them down unless someone likes a very revealing and bright in your face sound.

Excellent looks & finish. Well Built. I have the Cherry Veneer in which it looks very contemporary coupled with the luxury of a wood finish. My speakers have now broken in for approx. 50 hours and are beginning to sound good. The metal dome tweeters need an awfully long time to break in as do the Kevlar drive units. In my set-up these speakers sound a little short of excellent. I am happy I purchased them. However, they need very careful system matching to attain a sound that is both fast, detailed, punchy, transparent and crystal clear coupled with being natural, slightly on the warmer side of average and basically musically involving. At least this is what I wanted and I achieved it ... albeit after a lot of hunting around and countless demos. It has got excellent bass, both in terms of speed and definition ... as far as bass extension is concerned perhaps it lacks a little compared to other floorstanders I have heard ... but for me they have more than enough bass. Infact, these speakers seem to be quite fussy about room placement and positioning because even after being spiked the bass was resonating but after I tried various positions I found one that works well in my room. Anyway my room has a resonance/echo problem, not a huge one but still, so that also doesn't help the speaker sound its best. I think it should be sold for a couple of hundred British Pounds less, around 1,050 to make it excellent value. I have found that although they work well with all types of music, because of the prominent treble, they seem to shine with instruments and classical music. Sometimes hard rock can sound a tad bright and fatiguing to listen to for long durations. I guess that's about all I have to say. I wanted a speaker which would be both good for home theater and stereo music and in the B&W CDM-7NT's I have found a very appealing and happy compromise!

Similar Products Used: Pro-Ac Response 1.5 (one of my all time favourites ONLY for 2-channel stereo music), B&W CDM-1NT's (slightly better than the 7NT's but with less bass so I opted for the 7NT's instead and traded-off th
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 79  

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