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B&W CM5 S2 mini review


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I signed up for this forum to follow Audirvana tweaks and after lots of tweaking ended up also changing my speakers. I had B&W CM2 (stereo pair) to the B&2 CM5S2.

 

My Audirvana tweaks were at the other end of the scale from most people and I was running out of tricks to approach the sound I wanted. Basically, my system was too bright. I've noted enough of the characteristics of gear I've introduced over the years to know it must be the speakers.

 

I hesitated between a few speakers, including the CM6S2, but the 5's won. While the 6's have showroom pizzaz, I figured they'd get fatiguing at home. I went for the iterative upgrade. Turns out, I'm extremely happy with the 5's: HUGE amounts of detail, neutral. WOW!! It's like I've just been given the key to a huge playground (of Audirvana tweaks) and I can hear instruments and voices thrumming when they should, tune a deeper bass, pull the speakers further from the wall than the old pair for more depth.

B&W has done some awesome things with the tweeters and though the Mundorf EVO silver/gold capacitor is from the EVO not the Supreme range because it's silvergold oil it REALLY does a nice job. Better than the original CM5's (which I'd auditioned a while back). The speakers do need to be burned in to sound their best.

 

Just sharing because I had the hardest time finding reviews of these speakers to flesh out what I'd heard during in-store auditions.

 

My new Audirvana Izotope SRC settings (still need minor tweaking) are now:

Steepness 88 (was 8 when I had the CM2's)

Filter 1,800,000

Cutoff ,95 (was much lower with CM2's)

Pre-ringing .37

Special thanks to Ikkei for sharing his Izotope thoughts here on computeraudiophile and NagysAudio over on avsforum for sharing his love of the CM5S2's.

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I signed up for this forum to follow Audirvana tweaks and after lots of tweaking ended up also changing my speakers. I had B&W CM2 (stereo pair) to the B&2 CM5S2.

 

My Audirvana tweaks were at the other end of the scale from most people and I was running out of tricks to approach the sound I wanted. Basically, my system was too bright. I've noted enough of the characteristics of gear I've introduced over the years to know it must be the speakers.

 

I hesitated between a few speakers, including the CM6S2, but the 5's won. While the 6's have showroom pizzaz, I figured they'd get fatiguing at home. I went for the iterative upgrade. Turns out, I'm extremely happy with the 5's: HUGE amounts of detail, neutral. WOW!! It's like I've just been given the key to a huge playground (of Audirvana tweaks) and I can hear instruments and voices thrumming when they should, tune a deeper bass, pull the speakers further from the wall than the old pair for more depth.

B&W has done some awesome things with the tweeters and though the Mundorf EVO silver/gold capacitor is from the EVO not the Supreme range because it's silvergold oil it REALLY does a nice job. Better than the original CM5's (which I'd auditioned a while back). The speakers do need to be burned in to sound their best.

 

Just sharing because I had the hardest time finding reviews of these speakers to flesh out what I'd heard during in-store auditions.

 

My new Audirvana Izotope SRC settings (still need minor tweaking) are now:

Steepness 88 (was 8 when I had the CM2's)

Filter 1,800,000

Cutoff ,95 (was much lower with CM2's)

Pre-ringing .37

Special thanks to Ikkei for sharing his Izotope thoughts here on computeraudiophile and NagysAudio over on avsforum for sharing his love of the CM5S2's.

Thanks Rezseeker!

Founder of Audiophile Style | My Audio Systems

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  • 2 months later...

Thanks for your insightful post. I was toying with upgrading my CM7s, and wondering if the CM10-S2 would be too similar. Your observations make me think it would be a significant improvement.

 

Also, can you post a link to "the Izotope SRC thread, post#570" ? (I can't find it).

 

Edit: Here it is: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f11-software/izotope-sample-rate-convertor-15352/index23.html#post421843

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Thanks for your insightful post. I was toying with upgrading my CM7s, and wondering if the CM10-S2 would be too similar. Your observations make me think it would be a significant improvement.

 

Also, can you post a link to "the Izotope SRC thread, post#570" ? (I can't find it).

 

Edit: Here it is: http://www.computeraudiophile.com/f11-software/izotope-sample-rate-convertor-15352/index23.html#post421843

 

For what it's worth, when I spoke to my dealer about upgrading my CM8 to a CM10s2, he said he'd happily take my money but suggested to go to an 804d instead, as the step up, while noticeable, would probably leave me wanting to upgrade again in some years.

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I've never heard the CM10s2, but the reviews I've seen - in forums and magazines (Hi-Fi Choice in particular) - are unanimously glowing.

It seems some good engineering, product sourcing, trickle down 800 series lessons, etc were applied to this iteration of the CM range. They apparently come together best in the CM10s2.

I think it would be worth your time to at least give the 10s2's a listen.

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