Dynaudio Excite X12 vs B&W CM5 ... or something else?


New member
Jun 11, 2010
After a recent house move, I'm contemplating some new speakers.

The rest of the system is;

Front-end : Roksan Radius 5.2 with Nima arm & Goldring 2200 cartridge / Squeezebox touch with QNAP server

Amp : Roksan Kandy K2

Cables : Van Den Hul BUT need to change as not quite long enough in new house (likely to go for Van Damme studio blue)

Position : Room approx 15ft square, hardwood floor, speakers either side of fireplace close to rear wall but well away from corners

Source material - Vinyl or FLAC;

Classic Rock - Genesis, Floyd, Yes, Rush, Bowie

Indie - Smiths, Midlake, John Grant

Folk - Fairport, John Martyn, Joni Mitchell

plus some jazz, reggae & classical ... pretty broad musical tastes!

I'm currently using a pair of Totem Arros bought on impulse via Ebay. Undoubtedly very fine speakers and they sound great with acoustic music (folk, classical & some jazz) but to my ears they have a hashness in the upper mid / treble when turned up a bit or with 'busier' rock material especially vocals and electric guitars. I personally find them hard work either during longer listening sessions or when they are cranked up a bit.

So, I'm thinking of changing them for either B&W CM5s or Dynaudio Excite X12s; I've heard both and really liked them (but not in an a/b comparisson - my closest Dynaudio dealer doesn't do B&W and vice versa). Both have good deep bass and very smooth top end - exactly the criteria I'm looking for. Whilst working at a session at Broadcasting House recently I noticed that the BBC are into Dynaudio in a big way!

If anyone has any experiences or thoughts to share then I would be very receptive. Ditto if you feel there are other speakers that I really should hear before making a decision by all means suggest away! : )

Budget is around £800 to include stands if required.

Thanks in advance for your input.


New member
Nov 1, 2011
hi there if you like the cm5 you might want to try the cm1 as i recently bought a pair to go on the end of my audiolab system and the sound is excellent my system has been totally transformed. i bought them from sevenoaks and got free atacama nexus 6 stands all for 500 which are a bit cheaper thean cm5s and dont be put of by the small size of the cm1 they sound huge
Hi moriarty

I posted some of the following fairly recently which i feel is also useful here. Anyway if you can stretch your budget then ATC's SCM11 monitors are also worth a look as Roksan amplification also works well with ATC monitors.

SCM11's with their closed box designs and importantly low distortion, flat and honest prentation help them to be placed closed to walls. SCM11's reproduce (amongst their other qualities) the stability and the power of the sound in a highly detailed, controlled, uncoloured and natural manner.

All the best

Rick @ Musicraft


Well-known member
Feb 7, 2009
As a former owner of Dynaudio X12s and B&W CM7s I feel qualified to offer advice here. I've not owned a K2, but I have heard the amp on occasion and while I think both the CM5 and X12 are fine speakers, I feel the X12 would be the better match for the K2. The X12 does everything right and will not sound harsh. They are excellent speakers and have a smooth sound yet deliver plenty of detail. Highly recommend.

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
This will not only come down to personal preference, but also to what will work well with your Roksan amp.

So, to stick within your budget, the Excite X12's will be a good place to start. Also check out the Tannoy Revolution DC6T's and KEF R100's. Extending your budget to about £1k will open up more options for you, but I'm not going to assume this is an option unless you state otherwise



Helo moriartyI am using the cm5 powered by rotel combo : rb1582/rc1580/cd1520For year + - for prog rock / prog metal / classical / flamenco ,And finely after many years and use of many diffrent combo's and hearing a lot of otherI'm content and can explore my cd's and not my equipment.I think that the most importent factore is to use an amp with extra reservs.That will help with the complexityOf prog rock and brightness of old recordings.And may give a better overall power definition with punch,without unwanted abressiveness.And that the case with any of the mantioned speakers as they love to play loud and can sound vailWith low power amp.Good lock


New member
Jun 11, 2010
As the WHF Forum was kind enough to offer some great input, the least I can do is provide some feedback, so ...

A pair of cherry finish Dynaudio X12s are now sitting in our cottage on Partington Dreadnought stands connected via Van Damme Studio Blue 2.5 mm cables to my Roksan Radius 5.2 / Roksan Kandy K2 / Squeezebox Touch system.

Straight out of the boxes I could tell the X12s were going to suit by system / listening room / musical tastes / ears far better that my previous Totem Arros. There was none of harshness in the upper mid & treble that I had previously experienced and the bass sounded far more natural, if somewhat 'tight'.

However, having run the speakers in with regular playing over several weeks, I can report that the bass is now sounding fuller and the overall sound more coherent ... the X12's really benefit from a good run-in!

The X12s have a great feeling of the musicians really playing together whilst still having a sense of 'space' around the instruments and voices (I hope that makes sense); which was the main thing that attracted me to Dynaudio when I heard them at a BBC session for one of the bands I work with.

I did hear the music praised DM2/6 again before placing my order, but I felt that the extra levels of definition & refinement offered by the X12s was worth the extra expense.

Today (when I'm finally taking a day out from work that I've been promising myself for several months) I'm going to experiment with positioning; varying the distance from rear wall and also trying a slightly toe-in position. I might even try the Dynaudio foam bungs just of of interest. The main reason for this is I have noticed the low frequencies sound even better about 1 metre behind our sofa! ; )

Overall I am very pleased with my purchase and would definitely recommend these speakers.


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