Well im aware how highly regarded the 685s are that many people on this forum own them. However, i really werent impressed with the 685's at all. Its worth noting the 685's were the cheapest speaker i demo'd but still i was expecting so much more.
In fact i really wanted to like the 685 to the point i almost bought them blind (very glad i didnt). Its also worth noting i only care about music performace and not AV. Maybe the 685 would be a a better option for home cinema i honestly cant say.
When you pick up the CM1's the first thing you notice how heavy they are. One thing i have recently learnt is that cabinet construction makes a difference. The 685's are quite light by comparison.
As for sound it was a no brainer really. I could go on forever descibing what i heard but keeping it simple the CM1's were better at everything. I played banging electo house music, and then switched to acousic material (mainly nora jones) and both sounded simply awesome. Vocals are crystal clear and bass is deep and well defined. At the end of the demo i asked for the 685's to be put back on but still didnt like them so went to the cash till and placed my order for cm1's.
I have had the CM1's for 3 months and everytime a visitor comes round i get to listen to my system and watch their jaws hit the floor. Everyone thinks im running a sub!
Please do go and have a listen to both though if you can before parting with cash.
Yeah i would say the pearl lite sounded bright. There were 2 salesmen in the shop and both agreed it was a bright amp if that helps. Marantz have a reputation for a warm sound which was why i bought the pm7000 many years ago. However, in recent years they may have gone away from this sound, im not sure. Hopefully others who own this amp may be able to comment.
The next amp i want to listen to is the cheaper pm7004 as i really want the Home theater bypass function, but i havent found an amp that i like the sound of over my pm7000 yet.