Need an opinion on old vs. new speaker tech?


Active member
May 7, 2020

At the moment I've got my B&W CDM1-NT's and Nautilus HTM2 centre speaker up for sale on eBay. We've got a much bigger room since the CDM's were bought (in early 2000's) and the they don't have enough bass, unless you really crank them up. I also find the CDM1-NT's a little too bright/forward, possibly a mismatch with my amp. So I'm looking to replace with some kind of floor stander (our room is 20x15ft with speaker firing across the shorter width).

My amp is a Naim Nait 5 Si with sources from Rega Planar 1 (with Rega Phono MM Mk3 & Goldring E3 cartridge) + Chord Mojo DAC from various sources (Spotify, Tidal, lots of HD audio FLAC, usually iPhone/iPad/MacBook). Also a Yamaha A870 AV which drives the Naim L&R at line level, the HTM2 centre and some B&W M1 rears (+ a cheap Roth sub which probably needs replacing, although TBH it is ok).

I was thinking about the Dali Oberon 5 and matching centre but then thought, hang on, my HDM2 centre cost about £1000 nearly 20 years ago, as did the CDM1-NT's (when you include the official stands). Am I likely to get something "new" but sonically worse?

My local dealer has suggested keeping the HDM2 and buying some B&W 704S2's which they have on offer for about £1500 (RRP £2000). However I've seen generally mixed reviews on the 704's. But is "ok" at £2k much better than "great" at £700??

Would love some opinion about whether speaker tech has evolved in the last 20 years to the point where a Dali Oberon 5 £700 L+R & matching centre (circa £1000) is better than my 20 year old B&W's that cost about £2k. I could probably stretch to the Wharfdale Evo 4.4 equivalent with matching centre (circa £1700). If I get a good price for the B&W's on eBay! ;-)

Thanks in advance!


Active member
May 7, 2020
June 15th you can find out! Pack sandwiches and a flask, camp out overnight, and be first into the hi-fi shop after lockdown. Why guess now when you can audition in 2 weeks?
Just after opinions from people who might, well, have a useful opinion... :)


Well-known member
Just after opinions from people who might, well, have a useful opinion... :)

The problem is that we can only tell you what is best for us. It's a bit like asking what's the best hairstyle? Different people will have different opinions, and they'll all be correct, i.e. correct for them.

For example I would add a REL subwoofer for bass with pace rather than change speakers. Similarly the forum cheerleader for SVS will tell you how those are the best. Guess what, we're both right, as they are what we want. So my 'haircut' will be different to his 'haircut' which will be different to your 'haircut'.

I would expect something of £2k from 20 years ago to knock spots off a £700 speaker today. That would be something like the KEF Reference speakers from 20 years ago.
  • Like
Reactions: Al ears


Well-known member
I used to own CDM1-NTs, on Atacama SE24 rather than their own stands (not that I think that makes much difference).
They weren't too bright for me, but I've since had smoother treble than the B&Ws metal dome tweeter used to give - so that's one area where you're likely to notice an improvement.

Deleted member 116933

Not going to repeat what has been said above as its good advice.

I've owned naim in recent years and found bowers and Wilkins and dail to be a no go with naim. (my opinion)
They lean to far into the extremes for naim. Ie Dail is quite a smooth listen and so is Naim which i find makes for a bit of slow listen, doesn't get the heart racing.

For "me" id be putting Revel on top of the list, nice and lively to counter Naim's smoothness. With the treble virtues of PMC and the some of the bass of newer Bowers and Wilkins but way more controlled. There's a reason you don't find many Revels preowned on the big E.

Revel worked very well for me and i settled on the M106 but they have cheaper models

Then you have-
Russel k (though I found thay have some port noise, though loads of bass as they have no damping and unusal port design)
and some of the Kef models

Opposites attract as they say.

Stay away from ATC your amp will not drive them well enough, no matter what the naim forum tells you.
and i found PMC a little boring on naim. (again my opinion)

And no speaker teach really hasn't advanced all that much some will have you believe its night and day and leagues ahead and its not and far from it. Most manufactures are still using off the shelf woofers (especially at mortals pricing) from 15/20 years ago, what has changed is tuning- better waveguide designs and crossover design. In fact, woofers have probably got cheaper than their original incarnations over the years ie stamped baskets.

Think that's the answer you're somewhat looking for, But heed the advice above and audition and at home if you can.

Have fun with your search!


Latest posts