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Power Amp recommendation for B&W CM9 S2

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sound10

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2010
41
2
18,545
dakchi said:
sound10 said:
Hi dakchi, nice to meet you. I have the CM9 S2"s with the Marantz PM8005 and they make a fantastic combination. Plenty of power and current to drive the CM9's really well. With regards to needing a power amplifier to drive these speakers well I don't think that is necessary at all imho. From looking at the Cambridge Audio amplifier specs I can't see any reason why the amp would have any issues driving the CM9's unless you like to listen at extremely high volume levels or you have a massive room to fill with sound. Just to add that Marantz and Rotel amplifiers go well with Bowers & Wilkins. Perhaps Cambridge Audio products don't and that is where the issue could be. Just to add the Marantz PM8005 is now just under 600.00. That is a fantastic price and will work very well with your CM9's. Hope this helps :)
Hi sound10,

Thank you for your response. Actually, the Cambridge goes very well with the CM9 and I get very nice musicality. However, I hear everywhere that the CM9 will perform better with powerful amp with high current. I am happy with what I hear now, but if it is worth is, I can add a power amp or even change the Cambridge if there will be a significant improvment. I haven't tried the CM9 with more powerful amp to judge. Maybe I don't have to listen to what people say, as long as I'm happy with what I get. It's my constant search for perfection *fool*
Hi dakchi thanks for your reply. Believe me you don't need a power amplifier for the CM9's. As long as you are getting good sound at the volume levels you like that is all that matters. Just to add that on my Marantz I have never needed to go past 9 o clock on the volume dial. That is very loud for me and I normally listen to music a lot lower than that :)
 

sound10

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2010
41
2
18,545
Just out of interest dakchi how high on the dial are you needing to take the volume on your Cambridge Audio to enjoy your music? Having spoken to Bowers & Wilkins technical, they recommend never to take the volume dial past 12 o clock as it could introduce clipping and potentially damage the speaker.
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
308
85
10,970
drummerman said:
I suspect some of the warmth you hear is due to the amplifier loosing a little grip at low frequency, specifically the dip at just under 100 hz as pointed out by Vladimir. How much of this is due to speaker voicing (or cabinet contribution) I don't know.

A more current capable amplifier will provide grip at these dips where others may struggle. More so the louder you play.

Now, the possible downside of using one of these 'current monsters' is that you could loose that warmth because of the extra grip by the amplifier.

So you may have a technically superior solution on paper but something that may or may not be as nice to listen to.

The 8005 probably has a similar spec to your amplifier.

Your speakers (well, the 10's as pointed out in the test) seem unusually difficult to drive if you look at EDPR but the 2.9 ohm 'minimum' is actually quite normal by modern floor slander standards. Unfortunately the dip at around a 100 hz could be audible depending on how broad it is and depending on how your current amplifier is able to deal with it.

Does that mean you need to change it? Not necessarily. As said, the resulting warmth could be appealing.

Could your speakers sound better? Possibly but it is nigh on impossible to predict this as your room will have just as much if not more influence on the result.

The only way to find out is to borrow another amp and see.

Perhaps not the advise/help you expected but things are rarely equal.
I agree I would not want the op to waste his money on some pointless upgrades I would personally i would want to work with the speakers so if it was me I would change the amplifier to something a little more powerful that will handle his speakers properly .
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
1
0
I suspect some of the warmth you hear is due to the amplifier loosing a little grip at low frequency, specifically the dip at just under 100 hz as pointed out by Vladimir. How much of this is due to speaker voicing (or cabinet contribution) I don't know.

A more current capable amplifier will provide grip at these dips where others may struggle. More so the louder you play.

Now, the possible downside of using one of these 'current monsters' is that you could loose that warmth because of the extra grip by the amplifier.

So you may have a technically superior solution on paper but something that may or may not be as nice to listen to.

The 8005 probably has a similar spec to your amplifier.

Your speakers (well, the 10's as pointed out in the test) seem unusually difficult to drive if you look at EDPR but the 2.9 ohm 'minimum' is actually quite normal by modern floor slander standards. Unfortunately the dip at around a 100 hz could be audible depending on how broad it is and depending on how your current amplifier is able to deal with it.

Does that mean you need to change it? Not necessarily. As said, the resulting warmth could be appealing.

Could your speakers sound better? Possibly but it is nigh on impossible to predict this as your room will have just as much if not more influence on the result.

The only way to find out is to borrow another amp and see.

Perhaps not the advise/help you expected but things are rarely equal.

Would I have to recommend an alternative to your amp with more current/power I'd look at the higher powered Musical Fidelity, Leema Tucana as mentioned in another thread, Electrocompaniet and other higher models able to deliver decent power into low loads.

The Abrahamsen mentioned by Vlad is also a possibility for less money. Power is about the same as your Cambridge but with a big supply. Worth checking with all amps whether current supply into low loads is protection limited though as some big Rotel do to give one example.
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
220
4
0
drummerman said:
I suspect some of the warmth you hear is due to the amplifier loosing a little grip at low frequency, specifically the dip at just under 100 hz as pointed out by Vladimir. How much of this is due to speaker voicing (or cabinet contribution) I don't know.
That's how CM range sounds, warm or dull, depending on music material.

The problem with Abrahamsen is its well dimensioned input sensitivity. You need to really turn up the dial to go loud and this feels emasculating, which is so ironic with this amp. People can't seem to wrap their heads arround inputs above 150mV.
 

sound10

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2010
41
2
18,545
Having looked at the specs and video showing the internal components of the Cambridge Audio amplifier it seems to be very well made with a good and powerful toroidal power supply. However I am unable to find what the actual rating is of the power supply. I do know that in my Marantz it has a 625VA toroidal power supply. Having said that when I do upgrade to the CM10's I will be upgrading my amplifier just to give the CM10's a bit more power and also get better stereo separation. My advice would be dakchi that if you really do want to upgrade your amplifier then make sure you have a demo of different amplifiers with the CM9's and see what you think. The combination of Cambridge Audio and Bowers & Wilkins might be generally difficult anyway because Richer Sounds who sell Cambridge Audio products don't also sell Bowers and Wilkins.
 

dakchi

New member
Apr 9, 2011
18
0
0
sound10 said:
Just out of interest dakchi how high on the dial are you needing to take the volume on your Cambridge Audio to enjoy your music? Having spoken to Bowers & Wilkins technical, they recommend never to take the volume dial past 12 o clock as it could introduce clipping and potentially damage the speaker.
I usually listen at 9-10. I have never reached 12

Those speakers are just increadible. I had a pair of Monitor Audio RX6 before and the difference is day and night with the same amp. Cambridge is a good amp for the music I listen to (jazz, vocals rock). But I have the feeling that it is not as good with electronic music. Marantz makes great amp too. I had a PM6005 with the RX6 and was impressed how good it is for the price I paid.

Anyway, based on your replies, I feel that it is not necessary to change the amp of add a power amp. I asked the question regarding amp specs just for my knowledge if I have to change my setup in the future. I always hear people saying that power supply is important, but I don't know how this is reflected in amp specs

Out of curiosity, why would the separated tweeter in the CM10 bring an added value compared to the integrated one in the CM9?
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
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0
Got a headache now. Can't remember the last time I've written that much.

Note to myself ... keep it short :)
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
220
4
0
dakchi said:
sound10 said:
Hi dakchi, nice to meet you. I have the CM9 S2"s with the Marantz PM8005 and they make a fantastic combination. Plenty of power and current to drive the CM9's really well. With regards to needing a power amplifier to drive these speakers well I don't think that is necessary at all imho. From looking at the Cambridge Audio amplifier specs I can't see any reason why the amp would have any issues driving the CM9's unless you like to listen at extremely high volume levels or you have a massive room to fill with sound. Just to add that Marantz and Rotel amplifiers go well with Bowers & Wilkins. Perhaps Cambridge Audio products don't and that is where the issue could be. Just to add the Marantz PM8005 is now just under 600.00. That is a fantastic price and will work very well with your CM9's. Hope this helps :)
Hi sound10,

Thank you for your response. Actually, the Cambridge goes very well with the CM9 and I get very nice musicality. However, I hear everywhere that the CM9 will perform better with powerful amp with high current. I am happy with what I hear now, but if it is worth is, I can add a power amp or even change the Cambridge if there will be a significant improvment. I haven't tried the CM9 with more powerful amp to judge. Maybe I don't have to listen to what people say, as long as I'm happy with what I get. It's my constant search for perfection *fool*
Not better. More. More of what you already have.

Some people listen slightly louder, sitting slightly further away, with slightly more furniture dampening, in a slightly larger room. All that slightly can add up to significant power demand on the amplifier in transient peaks.

We barely notice +3db increase in loudness and an amplifier needs to double its power output for +3db. To hear music twice as loud we need +10db, which makes 10W into 100W demand for the amp.

Only possible qualitative gain you would have upgrading the CA will be in lower frequency control, tighter and faster bass. Maybe, or could be no noticable benefits with your listening habbits, music taste etc. The real variable is you.
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
1
0
dakchi said:
sound10 said:
Just out of interest dakchi how high on the dial are you needing to take the volume on your Cambridge Audio to enjoy your music? Having spoken to Bowers & Wilkins technical, they recommend never to take the volume dial past 12 o clock as it could introduce clipping and potentially damage the speaker.
I usually listen at 9-10. I have never reached 12

Those speakers are just increadible. I had a pair of Monitor Audio RX6 before and the difference is day and night with the same amp. Cambridge is a good amp for the music I listen to (jazz, vocals rock). But I have the feeling that it is not as good with electronic music. Marantz makes great amp too. I had a PM6005 with the RX6 and was impressed how good it is for the price I paid.

Anyway, based on your replies, I feel that it is not necessary to change the amp of add a power amp. I asked the question regarding amp specs just for my knowledge if I have to change my setup in the future. I always hear people saying that power supply is important, but I don't know how this is reflected in amp specs

Out of curiosity, why would the separated tweeter in the CM10 bring an added value compared to the integrated one in the CM9?
B&W USP.

It makes a distinction between the range too.

It can be of advantage for time alignment and some vibration isolation too but I suspect it's mostly marketing.

Some very, very good speakers have tweeters in the same cabinet.
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
220
4
0
dakchi said:
sound10 said:
Just out of interest dakchi how high on the dial are you needing to take the volume on your Cambridge Audio to enjoy your music? Having spoken to Bowers & Wilkins technical, they recommend never to take the volume dial past 12 o clock as it could introduce clipping and potentially damage the speaker.
I usually listen at 9-10. I have never reached 12

Those speakers are just increadible. I had a pair of Monitor Audio RX6 before and the difference is day and night with the same amp. Cambridge is a good amp for the music I listen to (jazz, vocals rock). But I have the feeling that it is not as good with electronic music. Marantz makes great amp too. I had a PM6005 with the RX6 and was impressed how good it is for the price I paid.CM9?
Pffffff. I'm done with this upgraditis thread. The damn CA probably has never gone mildly warm.
 

sound10

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2010
41
2
18,545
dakchi said:
sound10 said:
Just out of interest dakchi how high on the dial are you needing to take the volume on your Cambridge Audio to enjoy your music? Having spoken to Bowers & Wilkins technical, they recommend never to take the volume dial past 12 o clock as it could introduce clipping and potentially damage the speaker.
I usually listen at 9-10. I have never reached 12

Those speakers are just increadible. I had a pair of Monitor Audio RX6 before and the difference is day and night with the same amp. Cambridge is a good amp for the music I listen to (jazz, vocals rock). But I have the feeling that it is not as good with electronic music. Marantz makes great amp too. I had a PM6005 with the RX6 and was impressed how good it is for the price I paid.

Anyway, based on your replies, I feel that it is not necessary to change the amp of add a power amp. I asked the question regarding amp specs just for my knowledge if I have to change my setup in the future. I always hear people saying that power supply is important, but I don't know how this is reflected in amp specs

Out of curiosity, why would the separated tweeter in the CM10 bring an added value compared to the integrated one in the CM9?
Hi dakchi good to hear. If you are getting the desired volume levels between 9 to 10 on the Cambridge Audio that means it's doing it's job well and giving enough power to the CM9's for you to enjoy your music. With regards to the CM9's vs the CM10's the two differences are that the CM10 has the tweeter on top and an extra bass driver. That should give the speaker a slightly better low with regards to bass. However the tweeter on top should have a bigger effect on the sound as compared with the CM9. Better treble and better dispersion of the treble. I just felt like upgrading my system. I've had it for a few years and just wanted to go a bit higher. Having said that the CM9 S2 is a superb speaker in it's own right capable of filling most rooms with excellent sound. Keep enjoying your music. You have a nice set up :)
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
220
4
0
drummerman said:
dakchi said:
sound10 said:
Just out of interest dakchi how high on the dial are you needing to take the volume on your Cambridge Audio to enjoy your music? Having spoken to Bowers & Wilkins technical, they recommend never to take the volume dial past 12 o clock as it could introduce clipping and potentially damage the speaker.
I usually listen at 9-10. I have never reached 12

Those speakers are just increadible. I had a pair of Monitor Audio RX6 before and the difference is day and night with the same amp. Cambridge is a good amp for the music I listen to (jazz, vocals rock). But I have the feeling that it is not as good with electronic music. Marantz makes great amp too. I had a PM6005 with the RX6 and was impressed how good it is for the price I paid.

Anyway, based on your replies, I feel that it is not necessary to change the amp of add a power amp. I asked the question regarding amp specs just for my knowledge if I have to change my setup in the future. I always hear people saying that power supply is important, but I don't know how this is reflected in amp specs

Out of curiosity, why would the separated tweeter in the CM10 bring an added value compared to the integrated one in the CM9?
B&W USP.

It makes a distinction between the range too.

It can be of advantage for time alignment and some vibration isolation too but I suspect it's mostly marketing.

Some very, very good speakers have tweeters in the same cabinet.
And cabinet reflections. See the engineering story behind the Nautilus. Certainly not just marketing. Thousands other designs also detach MF HF from LF enclosures.
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
308
85
10,970
sound10 said:
dakchi said:
sound10 said:
Just out of interest dakchi how high on the dial are you needing to take the volume on your Cambridge Audio to enjoy your music? Having spoken to Bowers & Wilkins technical, they recommend never to take the volume dial past 12 o clock as it could introduce clipping and potentially damage the speaker.
I usually listen at 9-10. I have never reached 12

Those speakers are just increadible. I had a pair of Monitor Audio RX6 before and the difference is day and night with the same amp. Cambridge is a good amp for the music I listen to (jazz, vocals rock). But I have the feeling that it is not as good with electronic music. Marantz makes great amp too. I had a PM6005 with the RX6 and was impressed how good it is for the price I paid.

Anyway, based on your replies, I feel that it is not necessary to change the amp of add a power amp. I asked the question regarding amp specs just for my knowledge if I have to change my setup in the future. I always hear people saying that power supply is important, but I don't know how this is reflected in amp specs

Out of curiosity, why would the separated tweeter in the CM10 bring an added value compared to the integrated one in the CM9?
Hi dakchi good to hear. If you are getting the desired volume levels between 9 to 10 on the Cambridge Audio that means it's doing it's job well and giving enough power to the CM9's for you to enjoy your music. With regards to the CM9's vs the CM10's the two differences are that the CM10 has the tweeter on top and an extra bass driver. That should give the speaker a slightly better low with regards to bass. However the tweeter on top should have a bigger effect on the sound as compared with the CM9. Better treble and better dispersion of the treble. I just felt like upgrading my system. I've had it for a few years and just wanted to go a bit higher. Having said that the CM9 S2 is a superb speaker in it's own right capable of filling most rooms with excellent sound. Keep enjoying your music. You have a nice set up :)
yep agree been looking around to see what power the power supply is but can not find nothing in the spec sheet to say what its output is . but the spec of the cx80 looks pretty good what they do state so should ok with your b&w cm9's
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
220
4
0
CAMBRIDGE AUDIO CXA80

750 VA transformer

27,200 uF filter caps bank

15A 160W Sanken output transistors

Japanese ALPS potentiometer

Wolfson WM8740 DAC

Now we can all sleep at night.
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
308
85
10,970
Vladimir said:
CAMBRIDGE AUDIO CXA80

750 VA transformer

27,200 uF filter caps bank

15A 160W Sanken output transistors

Japanese ALPS potentiometer

Wolfson WM8740 DAC

Now we can all sleep at night.
*yes3*i can sleep now i looked but could not find anything .

i will just rename you google search *blum3*
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
220
4
0
YAMAHA A-S2100 *man_in_love*

700VA KGCOMP Japan EI transformer, 88.000uF Nichicon capacitor bank, million Nichicon gold tune caps and blue drops throughout, Alps pot, Sanken 20A 150W MOSFETs
 

sound10

Well-known member
Jun 29, 2010
41
2
18,545
Vladimir said:
CAMBRIDGE AUDIO CXA80

750 VA transformer

27,200 uF filter caps bank

15A 160W Sanken output transistors

Japanese ALPS potentiometer

Wolfson WM8740 DAC

Now we can all sleep at night.
Thanks Vladimir. That amplifier certainly has some nice and very good quality internal components :)
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
1
0
sound10 said:
Vladimir said:
CAMBRIDGE AUDIO CXA80

750 VA transformer

27,200 uF filter caps bank

15A 160W Sanken output transistors

Japanese ALPS potentiometer

Wolfson WM8740 DAC

Now we can all sleep at night.
Thanks Vladimir. That amplifier certainly has some nice and very good quality internal components :)
... and yet, a certain mag has given the smaller 60 better marks.

Now whether you believe the review or not, I have myself experienced that more is not always better.

Looks better on paper and size perhaps matters to some extend an in certain instances but it certainly is no guarantee for satisfaction.

It shouldn't matter as all amplifiers sound the same right ... .
 

dakchi

New member
Apr 9, 2011
18
0
0
Thanks Vladimir. I have the confirmation now that my amp will do the job

@Vlad, see you in the power cable thread *biggrin*
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
220
4
0
drummerman said:
sound10 said:
Vladimir said:
CAMBRIDGE AUDIO CXA80

750 VA transformer

27,200 uF filter caps bank

15A 160W Sanken output transistors

Japanese ALPS potentiometer

Wolfson WM8740 DAC

Now we can all sleep at night.
Thanks Vladimir. That amplifier certainly has some nice and very good quality internal components :)
... and yet, a certain mag has given the smaller 60 better marks.

Now whether you believe the review or not, I have myself experienced that more is not always better.

Looks better on paper and size perhaps matters to some extend an in certain instances but it certainly is no guarantee for satisfaction.

It shouldn't matter as all amplifiers sound the same right ... .
Please elaborate this in greater detail. 15-20 paragraphs will suffice. *biggrin*
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
540
1
0
Vladimir said:
drummerman said:
sound10 said:
Vladimir said:
CAMBRIDGE AUDIO CXA80

750 VA transformer

27,200 uF filter caps bank

15A 160W Sanken output transistors

Japanese ALPS potentiometer

Wolfson WM8740 DAC

Now we can all sleep at night.
Thanks Vladimir. That amplifier certainly has some nice and very good quality internal components :)
... and yet, a certain mag has given the smaller 60 better marks.

Now whether you believe the review or not, I have myself experienced that more is not always better.

Looks better on paper and size perhaps matters to some extend an in certain instances but it certainly is no guarantee for satisfaction.

It shouldn't matter as all amplifiers sound the same right ... .
Please elaborate this in greater detail. 15-20 paragraphs will suffice. *biggrin*
Mind if I pass ... ?
 

Blacksabbath25

Well-known member
Sep 20, 2015
308
85
10,970
Vladimir said:
YAMAHA A-S2100 *man_in_love*

700VA KGCOMP Japan EI transformer, 88.000uF Nichicon capacitor bank, million Nichicon gold tune caps and blue drops throughout, Alps pot, Sanken 20A 150W MOSFETs ​
yep I had the case off mine

because one day the amp went into protection mode after plunging in some headphones which at the time I tried everything to get the amplifier out of protection mode so it was a headache to be honest .

anyway I YouTube it on how to take the amplifier out of protection mode I found out that you have to turn all of the noobs fully one way to get it to come out of protection mode but it was a close call because I nearly had taken the amplifier back to the shop because I thought I had a fault . But it was nearly brown paints time .
 

Vladimir

New member
Dec 26, 2013
220
4
0
Blacksabbath25 said:
Vladimir said:
YAMAHA A-S2100 *man_in_love*

700VA KGCOMP Japan EI transformer, 88.000uF Nichicon capacitor bank, million Nichicon gold tune caps and blue drops throughout, Alps pot, Sanken 20A 150W MOSFETs ​
yep I had the case off mine

because one day the amp went into protection mode after plunging in some headphones which at the time I tried everything to get the amplifier out of protection mode so it was a headache to be honest .

anyway I YouTube it on how to take the amplifier out of protection mode I found out that you have to turn all of the noobs fully one way to get it to come out of protection mode but it was a close call because I nearly had taken the amplifier back to the shop because I thought I had a fault . But it was nearly brown paints time .
Generally we are not suposed to plug in or unplug headphones while amp is working with cans switched on and signal playing. Every inserting or taking the socket out, you short out the amp.
 

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