B&W N805 vs Revel M20

Hi, I currently have a set of B&W CDM1 NT (with their matching FS-CDM stands) in a relatively small room. Would like to upgrade to either the N805 or the Revel M20 (both with stands). Which one do you recommend? One advantage that I see for the N805 is that they can be biwired/biamped. The M20 have only one set of terminals.

I am driving the speakers with an Arcam A32 100Wpc integrated amp. Thanks.
To me the "advantage" uyou describe the N805 having is really just a feature. Plenty of higher quality speakers have not bought into the concept of a two wirign posts available for biwiring. I have heard the Revel M-20 extensively and the N805 (non-sig) briefly. I saw only broefly becasue I was immediately nto a fan of the sound. Far too forward and hyper detailed. If you are into that then it is the better than the . However for the overall speaker I thought the M20 was in a different league. the N805 is one of my favorite B&W's but I didn't liek what it was doing in the room with Krell electronics (ap ossible culprit unto itself). I woudl go with the M20: more neutral, natural, and accurate, and musical. Also please look at:

Dynaudio 1.3 mk II or 1.3se (speakers i bought btw)
Merlin TSM (similair to the Dyns)
sonus Faber Signum (warmer than above)
Silverline Sr-17 (great price used, a richer Tsm sound, wonderful soundstaging0
Of course try to listen in yoru own home, these are all small speakers and can/shoudl be auditioned in your enviornment
The biwiring, as you said,is the only advantage you're going to get with the 805s. And it won't matter, soundwise, compared to the Revels anyway. I auditioned them against the M20s. Very quick audition for me. Does it really matter what I (or anyone) hear? Trust your ears. My ears, (I trust them all the time) said "buy the M 20s baby." If you like the 805s better; buy them. DO NOT buy the Revel stands. They suck big time. So do the 805 stands. If you're interested in killer speaker stands, read my review for the Sistrum Mini Monitor Platforms. It's in the archives. Funny, I just wrote it a few days ago. They're really worth the price. Check out their website after you read the review. I use them with my Revels. You'll freak. I can, also turn you on to a good place to purchase those babies (the Revels that is ).
I don't really care about biwiring as long as the M20 sound better. Biamping is another matter as it leaves you with a convenient or flexible options if you need more power (I would get a matching P35 for my A32). How are the M20s in terms of power needed? Would be 100Wpc @8ohms OK? I am leaning more and more towards the M20s, though, it seems that most people who have heard both the N805 and M20 prefer the later. I can arrange an audition with the Revel dist. in México.

warrenh, what is so bad about the standard Revel stands (aside from looking like a black flamingo). I am in México and it is more convenient if I get them here although I could buy them in the USA and then bring them here. Same with the speakers (what about that place to purchase)?

Thanks for the responses.
Both speakers need many hours of break-in. Many. If your dealer doesn't have 80 - 120 hours on either of these speakers, look for a dealer who does. I considered both of these speakers the last time I made a speaker purchase, and still when I listen to both of these, I easily chose one over the other.

However, Warrenh said it best - "Trust your ears."
Hey Gustavog,

I've owned the M-20s and they need power. I had them hooked up to a Krell KAV-500 with the very same 100 WPC and up to about medium sound levels they were only good. After that, at higher volume levels, the soundstage would collapse. The Krell could not handle the demands the M-20s put on it. Remember the M-20s are a 6-ohm load and are only 85 to 86 dbs of sensitivity. So they are relatively hard to drive. On the other hand, the '805s are an easier speaker to drive but I prfer the M-20s. Hope this helps. Happy hunting......John
Jrwr7, what are you using now to drive the M20s?
I preferred the N805 over the Revels. Just an opinion. I have a Rogue 99 pre which neither leaves my system overly bright or forward. I have plush carpet with substantial furniture. Trust your ears. Your room is very impt.
Hey Gustavog,

I've since sold my M-20s and bought the Dynaudio 1.3MkIIs. But before I let them go I was using the Plinius SA-250MkIV to drive them. This amp can drive a truck if hooked up right.....John
Jrwr7, and the natural question, why the Dynaudio 1.3MkIIs? Should I add another variable to my already complicated life?
Well...since you're now entertaining other speaker suggestions, and if you're open to a full-range floor standing speaker, I'd look at the Vandersteen 2ce Sigs. They will cost you much less than either the M20s or the N805s (with stands, and in the case of N20, with grills, too), but don't be fooled by the price. They are very impressive speakers.

FWIW...I own (4) B&W Nautilus 805s. I love the sound of them, and will always have a use for them, but my next system will be based around the Vandersteen line. If I couldn't have a second system, I'd add a 2nd REL Strata III to my N805s and be happy for life.

With any of the speakers so far listed in this thread, you really can't make a bad decision. Until I listened to the Vandersteen line, I hadn't found a product that I liked more than my N805s. For my room / placement / system / music, a N805 + REL Strata III is perfect. This combination is easy to work into a room, they look great, and sound amazing.

Note that I said "that I liked more". You'll never really know your options until you get out there and listen. I would have never even though about Vandersteen until I stumbled upon a dealer - I wasn't even looking to audition speakers (I wanted to hear tube amps).

And don't stress over this - this is supposed to be your "relaxing hobby".

I'll throw this back into your court, Gustavog. What do you like about these two speakers? What don't you like? What made you narrow your choice to these 2 models? What types of music do you listen to? What is your listening room like?

Are we having fun yet? Perhaps you could invite us all down (or up or sideways - depending on where we all live) to enjoy the sun and do some listening. I could use a vacation.
I lfeel that the M20s and N805s are both excellent at the 2K price point. Both benefit from quality stands. After listening to both, I preferred the 805s with the excellent dedicated Sound Anchor stands. However, the 805s will easily reveal any upstream problems. They also like a powerful, high current amplifier. IMO, a listener with very high quality(and musical) components will prefer the 805s for classic jazz, vocal, and classical music. Removing the grills will add an extra measure of clarity.
Best Wishes.
Nrenter, you are most welcomed to pop (down) by if in Mexico City. That's where I am. And my choices are determined in some way by that. It is part logistics, a bookshelf speaker is easier to move around (or bring from the US in one of my trips). Also, you don't have the widest choice here in Mexico but both the 805 and M20 are available. I can live without deep bass, btw. Hey, a couple of years ago I just had a portable cd player and some bose small active speakers. Bookshelf speakers are the next evolutionary step! was moving around the world about every 6-12 months for contracts. So everything I owned had to fit in two suitcases. Now I still travel but have a place I can call my own (or sorts) and can fill it with these things.

In the US among places there is large availability of audio gear, new or used. If there I will seriously consider used and probably would have gone for the b&w N803 or N804.

In any case my listening room is small to medium so it can be filled by small speakers and I listen to electronica, downtempo, lounge, classical, acid jazz...

My CDM1 NT still sound nice (the N805 and/or M20 would sound even better) so I am not completely seized upon by upgradetitis. If I am awake late at night chances are I am at the pub.
Hey Gustavog,

I bought the 1.3MkIIs because in an A-B comparison between them and the M-20s, I found the Dyns smoother in the highs (silk dome vs. aluminum dome tweeter) and they have a deeper and broader soundstage then the M-20. I found the M-20s to have a more forward, immediate sound, especially the highs, in my system, where the Dyns are more neutral and a little laidback in the highs. Of course this is all system dependent and some will find just the opposite with different equipment. If you can find them and get a listen I would highly recommend you take a listen to the 1.3MkIIs. Hope this helps......John
Well, I was sold, not by sound but by a very good deal on red cherry N805 + silver b&w stands. I might get to hear the M20 thought, as someone I know is interested in them and we might try them at my place. Hope I don't regret it...

In the meantime, the N805s sound great at my place: great imaging, tight bass (they do not go where they can't), very detailed. A vast improvement over my CDM1 NTs.

Thanks to all.
I think you'll be sorry when you hear the Revels. I found them far superior to the B&Ws.

Congrats on your purchase.

When you decide you want more low end, pick up a REL Strata III. If you can swing it, pick up 2 of them.
I think you'll be very pleased with your purchase. Everything upstream of your 805s will matter more as they reveal everything. The Revels are also very good, but IMO, ultimately less musical.

Best wishes.
The REL Strata III is on my wish list. later...

Right now I am waiting for a Musical Fidelity A324. After that, I think I'll settle down for a while and enjoy the music ;-)