B&W PM1 with JL sub or 805D?

I am kicking around the idea of getting either a pair of PM1's with a JL F110 sub or just getting an 805D by itself. They come to about the same price, so that is not a factor. Will the JL sub be able to make up for the lower mid-range that the PM1 will be lacking compared to the 805? Lord knows it will certailnly be far better in the low end. Curious what others think.

I have listened to the Pm1's by themselves and they were great, very open high end, airy, and excellent with the mid/upper range. I don't have a way to audition the 805d's though.

Thanks, Jeff
I have not listened to both. Unless the listening space is very small the 805D may be a better choice. PM1 will have the advantage in near field arrangements though the high frequency performance of the 805D will be superior with the diamond tweeter. The 805D also has larger scale and dynamic capabilities in comparison to the PM1(even if the latter is matched with a sub). Not forgetting the integration of subs and small bookshelves can be a hit and miss thing.
I just heard the B&W PM1s this past Wednesday mated to B&W's own PV1D subwoofer. This was a superb ensemble, and there was no lack in lower midrange, upper bass, lower bass, or pretty much anything else. The specs of the 805 and PM1 are not that different in frequency response and power handling. In fact the PM1 specs claim more treble extension. The main difference is that the PM1's sensitivity is rated at 84dB vs. the 805's 88 dB. Other than that, they're both linear down to around 42 Hz.

The PM1 goes deep enough that blending it with a good sub shouldn't be a problem. As much as I like JL subs, the all-B&W rig I heard Wednesday sounded so good I'd recommend you audition the PM1's with the PV1D sub before automatically going with the JL. The integration was superb.

At any rate, I'd go with the PM1's and a good sub. The PM1's draw you into the music with linearity, speed, punch, smoothness, extension, clarity, and excellent soundstage and imaging. I was very impressed.
Thanks for the replies. I guess I am concerned that I was going to be really missing something that the 805D delivered. I suppose that should be the case if they cost almost twice the money.

I think I will stick with the PM1's because I have listened to them and was blown away. Ignorance will be bliss, I will avoid listening to the 805's! The PM1's really did have an incredible soundstage. They were very open and airy with the classical music and the mid-range really delivered.

The question now will be to go with a B&W PV1 sub, like was mentioned in this thread. I have heard multiple reports that it is a great sub...very musical. It's also about $600 less than the JL f110. I am not as concerned about super low frequencies that will rattle the windows. I am more interested in them blending in with the PM1's and filling in the low end.
The biggest price difference between the 805 and PM1 is because the 805 has the diamond tweeter. The PM1 tweeter is very similar except it uses a carbon fiber damped aluminum dome instead. The fiber damping has a significant effect on the behavior or a metal dome. I have several Mirage speakers which all use a titanium dome tweeter, but it's damped by a cloth surround. It's a sweet seductive tweeter with air and detail, but no harshness or ringing.

Having a more conventional but well-executed tweeter dome saves a lot of money, freeing up the cash for a good subwoofer (or two). The demo I heard was put on by B&W, so they were keen to show off how good the PM1 is. I was very impressed. It had much of the speed and transparency of the Wilson Alexandria XLF, though of course not the dynamic range or scale. But it had that core transparency and ability to draw listeners into the music that is so essential.
Johnny, you are comparing the PM1 and sub, to a two hundred thousand dollar speaker?

03-06-12: Toddnkaya
Johnny, you are comparing the PM1 and sub, to a two hundred thousand dollar speaker?
I made it clear that the PM1 can't do what the Alexandria XLF does in frequency extension, dynamics, and ability to fill a large room. But when augmented with a well-matched, very fast subwoofer, properly set up, and in an appropriate size room, the PM1 has that resonance-free highly resolving immediacy that draws you into the music much the same way the Wilson's did, and far more realistically than the $95K Wisdoms system did that night.

It won't do it with everything you throw at it like the Alexandrias, nor will the delivery be quite as visceral, nor would it be suitable to a very large room. But it definitely makes a lot of magic for $2500 (or $4800 fully configured--$500 for the stands and $1800 for the sub).

This was an annual vendor open house at Seattle's best-known high end store. B&W could have demoed anything including the Nautilus. But the PM1 and matching sub is what they chose to show off, and for good reason.
The April issue of TAS reviews the PM1 and directly compares it to the 805D. According to the reviewer, the extra $2+K for the 805D does not buy you extra bass, but rather more transparency and treble detail. If anything, the reviewer felt that the PM1 has more bass, or more perceived bass and the 805D has a leaner tonal balance. Therefore if you spent the extra money on the 805D you'd also be wanting a sub very soon.

He made it clear that the PM1 isn't lacking in speed, clarity or transparency, just that the 805D has more of it. Between the two I think the PM1 would be easier to live with, with or without a sub. I heard the PM1s with the B&W sub and I could easily live with that in a mid-sized room on a wide variety of program material.
Seems like it depends on the type of music you listen to. Is it Pink Floyd or small scale acoustic? Might make a difference.

I find it tough to find a good speaker with an awesome midrange and deep bass for under 10k used. The smaller speaker with a great midrange and a good sub is a good path in your price range. You might want to go with the D and later pick up a nice sub.
I own the PM1's and the PV1D, which goes down to 7hz...yup! They are freakin awesome speakers. In my medium size room, they deliver a similiar gestalt to that of my Wilson 6's in a larger room. They are a breakthrough product for B&W and offer a more musical experience than some of their other designs...less leanness and forwardness. The 805D's will be re-worked shortly without a doubt.
Yah, an online reviewer just compared the PM1's to the Focal Diablos directly and quite favorably. Probably one of the greatest bang for the buck speakers available. From B&W no less. I am toying with the idea of putting them in a largish home theater room 3 across the front, scms side surrounds.