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I am one of those people who likes to upgrade once and not look back for many years to come. If you are serious about having a SOTA, long-term system and wish to make big jumps in quality, the B&W 800, 801 and 802 are serious speakers that could last you a long, long time. With the 800 and 801, you will want to have big-time power to drive them...not just watts...think current...high current. If you are going to be in this hobby for a while, and if your amp can drive the bigger B&Ws "okay" for now...i would do that...and then next i would look to upgrade the amp. Trust me - a really powerful, high quality amp will have transformational affect on your B&W 800, 801, 802. Those speakers can absorb power...a lot of it...and continue to improve with better and better power. the CDMs could move to the rear, and pehaps you could keep the 602s in a second system or trade them in to your dealer as part of your next purchase. What you will quickly find is that the sub goes thereafter...and then you are into the SOTA arena.
my two cents. enjoy!!!
I nearly have the same as you and upgraded over time. I have the Pioneer Elite 94TXH as it had 140 wpc for my 602s..I bought a pair of CDM 7NTs and replaced those fronts with those CDMs and it made the world of difference especially in the bass dept. I was also lucky enought to score a B&K reference 200.7 (seven channels at 200 wpc) to use pre outs on the Elite...MAJOR DIFFERENCE...the B&Ws loved the added juice. If you can find a multi channel power amp and use the pre outs off the Elite your speakers will love you as well as your ears.
Depending on what level you're looking to go to I think the 800 series could be overkill. Here's why. Your CDM1s are probably fine for home theater use, and in my humble opinion the center channel and sub are the most important speakers to get right in terms of impact/enjoyment factor.
I'm not a fan of B&W speakers overall although I respect them a good deal. But I have to say a friend of mine had a Matrix setup and had the Matrix HTM center channel speaker (the one with one midwoof and the tweeter mounted on top -- see link below), and that speaker just sounded dead on balls perfect for TV and movies. No chesty colorations, plenty of grunt for deep male vocals, no discontinuities in sound from left to right so prevalent in many centers with two midwoofs flanking the tweeter, etc. If I were you I'd keep my CDMs, find a used Matrix HTM and possibly upgrade the sub (not sure how good your is, but maybe look at something like a Hsu STF2) and just enjoy. I'd bet there's enough house sound synergy between the Matrix HTM and your CDMs to be more than compatible.
Here's a link to some images in case it's helpful:
Anyway, for what it's worth and best of luck.
would it be best to get a newer 805 and a good sub. than the used nautilus or s series and keep my older not so good sub? i hear that the highs and mids are better on the book shelf 805's than the higher up of the series. i wouldn't know. i love the 800 to 802 look. but too much for home theater applications? lets face it. the left and right channel in home theater are more about mids and highs, the sub takes the rest anyway. or am i wrong?
I think upper bass still plays a role in home theater...and as a result a bigger speaker will handle the 75hz-120hz range with greater authority than the 805 will. And while the sub can go up that high...it will likely have a tendency to be boomy up that high and not as clean as an 800-802 series. my two cents.
I can say from my experience that the matrix series works well for HT. My setup is 802s for mains, HTM for center, 805s for sides. The consistent voicing of the speakers works very well in the room. For subs, the JL audio mates well with the matrix series. But as others have posted, the more high current power the better for the B&Ws.
Also, I wouldn't hesitate to use the 805s with the JL audio F112, which had a wider FR.
I recently updated my three front speakers in my home theatre set-up. I had paradigm signature S1(v2), c1(v2) center and adp1's(v2) in piano black. I'm running a Onkyo pro 885 pre and a Parasound HCA 2205AT(220x5) power amp. My sub is a SVS PB13 Ultra in piano black all in a 20x8x14 room.
I was finding for movies I was missing some impact(midbass), dynamics from movies and music. So I upgraded to the Signature S2's(v3) and C1(v3) center and kept the surrounds the same. I wanted to stay away from floor standing speakers as I still have my SVS beast(and I mean"beast").
All I can say is "wow". For the additional price difference of new S2's(v3) and a 2 month old perfect used c3(v3) it was my best investment. The soundstage and frontal impact, dynamics is truly amazing. Im also hearing things i never heard before than i did with my smaller sigs. From bigger, more efficient drivers, and efficiency of 5-6 db and still having bookshelf speakers is for the most part esthetically pleasing.
For music the upgrade was definitely astonishing.
My advice is a seperate power amp is definitly a must. Also find a good subwoofer and eq it will be very substantial to your overall sound. Check out the Paradigm Sig S2's(v3) and the SVS PB13 ultra or the SVS SB13. Exemplary reviews online.
If we are talking pure HT, buy some used Klipsch. They made my Paradigm reference system sound weak, small, and lacked a lot. Ive owned a ton of speaker sets & Klipsch is as good as anything for HT IMO, and much cheaper.
I'm using a all KLF 30/20 setup. Bob Crites titanium diaphrams are a must with KLF's IMO. Have a SVS Ultra 12/2 for LFE
well... i own the cdm and 602's.... was going to craigslist them and the one that doesn't sell i was going to keep.... but then i found the 703 for 1,000. figure i could get more than that out of them if i do not like them.... i am bi camping the fronts for right now... about 260 watts per speaker for right now....