Stick with the same B&W series for the mains. Integrating with the centre is critical.
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I'm currently using the Marantz sr5004 but I am upgrading to the Marantz sr7005, btw it had a great review by Home Theater magazine.
the Marantz sr5004 handled my b&w lcr600 center and 602's with no problem. I'm Also looking at b&w 805 matrix.
I am using HDMI for both audio/video, I've been satisfied with digital sound so far, the sr7005 is rated at 125 wpc.
How do I put this. Previous generations of BW 800 series speakers are somewhat surgical tools and will ruthlessly expose even minor system weaknesses. 125 AVR watts do not equal 125 mid to hi fi stereo amplifier watts. At least the older version of the 805 is going to be much happier with the later (or more) vs the former. On the other hand, I have found the precurssor to the CM1, the BW 705 to be much more forgiving of lesser amps. Now I have heard AVR's that are really very good and the latest big Arcam could drive some very demanding Dynaudio Contours quite well. Is the Marantz sr7005 in the same league as the Arcam? I would look for some used 700 series or towards the new CM line unless another AVR upgrade is not to far down the road. I am completely open to correction on this point, but this is how I see it.
Let me first say that prior to retiring, I worked 25 years in the audio industry, designing and selling systems for stereo or home theater, with B&W being one of the brands used.
The CM1 was actually introduced prior to the 705, along with a CM2 which was very similar to the current CM5. These never seem to become very popular with the CM2 being discontinued. I will say that I do not know if there is any difference between the current CM1 and the original, although appearance is the same.
I do agree that speakers and amplifier should be matched for the best performance, and yes, the upper models from B&W deserve the best in electronics. Also, I would only recommend a bookshelf on the current AVR, and possibly with the upgraded one as well. These will be less demanding on the amplifier, especially being able to use the crossover to remove low bass. Its true that using the crossover on the tower will have the same result, but that defeats the purpose for using a tower.
So, what speaker? We have always been told that a Home Theater system should be timbre matched. Well, an absolute perfect match is to have 5 or 7 identical speakers. I proved this many times over the years with systems I designed. Therefore, since basically an 805 is being used for the center channel, the fronts should be 805s as well. These would need to be the original, called Nautilus 805, and not 805S, the new 805D, or the older Matrix 805. Now, it is true that the 800 series can be ruthless in revealing the electronics in front of them and the 705 is more forgiving, but the matching center for 705 is a HTM7.
Doing some research on the Marantz SR7005, the 805s and HTM2 should work OK, however, as I said, these speakers deserve better. You can always try the combination, and should it not be to your liking, then upgrade the electronics again, or drop back on the speakers to the new 600 series. They are much better than your current 600s. The B&W 800 series of speakers are usually easy to sell.
In reference to the LCR600, I did a system years ago using 5 of these with an AVR equal to the SR7005 at that time. Also, 2 subwoofers were used since that will help eliminate standing waves. The system sounded much better than many systems that were quite a bit more expensive.
Good Luck with your decision.
First let me thank you for your informative thread.
From what I understand I should be looking for a different AVR if I decide to go with the 805's or better.
I enjoy my HT & music played in my family room mostly at (-15 db) with my current avr.
Now that you have clarified some of my questions, I need to decide wich way to go, I'm on my way to listen to the 686 and CM1's
Tls49, I pretty much concur with everything in your post. I do believe the current CM1 is a different animal than the older model, with more recent trickle down from the 800 series. I really like the CM1, 5 and 7. I have not had a serious listen to the CM9 yet, but people I trust like it very much. I. Like the 685 too.
Tesseract86, you are most welcome.
Knownothing, I now remember the original CM1 did not have the Nautilus tweeter tube that is used in the new one, and there may be other differences.
The 600 series is great sound for the money. The CM series is better, however some of the higher price is paying for real wood veneer on the cabinet.