I have been looking for an Amp also. Either Aragon or McCormack. The cd player is a Cary 308.
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Well I have owned both. For me it is no question, the CDM-NT series was/is superior in all areas except for bass extension. I havent heard the new 700 series but they are based on the same drivers. So I suspect they are very similar.
Dont get me wrong the Studio's are great. However, the extra 30% to 50% cost for the B & W is well worth it. IMO. I would give both a listen, at home in your system if you can, or side by side at the least. Let us know what you think, I am curious what the new 700s sound like myself.
McCormack make great amps, BTW.
I spent two hours yesterday listening to the B&W 703's and they sound great. Compared to the B&W CDM 9NT, I found the 703's highs to be smoother and the bass more pronounced (yet very tight).
For overall clarity and detail I prefered the 703 to the Studio 100. Although the Studio 100 had a bit more bass extension, to my ears, the bass was not as tight as the B&W. I also prefered the B&W CDM 9NT over the Studio 100, but the Studio 100 does cost less and offers a great dollar-for-dollar value.
If you don't mind spending a lot of extra money, buy the B&W's. You will not find a better sounding speaker for under $2000 than the studio 100's, period. Go to www.audioreview.com and read the reviews. I would also recommend going to paradigms web site and reading the science behind these beauties. To find a speaker that sounds better than the studio 100's you will need to up to 3 times what the paradigms sell for just to get a comparable sound. I'm running a 5.1 system powered buy Nakamichi equipment and my Paradigms sound Beautiful. These babies are power hungry so you will need a good amp to drive them.
Wow. You really seem to be limiting your choices both in speakers and amps. Not that the ones you listed aren't very good products(by the way, I have a McCormack DNA 0.5 Rev. A), it's just that you are really in a sweet spot price-wise and it would be a shame if you couldn't broaden your horizons a bit to see what else is out there. Off the top I'd list Silverline, Soliloquy, Audio Physic, Triangle, Von Schweikert, Meadowlark, VMPS, and Coincident Tech. that compete in that range, most of which I'd take over the B&Ws or the Paradigms. Of course that's a personal choice, but you can gain a lot if you can manage to venture a little out of the mainstream. Don't even bother shopping for an amp until you've identified the speakers that really float your boat -- just my opinion. Best of luck.
I am assuming you have already at least auditioned these pieces to narrow them down to this short list. If you feel sure that these are what you are after, I would go with the Paradigms as well. I owned a pair of B&W N804 speakers and sold them for Studio 100.2s. I haven't regretted it one bit except that the 804s looked better. The 100.2s are wonderful speakers if you give them good clean power. Their dynamics are impressive and I don't find them to be unclear at all, regardless of the input. Compared to the the B&W, the bass is more full, the mids are richer, and the sound is overall more "coherent" which gives great rhythm to all types of music. I use McIntosh amps with mine, chosen over McCormack 125, Classe 100, and Krell KSA 100 (among others) in my system. Audition however because synergy doesn't come easily. I haven't yet heard the new versions so in my recommendation I am assuming they continue with their respective family-sound characteristic. Best of luck - Arthur
Both good speakers, you gotta listen for yourself. Aball, I agree nautilus tweeters are not for everyone. I own studio 100 v.2 and didn't really like the B&W that much better till the 803's but they were more than I was willing to spend at the time. For what its worth, heard the v.3 in a large room in an audio shop and thought the mid/high were probably better than the v.2. Hard to compare the bass in that unfimiliar enviroment but guess I would trade for the newer version if the right deal came along (although I believe the real wood veneer is not available on the v.3). Still waiting to hear Paradigm's signature series and the new Revels though.
I auditioned the N802 but owned the N804. I reread my previous post and I did get it scrambled somehow. Seems like I consistently got 802 and 804 swapped around that day. All the posts before that one are correct though. The 804s were a great local deal so I bought them to try them out. I didn't like the treble much and prefer the Paradigm IN MY SYSTEM (that includes myself). I have auditioned the 802 a few times at dealers and briefly at home but I can't afford them yet. I am very happy with my 100.2 although the 804s did look better. Arthur
I was the first person in Chicago to purchase the B&W 703's
I also auditioned the 100.3's . I did feel the the bass was much more prevelent with the 100.3's But i also thought that the bass overpowered the mid and high range .. giving it a kind of dull sound.
The 703's are much more balanced and bright. Once they have been broken in (about 2 weeks)the bass is tight and fast .. VERY fast. The mid range is soooo accurate its not even comparable to the 100.3's. As for the tweeter, if you like high freq's you have to get the 703's .. The tweeter is bright and accurate. I LOVE IT.
If you haven't listend to the 703's give em a try .. And for you all that are trying to compare these to the old CDMT series .. dont bother. I feel that these aren't even related to those speakers .. It's a night and day difference.
I called the store I bought them from and there is now over a month wait for the 703.
Man, how this forum changed from what it was a year ago. All these self-rightious newbies who know everything.... I think I will go the way of the by-gone regulars I used to chat with here and forget about all this new-found arrogance. It has been a few months in coming anyway. Hope you perfect guys will someday enjoy your music as much as I do mine. Good luck adioro and go with your ears for future reference.
I dont want you to leave, its OK to BS a little, we all do. Its human nature. But you cant say things like "Poor Distortion! ...............I feel sorry for him," and think that its just going to melt away. I remeber that slap at me, even if you dont. Look, if you dont like others folks opinions, gear, or whatever. Debate, DONT attack. Calling, either me or Clarine "self-righteous know-it-alls," doesnt help.