Review: B&W CDM-1nt Monitor

Category: Speakers

The B&W CDM NT1's are really a great bookshelf speaker. In addition to stereo music, I use them for main speaker in my home theater setup.

They excel at bringing the "real" music out of any source. When I first heard them at the store, some of the music sampled sounded very harsh. I noticed that some of the CD material that they let me sample was copied on CD and probably low quality MP3's. I brought in my copy of Liquid Tension Experiment and let the place listen to "Osmosis".

There were about 10 people in the store that stopped what they were doing and came over to listen. It sounded that good. From that point, I was sold.

The same harsh sound that I experienced at the store was brought home when listening to average recorded material. Above average recorded material cannot sound better. I do have a Sub so that really does make a huge different on the lower end, as the NT's do miss the really low freq. Sorry, I did not take a measurement, but I've seen some written up by HT Mag and you can also find them on the B&W Web site.

My amp does not do these speakers any justice. The Onkyo TX-DS797 is a really good, low priced HT pre/post, but you will definately benifit from upgrading or getting an amp to post process any stereo material. Surround material still sounds great with the CDM's if you enjoy listening to Orchestra, etc.

These speakers have been in my possesion for 1 year.
Listen to mostly Rock/Soft Rock, but classical and jazz are simply unbelievable on these babies.

For home theater, these speakers sound sweet for mains. You will definately need a sub to hit the real lows for Movies.

Pros: If you only have space for bookshelves, these speakers cannot be beat musically or otherwise. The tweeter is exceptional.
Cons: Unforgiving with badly recorded material. If you do low quality MP3's, buy some cheap speakers and save the money. My wife thinks they are ugly???

Associated gear
Onkyo TX-DS797 AV Receiver
Pioneer DV-414 DVD

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agree. CDM1NT is a good pair for the price range. However, I would suggest to use Stereo system to drive it for the best performance and actual characters. Good for small room space listening.

Best match for B&W is Aura (B&W used to own this brand to match with B&W speaker performance). Aura CA200 PA200 combo was the flagship.

Currently Aura is owned by Aura Japan, recently developed new series of products with the JV between Aura Japan, April Music, and another Canada manufacturer.
Wholeheartedly agree on the need for good quality recordings, but that's what makes these so good, IMHO. They reveal the shortcomings of, A)the source components, and B)the recording itself.

I have owned these for three years now (with the B&W stands), in a small-ish room as a second system, driven by NAD integrateds. When I decided it was time to upgrade my main system speakers, I temporarily hooked these in to get a flavor for the differences I would be hearing while auditioning different speakers. OH MY GOD- I shoulda done this years ago!

I'm not good with words, and don't have a golden-ear by any means, but if you really want to hear these at their best, put them in a moderately sized room, with an amp of fairly decent quality (and power), and let 'em go! The imaging, the dynamics, and the nuances are all there! Granted, they don't go very low, as mentioned above, but that's why God invented subs.

Back to my story. I thought I had a decent main system until I put these speakers in it. Since then, I've changed my preamp, my amp, and several IC's. Still searching for main speakers, though.

Revealing? In my opinion, yes. If you buy them, beware of your front end.

You've been warned.