Review: B & W Loudspeakers CDM-7nt Speaker

Category: Speakers

B&W loud speakers have a very detailed and unique sound. When compared to other speakers, they stand out quite a bit, especially the midrange and top end. These speakers seem to pull excellent detail from the midrange and top end. Small sounds such as the fingers moving along the guitar strings and breathing by the artist are heard with these speakers with good amplification. I really don't have any complaints at all about the top end, except that at times it tends to be slightly forward with some recordings, but do realize, that is the recordings fault and not the speakers. The only weakness in these speakers is the bass. I'm not one to enjoy feeling the bass, but I do enjoy a nice full range sound, and that is just cut a little short in the CDM 7nt speakers. Now a lot of this can be helped by having high quality amplification, not just a stereo receiver. But to an extent, every speaker has its limitation. In comparison to Paradigm, the speakers are very different. Paradigm tends to be a smooth flowing speaker, while B&W seems to be a detailed and accurate speaker. Compared to the Oskar Aulos bookshelf speakers, the B&Ws seemed to be a bit forward. Bass wise, that little bookshelf speaker kept up pretty darn well. The B&W's were a little more articulate, but that is still part of taste. In the end it still comes down to preference, some may consider the B&W speakers a bit exhausting, while the little Oskar Aulos speakers just sing with the music and are really easy to listen to. If you enjoy an detailed sound, with limited but accurate bass, the CDM 7NT speakers may certainly be your ticket.

Associated gear
McCormack ALD-1 rev b
McCormack DNA .5 rev a
Arcam FMJ cd-23

Similar products
Oskar Aulos
Paradigm Studio series
I have a pair of CDM-7NT and was going to get the 9NT's I will tell you the cables were as much as a component as the rest. I am using them with a Krell 300r and 250cd but went a little more in the cable price and bought Transparent Super XL bi-wire. I was blown away after using Purist Proteous on my othe main system (Krell 300S,KRC,801 III). I don't mean to turn this into cable thread but it really made all the difference in overall musical quality. I was going to use a standard commonly used brand and type and would not have been able to reach this level of performance had I went that route. Treat all cables as components and you will see and won't ever be sorry. Oh and I never even think about the 9NT's at all with the sound the cables bring to my 7NT's.
I think B&W got it right this time. The earlier CDM-7SE was very dull/closed-in/shut-in sounding to me.
For the money, the 7nt's have a lot to offer. They sound great with very good solid state gear in all. In smaller rooms, where you sit closer to the speakers, they will work very well in a home theater context!....just don't forget to cross em over at 80hz for DD/DTS movies though...
Matching the 7nt's with the right equipment is VERY important as these speakers are very analytical and sometimes over bright. I have auditioned the 602, 603, 7nt, 9nt, 805 and 803. The 803's were just amazing but the 7nt and 9nt's just didn't do it for me.