Upgrade B&W CM4 to what?

I’ve got a pair of B&W CM4 that I want to upgrade. It’s a modest system (Yamaha cx-630 pre and Adcom 5400). I love the combo of the Yammy and Adcom. I tried the Adcom gfp-565 and it was too warm. There are a few design considerations.
1. I have slight hearing loss in the mid frequencies.
2. I have a small room 11 x 23. Speakers are 9 ft from my ear so they don’t need to get loud.
3. I don’t want to spend a lot of money (less than $1200)

I don’t have a lot of experience with other speakers but I used to love the Vandersteen 2Ce but found the mid frequencies lacking. I do love the B&Ws and I think they are a good match for me. The reason I want to upgrade is I’m looking for a fuller sound. I’d love to get the B&w 702 or 800s but finding something reasonable from the last 20-30 years is hard. Is there another line of speaker I should consider?

I listen to mainly rock, classic and 90s, but also enjoy jazz.

btw, I also own B&w 606 with a Cambridge cx-61 for my living room (bigger space) and I love that. It just doesn’t work in the other room.



Post removed 

As a former owner of the B&W 703s I can tell you respectfully the B&W CM4 is a bad speaker. I went from the 703s to Thiel 2.4 (no longer made several pairs on here used) and the Thiels made the B&Ws sound broken. I paid about the same price for both. New for the B&W and dealer demos for the Thiel 2.4s. I still have both these speakers around and others so these comments are not from memory. 

Anyway shop the used market. You can pick up older $3000-$5000ish speakers used here in your budget all day long. klh model 5s have been getting great reviews at only $2000 new. I imagine a used pair would be a good buy. 

that's a difficult price range for new speakers. I spent 4 months trying to find speakers for that amount and finally gave up, and jumped to $1600. (Happy ever since) Crutchfield and Safe & Sound has open boxes with steep discounts that might help

If you decided on the B&W 800 series speakers, you may need to upgrade your power amp as well to take full advantage of them. 

Vintage speakers like mine, the crossovers were designed with L-Pads at mid-attenuation, which allowed boosting or cutting the mids relative to the woofer and boosting or cutting the highs relative to the mids. I just used a sound meter and a pro’s ears to adjust mine very successfully. You could adjust mine to your space/ears very happily in your space I am sure.

This was actually before stereo, the great mono designs which were often subsequently doubled in spaces when stereo occurred.

They anticipated unknown spaces to range from dull to bright, and for personal taste, in your case personal needs also.

Very few modern speakers allow adjustments, a shame IMO.


You might want to think about a good graphic equalizer which would allow more specific attenuation (boost or cut) than tone controls. Perhaps a used one with return privilege’s.

Then, mess/learn how to use it with your existing speakers first, next consider what speakers you could thus have some specific control of.

Oh yeah, I found my inexpensive sound level meter and test cd with specific tracks of 1/3 octave frequencies great tools. I realized, I don’t need a pro/accurately adjusted one, just answers of relativity of each adjacent band


tripod, seated ear height, listening position

there are others, this test cd has 29 selectable frequency bands


Have you considered adding a subwoofer or two?  I also have the CM4s and lime you I wanted a fuller sound.  I added a Sunfire Atmos XT, and then eventually a second identical sub.  I bypass the crossover on the subs and run them without a ton of gain, the result is nice tight ample bass.  You could get a decent subwoofer with your budget and achieve that full sound.

I like the clarity and stereo imaging I get from the CM4s, they don’t make them with that full front aluminum baffle anymore, and style wise they look very similar to the newer 703 S2 with the grills on.

Anyway, good luck, I’m curious to know how it works out. 

I have a Yamaha sub in the mix also but I’m very fickle in using it. Sometimes it works for what I’m listening to and sometimes it doesn’t. The room is very sensitive to speaker placement. If a switch the wall that the speaker is aligned to, it sounds like the music is coming out of a little box. Placing it along the long wall (18” from wall) totally changes the sound. This is where I have it. The lightest toe in or changing listening position changes the sound.  Based on what I am gathering from comments is that the thing I should do first is master the acoustics of the room using what I have and then upgrade. Right?