B&W cdm1SE 300B SET SPEAKER ALERT!

$1,100 PER PAIR, B&W CDM1SE

 

I am willing to bet you both my Pee Wee Herman doll and my Pez Dispenser that no one at B&W has ever listened to these speakers on a 300B single-ended amp, or 300B push/pull amp, like the Sun SV 3OO MK IIs.

This speaker appears to be targeted towards the "high quality mini-monitor for Mr. Up and Coming Rolex", who just may use them in his home theater system. Why would anyone at B&W listen to this speaker driven by a 7 watt directly heated triode amp?

As I was writing this I read a short review of this speaker in Hi-Fi News and Record Review, by the astute and very reticent Martin Colloms, who much admired this speaker. He noted that they required a "good" amplifier to appreciate their virtues. What I love about English audio critics is that when they get really excited about an audio gizmo they stir their tea with greater intensity. What is so fascinating about these speakers is that they are good enough for a 300B amplifier and are so inexpensive.

These are a significant achievement in their price category, and the key is the quality of their midrange/bass driver, which is the type of woven Kevlar design that B&W has pioneered. This driver is very tonally juicy and their research and development has yielded a driver technology that is exactly what directly heated triodes need. The tweeter is not in the cabinet but mounted on the cabinet and that is probably the best explanation why these little mothers image so well...very little cabinet diffraction. And of course when you listen to them you will remove the protective cap on the tweeter, and the grill cloth.

B&W is a very large speaker company, and my response is ..."How do they give all of this, at the price?"...especially when you look at the quality of the finish...the rosewood ones I have are stunning, and the answer is..."They makes lots of them." These are extremely well balanced small speakers, and Ibwcdmspeaker.jpg (16784 bytes) speculate that if not used with right associated equipment they will sound "off balance" because they certainly reveal all of the dis-harmonics of digital — which means they have the capacity to reveal what is right and wrong with your audio chain. That is a compliment.

Now I will concentrate on the important issue: these speakers, driven by only 7 watts of directly heated triode single-ended power, kick butt. They are not ultra high efficiency, and they are not the ideal impedance, but they interface with a single-ended output transformer in a terrific way so you can get the juicification of your aural matrix that only we triode maniacs know.

The most common email question I get is ...."Dr.Gizmo, what speakers can I get for my 300B SET amp...and, I am on a starving professor of Druid Semantics at a small midwest Catholic girl’s college budget?". These speakers could be the answer to this question.

These speakers can be bi-wired, and you should. Because they are such a high quality/bargain they are a natural candidate for passive parts upgrade....or the removal of the passive crossover and my "mini-monitor tube crossover strategy".

I have used them with Sunfire subwoofers (check The Triode Guild web site article on the proper use of subwoofers with SET amps) and suggest that gifted listeners, like you, who need to explore the dark richness of your funk explore this strategy.

Can I cut to the chase now? I don’t know anything in this price category that is able to reveal the nascent juice of low powered single-ended triode amplifiers better than these little gorgeous mothers from B&W. Take your favorite dance tune CD down to your dealer and check them out.

Dr. Gizmo

 

 

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