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OLDER DECWARE GEAR SUPPORT >> SE84CS, SE84ZS >> Anyone tried the Zen with B&W CM5?
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Message started by KobeeDog on 06/26/13 at 02:10:17

Title: Anyone tried the Zen with B&W CM5?
Post by KobeeDog on 06/26/13 at 02:10:17

First post here, so please excuse my silly questions. I have a Zen amp coming soon on loan from a friend to try out. My speakers are B&W CM5, which are relatively inefficient at 88db.

From everything I've read, this speakers will not play way (on paper) with 2 watts (or so..) of power. However, in real life I've sometimes found that things that weren't supposed to work, actually do.

Has anyone ever actually tried this combo?  Small room... I don't listen exceptionally loud most of the time, but I do like to turn it up every now and then.

Thanks

Title: Re: Anyone tried the Zen with B&W CM5?
Post by SteveC on 06/26/13 at 02:30:46

My zen in office (8x10 room) on 89db Trapeziums... plenty loud.
Same zen at home in a big open area (living, family, kitchen, etc) on 96db HDT's.... not quite enough for me. So I got a Torii. :)

Traps are 4 ohm while CM5 are 8 ohm.   Zen (assuming default transformers) will have a bit more power on lower impedance speakers.

when I play loud, I set the knob at noon (mid) or even 3'clock depending on the song.  I'm guessing with less efficient speakers and less power transfer into 8 ohm, you'll use the 2nd half of the volume more than me for a 8x10 room.

for low, don't bother the people in the next room, listening, you'll be fine in a small room.

Title: Re: Anyone tried the Zen with B&W CM5?
Post by KobeeDog on 06/26/13 at 03:01:40

Cool. Thanks for the reply. I guess grabbing another one and running them in mono would always be an option as well. If the amps sounds as good as everyone is saying ;-)

Title: Re: Anyone tried the Zen with B&W CM5?
Post by KobeeDog on 06/28/13 at 20:42:46

So I'm listening to the Zen amp right now with my B&W speakers. Had it running for about 2 hours now, listening to different albums and genres.

It goes surprisingly loud. I have the volume turned up to around the 2:00 position and it's basically at what I call a moderate listening volume. I can turn it up so that it goes quite loud, with no sign of clipping at all.

Very neat little amp!

Title: Re: Anyone tried the Zen with B&W CM5?
Post by SteveC on 06/28/13 at 21:44:23

That's cool.

Let us know what you think about the quality of the sound, especially after you're used to it and switch to another amp.

Title: Re: Anyone tried the Zen with B&W CM5?
Post by KobeeDog on 07/05/13 at 19:33:16

The most outstanding thing about the sound is the expansiveness of it. The imaging and soundstage is wide and deep.

There's a fair bit less bass than there was using my solid state amp, though. This could be mainly due to the relative inefficiency of my speakers.

Title: Re: Anyone tried the Zen with B&W CM5?
Post by KobeeDog on 07/13/13 at 16:24:38

I posted a short write up of my experience with this amp here:

http://www.audioreview.ca/default.aspx?pagename=review&reviewID=7403

Title: Re: Anyone tried the Zen with B&W CM5?
Post by KobeeDog on 07/26/13 at 03:27:19

Just to answer my own post here, I tried out the Zen amp with a pair of Klipsch speakers (RF-600b). I know these aren't what we consider "audiophile" speakers, but at 97db, these things really let the amp show what it is really capable of.

Title: Re: Anyone tried the Zen with B&W CM5?
Post by Lin on 07/26/13 at 04:20:35

Looks like rebadged RF62s, probably sound better than they have a right to with the SE84.

Never heard any Klipsch speakers that I liked until last fall when I bought a pair of '81 Heresys without an audition (price was right) to use with a flea watter, they sound pretty good with all of my tube amps, but especially so with the single ended triode. ;)


Title: Re: Anyone tried the Zen with B&W CM5?
Post by KobeeDog on 07/26/13 at 13:50:18

I actually don't mind Klipsch speakers, if you pair them with the right amp. These certainly don't hold any high-end snob appeal, or anything like that. The home theatre crowd would probably be wowed by them, for sure.

Gonna spend some more time with them today paired up with the Zen.

Title: Re: Anyone tried the Zen with B&W CM5?
Post by ski bum on 07/31/13 at 02:46:16

Heritage and 'extended' Heritage (chorus, forte, quartet) Klipsch are really hunky dory with Decware.  Unfortunately, most wives hate 'em.

Title: Re: Anyone tried the Zen with B&W CM5?
Post by KobeeDog on 08/01/13 at 15:45:10

I could play the little Zen amp to absolutely insane volume levels with the Klipsch. Only problem is, the Klipsch speakers have no mid-range whatsoever. Lots of clear highs, and crazy bass. But no mids.

Title: Re: Anyone tried the Zen with B&W CM5?
Post by ski bum on 08/01/13 at 17:37:48

That's exactly where the Heritage line differs from all other Klipsch, the midrange.  They're also more sensitive, which not only helps us flea power users, but correlates with lower distortion as well.  

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