Hi all. At the moment I've begun the task of upgrading my Hi-fi system but I should let you know at this point what my system comprises of. In truth I have 2 systems; one upstairs in a double bedroom and one downstairs in my living room. The living room system comprises of a pair of piano black B & W CM9 speakers driven by an Arcam A28 integrated amplifier. I have three audio sources; The top of the range blueraye DVD and a custom built PC and my cable digi box. The interconnect are high end cables as is the speaker cable and topped off with an Arcam R-Pac DAC.
The upstairs system comprises of a pair of B & W CM5 stand mount speakers plus the B & W PV1 Sub Woofer driven by the Arcam Solo Neo. My sources are another custom built PC with sound quality the main consideration when having it constructed. The Solo Neo is a mini music system comprising of a good quality CD player and DAB radio and internet radio in the one box. And finally the Arcam R-Pac DAC, just like in the living room. Again the interconnects and speaker cables are high quality. My original intention was to use the upstairs system as a work horse when it comes to downloading and uploading files and processing the downloads etc. The intention was to use the downstairs for "serious" music listening. However The quality I have upstairs is equal to the quality downstairs and I've never used the system downstairs as I spend all my time up here. The system downstairs has never really been run in since I got it and in effect the system downstairs is just filling the living room. I've decided to have only one system and have decided to have that one system up here. I have replaced the Arcam R-Pac DAC with the Chord Electronics Chordette DAC. This has made a huge difference to the sound reproduction in this room up here. The next step is to upgrade the speakers and I have a good relationship with my local Hi-Fi dealer. They have brought around the updated B & W 705 stand mount speakers and installed them. I can audition them for a week or so then I will get a pair of the B & W 805 stand mount speakers to audition. Finally I might get a pair of the B & W 703 floor standing speakers but it might just be that I'll have made my mind up by that time. The Speakers I have now are the 705s. I've had them since Friday afternoon and have run them 24 hours a day to run them in as they hadn't been fully run in; they are brand new speakers just out the box. I am amazed at the quality of sound from those speakers the 700 series is the successor to the CM series and the 705s are the equivalent of the CM5s. However they are by far superior in sound quality. Imaging is so precise and the soundstage is so very open. I at times find myself sitting in my chare and looking slightly upwards as there is a lot of elevation in the sound stage it almost gives the impression I'm looking up onto a stage. Guitars and piano sound very accurate and the sound could be considered forward of the speakers. The 3D imagery is amazing as there is so much depth. I have a newage track by a guy called Deuter. This track contains at various points gentle and delicate chimes and they are very distinctive and the decay is obvious. I am impressed with these speakers and look forward to hearing the 805s and if the 705s are so good, goodness knows what to expect from the 805s, they are though double the price of the 705s. Once I've settled on the speakers then I'll change the amplifier. I have in mind the Arcam A39 as I like the Arcam/B & W combination. However nothing at this point is written in stone so your input would be appreciated. Has anybody heard the B & W 805 speakers? If so; what's your opinion? Do you have any suggestions as an alternative to B & W, or Arcam? I like a detailed sound with distinctive bass but not over powering. I don't like a clinical sound as it feels so sterile. I also like a forward soundstage. Many people I know prefer a more recessed sound but I like the forward sound as it gives the impression that the musicians are present in the room. As I said, nothing is written in stone yet and I've not committed; apart from the Chordette DAC which I've already purchased. I will be trading in the bulk of my stuff for the new and fortunately will get a good price as the items I have are in new condition. Your input will be of help and might set me off on a different path that might be more productive. Walter.