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More GREAT press for the B&W CM-5 bookshelf loudspeaker. This time it is Robert J. Reina in the December 2012 issue of  Stereophile magazine.

Here are some excerpts.

Listening

“Right out of the box, with all of the first dozen or so recordings I threw at them, the CM5s evinced four remarkable strengths: Detail, Resolution, Transparency, and Noise Floor . As the music emerged from a silent black space with copious, transparent room sound, familiar recordings revealed inner instrumental details that I hadn’t noticed before. It was easy to get lost in the music; these speakers made it effortless for me to pick out every subtle nuance in the performance.”
“Transient Delicacy and Speed: The CM5 was able to reproduce lightning-fast transients with never a sense of sharpness or of a mechanical quality. Every transient seemed to float on its own bed of air, as in a live performance.”
“Huge Dynamic Envelope: Although the CM5’s articulations of detail and transients went hand in hand with its ability to unravel low-level subtleties, it was its strengths at the opposite end of the dynamic range that knocked me for a loop. With all recordings I listened to, the speaker handled fortissimos as if it were a large floorstander: with nary a hair of compression or strain.”
“Neutrality: With one minor exception on certain recordings, the speaker reproduced a dead-neutral balance throughout its frequency range, with coherent integration of high-frequency, midrange, and bass timbres.”
“Here’s the greatest compliment I can pay the CM5: When I listened to each of three of my favorite recordings in its entirety, I experienced a level of pleasure and involvement that was beyond my experiences of these records with most other loudspeakers.”

Concluding

“Over my past decade of listening to many affordable speakers, both bookshelf and floorstanding, I’ve enjoyed an embarrassment of riches. Although I have some favorites, I can’t recall the last time I reviewed a speaker that didn’t impress me in at least some areas.”
“The B&W CM5 touched me in a unique way. With every recording I played, this neutral, dynamic speaker revealed layers of detail that let me hear into the recording process, but in a way that made it easy to forget about that process, kick back, and enjoy the music. Just as paradoxically, its high level of resolution let me differentiate among great, good, and not-so-good recordings, but in a way that didn’t lessen my enjoyment of music that had been poorly recorded. If I had to, I could live with this affordable bookshelf model as my only loudspeaker. I can’t remember the last time I said that about another speaker in the $1500/pair price region. A tremendous achievement by Bowers & Wilkins”.

 

 

 

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