B&W CDM 1 SE and ARCAM sounds Harsh, WHY?


Bronze Member
Username: Stifa

Post Number: 31
Registered: Jun-04
So my system is as follows:
Arcam Alpha 8r integrated
Arcam alpha 9p power amp
Arcam alpha 8 CD Player
VanDenHul CS-122 speaker cable with D-102 mk3 interconnects

Sound has brutal resolution and dynamics but it is hard on the ears , highs are harsh ,
It lacks a bit of warmth that is nice to hear.
What is the problem? My room is 3 by 6 meters.
should I change to new cables and which?

Silver Member
Username: Edison

Glendale, CA US

Post Number: 628
Registered: Dec-03
Try this $40 DVD player from Toshiba 3960

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=61250%26item%3D5781022644 %26%26

It has 192/24 DAC which is superior to the arcam alpha's

If you don't have a DVD player already, this would be a good experiment for so little money.

Another solution lies in room treatment - try putting pillows behind the speakers, and in between the speakers. If you like what you are hearing, you can google search for acoustic treatment and read upon it.

That is why many audiophiles are going back to turntables - and the B*W speakers are not shy sounding speakers either.

Even after the 2 suggestions don't solve your problem, you might be ready for a different speaker - try one without a metallic tweeter, but with a soft dome one.

You might want to hear, paradigm studio 20, or monitor audio bronze. These 2 speakers cost less than your CDM, but sounds softer.


Silver Member
Username: Artk

Albany, Oregon USA

Post Number: 729
Registered: Feb-05
Yikes! Remember folks a few days ago when I said DAC's ain't the whole story, here's your proof. Studio 20's are great speakers (I have a pair as rears in audio system) but they do have satin anodized ALUMINUM dome tweeters. I agree that they sound better than the B&W's that is a moot point I believe. The CDM's do sound good and Marko is concerned that he is not getting the most out of them. I agree with some other posters who pointed at the room or the cables. Room being the most likely culprit. I am concerned though when you say "brutal resolution" is that complimentary or description. Makes me wonder if something is wrong in the setup. Probably the room or cables. Good luck Marko.
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