B&W vs Vandersteen


C K Ian
Hi, all experts,

I have started shopping for a stereo system recently. After listening to seveal system setup, I have nailed down to the following candidates.

Main Speakers : B&W CDM 7NT vs Vandersteen 1C
surrounds/Sub : heavily depends on main speakers
Receiver : Arcam DVR200 vs NAD T762 vs Marantz SR7400

My main struggle is on the main speaker selection. Before yesterday, I have never heard of the brand Vandersteen, so I was skeptical when they showed me the speaker. But after listening to it, it really impresses me. It is really open. On the other hand, the B&W is comfortable and "sound" good. The main problem is that those two are with different dealer and their demo room is totally different. The B&W dealer uses either a NAD or ARCAM to demo the system which I like, but the Vandersteen dealer uses a high-end tube amp with an "apparently" better sound room. As a result, I can't really tell the difference between the two.

On the receiver, the choice is comparatively easier. I prefer NAD because of its balance between A/V and music.

Any help is greatly appreciated!!!

Both are quite good (I am quite fond of my cdm9nts, which have worked out well for me so far). Rest assureed, you can't make a "wrong" decision here.

I would, however, try to make the comparison a little more even by using "comparable" electronics (given that you can't audition them with the same systems). While NAD is quite good, it's not really fair to compare a system driven by a NAD receiver to a high-end tube system. It will have a huge impact on the sound. Do they have any a/v receivers in the store? Also, do they offer home auditions? If so, I would try both speakers out in your room. If they have lenient return policy, you could probably take both sets home for the weekend.

C K Ian
Skip, thanks for your reply.

The problem with the vandersteen shop is that they don't have a comparable receiver in house, or so they told me. I will have to wait for about 2 weeks for them to get one.

Another concern I have with the 1C is that it is only a 2-way speaker compared to the 7NT which is a 2.5 way speaker. Does that make a different in video and music?

I will take your advice and try them at home first. thanks again.

Unfortuantely, I have never seriously auditioned the Vandys, so I really couldn't say. However, you would probably need a sub for either pair if you want a serious HT setup. I have heard the 7nts, which are, in my opinion, fine for music w/o a sub(if you don't require excessive bass) but definately need a sub for HT.

BTW, the 7nts are being discontinued in favor of the -- more expensive -- 700 series (the 704 is more or less the same speaker as the 7nt with a slightly different cabinet). Thus, you should be able to land a really good deal on the 7nts. I have seen them new in the $1,400 range. You might even be able to do better than that.

As for a receiver, the B&Ws like power. As a result, I would lean toward the NAD 762 or 763. I don't know a lot about the Arcam, but isn't it very similar to the NAD -- maybe even made by the same OEM??? Also, check out the Rotels as well as they match-up nicely with B&Ws. The Rotels are a bit pricey, though.

I am actually in the market for a new receiver, so let me know what you learn when auditioning the B&Ws. Thanks!

C K Ian
Yes. Got a good deal on those speakers. $1400 if buy alone, but $1200 if buy it as a package.

You should really try the Arcam DVR200. On some of the opera tracks I tried, I like the Arcam better, but it lacks quite a few advanced video feature such as component input and 7.1.
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