Bowers & Wilkins CM Series CM7 User Manual
Sharply styled and classily finished, the CM7 introduces B&W’s unique FST driver at a new low price
PRODUCT B&W CM7
TYPE Floorstanding loudspeaker
PRICE £999 per pair
KEY FEATURES Size (WxHxD): 20x91x30cm
P Weight: 20kgP 25mm aluminium dome tweeterP 130mm ‘surroundless’ FST Kevlar cone midrange driverP 165mm paper/Kevlar cone bass driver
P Sensitivity: 88dBP Impedance: 8 ohm (nominal)
CONTACT 01903 221500q www.bwspeakers.com
As the world leader in
adept at finding and/or creating
The FST (Fixed Suspension Transducer) is a special type of midrange driver, which
B&W engineers originally pioneered in the much more upmarket Nautilus models. Its particular distinguishing factor is its replacement of the usual type of flexible surround attached to the edge of the cone diaphragm by a polymer ring. This ring is in contact with, but not physically attached to,
the cone edge.
The logic is impeccable. In the majority of
vibratio and permitting generous fore’n’aft excursion, by omitting the last of these, B&W engineers have designed a cone termination specifically oriented towards optimising the vibration absorption characteristics, by using a heavy rubber gasket in place of the usual roll. The alleged consequence is a significant improvement in dynamic range resolution.
To avoid lugs, magnets hidden beneath the veneer hold the fabric grille in place, and all three drivers are
dome gives output right up to 50kHz and also has a low enough resonance to allow a
REPRINTED FROM november 2006
Helping to keep the cabinet slim, the CM7’s FST midrange driver is smaller than the versions used in B&W’s more upmarket models, though its Kevlar cone still has the same 120mm diameter as the paper cone used in the nominally larger bass unit.
Twin terminal pairs offer the
Work started with the speakers located clear of walls, and connected up to a system using a Naim CDS 555 CD player, Rega P9/Naim ARO/Rega Apheta record player, Magnum Dynalab MD106T FM tuner and Naim NAC552/NAP 500 amplification, plus Vertex AQ and Naim cables.
Having spent the previous day listening to a pair of B&W’s massive and costly 800Ds, it was hardly surprising that the first impression of the CM7 was a little disappointing. This much more modest model lacks the scale, authority and also the subtlety of its big brother – but such a comparison is distinctly unfair, given the 13:1 difference in price.
A few hours acclimatisation usually allows one to adjust to the inevitable shifts in tonal balance that occurs when changing speakers. But by the following day, the CM7s still weren’t getting this reviewer excited. The top end seemed sweet and encouraging enough, but the music as a whole was sounding thick.
The CM7 has its limitations, for sure. But that’s true of any £1,000 loudspeaker...
otherwise there’d be no sense in making an 800D. The CM7 falls short of ultimate performance, but the crucial point is that it
does so evenly, and delivers a well balanced
extension is a creditable 24Hz for
The bottom line is that the CM7 is a fine
SOUND >> 85%
EASE OF DRIVE >> 80%
BUILD >> 87%
VALUE >> 86%
Withthecleverbungsinplace,theCM7deliversafineoverall balancewithgooddynamicrangeandasweettopend,froman attractivelycompactunit.Thesoundcouldperhapshavemore
OVERALL SCORE >>86%
REPRINTED FROM november 2006