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Latest post 06-14-2010 10:48 AM by Peter. 17 replies.
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  • 06-11-2010 3:23 AM

    • jc
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    M70 vs Beolab 3

    Came across a set of M70 "monitor"speakers when looking for a set of speakers for (mostly) classical/acoustic music listening. However, I also consider a pair of beolab 3's because they are more contemporary/modern looking and much smaller, easier to place into my house. Has anyone ever heard both? Which pair to buy? In case of buying the 3's, perhaps I will add the new Beolab 11, so there is a major difference in costs of both options.. 

    George

  • 06-11-2010 6:03 AM In reply to

    • Mohawk
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    Re: M70 vs Beolab 3

    Hi George

    I use a pair of M70 with new caps inside and I must say that they surprise me all the time. This is a really good speaker imo. They will play deep in bass without the need of a subwoofer too. When positioned right they will do a great job for you, esp for your kind of music.

    I would like a set of bl3s and a bl11 too - they sound surprisingly massive to their size, but I would recommend you to first give the M70s a chance to perform.

    /Fredrik

  • 06-11-2010 6:30 AM In reply to

    Re: M70 vs Beolab 3

    Doesn't it depend on what source you'll be using? For example you may use an old Beomaster and a CDX to listen to CDs through the M70s, yet you might have a more modern set up such as a Beosound 9000 to use the BL3s. We get these questions all the time, yet no one seems to take into account the source and where the amp is actually located (in the speaker or in a Beomaster)!!!

    President, Beomaster 8000 Appreciation Society

  • 06-11-2010 7:36 AM In reply to

    • jc
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    Re: M70 vs Beolab 3

    Currently using a beocenter 9500, so that doesn't help making a choice as it can handle both. The modern speakers are smaller (exept the beolab 5) which is an advantage, but do they deliver the same sound quality? Just can't believe reasonable sound is coming from such a small speaker.

  • 06-11-2010 7:44 AM In reply to

    Re: M70 vs Beolab 3

    jc:

    Currently using a beocenter 9500, so that doesn't help making a choice as it can handle both. The modern speakers are smaller (exept the beolab 5) which is an advantage, but do they deliver the same sound quality? Just can't believe reasonable sound is coming from such a small speaker.

    The amp in the Beocenter 9500 is ill-equipped to deal with a big speaker like an M70. You're comparing apples with oranges really.

    A decent Beomaster such as the 80s 6000 or 8000s, or a 4400 would be the prefered choice for an M70. These big amps blow the 9500 out of the water sonically I'm afraid.

    If you're stuck with the 9500, I'd say go with the Beolab 3s as their internal amp is loads better than the internal 9500 one.

    President, Beomaster 8000 Appreciation Society

  • 06-11-2010 7:54 AM In reply to

    • arned
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    Re: M70 vs Beolab 3

    I agree - I once owned the Beovox M70 many years ago together with Beomaster 4400. Beocenter 9000/9500 only has a little power. Beovox MC-120.2 would play just about fine togeher with Beocenter 9500. MC120 is a very fine and clear loudspeaker and can go deep if needed.

  • 06-11-2010 2:30 PM In reply to

    Re: M70 vs Beolab 3

    George,

    I agree wholeheartedly with John's comments about comparing  a passive and an active loudspeaker and the totally different pre- amp/power amp considerations that introduces.  In addition,  one other crucial factor to consider and which you don't mention is room size. 

    The M70s are fine loudspeakers but in a fairly small room could introduce all sorts of problems with the bass and lower midrange reproduction.   The BL3s are easier to accommodate in a small room with both shelf, stand and wall mountig options and are not nearly so room size dependent. The M70s have integrated stands (I think) and that really is the only mounting option available if you want them to sound their best.

    Cleve  

  • 06-13-2010 12:01 PM In reply to

    • jc
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    Re: M70 vs Beolab 3

    Returned from a weekend-off; the room is aprox 50 m2. Is the 80-s/90-s stacking system like a beomaster 6500 better in handling a larger beovox than my beocenter 9500 or isn't it that much of a difference. ( to make things easier I could  change my current 9500 to a 6500 with for example a RL7000 beovox.) In the end it's all about soundquality to me.  

  • 06-13-2010 1:18 PM In reply to

    Re: M70 vs Beolab 3

    jc:

    Returned from a weekend-off; the room is aprox 50 m2. Is the 80-s/90-s stacking system like a beomaster 6500 better in handling a larger beovox than my beocenter 9500 or isn't it that much of a difference. ( to make things easier I could  change my current 9500 to a 6500 with for example a RL7000 beovox.) In the end it's all about soundquality to me.  

    Hi jc

    The short answer is no.

    The high-water mark for B&O amplifiers inside a Beomaster was probably the 8000 of the 1980s. After that the Beomaster 5500, 6500, 7000 and Beocenter 8000, 8500, 9000 and 9500 ranges were more geared around the Beolab speakers if you were looking for a bigger sound. Those amps are great with something like CX100s, but you can forget about them for serious listening with a big speaker like M70s or RL 7000s.

    I get the feeling from your postings though that you prefer the looks of the stacking Beosystems or the Beocenter 9000 range. Unfortunately you can ask the question in as many different ways as you want, but the answer will always be that Beolab 5000, Beomaster 4000/4400 and Beomaster 6000 or 8000 are the best amps for big passive speakers without exception.

     

    President, Beomaster 8000 Appreciation Society

  • 06-13-2010 2:08 PM In reply to

    • Mohawk
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    Re: M70 vs Beolab 3

    Dont forget there is also an option to use 2 beolab 200 poweramp to power your M70s from the BC9500 through powerlink.

    /Fredrik

     

  • 06-13-2010 6:20 PM In reply to

    Re: M70 vs Beolab 3

    Actually the amplifier in the 5500 etc series of amplifiers is really not bad at all. I have powered my M100s with them and they have no problem giving a good performance. They are a development of the amplifier from the Beocenter 7000 and share the good general behaviour. the protection circuit is a little sensitive to very low loads but sonically I like it. A definite step up from the 9500 which is however otherwise excellent. I think we must remember that most music is listened to at about 1W and the 9500 can drive M70s pretty easily as they were designed for an earlier age when 50W was a very high output.

  • 06-14-2010 4:33 AM In reply to

    • jc
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    • Joined on 11-06-2007
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    Re: M70 vs Beolab 3

    I've had a 4400 but sold it recently because I missed the advantages of the modern era sets (remote control etc). Heard the 4400 through S45-2's and the difference with the 45-2's coupled to the 9500 was in fact astonishing, in volume and "body". I didn't knew the S45-2's were capable of such powerfull sound. However, listening to classical music has little to do with powerfullness, but more with clearity and warmth. So that's why I stated my question above about the musical capabilities of the M70 compared to beolab 3.  

  • 06-14-2010 4:56 AM In reply to

    Re: M70 vs Beolab 3

    I have never heard either M70's or BL3's so I must be well qualified to ponder on that decision...

    I am quite happy with my Beomaster 6500 driving passive Pentas and I have tried them with a 4400 as well. I don't quite buy that theory about needing a "large" amp to drive "large" passive speakers. The real question is volume (or more appropriately, attainable dynamic range), and that depends on the room, your music, and of course the efficiency of the speakers as well. I have actually tried the Pentas with a Beomaster 900 (1965, 2 x 6W...) and it sounded very good!

    However, I don't belong to the "more bass = better sound" crowd, live in a flat, and don't care much about "noisy" music either...

    I have a Beocenter 8000 as well, which I guess has pretty much the same amp section as 9500. It is being used with RL60.2's and the volume range is quite enough for me - however you can hear it struggling at some more dynamic passages and generally not sounding as nice as it could. I wouldn't use this series for serious listening with passive speakers.

    Finally - simply replacing the capacitors in the M70 crossovers will probably improve the sound more than any amp upgrade ever could!

    -mika

  • 06-14-2010 7:53 AM In reply to

    Re: M70 vs Beolab 3

    jc:

    I've had a 4400 but sold it recently because I missed the advantages of the modern era sets (remote control etc). Heard the 4400 through S45-2's and the difference with the 45-2's coupled to the 9500 was in fact astonishing, in volume and "body". I didn't knew the S45-2's were capable of such powerfull sound. However, listening to classical music has little to do with powerfullness, but more with clearity and warmth. So that's why I stated my question above about the musical capabilities of the M70 compared to beolab 3.  

    My listening taste runs mostly to classical music and acoustic jazz, so it sounds as if we may have similar requirements sonically from a music system. 

    I have the BM4400, a CDX and a pair of S45.2s. I also have a BC 9500, and as you suggest, their is real difference in quality between the amplifier in the 4400 and that in the BC9500.  However, many people say the power amp in the 9500 is it's major shortcoming.

    However, I have listened to the Beolab 3's with my BC 9500 and I still prefer the CDX/4400/S45.2s.  Given that the M75 is arguably a better speaker than the S45.2s then I guess, given the right source and amplifier, the appropriate room size and acoustics, and all the other factors that affect sound quality, the M75s, ideally with up to date capacitors, probably outperform the BL3s.  

    Cleve

  • 06-14-2010 9:09 AM In reply to

    Re: M70 vs Beolab 3

    Just to add to Cleve' input above - I have listened to Beovox Pentas (big passives) with derivatives of pretty much all of the amplifier lines the company has produced over tha past 40 odd years (Beomaster 1000, 2000, 2400, 5000, Beolab 5000, 6000 Quad, 6000 (80s version) and 8000). The source has always been a CDX, and the amps have all been fully functioning because I have them all (apart from the 5000) in my current collection. My ears are not shot (I am 31), and I have listened to the spakers in the same room (25' x 15') and I can tell you 100% that the bigger the power output, the better the sound reproduction in every case! I repeated most of the experiements above with MC120.2s and the results, to my ears at least, were the same: the best was the 8000, followed by the 6000 (80s version), then the Beolab 5000 and so on. That's just my opinion, and others are free to disagree, but I think it is helpful if contributors have actually made some kind of comparison of the newer vs. older B&O amp line driving big passive speakers before commenting on performance of X vs. Y!!!

    President, Beomaster 8000 Appreciation Society

  • 06-14-2010 9:17 AM In reply to

    Re: M70 vs Beolab 3

    I may have understood it wrong, but I though the main problem with the amp on the BC9500 was due to a lack of quality as much as it was due to a lack of power?

     

    Simon

  • 06-14-2010 9:38 AM In reply to

    Re: M70 vs Beolab 3

    wirralsimon:

    I may have understood it wrong, but I though the main problem with the amp on the BC9500 was due to a lack of quality as much as it was due to a lack of power?

    Simon

    I think the two things are linked Simon, but ultimately the lack of power is key, otherwise Beolab Pentas would have had 30w rated amps underneath instead of 150w!

     

    President, Beomaster 8000 Appreciation Society

  • 06-14-2010 10:48 AM In reply to

    Re: M70 vs Beolab 3

    I too have tested most of the B&O range with both speakers and indeed the B&O power testing kit. This is slightly unfair as it presents a 4 ohm load, which most newer amplifiers seem to dislike , but it did offer some interesting insights.

    The Beomaster 7000 got to about 50W before the protection circuit switched it off. Not at full volume - I was used a recording supplied of a constant volume source - I suspect it would have reached near to 70W/channel.

    The 8000 went off the end of the scale (100W) but did also produce some blue smoke which caused me some concern!

    The 4400 went up to 85W before distortion - no smoke!

    Other good performers were the 2200 and original 2000 , both of which exceeded their designated power outputs. The 2400 was also excellent though it too got a bit hot!

    Listening through speakers (MS150s and M100s) I still prefered the 4400 - the 8000 seemed less warm to me though differentiating between amplifiers is in my view quite difficult at the better end. I did also prefer both the 4400 and 8000 through the big speakers compared to Pentas simply because the control of bass and detail in the bass was simply leagues ahead. To get good bass, you need a big driver and column speakers will always be weak in this regard. Adding a BL2 to the mix did not help but made the Penta/BL2 combination sound boomy.

    S120s were good but bass light and S45.2s excellent but also bass light. CX100s were ridiculously good for their size and aspirations!

    Still not impressed with any of the 6000 quad amplifiers I have heard - I think I have now heard 4 and they all were pretty similar. Not enough control of the bass - sounds flabby and they run out of steam before what should be regarded as lesser ampliers. (Beomaster 2000 being an example).

    I tested most of these several years ago, before I broke up my collection and before galloping senility overtook me!

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