Review: B&W CM6 S2

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B&W CM6 S2

The B&W CM6 S2 speaker is part of the second wave of the CM series, thus adopting its main technological features, namely the tubular enclosure for the Nautilus tweeter, the Kevlar cones and the FlowPort circular ports. The British brand has made slight adjustments resulting in a beneficial sonic impact. The new transducers benefit from damping elements in order to improve their operations such as a synthetic gel for the tweeters. The same passive filters are featured except that they now use high quality Mundorf capacitors.

B&W CM6 S2
The double dome tweeter is placed outside of the cabinet which results in a deeper sound stage.

The double dome tweeter

The B&W CM6 S2 features an enlarged bandwidth and a level attenuation happening over 38 kHz against 30 kHz for older models. This change in frequency aims at preserving harmonic frequencies and offering a greater respect of the audio signal’s electrical phase. To get such a result, Bowers & Wilkins has developed a new tweeter with double aluminium dome. Two domes have been placed on top of each other, one is cut in the middle in order to rigidify the other, thus resulting in an extended frequency response due to smaller excursions. This new tweeter is placed in a Nautilus tube enclosure which attenuates the back wave. The tweeter has been taken out of the cabinet and placed on the top of the speaker. Because of this decoupling technique the sound placement has been enhanced.

B&W CM6 S2
The bass-reflex resonator is a flare port with an alveolar structure

B&W stays loyal to Kevlar

The B&W CM6 S2 is also fitted with a 6.3″ medium/bass FST driver placed in a bass-reflex enclosure. The useful response reaches around 45 Hz. This Kevlar membrane is not prone to a lot of alterations and the driver stands out for its speed and the low distortion of the signal it delivers. As for the FlowPort, it is the insurance of a regular and silent airflow, in particular when pushing the speaker to a high sound level. A refined touch: there are no screws showing on the driver’s basket.

B&W CM6 S2
The Kevlar fibre bass/medium driver of the B&W CM6 S2

Listening impressions

B&W CM6 S2
Bi-amplification is possible with this compact speaker

We tested this speaker with a McIntosh MHA100 and Pioneer SC-LX57 amplifiers. The rigour of the medium/bass driver is impressive, the energy of the lower frequency range is concentrated in its upper part, which results in a realistic articulation of percussion and bass lines. Mediums are rigorous and always under control. The treble is aerial, even crystalline due to a high-pass crossover filter set at around 4 kHz, thus allowing the tweeter to go up high with a nice velocity. Placing the tweeter on the top of the speaker created more room for the sound.

The B&W CM6 S2 should be used with electronic components which don’t go too high in frequency but have solid bass presence and can deliver significant quantities of electric current if you wish to listen at a high volume. A charming speaker for the most discerning ears.

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