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B&W 685 S2 or 686 S2 with Marantz M-CR610


Standard Member

I currently own a Marantz 401 with B&W 686 (first ones) speakers.
I'm thinking of buying the new Marantz M-CR610 (I like the functionnalities).

What would be the best choice for speakers to go with the M-CR610 between :
- B&W 685 S2 (Sensitivity 87dB spl (2.83V, 1m)) 685 | 600 Series | Bowers & Wilkins
- B&W 686 S2 (Sensitivity (84)85dB spl (2.83V, 1m)) 686 | 600 Series | Bowers & Wilkins

Yes I love B&W sound :).

And would it be a good idea to bi-amp those speakers as the M-CR610 offers this possibility (2x60w => 4x30w) ? Or would the power become insufficient to drive those speakers ?
Marantz US | M-CR610

Thanks for you help, as I'm a bit lost with the theory between sensitivity, power, impedance, bi-amp, ... I'm currently reading a lot to understand it.


Distinguished Member
I think you are making this more complicated than it needs to be.

First, all Mini-amps fudge the power ratings a bit, in that they do not rate their amps to an industry standard power rating. This is directly from the Marantz M-CR610 owner's manual -

Rated output: 2-channel driving
50 W + 50 W (6 Ω/ohms, 1 kHz, THD+N 0.7 %)
Dynamic power:
60 W + 60 W (6 Ω/ohms, 1 kHz, THD+N 10 %)

In reality, to a best guess standard rating, the power is about 40w/ch to 8 ohm continuous. That actually puts it on the high end of Mini-Amp for power.

It sounds like you already have a Marantz-Mini and B&W 600 combination, so you know how well it works. I would expect the new amp and new speaker to work even better.

As to 4x30w vs 2x60w, you are already lean on power, I would not do anything to dilute that power. So, in my view, and my view only, stick with 2x60w.

Next, though not an identical feature match, and certainly not as compact, consider the Yamaha RN500 Network Receiver (£450) -


80w/ch of real power to 8 ohms, AM/FM, computer Network Streaming (DLNA, Apple Airplay), DAC-2xOptical, 2x Coaxial, 1x USB-media, PHONO, etc...

R-N500 - Stereo Receivers - Yamaha - UK and Ireland

I would say there is nothing wrong with the Marantz 610 and the B&W 686-S2 or 685-S2, and there is no denying that the Marantz 610 is very long on features. Plus, you already have a very similar system, so you know what you are getting and you have a good sense of how it will sound.

I can't fault your original choice for the money. But, and this is just my opinion, if you can scrap together more money, not much, but a bit more. I think you have have an infinitely better system.

That said, I can't fault your original choice, especially since you have experience with a similar system, and know that it works for you.

For what it is worth.

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Standard Member
thank you Steve !

I did not know about the Yamaha r-n500, it's an interesting device and will certainly consider it. It's also cheaper than the Marantz. Hope the audio quality is there too.
The only problem is the lack of CD player, I kinda like putting an old CD.
The PHONO feature is nice as I have an old vinyl player with a bad pre-amp.

You also say that for a bit more money, I could get an infinitely better system, what would you go for?

thanks again :)


Distinguished Member
A CD Player need not cost a King's Ransom -


The only complaint I've heard about the Yamaha CD Player is that the USB-Media port on the front is not real reliable with USB Thumb Drives. Though I've heard of no problems when it is used with a Smart Device like an iPhone.

However, if your CD Player will be used just for CDs, then the Yamaha is a fine player at a bargain price -

So, -

£450/ea = Yamaha RN500 Network Receiver
£170/ea = Yamaha CDS300 CD Player
£620 = Total

Alternate: Denon DCD-720 CD Player = £178/ea = £628 TOTAL System




Notice the Denon DCD720 has a Retail price of £350.


For what it is worth.

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