B&W 685 vs Monitor Audio RX6

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by anuvid, Jan 1, 2012.

  1. anuvid

    anuvid
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    I have a pair of B&W 685s that I love, coupled with my Musical Fidelity A3.5. I heard a pair of Monitor Audio RX6s paired with a Marantz PM6004 the other day and they sounded excellent in an audition room from an £ 800 CD player. Most of my music is digital and streamed from a PC through and external DAC. I wonder if anyone could tell me if I'll notice sufficient improvement from my 685s by paying an extra £ 400 for the RX6s ?
     
  2. beanoir

    beanoir
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    I think you will. The RX6 (and the MAs in general over the B&W) deliver a more pronounced vocal which if you listen to that type of music is very good.
     
  3. anuvid

    anuvid
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    Thanks. I noticed that the bass was very nicely joined up with the rest of the range, but didn't get the vocal thing. Maybe I'll audition again. Hard to tell how much is speakers and how much amp. But nobody stocks my Musical Fidelity to do the comparison and in Kent the stores stocking B&W don't stock Monitor Audio - the manufacturers seem to divide and conquer.
     
  4. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    You are comparing a basic £400 bookshelf to a substantial £800 floorstanding speaker. That is hardly a fair comparison. Certainly and reasonably on all fronts the RX6 are going to be impressive speakers. They are also very well regarded with a long list of fans.

    Though B&W and Monitor Audio tend to be voiced different. Certain, if I person doesn't like one they will like the other, and one might like both, but for different reasons.

    Both speakers have a high reputation and long proven history. The question is, are you willing to pay nearly double for the Monitor Audio RX, and do you personally like the sound.

    Keep in mind, you can get the B&W 684 floorstanding speaker for about £100 less per pair. (£699/pr). I've heard these, they are an impressive speaker, and many recommend over the 684 over the 683, deeming that the 684 have great bass and little is gained for the extra money (£1000/pr) that the 683 cost.

    There is no denying that all the speakers being discussed are great speakers for the money, but the money is very different for each of them.

    Steve/bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  5. beanoir

    beanoir
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    Have you tried Sevenoaks HiFi, they certainly stock both B&W and MA and I seem to think may even have stocked MF kit... worth a look.

    Whilst I agree with what Steve says above, the comparison is a fair one because you're looking to upgrade from what you already own to something else so one will naturally compare one to the other - but you must audition at least both speakers in the same environment with the same sources if you can otherwise you'll find it difficult to draw a fair comparison.

    Both B&W and MA make great speakers, and i've been through a fair few sets from each and don't have a "favourite".
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  6. anuvid

    anuvid
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    Thanks all. I appreciate the advice and realise that the budgets are different, however audio as well as being personal can also work on a law of diminishing returns. So that hike in ability from the 400 B&w is not necessarily worth 100% more in money. Hence my question. I'll try Sevenoaks, though the store in Maidstone was a little snooty with a friend of mine recently.

    Bluewizard I fully respect your view, but I would humbly suggest that the 685 is more than a basic bookshelf speaker. Opinions seem to be divided on bookshelf vs floorstander, but what I'm interested in is the net result and whether double in cost gets me significant gains. But I really appreciate you taking time to reply in such detail.
     
  7. peritus

    peritus
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    Having owned both sets of speakers and thoroughly enjoyed them (and regretted having to sell them) I'd say that yes, you'd get hell of a noticeable upgrade going from the B&W 685's to the M/A RX6's

    The RX6's really are superb speakers and kick well above their price tag; I demo'd them along side the B&W 684's and 683's, QUAD 22L2's, PMC GB1i's, Neat Motive 2's, Spendor A5's and Totem Arro's and for me the RX6's and PMC's were right at the top

    The RX6's offer a superb all round soundstage with solid, deep & punchy bass with a superbly detailed midrange and great treble that's not harsh or bright in any way (whereas their older siblings, the RS6's were known to be bright with the wrong electronics)

    The B&W 685's are very good speakers indeed but it's hard to compare them against fantastic floorstanders due to the extra sound that the RX6's would be able to deliver, not to mention the deeper & punchier bass!
     
  8. lunarwolf

    lunarwolf
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    i love the 685; however comparing them to floorstanders that cost twice as much is a futile exercise :facepalm:
     
  9. anuvid

    anuvid
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    Thanks guys. Anyone want to buy a pair of Black 685s :)
     
  10. Mike1986

    Mike1986
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    I think you will find a good improvement if you have a decent sized room and position them well. I had a demo of the 685, 684 and MA BX range. The RX was overkill for my room size. The MA was the best and I ended up buying them. The RX will be another step or two up again I am sure of it. Go for it if you have the room.
     
  11. beanoir

    beanoir
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    Thanks, i've since thought that they are probably a little too big for what I want them for...hence my other thread. I need something a bit smaller unfortunately.

    They will sell quickly though I expect once you stick a classified up.
     
  12. BlueWizard

    BlueWizard
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    I think it is more complicated that this speaker vs that speaker.

    And I didn't refer to the 685 as a basic bookshelf speaker, I referred to it as a basic £400 bookshelf speaker.

    For me the advantage with floorstanding is the amount of air that gets moved. There are two ways to give weight to music. One is to push small speakers very hard, the other is to push big speakers not quite so hard. I personally prefer floorstanding even in a somewhat modest room.

    Also, my floorstanding speakers (Diamond 9.6) are about 44 inches high, well over a meter. But the RX6 and the 684 are 35.626" or 905mm, the B&W 684 are also 35.8" or 910mm high. The RX dimensions includes the Plinth. The actual cabinet is only 33.44" or 850mm. That should blend well into most rooms.

    Yes, I would say either is certainly an upgrade, and both are most certainly worth the price. When you consider Diminishing Returns, you have to understand that while it is diminishing, there is a very real return. The speakers I have are about £600/pr at current prices. I've heard speakers costing £1700, and other speaker at £2500/pr that absolutely blew my speakers away, stunning in their clarity and detail. For £600, I'm happy with what I have, but if I had £2000 or £3000 to spend, I wouldn't hesitate to by the more expensive speakers. The difference was night and day between them. I deemed them both to easily be worth the extra money.

    I've also heard the B&W 684, and was very impressed and easily felt it was worth the price tag.

    So, the question is not, is it worth it, rather, the question is, is it worth it to you?

    I had the cash in the bank to buy either the Focal 836 or the Canton Karat 790.2, but I just couldn't justify the outlay. The speaker were definitely worth, and certainly worth it to me, but I just couldn't justify spending the money.

    Steve/Bluewizard
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  13. anuvid

    anuvid
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    Steve thanks for that. I think for me the real question will be around changeover value. I like my 685s and heard them through a Marantz PM6004 and they were great. The RX6s were noticably better, but to me, not 200% better. Maybe 20% better. But I do get what you're saying. For me diminshing returns probably apply more to CD players and the like. And size of room is a definite factor. But what I firmly agree with you on is big powerful speakers driven not too hard. The RX6s certainly showed me what listening to music at modest volume can be like. I have Bose in my car and at times it's like being punched in the back. Would anyone like to buy and SLK with some 685s thrown in :) ?
     

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