B&W 685s or QUAD 12L2 SPEAKERS

snig300

Active Member
ok was going to buy the 685s today but it seems there is a long wait for them so was thinking about the 12L2s would be equal or better?they do cost more so would they be that much better or would the 685s be worth the wait? would be using mainly for TV/bluray and a bit of music,got a denon 2309 but only using them for stero at the min untill money allows me to buy the rest,

any comments welcome cheers
 

dalehead

Active Member
As many people here will tell you, you'll only know the answer if you listen to them both in a demo.
I think the 685's are amazing, and would certainly be worth the wait, but again that's my opinion, and you may prefer the Quad's if you get to listen to them.
 

Tranquillity

Standard Member
As dalehead suggested, it would be wise to listen to both and then make your mind up. I have not listened to B&W speakers, but i doubt either speakers will dissapoint as they are very respected manufacturers, they will just have different qualities.

I my self took the plunge for quad 11l speakers 3 years ago and have been hooked on quad ever since, they are fantastic speakers. I have recently upgraded to quad 12l2 fronts, l2 centre and 11l2 as rear speakers with a BK xls 200 df sub and it is fantastic. The only downside to the quads, and bookshelf speakers in general is that bass may be lacking. The quads are a tad laid back, they need to be pushed to produce oodles of bass, but i am not a bass junkie and that is why i love the quad sound, they can sing along nicely without disturbing everyone with boomy bass. They have controlled bass, which may sound restrictive or make the speaker sound bright, but that can be sorted with a good subwoofer so no problems there. They do need to be paired up with a good amp though to really shine, i have read Arcam is a good choice, but more research is needed on that. I am using a HK 155 amp at the momet, but will upgrade in a few years to something better.

Have you looked at the quad 11l2? Very similar to the 12l2 but cheaper. The 12l2 does sound bigger and produces a little more bass but i think the 11l2 are just as good for less money. I only purchased the 12l2 because i had a good deal on them, so i managed to get the 12l2 for a little less than the retail price of the 11l2.
 

McCraque

Active Member
or you could always push the boat out just a little more and plump for some XTZ 99.25's!

Just received mine and am very very happy with them.
 

snig300

Active Member
cheers for them replies,

why could the B&Ws not have been in stock! it's amazing how you start at 1 price and then once you start looking think well another £100 I could get these,so I've went from £370-£499 and in my search found a great post from [email protected]@ about just the speakers I've been looking at, and am now thinking about pushing the boat out for a pair of 21L2s which look great but now I'm thinking would my denon 2309 be able to handle these?I'm thinking not so anyone know? I can no way upgrade my AV yet so looking for the best speakers for the AV,

so the question is wait for the 685s or go for the 12l2s or push that boat out for the 21l2s


please give me your thoughts :confused:
 

Tranquillity

Standard Member
cheers for them replies,

why could the B&Ws not have been in stock! it's amazing how you start at 1 price and then once you start looking think well another £100 I could get these,so I've went from £370-£499 and in my search found a great post from [email protected]@ about just the speakers I've been looking at, and am now thinking about pushing the boat out for a pair of 21L2s which look great but now I'm thinking would my denon 2309 be able to handle these?I'm thinking not so anyone know? I can no way upgrade my AV yet so looking for the best speakers for the AV,

so the question is wait for the 685s or go for the 12l2s or push that boat out for the 21l2s


please give me your thoughts :confused:

For the price of the 21l2 you could get the 11l2 speakers and a bk xls 200 / Bk Gemini 2 instead, just another option for you to think about lol. The bass will have greater depth with this option, but it is all down to what you require. I started out with a stereo setup, and started with the quad 11l and BK xls 200 subwoofer, it is an excellent start to a home cinema setup.

quad 21l2 - £699 retail

quad 11l2 - £379 retail (can be had cheaper if you search online)
Bk sub - 295 to 325 (depending on colour) about £704 in total.

Lol i would just get the B&W otherwise you will sink yourself into so much debt with our recommendations lol
 
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knucky

Standard Member
I`ve never heard the B&W speakers so can`t comment. I do have 12l speakers that sound great with a Roksan L3 amp and cd player.
 

Sorreltiger

Active Member
I am very happy with my 12L2s, which - like many others - I bought to upgrade my Quad L-ite package. I now have the L2 Centre (although the original L-ite centre was actually fine!) and the L-ite satellites in a 7.1 configuration. The L-ite sub does a fine job. If you go for the 12L2s (or 11L2s) this could be a possibility. My amp is the Yamaha RX-V3800.
 
ok was going to buy the 685s today but it seems there is a long wait for them so was thinking about the 12L2s would be equal or better?they do cost more so would they be that much better or would the 685s be worth the wait? would be using mainly for TV/bluray and a bit of music,got a denon 2309 but only using them for stero at the min untill money allows me to buy the rest,

any comments welcome cheers

I've listened to both speakers when i was buying my new set-up. I was very impressed with the 685s and was going to buy them myself. Until i listened to Monitor Audio BR2 which for £200 sound better in my opinion but i would buy the 685s over the quads
 

eaglemmoomin

Active Member
For the price of the 21l2 you could get the 11l2 speakers and a bk xls 200 / Bk Gemini 2 instead, just another option for you to think about lol. The bass will have greater depth with this option, but it is all down to what you require. I started out with a stereo setup, and started with the quad 11l and BK xls 200 subwoofer, it is an excellent start to a home cinema setup.

quad 21l2 - £699 retail

quad 11l2 - £379 retail (can be had cheaper if you search online)
Bk sub - 295 to 325 (depending on colour) about £704 in total.

Lol i would just get the B&W otherwise you will sink yourself into so much debt with our recommendations lol

Depends upon what you want to spend and how quickly you want it all. If you are planning on upgrading your AV amp in the next couple of years and thus the whole setup I'd actually go with the Quad 21L2s. Rather than buying everything in one big go, buy it in bits. In the long run you will end up with a much higher quality system. Personally I don't understand the need to change your speakers every year or two. Its the one bit of your system that should last the longest if you buy decent quality parts that you like the sound of in the first place. Otherwise you will purchase 11L2s (nice speakers, I have some myself, but I would'nt use them as my main stereo pair as part of a mixed use home cinema/music system, especially not if they eventually end up paired with a £1300+ AV amp) then end up replacing them as your source and AV amp improve.

Your current amp will drive the bigger Quads no problems if it lets you biamp that will help also. They possibly might not be at their absolute best but it should be fine its a mid range AV amp not a bargain bin cheap as chips job so I can't see it having too many problems with the next level up of speakers.
 

Menoetius

Active Member
I've done direct comparisons between these two on lots of occasions. I've demo'd them with various AV receivers and stereo amps and lots of different sources. Every time, except once, the Quads were chosen. For me, the 12L2s are the better speaker. Book a dem and compare for yourself.
 

snig300

Active Member
I've done direct comparisons between these two on lots of occasions. I've demo'd them with various AV receivers and stereo amps and lots of different sources. Every time, except once, the Quads were chosen. For me, the 12L2s are the better speaker. Book a dem and compare for yourself.


yep will do that,it must be hard tho walking out of the demo and not buying the speakers so hope I do like at least 1 pair! so I'm going to demo the 685s 12l2s and 2l2s bit of a price differance there? is that going to be unfair to the 685s? and any other speakers that should be in there that i.ve missed? and as for my av which is a denon 2309 would the listed speaker run ok with that?21l2s do they need a better av? not really wanting to upgrade the av yet(nomoney for that) cheers
 

Menoetius

Active Member
If I was going to recommend another bookshelf speaker, at least one that I sold, then it would be the Epos M12i. Thats going up in price again though.
But if you are happy to spend a bit more then I'd look at the PMC DB1i. This is another jump in price though. But as a PMC owner, I'd recommend them. I never sold them in my store but was introduced to them when I did a demcraft course at Moorgate Acoustics in Sheffield a few years ago.

As for having a dem without buying ...

You pay your money you take your choice. Don't worry about leaving without buying. You want a new pair of speakers. They aren't cheap. You want what's best for you. No need to be embarrassed about it. If you feel that you're getting "the hard sell" or being put under pressure to buy on the spot then I'd say the dealer just wants your money and doesn't care about you. There are plenty of dealers out there who do care. I did.
 
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TEEZR

Active Member
Depends upon what you want to spend and how quickly you want it all. If you are planning on upgrading your AV amp in the next couple of years and thus the whole setup I'd actually go with the Quad 21L2s.

Hi, sorry for getting a little bit off-topic: how do you value the Quad 21L2's as surrounds and 22L2's as fronts? Would the 21L2's be an overkill? I'm getting into this direction since if I facto in a decent good looking pair of speaker stands, then the price of the 21L2's compared to the 11L2's would not be that far off, wouldn't it?

Or are you of the opinion that I should go the other route and choose rather quad lites as surrounds?

between B&W 685s and QUAD 12L2, I can't tell much, since I never did an A/B comparison, but I do think that the QUADs do sound very good with denon kits, AV and Stereo...
 

Menoetius

Active Member
From demonstrations I've done, and customer feedback, then I'd pick the 21L2 over the 22L2 as the fronts. The 21L2 sound tighter and more cohesive than the 22L2. The 22L2 might cost more but I'd still pick the 21L2 over them. As for the rears I would rather go for the 11L2 or 12L2 over the floorstanders. More money for a quality sub. Just my opinion of course.
 

eaglemmoomin

Active Member
From demonstrations I've done, and customer feedback, then I'd pick the 21L2 over the 22L2 as the fronts. The 21L2 sound tighter and more cohesive than the 22L2. The 22L2 might cost more but I'd still pick the 21L2 over them. As for the rears I would rather go for the 11L2 or 12L2 over the floorstanders. More money for a quality sub. Just my opinion of course.

Totally agree with that. Unless you live in a palace and have loads of space its overkill imho that and your amp might not be man enough when you have loads of dynamic swings in what ever your viewing. Or if you do live in a palace invest in a meaty power amp:devil:
 

Timbo21

Well-known Member
I'm just gonna put my two pence worth in :)

I have previously owned a pair of Quad 11L's, and enjoyed them very much. I have also heard the B&W 685's on many occasions, with different bits of kit. The 685's are nice speakers, but I think I would be leaning towards the 12L2, or 21L2 if the room permits.

The Quad L series have fantastic build quality, and if the L2 series is similar to it's predecessor, then you are getting a great sounding speaker with great build quality, real veneer, and high quality lacquer. The 685's are good, but you can tell corners have been cut in terms of cabinet quality, ie vinyl not veneer. I think both are made in China, but you will definitely get pride of ownership with the Quads, whereas not so much with the 685's. Quad's cabinet is generally more sturdy than the 685's, which is obviously v. important.

I love B&W's, as you will see from my signature, but in this case I think you may get more long term pleasure from the Quads, but of course have a demo.
 

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