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B&W audition tomorrow - advice please

Water your plants

Distinguished Member
hi - im auditioning the xt series tomorrow and was wondering if there are any things i should be aware off before going. my local dealer has the xt4/2/c ex demo which he will sell to me for £1800 as im buying a krp-500a also. i will be driving this set up using a denon 2809 av receiver. having never had a surround set up before i will auditioning these against the 684 surround package, to see if indeed there is a big difference musically from sound released from aluminum / wooden casing. I thought this was a good price for the xtc package, until i discovered the xt8 is on the way as is the revamped xt2/c - which all include FST.

Originally i had decided on on the 683 package, but unfortunately my dealer cannot demo these tomorrow, so i decided on testing the 684s against the xt's just to get a feel of the sound created by the 6 series. My big fear is that i will buy the xt's only to find out that they are style speakers and not worth the hefty price tag. i may try to haggle to £1500 as my dealer failed to mention the upcoming xt8s!! - any info will be greatly appreciated :)

my room size is 10ftx12 and these speakers will be driven by a denon 2809 - 7 x 115 watts at 8 ohm

thanks
 
D

Dr MC

Guest
The XT series speakers are indeed 'style' speakers, that IMO happen to sound very good too. Probably not worth asking price if you're bothered about the cost, but I bought mine because I liked the sound, wanted good looks and didn't care about the price. There are plenty of speakers out there at the same price that will sound better in many people's opinion, but I think it's safe to say the XTs are plenty better than the 684s.

The above opinion is entirely my belief with one requirement however, and that is that they need to be driven properly. I've heard XTs on various amps, an Onkyo, two Yamahas and an old Denon (but not your amp). IMO none of these provided the power that my Harman Kardon seems to give unless you had them at high volumes. For example, the centre speaker can honestly sound very poor if used on a lesser system, missing quite a lot of depth in deep vocals like those on The Dark Knight.
I use my XTs for music, and for me, in my room they sound very pleasant indeed. Let us know how your listening test goes.
 

Water your plants

Distinguished Member
thanks for the info - what power does your HK throw out ?? reading many reviews on the xt series they all seemed to mention that they need to be driven properly and that at low volumes they are not so hot. they only problem ive got is that i have nothing at all to compare the sound to as ive never owned any decent speakers:(

i will mainly be using these split 50/50 for music/film. if i can get the whole package down to £1500 i would seriously be tempted, as im guessing the xt8 package will come in at around £3500 mark - which is way over budget. many complain about the lack of mid range, which im guessing is why they are adding FST to the XT8s....but to be honest i probably wouldn't hear the difference!

what type of music do you usually listen to through the xts btw??
 

ARNOLD AKIEN

Well-known Member
hi - im auditioning the xt series tomorrow and was wondering if there are any things i should be aware off before going. my local dealer has the xt4/2/c ex demo which he will sell to me for £1800 as im buying a krp-500a also. i will be driving this set up using a denon 2809 av receiver. having never had a surround set up before i will auditioning these against the 684 surround package, to see if indeed there is a big difference musically from sound released from aluminum / wooden casing. I thought this was a good price for the xtc package, until i discovered the xt8 is on the way as is the revamped xt2/c - which all include FST.

Originally i had decided on on the 683 package, but unfortunately my dealer cannot demo these tomorrow, so i decided on testing the 684s against the xt's just to get a feel of the sound created by the 6 series. My big fear is that i will buy the xt's only to find out that they are style speakers and not worth the hefty price tag. i may try to haggle to £1500 as my dealer failed to mention the upcoming xt8s!! - any info will be greatly appreciated :)

my room size is 10ftx12 and these speakers will be driven by a denon 2809 - 7 x 115 watts at 8 ohm

thanks

Finding a Dealer who can demo both your own Desired Speaker Set plus your own Desired Receiver can be absurdly difficult. :devil:

I have a Denon 2808 plus B and W 704 front left and right and a 600 series mixture for rears and center and a BK sub .. in haste since I must go out soon but do a search on my posts for my similar to your own search. The Denon Reciever will work well with B and W speakers.

Don't be in a Hurry! Don't be Eager .. they are the supplicants and YOU are the Man With The MONEY !


Take your own mixture of CDs, Standard DVD s, and Blue Rays .. I recommend " The Fifth Element (remastered ) Blue Ray ... The Diva Sings Episode " " Chicago " Blue Ray ... He Had It Coming episode and your own choice of music on CD.

[email protected] buy straight away .. have a think and then return with more playable Stuff if you need to.

Enjoy your Audition, take your time, don't be rushed .... YOU are in Control !! Never Forget it! :devil:

Best Wishes,

Arnold.
 

Water your plants

Distinguished Member
thank arnold - the problem is that i think i have to be in a hurry as a) i wanted to buy a speaker set up with my new plasma to save a few quid ( and the pioneer 5 year warranty deal expires at the end of the month ) b) they only have one XT package at that price.

will be definitely be taken the fifth element !! along with 2001 / mulholland drive and a wide range of music.
 
D

Dr MC

Guest
Well, there's always much debating whenever you start a conversation about a HK's power. It is only technically rated at 7 x 85W, but they tend to measure quite conservatively, compared to many other companies being sometimes very generous with their figures. Also HK figures are with all channels driven at the same time, through the whole frequency range, rather than one channel through the full range or even one channel at one frequency as some other companies do. Finally, HK promote their 'high-current' design for the reasoning behind saying their amps are more powerful.
I really don't want to get into a debate as to how true this all is, and how far other companies have come over the years, all I will say is that my HK rated at 85W is significantly louder and drives my XTs (and any other speakers I've ever tested TBH) better than my Yamaha 3800 rated at 140W.

Anyway, back to the point in question. If you can get the XTs for £1500, then that would be a very good deal. I think you would be very happy with them. However, although you say that you probably wouldn't hear a difference with the FST mid drivers in the new models, the biggest gain I can see for this is not in the new XT8, but rather the new XTC. The centre speaker currently is IMO the weak link in the system (or maybe because movies put such a demand on this channel, the XTs 'weaknesses' are more apparent here). With the FST also being put into the new XTC, I think this will eliminate many of the current models' issues. Maybe if you got the current range and waited for the new centre channel to arrive (it's only 2 months away) this would be better.
I listen to most music types, symphonic metal, classical, industrial, dance, rock, movie soundtracks, electronica, jazz, organ music and choral chants! (really, everything except pop and rap) I would say for my personal tastes the XTs are best suited to the orchestral / classical music style, their weakest area would have to be metal.
 

Water your plants

Distinguished Member
thanks Dr - im never one to compare specs on av products anyhoo, with companies measuring all things differently. i really wanted to know if my denon would suffice - but at 115 im not sure they would if the yam 3800 didn't cut it. music wise im the same as you - anything goes.....except for post 90's rap. but i dj - so a lot off house / electronic music will be thrown at it work wise .....but personal tastes vary from classical / soundtracks / 60/70s rock and a whole lot of blues.

the thing is at the moment i cannot afford the xtc package new or indeed the upcoming xt8 package... but as the krp-500a is speakerless i thought just about the 683s and a centre as i really like the idea of big floorstanders..even if i don't really have the room .....but the xt package at £1500 may be to good to miss.
 

ARNOLD AKIEN

Well-known Member
thanks Dr - im never one to compare specs on av products anyhoo, with companies measuring all things differently. i really wanted to know if my denon would suffice - but at 115 im not sure they would if the yam 3800 didn't cut it. music wise im the same as you - anything goes.....except for post 90's rap. but i dj - so a lot off house / electronic music will be thrown at it work wise .....but personal tastes vary from classical / soundtracks / 60/70s rock and a whole lot of blues.

the thing is at the moment i cannot afford the xtc package new or indeed the upcoming xt8 package... but as the krp-500a is speakerless i thought just about the 683s and a centre as i really like the idea of big floorstanders..even if i don't really have the room .....but the xt package at £1500 may be to good to miss.



On .. don't have the room - you've been looking at the B and W gallery haven't you ? :devil: ...


View the 683 gallery at Bowers & Wilkins - The World's leading Hi Fi and Home Theatre Brand

I wouln't worry about it. My room is a good deal smaller than the ideal and it does cope quite nicely with my 704 left and right HTM61 center and 685 rears plus BK sub .. I use an Arcam CD 73T to my Demon 2808 via Cord Cobra analogue leads with the 2808 set to Pure Direct to give Stereo with the 704s.

Do see what you can get from the dealer in the way of CD players for music ... don't just play everything with a Blue Ray Machine which just can't be as good with music from CDs .... take your own CD player if you can/ must ..... I just KNEW that I'd forget something in the recomendations listing !

Must go now .. cant even do a Speil Chuck. :D

Arnold.
 

Helicon

Banned
hi - im auditioning the xt series tomorrow and was wondering if there are any things i should be aware off before going......
My big fear is that i will buy the xt's only to find out that they are style speakers and not worth the hefty price tag
Not wishing to offend XT owners, but my advice would be to audition thoroughly, and make sure you compare them to something else! You are right, the XY series isn't worth the money. They may look nice, but the XT4's don't act like a £2k loudspeaker, which is due to their heavy lifestyle influence. I didn't like them at all, and that was on the end of a dedicated hi-fi amplifier. On the end of an AV amp they're going to sound worse. An equivalebtly priced (or even cheaper) M&K package will wipe the floor with them.

I appreciate looks are more important nowadays, but people really should start drawing a line. Systems all over the country are suffering because of it.
 

tommyav

Active Member
i had a demo of the xt4's last weekend and thought they were excellent! Until that is i heard the 684's! They just seemed a much deeper sound if that makes any sense! I would say if you can get the xt4's for that price though i would jump at the chance! They are very good speakers!
My room is 17ft x 17ft so i could manage a larger speaker.

Just listen to both! you might prefer the xt's! i dont use mine for music so maybe thats why i liked the 600 series more:confused:

As said by arnold ....Don't be hushed by the dealer! I walked out of the first demo i had due to him getting fed up after a whole 15mins!
 

Crustyloafer

Distinguished Member
They may look nice, but the XT4's don't act like a £2k loudspeaker, which is due to their heavy lifestyle influence. I didn't like them at all, and that was on the end of a dedicated hi-fi amplifier. On the end of an AV amp they're going to sound worse. An equivalebtly priced (or even cheaper) M&K package will wipe the floor with them.

I appreciate looks are more important nowadays, but people really should start drawing a line. Systems all over the country are suffering because of it.

Agreed, very expensive for the performance, or lack of, they offer. Looks are important, but how much?
 
D

Dr MC

Guest
I think you would be ok with XTs with that music genre list. The reason I feel they are a little weak on metal / rock music is that guitar sounds are very unforgiving on speakers. This added to the fact I deeply dislike bright sounding systems means they would have to be really exceptional speakers to do rock music as well as they do classical. I don't think I have ever heard a speaker that does everything well though...
Again, I wouldn't say the XTs sound bad on the 3800, just that there is a 'night and day' difference for my tastes compared to the HK. Your Denon may well be ok, it will certainly drive the 684s well, it's just the XTs are famous for their low sensitivity which probably accounts largely for high power amp requirements.
If you like the look of the bigger 683 speakers, and aren't looking for a certain style for your room with the XTs, then TBH I think you may be better off with the 600 series. I bought the XTs for a purpose in my room, not wanting standard rectangle wooden boxes stood upright, I guess my decision was based 60% on looks, 40% on sound quality.

There are many speakers that sound as good or better for the same or less money, but IMO none that look as good.
I would be very interested to note your findings tomorrow.
 

tommyav

Active Member
I went with my wife and as soon as she saw the xt's said 'we have them thankyou very much'!!!:eek:
But after listening the 684's even she told me not to pay extra for the shiny metal! Tempted though! as they do look very nice:rolleyes:
 

Water your plants

Distinguished Member
thanks guys - looks are important, but wasn't that wowed by the xt's appearance tbh!! as the larger cones of the 600 series coupled with wood are much more to my tastes. will demo both tomorrow.....just remembered that my dealer said he never had the 2809 in stock but would use an equivalent av receiver ......any ideas which would be a good match ?? or i might just take my 2809 in. tbh its the price that is making me even consider the xts, as if i can get all 5 speakers for 1500 thats only 600 more than 2 new 683s....

tommyav - what sort of stuff did you throw at the 684/xt in the demo and what was driving them ?? also performance wise where did the xt's sit in b&w's line up
 
D

Dr MC

Guest
Just read the other posts, I agree generally with all. If I cared about cost, or wasn't bothered what the speakers looked like, then I wouldn't have bought the XTs.
 

Water your plants

Distinguished Member
damn i hate being such a speaker newbie!! it took the good part of three years to sort of know what to look for in picture presentation, and i guess when it comes to sound it will be the same!! warm/bright sounds ....low sensitivity etc :eek: .....i guess i will only learn !
 

tommyav

Active Member
They were being powered by the Yamaha RX-V1700 which was a clearance amp but they both sound very good. I went for the 600 series due partly to feedback on this forum really and thought it was enough to pay after converting my garage just recently. To me the xt's sounded good but just lacked the same soundstage that the 684's produced. This may of been down to the amp. If i was placing them in my living room, or even come to think of it in my house i would of gone for the xt's. As mine are in a converted detached garage i wasn't too fussy!
Just bought a bang olusfen beosound 9000 so looks over sound are also important to me too so i cant rant about sound over looks really can i?!
 

Helicon

Banned
Smaller, slimmer speakers lack bass/fullness when played at quiet volumes.
 

Water your plants

Distinguished Member
cheers fellas -

heilcon -i thought the xts would suffer somewhere, as they are rather slim.

tommyav - why the 684s over the 683's ??

the set up i do eventually purchase will be for my bedroom (10x12ft) and will eventually go in the living room when i get my own place. will have to do some measuring up to see if i could actually fit the 6 series in the room with out them being to dominating.
 
D

Dr MC

Guest
Hmm, generally I would say they don't sound that good at low volumes, but it is obviously relative. I have quite a large room so when I have them on 'low', they sound good IMO. Maybe because they are actually being driven at moderate volume compared to what some people class as 'low', or maybe it's the HK again, I have always considered it to sound 'fuller' at low volumes compared to other systems I've used.
Again, their sensitivity limitations and the laws of physics of smaller enclosures, ultimately limits the speakers performance when playing quietly
 

Water your plants

Distinguished Member
thanks dr - all i can do now is test them out !! will report back tomorrow.

a big thanks to everyone that has posted their views so far, finding it all extremely helpful :thumbsup: cheers guys
 

tommyav

Active Member
cheers fellas -

heilcon -i thought the xts would suffer somewhere, as they are rather slim.

tommyav - why the 684s over the 683's ??

the set up i do eventually purchase will be for my bedroom (10x12ft) and will eventually go in the living room when i get my own place. will have to do some measuring up to see if i could actually fit the 6 series in the room with out them being to dominating.

684's instead of 683's mainly down to fact i was was happy with the 684's! Cheaper and also smaller. Also read some mixed reviews on the 683's which suggested they were not worth the extra money????!
I think it it came down to just drawing a line & not wanting to spend more money that was not a massive jump in quality if any!
You could keep just saying "for that extra £??? i could have these better sounding speakers!" Its very easy to carried away in a dealers showroom and spend 2x the amount of money you intended!

Listen to the demos but always have in your mind that some dealers main concern is to get you to spend more money! regardless if its in your best interest!
 

Water your plants

Distinguished Member
for that extra £???

i need to grow out of that mentality too. wasn't that happy about testing the 684's as they are the lowest spec of the two in the 6 series, but now im quite looking forward to it !! when i popped in the store the other day the 684's looked the perfect size for me and made the xts look a little feeble......only time will tell......looking quite forward to testing out both sets of b&ws now :)
 

Water your plants

Distinguished Member
guys i understand that for the money the xt's don't offer that much bang for you buck......but what about at these prices .....

xt4 - £1000
xt2 - £300
xtc - £200

thats what im looking to pay, they are ex demo - out for around a year, includes 3 year bw warranty, and look in very good condition......my dealer said that he will even replace the grilles with new ones. im guessing i couldn't get two new xt8's for that price or even a 683/4 theatre.
 

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