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B&W DM602 S3 Speakers?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Sunday Ironfoot, Mar 12, 2003.

  1. Sunday Ironfoot

    Sunday Ironfoot
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    Could anyone advice me as to whether it's worth upgrading my current Mission M71i speakers to a pair of B&W DM602 S3's ? I'm am looking to upgrade my current speakers because, although I'm relatively satisfied with them, to me they don't sound dynamic enough (forgive me if I've used the incorrect term but by that I mean bass light). I've heard the B&W's excel in this area which is why I'm very tempted by this set, it's main use is for 2-channel stereo rather than home cinema. My question is basically will the improvements in sound justify the £300 expense? Am I better off either sending more money or keeping my existing speakers? Or could you suggest alternative bookshelf speakers for £300 to £400?

    Yes I know, I should demo these speakers and decide for myself except nowhere local where I live has these speakers so I have to relly on advice from these forums. Thanks for any help/suggestions!
     
  2. Lesmond

    Lesmond
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    Having heard both the 602S3's and Monitor Audio Silvers, I'd recommend the latter. Bass is tight and controlled on the MAs, but the B&W's are more boomey than punchy. I also found the silvers had a remarkable soundstage.

    Nip along to your local Sevenoaks and give both a try, along with maybe some Quad 11L's and Kefs Q range?

    Les
     
  3. WhyAyeMan

    WhyAyeMan
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    I've heard the Mission M51's, KEF Q1's, B&W 602S3's and Quad 11L's. Out of those, I felt the Mission M51's were the best. Very transparent, and punchy, although the ultimate depth of bass isnt the greatest, the bass is really good quality IMO. I felt they were better than the B&Ws, as they were faster and more musical and had better refinement. The KEF Q1 was not as good as either, and the Quad 11Ls were a huge disappointment to my ears, sounding ploddy and strained.
     
  4. jhjerpe

    jhjerpe
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    I think the B&Ws are great speakers, having moved from a Mission set-up to the B&Ws I am very pleased with the overall result.
     
  5. ISHANTY

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    i think the bB&W were the best for me gots lots of base but that depends on what you want but you must judge for yourself and only you can decide on the outcome, its a matter of personal tastes get down to some demo rooms.
    my setup
    B&W 602 S3 F/R
    B&W 60 s3
    YAMMY 630 SE AMP
    SKY+
    JVC-DVD XV-n5
    LCR 60 S3
    PHILIPS775 CD RECORDER
    AND I'M HAPPY FOR NOW BUT I WILL UPGRADE SOON!
     
  6. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Shanty ... is that really your setup??

    You have 602 fronts, 603 rears and 601 centre?

    Why do you have large floorstanders for the rears and stand mounts for the fronts? Do you have a CRT TV ... if so ... how do you get round the problem of lack of shielding on the 601?

    Vikki
     
  7. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Re:Lesmond's point about B&W bass....most of the B&W range are actually classed as difficult amplifier loads,due to large resistance swings to quite low values,in the bass region.

    In that respect they need amps which can deliver large amounts of current into 4ohm or lower loads,or damping etc will suffer,and they will sound boomy......luckily I knew this when listening to B&W805s first in a shop with Tag amps prior to actually trying them at home on Krells.....absolutely no contest and a much tighter deeper bass with the Krells.
     
  8. ISHANTY

    ISHANTY
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    my misses didnt want me to have floor stands now she wish i had but its mainly for music and cost.it only cost me £50 more to get the 602 s3 r i want a plasma next
    so sorry 60 s3 lol had to go down and look
     
  9. ISHANTY

    ISHANTY
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    so can you tell me where i went wrong the amp ive got is only a standby until i can get the one i want which is denon 3803
     
  10. Lesmond

    Lesmond
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    Interesting point that alexs2 made.

    But I don't understand, who would buy medium spec speakers and run them off a system below 6 ohms (from what I understand, anyone having a system such as this is in audiophile territory - to which you'd assume you'd go for speakers in a higher class??)

    The 600 series is (I'm sure) is in a class for the mass market, and in 99% of the case people would go for an amp in the same sort of class, normally running off 8/6 ohms?



    :rolleyes: I can hear flames in the distance....
     
  11. ISHANTY

    ISHANTY
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    im new to this please explain what have i don wrong
     
  12. Lesmond

    Lesmond
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    Nothing! :laugh:
     
  13. alexs2

    alexs2
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    To ISHANTY...you didnt go wrong as such.....and certainly if you plan to upgrade to a Denon 3803,you will find the sound quality goes up a lot.
    We all sometimes have to buy our systems in bits and gradually upgrade.

    To Lesmond....not quite sure what you're getting at here...the speaker price range has nothing to do with the impedance or the load difficulty,as there are examples of this in every price bracket.

    The 600 series is firmly in the mass market part of B&W's range,but does place quite a load on the amp driving it,making your choice of amp quite important...in that price range amp wise,you'd be looking at Rotel and similar for current delivery as a priority.
    I'm certainly not suggesting that you need Krells to run B&W600's off...

    Also,as I've said before,the best way of selecting equipment is to actually listen to it all working together in your own home before buying.
     
  14. Sunday Ironfoot

    Sunday Ironfoot
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    The B&W 602S3 specify an amp in the range of 25-100 Watts, my Arcam A65plus is 40 Watts and I have it set up in a medium sized room, would this be enough to power the B&W's? Would Bi-amping with an Arcam P75plus make any difference?

    Also regarding someone's recommendation of Mission M51's, I am tempting by these one's, they would probably be second choice to the 602S3's. I basically want something with a little more dynamic grip than the Mission M71i's but I don't want boomy bass. What about the Mission M52's? Overal do the Mission M50 range share the same/similar sonic character to the Mission M70 range (obviously they would sound better overal), or do they sound radically different?

    Thanks!
     
  15. Sunday Ironfoot

    Sunday Ironfoot
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    Could any of you B&W 602 S3 owners possibly describe the 'sonic character' of these speakers. eg. warm, bright, forward etc.
     
  16. Lesmond

    Lesmond
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    What you want is non-biased opinions, not owner opinions!

    I heard the B&W 600 series at Sevenoaks, and I thought their sound was not very accurate at all. Lack of midrange, boomey bass and not having a good sound stage. As others point out, particular amps can make up for this, but I don't accept this argument - it seems like a work around to me.
     
  17. sounddog

    sounddog
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    Lesmond ... I slightly disagree with you.

    The opinion of someone who's listened to a set of speakers once for (I'd guess) 30 mins at the most and with one particular amp (which didn't suit the speakers) is still important ... but if you get objective comments from someone who has lived with a pair of speakers for a year or more is going to be a lot more use.

    I don't say that 602s2 are perfect ...they are very large boxes, have quite a character of their own - which people either love or hate - and need space to work in. However driven properly (and yes they are quite a difficult speaker to drive) they are very clear and full of detailed. The music is very (erm this next word isn't very descriptive) musical and can perform well with a whole host of different forms of music.

    Thats my opinion ... if other people want to express an alternative opinion thats fine too.

    Vikki

    Lesmond ... your point about matching amps and speakers can be turned around ... the 602s work well with most amps ... so what is wrong with the HK that means that it can't drive them properly!! If you want to start getting critical about whats at fault then both points of view are equally valid. And for amps to drive the 602s we're not talking Krells, we're talking Rotel / NAD / Arcam IMO for stereo and the higher end Denon / Yamaha / Pioneer amps for AV use.
     
  18. nathan_silly

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    I've given my comments as well. I would not buy B&W speakers again, unless the 8xx and Nautilus are good (compared to similar priced speakers)


    The 601's sound boomy & whompy. Amp will not fix this. Look at another brand Lesmond.
     
  19. Sunday Ironfoot

    Sunday Ironfoot
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    People say these speakers are difficalt to drive, how do you mean, as in Watts? I have a 40 Watt Arcam (see signiture), I assumed this would be enough since B&W specify an amp in the 25-100 Watt range.

    Looks like I'm gonna have to demo a few speakers at my nearest HIFI shop and take £300 cash with me, maybe £400 just to be safe. Reviewing speakers truely does seem to be a subjective business. Not that I don't appreciate your help, cheers for the advice and suggestions people.
     
  20. WhyAyeMan

    WhyAyeMan
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    As I said previously I've heard the 602S3, and to be honest, I didnt think they were a bad speaker at all. The main things to note were good bass, they were bright sounding, but also very detailed, perhaps not the smoothest treble however, and they did need a bit of volume to start singing - that may or may not be a problem. The 40 watt Rotel RA-01 amp drove them with ease, and at very loud volumes, although the Rotel amps have excellent current delivery, but then again, I see no reason why the Arcam couldnt cope.

    In comparison, I felt the Mission M51's sounded almost as big, but are actually much smaller (although their actual cabinet volume is larger than they look), they had a very quick, tuneful bass and goes to depths that belie their small size. They were almost as bright as the B&W, not quite as detailed I felt, but smoother, and as such, I would find it easier to live with. They worked better than the B&W at low levels, and would work better in a smaller room (like mine), they are also a less reactive load (ie less demanding for the amplifier), and will be easier for a range of amplifiers to drive. The sensisitivity is lower than the B&W by about 3db, meaning that the B&W will be able to go louder ultimately.

    Hope this helps...
     
  21. Sunday Ironfoot

    Sunday Ironfoot
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    Thanks pbirkett that really helps!!

    When you say the Missions are better at lower levels, do you mean the sound quality is better at lower volumes than the B&W's. I live in the fairly large room and mostly have the volume up fairly high, though there are occasions when I have to turn it down for when my student flat mates fancy a lie in until 2pm :lesson: :boring: Do the B&W's sound particular bad at low volume levels?

    I have a quick question about Bi-amping, does bi-amping actually increase the power output, since you're using two amplifiers, eg. will an Arcam A65/P75 combo find it easier to drive these speakers than just using an A65?
     
  22. Lesmond

    Lesmond
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    I'd agree that someone who has lived with them can go into more detail about the speakers, but at the end of the day you're probably going to be slightly biased compared to someone who has listened to a few brands with no preconceptions.

    I would say that it doesn't take much time at all to realise if you like the sound that a particular speaker produces. If the sound is quite obviously inferior to another speaker you heard minutes ago, you're not going to allow it a longer audition. To quote Tone from 'Point Break' - "That would be a *waste* of time!".

    I also think chosing an amp to suit speakers is a ridiculous notion. There is a great deal more variables in an amplifiers/receiver to consider before deciding on a particular make and model. All a speaker has to do is output the signals the amp produces. You cannot tweak a speaker in the way you can tweak an amp (which you really wouldn't want to do anyway to get the true sound from the speakers).

    Why would you say the HK can't drive them properly? It's not like it hasn't enough power - the 5500 produces 45amps...
     
  23. yant

    yant
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    Hi,

    I'll just start with a disclaimer that I don't think I qualify in anyways as an audiophile but we recently bought a system and did research for quite a few months listening to various stuff. My wife and I listened are the BW602s3, BW602.5S3, Monitor Audio Silver S1 and S2, Kef Q1, Triangle Titus, Quad 11L, Dynaudio 42 and 52, Mission 780SE (i might be forgetting some). We ended up buying the Dyn42. However, to be fair they are significantly more than the 602s so this is not quite a fair comparaison.

    I very quickly heard the 602 vs 602.5 and thought the 602 were better. 'though it was not a proper listening test.

    While we were looking for an Amp, we've heard the 602 and the MA Silver S1 and the S1 had better mids but the 602 had more base, about even but it was with a cheap amps (Denon AVR1603, Onkyo 500).

    I've heard the BW602 vs the Mission 780SE and I thought that overall 780SE were better, the room was small which might not have helped but the BW were again too boomy and not as nice a mid-range to the 780SE, it was relatively close.

    We had a direct comparaison MA Silver S2 vs BW602S3. We both thought that the 602 were just slightly better than the MA S2 with a pop song but that the MA S2 were quite a bit better with Jazz, Classical and Vocal. Instruments sounded more real.

    We then had a direct comparaison MA S2, Quad 11L and Dyn 42 and for our taste, the Monitor Audio were badly outclassed. The only thing the MA had over the Quad and Dyn was a little more base (boomy but more controlled with the foam plugs in) . The difference with piano, sax, etc was huge. With the Quad and Dyn, you could almost touch the player. There was no such feeling with the MA. With pop, the MA was doing fine but was not better.

    The above of course is a matter of taste but I hope it helps maybe decide what to listen to.


    Yannick
     
  24. Sunday Ironfoot

    Sunday Ironfoot
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    Thanks for the post Mr Yank!

    You said the 602's were too boomy and that you were in a small room, how were the 602's positioned in your listening test. I've heard from some people that these speakers need room to breath and that if you have them too close too walls etc. then they can sound boomy.

    You've given me quite a few alternative speaker choices to consider, thanks, I'll look into them also.
     
  25. Sheks

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    Hi,

    Thought I would add my own experiences with the B&W speakers in this fascinating thread.

    I have been using 602S3 for about six months now (with an LCR60 and 600's for the rears).

    I mainly listen to music (through a Raksan Kandy Mk3 stereo amp), but also like a good (loud:D ) movie via a Denon 3802 receiver.

    It is true the B&W's were quite bright to start with and needed a long running in, but now I consider them to be one of my most successful purchases.

    I listen to a wide range of music (rock, classical, jazz, vocal) and am more than happy with the results (even the wife likes them :smashin: ).

    As a point of note my previouse speakers were mission 702E (budget floor standers). The sound is "significantly" different between these speakers. I wanted to "upgrade" because I was not happy with the treble of the missions, the B&W's sound much more "open" (if that means anything), although some might consider that to be "bright".

    I would recommend an extended listen in your own home (if possible), as I have found the B&W's are more fussy about positioning than my previous mission speakers.

    Regards
    Colin
     
  26. Rob KSA

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    I am a newbie and also a new owner of a 602/s3. I have fiddled a bit with the speaker. What I noticed is that it is indeed quite picky with it's location, i.e., not too near walls or enclosures. I don't agree with the statement about it not being accurate because if you put crappy sources, i.e., tape/cds instead of dvds, or lower end a/v receivers, tried it with pioneer d2011 and an earlier versions of pioneer receivers, the difference is a bit astounding. So to the contrary, it gives an accurate redention of your source, detailed. Of course as I've said, I'm new but I find the B&W speakers to be excellent in its price range. Just another opinion that might not count being a newbie, but all I can say is that, B&W rocks . :clap:
     
  27. Sunday Ironfoot

    Sunday Ironfoot
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    Thanks for the reply Rob and Sheks, keeping them away from walls shouldn't be a problem.

    Sheks, are the B&W's bright sounding overall, my Mission M71's have excellent trebble and I've gotten used to this sound so this would be another plus point, it's just the bass output on the M71's which is lacking. However, some people have said that the mid is slightly restrained on the B&W's, would you agree with this?
     
  28. ISHANTY

    ISHANTY
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    It's all a matter of personal taste and i for one am truely happy with my speakers its pumps out nice hip hop sound just the way i like it!!
     
  29. WhyAyeMan

    WhyAyeMan
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    I felt the B&Ws sounded slightly shut in at lower volumes, sounding a bit flat, a problem that was resolved simply by turning the volume knob clockwise, but for me, I needed a speaker that would do the business at lower levels too. For me, the M51 remained open and bouncy even at lower levels. So I wouldnt say they sounded particularly bad at lower volumes, just not as good as the Missions (not as good in any respect in my opinion, but thats just me)...

    Using a poweramp will mean your amps are less strained, and that will come across as better control of the speakers, the difference should be noticable, but still, I'd expect the A65 to make a good enough job of driving any of those speakers, but especially the M51's, which are a very undemanding load. The previously mentioned Dynaudios are supposed to be quite a demanding load too, but as always, try the speakers with your own kit and some demanding music, and it will become obvious whether its sounding strained....
     
  30. Sunday Ironfoot

    Sunday Ironfoot
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    Thanks pbirkett, I'll definetely audition these two speakers (B&W, Mission).

    Have you ever heard the Mission M71's? If so then do they have similar sonic characteristics to the M51 (obviously sounding better overall), or are they radically different from each other?
     

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