Fatigued trying to find the right speakers B&W / Celestion 33

JazzJames

Novice Member
Hi everyone, happy new year.

Newbie here, I've tried my best to exhaust all avenues available to me locally but now I'm stuck!

I'm looking to be pointed in a new direction with speakers having gone down my initial desired route and then something totally different.
During lockdown I dusted off the vinyl and built up a modest set up. a few upgrades and changes I now have a NAD 558 TT with a Goldring E3 cart, a Rotel A11 Tribute amp and Rega Fono MkIII. Decent cables and interconnects all round.

Before getting to this I was using a cheap NAD pre amp and Arcam 65+ amp, everything I have now being a big step up in sound, to me anyway.

My speakers are B&W 685 S2 but they lack some lower end strength which I feel is understandable. An upgrade in cable certainly helped this but I guess they have a limit. I then tried a friends professionally recapped Celestion DITTON 33's. Twice the size physically if not more. A slightly bigger sound, but still lacking in lower end umphf and surprisingly less than my B&W's. Crazy to me that the sound from both was so similar. I was pretty disappointed to say the least, I really though after all the research these would be the answer.

I'm not sure where to turn now. The speakers are set up in a room with a mixture of large rugs and soft furnishings and I have had them in corners approx 3.5m apart. The room itself is approx 4.5m x 8m, the speakers are pointing down the length of the room. I moved them to fire down the shorter width of the room but it didn't make a difference and that's not where I want them anyway.

Should I be looking at a totally different speaker? Would the Ditton 44's be an obvious step up? Should I just add a subwoofer to the B&W's? Is that a dirty word?! I listen to quite a mix, last trip to a record shop I left with Elvis Costello, Radiohead and Chopin!

Any help gratefully received! A friend recently joined on here and he recommend AV Forums highly enough 👍

Cheers all, keep well, Jaron
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Consider adding two subwoofers, one first. Assuming you like the B&Ws otherwise. Moving them closer to front wall may help with the bass to some degree. Only way is to try.


 
Thats a very big room for the little 685's to try and fill with any sort of bass.

A subwoofer would certainly help filling in the bottom end and even a set of decent floor standing speakers would struggle to compete with a decent subwoofer.

However you really need to know what you're doing when adding subwoofers in to a hi-fi system unless you're using an amplifier with the likes of Dirac/Room Perfect which would help you 'blend' the subwoofer with the speakers.

I've heard a few 2 channel systems with a subwoofer due to a similar situation to yours and with overblown bass it just ruins things but a well integrated one can work very well indeed and like gasp has said 2 (one next too/under) work very effectively indeed!
 

JazzJames

Novice Member
Consider adding two subwoofers, one first. Assuming you like the B&Ws otherwise. Moving them closer to front wall may help with the bass to some degree. Only way is to try.


https://www.svsound.com/blogs/subwo...nder) work very effectively indeed! [/QUOTE]
Thanks for your reply. Subwoofers ...ey wouldn’t fill a room?! Cheers again, Jaron
 
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Kapkirk

Active Member
I would upgrade the amplifier further to something that has some proper grunt. 50w per ch is OK for smaller rooms but if you are looking for more oomph the Rotel is not going to cut it. The fact you tried the relatively large Celestions and did not see much improvement kind of proves it.
I would be looking at a Rega Elicit, Roksan K3, Arcam SA30, NAD C388 or a Cyrus One HD, all of these can be found much cheaper if you buy used or from a retailer offering special clearance deals. For instance Sevenoaks hifi currently have (on clearance) a Musical Fidelity ms6i (A real powerhouse of an amp) for £1699 which are normally £2499. Once you have good solid amplification you can start looking for better speakers. Something like the Focal Chora 826 or B&W 603 S2 floorstanders or better will give a bigger sound without the need for a subwoofer messing things up.
Of course the other route is to add a subwoofer, some people like a sub with 2ch, others like me do not, AFAIAC that's about £600 down the drain that you could use on a better amp.
 
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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thanks for your reply. Subwoofers ...ey wouldn’t fill a room?! Cheers again, Jaron

Try the Celestions first as your friend can lend them you! Subwoofer is more trickier in a way that you have to find optimal spot for smoothest response. The b&w 685 S2 are budget speakers aswell so new speaker route would be then more ideal (not cheap though) if you don`t like the sub idea and are very limited placement wise. I will still link the sub i had in mind if you want to re-think. It has high level connection for stereo amps and is sealed by design, forum favourite for over 10years and many uses it on hifi systems with expensive speakers.

@Kapkirk the A11 has preouts so maybe adding poweramp would be another cheaper option. Speakers need to be swapped or subwoofer(s) added if more bass is required.




 

JazzJames

Novice Member
Thats a very big room for the little 685's to try and fill with any sort of bass.

A subwoofer would certainly help filling in the bottom end and even a set of decent floor standing speakers would struggle to compete with a decent subwoofer.

However you really need to know what you're doing when adding subwoofers in to a hi-fi system unless you're using an amplifier with the likes of Dirac/Room Perfect which would help you 'blend' the subwoofer with the speakers.

I've heard a few 2 channel systems with a subwoofer due to a similar situation to yours and with overblown bass it just ruins things but a well integrated one can work very well indeed and like gasp has said 2 (one next too/under) work very effectively indeed!
Try the Celestions first as your friend can lend them you! Subwoofer is more trickier in a way that you have to find optimal spot for smoothest response. The b&w 685 S2 are budget speakers aswell so new speaker route would be then more ideal (not cheap though) if you don`t like the sub idea and are very limited placement wise. I will still link the sub i had in mind if you want to re-think. It has high level connection for stereo amps and is sealed by design, forum favourite for over 10years and many uses it on hifi systems with expensive speakers.

@Kapkirk the A11 has preouts so maybe adding poweramp would be another cheaper option. Speakers need to be swapped or subwoofer(s) added if more bass is required.




thanks for this very succinct answer, very much appreciated and plenty to mull over...
 
@JazzJames

Are you a member of pinkfishmedia or hifiwigwam??

Some very knowledgeable and passionate members on there and both forums pretty much dedicated to 2 channel / hi fi
 

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