Help upgrading speakers

Al89

Novice Member
HI I would really appreciate some advice on speakers to replace mine as they are that old now I don't even know what to compare them with!
I have a Yamaha RX V681 watch a lot of films and TV but also like to listen to music.
I currently have Mission 773e speakers (5.1 set-up) that are about 20 years old! I love these speakers and think they sound great but the are aesthetically done and falling apart I want to replace them with something that will look better but I don't want to end up with something that sounds worse and I'm struggling to find a decent comparison but it's hard because of their age and the pandemic. I also pair these mission speakers with a BK sub.
I could be convinced to upgrade my amp as well with it being around 6 years old.
I was looking at the Dali Oberon 5 for an idea of price. Also seen a pair of B&W 603 for a good price that are tempting me!
Thank you in advance! All advice really appreciated!
 
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Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
So you are looking 5.0 system as you are keeping the BK sub? Which model it is?

What is the max budget for the five speakers? Or could you upgrade the front three now and rest later. That might mean you get even better speakers..

B&W 603 i found costs 849£, but normally 999£. The new S2 version 1500£. White finish would have been much nicer though.

HTM6 almost sold out, RS had this 149£ but they went fast..

If you fancy sticking with Mission the QX range goes cheap. QX4 and Centre could be tempting!


This is not the best time to buy receiver as there is not much competition so the prices are high. In few month time we will start to see more new models from Yamaha, Onkyo and Pioneer. The 681 is not too old with full 4K support, but missing eARC. The hdmi 2.1 connections are mostly beneficial for gamers at this point and there is still those bugs so if you aren´t in hurry then wait. To give you idea the Yamaha RX-V6A (649£) and Denon X2700H (599£) are similar level products what you have now with latest features, but the internals haven`t changed that much. So to get something better you should have about 1k£ budget!
 

Al89

Novice Member
The sub is BK XLS400 FF looking to keep this in the setup yes. Have spoken to a few people who say the b and w will be too harsh and treble like for my amp. I am not looking to replace the amp straight away but possibly in the future so wanting to take this into consideration. I have been told but several people to look at the Dali opticon 6 mark ii but I am unsure if these are overkill or too big for my room at about 3.5x4.5m in size.
Budget can be stretched for the right setup would rather get something I'm happy with and not want to replace in 2 years but also not wanting to spend crazy money. Thanks
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
The sub is BK XLS400 FF looking to keep this in the setup yes. Have spoken to a few people who say the b and w will be too harsh and treble like for my amp. I am not looking to replace the amp straight away but possibly in the future so wanting to take this into consideration. I have been told but several people to look at the Dali opticon 6 mark ii but I am unsure if these are overkill or too big for my room at about 3.5x4.5m in size.
Budget can be stretched for the right setup would rather get something I'm happy with and not want to replace in 2 years but also not wanting to spend crazy money. Thanks

Nice! I think you should listen the B&Ws even the 603 S2 will do as it should be close to the older one for much cheaper, just ask them to use Yamaha RX-V6A in the demo so it will be close to what you have at home. B&Ws are brighter sounding, but i would be bit skeptical of the harsh comment. Keep them shooting straight or just use only little toe in, if they are angled toward listeners fully they will sound very bright indeed which you can see from the measurements.

I think it depends very much also what kind of space you can have for the speakers, not just the total size. Are they going to be nearly against walls or can you have them more in to room so space on sides and behind them. If you are worried about the size / bass getting too strong for 2ch listening then perhaps consider those slimmer towers like Oberon 5, MA Bronze 200 and Silver 200 (SSAV has demo pairs cheaper). For movies you aren´t running the towers full range so in that sense some quality standmount speakers would be great alternative, but i assume you like the tower look more.
 

Al89

Novice Member
I was all but buying the b&w 603s last night then spoken to people today and everyone recommends Dali speakers haha. Got me really looking into them but to get something close to the same spec would be Opticon 6 mark ii? Was really considering these but unsure if too big for my room. I would love to do what you say and get a demo but I'm not in the right location! None of the places local to me have any comparible stock. Basically saying all stock is for sale and haven't got much in store due to the recent lockdown!
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
How can people buy anything there if they can`t listen them before hand? Crazy! I recommend longer trip to another city then after you have booked demo time with 2-4 different speakers to compare. Don´t buy blind. 1500£ is lot of money. Typically Richer Sounds has all the models to demo.
 

Al89

Novice Member
I know it was Richer sounds I phoned but they don't have any of them in! The best they could offer was a buy and try approach. Guy actually said to me I could try them and if I didn't like them he would take them in as demo stock as he has none at the moment.
 

Al89

Novice Member
So you personally think the B&W 603 would be a good repalcement for my mission speakers?
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I know it was Richer sounds I phoned but they don't have any of them in! The best they could offer was a buy and try approach. Guy actually said to me I could try them and if I didn't like them he would take them in as demo stock as he has none at the moment.

So you personally think the B&W 603 would be a good repalcement for my mission speakers?

Home demo would be great, but first session would have been better in hifi shop where you have let`s say 3-4 different models to compare head to head just that you some idea which are tonally what you are looking for.

Isn`t there any other hifi shops than RS where you live?
 

Al89

Novice Member
There is one other one I'm going to try calling tomorrow but I'm not holding out much hope haha. Do you think the B&W are closer to the Mission than Dali?
Just found Peter Tyson selling the B&W 603 warehouse box damage for £799... getting hard to resist /justify more expensive Dali speakers!
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
There is one other one I'm going to try calling tomorrow but I'm not holding out much hope haha. Do you think the B&W are closer to the Mission than Dali?
Just found Peter Tyson selling the B&W 603 warehouse box damage for £799... getting hard to resist /justify more expensive Dali speakers!

You were first intrested on them so perhaps you could try them at home?! Does PT have some return period if you aren´t happy?? They are quite cheap at 799£ as the new S2 which suppose to sound very much same costs 1499£.

We could ask @goatlips did you find the B&W 603 overly bright without eq at any point? While the Arendals are in different class as they should be for the price can you say anything good for Al about them?
 

Al89

Novice Member
You were first intrested on them so perhaps you could try them at home?! Does PT have some return period if you aren´t happy?? They are quite cheap at 799£ as the new S2 which suppose to sound very much same costs 1499£.

We could ask @goatlips did you find the B&W 603 overly bright without eq at any point? While the Arendals are in different class as they should be for the price can you say anything good for Al about them?
Not sure if Peter Tyson do, would be more complicated that Richer Sounds for sure as there isn't a store near by. Everyone seems to keep telling me how mellow and smooth the Dali are compared with the B&W. I have listened to B&W speakers in the past and thought they were quite pleasant although that was a while ago.

Part of me also thinks either one will be better than my current setup! But I could be wrong there as well!
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Yep the same, it`s been almost 20years i got my first 600 range B&Ws. Haven`t heard the newer ones.

This would be easier choice if you would do just movies, hah. Cause seriously i wouldn´t buy floorstanders in that case. You could have standmount speakers like B&W 706 S2 with the HTM 71 S2 which are better than 603 + HTM6.

Have you considered using the XXLS400 with the standmount speakers for 2ch listening so that would mean you wouldn`t need the towers? We know that XXLS400 is quite "musical" woofer with even high level connection which you can use later on if you purchase integrated stereo amp with the receiver. Some audiophiles constantly claims you can make the sub disappear better etc.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Really looking for tower speakers sorry haha. In what way are the 706 better though?

Every way, well apart from bass extension but you can use XXLS400. :) I think 706 S2 is one of the sweet spot in that range and i remember they even measure better than the floorstanders.

Better made cabinet which is thicker with likely better praicings and also real wood veneer finish (walnut) over the vinyl wrapped 600 range.

Better drivers, both the tweeters and mid-bass drivers are higher quality.

Audio crossover parts are higher quality.

" I was skeptical at first; I didn’t see how spending more than the 606, to upgrade to the next level, would make that much difference. Well, it did and it's a noticeable difference... and the B&W 606s were already a very good pair of loudspeakers to begin with. "



I know the feeling you have. I wanted floorstanders too last time, but later regretted not jumping to higher range standmount speakers. This would be even more important for 2ch listening where you are more concentrated to every tiny detail, where as with HT you are more aware of the visual stuff happening on screen and the storyline.

If you think about which speakers are taxed the most on movie soundtrack that would be center channel over 60-70% is played by that one. So that leads to another bonus of 700 range which would be better center channel, larger 3-way design with larger cabinet volume and larger drivers. The 3-way design is also more important cause the speaker sits horizontally so if you listeners on the sides further away the sound will typically change, but less so with this design.

Remember if you buy towers you would still cross them at 80hz to sub, so the extra cab volume and drivers aren`t that much needed, sure you get more headroom still but i doubt the 706 S2 would hang quite nicely in typical living room listening volumes.

If going this route then you are opening box of ... so many more options. :laugh: But as you mentioned music listening is important too then something like the 706 S2 may be great option.
 

Al89

Novice Member
Afraid it's not going to happen the ultimate limiting factor in the debate is called the wife haha. Not going to get away with speakers on stands lucky I can with the floorstanding. I do think the Dali Opticons look much nicer with the wood effect, where do they fit into this comparison or are they not really comparible to the B&W?
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Afraid it's not going to happen the ultimate limiting factor in the debate is called the wife haha. Not going to get away with speakers on stands lucky I can with the floorstanding. I do think the Dali Opticons look much nicer with the wood effect, where do they fit into this comparison or are they not really comparible to the B&W?

My guess is that Dalis are better in some areas for sure as they should be for the price. Opticon aren´t Dalis budget range where as 600 range is B&Ws budget range, although we need to remember the 603 is bit better than typical budget towers due to using FST mid-range and 3-way design, they also got rid off the smaller towers in the 600 range.

But coming back to Dalis there is one great option which might make you pull the plug and that would be the earlier gen Opticons. The mk2 came like month ago so this is the earlier one but look the price, it´s great!




Almost forgot, check these prices for the Vokal. Dirt cheap!
 

Al89

Novice Member
I did see this price for the old ones but I thought there was more of an upgrade with the mark ii here? or not? I never saw that price for the centre speaker though, nice find! Although reading about the Vokal at Richer Sounds it says they can't ship them and they are all too far away from me !
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I did see this price for the old ones but I thought there was more of an upgrade with the mark ii here? or not? I never saw that price for the centre speaker though, nice find!

It`s never going to be night and day difference. Some refinements here and there, plus of course creating new hype for new serie. That would be over 500£ saved for the mains and over 300£ for the center channel if you pick the old one. That 800£ would go long way to get that new receiver, example Marantz SR6015 which is the lowest i would consider and Marantz being more musical over Denon as the forum claims here go it would be positive thing. I think they cost about same 1k£ now.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Opticon 6 - 975£ Exceptional AV

Opticon Vokal - 199£ RS

Opticon 1 - 329£ (319£ if you ask them to price match to PT) Exceptional AV



Total 1493£.
 

Al89

Novice Member
As I said I can't get the Vokal from RS as they wont ship and they aren't near me.
If you click on the link to register interest it says at this price we can't afford to move store or ship them direct :(
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
As I said I can't get the Vokal from RS as they wont ship and they aren't near me.

Oh i missed that! Well i would contact the Exceptional AV by email or call them today and ask can they make you superb package deal. Those are soon discontinued and they really need to sell them fast cause they have limited warehouse space. The Opticon range isn´t budget model so they are not going to be as popular either so with that in mind they might make you deal that you can´t say no!

If you send email put the models correct and the finish you want. Then write the deal you got from PT for the mk2 versions, this is important and also mention that you are thinking which way to go with the new and old. Push them little!

If you still feel the price is bit too high then perhaps live for while with your Mission surrounds and get Dali Zensor 1s for 100£ used or less. They would do the effects just fine, but as always up to you and how much you want to spend and does it need to be fully "matching" system.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Yeah maybe worth a shout. Thanks a lot for all of time and replies!

Keep us posted what they say and what you decide! There was other member who was considering these Opticon 6s too vs. Oberons so it can be usefull for others aswell..
 
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