Help with buying some bookshelf speakers - B&W 607?

Mike209288

Standard Member
Hi everyone

I was looking for some second opinions. My situation is this: I bought a reasonably low end Hifi a few years ago, some Q Acoustics 3050's and a Cambridge audio CXA60. I use these with a Chrome cast audio and tidal (although for the life of me I cannot hear any difference between that and Youtube music!)

This works well, the speakers are positioned in a good spot from my old mans chair and overall it's been a good purchase. The issue is I use this for about 30 minutes a day, 45 max - and the rest of my life I'm working at, or otherwise sat at my computer desk using a 15 year old Denon HiFi amp and some old Celestion 305 speakers for music. This seems like a waste, the CXA60 is not a bad amp and has 2 speaker outputs - so I can hook up a second pair for daily listening.

My requirements are:
  • Something that will play nicely with the CXA60
  • Something that will go very close to the wall (where my desk is) and preferably just sit on the desk so I don't have to worry about stands
  • Something that sounds nice, although I appreciate where I am sitting means nothing will sound premium
  • Less than £500, the less the merrier!
  • Good at low volumes as they will be very close to my face.

Looking around the B&W 607 are £259.99 at the moment and generally get good reviews around the £500 mark, the 606 are £329 which may be worth the upgrade. The top end would be the KEF ls-50's which have a good rep and are £550 at the moment. The issue with these (other than double the price!) is that I feel they would be a waste in such a position and my floor standing 3050's would not like going against the wall - plus the stands are like £200 for the Kefs so I would soon be on £750. I'm used to going over budget (as I'm sure most people on AV forums are!) but that seems a bit OTT even for me.

Has anyone got any suggestions at all on this issue like:

  • Any suggestion for the setup at all?
  • How well the 606/607's would work in this setup - and are the bigger one's so worth it?
  • Alternative speakers for this job?
  • Anything else I have not thought of!?

Many thanks in Advance

Mike
 

matthewpiano78

Active Member
At £259.99 or £329 the B&W 607 and 606 are a bargain and, in my opinion, you won't get a better speaker for the money. I can't speak for the 607, but the 606 are very good at low volume levels, retaining plenty of clarity and body where some speakers simply lose both.

As for the LS50s, I'm not sure you'd see the benefit in your suggested set-up. I own both LS50 Meta and B&W 606s, and even in a well situated set-up the 606s get remarkably close to the KEFs in many areas.
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
Hi everyone

I was looking for some second opinions. My situation is this: I bought a reasonably low end Hifi a few years ago, some Q Acoustics 3050's and a Cambridge audio CXA60. I use these with a Chrome cast audio and tidal (although for the life of me I cannot hear any difference between that and Youtube music!)

This works well, the speakers are positioned in a good spot from my old mans chair and overall it's been a good purchase. The issue is I use this for about 30 minutes a day, 45 max - and the rest of my life I'm working at, or otherwise sat at my computer desk using a 15 year old Denon HiFi amp and some old Celestion 305 speakers for music. This seems like a waste, the CXA60 is not a bad amp and has 2 speaker outputs - so I can hook up a second pair for daily listening.

My requirements are:
  • Something that will play nicely with the CXA60
  • Something that will go very close to the wall (where my desk is) and preferably just sit on the desk so I don't have to worry about stands
  • Something that sounds nice, although I appreciate where I am sitting means nothing will sound premium
  • Less than £500, the less the merrier!
  • Good at low volumes as they will be very close to my face.

Looking around the B&W 607 are £259.99 at the moment and generally get good reviews around the £500 mark, the 606 are £329 which may be worth the upgrade. The top end would be the KEF ls-50's which have a good rep and are £550 at the moment. The issue with these (other than double the price!) is that I feel they would be a waste in such a position and my floor standing 3050's would not like going against the wall - plus the stands are like £200 for the Kefs so I would soon be on £750. I'm used to going over budget (as I'm sure most people on AV forums are!) but that seems a bit OTT even for me.

Has anyone got any suggestions at all on this issue like:

  • Any suggestion for the setup at all?
  • How well the 606/607's would work in this setup - and are the bigger one's so worth it?
  • Alternative speakers for this job?
  • Anything else I have not thought of!?

Many thanks in Advance

Mike
I'm going through a similar exercise at the moment. My distance to speakers around 2.5ft and distance between them about the same. Will have to go backs against the wall or just a couple of inches away.
Something that will go very close to the wall (where my desk is) and preferably just sit on the desk so I don't have to worry about stands
For small speakers just sticking them on the desk is not a good idea, for one thing the tweeters are likely to be too low with small standmount speakers. So I'd suggest desktop monitor speaker stands. I've got the Stagg ones which were £39. Can hold up to 25kg. Others available for <£50.

Speakers I'm looking at which would seem to suit your situation
KEF Q150 £350 - point source so should be better for nearfield use as all the music is coming from the same place. LS50 at a cheaper price according to some comments I've seen.
Fyne F301 £250 gets good reviews Fyne Audio F301 Standmount Speaker Review
B+W 607 S2 £450
Triangle Borea BR 02 (£320) and BR03 (£399) Triangle Borea BR03 review
There is also a good video review on youtube for the BR02 with references to the LS50.


Another alternative speaker might be the £250 Wharfedale Diamond 12.1


This series of video reviews may be helpful as it covers 8 smallish speakers under £650 including the B+W 606.
 
Last edited:

meduk1

Active Member
I’m having a similar debate also. Whilst the deals on the B&W 60X range looks great, having a wide dispersion really appeals to me as i won’t be central to a listening position, and the KEFS are always known for that.

Has anyone compared them?
 

Mike209288

Standard Member
Cheers for the comments everyone. Much appreciated.

I'm still leaning on 606/607's. Although to say the competition is fierce is an understatement.

The B&W's seem like a good shout as they are just about EOL with the anniversary editions coming out, as such the standard range have big reductions.

The KEF 350's from What Hifi say "Demands loud volumes" which instantly takes them off my list. The BR03's seem to be the main sticking point - they seem to get great reviews. As the same guy stated desk stands would be a good shout so I need to factor them in cost wise. B&W's have great reviews all over the place and really seem the safe bet, as they say in IT - no one ever got fired for buying IBM...

Any more feedback would be appreciated (more for the other people who have joined in) but I feel the £300 - £600 speaker range is incredibly packed right now, it's more the case of not making a bad decision than worrying about the tiny differences between the good one's.

Mike
 

Onlythesound

Active Member
I use the 606s. Driven by a Denon amp (true 100 W at 8 ohms). They give much pleasure. That’s over a year’s ownership now.
 

goingoingong

Distinguished Member
Cheers for the comments everyone. Much appreciated.

I'm still leaning on 606/607's. Although to say the competition is fierce is an understatement.

The B&W's seem like a good shout as they are just about EOL with the anniversary editions coming out, as such the standard range have big reductions.

The KEF 350's from What Hifi say "Demands loud volumes" which instantly takes them off my list. The BR03's seem to be the main sticking point - they seem to get great reviews. As the same guy stated desk stands would be a good shout so I need to factor them in cost wise. B&W's have great reviews all over the place and really seem the safe bet, as they say in IT - no one ever got fired for buying IBM...

Any more feedback would be appreciated (more for the other people who have joined in) but I feel the £300 - £600 speaker range is incredibly packed right now, it's more the case of not making a bad decision than worrying about the tiny differences between the good one's.

Mike
I was all set for the 606 but one thing put me off. The review at Pursuit Perfect System.
And in particular this image.

treble.jpg


They have a designed in treble boost in the upper frequency range >5khz. As the review noted like Red Bull this gives you a hit, but do you want to drink red bull day in day out...
That was fixed using Dirac on an Arcam SA30 but if you don't have room eq it's something to bear in mind if, like me, you don't like overly bright speakers.
 

matthewpiano78

Active Member
The graph means zilch if you enjoy what you hear. I find the 606s to be well integrated across the frequency range. Pair them with a Roksan K3 (for example) and they will sound bright, but pair them with a more neutral amplifier and there's really no issue.

The best thing is to buy from a dealer who will let you return if they're not for you.
 

Mike209288

Standard Member
Okay, as an update....

I was seconds away from buying the 606's, then did my usual move of thinking of what more I could get for the money. I am re tempted by the LS50's - they seem to ultimately what I really want and for "only" an extra £200 from the 606's, as they will be on 8+ hours a day for the next decade I figured it would be a wise investment IF my setup can accommodate them well.

I have read many forums stating that LS50's need to be paired well with a suitable amp, and the amp needs some power. The CXA60 is 60w/p channel. many forums say the CXA60 will be fine, many not so fine. Buying a new amp is out of the question.

Has anyone got any experience on this pairing? Good idea or am I spending money on some hardware that won't sound as good in my setup?

I'll probably start a new thread on this (as off topic as I have gone!) but if anyone can answer my question, please jump in.

Thanks

Mike
 

CaptainJames

Well-known Member
Okay, as an update....

I was seconds away from buying the 606's, then did my usual move of thinking of what more I could get for the money. I am re tempted by the LS50's - they seem to ultimately what I really want and for "only" an extra £200 from the 606's, as they will be on 8+ hours a day for the next decade I figured it would be a wise investment IF my setup can accommodate them well.

I have read many forums stating that LS50's need to be paired well with a suitable amp, and the amp needs some power. The CXA60 is 60w/p channel. many forums say the CXA60 will be fine, many not so fine. Buying a new amp is out of the question.

Has anyone got any experience on this pairing? Good idea or am I spending money on some hardware that won't sound as good in my setup?

I'll probably start a new thread on this (as off topic as I have gone!) but if anyone can answer my question, please jump in.

Thanks

Mike

I think for the dest set up you are describing, the 606s would be a bit OTT and you wouldn't get the best out of them.

FWIW, I run a B&W based 5.1.2 system with 607's on surround duty, and they are real pocket rockets, They would be driven quite easily by your amp, and also have the advantage of taking up less space.
 

muljao

Well-known Member
Just a little off topic. You mentioned streaming from a cca but hearing no difference between streaming tidal spotify and you tube. Are you using the cca dac or amp dac. If using cca dac have you enable full dynamic settings.

I can't imagine the b and w speakers being better than the q acoustics on your setup, but that'll be down bro personal choice, everybody else may think they are or not, and you may think the opposite, very hard to get specific speaker advise
 

Mike209288

Standard Member
I think for the dest set up you are describing, the 606s would be a bit OTT and you wouldn't get the best out of them.

FWIW, I run a B&W based 5.1.2 system with 607's on surround duty, and they are real pocket rockets, They would be driven quite easily by your amp, and also have the advantage of taking up less space.

All great points, I appreciate the LS50's will be underused somewhat at the moment. I'm more just thinking about the future really, things tends to move around every few years in the house so the LS50's could well end up becoming the premium speakers if the current 3050's move rooms, or they may end up in the living room as part of the AV setup. I would prefer to under use them but have them in the bank as it were, rather than need to buy another (what I class as) premium pair when things change in the future - if I was confident my amp would not be under powered it would be a no brainer. oh the decisions! :)
 

Mike209288

Standard Member
Just a little off topic. You mentioned streaming from a cca but hearing no difference between streaming tidal spotify and you tube. Are you using the cca dac or amp dac. If using cca dac have you enable full dynamic settings.

I can't imagine the b and w speakers being better than the q acoustics on your setup, but that'll be down bro personal choice, everybody else may think they are or not, and you may think the opposite, very hard to get specific speaker advise
Just a little off topic. You mentioned streaming from a cca but hearing no difference between streaming tidal spotify and you tube. Are you using the cca dac or amp dac. If using cca dac have you enable full dynamic settings.

I can't imagine the b and w speakers being better than the q acoustics on your setup, but that'll be down bro personal choice, everybody else may think they are or not, and you may think the opposite, very hard to get specific speaker advise

The A/B test I did was a very, very unscientific test through my computer. i.e Spotify music/Tidal app > Spdif > Denon 2805 > Celestion 305 speakers. I tried the lowest setting on youtube music, and a tidal "Masters" album to compare. I appreciate this does not say much, but I was expecting to be blown away with Tidals marketing. I have the 4 Month tidal for £4 deal now anyway, so don't have to worry about it for a while. The GUI is nice, much nicer than Youtube music which is awful, it's criminal what youtube music has done to Google music, I hope it improves over time. My house has google all over it.

The CCA usually gies straight into the CXA60 DAC and sounds fine, will be a sad day when the CCA breaks!

The debate here is to swap the Denon 2805/Celestion speakers - the Q Acoustics will live on as my reading/studying setup connected to the CXA60 amp.
 

CaptainJames

Well-known Member
I was all set for the 606 but one thing put me off. The review at Pursuit Perfect System.
And in particular this image.

View attachment 1431719

They have a designed in treble boost in the upper frequency range >5khz. As the review noted like Red Bull this gives you a hit, but do you want to drink red bull day in day out...
That was fixed using Dirac on an Arcam SA30 but if you don't have room eq it's something to bear in mind if, like me, you don't like overly bright speakers.

No one ever listened to a graph.
 

CaptainJames

Well-known Member
I do....:)
I use REW graphs to check and alter home cinema room eq and change speaker placement and crossovers.

Yes, but you then listen to your speakers.
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
All great points, I appreciate the LS50's will be underused somewhat at the moment. I'm more just thinking about the future really, things tends to move around every few years in the house so the LS50's could well end up becoming the premium speakers if the current 3050's move rooms, or they may end up in the living room as part of the AV setup. I would prefer to under use them but have them in the bank as it were, rather than need to buy another (what I class as) premium pair when things change in the future - if I was confident my amp would not be under powered it would be a no brainer. oh the decisions! :)

Mike - As a very happy owner of the B&W 607's I'd go for the LS50's.
Lovely looking speakers, should sound even better than the B&W's and as you say have that upgrade potential in future. Also if you can punt the ££ on them now go for it as you don't know what the future brings. This time last year I would and should've spent a lot more on hifi than I would now and moving forward as a result of work changes due to all this covid b*llocks...
 

Mike209288

Standard Member
Mike - As a very happy owner of the B&W 607's I'd go for the LS50's.
Lovely looking speakers, should sound even better than the B&W's and as you say have that upgrade potential in future. Also if you can punt the ££ on them now go for it as you don't know what the future brings. This time last year I would and should've spent a lot more on hifi than I would now and moving forward as a result of work changes due to all this covid b*llocks...

Yeah it's a tricky one, this actually moved onto another forum. The advise there was that the LS50's really would not be suited to my amp, both power wise and the fact both the amp and the speakers would be known as "bright" - I get your point though I very nearly went for the Ls50's just have some in the "bank" as it where.

I actually went for the..... (Drumrole please) Q Acoustics concept 20's in the end. These are at dazzlingly low £229 on Amazon at the moment and are five star speakers everywhere you look based on their initial £500 price tag. This is pretty much half the price of the Kef's and will probably sound better with my setup. I am just using them as a near field on my desk remember. I may well splurge on a new amp and some Kef 50's/Meta's in a year or 2 - but for now I think I have made a good decision. Amazon is great for returns though, so if I don't like them I can always get the wallet out and go for plan b :)
 

Ascotbilly

Active Member
Nice result ! - Be interested to find out what you make on the Concept 20's when they arrive as you say they are a bargain based on the original RRP and I've read a number of positive comments on them which implies they weren't over priced initially.
 

Mike209288

Standard Member
Nice result ! - Be interested to find out what you make on the Concept 20's when they arrive as you say they are a bargain based on the original RRP and I've read a number of positive comments on them which implies they weren't over priced initially.

Yeah thanks mate, they arrive tomorrow I'll keep you posted. I'm far, far from an audiophile so don't take anything I say very seriously though. They are very well reviewed though, so given the better placement (ear kevel rather than a foot or so down) I'd be surprised if they weren't a good upgrade.

Will keep you posted :)
 

pjay54

Active Member
I home demoed the Kef LS50 against the Borea BR03 when I was looking for a speaker to pair with my Rega Elex-R amp and I completely agree with the video review above. I just didn’t like the Kefs and loved the Triangles. I wouldn‘t buy another set of speakers without a home demo.
 

Mike209288

Standard Member
Got 2 posts going at the same time here so I'll just post the same as the other one here :)

Hello!

Got the Concept 20's a few hours ago...

First mistake was the stands, obviously did not read the small print as I only have 1! They are currently sat on the desk at just around waist level...

Initial impressions were quite low to be honest, not bad per say I just certainly was not blown away. Had them on for a few hours and I'm starting to come round. There is no particular I can put my finger on that impresses, I'm not hearing instruments I have never heard before and I don't feel like I'm at a concert - everything does just sound noticeably better, not millions of times better than before - about 20-25%

I was half expecting this, I had exactly the same issues with the 3050's - it took me a while to get into them and notice subtle differences. I think you can get so carried away with What HiFi reviews you expect these things to revolutionise your life and to hear a new level of clarity.

Overall happy with the purchase, about £300 once I have 2 stands, not much cash for a good upgrade. I would be a bit miffed if I had the Ls50's and they sounded like this tbh for the reasons above, I would want life changing for over half a grand! For £300 I think I've made a good move. I'll get the stands and see where I am.

Cheers for the help everyone!

Mike
 

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