Mixing different speaker levels of the same brand (B&W) in a 7.1.4 setup?

TB303

Active Member
Hello people,
Apologies for all the questions, but I'm learning :)

I'm building a home cinema set up (described here - although now evloved to a 7.1.4 and a Denon x6700), and as it evolves I'm faced with an interesting question:

I'm forced to use the old but decemt B&W M1 for the 4 sattelites (Mrs won't allow anything bigger/shelfs in those positions). I'll use 4 B&W CCM382 8" In-cieling speakers for the atmos ones. Both of these speakers are B&W and are rather entry level in the range, so far so good.

For the (front L, R, center) I want to use a par of 706 S2 and a HTM71 S2 (which is the bigger center in the 700 series), these will be placed on a shelf bellow the screen and about 10cm from the rear wall. These speakers are more midrange in the B&W range (not diamons, of course).
The sub is a REL S/3. Would this setup work in terms of musicality and sonic signature?

We'll use the set up mostly for movies and gaming so I'm expeciting super detailed Dolby Atmos, but still I'd like it to sound good (including with music)

Any thoughts are welcome,
Thank you!
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
As a rule, the hierarchy of importance is the front three speakers are usually from the same level, the surrounds can comfortably be another level. As for Atmos in-ceiling speakers like subwoofers can be from any brand (although it seem more people enjoy 8" drivers of the smaller alternatives)

If you really find that the system sounds a little muddled, then it could be time to look at whats causing that problem and targeting that area alone, although I feel the Denon should do a reasonable job of balancing the sound coming from the room. Just ensure you run do more than the minimum room eq requirements to ensure you give the amp a chance to fully understand your room

Regarding audio experiences, With stereo, it will be what your amp offers with your main stereo pair of speakers, if you find this to be lacking, run the amp in direct mode, if it still sounds lacking, then it will either be the amp or speakers (as you would expect), with surround sound, I suspect you will have an unbalanced experience as you are using a better centre than the left and right from what you have mentioned, this isn't a bad thing and should work well as the Denon will take parts away from all speaker to try and blend them into the room as any eq system does. The the rears and atmos, don't get to eaten up on this as this sound is for effects and if the Denon isn't able to resolve that, then you need to run the room eq again

Going back to the stereo side, many people use an integrated stereo with HT bypass as your Denon avr's are a little weaker than some of their counter parts and using this option give a bigger boost to your front left and right and may even align and balance the front three speakers because the stereo pair will be driven separately
 

TB303

Active Member
Thanks mate so you think there's a chance the center would over power the lesser left and right speakers? I could always lower down the center's volume a little
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
No it won´t overpower the L/R when they are level matched after running Audussey!! The HTM 71 S2 uses identical drivers to 706 S2 with the addition of midrange driver and the tweeter/midrange is vertically aligned not next to mid-bass drivers which is they key thing. You want the "beefier" center channel cause that speaker is the most active in your system and the 3-way design comes with clear benefits, better horizontal off-axis performance and doesn´t suffer the usual lobing issues either. I remember years ago with the earlier CM range for B&W the bigger center channel was much better over the smaller 2-way. People at US forum compared both and it was very evident. The same was true for 600 range when there was two to choose from, sadly not anymore.
 

ShanePJ

Well-known Member
AVForums Sponsor
Having a better centre channel from the same manufacture is never a bad thing (and in a lot of ways, its good practice as this is where dialogue is heard from surround sound movies) as most of the audio you hear will come from either the centre or woofer in this guise
 

TB303

Active Member
Thanks people,
I've now evoled to go for in wall speakers (getting a bigger projection/Mrs happier) Probably two B&W 7.4 for L+R and a songle horizontal 7.3 for center. sattelites (Side and rear) are still B&W M1s and the 4 atmos speakers are CCM382 - so a big price/generation difference between LCR and the rest. I hope teh Denon 6700 will manage to make them sound cohasive.

On a side not I didn't manage to find any proper reviews of the in wall 7.4/7.3 speakers, nor any demo room around London, I'm taking a bet here but hope I can trust B&W.
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Will you buy AT-screen (acoustically transparent) so you can have the speakers behind the screen? In that case you could buy three identical speakers and also have the center channel mounted vertically upright similar to l/r.

700£ each.

And 1350£ for the center channel
B&W CWM7.3 S2 In Wall Speaker (Each)

Quite expensive, but if in-wall is the way to go...
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Thanks looks like [email protected] go for 3x 7.4 behind the screen, should be ok.
this thing just keeps getting more expensive... :)

Just make sure it`s AT-screen and then you are good to go! Mount the speakers same way vertically and at same height, also you need to consider the placement to have ideal angles (not too close each other either!) plus you can´t have the L/R too close to the edges of screen so you need to do some calculation. With the normal box speakers they can be moved / can find best spots / toe in etc. but with the in-walls you make holes and that`s it. You need to know the optimal places for them in relative to seating distance also!



Before pulling plug have you looked all in-wall options through? For movie system M&K are most popular choice for in-wall speakers with AVF members. You could still mix the surround and in-ceiling speaker brands to keep the cost lower, just to get the best LCR speakers you can afford. I`m not sure have you bought anything yet, the Denon likely only. Sadly M&K had to raise the prices which can be seen with the IW150 especially.



 

TB303

Active Member
Quick update,
Managed to get a great price + actual stock of B&W 7.3 S2 (the bigger ones) so will go for those for LCR - I hope the denon 6700 can manage them (200w per channel, 'in theory'). Won't have a power amp for a while...
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Quick update,
Managed to get a great price + actual stock of B&W 7.3 S2 (the bigger ones) so will go for those for LCR - I hope the denon 6700 can manage them (200w per channel, 'in theory'). Won't have a power amp for a while...

Sounds like you will be getting great system, just optimize the placement carefully and if you did have AT-screen then all three vertically at same height = tweeters at seated ear height!

No it won´t be anywhere near 200w, but for most people it doesn´t need to be either. I think you can listen very loud without issues! Also the idea of getting dream system right away is not possible for most people so building it slowly...
 

gibbsy

Moderator
Quick update,
Managed to get a great price + actual stock of B&W 7.3 S2 (the bigger ones) so will go for those for LCR - I hope the denon 6700 can manage them (200w per channel, 'in theory'). Won't have a power amp for a while...
With those B&W you will get 140w into 8 ohm with 2 channels driven. Nowhere near your hoped for 200w. At 90dB sensitivity they are quite easy on the amp to drive and the X6700 will have enough power in reserve for a 3.1 ohm drop. Obviously that power is going to reduce the more speakers you add to the amp.
 

TB303

Active Member
So it should be fine (amp & speakers) for now?
Also the other satelites (B&W 4x M-1) and height speakers (4x CCM 663) operate at lower volumes and in general less busy then the LCR's so should be fine?
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
So it should be fine (amp & speakers) for now?
Also the other satelites (B&W 4x M-1) and height speakers (4x CCM 663) operate at lower volumes and in general less busy then the LCR's so should be fine?

The M1s are the "power hungry" ones with low 85db sensitivity and tiny 4" drivers. Set 120hz crossovers for those if you listen very loud. As this is living room system and you require small wife friendly satellites then there is no way around that. B&W 606 (S1) models would go roughly 400£/pair at Peter Tyson but i think you won´t be allowed to bring such large boxes there. This is living room system so you should be just fine what you have planned. You likely aren´t going after real cinema SPL levels?

PS. Did you notice B&W has boxed version more of cinema speakers from the 700 range? These would go behind screen if you would build a false/fake wall in front of the one you have now. You know that wooden base which isn´t hugely deep. Then three speakers inside there on same level and then the screen in front. Maybe this is getting bit out of hand, more ideal for dedicated cinema room. :) Just thought to mention so you know all the options...

These are even more efficient, large boxes with 8" drivers in this top model. Cheaper than in-wall.

The smaller model would likely do more than fine too.
 

TB303

Active Member
Yes indeed,
The CT range is cool, but they take too much space and Mrs wan'ts to hang art on the wall (hence the electric projecttion screen... I hope I'll manage :)
 

Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
Are you having an AT screen? And if so, what size, and which speakers will be behind it?

If the centre is behind an AT screen, ideally you'd get exactly the same front 3 speakers (not a horizontal centre).
 

TB303

Active Member
Yes of course, I'm going for 3x B&W in wall 7.3 S2 - all vertical and equally spaced.

Kinda funny that the most power hungry/least efficent speakers are the M1s... Well I hope the 6700 can manage them :)
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
I know they have been used with the old CM serie in lounges (US) so you will be fine with the typical listening levels, 100-120hz crossovers for them.

Yep tiny sealed cabinets, tiny drivers. B&W 606 (x4) would be more ideal purely if thinking a situation that you would be listening much louder and wanting weightier impact for surround effects aswell. M1s needs twice the power to 606, due to 3db lower sensitivity. But you probably have the effect channels closer to listeners and aren´t listening at IMAX levels clearly which they wouldn´t even handle. :) I understood that your wife requires small effect channels so better to stop stressing about it then cause you can´t turn the living room in to man cave with lots of big boxes all around. :laugh: The Denon is a fine choice for a theater, you just need to do some research to get the most of your system as there is the Audussey app editor (20€) available too.
 

Triggaaar

Distinguished Member
Yes of course, I'm going for 3x B&W in wall 7.3 S2 - all vertical and equally spaced.
Excellent. Get the front left and right nice and wide.


Kinda funny that the most power hungry/least efficent speakers are the M1s... Well I hope the 6700 can manage them :)
Well the surrounds aren't pumping out too much, and they're closer to the listeners, so I expect it'll be fine.
 

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