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Monitor Audio RS W12 - VS - Bowers & Wilkins ASW 855 (or 750)

Discussion in 'Subwoofers' started by MarcoBiscotti, Aug 30, 2005.

  1. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti
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    Taking into account both quality, size and aesthetics... I'm looking at these two subwoofers from Monitor Audio and B&W and am looking for some advice and opinions.


    I understand these units differ significantly in price. I'm not quite sure where the Bowers & Wilkins range but I'm assuming it's around 3k.


    I would like to know how you guys feel about these companies or subs in particular.

    If you had the posiblity, and finances were not so much an issue, which would you opt for and why?

    I want to know which is the more powerful unit, which will deliver the most bang, and which is a better made sub and offers the strongest quality.


    I would also like to know what type of finnishes the B&W 855 comes in and what the difference is between that and the 750.

    I would greatly appreciate any feedback!
     
  2. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti
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    Forgot to mention that I've got a 7 channel Speakercraft 8.8 MT setup connected to an Arcam P7 and AV8...
     
  3. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti
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    Any advice guys?
     
  4. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Hi...I've only had experience of the B&Ws,and would say that both are very well made,and capable of good,clean output,with plenty of pace and grunt down to pretty low frequencies.
    Good with music and AV also,and I found them to be pretty good all rounders,as well as massively better than my previous sub.

    For information as to finishes etc,have a look at the B&W website (www.bwloudspeakers.com )

    Since you live in Canada,you could also consider US or other more local sources,and I'd have to recommend a look at SVS,since this is what I chose in preference to either of the B&Ws....you will obviously find it somewhat cheaper than B&W after importing etc via your local dealer,I would think.

    www.svsubwoofers.com

    Another worth looking at would be Martin Logan.
     
  5. recruit

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    If you can afford the new B&W 855 i would definitly consider it, after hearing the old 850 this is the new improved model which i am sure would be just as good if not better than it's older model, the 850 sounded awsome and is probably one of the best subs money can buy.... :)
     
  6. Sniper

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    I've heard none of the mentioned subs - BUT i'm sure that you cannot compare these units, the B&W would be clearly the winner even with 1/2 the specs, it's not a fair comparison with the MA RS sub - they where built with different budgets for different pricepoints.

    As for the question above - fianances where not an issue, well then it's the Genelec HTS6! Sorry you just can't make this kind of comparison - think about it as which car do you want the Ferrari (whatever model) or the Lotus Elise (great car and all BUT the Ferrari!!!!).
     
  7. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti
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    Thank you so much guys (especially Sniper)!

    Now I have one more question which I've been thoroughly searching the web for days... what aaprox. price would I be looking at for the B&W 855??


    Also, would anyone happen to have a link to a picture of any B&W model hardware in either 'cherry wood' or 'rosenut'?


    Alexs2 - to answer your question about the SVS or HSU subs, etc. which is always the immediate response I get from posting this question... is simply that I do not have the available room. My home theater is integrated into my livingroom. I'm in a fairly tight 1250 sq. ft. condo unit and the livingroom is an extension of the dining room with a floating kitchen off to the left. That's why size and aesthetic is such an issue for me. I need a subwoofer that doesn't stand out and as trivial as it might be to some... looks really good! I need it to blend in with the aesthetics and style of the room and look almost like a piece of furniture. To be perfectly honest, even the closed cabinet SVS units I've seen look kind of ugly imo and are way too large.


    Sniper - is it without question that the B&W will outperform the Monitor Audio sub? Am I crazy for even comparing?

    If so, you've just made my decision really easy. I was leaning towards the B&W anyways because it happens to be half the dimensions of the MA sub and looks terrific in my opinion. I just wanted to get some opinions of performance and quality.


    Thanks everyone!!
     
  8. Sniper

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    Heh - let's put it this way - if the MA sub performs at about 75% of the 855's performace then I would be really surprised & it would be a great purchase. BUT note that my opinion is totally based on (1) manufacturer reputation (2) reviews of past products and (3) demos of MA & B&W products.

    There are certainly products which IMO MA can compete well with B&W, eg. IMO MA Silvers are better than B&W600 range. But the ASW855 is from the B&W800 range and i've never ever heard a rant about them (then again they do cost an eye!). So that's way I said it's a hard comparison.

    The ASW850 was/is a great sub which owners (& reviews) raved about - some said it's possibly the best (sealed) sub money can buy - even though i doubt that, it's surely super stuff. If the 855 is equal (better maybe?) than the 850 then you can't go wrong.

    The 850 retailed for £2000 in UK, so 855 will be 'closeish' - might be cheaper from USA/Canada - but not sure.

    ASW850 review:
    http://www.homecinemachoice.com/cgi-bin/displayreview.php?reviewid=3688

    Note: why not get the US made Paradigm Reference Servo-15, you should be able to getting at a better price than us (europeans) and it's a great performer.
     
  9. MarcoBiscotti

    MarcoBiscotti
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    Thanks again Sniper!

    The Paradigms are simply too large...

    When I say I have tight space to work with, I'm not exagerrating!

    I barely have room to squeeze the sub cabinet between the small space next to my couch and window...


    Here's a picture of the room:

    [​IMG]

    It's actually a picture taken from the condo of a generic unit but they are all similar. The front left wall is not a window but solid gyprocked concrete. I have my speakers in wall on the left and right extremes with the center channel below and a projection screen in the middle. I also have a very large, oversized L-shaped leather sofa which wraps around the back right wall. The back of the sofa runs alongside the backwall as seen on the right in the image and the extension runs along the front window as directly facing you in the picture. Than try to imagine this livingroom as an extension of a larger diningroom/kitchen area. There is a fireplace which comes out halfway into the room and would be seen directly in the foreground of the picture and extends from the right wall in the image dividing the room in half. So you can see I'm working with very limited space. The sub would be squeezed in between the couch and the extended fireplace (which is basically a large low-cut rectangular extension of the wall with a fireplace in the center) and the window.

    The last thing I need to squeeze in is a big monster sub that sticks out above everything else!


    Btw, you mentioned the MA Silvers are a good range which outperforms the 600 B&W... I just wanted to let you know in case you weren't aware that the MA RS W12 ARE a part of that Silver range.

    But compared to the B&W 800 line, we're talking a whole other class right?

    Anyways, thanks again for all the suggestions and info.. it was a huge help!

    I have a feeling I'd be looking at somewhere in the price range of $5,000 CAD for the 855... yikes.

    I guess I'll have to start putting the money aside. I was hoping to not have to exceed 4k.

    Do you think the 855's would retail much more than the 850's and is there any significant differences between the two subs?

    Would I be just as well to opt for the ASW 850 or once I'm willing to spend this much should I just go for the best?

    Thanks Sniper!!!
     
  10. Sniper

    Sniper
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    Nice pic actually! A bit hard to imagine all the things you described but i take your work for it - sub has to be small as space is limited!

    SO: yes i'm aware that the MA RS W12 is part of the newer Silver range - note that it's my opinion that the Silvers outperform the BW600s (other ppl might/will differ), and I was mentally comparing the speakers (not subs really). Actually the B&W ASW675 is an interesing sub and might fit your bill nicely - in both size & price.

    http://www.homecinemachoice.com/reviews/hccreviews/Subwoofers/B&W/B&WASW675.php

    As you said: the B&W800 is in a different class - but do note that B&W know this too and augment the price for that reason!! This is something very normal thou'!

    The 855 effectively replaced the 850 (i doubt the performace difference is noticable - but it's just a guess). If you do find an end-of-line 850 at a decent price buy it, but i doubt it really - the 855 seems to be a facelift to keep things rolling.

    With all that said: if you do afford the 850/855 & actually consider that ammount of money (whatever it is) ok to spend on a sub - GO FOR IT!
     
  11. Ian J

    Ian J
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    I'm not sure that the Canadian company that manufactures Paradigm speakers would be too pleased to be called American :)
     
  12. MarcoBiscotti

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    Thanks again, B&W 855 it is!


    I might have to watch movies without any bass for a couple of months but I can justify it. I'm gonna call some dealers this afternoon and see what the price range is...

    Thanks again!! :smashin:
     
  13. Sniper

    Sniper
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    :oops:
     

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