New setup - B&W 704 or Dali Rubicon 5?

JNielsen

Novice Member
Hello!

This is my first post here and usually been lurking in the TV sections, but I've recently come to terms that I want bigger and better sound rather than upgrading my TV. So I went to my local HiFi retailer and listened to some speakers, however.. as much I would like to tell myself that I could hear difference, honestly it was very tough to discern difference between the two.

The B&W 704s felt like they captured more details, especially during the Game of Thrones intro OST, however the Dali Rubicon 5's felt like they would.. hmm.. "fill the room more". So far I'm leaning more towards the 704's because they had a little edge in my very limited time with them. I listened to a few movie OST's like Blade Runner, Sicario, Pirates of the Caribbean and a few music tracks.

I guess I am asking for what owners or experiences people have had with these speakers think!

Note: I am very much a newbie in this field and I am currently aiming towards a 5.1 setup. In which I currently own nothing. My budget is around 5500-6000 euros. Is it worth spending more money on stretching myself towards say.. the B&W 703's or even Rubicon 6 at the expenditure of other parts? Or are other "pieces" more important? Say reciever, subwoofer, center etc.

Thanks a ton!
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Center channel is very important for a home theater system assuming you have good space at the front to have one, not hidden inside cabinet or too low shooting knees. It will be one of the most active speaker in your system. Read below:

So you are from Denmark. Dali and Dynaudio would be local choices, the latter has some small center channels which would put me off instantly. Dali Rubicon Vokal is quite the opposite, but very expensive range with gorgeous finish. With Opticon range the model 6 was miles ahead of 5 what i have heard over the years so it could be same for Rubicons.

You should also listen Kef R5 or R7 and the R2c with R3 as surrounds. If you don´t have large room nothing stops you building the system using R3 as mains with stands. This applies to every brand naturally.

Monitor Audio Gold 100/200 or 300 for mains and Gold C250 with FX speakers or 100s as surrounds. All these three brands compete on same level and would be great if you could hear them.

I would also check Revel Concerta 2 serie or what is closest to your budget.

B&W doesn´t get that much love these days, but of course your ears will be the final judge. They do have HTM 71 S2 larger 3-way center channel which i would pick over the smaller one if you are leaning toward the 700 S2 range. For movie use larger center channel over the 703, so if you need to save then 704 and HTM 71 example. But i don´t know the prices there.

If you would ask which speakers are most popular at the moment from AVF members for the budget you have, they would be Arendal 1723 S range from Norway! For movies i don´t know would any of these offer similar experience. Arendal is available direct to customer only, but they do have 60day buy&try although returning will cost X amount, but shipping is free when you order them (over 500€ products).


For av-receiver you want at least something like Denon X4700H. Yamaha RX-A6A is coming soon too, but i don´t know if too expensive where you live. Onkyo TX-RZ50 is very intresting new model coming likely in few month time or 1/2022 with Dirac Live. Availability is very poor for the receivers now so hopefully you aren´t in rush. Covid and there was some fire at the AKM factory so Denon and Marantz are having issues. Anthem and Arcam models are likely out of your budget, they typically cost sooo much in Europe that it doesn´t make sense. Nad T778 could be option, not cheap either. Marantz is basically Denons sister company very similar to Denon units, but you need to be carefull you don´t pay too much. SR7015 would be equal to X4700H.


For subwoofers as you live in Denmark i would concentrate on SVS and Arendal, you can`t go wrong with these companies. Woofers play very big part and can transform your system like you wouldn´t believe. One big, two smaller. There is many ways to go and there is benefits with dual subwoofers. Just google "why go dual" (SVS article).

For Arendal two ranges to choose from. 1723 like the speakers i linked is the highest range with 10year warranty on cab/driver, 5years on amp. 1961 is slightly cheaper, but still very solid option and it also has white finish.


From SVS you have 1000,2000,3000, 4000, 16U ranges. Depending of your budget, room size, listening habits what you looking for, size and finish.




You didn´t mention anything about your room size and your usage is it fully movies and do you have detached house or apartment with neighbours?
 

JNielsen

Novice Member
Center channel is very important for a home theater system assuming you have good space at the front to have one, not hidden inside cabinet or too low shooting knees. It will be one of the most active speaker in your system. Read below:

So you are from Denmark. Dali and Dynaudio would be local choices, the latter has some small center channels which would put me off instantly. Dali Rubicon Vokal is quite the opposite, but very expensive range with gorgeous finish. With Opticon range the model 6 was miles ahead of 5 what i have heard over the years so it could be same for Rubicons.

You should also listen Kef R5 or R7 and the R2c with R3 as surrounds. If you don´t have large room nothing stops you building the system using R3 as mains with stands. This applies to every brand naturally.

Monitor Audio Gold 100/200 or 300 for mains and Gold C250 with FX speakers or 100s as surrounds. All these three brands compete on same level and would be great if you could hear them.

I would also check Revel Concerta 2 serie or what is closest to your budget.

B&W doesn´t get that much love these days, but of course your ears will be the final judge. They do have HTM 71 S2 larger 3-way center channel which i would pick over the smaller one if you are leaning toward the 700 S2 range. For movie use larger center channel over the 703, so if you need to save then 704 and HTM 71 example. But i don´t know the prices there.

If you would ask which speakers are most popular at the moment from AVF members for the budget you have, they would be Arendal 1723 S range from Norway! For movies i don´t know would any of these offer similar experience. Arendal is available direct to customer only, but they do have 60day buy&try although returning will cost X amount, but shipping is free when you order them (over 500€ products).


For av-receiver you want at least something like Denon X4700H. Yamaha RX-A6A is coming soon too, but i don´t know if too expensive where you live. Onkyo TX-RZ50 is very intresting new model coming likely in few month time or 1/2022 with Dirac Live. Availability is very poor for the receivers now so hopefully you aren´t in rush. Covid and there was some fire at the AKM factory so Denon and Marantz are having issues. Anthem and Arcam models are likely out of your budget, they typically cost sooo much in Europe that it doesn´t make sense. Nad T778 could be option, not cheap either. Marantz is basically Denons sister company very similar to Denon units, but you need to be carefull you don´t pay too much. SR7015 would be equal to X4700H.


For subwoofers as you live in Denmark i would concentrate on SVS and Arendal, you can`t go wrong with these companies. Woofers play very big part and can transform your system like you wouldn´t believe. One big, two smaller. There is many ways to go and there is benefits with dual subwoofers. Just google "why go dual" (SVS article).

For Arendal two ranges to choose from. 1723 like the speakers i linked is the highest range with 10year warranty on cab/driver, 5years on amp. 1961 is slightly cheaper, but still very solid option and it also has white finish.


From SVS you have 1000,2000,3000, 4000, 16U ranges. Depending of your budget, room size, listening habits what you looking for, size and finish.




You didn´t mention anything about your room size and your usage is it fully movies and do you have detached house or apartment with neighbours?
Honestly a fantastic reply and I am very thankful for you putting in the time to put in such a detailed answer, it means a lot to me! Amazing!

Well I am currently living in an apartment that is a bout 100 squaremeters, of which the livingroom/kitchen+dining area is about 60 of them. Its a bit of an L room where the tv and couch area is located at the "top of the L" if that makes sense? So very open :)

Anyways my main focus is definitely movies and television! I do have a Bang and Olufsen A9 MK2 speaker for music (Yes, it isn't stereo, but my girlfriend loved it and honestly it sounds nice!).

So what i'm getting is I should definitely allocate a good amount of money on the center channel and perhaps spend a little less on the Left and Right speakers.

I got an "offer" from my local retailer which consisted primarily of B&W (As I at the moment thought the B&W 704's sounded better than the rubicon 5), anyways the list was:

1x - B&W 704s (Left & Right)
1x - B&W HTM6S2 (Center)
1x - B&W ASW610XP (Subwoofer)
2x - B&W M-1
1x - Denon AVR2700H

So basically what I am getting from you is that I should look into a subwoofer from say SVS instead of the B&W one and maybe broaden my horizon a bit. I have not heard of Arendal, but from looking at their website they look "ok" and I think I can talk my girlfriend into them :)D). My biggest issue is that I can pretty much only listen to the B&W and Dali setup from my local retailer, else i'd had to drive quite far!

Again much thanks for the response I have quite something to look into now!

Edit: This might sound stupid, but I have now been looking at the Arendahls(Very stylish!) and I got to asking myself, does it matter if you have towers or "bookshelfs" as left / right speakers at the front? I can see from a size point of view that bookshelfs are probably easier to fit
 
Last edited:

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
Honestly a fantastic reply and I am very thankful for you putting in the time to put in such a detailed answer, it means a lot to me! Amazing!

Well I am currently living in an apartment that is a bout 100 squaremeters, of which the livingroom/kitchen+dining area is about 60 of them. Its a bit of an L room where the tv and couch area is located at the "top of the L" if that makes sense? So very open :)

Anyways my main focus is definitely movies and television! I do have a Bang and Olufsen A9 MK2 speaker for music (Yes, it isn't stereo, but my girlfriend loved it and honestly it sounds nice!).

So what i'm getting is I should definitely allocate a good amount of money on the center channel and perhaps spend a little less on the Left and Right speakers.

I got an "offer" from my local retailer which consisted primarily of B&W (As I at the moment thought the B&W 704's sounded better than the rubicon 5), anyways the list was:

1x - B&W 704s (Left & Right)
1x - B&W HTM6S2 (Center)
1x - B&W ASW610XP (Subwoofer)
2x - B&W M-1
1x - Denon AVR2700H

So basically what I am getting from you is that I should look into a subwoofer from say SVS instead of the B&W one and maybe broaden my horizon a bit. I have not heard of Arendal, but from looking at their website they look "ok" and I think I can talk my girlfriend into them :)D). My biggest issue is that I can pretty much only listen to the B&W and Dali setup from my local retailer, else i'd had to drive quite far!

Again much thanks for the response I have quite something to look into now!

Edit: This might sound stupid, but I have now been looking at the Arendahls(Very stylish!) and I got to asking myself, does it matter if you have towers or "bookshelfs" as left / right speakers at the front? I can see from a size point of view that bookshelfs are probably easier to fit

Woah, 100sqm! :eek: Massive space! I got to ask you don´t have any spare room to make for av/hobby/work/mancave? It`s going to be very expensive to build something that blows you away. Example subwoofers "sees" the whole space, not just the listening area. This means you would need two large boxes.

Edit. Noticed you live in apartment.

Can you do fast draw up (roomplan) and upload it here how you have the couch and tv now. Also how far you sit from tv/front speakers? You can use windows paint or just draw on paper some quick sketch and take picture with phone then save on computre and press Ctrl+P it lets you choose file from computer.

That system the dealer put for you is far from ideal. Smaller center channel, overpriced tiny subwoofer, too cheap receiver for 700 range. HTM 71 S2 and subwoofer from SVS/Arendal,receiver minium X3700H. Compare the price to X4700H.

You can definitely have larger bookshelf speakers, but depending also how far you sit and how loud you listen as that space is massive! Arendal does have 1723 S Monitor too, but you are going to struggle finding any good looking stands for them. Now i noticed you mentioned living in apartment so you probably aren´t listening that loud. Floorstanding speakers do look nicer and they almost take the same floorspace vs bookshelf speakers with stands. But do you have walls close by and will the speakers need to be close to front wall (tv wall) so many things to consider.

Below you can see the Arendal 1723 S Bookshelf speakers with dual 1961 1S subwoofers . Second picture shows the surrounds wall mounted. The center channel is not Arendal.

1-jpg.1295339


2-jpg.1295340



Here is the 1723 S Towers with center channel and couple Arendal subs turned sideways as they have side firing drivers.

img-20190331-wa0002-jpg.1135482


img-20190331-wa0000-jpg.1135484
 

JNielsen

Novice Member
Woah, 100sqm! :eek: Massive space! I got to ask you don´t have any spare room to make for av/hobby/work/mancave? It`s going to be very expensive to build something that blows you away. Example subwoofers "sees" the whole space, not just the listening area. This means you would need two large boxes.

Edit. Noticed you live in apartment.

Can you do fast draw up (roomplan) and upload it here how you have the couch and tv now. Also how far you sit from tv/front speakers? You can use windows paint or just draw on paper some quick sketch and take picture with phone then save on computre and press Ctrl+P it lets you choose file from computer.

That system the dealer put for you is far from ideal. Smaller center channel, overpriced tiny subwoofer, too cheap receiver for 700 range. HTM 71 S2 and subwoofer from SVS/Arendal,receiver minium X3700H. Compare the price to X4700H.

You can definitely have larger bookshelf speakers, but depending also how far you sit and how loud you listen as that space is massive! Arendal does have 1723 S Monitor too, but you are going to struggle finding any good looking stands for them. Now i noticed you mentioned living in apartment so you probably aren´t listening that loud. Floorstanding speakers do look nicer and they almost take the same floorspace vs bookshelf speakers with stands. But do you have walls close by and will the speakers need to be close to front wall (tv wall) so many things to consider.

Below you can see the Arendal 1723 S Bookshelf speakers with dual 1961 1S subwoofers . Second picture shows the surrounds wall mounted. The center channel is not Arendal.

1-jpg.1295339


2-jpg.1295340



Here is the 1723 S Towers with center channel and couple Arendal subs turned sideways as they have side firing drivers.

img-20190331-wa0002-jpg.1135482


img-20190331-wa0000-jpg.1135484
Again much appreciated for the detailed response! Just outright fantastic 👍.

I will return tomorrow with pictures of my space. Its dawning upon me its more and more important to my buying decision!

Gotta go to bed now, work in the morning.
 

JNielsen

Novice Member
E9A7AD64-7CA5-4F5C-B9E6-AABA124F3CAD.jpeg


227FB8EF-535E-48DF-90C6-38F199E4268C.jpeg


Ok, managed to upload a few pictures from my phone. Second one is facing from entrance to Living room, where kitchen is on the left. First one shows tv area. As you can see there is a slanted wall, which is also the case to the other side 👍
 

Gasp3621

Distinguished Member
View attachment 1550931

View attachment 1550932

Ok, managed to upload a few pictures from my phone. Second one is facing from entrance to Living room, where kitchen is on the left. First one shows tv area. As you can see there is a slanted wall, which is also the case to the other side 👍

Lovely room, i already pictured it how i would make it big cinema room with false wall speakers inside there, rounded stage in front and big wide projector screen with curtains on the sides on the yellow wall. :laugh: Ok back to reality. Surround speakers (M1) will be quite tricky to place. Either the very expensive M1 stands and placing them close by the couch each side (rear part) or mounting them high up on the rear wall/brown beam and aiming them down to get little bit more distance. Arendal has smaller and cheaper 1961 Surrounds too which you could mix with the 1723 S range (front). Of course you can pick the B&W front three if it feels safest and then choose the surround channels from other brand. There is definitely options. You would mount them 1-2feet higher from seated ear height. If however you want to have Atmos system with overhead channels hearing planes, rain etc coming from top then you have to be more carefull with the surround speaker placement cause you want some height separation between these channels, not so that both surround and overhead effects would come from "top". Sure you can always lower them later, but making extra holes and filling, painting..

Left main speaker would have little bit less room, although i don´t see it fully how wide the tv wall really is. Ideally you wouldn´t put the speaker directly in corner, at least push the mains forward if that is the case. It`s always balancing act as you don`t want the front three to be too close each other either. Then you need to consider the subwoofer location which i would start at the left side of tv either right next to cabinet or left corner. 2meter for the L/R mains apart is usually the minium manufacturer recommends, but when one spreads them further apart it can be game changer assuming he sits at least same amount or further away.

Tv should be wall mounted so you can fit the larger center channel (71 S2 / Arendal 1723 S centre etc) on top of the av-unit. This is very important as you do not want to make compromises with center channel due to reasons we covered already. Some thick rug in front of front speakers would be good, summer is over soon anyway so why not. There is some very decor friendly acoustic panels that doesn`t really look like panels, more like art. If you are serious then perhaps you could think of those at least for the rear wall as you have couch against it which is usually in the room acoustic articles what not to do. But in living room we always have to live with some compromises sadly. The room will have big effect what you hear so if you go to hifi shop listen in smaller treated room vs. your large room which doesn´t have as much soft furnishing, curtains, carpet/rugs then yeah it can sound lot different!

Keep in mind that you can also go for full Arendal 1961 Tower system if the 1723 is too large/expensive. Check out the video:

 

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