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Specialist or hi-fi speakers as rears?

Discussion in 'Hi-Fi Stereo Systems & Separates' started by Billilu, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. Billilu

    Billilu
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    I auditioned the new B&W 704s yesterday, listening to CD players in the £1000-£1300 bracket through an Arcam 32 amp, and was staggeringly impressed with them as musical speakers. They were terrific all-rounders, handling the good old rock'n'roll of Neil Young and his Crazy Horse as well as the more subtle finesse of Steely Dan and Moby. I'm definitely planning to buy a pair but I have a quandary on how to complete my multi-channel speaker system.

    When it came to testing the B&W system via a DVD and surround sound receiver, the HMT7 centre speaker gave superb clarity to voices, and even gave Tom Hanks's vocal cords a rich and pleasant timbre. The 704s as fronts picked out every scrunch of footsteps in the gravel. However, I was less certain about the rears on offer, the DS7s. I'm sure they were doing a good job, but for £900 I'd expect a bit more than that.

    What do people think of the idea of using the 705 standmounters as rear speakers, which are the same price as the DS7s? I listen to a fair bit of music in 5.1, and my instinct tells me this is the way to go. But will I lose out when watching films? Is it sacrilege? There's a part of me too that thinks it might not be the best use of £900 to use them as rears - I'll have to buy a few more DVD-As and SACDs to play through my Pioneer 868 to justify it, if only there were more worth buying! I'm testing the 705s tomorrow and having another listen to the 704s.

    What are people's thoughts about whether it's preferable to use specialist rear speakers (inc dipoles, bipoles etc) or hi-fi speakers as rears?
     
  2. buns

    buns
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    i prefer monopoles (i.e. i use 'hifi' speakers)..... but it does give you a somewhat different sound and i believe takes additional care with positioning.

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  3. alexs2

    alexs2
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    I also prefer the sound of monopolar speakers,having tried dipoles etc,but as buns says,positioning can be a bit fiddly.
    Certainly the 705s as rears would be excellent,and a nice match sonically for the 704's.
     
  4. Billilu

    Billilu
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    A pair of 704s, a pair of 705s, plus the HTM7 centre now ordered. Could be delivered as soon as next weekend. Plus an ex-dem Meridian 507 already taking pride of place in my rack, after being purchased for a very fair £850 with a two year warranty. :D :D :D

    Only problem now, selling my superb but superceded AE 109s, Aegis Ones and AE107C, along with my Marantz CD67 SE MkII. :eek: :eek: :eek:
     
  5. Daneel

    Daneel
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    Billilu, did you try the 703? I found the bass output to kill the 704 stone dead, though improvements in other areas were less obvious.

    I'm looking at almost the exact same setup as you, although I'm going to add a power amp to my 2011. If I were you I'd look into one too, the difference with my 602s was big, with the 700 series I'd imagine it would be even more.
     
  6. Billilu

    Billilu
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    I didn't try the 703s as I thought it would be overkill for my none too large living room, ie I thought the bass might be overwhelming. Also, since they sounded so pretty damn good, I'm not sure I wanted to hear that something might sound better, and force me against my will to fork out an extra £600!

    Yes, I will consider adding a power amp at some point, but I wanted to see how the new existing set-up sounded first. How would you connect up the power amp to the 2011? Forgive me if this is a dumb question, but this would be new territory for me. (Having said that, I did combine my old Yamaha AV amp with my old Marantz amp, but that was intergrated.) What power amp(s) were you considering?
     
  7. Daneel

    Daneel
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    You just run a phono cable from the preouts to the inputs of the power amp. Easy peasy. I'm demoing a parasound A23 at the moment (see my other thread).

    The obvious option is Rotel but when I looked at how much cheaper their stuff is in the US I was somewhat annoyed (£845 for a 1075 here, $999 in the US for example).
     

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