1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The truth about B&W!

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by Ronan1, Apr 13, 2005.

  1. Ronan1

    Ronan1
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    524
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +70
    It seems to me that B&W are very highly regarded here. I am about to buy a set of front speakers for my system and need some feedback on the 602s3 from B&W. Are they really as good as they seem? Has anyone out there got a pair they are using for HC rather than just music and how do they perform? I am really tempted by wharfedale as you can read from my postings as they are really cheap where I live compared to B&W or indeed any other English brand such as wharfedale. The Aegis3 package sells here at 2000 euro compared to £649 in Seven oaks and the likes so that is the reason I am not running out to buy them, much and all as I would like to. I appreciate your continued patience with my questions guys! Ronan
     
  2. Harry T2

    Harry T2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    482
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +10
    B&W are a very personal taste. Some will say that the sound is “bright” and other will be drawn to the tight bass. You will definitely need to listen to them before purchasing as they are not for everyone. They are big, they are not that attractive to look at, do require some free space to perform at their best; but they can reproduce music (and movies) with a level of detail and authority that few other speakers can match (at there price point).

    IMHO, most user who are using 602’s on these forum will also being trying to accommodate some music requirement into there system. There is no reason why they wouldn’t excel in movies alone, but they would be overkill for many people’s requirements.

    I did a quick search, and saw you would be running them with a Denon AVR-1604. 602’s while rated at 8Ohm, do dip to around 3Ohm, and I would suspect that they will present a too difficult load for the amp to handle.

    If you also have (or getting) a sub, I would prefer the smaller DM600S3 with your amp if you like the sound of the B&W’s.
     
  3. Ronan1

    Ronan1
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    524
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +70
    Thanks Harry,

    I am lost on the technical side regarding hm etc. I realise now that my amp is a little weedy to power larger speakers. I am therefore looking to get the best speakers I can run with this amp and hopefully future proof at the same time. I have an sub. Its the new Diamond SW150 and its fine for my room which is 20m2. I will get QED cable and the best connections I can but am really stuck regarding speakers. Could I run B&W 601 S3's at the front and 600's at the rear with this amp in your opinion or am I just better off sticking with the smallest bookshelf speakers I can find? I really did not want to go the MS Genie or Kef egg way, thats why I started with the Diamond 9 amp and diamond 8 centre. Any furthere insights would be much appreciated.

    Sorry guys for bombarding the page at the moment. I will hopefully be pointed in the right direction soon and then just read! Typical Paddy! I know, blarney and all that!
     
  4. Harry T2

    Harry T2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    482
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +10
    Hi Ronan,

    It is not the size of the speaker that presents the problem, it is the load (resistance, measured in ohms) that the speaker presents to the amp that is the problem.

    All that stuff you may have learned in school (V = iR and W = Vi or W = i * (iR) where V = volts, R = resistance (ohms) and i = current and W = Watts). As resistence drops, currents increases, and power increases exponentially. But enough of the lecture.

    It is a tough call, but the 601/600 combo should be fine. Additionally, if there was a bit of money stashed away after the speaker purchase, and the amp wasn't happy with the speakers, it would be corrected by a 2nd hand power amp and use the AVR1905 as a pre-amp. Something along the lines of a Rotel RMB-1066 and would correct the "weedy" nature of the Denon.
     
  5. Kazman

    Kazman
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2004
    Messages:
    5,252
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Luton, Bedfordshire
    Ratings:
    +136
    As usual, Harry gives excellent advice :)

    I'd just like to add some alternatives to the B&W choice though, Quad, Monitor Audio and KEF XQ series spring to mind immediately. Are you going to be using a sub as well?
     
  6. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Messages:
    7,529
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Near London.
    Ratings:
    +208
    All good advice, it really depends on how you want to split your budget. The Denon 1604 will run all of these speakers but you shouldn't run them loud and you certainly won't be getting the best from any of your kit.

    Kaz's suggestions are also good speakers but you'll have the same problems powering them, the flavour of speaker really has to be a personal choice but they'll all go reasonably well with the Denon.

    If there's scope for increasing your budget then I'd go for the 602's at the front, 600's behind and get a stereo power amp ASAP to use with the front pair (second hand bargains aplenty). Alternatively going for the 601's at the front and spending the change on the amp would be a good route. I'm just using the B&W range as an example of sizing as the same advice will go for any speakers in that price range. :)
     
  7. dhansak79

    dhansak79
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    I find B&W speakers lack presence in the mid range which can make the speakers sound a little dark in their balance. Many people love the B&W sound but I definitely like something with a bit more presence. The mid band is vital for producing vocals, which is of course very important for movies. The bass weight from the B&W 600 series is superb though.

    The Monitor Audio Silver series is excellent, and is what I used when I was buying in this price range.

    It's a shame you can't demo some of your options as, for me, that is half the fun!
     
  8. Ronan1

    Ronan1
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    524
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +70
    I went to test the B&W today and listened to the 601's up front and the 600's in the rear driven by an Onkyo amp. Was expecting a little more to be honest. I was expecting to hear a significant difference over what I have which is Denon 1604 amp, Wharfedale SW150 sub (which does not boom half as much as the B&W 300 did in the demo room today even after turning it down!) I have an old set of Wharfedale modus 3 which cost me 300 quid ten years ago and a set of Jamo 430 floorstanders at the back. Its a real bag of cats that I have but the old wharfedales up front have balls compared to some of the new stuff I have been listening to. I just want to match up my gear and retire the old stuff.

    Never realised that a five star what hi fi sound and vision amp would turn out to be only useful for pulling banana skins off. It does not sound that weedy with what I have, there is a diamond 8 centre by the way. I just wanted to tonally match some middle to cheap detailed speakers to the amp and its proving a little tough when I read from the experts that I should trade up because I just got the stupid thing 6 months ago! Anyway, besides those horrible satellites which I should only be found in an all in one system I am wondering what else there is for me. Would my amp run the new epos els3 5.1 or the monitor audio bronze or the castle compact cc3 without struggling of making them sound like they have bronchitis? I dont need an amp, just surround speakers so keep the suggestions coming please folks. Its helping!
     
  9. eviljohn2

    eviljohn2
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2002
    Messages:
    7,529
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    86
    Location:
    Near London.
    Ratings:
    +208
    Interesting response, it's very good that you're trusting your own ears and opinions rather than magazine reviews. :thumbsup:

    I've only heard the Epos speakers out of that list and they were very good, you shouldn't have much trouble running them with that amp. I felt that the centre channel and sub were the weak points in the system so again it would be good for you to get a demo if you can. :)
     
  10. Harry T2

    Harry T2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    482
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +10
    Is that a good or bad boom.

    Hmmm, 1604 - so that definitely rules out any thought of a power amp upgrade. And we are being a little tough on the amp. For what it is, it is a very fine amp. Unfortunately, it is not the best "building block" to upgrade from.

    The Tannoy Eyris maybe a possibilty. Reasonably efficient and an easy load.
     
  11. Ronan1

    Ronan1
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    524
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +70
    It was a wolly boom, inprecise. I tested Mordaunt shorth, polk audio, mission and B&W 300 before buying the wharfedale from reviews and am not disappointed. Its tight, fast and packs a decent wallop for its sizze and price. It was the second time I tested the B&W sub and am glad of my purchase. It may not have the reputation of the B&W but it sounds better to me. I will check out the Tannoy Eyris. I have looked at amps again and see that the step in power seems very small as you go up the range. What would you consider a reasonable future proof specification? I see that the Denon 1905 has 5 watts more per channel, surely I would be in the same boat with that? The 2105 or 2805? Double the cost seems a little steep but I am sure there are huge sonic differences between them. Maybe Yamaha would be a better bet? Anyway, I really apppreciate your continued help everyone. Thanks again, Ronan
     
  12. pragmatic

    pragmatic
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2004
    Messages:
    12,120
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Ratings:
    +1,678
    See if you can get a home demo of a waferdale centre, maybe one of the new dimond 9, which are fairly cheap.
    Also there are lots of threads about cheap amps from germany and you can get a great deal on the 750 and the higher 1500/2500 (which have upgraded power supplies and dacs, although the specs don't show that much).
    It may be possible to get a deal on the 750 to as the 757 has just been released, and i think it just has a built in sat radio tuner, or something.

    Where about are you at btw?
     
  13. Ronan1

    Ronan1
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    524
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +70
    Hi folks,

    Harry, found the Tannoy Eyris, they cost 640 euro here for a pair compared to 320 euro for B&W 601's and 160 euro for wharfedale 9.1's! A little frightening to be honest and I read some reviews on them and they seemed good but not good enough to justify that price. Mission M33's are 320 euro and M72i's are 260 euro. Prices vary a lot. Mordaunt short 914's are 480 euro, a little overpriced I think. Does anyone know the price of the smaller Epos bookshelvers (ELS3)in the UK or anyone in Germany or Austria know if they are available there? I live in Budapest but travel around a lot so don't really mind where I go to pick up good kit like these! I think I would go with the Epos if I can get them at a good price. Thanks guys!
     
  14. Ronan1

    Ronan1
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    524
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +70
    Hang on a second, just after posting the last message I did a google search and found an Epos dealer in Budapest. Thanks guys, methinks I am sorted!
     
  15. Gary Lightfoot

    Gary Lightfoot
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2001
    Messages:
    12,152
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Surrey. UK.
    Ratings:
    +1,956
    Was the B&W300 a ported sub? My limited experience has found that some ported subs can sound wooly in some rooms. I have a cheapo Paradigm PDR10 which sounds pretty reasonable in my lounge, but wooly and boomy in my loft. The Rel Q200 I have in the loft sounds much much better.

    The Wharfedale SW150 is a sealed sub as well isn't it?

    Gary.
     
  16. Ronan1

    Ronan1
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    524
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Ratings:
    +70
    Just got the price on the Epos els3's. They are exactly twice the price of Diamond 9.1's here where I live. Read a shedload of reviews on them today which were all favorable but it was mentioned that they need to be driven by a strong source! Am I peeing against the wind by forking out twice the price of the Diamond 9.1's on these boxes just to run them with an amp that will never drive them properly or is this Denon 1604 capable of driving them without running out of steam?

    Also, the Epos surround system won best surround speaker package recently in What Hi*Fi sound and vision against some tough competition but in the back section of the magazine in the buyers guide they scored only 4 out of 5 because "they lack reach at either end of the frequency range". Are they saying that they are more suited to home cinema because they don't hit the mark without a sub or centre to back them up, rather than being the perfect stereo choice? There is a £20 difference between them and the Diamond 9.1 in the UK. The diamond is a larger speaker (physically although I know that does not count all the time), handles 100w too and gets an extra star compared to the Epos.

    Has anyone compared the two and is the difference between them that significant that it justifies paying twice the price? All thoughts and advice much appreciated as always, Ronan
     
  17. Harry T2

    Harry T2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    482
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +10
    Hi Ronan,

    Your speakers will drive any of the speakers listed to a moderate "sound level". Our concerns are that when you turn the amp up to "11" (in his best Spinal Tap voice), the amp will struggle.

    If you never listen to you movies at an extreme level, then the comments about the power of the amp are not really valid.

    In truth, at most times the amp is only using a handful of Watts. If you speakers are rated @ 90dB/W, then you would only use 1 Watt to produce a sound level of 90dB (listening position distance from speaker excluded to simplify the logic). 2 Watts to generate 93dB, 4 Watts for 96dB, etc. Double the Watts to produce an increase of 3dB.

    Secondly, the Watts quoted in the Manufacturers' spec are almost meaningless. What is important is the power supply the amp uses, and how quickly it can produce the required current and the maximum current it can produce.
     
  18. mc_frink87

    mc_frink87
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Messages:
    10
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    Just a quick question... Saw this and got a bit concerned.

    Googled the AVR 1604 and found it has 60W per channel outputs.

    I've just purchased a Rotel RA-03, which has 70W per channel, and was planning to purchase the B&W 602s3, but I'm a bit worried now that these speakers "will present a too difficult load for the amp to handle," as it's only 10W more.

    As a newcomer to real HiFi, perhaps I'm missing a vital piece of info here, or taking the power outputs too literally, if so, feel free to humiliate me for being a dumbass! :D

    Cheers
     
  19. Harry T2

    Harry T2
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    482
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +10
    The Rotel will be fine. You will have nothing to worry about.

    My concern with the Denon was more to do with the real life power rather than the quoted figure.
     
  20. mc_frink87

    mc_frink87
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2006
    Messages:
    10
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Ratings:
    +0
    Koolio, thank you :thumbsup:.
     

Share This Page

Loading...