B&Ws vs......

shackshack Posts: 11,284
edited September 2002 in Speakers
There are obviously differing point of views here about B&W speakers. Some say they are great all around...some say they are good for this and not so good for something else. etc... Recently I went out to do some auditioning for a small bookshelf speaker for a 2 channel system. With 2 teenaged daughters I can never get close to the current setup in our family room. I have a preference for bookshelves/monitors. I am seriously leaning to the LSi7/LSi9 and my limit is $1,000 or less. I wanted to see what else was out there in that price range since I have listened to the LSis quite a bit. I specifically went looking for the B&W DM602 S3 but could not find anyone that had them. I did listen to the CM2s (which is a step up from the 602s). Of the 5 sets of speakers I listened to these came in last. They sounded thin with a definite lack of bass punch compared to the others. The other speakers I auditioned in this price range were the Vienna Acoustics Haydns, PSB Stratus Minis, Linn Katan, and Sonus Faber Concerto (not quite fair at almost twice the cost). I was really disappointed, as I had expected so much from the recommendations for these speakers. In all fairness I had just listened to the Vienna Haydns on a Bryston integrated amp and Krell CD player and the B&Ws were mated with Yamaha equipment. I later listened to the Haydns on a Yamaha receiver and they still sounded better than the B&Ws.

I would rank the speakers I auditioned as follows:

1 - Vienna Acoustics Haydn - I have actually listened to these 3 times - once paired with Yamaha, once with Bryston and once with BK. Very warm with good detail in the mids and highs. Surprising bass but you have to be careful. Could sound a little loose and boomy with the wrong amp. Sounded best with the Bryston but had the best bass delivery with the BK. Before I make my final decision I will listen to them and the LSis again. They are a beautiful speaker but at $995 MSRP it will be tough for them to beat out the LSi.

2 & 3 (tie) - Linn Katan and PSB Stratus Mini. The Linn sounded very good paired with Linn amps and a Rega Planet CD player. The PSB were paired with ARCAM equip. They were very similar in sound with very nice midrange and highs. Imaged well and produced a good soundstage. Not as warm as the Haydns and while the bass they produced was very tight there was not the extension of the Haydns. Looks and technology would have to go with the Linns. They have a wedge shape with adjustable crossover configurations. Very nicely built. The PSB are a little cheaper and pretty much your standard monitor.

4 - B&W CM2 - The sound was just not there. They were not very warm and a little thin sounding and a lack of bass compared to the others. Very accurate but not a speaker I felt I could listen to for very long. In all fairness they may not have been broken in and the Kevlar driver may need a fair amount of time to sound good. As it turns out a dealer here in town has just started carrying the B&W line. I was in the store a week ago and their showroom was full of unpacked B&W speakers. The only ones they had set up were the Nautilus right next to their Revels. I going to wait a couple of weeks and go back and give them another listen so see if they sound better than my one demo.

Sonus Faber Concertos - I left these out because they are double the price I am willing to spend right now. A beautiful sounding speaker with the best midrange and highs of the group. Soundstage and imaging were superior....but....there was no bass extension at all. I had just switched from the Haydns (on BK amplification) and was amazed at how much lower the smaller Hadyns went.

I'm hoping to give the B&W another shot and hopefully I will come away with a better opinion of what many people think is a very good speaker. However, it is going to be hard to beat the LSis for the money.
"Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

"For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." - Stuart Chase

"Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson
Post edited by shack on

Comments

  • mantismantis Posts: 15,430
    edited September 2002
    Dude nice post man,
    I would like to add to your listening the Totem Aarows at 1100.00,they also can be had for 999.99.The Totem line is fantastic.They also have some killer bookshelves.

    Dynaudio Audience 42's and 52's would also be a good listen.

    All speakers need to be mated correctly to sound there best...what thats means is how you want them and the limits of the given speaker can have ....in short.

    The Lsi9's are going to be hard to beat.going that route isn't a bad thing...but in the end you need to make the personal choice.

    Back to the B&W thing.........dude they are fantastic speakers,just not versatle enough for my needs.Russ seems to love em, but thats his opnion.Mine is differentand yours maybe 2.....
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • phuzphuz Posts: 2,413
    edited September 2002
    Mantis, please email me.

    [email protected]

    Thx.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,430
    edited September 2002
    phuz,
    I will email you after I get home tonight.....I'm at work right now.
    You can E-mail me if you like.

    [email protected]
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • liv4famliv4fam Posts: 311
    edited September 2002
    Guys, it's all about what you are looking for in a speaker. Ask yourself what do I expect out the speaker? Will you be listening to a lot of classical? What about pop rock?Heavy Metal?etc....etc.... Every speaker will fill someones need in one way or another. I have found in my Demo's that the Danes pretty much can play everything pretty well, maybe not the absolute best but pretty good considering it's the most versatile speaker I have ever listened to. The Sonus Fabers also are an incredible speaker albeit a little relaxed sounding and definitely very picky when it comes to amplifier mating. I have really been impressed with Sonus ever since I encountered them two years ago but they still lack depth and softness of female vocals. IMO Every speaker has it's flaws and strengths just as long as you don't expect something from it that it simply cannot do nor was designed to do.
    I sense much dishonesty in you...............Sense much fear in you.
    Lead you down the dark path they will.
  • mantismantis Posts: 15,430
    edited September 2002
    Agreed,
    speakers are very difficult to pickout.It's a long rocky road.For me anyways I have a hardtime staying where I can actually afford.My taste exceeds my bank account.

    I have found happiness in the Lsi 15's ,Transparent , Rotel setup.That maybe not for everyone but I'm happy with it.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.
  • RuSsMaNRuSsMaN Posts: 17,995
    edited September 2002
    Hey, on a side note, I never saw the pic of that Rotel. Could you re-post it, or take another pic at your leisure? I'm just curious how the faceplate looks compared to the Rotel's I've seen.
    Check your lips at the door woman. Shake your hips like battleships. Yeah, all the white girls trip when I sing at Sunday service.
  • tryrrthgtryrrthg Posts: 1,900
    edited September 2002
    If you're not afraid of buying used, you should check out audiogon and get yourself a pair of Dynaudio 1.3 MKII. They usually go from $1100 up to $1500. They are amazing speakers that play just about every genre of music well.

    If not I HIGHLY recommend you check out the Audience 52's.
    Sony KDL-40V2500 HDTV, Rotel RSX-1067 Receiver, Sony BDP-S550 Blu-ray, Slim Devices Squeezebox, Polk RTi6, CSi3 & R15, DIY sub with Atlas 15
  • TroyDTroyD Posts: 12,144
    edited September 2002
    Big Dumb is ALL about used gear as I'm not convinced that new always means better.

    BDT
    I plan for the future. - F1Nut
  • shackshack Posts: 11,284
    edited September 2002
    Actually I think I have a used integrated stereo amp lined up. The amp should sound the same as another used amp. Speakers I would not want to get used unless I can hear and see them first.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

    "For those who believe, no proof is necessary. For those who don't believe, no proof is possible." - Stuart Chase

    "Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson
Sign In or Register to comment.

Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!