Need help with B&W 700 series speaker selection! [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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05-25-2004, 05:58 PM
Hi guys,

I am planning to replace my speakers with B&W's 700 series. I decided to go with the 705s for the fronts and HTM7 for the center, however, I am not sure what to do for surrounds. I am debating whether to go with another pair of 705s for surrounds or a pair of the DS7s.

All three of my local dealers (NYC) do not have the DS7 surround speakers setup for demo, thus I am unable to listen to them yet. Does anyone here got a chance to listen to the DS7?

My system is used for 50/50 movies and musics. And I plan to get into multi-channel musics soon (DVD-A and SACD). Any suggestion for what to go with for the surrounds will be greatly appreciated.


05-25-2004, 06:41 PM
If you plan to use your system for multichannel music, I would not go with a dipolar speaker like the DS7. A lot of SACD and DVD-A mixes are done with deliberate spatial cues, and a dipolar surround speaker will obscure that directionality because the whole intent of an out-of-phase speaker like a dipole is to be completely directionless and project a bigger sound that seems like it's coming from everywhere. Soundtracks with a lot of directional cues can convey location and space, and you lose that effect with dipoles. IMO, dipoles work best with Dolby Pro Logic decoded sources and with movie soundtracks that have more ambient sounds than directional cues mixed into the surround channels. In general, the way that more and more mixes are done nowadays, dipolar speakers are not necessarily the best way to go. In general, a lot of speaker manufacturers have stuck with dipolar surround speakers because for years the only way you could get a surround speaker THX certified was to make it dipolar, even though that specification predated the introduction of 5.1 soundtracks for consumer use.

If you can't find the DS7, I suggest you try out the 705s in a 5.1 surround setup, and then compare that sound with another 5.1 setup that uses dipoles just so you can get a feel for how a dipolar surround speaker conveys that surround effect. It sounds very different from how direct firing or bipolar speakers convey it. Dipolar surround speakers really do come down to personal preference. I'm not a fan of dipoles and feel that with 5.1 discrete channels, they're not at all necessary if you do the 5.1 setup correct. But, a lot of people will disagree with that.

05-26-2004, 02:02 AM
yep...use the same speakers you use as fronts as your surrounds.

05-26-2004, 08:45 AM
Thanks for the replies - they are very helpful!

06-02-2004, 01:00 PM
dont forget the the 7DS also has a monopole mode. how big is your room? dipole's are great if you have a big seating area as more dispersion will be shot out into the back room. you can always swtich to monopole when its just you or listening to sacd. however, i agree with the posts above that if you have a greater interest in music, or if your room is not that big, to go with all 705. imho, you would be best off with 704's as mains and 705's as rears - one killer set-up.

06-02-2004, 10:25 PM
B&W is an excellent all around choice! Anyway, it'll depend on your budget, tastes, and decorating limitations. If you have to get bookshelf speakers for the front, get 705's for both the front and surrounds. IMO, I don't like a bipole/dipole sound, especially for music. If deep bass isn't important for you, you'll get by with the 705's for music, but'll probably need a sub for HT. If you can't get a sub now, I'd recommend a slightly larger 700 series for the fronts. Good luck!

06-03-2004, 06:45 AM
Hi guys, I finally made up my mind. I am going to go with the 705s for both fronts and surrounds. In addition, I am planning to purchase the Paradigm Seismic 12 sub to complement my 705s at the low end.

Any suggestions on subs that will go well with the 700 series?

06-03-2004, 10:01 AM
You'll want something exceptionally fast so why not B&W's own ASW series? They're sealed, fast, and match the 705's. Other's to consider are DefTech's SuperCubes, James, servo Velodynes, and of course Paradigm makes great subs as well.

Keep in mind, blending subs with speakers isn't as easy as just buying any old sub and crossing it over at the right frequency. You want it to blend seemlessly with your other speakers. A great matching sub should pretty much disappear so you don't even know it's there; it should sound like everything is from the same point source. If you can tell you have a sub imo, you'd better start tweaking.

06-07-2004, 04:13 AM

I agree with topspeed. You need a fast good sub that would go great with your new to be 705. These speakers are very accurate, open sounded, so you'd need an accurate sub using good amplification to control the bass, keeping it tight and controlled.
A good sub setup, should give you the sense that all that buttom end is coming from the same place all the other stuff is coming from, as if you have speakers with great bass extension, without knowing the sub's there.

Try to audition B&W 700 series subs with the 705 or maybe the B&W 675.

The 705 seems as a GREAT choice.