B&W Speaker Series Mixing question [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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12-28-2004, 10:03 AM
Hello -- I've strayed from HT for a while and now I am back I am looking to complete my system this coming year (new tv, speakers and a Sub)

So I currently have to work with:
B&W 602 S1 as mains
B&W LCR6 S2 centre
and a Denon 2801 Receiver

I'm looking to either pick up rear channels or move the 602s back if you think the newer series speakers deserve to be up front. (Rec'ns? - Stay with B&W or try something else?) I am looking for a small sub to round things out - I believe I don't have to go with the same brand, is that correct? (Rec'ns?)\


12-29-2004, 09:06 AM
Why dont you try and get another set of 602s1 for rear.Probably thru ebay or audiogon.The newer versions i believe are different alltogether.If i was going to get a newer version definately put them as mains.As it is your center is a newer version than your present mains.As far as a sub no they dont need to be same brand.If you have the budget why dont you sell what you have and upgrade to the 600s3 series speakers.Bookshelf or floorstands dont matter they are all vey good depending what your tastes are.I recently did an upgrade and got the 603s3 and the lcr600 center and am very happy,will be upgrading my surrounds to 601s3 as soon as i can.

12-29-2004, 12:36 PM
That would depend on how much the voicing on the S3 600 series differs from the S1 versions that you own. With most movie soundtracks, you can get away with the surrounds not matching the mains. This is because most of them do not have a lot of identical sounds simultaneously running into the main and surround channels at equivalent levels. Typically, you have the action going on in the front, with ambient cues in the back and occasional directional effects that go in short bursts. Not really something that brings speaker mismatches to your attention.

However, with a lot of newer movie soundtracks and with multichannel DVD-A/SACD music discs, a lot more activity gets seamlessly mixed between the main and surround channels, which makes timbre mismatches and improperly placed speakers more obvious. Concert DVDs and multichannel music soundtracks steer a lot of the instruments and vocals into the surrounds, and often mix these sounds into the main and surround channels simultaneously. If a guitar sound for example is mixed into all five speakers at the same level, it won't sound quite right unless your main and surround speakers match fairly closely.

With a timbre matched set of speakers and proper placement, the imaging cues and the encirclement effect are a lot more involving. IMO, you can get a decent surround effect with a mismatched system, but if you want the most engaging experience possible, you have to go with timbre matched speakers.

For your situation, you could go used and try to find a pair of S2 speakers so that you have a matched set of speakers up front (the center/main speaker match is more important than the match between the surrounds and the mains). Or you can simply get a pair of S3 bookshelfs and add them as surrounds. Eventually, down the line you can look to add another set off S3s up front to get the best possible timbre match between the mains and surrounds.

01-08-2005, 04:59 PM
Thanks for your comments -- My interpretation of your comments are that the voices differ between the different series - I would think the difference is greatest between S1 and S2 - (tweeter redesigned)

I will try to find a pair of S2 to match my centre (I'm pretty happy with it - with the exception of its size - I just need a bigger TV...)

Does anyone have any recommendations on subs? I'd prefer to go cheaper on this (less important to me, and I'll be buying a DLP RPTV in the near future, so I'd rather save my powder for that.

Thanks again!