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Thread: B&W 703 Floorstanders

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    B&W 703 Floorstanders

    Any other B&W 703 owners out there? In my system they have been a huge disappointment. I find them to be very bright and edgy. The FST midrange seems to be too out front especially on vocals.I actually like the woofers and tweeter in the 703.The FST is one of B&W's claims to fame.I have mid priced Rotel components.Are the 703's simply too good for my equipment, or did B&W design a speaker with way too much top end.I listen to raggy rock and pop CD's at a fairly high volume which doesn't help, but my previous speakers were much more forgiving without the listener fatigue I get with the 703's.If you own them I'd love to hear what you think of them. Even though I paid almost $3000 for them, I'd be lying If I said they were a good purchase.Ironically I almost bought the much more laid back 9nt's the 703 replaced. I should have paid much closer attention to the differences between the two.

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    Well, if mids are your main concern, I'm not sure the 9nt's would have solved your problem as they utilize the FST as well. Personally, I liked the 7nt's better than the 9's in no small part because of the differences in the transducers. The 9's were definitely more forward and I preferred the 7's overall cohesiveness.

    Anywho, my first question would be why did you buy them in the first place? You did audition them extensively, correct? If so, it could be more of room interaction problem. Try repositioning the speakers, adding plants, curtains, carpets, or overstuffed furniture to try to tame the room a bit. Pay attention to first order reflections as they have a dramatic effect on perceived sound quality.

    The other issue could be your source. Pop is mixed pretty hot as it is, and a revealing speaker will only exacerbate the problem. Combine this with your 12 year old cd player and I'm not at all surprised your system is brittle sounding. Understand, DAC's and rbcd playback has dramatically improved over the past decade as engineers have come to grips with the format. I'd bet real money that a modern $300 cd/sacd player would flat smoke your old Rotel.

    If all your cd's sound bad even after addressing the room acoustics and source, it could very well be the speakers. The good news is that B&W's hold their value better than just about any other mass market speaker. You should have no problem unloading them on audiogon.com without taking too much of a hit.

    Sorry to hear about your problems. Hope this helps.

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    BillyB,

    Re-read the second paragraph of what Topspeed had to say.....it will make a huge difference in the sound of speakers. On the other hand I traded off my new Paradigm Studio 40's because their tweeter was too much for me.
    Have a good day.....Sez' Pat
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    Quote Originally Posted by topspeed
    Well, if mids are your main concern, I'm not sure the 9nt's would have solved your problem as they utilize the FST as well. Personally, I liked the 7nt's better than the 9's in no small part because of the differences in the transducers. The 9's were definitely more forward and I preferred the 7's overall cohesiveness.

    Anywho, my first question would be why did you buy them in the first place? You did audition them extensively, correct? If so, it could be more of room interaction problem. Try repositioning the speakers, adding plants, curtains, carpets, or overstuffed furniture to try to tame the room a bit. Pay attention to first order reflections as they have a dramatic effect on perceived sound quality.

    The other issue could be your source. Pop is mixed pretty hot as it is, and a revealing speaker will only exacerbate the problem. Combine this with your 12 year old cd player and I'm not at all surprised your system is brittle sounding. Understand, DAC's and rbcd playback has dramatically improved over the past decade as engineers have come to grips with the format. I'd bet real money that a modern $300 cd/sacd player would flat smoke your old Rotel.

    If all your cd's sound bad even after addressing the room acoustics and source, it could very well be the speakers. The good news is that B&W's hold their value better than just about any other mass market speaker. You should have no problem unloading them on audiogon.com without taking too much of a hit.

    Sorry to hear about your problems. Hope this helps.
    Thanks for your opinion. I did demo the 703's but should have also been looking at many other speakers in the price range.My lesson learned is simply"if it ain't broke don't fix it" The Proac speakers I replaced were fantastic.I had the right mix of equipment and the sound was special.Upgrading just for the sake of change can be a huge disappointment and waste of money.Lesson Learned!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyB
    Thanks for your opinion. I did demo the 703's but should have also been looking at many other speakers in the price range.My lesson learned is simply"if it ain't broke don't fix it" The Proac speakers I replaced were fantastic.I had the right mix of equipment and the sound was special.Upgrading just for the sake of change can be a huge disappointment and waste of money.Lesson Learned!!!!!
    Lesson learned? Then ask yourself why your traveling down that road again?





    good luck

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    Quote Originally Posted by gonefishin
    Lesson learned? Then ask yourself why your traveling down that road again?





    good luck

    dan
    Now that I've invested $3000 on a speaker upgrade, I don't think spending another $700 to replace a 12 year old obsolete CDP is going down the same road.Of course I wish I bought the CDP first but too late for that.If I'm lucky the new CDP will show off the strengths of the B&W 703's.It's a chance I have to take.

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    BillyB I feel your pain. When you have lived with a system for a long time and like it but you want to take that next step up it gets tricky. I have a 9 year old CDP and I will be replcaing it soon. I am concerned about throwing the system out of balance. Next I will be shopping for speakers. The few times I have not enjoyed listening to my system is when I had the wrong cables for the componets in use. I lean to changing cables to improve the sound. IMO silver plated copper cables and interconnects are bright. I would also work with speaker positioning others recommended. After all that is a free tweak. Check how you have the speakers toed in. Having the tweeters pointing at your listening position could give you too much high frequency. I would hate for you to take a loss if a simple fix will help.
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    Question for Topspeed

    Just another thought Topspeed.Many years ago a highly regarded audio shop owner told me that the better speakers(under $4000) were usually 2-way in design and quite often the smaller stand size speaker.I was a novice and didn't think a smaller speaker with less drivers would be adequate.He persuaded me to buy a pair of Proac 2-way stand speakers with Rotel components.The Proacs were simply great speakers even to my untrained ear.His argument was that 2-way speakers in this price range were usually better then a larger 3-way speaker.The speakers would have better quality drivers and a 2 way(or 21/2) arrangement would produce a better overall sound then a comparibly priced 3 way.These Proacs at $1300 seemed to echo that.They were incredible, even putting out exceptional bass for a small speaker.Proac's approach is to use less drivers but achieve great sound with higher quality drivers,crossovers,cabinet design,etc.If I decide to replace my 703's, I was thinking of downsizing to a high quality 2-way again.I miss the Proacs. What is your opinion about speaker choices under $3000.Do you agree that you get better quality sound out of a high end 2-way than a bigger 3-way with more drivers.I'm not a huge bass fan so the dropoff in bass with smaller speakers doesn't phase me.I know this isn't a simple question but I'd like to get your opinion.Thanks

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    Hi BillyB,

    I noticed that you've stated several places that you liked your proacs. They're a nice easy sounding speaker. Reading your posts...it seems your still looking for that ProAc sound.
    Putting money into a new CDplayer isn't a bad idea. But from reading your posts...I just don't think that's what your looking for.

    I know that you do have to come up with some other solution, which keeps the 703's. Maybe a tubed CD player could be the answer to help smooth things out for you.

    Hmmm...I'll be right back.

    Here's one that I had seen used. It would be good if he could come down a bit...but it may be an option???
    *no connection to the player or seller*

    good luck,
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMichael
    BillyB I feel your pain. When you have lived with a system for a long time and like it but you want to take that next step up it gets tricky. I have a 9 year old CDP and I will be replcaing it soon. I am concerned about throwing the system out of balance. Next I will be shopping for speakers. The few times I have not enjoyed listening to my system is when I had the wrong cables for the componets in use. I lean to changing cables to improve the sound. IMO silver plated copper cables and interconnects are bright. I would also work with speaker positioning others recommended. After all that is a free tweak. Check how you have the speakers toed in. Having the tweeters pointing at your listening position could give you too much high frequency. I would hate for you to take a loss if a simple fix will help.
    It's pain indeed!!Those of us with limited finances simply can't replace equipment at our every whim. Purchases need to be thoroughly planned and I think sometimes you need a little luck.It's rare to be able to hear speakers your looking to buy with your exact mix of equipment and cables.Then of course there"s the acoustics of the stereo shop versus home.I truly thought the 703's were a good choice. I was shocked at how awful they sounded at home.When I mentioned this to my salesman he assured me they would tone down after a lengthy Burn-in.Well 2 years later they still hurt my ears!!!Thanks for the reply.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyB
    What is your opinion about speaker choices under $3000.Do you agree that you get better quality sound out of a high end 2-way than a bigger 3-way with more drivers.I'm not a huge bass fan so the dropoff in bass with smaller speakers doesn't phase me.I know this isn't a simple question but I'd like to get your opinion.Thanks
    Yes and no.

    A lot depends on the ability of the designer and where it is manufactured. Common sense dictates that higher quality parts are better than lesser quality, therefore it's easy to buy into the argument that less is actually more in the 2 way vs. 3 way debate. However, I'm sure we can both note a few occasions whereas a talented designer has taken mediocre parts and produced magic. In addition, what happens when the parts are made in low-cost areas such as China? I know most "audiophiles" love to turn their noses up at anything from a supposed third world country, but I assure you that a lot of audio products coming from the Far East easily surpass the quality of those from either the "Old World" (or "New World") for that matter. The bottom line is that there are simply too many variables involved to make such a blanket statement, IMO.

    To me, the biggest challenge once you venture beyond the realm of 2 ways is the crossover design. Naturally, the more drivers you have, the more ways you have to split the signal (unless you're Reference 3A, which doesn't use crossovers). In a world that considers off-the-shelf transducers from Peerless, Scanspeak, Dynaudio, or Focal as the norm instead of the exception, it's often the talent of the designer and their crossover design that separates the wheat from the chaff.

    As for your question regarding what is the best $3K speaker? The honest answer is that I have no idea. I can say that if I were looking for speakers in the $3-4K range, I would want it all. This means I want a speaker that is full range and I really don't care how it does it, whether 2 way, 3 way, ribbon, radialstrahler...whatever. I have a hard time outlaying that kind of coin and ending up with a rig that requires an additional sub out of neccesity. Uhh...no thanks, I'll take the zero.

    Some of the speakers that I have heard and will consider when I build my next rig are the Gallo Ref 3, Von Schweikert VR4 and VR4jr, Maggie 3.6, and JML Electra. Right now, the VR4jr's would probably be my first choice although I haven't heard the Ref3 with the plate amp, which I understand makes a profound difference. I would also want to audition speakers from Usher, Tyler Acoustics, Dali, EFE Technologies and AN just off the top of my head. Speakers that aren't my cup 'o tea but you should consider are Vandersteen, Sonus Faber, Vienna Acoustics, and Dynaudio. BTW, if you like ProAc, you'd likely enjoy Spendor, Harbeth, and maybe Reference 3A as well.

    The key is to not get too wrapped up in the design and instead consider the speaker as a whole. After all, we don't listen to the individual transducers. We listen to the entire speaker, right? As long as your toes are tappin', who cares how they go about it?

    Hope this helps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyB
    Any other B&W 703 owners out there? In my system they have been a huge disappointment. I find them to be very bright and edgy. The FST midrange seems to be too out front especially on vocals.I actually like the woofers and tweeter in the 703.The FST is one of B&W's claims to fame.I have mid priced Rotel components.Are the 703's simply too good for my equipment, or did B&W design a speaker with way too much top end.I listen to raggy rock and pop CD's at a fairly high volume which doesn't help, but my previous speakers were much more forgiving without the listener fatigue I get with the 703's.If you own them I'd love to hear what you think of them. Even though I paid almost $3000 for them, I'd be lying If I said they were a good purchase.Ironically I almost bought the much more laid back 9nt's the 703 replaced. I should have paid much closer attention to the differences between the two.
    I get the feeling that the very feature that makes the B&W 703 superior to the speaker it replaced is what causing you problems, i.e. superior dispersion. This is probably excerbarated by the Rotels, some of which on the bright side of neutral, do they still have tone controls, if they do use them. If what I read about the Arcams is true, then they seem to have moved away from the laidback sound of old and gotten brighter, but I have yet to listen to any new arcam CDPs, so I cannot confirm this. If your Rotel has tone controls then my advise is to use them to cut the treble output, rather than embarking on an equipment merry go round, trying to use another component to compensate for the perceived weakness of another.

    PS: IIRC, Hi-FiChoice made a comment that B&W tweaked the balance of the 703/704? not sure which one, not long after it was introduced after some feedback (I think?) to tame brightness.

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    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyB
    It's pain indeed!!Those of us with limited finances simply can't replace equipment at our every whim. Purchases need to be thoroughly planned and I think sometimes you need a little luck.It's rare to be able to hear speakers your looking to buy with your exact mix of equipment and cables.Then of course there"s the acoustics of the stereo shop versus home.I truly thought the 703's were a good choice. I was shocked at how awful they sounded at home.When I mentioned this to my salesman he assured me they would tone down after a lengthy Burn-in.Well 2 years later they still hurt my ears!!!Thanks for the reply.

    I used to like B&W but the 700 series IMO is garbage. Whatever the reviews I have listened to this line several times at several locations and with quality gear. My front runner was B&W as i used to own a pair but my dealer www.soundhounds.com intrioduced me to stuff they sell but also buy for their own homes. B&W's 700 series is so truly bad IME, and following up ont he equally bad CM series that it is really really difficult for me not to compare them to Bose for the affluent. The 705 at $2300.00Cad is a bad speaker IMO and what's worse it's not jsut overpriced it is a good $1700.00 overpriced. At $500.00Cad it would STILL be unremarkable. Bright is the least of the problems.

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    I too have the 703s

    Billy, I feel for you. In an ideal world with unlimited finances we could just keep changing gear until we were entirely satisfied. As it is, most of us with ordinary jobs and family commitments have to save for a long time, research as much as possible and hopefully find something which is value for money and satisfy us long term.

    I too bought the 703s just a little over a year ago after searching for a number of years. I did not intend to get such an expensive speaker, but agreed to listen to them just to see what they were like. I also listened to their predecessors. Since a large part of my musical interest is classical and vocal, I always assumed I would end up with a speaker which had a soft dome silk tweeter because so many reviewers said they were good for such music, and that metal domes were shrill and harsh. In my years of listening I heard quite a few harsh metal dome tweeters, and had finally found a two way floor stander with Scandinavian made silk dome tweeter and woofers/mids (based on reviews which praised it highly) which I thought would suit my purpose. I went to the hi-fi shop to have a listen, and found I was disappointed. I then asked to listen to the 703 again. Side by side, the 703 was superior. The first set of speakers sounded muffled, as if the music was coming out of a box stuffed with cotton. The 703s were airy and clear. I could clearly hear every instrument, and every word sung, both male and female. I tried it against other speakers in the shop, went away for a couple of weeks and listened to other speakers in other shops. In the end, I couldn’t go past the 703s.

    However, once I had them home, I had a serious case of buyer’s remorse – they sounded shrill and harsh. I thought I had made a terrible mistake. After about two weeks of solid playing, they settled down. I am now very pleased with their mid and high range performance. I had a lot more trouble with bass boom, and did a lot of experimenting with room placement and using different combinations of the bungs. I find that they sound best when placed a little over two feet away from the walls, and well out of the corners. I used a laser pointer to aim the tweeters, and have them aimed about two to three feet to the sides from where I sit. There are Persian rugs and painting on the walls, heavy drapes on the one window wall, several bookshelves and lots of soft furniture and rugs on the floor. These, I suppose, would be absorbing a lot of the high frequency energy.

    To drive them, I’m using a Rotel pre-amp and a Musical Fidelity amp. I wonder if it’s the amp which is contributing to the good mid and upper sounds? Until I can afford something better, I’m using a Marantz DV4300 for both music and DVDs, and a Luxman tuner. As I said before, I’m now reasonably happy with their sound. It doesn’t stop me from wondering, of course, if I could have found something better in that price range. Guess one has to learn to be satisfied with what one’s got, otherwise it’s a never ending hunt for something better.

    One final hint: I heard of at least one person who claimed to have tamed the harshness of the tweeters by placing tissue paper inside the wire covering of the tweeter so that the bottom half of the tweeter was covered. Perhaps this could help your situation. I personally have not tried this because, at least in my room, I don't need to.
    Last edited by StanleyMuso; 11-29-2005 at 10:24 PM. Reason: mistake

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    What Topspeed said... Take a look at the room considerations.

    Being down in Atlanta over the holidays, I noticed my father-in-law has BW 703's. (Rather, I remembered what they looked like long enough to look them up.) I must say they sound pretty darn good. He has a good room, big with lots of attention to acoustics. It is a dedicated theatre room. As far as an amp, he has whatever the "flagship" Pioneer Elite model was about two years ago. I don't know that I would buy the 703's for the money, but his sound pretty good.

    jocko

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    I have a Rotel 1072 HDCD, NAD 216 and a pair of Mission 783s. I have home auditioned the B&Ws and found them to be very nice. I actually prefer my Missions, (I paid $600.00 used) that may be a profound statement but I am tickled with the system I put together. I think your compentry is very compatible, but may be your speaker placement isnt right.
    I liked the B&Ws but thought they were a bit overrated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StanleyMuso
    Billy, I feel for you. In an ideal world with unlimited finances we could just keep changing gear until we were entirely satisfied. As it is, most of us with ordinary jobs and family commitments have to save for a long time, research as much as possible and hopefully find something which is value for money and satisfy us long term.

    I too bought the 703s just a little over a year ago after searching for a number of years. I did not intend to get such an expensive speaker, but agreed to listen to them just to see what they were like. I also listened to their predecessors. Since a large part of my musical interest is classical and vocal, I always assumed I would end up with a speaker which had a soft dome silk tweeter because so many reviewers said they were good for such music, and that metal domes were shrill and harsh. In my years of listening I heard quite a few harsh metal dome tweeters, and had finally found a two way floor stander with Scandinavian made silk dome tweeter and woofers/mids (based on reviews which praised it highly) which I thought would suit my purpose. I went to the hi-fi shop to have a listen, and found I was disappointed. I then asked to listen to the 703 again. Side by side, the 703 was superior. The first set of speakers sounded muffled, as if the music was coming out of a box stuffed with cotton. The 703s were airy and clear. I could clearly hear every instrument, and every word sung, both male and female. I tried it against other speakers in the shop, went away for a couple of weeks and listened to other speakers in other shops. In the end, I couldn’t go past the 703s.

    However, once I had them home, I had a serious case of buyer’s remorse – they sounded shrill and harsh. I thought I had made a terrible mistake. After about two weeks of solid playing, they settled down. I am now very pleased with their mid and high range performance. I had a lot more trouble with bass boom, and did a lot of experimenting with room placement and using different combinations of the bungs. I find that they sound best when placed a little over two feet away from the walls, and well out of the corners. I used a laser pointer to aim the tweeters, and have them aimed about two to three feet to the sides from where I sit. There are Persian rugs and painting on the walls, heavy drapes on the one window wall, several bookshelves and lots of soft furniture and rugs on the floor. These, I suppose, would be absorbing a lot of the high frequency energy.

    To drive them, I’m using a Rotel pre-amp and a Musical Fidelity amp. I wonder if it’s the amp which is contributing to the good mid and upper sounds? Until I can afford something better, I’m using a Marantz DV4300 for both music and DVDs, and a Luxman tuner. As I said before, I’m now reasonably happy with their sound. It doesn’t stop me from wondering, of course, if I could have found something better in that price range. Guess one has to learn to be satisfied with what one’s got, otherwise it’s a never ending hunt for something better.

    One final hint: I heard of at least one person who claimed to have tamed the harshness of the tweeters by placing tissue paper inside the wire covering of the tweeter so that the bottom half of the tweeter was covered. Perhaps this could help your situation. I personally have not tried this because, at least in my room, I don't need to.
    I'm glad you have come to appreciate the 703's.They're a big investment.I find their reproduction of instruments to be very solid.My biggest complaint is with the FST midrange. It's too out front with vocals for me. I think this speaker is better suited for jazz and classical,the inherent edginess of rock and pop CD's is pronounced with the 703's.On the other hand a lot of people like these speakers. It comes down to personal taste,equipment,room acoustics, and music choice.I can't do much with acoustics.My listening room is my living room with looks being more important then acoustics.My room needs a warmer speaker so I'll have to sell my 703's at a loss and start over.I should be able to get at least $1500 for my 2 year old 703's. I'm going to limit myself to that amount for my new speaker purchase. I'm confident I can find an excellent speaker in that price range.My previous Proac 2-ways were $1300 and sounded sweet in this same room with the same components.Thanks for the reply and I'm glad the 703's settled in for you.
    ,

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    I'm intrigued by your strong negative opinion of the B&W 700 series.You owned a pair of B&W's and it sounds like you liked them.The 703's were my second major speaker purchase,and I put too much emphasis on reviews and being wowed by the B&W name.While they get good reviews, those that don't like them all say the same thing.Too much top end!!! I truly don't think that dollar for dollar I could be any unhappier.I don't think a speaker should need perfect component interaction,room acoustics,placement, and CD choice to sound great let alone tolerable.Is a speaker this revealing good to anyone with less than perfect conditions??

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    Billy, You could be right that

    these speakers are better for classics and jazz. Mine are used all the time for TV and DVD viewing, and as far as music goes, I listen mostly to jazz and classics, with some older pop - and mostly, for me the sound is great. I listen to Rock only occassionaly, so perhaps I missed noticing what you are experiencing. I'll put some on tonight and see if I can hear what you are describing. Perhaps I have been lucky in having such a well damped room. I can understand what a great disappointment they must be for you, especially bearing in mind their cost. Speakers are the most important part of ones system, so if they don't cut it for you, you will never be satified. I too tend to like a warmer speaker, and if I had more money, I think I might keep the 703s for the positives which they give me, but buy a second set for use with program materials which don't siute them. That's what one of my friends has done. He has one set of floor standers and another set of stand mounted bookshelf speakers, and alternates between them for different types of music. But then again, he also has a solid state pre-amp as well as a valve pre, which he also constantly alternates. Perhaps that's going overboard?

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    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyB
    I'm intrigued by your strong negative opinion of the B&W 700 series.You owned a pair of B&W's and it sounds like you liked them.The 703's were my second major speaker purchase,and I put too much emphasis on reviews and being wowed by the B&W name.While they get good reviews, those that don't like them all say the same thing.Too much top end!!! I truly don't think that dollar for dollar I could be any unhappier.I don't think a speaker should need perfect component interaction,room acoustics,placement, and CD choice to sound great let alone tolerable.Is a speaker this revealing good to anyone with less than perfect conditions??
    Equipment matters yes but every B&W owner I personally know - and they are and were many continaully are trying new amps and speakers to find something anything that will make them sound good. Sorry but while I know equipment makes a big difference after a while you have to look at the speakers. Rotel is more than an adequate match for B&W speakers which is why B&W shared importin to North America. While some makers will darken down the sound and sound better Rotel's separates (at least their power amps) should be more than enough to drive them without adding too much glare.

    I owned the 302s back when i was moving to where my college was located I could not lug around my big top of the line Wharfedales - so I listened to practically every mainstream well reviewed budget ~$300.00Cdn standmounts as a tide me over. The 302 and the 602S2 were in the running and the 302 sounded better. It sounded better to me than most speakers up to $500.00 because it was a smart inventive little design witht he open backed port and a very nice vocal band. The 602 sounded bigger had more power and in most every way beat the 302 except for two things -- treble fatigue and cohesiveness. I don;t care how much bass and treble extension and "slam" you get - if you can hear the treble calling attention to itself or being etchy or the sound not sounding as one then it has problems. Not that the 302 was great in this regard but at the price it sure as hell was. I liked it way more than the new 303 as well.

    The funny thing was when I traded the 302 in at soundhounds within 1hour and while I was still in the store another customer scooped them up. So I met the guy who bought my 302's it was a busy day and a few others noted including a salesperson that "why they got rid of this (302) for that new one was beyond all of us". I regret trading it in in many ways because after hearing so many other $500.00Cad speakers out there and how annoying most of them can be that 302 is looking and sounding like a little gem.

    I was a huge B&W supporter and i still recommend many speakers from them. The CDM 2SE I liked better at $1200.00 than the $2k Totem model 1 for example.

    Interestingly the 302 was the only speaker they made in a soft dome and a non kevlar driver. Umm yeah.

    B&W is not the only company that over the last 5 years has really begun to show me they're just selling appearance and name recognition. I liked the CDM 1NT for about $1650.00Cad -- so when the 705 came out at $2300.00 nearly 50% more money one would hope for an improvement and in a couple of less important areas it is. But the bass and the dynamic bass and the dynamics are just abysmal. I suppose to be fair it depends what you compare them directly against. many B&W dealers in my province compare them against very similar designs offerring pretty much the same sound and it makes it very difficult to discenr much. If yoyu listen to 5 speakers and all have the same general design concept then people will talk about bass and treble...I did for years on this forum arguing for B&W over another brand..I would hear them head to head and one would sound to me that bit better so I would recommend it. Then comes a few no namers that just crushed them and for less money so I don;t get involved in the B&W versus that other one I blasted because the differences between the two are now seemingly so small and so unimportant that I wonder why I bothered arguuing them at all -- experience is the key.

    My dealer soundhounds who is a big B&W dealer told me that it's almost good for people to own B&W and some of the similar speakers he sells for a while so that they will much more appreciate the stuff they think is actually worth buying. I have been only in this for 15 years now and I have bought stuff based on reviews or at least listened based off reviews so many times and most of the time I regretted it so I don't buy magazines anymore unless there is a particular article I want to see -- so maybe one issue every three years.

    I think the B&W 600 series is a good starting point for beginning audiophiles - after that I would nto touch B&W with a ten foot pole. The N801 and N802 for the money are tough to swallow as well - hype hype and more hype but they just are not musically rewarding loudspeakers long haul -- they look great are seemingly well built but after hearing a few no name brands at half and 30% their price tag and I scratch my head in disbelief.

    I still own my Wharfedale Vanguards from 1991 and no they are not a technically wonderous marvel in audiophile E's but at the same time they don't sound like constipated uninspired amusical bore inducing treble fatiguing overpriced hyped to the hilt speakers.

    My Wharfedales are called the Vanguards and sold from 1988-1993 and were three way versions of the one in the link I am providing. The E-70 is from the 1970s and the Vanguard looks very similar but with one midrange unit (a much better one) and what looks like Fostex horn tweeter (no they sound nothing like Klipsch) and the Vanguard is much more solid in the bass 40hz-23khz but at level. Listen to any canadian made standmount claim 40hz and then listen to the vanguards claim of 40hz and you will know quickly why spec sheets and advertising is BS. The Wharfedale's soundstage is big (too big perhaps and it's imaging is nothing to write home about but what it does well the 703 could not carry the Vanguards bags. the Vanguard will pound it musically, dynamically, bass roomfillidness and that draw your toe to tapping quality and the ALIVE you will hear me and you will pay attention to what I'm playing, quality of the speaker is tough to deny. In terms of pure frequency response (and what is judged to be more accurate) they won't beat most of the newer speakers I have no doubt - but at the same time a LOT of Wharfedale Vanguards sold and I have never ever seen any on the used market ever. One repair place has seen a great many come in for re-rubberring and people abusing them because they play very very loud.

    But everytime i go out to audition a speaker I say ok you beat the Wharfedale in soundstaging and imaging but what else you got. the answer is usually nothing. Now granted this was the top Wharfedale speaker and it was $2kUS in 1990 which probably means it would be $4k now but you get the idea. And by no means was the Wharfedale the only consideration - there were some Klipsch models (few admittedly) that were way more fun to listen to than some of these 6.5 inch stacked up below a 1 inch metal tweeter that just sound so wrong in the vocal band (nasal) and so dynamically inept. Anyway here is the link and the Vanguard is significantly better than the E70 but there is no Vanguard article. I bet the E-70 for the 150 pounds it would get on the used market would give any $3k B&W a real run and most of the $3ki speakers out there a real run in terms of MUSICAL satisfaction. The technical prowess maybe not but which is more important - being satisfied or showing firends white papers and graphs. http://www.hi-fiworld.co.uk/hfw/olde...fedalee70.html

    Sorry about the rant but

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyB
    I'm glad you have come to appreciate the 703's.They're a big investment.I find their reproduction of instruments to be very solid.My biggest complaint is with the FST midrange. It's too out front with vocals for me. I think this speaker is better suited for jazz and classical,the inherent edginess of rock and pop CD's is pronounced with the 703's.On the other hand a lot of people like these speakers. It comes down to personal taste,equipment,room acoustics, and music choice.I can't do much with acoustics.My listening room is my living room with looks being more important then acoustics.My room needs a warmer speaker so I'll have to sell my 703's at a loss and start over.I should be able to get at least $1500 for my 2 year old 703's. I'm going to limit myself to that amount for my new speaker purchase. I'm confident I can find an excellent speaker in that price range.My previous Proac 2-ways were $1300 and sounded sweet in this same room with the same components.Thanks for the reply and I'm glad the 703's settled in for you.
    ,
    Your last post is probably the most enlightning, you have nailed why do not like the 703's quite nicely, if you do not like an upfront presentation and prefer a more laidback sound. The Audio Notes fall into that definition, so do the Spendors also but I am less familiar with them, or maybe just go back and get some floorstanding Proacs.

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    Sorry RGA.

    Methinks you sound like a religious convert who desperately tries to convince everyone his former religion is crap. I may not have your vast knowledge or experience of so many different speakers, but I just cannot agree with everything you are saying about B&W. The 703s are not the first B&Ws in the family,and I must say that I have a much better opinion of them than you do. However, I am not wedded to them for ever, and likely as not my next speakers will be something completely different. I have owned other brands in the past from different manufacturers and from different countries which I enjoyed very much. By the by, I have auditioned Wharfdales several times in the past twenty or so years, and I'm afraid I just did not like them. However, I don't preach against them, because I recognise that different people like different things, and perhaps even hear differently.

    I'm just amused how emotionaly attached people can get to their choices and try to deffend them so strenuously. I say I like my 703s, but I also recognise their drawbacks and don't try to convince people that they are "the best". As I said, likely as not, my next set of speakers will be something completely different. Until then, I intend to enjoy my current setup as much as I can.

  23. #23
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    BillyB

    Change of CDP won't help to sound of your 703's imo. As was adviced, try to adjust or improve acoustic of your room, if this won't help, from my point of view, sell them and spend much time with auditioning of other brand's before you buy any of them.

    tips: Focal Electra, Dynaudio (but, I'm not sure if they fit to your kind of music so well), Audio Phisic, Sonus Faber, Rega... and other mentioned above.

    v.
    prog metal

  24. #24
    RGA
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    Quote Originally Posted by StanleyMuso
    Methinks you sound like a religious convert who desperately tries to convince everyone his former religion is crap. I may not have your vast knowledge or experience of so many different speakers, but I just cannot agree with everything you are saying about B&W. The 703s are not the first B&Ws in the family,and I must say that I have a much better opinion of them than you do. However, I am not wedded to them for ever, and likely as not my next speakers will be something completely different. I have owned other brands in the past from different manufacturers and from different countries which I enjoyed very much. By the by, I have auditioned Wharfdales several times in the past twenty or so years, and I'm afraid I just did not like them. However, I don't preach against them, because I recognise that different people like different things, and perhaps even hear differently.

    I'm just amused how emotionaly attached people can get to their choices and try to deffend them so strenuously. I say I like my 703s, but I also recognise their drawbacks and don't try to convince people that they are "the best". As I said, likely as not, my next set of speakers will be something completely different. Until then, I intend to enjoy my current setup as much as I can.
    I am not recommending any one brand and i don;t particularly like most of what i have heard from Wharfedale. In the past 20 years Wharfedale has had at LEAST 3 different owners. The Vanguard was and is like no other Wharfedale -- it is not a Diamond series speaker AT ALL and while I like the Diamonds for the money we're talking horns versus not horns. They came out with abysmal Modus series speakers and a long line of other stuff that did not entertain. The Vanguards I have are hardly free of weaknesses - otherwise I would not have bought something else.

    The 700 series for me is a bad line in the sense that to me it is grossly overpriced for what you get...that is not a statement to advertise what I like or a comparison of what I like but a statmeent in the terms of that speaker against every speaker I have heard at the price over the last 15 years. The 705 is the WORST 2k standmount I have EVER heard. It is so unmusical that it is totally unnacceptable.

    I'm not bringing Audio Note into this discussion - it has nothing to do with AN so why others bring them up I do not know. Though there is nothing laid back about the J or E. The superior dynamics require that they project a less laid back sound than the dry overly polite and restrained presentation of the 705.
    But then the Quads have no pulse either so it's not a big surprise.

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    Actually, RGA

    Quote Originally Posted by RGA
    I am not recommending any one brand and i don;t particularly like most of what i have heard from Wharfedale. In the past 20 years Wharfedale has had at LEAST 3 different owners. The Vanguard was and is like no other Wharfedale -- it is not a Diamond series speaker AT ALL and while I like the Diamonds for the money we're talking horns versus not horns. They came out with abysmal Modus series speakers and a long line of other stuff that did not entertain. The Vanguards I have are hardly free of weaknesses - otherwise I would not have bought something else.

    The 700 series for me is a bad line in the sense that to me it is grossly overpriced for what you get...that is not a statement to advertise what I like or a comparison of what I like but a statmeent in the terms of that speaker against every speaker I have heard at the price over the last 15 years. The 705 is the WORST 2k standmount I have EVER heard. It is so unmusical that it is totally unnacceptable.

    I'm not bringing Audio Note into this discussion - it has nothing to do with AN so why others bring them up I do not know. Though there is nothing laid back about the J or E. The superior dynamics require that they project a less laid back sound than the dry overly polite and restrained presentation of the 705.
    But then the Quads have no pulse either so it's not a big surprise.
    to a certain extent I was playing Devil's Advocate. I do agree with you that, for what you get, the 700s and above are overpriced. I managed to get mine at 30% discount at an end of year sale, otherwise, I would not have paid full price. However, generally, don't you think that most esoteric hi-fi is overpriced? Is a Krell, or a Bryston, or a Halcro amp really worth the asking price?
    Last edited by StanleyMuso; 12-02-2005 at 01:16 AM. Reason: spelling mistakes

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