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GazW649's picture
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B&W 685 or Monitor Audio Bronze BR1?
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Which of these 2 speackers is the best? I have a Cambridge Audio 640C V2 CD player and a Nad 310 amp (thinking of upgrading to a Rotel). Both sets of speakers get good reviews and i am unsure which to plump for. They will be on speaker stands, and the room they will be in is a small square shaped rom. Cheers.

Anonymous
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Re: B&W 685 or Monitor Audio Bronze BR1?

I'm a MA fan myself, but I've never heard the B&W's and i know a lot of people on here rave about them. Auditioning is the answer for you!

Aside: Is that the most popular CD player in the world or something?? everyone seems to own one!

Anonymous
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Re: B&W 685 or Monitor Audio Bronze BR1?

There is a big price difference between them.Tthe B&W's are nearly twice the price. I heard the Bronze 2's and was not particularly impressed.I would be more inclined to compare the B&W's to the monitor audio RS1.I have heard the B&W 686's, the baby brother of the 685, and was not impressed except at really blaring volume.i think you have to do a demo but i would plump for the RS1 from what i have heard.

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Re: B&W 685 or Monitor Audio Bronze BR1?

I auditioned the B&W 685's along side the MA BR1's and 2's as well as the RS1's (just to see what they sounded like) and also auditioned them against the MA BR5's.

To me, the B&W's won outright! Sounds mad, especially against floorstanders but the B&W's were superb.

Great midrange, amazing bass for the size of them and crisp and clean treble. They were on a set of Dreadnought stands (i think thats what they were) and they played all music spot on. I listened to Fischerspooner, Daft Punk, Leftfield, Underworld, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, Metallica and System of a Down and loved them.

I'm going back this weekend to audition the B&W 684's and 683's as well as the Spendor speakers they have (which ive never heard before) and will make my decision from there.

Even tho the B&W's are more expensive, in the long run you wont regret it. All you'd need to do for a while is to upgrade amp and CD player if need be!

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Re: B&W 685 or Monitor Audio Bronze BR1?

Cheers. I was leaning towards the B&W 685's, as (if i save a bit!) my budget will stretch, but ill try both out in store and compare.

Anonymous
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Re: B&W 685 or Monitor Audio Bronze BR1?

user="d_a_n1979" wrote:
I auditioned the B&W 685's along side the MA BR1's and 2's as well as the RS1's (just to see what they sounded like) and also auditioned them against the MA BR5's.

To me, the B&W's won outright! Sounds mad, especially against floorstanders but the B&W's were superb.

Great midrange, amazing bass for the size of them and crisp and clean treble. They were on a set of Dreadnought stands (i think thats what they were) and they played all music spot on. I listened to Fischerspooner, Daft Punk, Leftfield, Underworld, Jethro Tull, Pink Floyd, Metallica and System of a Down and loved them.

I'm going back this weekend to audition the B&W 684's and 683's as well as the Spendor speakers they have (which ive never heard before) and will make my decision from there.

Even tho the B&W's are more expensive, in the long run you wont regret it. All you'd need to do for a while is to upgrade amp and CD player if need be!

what volume level did you demo at? i have not demo's the 685's but have demo's the 686's.they were awful at moderate volume.Dull,boxy veiled sound that only came to life at very high volume( think 11 o clock minimum on your amp). At that volume they were superb. I have heard many good things about the 685's but i wonder how they can sound so good when the 686's sounded so poor at normal listening levels! Similar design and same materials!

Anonymous
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Re: B&W 685 or Monitor Audio Bronze BR1?

I have done some speaker auditioning today.  B&W 685, Quad 12L2, Acoustic Energy AE1 Classic and Monitor Audio RS1.  I took in my Onix A21 amp and heaven forbid my Onkyo Ipod Dock.

 
The B&W's to my ear were very bright with overly amplified treble and an energetic base, they highlighted aspects of the top end of the music that I had not really picked up on before but thought that they were far to energetic. 

The Quad's were a more relaxed listen and portrayed Miles Davis's trumpet brilliantly but I found that vocals on the more acoustic tracks were pushed to the forefront too much and they lacked a bit in depth of base.

The AE1 Classics made the list because they had a whopping discount on them as they were ex demo.  They again were heading back towards the lively side of things and focused the sound too much at on point in front of me.  They also looked pretty drab to look at which wouldn't please the wife.

 
The RS1's were last up and with the 25% discount on offer by Sevonoaks were by far the cheapest of my audition.  They seemed to have a better base than the Quad's and AE1's which was probably why the vocals seemed to sit better.  These offered the best all round experience and were either the best or nearly the best in all area's.  When I found out the price I was chuffed to bits.

Music used for the Audition was Queens of the stone age, Kings of Leon, Jet, Fluke, Miles Davis, Scott Hamilton, Monty Alexander, Davy Graham, Carmen Lundy, Rae & Christian and Down to the Bone.
 

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Re: B&W 685 or Monitor Audio Bronze BR1?

When i was looking for some new speakers, I listen to the IQ3's, BR2's, And B&W 685s, The reason being all are front ported which i need. The BR2 i just didnt like the look off nor was the midrange really there, The IQ3's midrange was abit forwards and the bass was alittle on the boomy side, The 685s where the best out of the 3, Looked nice, And sound very good, Plenty of nice deep bass, Midrange isnt OTT with a nice topend.

But its always best to try them all, Plus i wanted some speakers which are going to last me some good years and will still sound good and have plenty in the when i upgrade the amp later on.

Luke

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Re: B&W 685 or Monitor Audio Bronze BR1?

I always find it amazing when people say B&W speakers are bright and have overly amplified treble. I think the 685 has a restrained treble. The RS1 are brighter sounding IMO.

Anonymous
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Re: B&W 685 or Monitor Audio Bronze BR1?

i have four 685s in my surround and 40 hours in they are a delight

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