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B&W 685 speakers

Hi all,

Im ready to replace my speakers B&W DM302's which ive had for nearly 10 years now with something much better, the speakers ive decided on are the B&W 685 (£380) which ill be buying next week, although i couldnt get to audition them but read the What Hi-Fi review of them and was impressed.  I was also going to buy them from superfi website but decided not to because they dont offer the chocolate (Wenge) finish

Seeing as i couldnt manage to audition i would like some opinions from other that maybe have heard them or own them.

Im slightly skeptical when purchasing new items as ive read some reviews on here and some are good and some are bad

Look forward to hearing from someone

Thanks Smile

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Re: B&W 685 speakers

Few questions that'll help you get the most useful answers:

What's the rest of your system? 

What's the size of your room? And where will the speakers be positioned (eg distance to walls)?

What music do you like listening to?

Let us know those facts and the tailored answers will flow!

 

Group Marketing & PR Manager, Computers Unlimited.

Brands represented include Astell&Kern, Audioengine, B&O Play, Canton, Flexson for SONOS and SONOS

TWITTER: @ClareNewsome

Anonymous
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Re: B&W 685 speakers

Sorry Clare i always forget this important info bit silly me Wink

My current system is a Pioneer A-300R Precision, Pioneer PDS-505 Precision CD Player, Denon TU-260MK2 Tuner, MJ Acoustics Ref 100 MK2 Subwoofer, Merlin Chopin interconnects and Ecosse Ref ES2.3 speaker cable (which im also thinking of replacing with Chord)...and the B&W DM302 speakers placed on Atacama Nexus 6 stands 12 inches from rear wall and toed in slightly (at the moment that is until next week)

Normal sized living room id say around 4.5 x 3 meters

I listen to all types of music depending on mood

Hope this helps

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Re: B&W 685 speakers

Looking at the rest of your system I think that the B&W 685's would fit in very well but the likes of the Monitor Audio RX1's and the EB Acoustic EB1's shouldnt be discounted at similar prices!

The M/A RX1's give the B&W 685's a VERY good run for their money!

I'd also not jump in and add the sub to thr system straightaway as well; if/when you get the new speakers let them bed in with the system without the sub and then at least you can decide whether the sub needs to be added to fill out the lower end.

As for cables; I agree that better can be had. The likes of the Chord Carnival Silverscreen or the Chord Rumour/Oddyssey or the QED Revelation would be well suited. Interconnects wise I think the likes of the Atlas Equator, Chord Cobra 3 or the Black Rhodium Prelude would sti well also

The Atacama speaker stands are good so they'll do well; are they mass loaded though?

Anonymous
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Re: B&W 685 speakers

Thanks for reply Smile

The Nexus stands are completely filled with sand which helps so they are very sturdy.

I hope the 685's fill my room alot better than the DM 302's as ive a sort of bass problem with them its almost non existent when ive heard them sound very punchy in previous properties hence why i purchased a decent sub.

I didnt mention im disabled so that affects me auditioning so its the reason why i have to go off reviews and advice etc

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Re: B&W 685 speakers

The B&W 685's are a world apart from the DM302's so you'll do fine there Wink

The 685's bass depth and punch is superb for a speaker of their size. I was VERY impressed when I owned them and they're still a fave of mine

Anonymous
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Re: B&W 685 speakers

Hi!

 

I have a set of 685's hooked up to a tiny!! denon m37. i only have a small room so when i get a bigger room to put them in i will get a more worthy amp!! 

 

but....

 

 They are amazing !!! could not recommend them more!!  the bass is clear rich and crisp. the treble is superb!!!  

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Re: B&W 685 speakers

The 685s are great speakers, but



As others suspect, they like a bit of oomph in the amp department.
From my experience they're not too happy close to the back wall - you need about 40cm before they sing.
You can use the bungs but they reduce the bass impact considerably.
Anonymous
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Re: B&W 685 speakers

Think more or less it'll be a safe bet going with the B&Ws.

How are they about placement and postitioning as im limited how far i can bring them into a room, i could only manage around 12 inches (1 ft) max from rear wall

Hope this is ok

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Re: B&W 685 speakers
bluedjdaz2010:

Think more or less it'll be a safe bet going with the B&Ws.


How are they about placement and postitioning as im limited how far i can bring them into a room, i could only manage around 12 inches (1 ft) max from rear wall


Hope this is ok



12" might just cut it, but no closer or there'll be some bass 'bloom'.

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Re: B&W 685 speakers

Dont agree; 12" from the back/side walls is fine Smile

I had my B&W 685's about 9" from the rear walls but about a foot away from side walls and they were great; no 'bass bloom' what so ever!

If you do feel that theyre a little OTT in the bass then use the bungs provided; thats what theyre there for Wink

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Re: B&W 685 speakers

I never really got the bung thing with B&W - using it on the 603 S2s that I had completely altered the whole speaker, not just reducing the lower bass. It compressed the midrange, and took all of the guts out of the sound. Although they were too big for the room I had back then, and there were major room resonance problems I preferred them without the bungs. Pointless in my opinion.

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Re: B&W 685 speakers

Steve is right. Although you  use the bungs to 'tailor' the bass a little (or a lot), it changes the intended signature of a speaker, so much so that it becomes a totally different speaker. Buying a speaker because you like them and then using bungs to make them sound better in a room just defeats the point as far as I'm concerned.


There are no hard and fast rules as to how far a speaker should be from the wall. If I told you that a particular bassy speaker should be about a foot and half away from a wall (meaning a wall, as in bricks), and you follow my recommendation with your stud/partition wall, you'll more than likely end up with no bass at all. Reflective rooms will also act differently to carpeted, heavy furnished ones.


 

DavidF @FrankHarveyHiFi, Coventry.

"Long is the way, and hard, that out of hell leads up to light"

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Re: B&W 685 speakers

I found that moving my sofa has as much effect as moving the speakers around. It really is pot luck whether they work or not in your own setting, and then just when you have got the tonal balance right, the dreaded lop sided soundstage strikes! Interestingly it disappeared last night on the 3 CDs I listened to, what was all that about... Confused

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Re: B&W 685 speakers
Hi bluedjdaz2010!   Before parting with your cash, I'd urge you to also have a listen to the B&W CM1s ... a bit more money, but for me they are a more 'refined' (but definitely not dull!) speaker.   I recently demo'd the B&W 685, 686 and CM1s along with Monitor Audio RX1, Dynaudio DM2/6 and Neat Petite.  Like yourself, I listen to all sorts of music and, for me, the CM1s came in a clear winner from that selection.    The treble was crisp but not hash and the bass full but not flabby. Every track my wife and I tried sounded great on the CM1s; Peter Gabriel, Rush, Muse, The Imagined Village, etc.   Physical space is a real issue for us, and the CM1's were also the smallest of the speakers we tested, so it looks like my dealer will be getting an order from me in the near future.   This will be my first pair of B&W speakers, but on the strength of the demo we had, they offer a lot of sound for your money! 
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Re: B&W 685 speakers

If space dictates speakers close to wall then you have to audition the Rega RS1s.

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