Anybody compare B&W 602 S3 with Swan 2.1?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by spiroH, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. spiroH

    spiroH Agent

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    I'm looking at both models right now. I had a chance to listen to the 602s and I really liked them. I was wondering if any of you heard both sets?
     
  2. Rob Kramer

    Rob Kramer Second Unit

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    I have the B&W 602s and the Swan 5.2&C3 (2.1 is comming soon).

    As for 602 vs 5.2:

    The 5.2 is a little more defined in the upper mids and highs. I dont know if its because of the extra 2" mid-driver, or if the tweeter is just better (2.1 has the same tweeter, but not the mid-driver). Mids and low mids are about the same. Both are clear and smooth. The 602 has more low-end punch. Its 7" driver goes lower (even though the 5.2 has 2 6" drivers). The importance of this probably depends on how you are crossing it over [to a sub]. As such, I would say that the 602 can stand on its own without a sub (for music, not for HT), while the 2.1 would definately need a sub.

    Overall, the the 602 is warmer and stronger in the mids, the 5.2 is more neutral, and clearer (detailed - but definately not bright). Be sure to match these up to the right equipment - warm and neutral electronics with the Swans, neutral and bright electronics with the B&Ws. So be sure to base some of your decision on what electronics are being used.

    Both are great lines, though I have never been too happy with my B&Ws in an "HT" role. They are just a little too laid back for those big car crashes and gunshots. Absolutely great with music. The Swans are better as an "all arounder". They are really terrific with HT. Again, something else to base your decision on.

    Then there is the cost factor. 602s cost twice as much as the 2.1s. You are just going to get more for your money with Swans.

    Keep in mind that this review is for the "S3" series B&W, and have already had 50+ hours of break-in. The Swans are the TAI versions.

    So in the end, both are great speakers, and it is doubtful that you will find a bad review on either speaker. Just put all your requirements together and pick the line that best fits.
     
  3. spiroH

    spiroH Agent

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    I'm def looking at the S3 series. I do currently have a sub(which I will upgrade soon) for the low end. I'm wondering if the extra mid is really helping out the swan in the midrange department. What kind of amp do you recommend for the speakers?
     
  4. Rob Kramer

    Rob Kramer Second Unit

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    The 2" driver really does help in the upper-mids. As an example, if I hear the Dixie Chicks (they are definately upper-mids) on the 602s - I hear the Dixie Chicks, and they sound great. If I hear the DCs on the 5.2s - I hear the DCs (and they also sound great) AND I am able to pick out the 3 individuals voices.
     
  5. Ronneil Camara

    Ronneil Camara Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Rob,

    You mentioned about matching the equipments. I have the Yamaha RXV-1400, what is this type, is it warm,bright,neutral or what?

    Any help will be appreciated! Thanks [​IMG]
     
  6. Rob Kramer

    Rob Kramer Second Unit

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    Yamahas typically lean toward the bright side (but they have been getting better). If its room eq is working out for you, thats good. Also, how is your listening space? Is it warm (plush furniture, curtains, carpet) or bright (windows/glass, hardwood floors, hard furniture)?

    I see that you are currently using Paradigm speakers. I find them to be very bright. Are you happy with that type of sound (the type, not the quality)? B&Ws will be opposite, the Swans will be in-between. Both will absolutely kill your Atoms. [​IMG]

    Also, take into account how big is your listening space is , and how many speakers will you be driving. I view the 1400 as a bit under-powered for a large system. Tough call. Both speakers like power. I would say that the B&Ws like it even more (as compared to the Swans). If we are still talking about 2.1s vs. 602s, I would say the 2.1s will be easist on your 1400. Now expanding on that: 2.1s + C3 center vs 602s + LCR600 center, the 1400 would do better with the Swans.

    Now 5.2s vs 602, power-hungry-wise, are pretty close (even though I feel that the 602s CAN handle more power, but dont necessarly NEED more). Remember, an under-powered receiver is more dangerous [to the speakers] than an over-powered speaker.

    Warranty on the B&W is great. I believe something like 5 or 7 years on the drivers. Of course, replacement could depend upon how much of an "a-hole" your local dealer is. My dealer is a good guy though, so I dont have to worry about that. Im not sure how long Swan's warranty is. However, I cant imagine TAI not taking care of its customers years after the fact. In any case, the exact [swan] drivers are available "over the counter" in a lot of stores. You can always replace them yourselves (beneficial if you have pets or children).

    Resale. B&Ws, even though there are a lot of them, really hold their value well. I guess thats the benefit of owning "world famous" speakers. I cant comment on the Swan's market value - I never see any for sale. I guess that says something too about the speakers.
     
  7. Ronneil Camara

    Ronneil Camara Stunt Coordinator

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    What am I really planning of doing is this:

    1. Purchase a pair of 2.1 and put it as mains
    2. Purchase C3 for the center
    3. Put the existing Atoms as my rears
    4. subwoofer will still remain the same

    This way, my setup will be almost complete for the 5.1.

    So do you think, my yammie will do fine with this setup?
     
  8. DavidCooper

    DavidCooper Stunt Coordinator

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    I have a VERY similar set-up. I'm currently running the Swan 2.1's as mains with the C3 center. I have an SVS 20-39 PC+ and using my Paradigm Atoms as surronds. I have another pair of 2.1's coming soon to replace the Atoms though.

    I love the Swan sound. They are VERY detailed without being harsh in the highs. They can play much louder than my previous all Paradigm system. The BC finish is a real bargan as well. I'm powering mine with a Parasound HCA-855A and a Denon 2802. Those are both known to be on the warm to neutral side.
     
  9. Ronneil Camara

    Ronneil Camara Stunt Coordinator

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    Do you think it will sound nice using my yamaha receiver?
     
  10. Rob Kramer

    Rob Kramer Second Unit

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    From your post, I think the Swans will work out great. You will also have a good upgrade path to additional 2.1s or 5.2s.

    I know TAI just got a new shipment of speakers in stock. This is a good time. They get new stock in every 2 - 3 months, but they sell out very quickly.
     

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