B&W 602.5 or Monitor 7 or Energy C5 ?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by JamieS, Feb 21, 2003.

  1. JamieS

    JamieS Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I listened to all 3 today in both stereo and with their matching centers.

    I also listened to JMLabs (too bright), Axiom M60 (liked them but dealer was way too critical of competing brands I know what I like I don't need someone to tell me what to like) ans PSB (not bad not great).

    I have narrowed it down to C5, Monitor 7 and 602.5. I listened to each using Star Wars Clone Wars chapter 7. The 7s seemed to me to have the best HT impact and I also like the center a bit more. Surprisingly I liked the B&W a close 2nd as they had surprising slam for home theater. I thought I would like the Energys more but they just didn'seem to deliver the same impact.

    On music I tested the same 3 tracks on each Kiss form a Rose Seal (lost of nice vocals), Snow Legal (for some bass testing) and my personal favorite Joe Walsh Confessor (lots of strings, weird little sounds in the background bad speakers miss and some heavy electric guitar).

    I have to say I found the B&W the most accurate for music and had nice tight (and surprisingly deep) bass with only a 2 way design. I liked the 7s and the C5 equally the C5s had a more floating in air sound while the 7s seem to have more impact and Slam.

    Unfortunately I was not able to test all on identical equipment (which might make a difference). For 5.1 the 7s were on a Yamaha 75 watt receiver (which fairly matches the output of my Denon 1603 although the Yammi is kinda bright) for music the 7s were on a Denon 683 which is the stereo version of my 1603 so it seemed a good representation. The C5 and B&W were on a HK 525 which is more than 2 x the price of my Denon so it may not be totally fair.

    I am leaning toward the 7s as they seem to have the best mix of HT and music for the price. The B&Ws will be 2-3 hundred more (CAN) and are only a 2 way design. The Energys are nice but the center was not quite as nice as the Paradigm (hard to tell without A/B ing them. Anyone want to share an opinion or expereince if I might be happier in the LONG run with any of these 3 (by the way online sellers like Rockets) as good as they may be are not an option as shipping, exchange and duty in Canada makes them too expensive.

    Thanks for thoughts!
     
  2. Rick CH

    Rick CH Agent

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2003
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I found the Paradigms Monitors a bit bright for my tastes, liked the sound of B&W the best (by a nose) and ended up getting Energy C7s (less bright than the Monitors to my ears) because I got a much better price than the B&Ws. I did find the sound characteristics of the Canadian speakers noticeably different from the B&Ws, but definitely good in their own right. I don't think you can go wrong with any of the three, but it does seem the Monitors speak to you (pardon the pun).
     
  3. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    4,791
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Take a listen to the Studio series from paradigm also. If you're not only looking at floorstanders, that would be better sound for around the same price as the monitor 7s. Getting to floorstanding studios would be more, but worth it if you're set on floorstanders. I'm the kinda person who usually prefers smaller speakers. Not always, though the B*W CDM series is nice, but the bookshelf one, even though clearer than Studio 20s, have pathetic bass. The floorstanders from that series are amazing, but too much $$ for me :/. IMO, I don't think the B&W 600 series is quite as good as the monitor series, and more expensive.
     
  4. JamieS

    JamieS Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for the reply.

    I MADE A CHOICE TODAY!

    I chose the Monitors because as much as I liked the B&Ws the 2 way design and the nearly $300 price differnce tipped the balance between the 7s and the C5s. I thought very seriously about listening to the C5s as they were a little better on music while the 7s seemed a bit better for HT. BUT my dealer who I bought my Atoms and PDR 12 from (as well as my orgional fronts and centers) agreed to take my old front, center and sub in on trade. My origional budget for the fronts and center was $1500 Can tax in. I was able to get the fronts center and the impressive PW 2200 Paradigm sub (12 inch 275 watt) sub for $1500 plus tax. Basically it only cost me 300 over my budget for a new sub. I was very impressed with the sub as it goes down to about 18HZ (depending on measurments. The PDR 12 was musical but lacking for movies. This should be just right (better be its a big sucker).

    I brought the 7s etc. home and had just got them set up when my dealer called and asked if I needed help over the phone setting up the sub! I've been listening to it since then. I am already picking out things I never heard in recorinds with my old speakers.

    Sound wise the 7s and C5 were almost a tie (although different) but price and the sub tipped the balance. Can't wait to play my first movie on them!
     
  5. JamieS

    JamieS Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I just caught Chris's post. The dealer did not have any Studio 20s to listen to. I did try some studio 40s and thought they were for sure better than the 7s on music. Just a tiny bit less bass (but I have a sub) better everywhere else. A few things stopped me though. The 40's are less sensative and since I only have 80 wpc I did not think they would work well for Home theatre unless I got a better AMP (which due to WAF I cannot). The other was price. the 40s were about 300 more than 7s AND that was without stands. I would have been in for another $500 too much for me. Also the matching center for the 40s is more expensive too. If I had more $ in my budget the 40s were the way to go but alas I do not.

    I am not really partial to bookshelf vs floorstand BUT for the price of bookshelf and stands your are often looking at a comperable floorstand. In this case the monitor 5s were cheaper but by the time I added stands I was about the same as the 7s. Weird but true.
     
  6. Ian_A

    Ian_A Agent

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2002
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I am currently shopping around for new fronts mains & and center. I have listened to a few but the C5s and the Monitor 7s are currently my top choices. My impression of the C5s were that they seemed to go a little bit lower than the Monitor 7s. The Monitor 7s did move me and I felt they had more life in them (hard to explain the feeling I had when I first heard them). I was listening to the Paradigm's on a Denon 1803 which is the same as my 1802. The Energy's were auditioned on a Yamaha Stereo receiver, and not in the most ideal spot. Do you agree with my opinion about the sound of these to speakers?
     
  7. JamieS

    JamieS Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    The 1802 is nearly identical to my 1603 in many respects so I think I can give you a good idea. I listened to the 7s on both a yamaha (which I find bright) that was 75 Watts and an 80 watt Denon. I found the bass a little tighter on the 7s more of a slam. Now I listened to the C5s on a HK 525 which is a high current 75 watt receiver that costs over 2x what the Denon does. I found them airy. I found the sound floated more in mid air. I liked them alot. I was surprised they did not have a more pronounced low end with such a powerful amp BUT they went plenty low.

    I agree with your feelings that the C5 seemed detailed but a little more laid back. Hard to say if that would be the case both on the same amp.

    I think you would do well with either speaker. I would never tell somone pick this or that if they were picking on sound becuase I don't hear what you hear. I picked the 7s and was pleasantly surprised that 80 watts drove them decently. The C5s are even more efficient so you may want to take that into consideration depending on your use of them. If you can listen to them bot on the same amp do it. I wish I could have it would have eliminated that 1% buyer remorse factor .
     
  8. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    4,791
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Whew, I saw that pricetag for the sub and took a big gasp, only to realize you're in Canadian dollars. :b Yeah, you made a great choice, and although I've not heard the energies, the others are quite nice. I hear you with the larger stand-mounted speakers, like the monitor 5s, the 7s are the same price really if you factor in a nice stand. I own mini-monitors myself, and for the price (350 US) they are a ridiculous bargain. The sevens are just as nice, basically the same with better bass, which drew me towards the studio series for more improvement in overall sound since I'm running an SVS I'm not in need of bass. In fact, I bet my poor sub feels dejected with what pathetically small bass I throw at it musically most of the time. [​IMG]

    I'm big on music, so I try to lean more towards more detail than bass, (which makes my possible upgrade to 20s sorta difficult, there are a few speakers out there with pathetic bass, but boy are they nice everywhere else). I don't have the full HT going yet, just 2-channel until basement is complete, but I merged systems at a friends with my mini-monitors for a complete 7.1 setup w/SVS and WOW! Anyway, I'm rambling on I forget my point, so...yeah. The 20s without the veneer are about the same price as the 7s i think, like 650 US. They probably sound better with more power, which you alluded to, but if you're setting them to small for HT, you won't have a problem with lack of power methinks. My amp runs hotter pushing just the mini-monitors full range than it does pushing 7 paradigms all day for movies. Yeah, the studio center is more, that's the one thing I forgot price-wise, even if you got the 20s for about the same $$ as the 7s including stands.
     
  9. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2002
    Messages:
    4,791
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Oh yeah, and Ian, I also recommend B&W, although as I stated previously IMO the 'digms are better for the price. Also check out JM labs and Rega. I liked one pair I heard a lot in terms of detail, and I heard another pair and it was sorta overbearing and fatiguing which I also heard on the B&W 601s, which I did not like. Still, there is a lot of "stuff" going on in those, a little moreso than the monitor series, but it didn't sound natural at all, as if there were some crazy EQing going on, just kinda weird. Also check out Rega. I heard some smoooth nice speakers, simple 2-way floorstanders for about a grand US, but there were some small bookshelfs too, which (i think) use the same drivers, thus probably quite similar sound. If you're trying to maximize your cash though, sheesh I still can't recommend Paradigm enough. I don't wanna sound like i'm a paradigm rep or anything, so go listen to some other stuff too.



    Yes. But again, it's not my opinion that counts. You're definitely headed in the right direction, just listen to EVERYTHING you possibly can, for as long as you can, it drastically reduces that buyers remorse. [​IMG]
     
  10. Ian_A

    Ian_A Agent

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2002
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks for your opions on the speakers. I have been getting listening to a few different speaker Acoustic Energy, Dalquist, Mirage and Klipsch. I am leaning towards the Paradigms as the retailer of choice is selling them. The B&Ws are still on my list and they are sold just down the road from the Paradigms.
     
  11. JamieS

    JamieS Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Messages:
    222
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Mirage and Energy sound pretty similar to me. Never heard Dahquist. Klipsh dives me crazy (horn tweeter doe not agree with my ears). I think if you like Mirage you can proably get close to same sound for less with energy.

    If it were for music only personally I would have gone with the b&W. For dual use I think the 7s might be better because they can move more air.

    My dealer unfotunatley did not have Studio 20s to listen to. The guy was actually down on them saying those at the store did not care for them. Who knows.

    Just to let you know I watched Minority Report last night and with the Denon set at around -10 DB it was plenty loud in my 11 by 18 room. Having that PW 2200 SUB made a HUGE difference. First time I felt impact in my chest as opposed to my PDR12.

    See if your dealer "down the road will let you A/B the B&W and 7s. I would be very curious to see what you think side by side. B&W carries almost a 20% higher price than 7s or c5s. If you think the sound is worth 20% more (I didn't maybe 5 or 10% more) go for it.
     

Share This Page