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B&W Speaker upgrade questions (1 Viewer)

Gregory Pauswinski

Supporting Actor
Joined
Dec 2, 1998
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590
Hi everyone!

I currently have a 5.1 setup that consists of the following:

Mains: B&W CDM 7SE
Center: B&W CDM CSE
Rear: B&W DM601
Sub: SVS 16-46PC with upgraded (ultra?) driver

I am going to be building a home theater room and want to upgrade to 7.1.4. I know I should get a second subwoofer and will wire the room for two, but the sub generates the noise that will wake my wife at night so I'm treading cautiously here.

It feels wrong to just add two low-end speakers for the rear surrounds, so maybe I can use this opportunity to upgrade my 20+ year old main speakers. I’m thinking I’ll use my current mains as surrounds and go large. I'm not sure what to do with my current center because I'll probably have to upgrade that eventually too.

95% of my viewing is home theater so it might be overkill, but I’m dreaming about the B&W 702 S2 or 702 Signature. Does anyone have experience with them?

Should I be looking at the Nautilus line used? I've never looked at used speakers before. Any tips for buying used speakers and where are the good places to find them? I doubt I'm going to find anything for sale locally, so I'd have to get something shipped or travel to pick up.
 
Last edited:

Phil A

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Phil
I'd start looking at hifishark.com (it searches a bunch of sites and you can filter by region too) to get a feel for what is available used. While not my main system (my main system is integrated 2-channel and HT and will eventually get a projector upgrade and the main system is currently 7.1.4), my current main UHD system (pic attached) is 5.1.4 (and is not a huge room). My B&W P6 main speakers are over 24 years old (original owner and I do look at hifishark from time to time - many don't want to ship heavy speakers due to the cost and who knows what can happen in shipping as well). For the current UHD system, I have B&W Leisure Monitors for the side surrounds. I scavenged Ohm Microwalsh Talls from a spare two channel system for the front Atmos speakers and I have in-ceiling speakers for the rear Atmos speakers.
backuptwo12-28-21.JPG
 

rbstern

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Aug 14, 2018
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Rich Stern
Fronts and center are by far the most important speakers, and you already have good ones.

All seven of the non-height speakers in my 7.2.4 are Martin Logan Vignettes. I had the three Vignettes as fronts and center in a 7.1 setup, and when I built the 7.2.4, decided to add four more for the sides and rear. Also went with ML 6.5s for the four ceilings. As far as I'm concerned, you can use almost anything for the sides and height speakers. The performance demand for those speakers is truly minimal. Those don't represent a critical listening demand.

I went with 2 10" Pioneer Elites for my subs, because it's a big room. All of my previous implementations have been a single 10 or 12", in smaller rooms, and they were just as satisfying as the pair in the larger room.

For home theater, my experience is speaker placement and setup tuning are far more important than speaker quality. The one exception I would make for this is the center channel speaker, where clarity of the speaker in typical dialogue frequencies makes an appreciable difference in the home theater experience.

Now, having said that, if your heart is set on an upgrade in fronts, and you aren't spending your lunch money for that upgrade, by all means, go for it.
 

Edwin-S

Premium
Joined
Aug 20, 2000
Messages
8,998
The only advice I can offer re used speakers is as simple as it gets. If a person can't listen to them first then don't buy them.
 

Gregory Pauswinski

Supporting Actor
Joined
Dec 2, 1998
Messages
590
Thanks everyone for your input. Gregg Loewen talked me off the ledge and recommended just looking for some used B&W DM-601's to make 7 speakers. My wife got on facebook marketplace and found me a guy locally who sold me two B&W DM-603 towers for $350. The seller was very friendly and had everything set up so that I could listen to them. My home theater room hasn't been built yet, but for now I'm going to replace my DM-601 bookshelf rear speakers and use the DM-603 towers a my rears.
 

sfyalek

Agent
Joined
Sep 24, 2008
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29
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Yalek
If you really want to upgrade the speakers, you should look into the frequency response and sensitivity level. It may affect your AV Receiver/Amplifier performance and balance.
 

Scott Merryfield

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Dec 16, 1998
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Thanks everyone for your input. Gregg Loewen talked me off the ledge and recommended just looking for some used B&W DM-601's to make 7 speakers. My wife got on facebook marketplace and found me a guy locally who sold me two B&W DM-603 towers for $350. The seller was very friendly and had everything set up so that I could listen to them. My home theater room hasn't been built yet, but for now I'm going to replace my DM-601 bookshelf rear speakers and use the DM-603 towers a my rears.
Glad you found something locally. I just sold my B&W 604 S2 towers locally through marketplace for $525 to a very nice guy who was looking to upgrade his 2.1 system. We received quite a few inquiries from the posting.

After we remodeled our family room a year ago, which also serves as my home theater room, I downsized from a 7.1 setup to 5.1, moving the 602 S3 rear centers up front in place of the 604's. I have been happy with the reconfigured setup, so finally sold the towers.
 

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