Ideas on B&W setup combinations

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by Kevin Potts, May 13, 2005.

  1. Kevin Potts

    Kevin Potts Second Unit

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    After 4 years I'm finally getting around to putting together another Home Theater. I've decided on B&W mains, center and surrounds, a SVS sub, and either a Rotel or Denon reciever. The problem I'm having right now is deciding which combination I should go with.

    Combo A: DM604 mains, LCR600 center, and DM602 surrounds.

    Combo B: DM602 mains and surrounds, and LCR600 center.

    Combo C: CM2 mains and surrounds, LCR600 center.

    I've done quite a bit of listening to the 604 and 603's, but have not yet heard the 602's or CM2's. I plan on auditioning these last two very soon.

    So, here are my questions.
    1. Are the CM2's worth a little extra money over the 602's?
    2. Would going with the 604's over the smaller 2's really have any benefit since everthing will be mated with a SVS sub?
    3. My first round with the 4's and 3's was with the Denon 2805 which was a blissful combination. Is there a noticeable difference between Denon and Rotel? Although I didn't get a chance to hear the Rotel, the salesman thought the extra bucks for the jump from the 3805 to the Rotel was worth it.
    4. Which sub would mate with the B&W's better the 16-46 or 20-39?

    I apologize for all the questions and I realize that I need to do a lot more listening in store, but I'd really like some opinions from those who have similar setups.
     
  2. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    1) I haven't heard the CMs, but I always liked the CDMs (now 700s) much better than the 600 series. If you listen to them and like them....but throw the center into the mix and I'd say if you can't afford the matching center, then stick with the 600s.

    2) Tough call. I like the 602s, and tend to gravitate toward bookshelf speakers.

    3) The Denons will likely have more options, but the Rotel will sound better IMO.

    4) They will both integrate fine. Get the one that best suits your room size and listening habits (budget too? [​IMG] ).
     
  3. Brian L

    Brian L Cinematographer

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    As someone who has a series one set of 604, 601, CC6, all working with an HSU 1225, I will echo John's thoughts about blending the sub...either should work fine, as would any other quality sub for HSU, SVS, etc.

    Search for the postings from EdwardJM if you want to learn about what is important in a sub....great reviews too!

    Now, if you are going to cross over at 80 Hz or so, the 604's will likely be wasted. Theoretically 602's should sound the same and save you some $$$$.

    BGL
     
  4. Kevin Potts

    Kevin Potts Second Unit

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    That's what I was thinking as well. I suppose the only true test would be to give the setup a listen.
     
  5. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The 604 is going to give you a noticable bump in bass and allow you to run a lower x-over, possibly as low as 60Hz with a -3dB of 39Hz. You will likely be able to run the 602s with a 80hz x-over, but not as low as 60Hz as they are -3dB at 49Hz. The 604 will move more air and likely blend just a bit better with a sub.

    IMO, I'd opt for the 602s and a better sub rather than spending more on the 604s.
     
  6. GregBe

    GregBe Second Unit

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    I think the CM2's sound better than the 600 series, but not by much. I would go with the CM2's, but only if you can get the matching center. I really like the 602 though, so I think you will be happy either way.

    Greg
     
  7. Ricky c

    Ricky c Stunt Coordinator

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    I can tellyou what i have just so you can another option if your interested.I have a rotel rsx1056 with 603s3's and lcr600 will be adding the 601s3 as surrounds since the 602's are too big.The 604's may go deeper than the 603's but if your using a sub i dont think it matters.I have the 603's crossover in the receiver at 60.All i can tell you is they sound great for ht and music.When i add the 601's it will be even better.Unfortunatly i have missmatched surrounds for now.And honestly if your willing to get the 604's why not the 700 series.
     
  8. trey-m

    trey-m Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't have experience with the CM2's but I know the 600 series fairly well. I'll reiterate that if you're mainly going to use the system for surround sound, then there's no need to spend more on the mains than the 602's. The only reason I can think of to consider upgrading the mains to 604's would be if you listen to a lot of stereo music too, because in that situation the 604's will obviously perform better on their own than the 602's. (Or I suppose if you tune the sub very well you could do a 2.1 for stereo stuff with the 602's.)
     
  9. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I have 604 S2 mains and 602 S2 surrounds, with a LCR6 center. This works very well for music -- both stereo and multi-channel -- in my setup, since my CD/SACD player has no bass management (it's connected via to the 5.1 analog inputs of my Pioneer Elite receiver). However, for DD/DTS 5.1 movie tracks from the DVD player, I cross everything over at 80Hz and let the sub handle all the lower frequencies. This combo worked best in my particular room setup.

    So, if you are going to use the system for strictly movie soundtracks, I would recommend saving the $$$'s and going with the 602's up front. However, if you plan on using the system for a lot of music-only listening, too, the investment in the larger 604's may be worthwhile.

    I cannot offer any input on the CM's. I bought my setup before that model was on the market and have never heard the CM's.
     
  10. Mark Dill

    Mark Dill Stunt Coordinator

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    I have listened to the CM series and I think you get a lot more for your money with the 600 series. The CM2 does not sound much different from a 601, IMO. Maybe slightly clearer on the high end.

    The CM4 is a nice speaker, but it costs more than a 604. The CM4 sounds a little crisper and cleaner than the 604 (especially with something like acoustic guitar) but it does not have as much bass extension.

    I think with the CM series, B&W was going for a speaker that sounds as good as the 600 series, but has a better WAF. And they are definitely very nice and subtle looking speakers.
     
  11. Ricky c

    Ricky c Stunt Coordinator

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    Isnt the cm4 basiclly the same as the 603s3 except for the enclosure both 2 1/2 etc.
     
  12. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The CMs are a step up from the 600s. They use slightly different drivers (tweeters anyway), and I'm sure, different crossovers, possibly better cabinets. You can't tell by looking at speakers what the differences might be.
     
  13. Mark Dill

    Mark Dill Stunt Coordinator

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    Compared to the 600's, the CM's use a similar Kevlar driver for the midrange, but they use aluminum drivers for the bass drivers which are much more sophisticated than the 600 series. They also have better cabinets - the tweeter and especially the midrange is isolated from the vibrations coming from the bass woofers.

    Some people complain about the CM's being too harsh but others say they just have a very long break-in period. It could be that the speakers are just very neutral compared to the warmer sound of the 600 series and B&W people just aren't used to that.
     
  14. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I bought the original 602s back in 1997/8 and I have no interest in upgrading them. Ever.

    A third 602 as the center sounds incredible and is way cheaper than "center" if you can swing it.
     
  15. Mark Dill

    Mark Dill Stunt Coordinator

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    >> I bought the original 602s back in 1997/8 and I have no interest in upgrading them. Ever.

    Exactly how I feel. I got mine in '96.
     
  16. Jake S

    Jake S Stunt Coordinator

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    Sold and set-up more than a few like this with very nice results.
     

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