seeking B&W advice

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Noah, Apr 13, 2002.

  1. Noah

    Noah Agent

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2002
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Today was a very good day--I was able to unload my JBL Studio Series package (310 fronts, 38 rears, S-center) in order to buy the B&W 600 Series 3's that I have been coveting ever since my store got them 2 months ago. My question is this: which set should I buy? Conventional wisdom told me to get floorstanders in the front (603's), bookshelfs on stands in the rear (601's), and the larger center (LCR 600). I am sure this would be a great system, but I have recently been taken by the notion of using LCR's all the way around, or at least in the front soundstage with the 601's in the rear. Anyone with any B&W experience, please help me out. My listening is 60/40 movies to music. Does anyone have 3 LCR's as fronts? With a good sub (ASW 600), will this hurt my stereo listening? Any thoughts are welcome...
     
  2. Harold_C

    Harold_C Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2002
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I can't think of anything to be gained by going with the floorstanding 603's in the front. You are going to want to run them high-passed as SMALL, anyway..

    I would go with four 601's and the center channel, although your idea of five LCR600's is an intriguing one. Either of those combinations would be outstanding.
     
  3. Arron H

    Arron H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2002
    Messages:
    332
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think that this really boils down to personal preference. Go to your B&W dealer and A/B the LCR600 setup with the ASW600 and the 603/601 setup with the ASW600 and see which one you prefer.
    I have 603s & 601s with the LCR6 center (series 2). I prefer the very full front soundstage presented by the floorstanding 603s. Even with the sub and fronts set to small, the larger enclosure of the 603s seems to provide a larger, more expansive sounding front soundstage. I also have the flexibility to switch the fronts to large and go without a sub if I choose to. I tried 4 601s with ASW600 and this combo seemed a little bit thin for my tastes. I did not try an all LCR600 setup when auditioning and so, I cannot help you here other than restating that you should perform the A/B before deciding. Good luck with your decision [​IMG]
     
  4. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    420
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I also prefer the 603s for mains over the 601s (which I use for surrounds). I find that they give a much fuller sound when it comes to music. The idea that floor-standing mains will somehow be wasted if you use an external sub may be conveinient, but I do not believe this is really the case and rather unfortunate. Here's a thread that discusses this in part. Scroll to John and Brian's comments on the first page.
    http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/003524.html
     
  5. Norman L

    Norman L Second Unit

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2002
    Messages:
    261
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Noah,

    How did you like the JBL S Center?

    I just bought the B & W LCR60 S3 and it does not fit in the center position in my unit.( speaker is 12" deep and I did not know) I have very old B & W DM2000 I was trying to match a center.

    I was told to look at the S from JBL
     
  6. Harold_C

    Harold_C Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2002
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  7. Arron H

    Arron H Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2002
    Messages:
    332
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I find this quote by Brian Florian very interesting (see Steve Ma's attachment):

     
  8. Noah

    Noah Agent

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2002
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks to everyone for your posts--my thinking is that the 603's would be better performers for two-channel stereo, of which I listen to quite frequently. So I guess I really am wondering how well LCR speakers perform in a stereo configuration (or, stated differently, how much better are the 603's?) I don't think I can afford 5 LCR 600's, so more likely I would purchase 5 of the smaller LCR 60's or 3 of the bigger LCR 600's for the front soundstage and 2 601's for the rear. These speakers all have the same driver size (6 1/2"), but I am debating the "larger speakers for stereo" vs. "identical speakers for multi-channel" question. Does anyone use LCR's in a stereo configuration? This is the most fun I have had since I bought my first DVD player.

    PS to Norman: The JBL's were very good speakers, if a little on the bright side. I was driving them with a Denon 1801 (which I am replacing with a new Yamaha), and the combination was a bit harsh at my reference listening levels. Also, the S-center distorted on male vocals at those levels, which could very well be due to the fact that it fell off of my Sony Wega last year (damn Sony for the tops of their tv's!) I recommend it as the best center speaker I have heard under $300.
     
  9. James Bergeron

    James Bergeron Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2001
    Messages:
    831
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I've heard a 5.1 setup with 5 602's and a sub with the 602's all set to large and let me tell you WOOHOO it sounded awesome!
     
  10. Harold_C

    Harold_C Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2002
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  11. David Judah

    David Judah Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 1999
    Messages:
    1,479
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
     
  12. Willem Vos

    Willem Vos Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2000
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'm struggling with a similar issue, debating on whether to go with the 601S3's or 603S3's

    I currently have Mission M71's as fronts, and came to the conclusion that I had to set the crossover to 100Hz to get the system to produce good bass in that region. Obviously the M71's rated to go down to 65Hz weren't cutting it at 80Hz - 100Hz.

    What I would like to know, is in what region the aluminium driver of the 603 operates. If this is only from 100Hz down, it's definitely now going to get a workout even though I would be putting my crossover setting back to 80Hz.

    If it kicks in at say 200Hz, it would probably be worth having... any insights?

    Edit: Read on the website:

    the 603 aluminium driver kicks in at 150Hz

    the 604 aluminium drivers kick in at 450Hz

    This means that the 604 alu drivers would be less wasted than the 603's, as the 603s have (150-80=)70Hz "reserved" for them and the 604s have 370Hz "reserved".

    Am I correct in this assumption?
     
  13. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    420
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Just some random thoughts based on feedback here. FWIW, I don't run my 603s as large. After experimenting vith various connection methods, speaker settings, and x-overs, I get the smoothest response with the LFE connection and my mains set to small (using the 100hz x-over on my AVR). There was a part of me that wanted to see the flattest response with a 60hz x-over to "get the most" from my tower, but in the end, The fixed x-over in my AVR was the clear winner.
    This sort of supports Harold's comments from before, but I think for HT apps, any benefits derived from having the 603s over the 601s is likley minor, if at all. At the very least, it gets to the point of deminishing marginal returns. It is on complicated musical reproductions that I appreciate the extra range the 603 offers. Most all my music listening is done in 2CH mode (actually 2.1).
    I agree with David in that I may not be able to tell you exactly which freqs the mid/bass driver is handeling on my 603, but it's clearly doing doing something. [​IMG]
    With a 100hz x-over, I am still getting some minor sound coming from the 603s when I play test tones around the mid 70hz range. It's minor, but it's there. Willem, I'm not sure if that helps you at all since I have the S2 (non-metal bass driver), but I can confirm tonight if it'll help you.
    --Steve
     
  14. Willem Vos

    Willem Vos Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2000
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Steve, I assume by an AVR, you mean a denon receiver(?), but I'm not quite sure about the the fixed x-over. The fixed crossover according to the almighty thx standard is 80Hz (used by denon / onkyo / others), and I only know of Yamaha using a 90Hz crossover.

    I'm guessing here, since I don't have any 603's -yet-, but wouldn't it be better to switch to an 80Hz crossover? i would think the 603's should give a good response down to 80Hz at least, and you would be using the bass driver more.

    Just a thought.
     
  15. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 1999
    Messages:
    6,873
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Have you considered bookshelfs all around? IMO the 602 is a much better speaker than the LCR6. The MTM arrangement is not optimal, particularly for music. I run three identical DM602s as my fronts and two 601S2s as my rears. The front soundfield is extremely cohesive and sounds great. And stereo music is not compromised as it would be with the MTM LCR6.

    If you can go with identical speakers all around that is the best way to go IMO.
     
  16. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 1998
    Messages:
    12,315
    Likes Received:
    1,068
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Location:
    Michigan
    I selected B&W towers (604S2) for my mains when I upgraded approximately 3 years ago. My reasons were (1) I wanted to listen to stereo music without a sub, (2) I wanted the ability to run my mains as LARGE due to the high LFE crossover of my Sony 50ES receiver that I then owned, and (3) I planned on owning these speakers for many years and did not want to compromise.

    I ran the 604's as LARGE, with the lower frequencies also sent to the sub (this was an option with the Sony receiver). My sub is located in the back of the room, so bass would become directional at SMALL with Sony's 120Hz crossover.

    I have since upgraded my receiver to a Pioneer Elite 47TX, and I have the crossover set at 80Hz. I have played with the crossover and LARGE/SMALL settings, and have settled on 80Hz with all speakers set to SMALL. The 604's sound wonderful with stereo music, DVD-Audio and multi-channel movie soundtracks.
     
  17. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    420
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Hi Willem,

    I should have been more specific. By AVR, I meant (AV Receiver). My unit is a Marantz SR7000. With mains set to small and sub = yes, the internal x-over is fixed at 100hz. It is not adjustable on the Marantz.

    I measured my 603S2s to have a good response down to about 47/48hz. That, however does not speak to the integration with the sub and the rooms response. Both of which I found to be more important than the response of the main speaker in and of itself.

    There has been a great deal of debate about the benefits of 100/80/60 hz x-overs and etc. Because of that, I connected with the speaker level connections, to use the subs variable x-over and to defeat the one on the Marantz. After measuring x-overs of 60/70/80 and 90 hz, I went back to the LFE connection because it gave me the flattest measurable response. My opinion: The benefits of an 80 vs 100 hz x-over may be over-stated. Truth be told, I had difficulty audibly noticing the difference between a 60hz and 100hz x-over, much less 80 vs 100. It was only by using the SW and SPL meter that I was able to clearly measure an improvement with the LFE connection and 100hz x-over. Not that you needed all that, but that's my exp, FWIW.

    --Steve
     
  18. Willem Vos

    Willem Vos Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2000
    Messages:
    227
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My mistake Steve,

    I didn't know Marantz had a fixed crossover of 100Hz.

    Anyway, since your 603s internal crossover lies at 150Hz, the Bass driver should be handling the 100-150 range, and doing that quite well...

    My problem remains whether that is enough to warrant the purchase of the 603s over the 601s

    perhaps the 602.5s are a good tradeoff. The 602s don't seem to be proportioned right (estetically I mean) to me.

    That's just my opinion though: a lot of people only care for sound, but I want my speaker to look good as well. That said, there are probably a lot of people that think the 602s look good.

    Any suggestions are appreciated.
     
  19. Steve_Ma

    Steve_Ma Second Unit

    Joined:
    May 7, 2001
    Messages:
    420
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    You're certainly on the right track with your research. I'd say let your ears and eyes decide. Just keep in mind, that the x-overs are not brick walls. They are slopes. Even with a 100hz x-over, there is bass driver activity well below that.

    Happy Hunting!

    --Steve
     

Share This Page