B&W 685 at a good price - How long will I be happy for? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 01-31-2013, 11:22 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm building my first real speaker setup, and I got a pair of B&W 685s for $430 (open box returns). I've plugged them in bi-amp'd and I think they sound awesome. I have a Pioneer SC-61 and plan to add a sub and a center (no surround for now).

Since this is my first real venture into a nice setup, will I get used to their sound and wish I had spent a little more? I'm open to towers or bookshelf. My price range is quite wide (I'll spend the money if it's warranted), but I love to get a good deal as well.

Should I bring these back and spend the same or more money on a better pair of fronts? I'm not an audiophile, but I appreciate quality.
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post #2 of 30 Old 01-31-2013, 11:38 AM
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$430 is a great price for a pair of 685s. The 685 are pretty great overall and pretty much universally well-regarded. The 685 were my first "good" pair of speakers and I don't really have much bad to say about them...perhaps they lack some refinement and detail, but excellent in the price range. I guess it would depend on what kind of sound you're looking for, and only you can determine if they'll make you happy. Eventually the upgrade bug bites all of us in this hobby, but for now I would focus on getting a good sub rather than shelling out for different speakers.

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post #3 of 30 Old 01-31-2013, 11:49 AM
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You got a very good pair of quality speakers at a very good price. Further you said you think they sound awesome - nothing wrong with that! Why are you second guessing yourself?

You also got a very good receiver, the SC-61, capable of driving more speakers when the time comes. So when you add a center and a sub, as you indicated you would, you are ready. And when you add these other two, I'll bet you'll be thinking a pair of surrounds also to complete a 5.1 system. Guess what, when this happens you already got them - the 685's. You can use them for surround duty and think about 683's in the front at that time.

In the meantime, keep enjoying what you already have. You are on your way to a great system

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post #4 of 30 Old 01-31-2013, 12:12 PM
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^^^^ +1

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #5 of 30 Old 01-31-2013, 12:54 PM
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I started out with these and now use them as my surround speakers. I have really enjoyed them and I think you will too if they get the chance to stay in your home.

Mitsubishi Diamond 57" DLP rear pro
Integra DHC 80.2
Emotiva XPA-5
B&W 703 towers, HTM-7 center channel, 685 bookshelf for surrounds, ASW8 sub
Oppo BDP-103
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Harmony One

Next purchase:
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post #6 of 30 Old 01-31-2013, 06:45 PM
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How does the 685 compare to KEF LS50? I know the price doubles but is the LS50 so much better? I read that it has gotten rave reviews but there is no KEF dealership in my state to audition it.
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post #7 of 30 Old 01-31-2013, 06:54 PM
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I own 685s and have not heard the LS50s but I would guess the LS50s are notably better.

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #8 of 30 Old 01-31-2013, 07:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Awesome, I'm only second guessing because I didn't do a lot of shopping around to hear many other speakers, but the price seemed too good to pass up.

Should I get the 6-series center to match sound-wise, or should I shop around? How about a recommendation on a quality sub?
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post #9 of 30 Old 01-31-2013, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strumke View Post

Awesome, I'm only second guessing because I didn't do a lot of shopping around to hear many other speakers, but the price seemed too good to pass up.

Should I get the 6-series center to match sound-wise, or should I shop around? How about a recommendation on a quality sub?

You could go with the HTM-61 or 62. I had the 62 and it was a good center, but there are better out there. It all depends on your price point. I love my HTM7. Many people are swearing by the Aperion Grand Verus center. There are many that also suggest using a full tower if possible. It just depends on your needs and what you can afford.

Mitsubishi Diamond 57" DLP rear pro
Integra DHC 80.2
Emotiva XPA-5
B&W 703 towers, HTM-7 center channel, 685 bookshelf for surrounds, ASW8 sub
Oppo BDP-103
PS3, Wii U, DirecTv
Harmony One

Next purchase:
80 inch TV (Not like wife will let me)
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post #10 of 30 Old 01-31-2013, 07:55 PM
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A friend of mine has 685s up front (and 686s for surrounds). He started off with an HTM62 but ended up being unsatisfied with the sound. He replaced it with another 685 and is very happy with the result. smile.gif
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post #11 of 30 Old 01-31-2013, 09:14 PM
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If you live in California, check the classifieds here. I'm selling my HTM61 smile.gif it's the larger center in the 600 series and IMO a much better speaker. Shameless self- plug smile.gif

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post #12 of 30 Old 01-31-2013, 09:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fatuglyguy View Post

If you live in California, check the classifieds here. I'm selling my HTM61 smile.gif it's the larger center in the 600 series and IMO a much better speaker. Shameless self- plug smile.gif

Ha, thanks for the heads up, but I'm in the DC area... If you're going to be around this side of the country, feel free to bring it along and I'll take a listen!
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post #13 of 30 Old 02-01-2013, 09:31 PM
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Great price for a pair of 685s. I would agree with eljay that another 685 would make the best center.

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post #14 of 30 Old 02-02-2013, 07:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by postrokfan View Post

Great price for a pair of 685s. I would agree with eljay that another 685 would make the best center.
Agreed

Main Kef: Reference 205/2 & 202/2c, Surrounds: Kef XQ40, Velodyne Optimum 12, Integra DHC 80.3, Oppo BDP-103, Bryston 4Bsst2, Parasound Halo A31. Second B&W: 685 (3), CCM618, Def Tech Powerfield 1500, Onkyo TX-NR1008, DBP 2010, Samsung BD-C7900, Zone 2 Klipsch AW650. Sitting still CCM616, Kef...
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post #15 of 30 Old 03-18-2013, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by jima4a View Post

I own 685s and have not heard the LS50s but I would guess the LS50s are notably better.

I got to hear the LS50's demoed and found them to be dynamic, ultra detailed, great at imaging, a bit forward, and hot bordering on bright. The audio shop had them paired with an 8000 series Marantz integrated which I've read is a bad pairing on other forums. I'm thinking that I'll need to try them on my Exposure 2010S2 to know for sure if their top end is always fatiguing. Reviews don't say that it is so I'm pretty sure it was the Marantz combo that contributed to the undesirable top end. Hope this helps!
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post #16 of 30 Old 03-19-2013, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strumke View Post

I'm building my first real speaker setup, and I got a pair of B&W 685s for $430 (open box returns). I've plugged them in bi-amp'd and I think they sound awesome. I have a Pioneer SC-61 and plan to add a sub and a center (no surround for now).

Since this is my first real venture into a nice setup, will I get used to their sound and wish I had spent a little more? I'm open to towers or bookshelf. My price range is quite wide (I'll spend the money if it's warranted), but I love to get a good deal as well.

Should I bring these back and spend the same or more money on a better pair of fronts? I'm not an audiophile, but I appreciate quality.

Point of diminishing returns. You could spend more and more and more and even when you reach the 800D2, you will still wonder. eek.gif

Remember that "different" doesn't necessarily mean "better". It's really about "preference", and everyone will have a different preference.

Even when you quadruple the price, you may only improve your preference by 10-20%. Point of diminishing returns.

If the 685 sound awesome to you, just focus on adding great subs like the Rythmik FV15HP H550 for about $1300 delivered and matching B&W center or another 685 for center & surrounds (685 x 5).
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post #17 of 30 Old 03-19-2013, 12:21 PM
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I actually started using the 685's as surrounds with the 683's. One day I decided to try the 685's as front mains and was blown away at how well they performed! Even my father was in awe! But since I already had the 683's A/B'ing them back and forth even when using a sub the 683's midrange would be impossible to give up at that point. Sometimes I wish I would of just started with the 685's and stuck with them for all channels and pocketed the rest of the money, lol. But at that time I never envisioned a bookshelf speaker sounding so big and good.

I would first add a sub then decided if you want a more open and detailed midrange, bigger soundstage, and more volume/efficiency. If so, I would then get the 683 and move the 685 to the rear channels. If not, 685's all the way around (even center speaker) would still be amazing sound quality! Sometimes I think having a less open and in your face midrange is actually better if you listen to a lot of lesser recorded pop music..... I would say since you haven't yet done any critical 2-channel listening with good recordings with the FST midrange in the 683 in your own home, I would just focus on 685's all the way around with a nice sub. tongue.gif
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post #18 of 30 Old 06-26-2013, 06:22 PM
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I am also thinking of buying these as my first set of "good speakers" I want them mostly to listen to music (as opposed to watching loud action movies). From the posts, it seems like this would make a very decent system. Question is, do I need a subwoofer, or would the speaker be enough? I listen mostly to jazz. Thanks
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post #19 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 10:34 AM
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I'd say you are pretty well off even without a sub.

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post #20 of 30 Old 06-27-2013, 11:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baldespin View Post

I am also thinking of buying these as my first set of "good speakers" I want them mostly to listen to music (as opposed to watching loud action movies). From the posts, it seems like this would make a very decent system. Question is, do I need a subwoofer, or would the speaker be enough? I listen mostly to jazz. Thanks
I'm sure you'll be happy. Not to say that a good sub wouldn't make you happier!
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post #21 of 30 Old 06-28-2013, 04:01 PM
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Thank you all. Would an Energy 8-inch 240 watt sub do the trick? I'm a newby and hadn't really heard of this brand. I don't know if it's reputable or if it's a Best and Buy brand. Not sure I want to pay B&W prices for the sub. Thanks
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post #22 of 30 Old 06-28-2013, 09:52 PM
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An 8" sub will not do the trick. For the price, I'd get the Klipsch RW-12D from NewEgg. It's regularly on sale for $300 and is generally considered to be the best bang for your buck sub at that price. I've got one paired with my 684's and it makes for a very nice 2.1 system. BestBuy is not where you want to be shopping for a sub.
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post #23 of 30 Old 06-29-2013, 05:40 AM
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If you are thinking of something in the $800 range, it's hard to beat the Anthony Gallo CL-2 speakers.

Check out their website for some info.

One really nice thing about Gallo is that you can try them in your home for 60 days FREE! That's a hard thing to beat.

They pay return shipping and give a full refund on returns. Pretty hard to turn that offer down.

But I'll bet they don't get many returns...lol!! They are wonderful speakers for your kind of listening.
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post #24 of 30 Old 06-29-2013, 06:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baldespin View Post

Thank you all. Would an Energy 8-inch 240 watt sub do the trick? I'm a newby and hadn't really heard of this brand. I don't know if it's reputable or if it's a Best and Buy brand. Not sure I want to pay B&W prices for the sub. Thanks

I would look at HSU Research, SVS, Rhythmik, and Outlaw Audio as alternatives-much better bang for the buck.

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post #25 of 30 Old 07-27-2013, 11:27 AM
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So over all the 685 will work great as fronts or in a 2 channel? I'm thinking of picking up a pair for a bedroom


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Main System
Fronts RB 81 II BLK
Cener RC 52 II BLK
Rears RB 61 II CHERRY (going to be replaced with a black set)
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Bedroom RB 41 II BLK/ TXSR 607 / TCL32X1 / BDPS370 / Apple TV 2 wife ipad3 remote
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post #26 of 30 Old 07-27-2013, 12:01 PM
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So over all the 685 will work great as fronts or in a 2 channel? I'm thinking of picking up a pair for a bedroom


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They will work well for either application. You are considering other options as well?

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post #27 of 30 Old 07-27-2013, 05:20 PM
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No other options just music

Main System
Fronts RB 81 II BLK
Cener RC 52 II BLK
Rears RB 61 II CHERRY (going to be replaced with a black set)
Subwoofer SW112 BLK
SR 5006
MM7025
LG 55 LED 120HZ BDPS590 ipad 2 remote
Bedroom RB 41 II BLK/ TXSR 607 / TCL32X1 / BDPS370 / Apple TV 2 wife ipad3 remote
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post #28 of 30 Old 07-27-2013, 05:57 PM
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Sure. What I was getting at is that there are other speaker options in the price range that would be good choices as well.

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post #29 of 30 Old 08-03-2013, 11:15 PM
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I just picked up a pair of 685's and I am amazed how they sound in 2-channel setup and setting the speakers to large on my receiver! I also got the htm-62 center channel amd played DTS track from Red Dawn and the bass / sq of these gems are top notch and have yet to hook up either my Dayton 12's or Rythmik lv12r!!

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post #30 of 30 Old 03-09-2014, 08:47 PM
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How does Klipsch RB 61 ii compare with the B & W 685? RB 61 ii is about 70% the price of 685?
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