Bowers and Wilkins 683 - an honest review. - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 238 Old 02-28-2013, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
adrummingdude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 97
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Hi all!

Long time lurker, first time poster. I figured I should give something back since I have gleaned so much great info from this board in the past. Below is a review (which I have also posted to best buy's website) of the Bowers and Wilkins 683, which I have owned for a few weeks now. Your mileage may vary. Enjoy!



Having worked with and owned some very revealing studio monitors from the likes of Adam, KRK, JBL and Yamaha in the past, I was in the mood for a more hi-fi, less fatiguing speaker for a 2.1 music and movie setup.

My wife and I went to a Best Buy Magnolia showroom and proceeded to audition every high end speaker present. Her and I agreed that the 683 was the most awe inspiring, lifelike, deepest sounstage speaker in the room, and by a huge margin at that! The fact that it costs a fraction of what some of the other speakers did (like those gimmicky electrostats) was just a bonus. So, we purchased them (had to drive to another Best Buy which had them in stock), along with a Pioneer Elite SC-65 reciever like the one used in the demo. When we arrived to the second location, there were also a pair of B&W CM9's set up which the Concord store did not have. Just to see what the $3000 per pair B&W speakers could do, we A/B'd them against the $1500 per pair 683. Do the CM9's sound better?...yes...much better?...yes, especially down low where they are more controlled...TWICE as better, as the price would suggest?...nope, not by a long shot, the 683 is the smart money as it is 85% of the CM9.

After living with these monsters for a few weeks, there are joys and gripes.

The Good: The midrange driver. I would pay much more than the 683 for a speaker which reproduces vocals this clearly and smoothly. It really is astounding and you won't want to stop listening! The artist is in your room, right behind the speaker.

The Good: A VERY revealing tweeter which also, somehow, isn't fatiguing to listen to over long stretches. Details in Movies come to life. Raindrops, door locks, burning fuses...Nice. A word of caution though, these tweeters WILL reveal bad mixes, autotune artifacts, and nasty clippy square waves.

The Bad: Be porepared to spend some coin to drive these monsters. The Pioneer SC-65 is no lightweight, with ~150 watts per channel at the ~6 ohms these speakers are typically operating at (NOMINAL is 8 ohms, but the manual clearly states that they can dip to 3 ohms based on content#. Im left, after a couple weeks, longing for a 200+ watt per channel amp which is also 4 ohm stable = $$$$ Dont get me wrong, the speakers sound great, but I know from experience that a stronger amp would tighten up the imaging.

The Bad: The low end on these things is tricky to say the least. Do you need a sub?...I dont know, what kind of amp are you running? Thankfully, B&W in their tea and crumpet filled wisdom has included a set of foam bungs to help control the boominess of the bottom end #my only REAL gripe of the speaker#. They work best in my room with the bungs half in the port. I need more power.

The Bad: Make sure you have the space to let these babies breathe. My bass issue is likely at least partially related to these speakers being massive already, and then with the supplied #and required, if the manual is to be believed) plinth assembly, you need a lot of room, which I lack, for correct placement. If the bookshelf version of these speakers had that SWEET midrange driver, I would have bought them instead.

Conclusion: I would buy these speakers again tomorrow if they were stolen from me today. You need some time, and likely some money to set them up optimally, but I would put the 683 head to head with anything in their price range and expect for it to come out on top. Good show, B&W.

Samsung UN55F8000
Pioneer Elite SC-65
Bowers and Wilkins 683
Bowers and Wilkins HTM-61
Definitive Tech XTR-20BP
Definitive Tech Supercube 2
8TB Iomega Media Server
adrummingdude is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 238 Old 02-28-2013, 07:25 PM
Advanced Member
 
Newbie01's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: North Wales, PA
Posts: 834
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 30
Thanks for the review! Sounds like these should be rated at 4 ohm... What other speakers did you like when you auditioned these? What is your mix of music to HT? Do you run these with a sub?
Newbie01 is offline  
post #3 of 238 Old 02-28-2013, 08:08 PM
Member
 
CleatusCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 125
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
I was at Best Buy yesterday and heard the identical setup, SC65 and the 683s. They had an immersive soundstage and decent off axis response. The highs had nice detail and was not fatiquing, decent midrange. I think the price they were going for is a great deal.

Xbox Live- RumRiverKiller
HT Room- Samsung 550 64" Plasma, Tivo XL, Marantz SR-14 EX , BP3000TLs, CLR3000, BP2002 sides, Logitech 700
Music Room- Samsung 650 46" LCD, Tivo, Pioneer VSX-1120K , Canton GLE 409s, small cheap sub, Logitech 650
Garage- Kenwood VR606, Original Large Avents
CleatusCat is offline  
post #4 of 238 Old 03-01-2013, 12:56 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
adrummingdude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 97
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newbie01 View Post

Thanks for the review! Sounds like these should be rated at 4 ohm... What other speakers did you like when you auditioned these? What is your mix of music to HT? Do you run these with a sub?

All the speakers in the room which I liked were other iterations of the Bowers, like the bookshelves. I didn't much care for the Martin Logan electrostats, and found the non electrostat Martin Logan's to be dreadful, although I didn't think those were auditioned very properly. The other brands we listened to weren't even noteworthy enough to me to even remember what they were a few weeks hence.

I,m about 75/25 music to movies, and listen to quite a variety. I've found that these speakers excel with singer/songwriter, jazz and most pop genres, as well as being very decent for classical. Where I really don't like them though is with very dense, low energy driven rock music. So many rock records are so inappropriately over compressed nowadays anyway, and add into that about 20 layers of instrumentation and you're left with a hot mess for any speaker to try to deal with. The 683's one glaring fault in my opinion is that the low range drivers are slow, and the cabinet boomy in the 100hz neighborhood. The foam bungs actually do a good job of taming this, but at the expense of castrating some low end dynamics. I'm still playing around with different setups, but today I'm running them bungless, crossed over at 50hz with a sub handling everything from about 70hz down. Still don't like rock through them...I need more power.

Samsung UN55F8000
Pioneer Elite SC-65
Bowers and Wilkins 683
Bowers and Wilkins HTM-61
Definitive Tech XTR-20BP
Definitive Tech Supercube 2
8TB Iomega Media Server
adrummingdude is offline  
post #5 of 238 Old 03-04-2013, 02:01 PM
Advanced Member
 
Emig5m's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: NJ, USA
Posts: 935
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 15
Nice review. I used to own the 683 along with the 684 and 685. It's true, the midrange in the 683 is noticeably superior to the other 600 series speakers. Since I owned them all in my own home it was easy to A/B them without the distractions of salesmen, time constraints, and other customers not to mention having my entire movie and music collection on hand with 100% freedom to move the speakers around how I saw fit. There was a point where I was just going to drop down to the bookshelf (685) for all channels because with a sub, they're that good. Even without a sub the little 685 sure does sound much bigger than it looks with great clarity. But when A/B'ing them with the 683 in two channel, that midrange in the 683 is just noticeably more open and detailed I couldn't force myself to drop down. If I had never had the 683 in my home, I would of been perfectly content with the 685 for all channels with a sub.

The 683 is also noticeably more efficient - I had to turn my sub down around 3 to 4db in the level settings of my AVR with the 685 to get the same match to the speaker as with the 683 (and of course it took more volume control to get the same loudness). Speakers where powered with a Emotiva XPA-5 and even the little 685 didn't flinch or break a sweat with all that power. I truly believe that B&W underrates their specs (or is VERY conservative with them) because I've bottomed out cheaper 15" woofers with the same power ratings with a similar power amp. I hear you about loosing dynamics with the port plugs in. For my final setup with the 683 I wound up using the half plugs (removing the center of the plug/bung) which took the edge off the boominess but also didn't totally kill the dynamic punchiness of the speaker like when using the full port plug/bung. It's true about the ohm drops - At first I was just using a Yamaha 663 but at high volumes with bass heavy content (not using a sub with 2channel/music) I kept driving it into protection mode. The Emotiva XPA-5 was a very affordable beast of an amp that fixed this. In the end I loved the 683 so much that I wound up getting their higher end brother, the 804S.
Emig5m is offline  
post #6 of 238 Old 03-04-2013, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
adrummingdude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 97
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 17
It just so happens that there is an Emotiva XPA-3 being shipped to me as we speak, so I'm glad to hear that you had good experience with a similar 200wpc Emotiva amp. My receiver is a pretty decent Pioneer Elite SC-65 with their class D3 amps on board, but these 683s just feel like they need more power than the 130wpc at 8 ohms to really make them punch. Add to that that Pioneer states the 4 ohm rating at 210 watts at 1% distortion (ouch). The XPA-3 is 300wpc at 4 ohms with less distortion and what seems to be a much heftier transformer. If numbers are to be believed I think I'll be able to hear the difference. I like the pioneer amps...a lot actually, I just wish they were stronger. I don't want to fry a tweeter while showing them off after all.

Samsung UN55F8000
Pioneer Elite SC-65
Bowers and Wilkins 683
Bowers and Wilkins HTM-61
Definitive Tech XTR-20BP
Definitive Tech Supercube 2
8TB Iomega Media Server
adrummingdude is offline  
post #7 of 238 Old 03-05-2013, 07:02 AM
Newbie
 
alaponsa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 6
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by adrummingdude View Post

It just so happens that there is an Emotiva XPA-3 being shipped to me as we speak, so I'm glad to hear that you had good experience with a similar 200wpc Emotiva amp. My receiver is a pretty decent Pioneer Elite SC-65 with their class D3 amps on board, but these 683s just feel like they need more power than the 130wpc at 8 ohms to really make them punch. Add to that that Pioneer states the 4 ohm rating at 210 watts at 1% distortion (ouch). The XPA-3 is 300wpc at 4 ohms with less distortion and what seems to be a much heftier transformer. If numbers are to be believed I think I'll be able to hear the difference. I like the pioneer amps...a lot actually, I just wish they were stronger. I don't want to fry a tweeter while showing them off after all.

I'm running a similar setup, B&W 684's with a Pioneer SC 1222. While I think it sounded awesome as is, when I added the XPA 3 to power the fronts it gave the system a little added ommph with music which I like to listen to pretty loud at times. I like being able to crank it up and not worry about clipping, these speakers love the power.
alaponsa is offline  
post #8 of 238 Old 03-05-2013, 07:10 AM
Senior Member
 
skidawgz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 488
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked: 41
While I do own BW speakers, and agree with most you said. I almost stopped reading when you said "gimmicky electrostats". The ML speakers are some of the most beautiful I have ever heard, admitting that I have tried to avoid speakers over $10k so I won't be tempted.

The BW do seem that they would benefit from more power, I'm looking to get a 3 channel for mine as well.
simp1yamazn likes this.

AVR: Marantz 7008 Phono: Pro-Ject Debut III Speakers: BW CMC2 + 2xCM9 + Energy 2xCB-10 (rear)
TV: Panasonic 65ZT60, Samsung 60F5300
skidawgz is offline  
post #9 of 238 Old 03-05-2013, 09:24 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
adrummingdude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 97
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Well, to each their own. I wasnt impressed with the ML's. I feel like you're paying more for the technology than you are the sound quality. At $750 apiece, the 683 to me seems like a bargain and Im completely satisfied with my purchase. Plus, now there's room in my budget for things like said Emotiva amp.

Samsung UN55F8000
Pioneer Elite SC-65
Bowers and Wilkins 683
Bowers and Wilkins HTM-61
Definitive Tech XTR-20BP
Definitive Tech Supercube 2
8TB Iomega Media Server
adrummingdude is offline  
post #10 of 238 Old 03-05-2013, 09:30 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
adrummingdude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 97
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by alaponsa View Post

I'm running a similar setup, B&W 684's with a Pioneer SC 1222. While I think it sounded awesome as is, when I added the XPA 3 to power the fronts it gave the system a little added ommph with music which I like to listen to pretty loud at times. I like being able to crank it up and not worry about clipping, these speakers love the power.

I'm with ya, as I too like to listen pretty loud at times. The Emotiva for me will be as much of a tweeter saving safety net as it will be a tool to improve (hopefully) low volume imaging/dynamics, ect.

Samsung UN55F8000
Pioneer Elite SC-65
Bowers and Wilkins 683
Bowers and Wilkins HTM-61
Definitive Tech XTR-20BP
Definitive Tech Supercube 2
8TB Iomega Media Server
adrummingdude is offline  
post #11 of 238 Old 03-05-2013, 11:06 AM
Senior Member
 
guitaraficionado's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Colorado
Posts: 311
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by skidawgz View Post

While I do own BW speakers, and agree with most you said. I almost stopped reading when you said "gimmicky electrostats". The ML speakers are some of the most beautiful I have ever heard, admitting that I have tried to avoid speakers over $10k so I won't be tempted.

The BW do seem that they would benefit from more power, I'm looking to get a 3 channel for mine as well.

I love Bowers & Wilkins too, with a slight preference for PSB, but Martin Logan's are really nice. The detail you get from electrostatics is in a league of its own. Definitely not a gimmick, it's a mature technology that's been around for decades.
guitaraficionado is offline  
post #12 of 238 Old 03-05-2013, 01:19 PM
Senior Member
 
Matts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 409
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by skidawgz View Post

While I do own BW speakers, and agree with most you said. I almost stopped reading when you said "gimmicky electrostats". The ML speakers are some of the most beautiful I have ever heard, admitting that I have tried to avoid speakers over $10k so I won't be tempted.

The BW do seem that they would benefit from more power, I'm looking to get a 3 channel for mine as well.

Agreed! ML speakers are some of the best I have listened to, especially when it comes to music. BTW, the ML speakers the OP most likely listened to at Best Buy were the Electromotion which are a combination of Electrostatic and FluidMotin XT tweeter. Even so I am always somewhat cautious as to how speakers are properly hooked up, especially in very open audition spaces like Best Buy Magnolia.

I aslo agree on the statement about B&W speakers needed more power to sound right. IME B&W power specs on their website are woefully conservative.
Matts is offline  
post #13 of 238 Old 03-05-2013, 04:02 PM
AVS Special Member
 
fatuglyguy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mars
Posts: 1,331
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matts View Post

Agreed! ML speakers are some of the best I have listened to, especially when it comes to music. BTW, the ML speakers the OP most likely listened to at Best Buy were the Electromotion which are a combination of Electrostatic and FluidMotin XT tweeter. Even so I am always somewhat cautious as to how speakers are properly hooked up, especially in very open audition spaces like Best Buy Magnolia.

The Electromotion ESLs do not use the "FludiMotion xt" (I think you meant "FoldedMotion XT" ) tweeter, they are a hybrid electrostat with a passive woofer and a xstat curvilinear panel for mid/high. You're thinking about Motion series towers, which use a traditional woofer-folded motion tweeter config. The center/rears martinlogan makes to accompany the electromotion ESLs also use that tweeter. In any case, they are far from gimmicky. Definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but if they're set up properly and you're sitting in the sweet spot, there is little else like it. Perhpaps the OP wasn't given a proper demo, since placement is key with these...the larger models (Montis, Summit X) sound better off axis.

In any case, the 683s are great speakers, but compared to the other speakers in the 600 series, they seem to need more amplification to sound good. I noticed this when demoing B&Ws back when I decided on a pair of 685. I really enjoyed the 685 but found that they didn't sound great at lower volumes. My plan was eventually to replace them with 683s, and then I compared them to the Monitor RX6, and here I am today wink.gif

ht Panasonic TC-P60ZT60, Monitor Audio: Silver RX6, RX Centre, Radius 90HD; Martinlogan Dynamo 700, Marantz SR5006, PS3, Oppo BDP-103D
2ch Marantz PM8004, Sony BDP-S1000ES, JVC T-X3 tuner, Monitor Audio Silver RX1, REL T3, Apple TV, Peachtree Audio DAC•iT
lr Panasonic 50ST60, Sony BDP-S5100
fatuglyguy is offline  
post #14 of 238 Old 03-05-2013, 06:23 PM
Senior Member
 
Matts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 409
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatuglyguy View Post

The Electromotion ESLs do not use the "FludiMotion xt" (I think you meant "FoldedMotion XT" ) tweeter, they are a hybrid electrostat with a passive woofer and a xstat curvilinear panel for mid/high. You're thinking about Motion series towers, which use a traditional woofer-folded motion tweeter config. The center/rears martinlogan makes to accompany the electromotion ESLs also use that tweeter. In any case, they are far from gimmicky. Definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but if they're set up properly and you're sitting in the sweet spot, there is little else like it. Perhpaps the OP wasn't given a proper demo, since placement is key with these...the larger models (Montis, Summit X) sound better off axis.

In any case, the 683s are great speakers, but compared to the other speakers in the 600 series, they seem to need more amplification to sound good. I noticed this when demoing B&Ws back when I decided on a pair of 685. I really enjoyed the 685 but found that they didn't sound great at lower volumes. My plan was eventually to replace them with 683s, and then I compared them to the Monitor RX6, and here I am today wink.gif

You are correct Fatuglyguy. Sorry bout that misinformation. After a while my memory gets cloudy trying to keep up with all the new termonolgy of all these speakers. smile.gif
Matts is offline  
post #15 of 238 Old 03-05-2013, 07:14 PM
AVS Special Member
 
chashint's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 1,668
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked: 38
Speakers are very personal if I were at the $1500/pr point Paradigm Monitor 11 would get the nod and the B&W 600 series would not even be a consideration.
But that is just what I would choose.
When the new amp arrives I hope you think it fixes your low frequency issues.

Regards,
Charlie

chashint is offline  
post #16 of 238 Old 03-05-2013, 08:28 PM
Senior Member
 
skidawgz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 488
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked: 41
At the price point of $5500 a pair, i have never heard a soundstage that rivals the ML Theos. Talk about a speaker that needs a ton of power behind it though....
The Electromotion ESL are nice speakers but the sweet spot was my problem with them.

Setup in the room at whatever store you visit is a huge part of the experience, too.

AVR: Marantz 7008 Phono: Pro-Ject Debut III Speakers: BW CMC2 + 2xCM9 + Energy 2xCB-10 (rear)
TV: Panasonic 65ZT60, Samsung 60F5300
skidawgz is offline  
post #17 of 238 Old 03-05-2013, 10:00 PM
AVS Special Member
 
chalugadp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Posts: 4,019
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 449 Post(s)
Liked: 762
I had b&w speakers for 12 years. Recently switched to tekton oriel 10's and love them much more. Easy to drive at 98 db ,my receiver easily plays super loud cleanly . I found the b&w too laid back. Your right they do need lotsof power. Hope the new amp works out.
chalugadp is online now  
post #18 of 238 Old 03-06-2013, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
adrummingdude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 97
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatuglyguy View Post

The Electromotion ESLs... In any case, they are far from gimmicky. Definitely not everyone's cup of tea, but if they're set up properly and you're sitting in the sweet spot, there is little else like it. Perhpaps the OP wasn't given a proper demo, since placement is key with these...

That is certainly likely. It was my first time hearing a speaker of it's like, and it sounded dull and lifeless. Next time I'm somewhere which sells them, I'll make sure to have a more thorough demonstration. All of you guys seem to like them, so there must be something I'm missing.

Samsung UN55F8000
Pioneer Elite SC-65
Bowers and Wilkins 683
Bowers and Wilkins HTM-61
Definitive Tech XTR-20BP
Definitive Tech Supercube 2
8TB Iomega Media Server
adrummingdude is offline  
post #19 of 238 Old 03-06-2013, 02:36 PM
Senior Member
 
skidawgz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 488
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18 Post(s)
Liked: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by adrummingdude View Post

That is certainly likely. It was my first time hearing a speaker of it's like, and it sounded dull and lifeless. Next time I'm somewhere which sells them, I'll make sure to have a more thorough demonstration. All of you guys seem to like them, so there must be something I'm missing.

You certainly should. If I ever wanted to set up a dedicated Stereo listening room, Martin Logan is at the top of my list (for now). I have a very limited experience with high end audio so I would spend a ton of time checking other options out.

The 683s turned my head to Bowers and Wilkins which I had dismissed due to being British speakers. I played a bit of hip-hop on them and was really shocked at how well they sounded.

AVR: Marantz 7008 Phono: Pro-Ject Debut III Speakers: BW CMC2 + 2xCM9 + Energy 2xCB-10 (rear)
TV: Panasonic 65ZT60, Samsung 60F5300
skidawgz is offline  
post #20 of 238 Old 03-06-2013, 04:13 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 4,210
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 71 Post(s)
Liked: 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by chalugadp View Post

I had b&w speakers for 12 years. Recently switched to tekton oriel 10's and love them much more. Easy to drive at 98 db ,my receiver easily plays super loud cleanly . I found the b&w too laid back. Your right they do need lotsof power. Hope the new amp works out.

Are there any official measurements of Tekton speakers to show how accurate or colored they are?

Some people love Zu Audio speakers and they measure terribly @ +/-10dB from 200-10kHz on Stereophile with an inextricable off-axis response. biggrin.gif

What if these Tekton speakers also measure +/-10dB and have terrible off-axis response?

We know the overall response of the B&W 683 is within +/- 3.8dB from 41Hz-20kHz on HTM.

http://www.hometheater.com/content/bw-683-surround-speaker-system-measurements
AcuDefTechGuy is offline  
post #21 of 238 Old 03-06-2013, 08:46 PM
Member
 
chaluga's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 154
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Are there any official measurements of Tekton speakers to show how accurate or colored they are?

Some people love Zu Audio speakers and they measure terribly @ +/-10dB from 200-10kHz on Stereophile with an inextricable off-axis response. biggrin.gif

What if these Tekton speakers also measure +/-10dB and have terrible off-axis response?

We know the overall response of the B&W 683 is within +/- 3.8dB from 41Hz-20kHz on HTM.

http://www.hometheater.com/content/bw-683-surround-speaker-system-measurements

If you want measurements call tekton from their number on the website and talk to Eric the owner. I am not a measurement guy. I have a dozen songs and 5-6 movies I use as my reference material. I know exactly how I want them to sound. Tekton to me (always subjective) sounds better. I guess the one word I would use is alive.

Here's Andrew Robinson's post today on his forum
Damn these speakers are good! Like WOW! That's all.

(Sorry, re-installed my Pendragons yesterday after spending more than a month listening to other speakers.)

THe other speakers were SVS ultra line and Aperion grand towers.

No one questions B&W in terms of quality. Its a sound that I loved at one point and now I have moved on. In a few years I will probably do the same thing.
chaluga is offline  
post #22 of 238 Old 03-07-2013, 08:45 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 4,210
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 71 Post(s)
Liked: 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaluga View Post

If you want measurements call tekton from their number on the website and talk to Eric the owner. I am not a measurement guy. I have a dozen songs and 5-6 movies I use as my reference material. I know exactly how I want them to sound. Tekton to me (always subjective) sounds better. I guess the one word I would use is alive.

Here's Andrew Robinson's post today on his forum
Damn these speakers are good! Like WOW! That's all.

(Sorry, re-installed my Pendragons yesterday after spending more than a month listening to other speakers.)

THe other speakers were SVS ultra line and Aperion grand towers.

No one questions B&W in terms of quality. Its a sound that I loved at one point and now I have moved on. In a few years I will probably do the same thing.

A friend of mine did call and talk to Eric on the Phone and asked for speaker measurements. Eric told him that they did not believe in providing speaker measurements!

Of course, my friend did not buy any Tekton speakers.

Do they have something to hide, I wonder? Do their measurements suck? Does it look like Bose's +/-12dB frequency response? Millions of people love the sound of Bose too. eek.gif

You would think that they already have measurements of their own speakers. I mean do they measure and test their own speakers or do they just put some parts together, listen, and that's it? eek.gif

What do they have to hide ? Especially if their measurements look as good as Ascend, Salk, Philharmonic, Revel, KEF, PSB, Paradigm, etc.

Refusing to provide speaker measurements to potential buyers? That just sucks.
AcuDefTechGuy is offline  
post #23 of 238 Old 03-07-2013, 08:50 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Bill Fitzmaurice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 9,328
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 1226
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

A friend of mine did call and talk to Eric on the Phone and asked for speaker measurements. Eric told him that they did not believe in providing speaker measurements!

Of course, my friend did not buy any Tekton speakers.

Do they have something to hide, I wonder? Do their measurements suck? Does it look like Bose's +/-12dB frequency response? eek.gif

What do they have to hide ? Refusing to provide speaker measurements to potential buyers?
There are only two reasons for not providing measurements:
1. They don't have any.
2. They don't want you to see them.

Either way, if that's their position when asked you should not reward them with your business, no matter who they are. OTOH, if you don't care that's your business.

Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design

The Laws of Physics aren't swayed by opinion.
Bill Fitzmaurice is offline  
post #24 of 238 Old 03-07-2013, 08:57 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 4,210
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 71 Post(s)
Liked: 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

There are only two reasons for not providing measurements:
1. They don't have any.
2. They don't want you to see them.

Either way, if that's their position when asked you should not reward them with your business, no matter who they are. OTOH, if you don't care that's your business.

I think the reason they gave my friend for not providing measurements was because they did not want to give away their trade secrets. They said if competitors saw their measurements, they might try to duplicate their sound signature. eek.gifbiggrin.gif
AcuDefTechGuy is offline  
post #25 of 238 Old 03-07-2013, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
adrummingdude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 97
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

I think the reason they gave my friend for not providing measurements was because they did not want to give away their trade secrets. They said if competitors saw their measurements, they might try to duplicate their sound signature. eek.gifbiggrin.gif

Seems to work out okay for a lot of the big manufacturers, and they certainly have more to lose. Sounds pretty fishy to me.

Samsung UN55F8000
Pioneer Elite SC-65
Bowers and Wilkins 683
Bowers and Wilkins HTM-61
Definitive Tech XTR-20BP
Definitive Tech Supercube 2
8TB Iomega Media Server
adrummingdude is offline  
post #26 of 238 Old 03-07-2013, 12:44 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 4,210
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 71 Post(s)
Liked: 234
Quote:
Originally Posted by adrummingdude View Post

Seems to work out okay for a lot of the big manufacturers, and they certainly have more to lose. Sounds pretty fishy to me.

Exactly. If people are going to try to duplicate the sound signature of a speaker, it would be something like Revel Salon2, B&W 800D2, KEF Reference 207/2, TAD R1, etc, not Tekton. eek.gifbiggrin.gif
AcuDefTechGuy is offline  
post #27 of 238 Old 03-07-2013, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
adrummingdude's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 97
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Exactly. If people are going to try to duplicate the sound signature of a speaker, it would be something like Revel Salon2, B&W 800D2, KEF Reference 207/2, TAD R1, etc, not Tekton. eek.gifbiggrin.gif

Add to that that it would only make marketing sense of you could build said speaker more economically than the firm you are trying to model (IF you are marketing it as a like product).

I worked five years for a company who designes and manufactures VERY high end residential kitchen faucets. We CNC'd everything out of solid brass and/or stainless and our product was about 98% in-house. There are other companies who, when seeing the popularity of our product tried to make a "copy," but having the two side by side would immediately yield their lack of comparable weight and quality. You see, they simply couldnt build it accurately with their infastructure because they lacked not only the tools, but the technology to do so. If you build a $300 faucet you're likely doing it as an assembler of purchased parts, but when you build a $3000 faucet, and when they sell, you have more freedom to innovate and do things yourself, properly.

I may not be an audio guru, but I have a pretty good handle on manufacturing. It is my beleif that the "Bowers and Wilkins sound, at half the price!" wouldn't make sense. Is it possible?...maybe. Is it economically feasable for a manufacturer to do?...nope, not by a mile.

Now, before all you DIY speaker experts start trying to call attention to how much better you can build a speaker with nothing but a ball of twine and a six pack of Pabst, for a fraction of what the big firms charge, know that I'm not addressing one-man garage shop operations, but rather companies who have WAY more overhead and therefore look to place their product in the larger market.

Samsung UN55F8000
Pioneer Elite SC-65
Bowers and Wilkins 683
Bowers and Wilkins HTM-61
Definitive Tech XTR-20BP
Definitive Tech Supercube 2
8TB Iomega Media Server
adrummingdude is offline  
post #28 of 238 Old 03-08-2013, 01:38 PM
Senior Member
 
VicTorious1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 231
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

A friend of mine did call and talk to Eric on the Phone and asked for speaker measurements. Eric told him that they did not believe in providing speaker measurements!

Of course, my friend did not buy any Tekton speakers.

Do they have something to hide, I wonder? Do their measurements suck? Does it look like Bose's +/-12dB frequency response? Millions of people love the sound of Bose too. eek.gif

You would think that they already have measurements of their own speakers. I mean do they measure and test their own speakers or do they just put some parts together, listen, and that's it? eek.gif

What do they have to hide ? Especially if their measurements look as good as Ascend, Salk, Philharmonic, Revel, KEF, PSB, Paradigm, etc.

Refusing to provide speaker measurements to potential buyers? That just sucks.

Well my Phil 2s are shipping today and I also have a pair of Tekton M-Lores hopefully coming for another room. I plan to compare them and possibly take some measurements if I actually decide to buy this OmniMic. I've heard the Phils, love their sound and have seen their measurements, so I'm under no illusions that the M-Lores will compare, but I still wanted to hear them if Tekton ever actually delivers them.
VicTorious1 is offline  
post #29 of 238 Old 03-25-2013, 10:43 PM
Newbie
 
MagProSpencer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: West Palm Beach, FL
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by adrummingdude View Post

Hi all!

Long time lurker, first time poster. I figured I should give something back since I have gleaned so much great info from this board in the past. Below is a review (which I have also posted to best buy's website) of the Bowers and Wilkins 683, which I have owned for a few weeks now. Your mileage may vary. Enjoy!



Having worked with and owned some very revealing studio monitors from the likes of Adam, KRK, JBL and Yamaha in the past, I was in the mood for a more hi-fi, less fatiguing speaker for a 2.1 music and movie setup.

My wife and I went to a Best Buy Magnolia showroom and proceeded to audition every high end speaker present. Her and I agreed that the 683 was the most awe inspiring, lifelike, deepest sounstage speaker in the room, and by a huge margin at that! The fact that it costs a fraction of what some of the other speakers did (like those gimmicky electrostats) was just a bonus. So, we purchased them (had to drive to another Best Buy which had them in stock), along with a Pioneer Elite SC-65 reciever like the one used in the demo. When we arrived to the second location, there were also a pair of B&W CM9's set up which the Concord store did not have. Just to see what the $3000 per pair B&W speakers could do, we A/B'd them against the $1500 per pair 683. Do the CM9's sound better?...yes...much better?...yes, especially down low where they are more controlled...TWICE as better, as the price would suggest?...nope, not by a long shot, the 683 is the smart money as it is 85% of the CM9.

After living with these monsters for a few weeks, there are joys and gripes.

The Good: The midrange driver. I would pay much more than the 683 for a speaker which reproduces vocals this clearly and smoothly. It really is astounding and you won't want to stop listening! The artist is in your room, right behind the speaker.

The Good: A VERY revealing tweeter which also, somehow, isn't fatiguing to listen to over long stretches. Details in Movies come to life. Raindrops, door locks, burning fuses...Nice. A word of caution though, these tweeters WILL reveal bad mixes, autotune artifacts, and nasty clippy square waves.

The Bad: Be porepared to spend some coin to drive these monsters. The Pioneer SC-65 is no lightweight, with ~150 watts per channel at the ~6 ohms these speakers are typically operating at (NOMINAL is 8 ohms, but the manual clearly states that they can dip to 3 ohms based on content#. Im left, after a couple weeks, longing for a 200+ watt per channel amp which is also 4 ohm stable = $$$$ Dont get me wrong, the speakers sound great, but I know from experience that a stronger amp would tighten up the imaging.

The Bad: The low end on these things is tricky to say the least. Do you need a sub?...I dont know, what kind of amp are you running? Thankfully, B&W in their tea and crumpet filled wisdom has included a set of foam bungs to help control the boominess of the bottom end #my only REAL gripe of the speaker#. They work best in my room with the bungs half in the port. I need more power.

The Bad: Make sure you have the space to let these babies breathe. My bass issue is likely at least partially related to these speakers being massive already, and then with the supplied #and required, if the manual is to be believed) plinth assembly, you need a lot of room, which I lack, for correct placement. If the bookshelf version of these speakers had that SWEET midrange driver, I would have bought them instead.

Conclusion: I would buy these speakers again tomorrow if they were stolen from me today. You need some time, and likely some money to set them up optimally, but I would put the 683 head to head with anything in their price range and expect for it to come out on top. Good show, B&W.

Thanks for the review. I totally agree with your Good's, but a suggestion for you gripes. I know you said you were running a 2.1 and possibly thinking of upgraded to a 4 ohm reciever. Which is exactly the way you put it...more money. Although its a great investment, one thing you may want to consider, if you haven't already, is Bi-Amping the speakers to your reciever. It will increase the power and really how you what those speakers can do. I agree with a lot of the replies in this threat. Especially that B&W under state their specs. But those are BERY power hungry speakers. Bi-Amping would be a solid upgrade without having to dish out another investment on a reciever. If you have already done this, then that's great. Otherwise. It's a thought.
MagProSpencer is offline  
post #30 of 238 Old 03-26-2013, 05:08 AM
Senior Member
 
ProfD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Philadelphia
Posts: 468
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 18
I have had a pair of 683s for almost three weeks now.
I love them. They sound totally amazing.
That said I usually play them with my relatively puny Denon 1613 AVR,
and still most of the time I am happy with the volume at -50dB which already sounds loud.
In this 450 SqFt room -40dB sounds very loud. These speakers seem very efficient in that regard.
The pair of small speakers that I was replacing in the same room used to require an extra 10dBs or 15dBs to get to the same loudness IMO.
ProfD is offline  
Reply Speakers

Tags
Bowers Wilkins

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off