I decided to create this thread to discuss the new Bowers and Wilkins 600 Series (March 2014). I felt they weren't getting nearly enough attention on the B&W owner's thread (not all of us can afford to consider the 800 series), and that they deserved a thread of their own, especially during the first few months following their introduction, when more people were likely to demo them and offer impressions. It would be nice to collect that in a single thread. Just doing what I can to make AVSForum the place to come!
It's been seven years since the last update of the Bowers and Wilkins 600 series speaker line. In March this year (2014), B&W started shipping the latest refresh of the entire line.
At this point there are very few official reviews of the speakers, but the speakers are out there and people are taking a listen. What are your
impressions? Share them here. And please
stay away if you just want to bash B&W, there's other places for that - I'd like this thread to be informational. If you don't like them and want to say why, that's great and all, I think all impressions from those who have listened
to them seriously are welcome!
Here's a little information on the new series (a hybrid from these two news releases WhatHiFi
"The series consists of six models in total, each taking technologies from other popular B&W speakers, including double dome tweeters, originally featured in the recent CM10 tower, anti-resonance plugs for mid/bass drive units, which were first seen in the PM-1. New advancements have also been developed for the 600 Series, including new Dual Layer aluminum bass drivers and new tweeter decoupling technology.
The most important new development is the Double Dome tweeter. It's basically a sandwich of two aluminum tweeter domes, one with the middle cut out, that is supposed to move the resonances in the tweeter to higher frequencies. The tweeter's in an enclosure that's physically decoupled from the main enclosure so the other drivers' vibrations affect it less.
The next change is an anti-resonance plug in the middle of the Kevlar midrange driver, taken from the design of the PM-1 minimonitor. This plug prevents resonances from occurring inside the voice coil.
B&W has also stiffened the woofers by using new dual-layer aluminum diaphragms."
It will also have a retail price increase from what I've read. In US Dollars:
- 683 S2 floorstander: from $1500/pair (S1) to $1650/pair
- 684 S2 floorstander: from $1100/pair (S1) to $1150/pair
- HTM61 S2 center: from $650 (S1) to $750
- HTM62 S2 center: from $425 (S1) to $450
- 685 S2 bookshelf: from $650/pair (S1) to $700/pair
- 686 S2 bookshelf: $480/pair (S1) to $550/pair
I've read comments from several people who are particularly excited about the new 684 S2, as they have seen a pretty big change. They have gotten slimmer and smaller, but several report tighter more controlled bass than the last version - not quite as full, but better controlled. The 686 also is supposed to have seen strong improvements according to some things I've read.
I also very much like the look of the new center speakers, and particularly the more symmetrical design of the new HTM61 with the tweeter over the midrange. Makes me hope it will be more like the CMC2.
It would also be great to hear your comparisons to speakers in the same class/price range - Monitor Audio, KEF, Martin Logan, Paradigm, or Internet Direct brands.
So post your impressions as you get out there and get a chance to demo the new B&W 600 series speakers!