Anyone had experience auditioning both the 4.1/5.1/6.1 Swans and the newer 600/700 series B&W?
Here's my situation:
I'm trying to put together the best bang-for-the-buck 2.0, 2.1, or 3.0 system I can for around $1200 and while my listening needs might be 80/20 music/HT, I only care about how the music sounds.
I know that I like the idea of a very transparent, natural, uncolored, "dry" sound (though maybe those adjectives are not as self-similar as they seem?) - I've always use flat EQ for everything and like a tight, fast bass as opposed to a powerful, booming one (so I'm pretty set on an REL sub). I heard that this sound was something B&W excelled at and did in fact like the 685's (and 705's which are out of my price range).
Swan, on the other hand, is really appealing to that bang-for-the-buck side of me. Since there aren't as many professional reviews out there for them, how would they compare in regard to a very flat, natural sound?
I am considering:
B&W 685 ($650)
REL T3 ($600)
Swan 4.1 ($520)
REL T2 ($800)
Swan 5.1 ($720)
REL T3 ($600)
Swan 6.1 ($850)
Swan C3 ($320)
I've only included a center in option 4 because the 6.1 plus an REL would put me over budget. But eventually, I would probably want a 3.1 setup no matter what I go with now. Do I need to worry about the C3 going out of production? Are the newer centers still timbre-matched? If I break budget, would an REL T3 with a 6.1 be silly in terms of sub to speaker ratio? Is there a great musicality difference between 4.1, 5.1, & 6.1 (since I will eventually get a sub)?
Sorry, lots of questions. I want to do this right the first time!