Bowers & Wilkins Introduces Sixth Iteration of 600 Series Speakers - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 15 Old 08-20-2018, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Bowers & Wilkins Introduces Sixth Iteration of 600 Series Speakers

New from B&W is the Sixth iteration of its 600 series speakers that deliver the company's passion for high fidelity sound with speakers relatively approachable price points. This new range of speakers and subs benefits from a variety of improvements over the models they replace.

Click here to read the article: https://www.avsforum.com/bowers-wilk...ries-speakers/

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post #2 of 15 Old 08-20-2018, 07:37 PM
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These look like they could be very nice speakers, athough I wish they had atmos modules and a bigger center channel option. I also don’t like to see the price go up so much from the last generation, which went up from the generation before. When companies like Paradigm, Elac, and Emotiva have redefined what people could get at such low prices, it seems like B and W is going in the opposite direction.
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-20-2018, 07:39 PM
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Replacing the Kevlar with Continuum will be great. These will be nice speakers.

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post #4 of 15 Old 08-21-2018, 04:39 AM
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Before there was so much praise for Kevlar. Now all of a sudden, no Continuum is better. Kind of a slap in the face to existing costumers who bought into the heavy marketing, such as: Kevlar drivers delivering bags of detail, punch and precision.
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post #5 of 15 Old 08-21-2018, 05:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highd3f View Post
Before there was so much praise for Kevlar. Now all of a sudden, no Continuum is better. Kind of a slap in the face to existing costumers who bought into the heavy marketing, such as: Kevlar drivers delivering bags of detail, punch and precision.
Who cares about that? Continuum sounds way better. Technology moves forward. Are you saying a company can't ever make something better than older technology because it's "a slap in the face to existing customers"? The release of continuum based 600 series doesn't cause the kevlar speakers current owners have in their homes to explode. So presumably if they were happy before the line got updated, they should still be happy as it doesn't impact them at all. On the other hand, if they want to upgrade, there's now something that should sound better.
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post #6 of 15 Old 08-21-2018, 09:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markmon1 View Post
Who cares about that? Continuum sounds way better. Technology moves forward. Are you saying a company can't ever make something better than older technology because it's "a slap in the face to existing customers"? The release of continuum based 600 series doesn't cause the kevlar speakers current owners have in their homes to explode. So presumably if they were happy before the line got updated, they should still be happy as it doesn't impact them at all. On the other hand, if they want to upgrade, there's now something that should sound better.
I wonder how much of it is the driver material, and how much of it is improvements behind the cone to the motor, magnet, crossovers, etc.

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post #7 of 15 Old 08-21-2018, 10:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TuteTibiImperes View Post
I wonder how much of it is the driver material, and how much of it is improvements behind the cone to the motor, magnet, crossovers, etc.
I can't verify the science, but according to Bowers and Wilkins, the behavior of the driver material itself is a crucial improvement. At past press events, the company showed illustrative animations demonstrate the behavior of the cone material and its impact on sound, with the implication being that the new material is superior.

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post #8 of 15 Old 08-21-2018, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highd3f View Post
Before there was so much praise for Kevlar. Now all of a sudden, no Continuum is better. Kind of a slap in the face to existing costumers who bought into the heavy marketing, such as: Kevlar drivers delivering bags of detail, punch and precision.
Go give it a listen. I've owned CM series 1 speakers for about 5 years and recently sat down for an hour with the 703 S2 (comparable to the CM9s I own). I was expecting to hear a big difference in the midrange, but honestly didn't. Stand up bass, male vocals and bass guitars didn't really reveal huge differences. I said in the B&W owners thread that I mostly noticed slightly more nuance on the lead in/fade out of notes. The Continuum was better, but I certainly didn't find it night and day. Everyone's mileage may vary and I'm planning to give them another listen in the near future to see if I just wasn't picking up on the improvements, but I did pick out tracks I thought should highlight the midrange.

Now the carbon tweeter I thought was a noticeable step up from the CM series. The 600 series appears to be using either a variant of CM series 2 tweeter or an improved 68x tweeter. Which should be a very nice improvement over the outgoing 68x series.

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post #9 of 15 Old 08-21-2018, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by markmon1 View Post
Replacing the Kevlar with Continuum will be great. These will be nice speakers.

WTF is Continuum? Is that like Unobtanium? Seriously it sounds like the marketing department is smoking some serious stuff.
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-21-2018, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Toknow****a View Post
WTF is Continuum? Is that like Unobtanium? Seriously it sounds like the marketing department is smoking some serious stuff.
Well, for one thing it's gray instead of yellow. And I'd guess that yes, it's something that B&W has the trademark on whereas with Kevlar that was DuPont's product. To a nonscientist, it certainly resembles Kevlar aside from the color. But according to Bowers and Wilkins, it has properties that are favorable when it's used in the specific application of a midrange driver.

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post #11 of 15 Old 08-21-2018, 02:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeahrens View Post
Go give it a listen. I've owned CM series 1 speakers for about 5 years and recently sat down for an hour with the 703 S2 (comparable to the CM9s I own). I was expecting to hear a big difference in the midrange, but honestly didn't. Stand up bass, male vocals and bass guitars didn't really reveal huge differences. I said in the B&W owners thread that I mostly noticed slightly more nuance on the lead in/fade out of notes. The Continuum was better, but I certainly didn't find it night and day. Everyone's mileage may vary and I'm planning to give them another listen in the near future to see if I just wasn't picking up on the improvements, but I did pick out tracks I thought should highlight the midrange.

Now the carbon tweeter I thought was a noticeable step up from the CM series. The 600 series appears to be using either a variant of CM series 2 tweeter or an improved 68x tweeter. Which should be a very nice improvement over the outgoing 68x series.
I checked out a pair of the 703 S2's at the same time I owned CM9 S2 and honestly couldn't tell much of a difference. If anything, I thought the CM9 sounded more put together and the 703 more scooped, which accentuated the lack of transparency through the midrange, continuum or what. That's probably not what B&W was going for, but that's what it sounded like to me.

I also checked out the 802 D3 while I owned the 802 D2. In that case I think the continuum made a big difference in the openness of the mids and coherence of the mid/tweeter balance, but I'm more skeptical how much of a difference that material makes on the lines where the crossovers and cabinets aren't as sorted out.

Having said all that, my first pair of B&W speakers were 683 S1, which I always had trouble integrating to subs. The 683 S2 was a HUGE improvement to the S1 as B&W thinned out the bass quite a bit. Honestly the 683 S2 sounded frighteningly close to the CM9 while only costing half as much....great value there.

Even at $900 a pop I'm excited to see what this new range brings. 600 series speakers have always been a great value and they get better with every redesign.
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post #12 of 15 Old 08-21-2018, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adrummingdude View Post
I checked out a pair of the 703 S2's at the same time I owned CM9 S2 and honestly couldn't tell much of a difference. If anything, I thought the CM9 sounded more put together and the 703 more scooped, which accentuated the lack of transparency through the midrange, continuum or what. That's probably not what B&W was going for, but that's what it sounded like to me.

I also checked out the 802 D3 while I owned the 802 D2. In that case I think the continuum made a big difference in the openness of the mids and coherence of the mid/tweeter balance, but I'm more skeptical how much of a difference that material makes on the lines where the crossovers and cabinets aren't as sorted out.

Having said all that, my first pair of B&W speakers were 683 S1, which I always had trouble integrating to subs. The 683 S2 was a HUGE improvement to the S1 as B&W thinned out the bass quite a bit. Honestly the 683 S2 sounded frighteningly close to the CM9 while only costing half as much....great value there.

Even at $900 a pop I'm excited to see what this new range brings. 600 series speakers have always been a great value and they get better with every redesign.
I purchased a S1 682 center channel awhile ago- each time I've upgraded the main system the other items moved into the bedroom, and now will be moving into the study. Similar to B&W trickle down technology my S1 center is now going into the study where I'll love the heck out of it. As for the main room- eh... I've cooled on going all B&W since I first bought the S1. I think for the price there are a lot more interesting choices. Not that they make bad speakers but for my personal ROI I think a couple other Brit manufactures make a better cost to value ratio based on sales/ re-certified outlets/ etc. I'll pass on these.
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post #13 of 15 Old 08-22-2018, 11:31 AM
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These look like a great refresh. Cosmetics look much improved, and the 600 series will benefit from the additional midrange smoothness and articulation afforded by the Continuum drivers. Would have been nice to see a larger/3-way center, and the simple refinishing of the old 600 series subs comes across as a bit lazy.

I recently picked up a pair of 706 S2 for a secondary setup and am quite happy with them. The last pair of B&Ws I owned were the 685 S1 (along with the large S1 center). I really liked those speakers but often found the tweeter zingy and a bit fatiguing. Don't experience that all with these new (albeit much spendier) 700s. I'd agree with @adrummingdude that the 800 D3 series seems to have the cabinets/crossovers optimized to take full advantage of the new driver material, but I still find the improvement trickles down to the lower lines. I have a friend with the CM6 S2 and I prefer the overall presentation of my 706s.
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post #14 of 15 Old 11-27-2018, 02:40 PM
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I just ordered a new pair of the 603's on Black Friday. Should be here sometime this week. I also ordered and already installed a pair of CCM684's in the ceiling for Atmos. Wow, what a difference that made. I had two Elac A4's for Atmos to bounce off the ceiling. Such a massive difference now in the height effects.
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post #15 of 15 Old 12-31-2018, 03:29 PM
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Yes, the sixth generation seems to have a lot of improvements. Anyone else feel like B&W has finally pushed the 600 series prices into a realm where there are so many other alternative (and probably superior) options? Also, reviews seem to indicate that both the 600 and 700 series tend to be harsh in the upper frequencies (at higher volumes). Wondering if that is actually the case or if perhaps B&W has targeted a more neutral speaker.

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