Originally Posted by echopraxia
If you've owned neutral speakers with excellent normalized off-axis response, and own B&W and still like the B&W, then you do not need to be ashamed to speak out! It's great that you've found what works for you.
I'm more of a "soundstage" guy rather than an "accuracy" guy when critical listening. Not that I don't appreciate accuracy, but I especially appreciate good soundstage - where the 705s2 is as good as the BMRs (now the 702s2 - not as much, it's a muddy mess). When passive listening, I don't really care.
For well recorded music I definitely love the BMR for critical listening. But when I listen to Classic Rock I wish the mid-bass could be stronger and the sizzle could be hotter. I acknowledge that I can't replicate live concert feeling with these small speakers, no matter how accurate and dispersion-blessed they are. Otherwise, I could have bought PA speakers with the loudest SPL I could get. But life is full of compromises, whether or not you're willing to negotiate.
BTW, I listen to music with the BMRs in full range for the utmost bass coherence and accuracy. But I use subwoofer with my other bookshelves to compensate.
Now all this discussion about accuracy and coherence is futile if someone use room correction. I am a "purist" when it comes to 2 channel music. I use room correction only in my HT systems. That's why I value accuracy as much as anyone else with their dedicated
2 channel speakers.
I once measured the LSiMs on my HT system and was impressed at what Audyssey XT32 could do (see attached FR graphs). The same speaker was a bloody mess when measured on the same spot directly driven by my humble integrated amp (HINT), bypassing the room correction from the Denon. (The LSiMs are not the speakers the OP asked about, but I just wanted to make a point.) Bottom line, one can achieve accuracy with proper room correction. When choosing speakers for HT duty, one can be liberal with his selection criteria.
Disclaimer: The FR graphs are room response
curves - specific to my room.
As for the OP, he is looking for bookshelves along with a matching center, implied by the thread title. So I would think he would be using room correction on his AVR, and he might listen to music (2 or 2.1 ch) in room-corrected mode. In such case, accuracy would matter, but not as much.
One other thing OP
, if you go the B&W route, the 705s2 and HTM71s2 are NOT exactly voice matched. But between the HTM71s2 and HTM72s2, the larger 3-way center is better than the smaller 2-way model despite the slight mismatch. And I give this advice from personal experience (not from theory) because I also own the HTM71s2 and I demoed the smaller HTM72s2 at the store. I don't normally give advice on this forum, as I am not an expert like the rest. But while I'm on it, I better give some which you might find useful somehow. Afterall, I already wrote a freakin story up here.