B&W 602 vs 705


Andy Katz
Unregistered guest
Hi everyone,

I'm looking to upgrade, gradually, my system from pretty good stereo to hi fi ... or at least knocking on the door.

At present I have a Yamaha AX570 hooked up to a Pioneer 578A DVD, technics tuner, Headroom Little (running Sennheiser 595s), Axiom CT-6s, JBL sub for "A" speakers & B&W 200 series "B"s (the latter mainly because I can't make up my mind which set sounds better, not really seeking surround at present).

Everything save the sub was bought used, mostly on e-bay. Whole system cost about $1000.00.

Now I want to upgrade and buy new. I thought, why not upgrade the speakers first. So I started looking at the venerable B&W 602, Paradigm Studio reference 40, and a few others in that range.

Then I thought, I don't want a garage full of pretty good used speakers. Why not buy something better than the components, but which will stand *their* future upgrade? So I started looking at the B&W 705 and even 805.

My listening room is 10' x 20'. By necessity the speakers will be set on either side of my desk, their backs to windows. Matter of fact, that's why I bought the B&W 200s, they have front-firing vents, unlike many other makers ... but I decided, for the moment, to keep the Axioms in that position and put the B&Ws on a shelf behind me.

Of course, I do expect the room to change in a few years ... we're renters who will probably relocate and buy in the next half-decade. Hence my desire for portability.

One issue with the 705/805s seems to be power requirements. Some reviews comment that it takes considerable power to open them up vs the 602. That might be a problem, even down the road. I would value the ability to display a full range at lower volumes.

Naturally I realize I have to get out and listen. Unfortunately I haven't found a vender in NYC who carries both B&W and Paradigm. In fact, many of the latter are Canal Street shops that don't even hook them up, while B&Ws tend to be demoed in ideal settings ... hence a certain bias is likely.

I wonder if readers have any opinion on the power requirements of the 705/805 vs the 602s and the 602 vs the Studio Reference 40.


Andy Katz

Ps: Has anyone aside from MM actually tried GMAs?
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