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B&W 602 vs 705

 

Andy Katz
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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.

Thanks,

Andy Katz

Ps: Has anyone aside from MM actually tried GMAs?
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