B&W 685 or MA RS1

admin_exported

New member
Aug 10, 2019
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HI Guys,

great reviews on both speakers, but wondering which would sit better with my choice of music (Jazz, blues, funk), and fill my room (28M sq).
 
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Anonymous

Guest
You should also think about Rega R1, maybe go and try all three and see what you think? They all have their own merits.

That's a fairly big room though, do floorstanders not appeal?ÿ
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Not quite sure where I can audition the Rega R1. I do have a sevenoaks close by and they do both B&W and MA, I have heard both, and they sound ok. the MA's were easier to drive, saying that I have an absolute budget of £350 max. I have had Floorstanders before, and I think they might be suited for the size of my room, but I have also heard that decent stand mounts can do the job as well. I will struggle to get good floorstanders @ that price.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Standmounter's are the obvious choice then.

Back to the original question I would go for the 685's or the R1's. These three speakers are all good at playing your choice of music, what is the rest of your system?
 

d_a_n1979

New member
Sep 6, 2007
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To be honest, with your taste in music and the soze of your room; i'd go for the B&W's any time.

The RS1's are good but the B&W's have a better overall soundstage and will also be better at louder volumes.

What amp and CDP will you be matching with the speakers? Also; have you got any speakers stands as of yet?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I am gradually replacing my whole starting with my speakers, as the ones I have now are blown. I have both Yamaha CDx386 and AX486 amp, both about 5yrs old and due for a change.

I did hear the MA's with the Yamaha's and they sounded ok, the B&W's I heard with the Maranatz cd6002 and amp as well. Sounded a bit laboured and sluggish, got better response from the EPOS m12.2 and great sound, but far beyond my reach for now.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Well to start with I would make sure you're using the same amp before you go comparing speakers...
 

d_a_n1979

New member
Sep 6, 2007
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For your taste in music i dont think that Maranzt would be a good choice full stop. Nor the Yahama set-up.

Ive found in my time that Japanese separates dont pair well with B&W speakers.

IMO i think you could do well with possibly looking at the NAD C352 integrated amp and NAD C542 CDP combo on superfi.co.uk

Both will offer you a definite upgrade in sound quality and a much improved soundtage over the Yahama's and Marantz.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I will try them out, besides the NAD's whats else can I consider?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Between the two, the B&W 685's would be my choice as a more 'complete' speaker across all genre of music. Make sure you have them on decent stands to optimise performance.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I was hoping to use the soundstyle Z2, anything else would push the price to floorstander entry level BR5, BR6 or RS6, and that is way beyond my budget
 

d_a_n1979

New member
Sep 6, 2007
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I'd still take a look for some decent Atacama SE24's or SE20's on eBay. You'll get them for less than the SoundStyle stands and again, IMO, they sound better with the B&W 685's.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
d_a_n1979:I'd still take a look for some decent Atacama SE24's or SE20's on eBay. You'll get them for less than the SoundStyle stands and again, IMO, they sound better with the B&W 685's.

d_a_n1979, this is in no way at supposed to be offensive in any way, shape or form and if you could hear my voice you would hear the sincerity, but why if you dream of B&W Nautilus did you go for the RS6's?

ÿ
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Octopo:

Never heard the B&W Nautilus, but the RS6 are pretty good speakers, just way beyond me right now
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Sorry jazzmaster, I was actually asking d_a_n_1979 about his signature.
 

d_a_n1979

New member
Sep 6, 2007
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Octopo:
d_a_n1979:I'd still take a look for some decent Atacama SE24's or SE20's on eBay. You'll get them for less than the SoundStyle stands and again, IMO, they sound better with the B&W 685's.

d_a_n1979, this is in no way at supposed to be offensive in any way, shape or form and if you could hear my voice you would hear the sincerity, but why if you dream of B&W Nautilus did you go for the RS6's?

ÿ

A member of my family has the B&W 802D's along with a barrage of amplifiers and monoblocks and they sound superb.

I've heard a number of the B&W Nautilus range and when i can afford them; i will be buying.

At this time the RS6's sit in my hifi room and in my living room i have the B*W XT surround sound speakers set-up along with an Onk. AV amp and B&W PV1 subwoofer :)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Sometimes is pays to do a secodn audition.

I got a full hour with Sevenoaks audio yesterday to audition both speakers. These were both hooked up to the Marantz cd6002 combo.

I loved the gentle crips nature of the RS1, they were very detailed, but slightly light on Bass. Ran through a selection of 5 of my choice cds from Smooth Jazz, Gospel, and finally closing on light funk. I was impressed but not blown away.

Then came the B&W. I was initially a bit apprehensive, cos I had tried these out 3 months ago, with same kit and they did not make an impression, besides @ the time I thought they sounded sluggish. Anyway right from the start, you could tell that these babys were going to sing, and I was not dissapointed. They were extremely clear, bold and just damn fantastic. The detail was just unbelieveable. It looked like both speakers were in totally different class.

Well I have decided that these will do, and contrary to what some people think about the Marantz B&W pairing, I hardly found a flaw. They drove the speakers very well.

Now the challenge is how to get the speakers, decent stands and maybe some cables for about £450.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
jazzmaster:

Now the challenge is how to get the speakers, decent stands and maybe some cables for about £450.

What about where you did the auditioning?
 

fatboyslimfast

Well-known member
Jan 10, 2008
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18,590
I would agree - get the speakers and cabling from where you auditioned them (they did help you arrive at the decision after all) and then if budget is tight, get a pair of stands off ebay.

If you keep looking you will find some close to home to save postage.

FWIW, I auditioned the RS1s, and found the same bass-light issue as you, but the dealer where I was auditioning had a pair of ex-dem RS6s for £450, which was a bit of a deal-clincher as it had all the clarity of the RS1s but with the extra bass weight and punch I preferred.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
The guy did mention that he would do me a deal when I asked for a discount. So I will see what he says when I turn up with £450. However he was of the opinion that the speakers would sound better on partington super dreadnoughts, but I know that would push the price up. Though the stands I used were pretty ok, by soundstyle, but not the z2.

Well true, I did point out that if the price hit £500, I might just go for ex-demo floorstanders (RS6)
 

professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
991
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18,895
Yup, definitely support your local dealer even if he is a bit more expensive. He'll be there when you need more advice and if you don't, he may well not be there next time you want to listen to something...
 

Cypher

New member
Jun 8, 2007
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Sometimes I feel I missed something. I had the B&W 685 at home, paired with a Rotel RA-04 and Marantz CD6002. I found them sluggish and the sound wasn't tight enough. Boring sound I thought.

But I read so many postive things about the 685, I feel there's something I missed with these speakers. Maybe the RA-04 isn't a good partner for the 685 ?

I now have the Dynaudio X12......they are amazing. I feel like I'm listening to music again instead of a hifi system if you know what I mean.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Cypher,

I felt the same way when I heard the B&W685 hooked up to the Marantz PM6002 and CD6002. They sounded sluggish, and it took the EPOs M12.2 to relight the fire.

I heard same setup again yesterday and they were amazing. I did point this out to the dealer, and he said you get the best out of the speakers when the amp is warm, but also it might have been the room. However this time it did not sound sluggish and the presence was there. the only difference I can see is the Rotel, however I have heard people say they are good together, but might be wrong.
 

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