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Monitor Audio RX6 or RS6 vs B&W 683

sarge_in

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Hello all,

I am looking to upgrade my fronts and center, I have boiled my choices down to the MA RX6 and B&W 683. Was able to listen to the older RS6 as well as the 683 (i live in US). Initial reaction - the 683 was terrific. Felt the music envelop me in a lovely soothing way along with great separation and the highs were mellow and non-fatiguing. Some of it may have to do with the fact that this store had higher-end electronics driving it.

The RS6 were very clear and sounded great too, but a tad bright. I also got the feeling that separation was not as good, and it made the sound as if all coming from the center, whereas the 683 was able to separate instruments better while still maintaining the center-location for vocals. However, the RS6 had somewhat more 'regular' electronics, so I am not sure what to attribute the difference to (including different store layouts).

Am therefore looking for suggestions between these - the RX6 and 683. I have heard the RX6 is better than RS6 with technology from the Gold line, and it is mellower as well. I also much prefer the way RX6 look, and they are about $400 cheaper too than the 683. But just can't get over how sweet the 683 sounded. But if the RX6 are close to the 683, I would rather take that for better looks as well as the savings.
 
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vinod_david

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Hi:

In the fight between B&W and MA, I guess, the winner is going to be the former, IMO. And, your case is no different from that.

Having said that, you seem to like the sound of the 683 so much, and I guess that seals everything - follow your heart.

So, what electronics were driving both speakers ?, coz as you'll know the RS6don't like brighter ones driving them. And, yes, the new RX6 is a tad softer in the treble and overall presentation is a step-up from the older one, and they are easy on the matching electronics too, so an audition sooner will solve everything.

:)
 

vinod_david

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OP:

What other speakers have you auditioned before coming to these, any Quads ?

:)
 

sarge_in

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Thanks Vinod!
The RS6 I actually got home for a week and running it with an Onkyo TX-SR707 and PS3. I cant remember the receiver driving the 783, the CDP was a Pioneer blu-ray player, and better cables as well.
The few things holding me back from the 683 are 1) I am not sure how the mellow 683 will work for movies and HT (I will perhaps be using it for about 70% movies and 30% music), and 2) the RX6 and RS6 trounce the 683 in looks. The RX6 has a real wood veneer and sweet looks while the 683 is vinyl and a solid black ugly box. If I am spending close to $2000 for these speakers, they should look good too, right?! ;) and 3) the 683 is $400 more (this is not as important though). But if I need the looks as well with B&W, I have to step up to the CM7 which are even more expensive. 4) The B&W center is quite deep and would be difficult to fit in the space I have.

As for other speakers, I got the Polk RTi A7 home as well (which are surely going back), and they have better separation and a larger soundstage than RS6, but are even brighter and somewhat hollow-sounding esp on the vocals (it might improve with break-in as they are new but the reviews indicate there may not be a huge difference). They work fine for movies, but music is a no-go on them - RS6 is much better for music and great for HT too.

I did listen to the Quad 22L2 where I heard the 683, and IMO the 683 was much better. Also listened to Paradigm and it was decent but I kept going back to the 683 and RX6.
 

vinod_david

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Hi:

I think you've done your homework enough.

IMO, since the speakers are going to do the duty for MOVIES most of the time, I would like the the RS6 to be the strong favorite in the race, remember, they're excellent for movies, and oh, they would be a lot cheaper too!

If music dominates movies, then the RX6, no contest.

:)
 

malvai

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I agree with Vinod David...
Whe I auditioned the B&W- 683, 684, CM7, MA - RS 6, RX6, RS 8 Rx8, Dali Ikon 7 and Quad 22L, I found that the MA's and the Quad's to be super for the music... I finally bought the MA RS 8.

I feel that B&W is a overpriced. The 683 and 684 in particular have a very boxy sound as well...

The MA's, Dali and Quad's are very musical.

If at all you're keen on the B&W's, avoid the 683 (in fact the entire series). Go for the series that is one above - CM I think.

I think that B&W rarely makes a mistake the current 6** series is one of their rare mistakes!
 

malvai

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@audio_engr: bro how is the B&W 802 matrix series 1?

And what should be a good price to pay for them?
 

sarge_in

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Hi:

I think you've done your homework enough.

IMO, since the speakers are going to do the duty for MOVIES most of the time, I would like the the RS6 to be the strong favorite in the race, remember, they're excellent for movies, and oh, they would be a lot cheaper too!

If music dominates movies, then the RX6, no contest.

:)
You said - Movies: RS6 and Music: RX6. You sure you didnt mean 683 for music?
 

vinod_david

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Hi:

> Yes, RS6 for HT setup is unbeatable, since your taste is 70% movies, why not get it, could be costeffective. The reason am saying is, the treble in RS6 is a little prominent, and movies needs them.

> The new RX6 is also excellent for HT, but since the treble being less prominent now, would workout well for music, and they're easy on partnering too. Could shake hands beautifully with Naim, Rotel, etc.

> I haven't heard the 683, so can't comment.

:)
 

sarge_in

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Vinod & Malvai:

How do you like your RS6 / RS8? Do you find the separation very good? By the amount of praise RS6/RX6 get, I am starting to think the demo RS6 piece I got for audition is at fault rather than the whole line, as its separation is worse than the Polk RTi A7. I find it hard to believe that speakers can get such good reviews if they get muddy like this. None of the other dealers here have the MAs available for audition.

Malvai - Did you find the RS8 boomy as compared to RS6, as many have claimed? Does it have a larger soundstage than RS6?

I will have to watch out for boxiness with 683 next time I go. Also need to decide if I am willing to stretch my budget for the CM7, as 683 is too ugly.
 

vinod_david

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Sarge:

With my amp and cdp (look at signature), the RS6 sings really well, with loads of bass, excellent separation of instruments, layered music, soundstage.. everything I want from a budget setup. I stronly feel that your amp and source are the culprit here for your dislike of RS6 - muddy is the least word you can stamp on them.

Having said that, if you're going to keep your electronics for a long time, then you have to forget RS6, and go with 683 which you and your electronics liked the most. Sarge, it's you that's going to live with it.

:)
 

malvai

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hey sarge_in :

683 is approx $1,500 pair; CM-7 is approx $2,000 pair

In the CES-2010, B&W showed their 804 Diamond & 805 Diamond to the public so the current rage for some B&W 804/805 owners is to dump their units & hit the Diamond version of the same.

If I were you, and since you don't run around buying speakers now & then, and as you are willing to stretch for the CM-7, I'd try & hunt around for a USED pair of 804S which should be $2,300 keeping in mind that it was $4,500 new and the now 804 Diamond is $7,500. They normally go for around 50% of their US List so we are looking at $2,300 mark.

I can blindly vouch that the 804S will overtake all your present dreams & aspirations for a speaker that you wish to have. So, think about this idea, and take the decision. If I were you, I'd swing this direction! 804S is in a different class altogether. And their build quality is outstanding.
COOL! Know of anyone selling these in India???
 

doors666

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If the 683 is 400$ more expensive than RS6, then how come it sells for less than RS6 in India. Is Monitor Audio a more overpriced brand than B&W here in india?
 

malvai

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If the 683 is 400$ more expensive than RS6, then how come it sells for less than RS6 in India. Is Monitor Audio a more overpriced brand than B&W here in india?
Whoa there! The 683 is about 40-50k more than the RX6!
 

sarge_in

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@Vinod

The 683 was not on my electronics, it was in the store. And I went back there and it was running in an acoustically treated room off of Rotel 1570 (i think) pre/pro (~$2200) and Rotel 7-channel amp (~$2800) and cables that were close to $200 per meter. No surprise it sounded so nice! So it was not a fair comparison, and it is not possible for me to do an A/B with these. Did listen to the CM-7 and CM-9 as well - both sounded very nice too and have much better looks too than the 683.

@audio_engr

Sound advice indeed ;) I started off from $1000 for RX6 and am now considering spending $2300! But I got an idea of what you mean when I listened to the 804 Diamond at a dealer today. Hands down the best I have heard so far - pristine, clear, full and natural sound, and speakers that totally disappeared even as i stared at them; and looks that make me forget about how they sound in the first place! If the 804S are anywhere close to that, would be one sweet speaker! The problem of course is that I didn't see any 804S available currently in regular outlets. I did find a NEW CM-9 for $2300, which is a very good deal considering it would be about $3000 from a dealer even after some discounts and then adding tax.

So the options now are - a) Wait for used 804S to come on sale b) Get the new CM-9 or c) go back to RX6 (RS6 is not an option as it is not available anymore, and the one online place where it is has in color that wont work for me). a) and b) would land me in the $3000 range after I add a matching center, while c) I can get for $1630 including matching center and tax.

Btw, how are the centers for CM or 804? Will these work well for regular tv and movies, or would be somewhat warm for that?
 

sarge_in

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Yes, I checked Audiogon and ebay. The CM9 for $2300 I mentioned are available at Audiogon.
Btw how much are the 's' better; whats the difference? Are the 703 any good? There are a couple of these at audiogon.
 
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