Bowers & Wilkins Unveils Exciting New Loudspeaker Range

"700 Series" Extends Nautilus Technologies & 800-Family Advantages to Affordable New Line

N. Reading, MA -September 3, 2003 -With its most important introduction since the Nautilus 800 Series in 1998, B&W Loudspeakers, the British maker occupying the leading position in loudspeakers for home audio and home theater systems, has unveiled an exciting new line, the 700 Series. The new family stretches across five models including both surround - and center -channel designs, with the addition as well of two new active subwoofers (see accompanying release), all of which incorporate important technology developments refined from the rich vein of Bowers & Wilkin's world -standard Nautilus 800 Series speakers.

"B&W has always endeavored to provide as much of our latest and most advanced engineering as possible at accessible price points," says B&W Loudspeakers Executive Vice President Chris Browder, "It's really a defining element of who we are and what we do. This means that, periodically, a new range will emerge at this "value/performance" intersection, offering our customers the "most of our best" at the fairest cost we can manage." Browder continues, "But the new 700 Series is much more than just an incremental technology update. These five new models honestly redefine the overall level of loudspeaker performance that rational audio consumers can demand, a feat we are very proud of."

The new B&W lineup ranges from the floor standing 703 and 704 and stand -mount 705 pairs, through the HTM7 center -channel model and the adaptable DS7 dipole/monopole surround speakers. The result is a variety of loudspeaker models that can be combined in numerous ways to satisfy a wide range of system needs (and budgets), while retaining the same high standard of reproduction quality. Any 700 -Series configuration from stereo to 7.1 -channels will perform at consistently high levels.

700 Series Tech
Each of the 700 Series fresh designs springs from a handful of key B&W technology refinements, largely derived from the firm's world -famous Nautilus loudspeakers. The new range features B&W's unique, shaped cabinet expertise with a one -piece, multi -ply, sloping top and baffle -a technique taken directly from the Nautilus series -that contributes unprecedented freedom from both vibration and internal acoustic reflections. The 700s' tapered sides smooth any remaining internal resonances (and coincidentally raise their visual elegance considerably).

The five new models retain the famous B&W FlowPort™ dimpled, computer -shaped enclosure vent, which eliminates turbulence for cleaner, "faster" bass.

The 700 Series drivers incorporate numerous advances to meet B&W's Balanced Drive concept, derived from the latest findings of advanced, laser -enabled distortion analysis at B&W's Steyning Research Center. Balanced Drive mandates the most linear possible transducer movement both electro -magentically and physically, over the widest possible dynamic range, reducing several seldom -recognized dynamic distortions for audible gains in "detail retrieval" and dynamic integrity.

An all -new 6.5 -inch bass -midrange unit is employed with variations across the new series. This continues the B&W hallmark woven -Kevlar™ diaphragm material for its peerless resistance to higher -amplitude breakup distortions, but benefits as well from important Balanced Drive refinements. A copper sheath and aluminum "cap" at the magnet pole -piece together yield uncommon linearity of inductance over the full (and very extended) range of the transducer's excursion. Along with a revised bullet dust -cap arrangement, this yields important reductions of both linear and non -linear distortions for significant audible gains in detail, quickness, dynamic linearity, and high -output integrity. (In other words, the 700s sound as pure loud as soft -just like real life!)

The 703/704's 6.5 -inch Kevlar bass unit also employs the Balanced Drive motor concept, and adds B&W's unique "mushroom" construction with ring -girder design to enhance the stiffness of what was already among the strongest/lightest drivers yet devised, for even greater bass slam and dynamic accuracy. The family's sole three -way design (the 703) gets an improved version of B&W's fixed -suspension FST midrange, a candidly low -distortion, transient -capable transducer with unexcelled detail and texture, using a redesigned surround and fixed center "bullet."

At the high frequencies, the entire 700 Series share one of the world's most advanced tweeters, B&W's Nautilus -inspired 1 -inch alloy dome. In the new lineup this highly evolved transducer features a flexible tapered -tube loading "enclosure" that absorbs rearward energy for Nautilus -like clarity and definition even at very high outputs, in a version that permits mounting in the 700s' more compact designs. And throughout the front -stage models, this tweeter is mounted in a separate "pod" housing whose smaller baffle area and time -alignments promotes "airy," " boxless" sound and consistently better integrated spatial imaging.

The 700 tweeter also incorporates its own Balanced Drive pole -piece copper sheath arrangement, yielding dramatically more linear inductance, and a redesigned coil -to -dome union for reduced mass with greater strength; together these extend accurate, linear response right to 50 kHz, ready for the full potential of the newest, high -resolution audio recordings and their still -evolving playback components.

For the 700 crossovers, B&W has followed its long -standing practice of combining rigorous engineering with extensive, controlled listening in selecting the best, and most appropriate components for these critical circuits. The 700 Series employs custom, air -core inductors throughout for minimized distortion, and careful circuit topology and physical layout to optimize signal transfer between amplifier and drivers.

These technologies come together in concrete, demonstrable advantages. Of course, the 700 Series are accurate and musical, with the natural octave -to -octave balance necessary for realistic reproduction. But the improvements in "removing the cabinet" from the playback, and in the 700 drivers' gains in performance (especially in reducing non -linear distortions), yields more. Bass response is full and impressive, but never excessive, with dramatic quickness and "slam," elements that too often elsewhere distinguish the reproduced from the acoustical event.

Dynamic integrity -at both ends of the scale -is obviously improved, for both impact and "detail retrieval" that permit the 700s to reproduce even complex, large -scale music with astonishing truth. And the extension of accurate, unrestricted treble to 50 kHz yields clear gains in "air," and naturalness of timbre, by fully delivering a principal advantage of new high -resolution audio formats: eliminating the liability of in -band filter artifacts.

The net result is of acoustic purity and musical integrity never before available at the 700 Series' attractive price levels.

Meet the Family
The B&W 700 Series begins with the model 705, a 6.5 -inch two -way optimized for stand -mount placement (B&W's FS -700 stands are the intended support). The HTM7 is essentially the same speaker with the same performance, re -engineered for center -channel use with a low -profile cabinet and spatial response optimized for center -channel use.

The floor -standing model 704 adds a second 6.5 -inch driver, a bass unit covering only lower frequencies in a "two -and -a -half -way" configuration. The model 703 adds an additional, dedicated 6 -inch FST™ "surroundless" midrange evolved from the Nautilus 800 Series, and employs dual -6.5 -inch bass units together to produce more extended bass with greater ultimate output potential.

The remaining 700 Series member is the DS7, a unique, dedicated surround -channel speaker, a configurable design optimized for on -wall or shelf/bracket placement. The DS7's shallow design (just 8 inches in depth) is intended to encourage correct home -theater layout, as are its supplied on -wall mounting plates. Here, the 700 Series 6.5 -inch bass/midrange and 1 -inch tweeter are joined by dual, 4 -inch mid/high -frequency drivers on opposing surfaces: a user -accessible switch permits selection of dipole or monopole (in -phase) operation, as taste, room acoustics, or program type suggest. A second switch permits selection of the "in -phase" mid/high unit in dipole mode, while a third tailors tweeter level to the acoustic needs of the system or environment. Further, the DS7 provides a 12 -volt "trigger" which allows the programming of dipole/monopole options depending on source selection with certain processors, i.e.: Dolby Digital, DTS, SACD, etc.

Two 700 Series subwoofers, the ASW 700 and ASW 750 are discussed in an accompanying release.

Four of the five new 700 Series models are offered in a choice of five elegant, hand -rubbed real wood veneers: Black Ash, Cherry, Roseunt, Walnut, and Maple. The DS7 surround speakers are available in matte black or white. The 700s are available immediately, at manufacturer's suggested pricing as follows:

Model 705 $1500/pr.
Model 704 $2200/pr.
Model 703 $3000/pr.
Model DS7 $750 ea.
FS -700 stands $300/pr.
Model HTM7 $750 ea.

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