B&W 685C's

I am finally able to recoup my equipment from the closet, but the Polk 7B's were destroyed by the moisture in the shop. So the decision on what to replace them with will also mean deciding if whatever I get will work good with the equipment driving them. The closet shopping list includes:
NAD 20 preamp, 2140 amp, 4020A tuner, NAK CA5 preamp, old 420 amp, NEC T6 tuner, and a Denon DCD-910 cd player. What do you guys think about my choices here?
I don't even want to mention required placement of the speakers, it isn't good. :( Loren
If you know how these pieces sound and you like them then no one sjould argue too vigorously against your getting them. The would not be at the top of my list but I am not you and I love tubes.
I might add though that tuners are becoming obsolete with internet radio becoming the more current choice. I however have multiple analog tuners which I don't intend on giving up. Even SS ones you might look at the less expensive Sasui tuners they are reall good.
Gonna need to know more about your speaker placement options. My options for speaker placement are very limited. Mine have to sit on a shelf in an entertainment center. The limitations that you have on speaker placement is going to have an affect on what speakers will likely work for you.

For me, the 685s didn't work very well. Don't get me wrong. They are very good sounding speakers, if you can accommodate them. For me, they were lifeless in the mid range and the bass was messy, due to required placement.

I know that not many people opt for tiny speakers, but I'm running Silverline Minuets with a sub now and I've found them to be very forgiving about placement. Although optimal placement is required to make them sound their best, they always sound at least good no matter where I put them.

I'm running an older NAD C162 pre with an Aragon 2004 amp.
It sounds like I confused you maybe. I have the electronics, am looking for new speakers, and wondering what the best choice of that electronics selection would be best to use, and would the 685's even be a good choice for my situation.
The only place I'll be able to place whatever speakers we pick is along each side of the fireplace of brick, on top of the heart(??). The areas are 11"w x 39"h and the fireplace is 7.5" deep on each side and I'd like to stay narrower than the 11" by a ways. I'm sure the brick will ruin any attempt at good sound reproduction, but I'm hoping the home manager won't bury the stands and I can bring them to the front of the hearth when I want to really listen. Still a major compromise but... There are several towers that fit in there nice but I find myself wanting to use a bookshelf speaker instead, and getting something bigger seems like I'd be paying for size instead of quality of sound, except for the sound a bigger speaker CAN produce.

Music choices are pretty varied really. In no particular order, hard rock, smooth jazz, bluegrass, latin pop, all the classic rock and such I still have vinyl of, there's lots of new music I'm hearing lately I'm liking but don't know what it's classed as. A sample of listening to the feed from KRVM radio in Eugene Oregon during weekdays will reveal that.
Hmm, what did I forget? Oh, considering chasing down another Nak 420 to bridge them for more power if it's a particularly good idea.

I wasn't confused at all. What I'm trying to say is that the electronics are only a part of the system and no one can just say that the 685s are going to sound good in your system.

I owned the 685s for a little while and found that the 685s are pretty sensitive to placement to get them sounding good. The 685s also like power. I'm not sure that either of your amps are going to give you what you want, especially playing rock.

In my system, the 685s didn't like being on shelves or close to the rear walls. They much preferred being on stands at least a couple of feet from the rear wall on stands.

If I'm understanding you right, you have a surface that is at about shin height that is 7.5" deep that will accommodate a maximum height of 39" and a maximum width of 11".

If I'm reading you right, I think you have two problems. The first is that your speakers are going to be at about knee height without stands, which leads me to the second problem. I don't think that stands are going to fit onto a shelf that is 7" deep. I don't think that that there are many speakers that will accommodate a 7.5" depth, physically. Even if you were to be able to sit speakers there, you aren't going to get much more than sound coming out of them.

Really, I've heard some fairly expensive speakers that sounded spectacular at the audio shop that just plain sounded like cr@p when I tried to put them on shelves.

As for the 685s, they like to be on stands out away from the rear wall. Their sound quality can range from excellent to horrible, depending on placement. The 685s also aren't the most efficient speakers. They like power. According to B&W's website, they have a nominal impedance of 8 ohms, but are also listed as going down to a minimum of 3.7 ohms. They are also over a foot deep, not counting the wiring.

Keep in mind that I've never had either one of these amps, but based on the specs, I'll take a guess and say that the combo won't be ideal. I don't think that either amp will have the muscle to really bring to bottom end under control.

If you have to put the speakers on a 7.5" deep shelf (essentially), perhaps you should look into some speakers designed to be hung from a wall. One brand that comes immediately to mind is System Audio.

I'd also suggest that you try to add a good sub woofer to the budget.
Sorry Tony, that confusing statement was to Mechans.

The hearth extends out from the wall, and 11" left and right of the fireplace itself. This is where the speakers stands will rest. The fireplace itself extends out 7.5" from the wall, up to 39" above the hearth, where the mantle extends over and above where the speakers will be, hence the 39" headroom figure. If using a 12" deep speakers the front baffles will be some 6-8" ahead of the face of the fireplace, do to the 12" speaker + some room behind, - the 7.5 deep fireplace.

I know getting these would be a big compromise with some music situations, but am willing to loose out on louder rock and such in order to get a better sound otherwise. I'm planning on being able to move the speakers off the hearth and to the carpet every once in a while to sooth my itch.
The room is 18' x 20', and yes, have already figured on working towards a sub. The wife liked that idea also.
I'll make the stands, if the stands I made for the Polks aren't good for the job. Figure on making them just a bit high for when they're on the hearth, so when they're on the carpet they may be just a touch low.
I'm definitely not stuck on 685's as if there's something else that comes along we may go that way. We both want a modern look, sized to fit and aren't too gutsy about trying brands we haven't heard of. Larger, classic styled boxes are pretty much out, good sound or not.
Doggitter, you may be able to devise a stand to accommodate your needs, but at 6-8" of over hang, your going to have more than half (the heavier half)of the speaker hanging off.

Look, I'm not trying to ruffle any feathers here and I can only speak from my own experience, but my room is a tad bit bigger than yours. I don't even have a fireplace to work with. I have an entertainment center and my limitations are that my speakers can't be more than 13" tall and they have to sit in enclosed shelves of about 2' wide and 18" deep. I feel your pain.

Now back to not ruffling feathers. Don't get me wrong. The 685s are nice speakers and can sound very good; however, they are more of a speaker that need to be accommodated rather than being accommodating. If you can't set them up at least close to right, they can get bright and the mid range can leave a lot to be desired. The sound stage can have you tearing your hair out looking for a compromise that you can live with. I just don't think that they are good speakers for a guy that has space limitations.

Just based on my experience over the last few years and trying a bunch of different speakers, I'd look for something with a nice silk dome tweeter that isn't sensitive to placement.

During your research reading reviews and such, pay attention when the reviewer goes over what he had to do to get the speakers sounding good. Also pay attention to the quality of the music shifting at different heights (sounding different when you're standing up as opposed to sitting down) and pay attention to the amplification used. Some speakers need a powerful amp to sound good.

Since you can get speakers up to 39 or so inches tall, I really can't make any recommendations. All of my experience recently has been with really small speakers.

Good luck.
I kinda thought nobody would be able to really help me, thanks for trying anyway.

The hearth, or base, of the fireplace that they'll be sitting on is 26" deep, front to back. So the area for them to sit on is 11"w x 26"d. Lots of room for the speakers to sit on. The vertical sides of the fireplace come out 7" from the wall, is what I meant.
I'm real bad at describing things sometimes.
I still stand by a lot of what I said. Still, you are looking for speakers that are going to sound good where you need them to be.

The upside is that if you have a Best Buy with a Magnolia in it, you can get the 685s and try them. If you don't like them, you can return them.
Been thinking the same thing, on credit card.
But then again, I see good discussion about the chorus 706. seem to be more efficient, good price, no near dealer to listen to them tho. If I already had a bigger amp I may still be focused on the 685's but taking your comments about being tougher to drive has me wondering.
Well, getting into an amp with more power and good performance isn't that hard. I feel that buying an older amp is one way to get a good deal on a piece of equipment.

I've seen Aragon 2004, ATI1502 and even a Son of Ampzilla go for under $400 and in many cases closer to $300.

You might want to take a look at the Tekton mLore. Lots of buzz about those right now.
Ok, question for anyone interested. I noticed in this thread, http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?cspkr&1344042165&openflup&27&4#27 that none of the speakers I've mentioned are in there. Am I missing something big, stuck in the mud, or are those speakers way above what my target system is? Should I really open my views up to all these, none of which I've even heard of?