B & W fans

For those familiar with and love B & W products - this question is for you.
To be honest I am quite unfamiliar with the B & W line. We have just re-entered the B & W market here in Winnipeg. After a few years without the line a local shop has taken on the brand.

For a secondary system I was going to purchase the new Denon DRAN5 Network Music receiver and a pair of Monitor Audio Bronze BX2's.

Then I saw the new A7 by B & W - it's got a 6 inch sub, 2 mids and 2 Nautilus™ tube aluminium tweeters. Plus it has a built in DAC. But it is a self contained unit.

Their (B & W) Zeppelin Air has a good rep and has received very good reviews.

The price point between these 2 systems is comparable.

My question is - can a self contained unit like this actually sound as good or better than a separate receiver and speakers? Can it truthfully offer the same depth and breadth of sound?

Any thoughts?? Your advice is appreciated.

Good listening!
I haven't listened to any of the gear you list, but i do have recent experience with both the b&w 685 and the monitor audio bx5. I can say that the mid range sound is very different when comparing the two. I had the 685s in my system first, then went to the Bx5s, and the mids sounded...thinner to me. Some would simply call this more neutral, but after upgrading to a pair of quads, i think I enjoyed the B&w speakers more, in retrospect.
Whether or not the DRAN 5 can drive the bx2s, whether or not the all-in-one design of the b&w is adequate, you will be faced with the same difference in mid range sonic character between the two brands. I personally found the more warm presentation of b&w easier to listen to,more enjoyable. I also think that two monitor speakers are a better bet than an all-in-one design, it is more versatile, you can swap sepakers out, try different cabels, even swap out the dran 5 if you want.
I am a B&W buff all the way. i live in a remote town and had not even seen B&W 8 series until u bought a pair without even looking at them. they never cease to impress. I am a big fan of the 60 series speakers. they're pretty damn good and there is a lot of them second hand out there.
When I relocated to Tokyo last Jan, I was looking for a system that's small enough for an apartment here. After reading all the reviews, I bought a used pair of 685 and a Wadia 151 powerdac to drive it. To my surprise, the 685 is very very good for the money. The low end bass is very respectable given the fact that they were driven by a tiny Wadia dac with 25w/ch. I highly recommend the 685.

I haven't heard the ones you mentioned, nut I have the 685's and think they are one of the best sub-$1k speaker around.
@ Cerrot: agree RE: 685s.
Ellrotts you should compare the Legacy Signatures to the 804s.
there isn't one thing the 804s have over the Sigs period and they are 20% less in cost
Well, I just thought I would close this off.

I had a chance to listen to the B & W product. First of all, nicely built and crazy good looking!!
But not even close!! I also had another listen to the Denon (last years model - my 2013 pre-order is improved in a few places) and Monitor Audio Bronze BX 2 combination and it blew the B & W out of the water. I'm certain there are situations where an all-in-one can out perform separates, but not in this case.

I am glad I got this out of my system and had a listen to the B & W because now I am certain I am getting the superior sound and have made the right choice.

Thanks all for the feedback,

Cat, IMHO, any all-in-one product has no chance against an integrated+bookshelf combo, so I'm glad we agree there, now the choice is, which speakers to mate with the Denon DRAN product? Can you audition it with the B&W 685s?
Hey Realremo,

Yes I can because the Hi-Fi joint I'm purchasing the Denon receiver from carries both lines. The price point is higher with the 685's and so far the feedback I have received from a few that have owned both products is that for the money the BX 2's out perform the 685's.

But I will give them a listen none-the-less to decide for myself. But they will have to really out do the Monitor Audio's for me to lay out the extra cash for a secondary system - which this is.

This is part of the fun!


Cat if you ignored Legacy I know you made the wrong choice. lol
Hey Tobb,

lol indeed.....the Legacy's are a little out of the price range!
Never heard them - but beautiful lookers.

Good listening!

Just to finish this off - The set up is up and running in the family room. It sounds better then I anticipated. Speakers usually sound different in your room verses the store and the MA's are filling the room nicely with very nice detail for the price point. The internet radio and streaming downloaded cd's from my iTunes library on my iMac works flawlessly and seamlessly.

Listening to a great (commercial free) blues station from Argentina last night.
This wireless technology amazes me!! No breaks in the play whatsoever!

Good listening everyone!

Cat careful with that IMac it will chew up CDs.
But then again you probably won't put it through what I put mine through.
About 2 years back I converted my collection of about 3800 CDs and the IMac ate them.
No problems with the MacPro.
Much better transport
Thanks Tobb,

Not sure if newer means better but my iMac is only 7 months old (better transport maybe?). But you're correct, I'll never put mine through that kind of work-out. I've only converted about 325 cd's so far and don't see myself going much beyond 600 - 800. Time will tell but I doubt very much I will ever get anywhere near your number.

Everything works great so far!