Bowers & Wilkins Signature 700 Series loudspeaker duo debut

posted on Wednesday, 24th June 2020 by Steve May

High-end  Hi-fi 

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Bowers & Wilkins has introduced two new Signature editions of its 700 Series range: the stand-mount 705 Signature and floor-standing 702 Signature.

The latter is a three-way vented-box with tweeter-on-top design. It utilises three 165mm Aerofoil Profile bass cones, one 150mm Continuum FST midrange decoupled driver and 25mm Carbon Dome tweeter up top.

The stand-mount 705 Signature is a 2-way vented-box with tweeter-on-top; it features a 165mm Continuum bass/midrange driver and 25mm Carbon Dome tweeter.

As we’ve seen from previous Signatures, the new models are meticulously upgraded versions of their source models, with an additional luxury finish. Sonic improvements are led by an upgraded crossover design and new components to improve their acoustic performance.

Both models now feature specially treated and upgraded bypass capacitors sourced from Mundorf, larger heatsinks and, with the 702, an upgraded LF capacitor on the bass section of the crossover. The changes, says the brand, bring benefits in resolution, openness and spatial retrieval.

Both 700 Series Signature models feature the brand’s Carbon Dome tweeter technology, presented in a distinctive Tweeter-On-Top design.

High --702 Signature Fireplace Grilles Off

Positioned performance wise between the Aluminium Double Dome found in the 600 Series and the Diamond Dome used in the 800 Series Diamond, the Carbon Dome is composed of two sections. The front portion is a 30-micron aluminium dome that has been stiffened by a PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) coating of carbon. The second section is a 300-micron carbon ring that has been profiled to match the form of the main dome. This is then bonded to the inner face of the structure.

The benefit is exceptional stiffness and resistance to distortion without undue mass and a first break-up point of 47kHz.

As with the 700 Series speakers, instead of using a hollow zinc housing, the new Signatures use the same shape milled from a solid mass of aluminium to provide a stiffer and less resonant structure. Weighing over 1kg, it benefits from the same decoupling mechanism and transparent grille design seen on the 800 Series Diamond.

The 702 Signature is also equipped with a dedicated midrange FST drive unit using a FEA-optimised aluminium chassis with a very stiff optimised form, further enhanced with the addition of a tuned mass damper on the front face of the chassis. This is asid to dampen any remaining resonance in the structure, resulting in a cleaner midrange presentation.

The midrange decoupling system simplifies the design used in the 800 Series Diamond for a significant improvement in midrange spaciousness across the board.

We can also expect an improvement in bass handling with the 702 Signature, with a new implementation of the Aerofoil cone used in the 800 Series Diamond. The result is a dramatic uplift in bass performance.

The 702 Signature floorstander is priced at £4,499 a pair; the 705 Signature stand-mount is priced at £2,699 a pair.

Steve May

Inside CI Editor Steve May is a freelance technology specialist who also writes for T3TechRadarHome Cinema Choice, Trusted Reviews and The Luxe Review.

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