Bowers & Wilkins 705 Signature loudspeaker $3999 Review

December 28, 2020 § Leave a comment

https://www.stereophile.com/content/bowers-wilkins-705-signature-loudspeaker

I always turn to solo piano recordings to judge a loudspeaker’s midrange quality. I recorded Canadian pianist Robert Silverman live in concert in 1992 with a spaced pair of omnidirectional microphones, so the stereo imaging on the subsequent CD (ConcertStereophile STPH005-2) is diffuse (footnote 2). But Robert’s performance of Schubert’s six Moments Musicaux remains a favorite all these years later. The rich, warm tone of his Steinway that was captured by the microphones was reproduced in almost full measure by the 705 Signatures, only the lowest notes—in the middle section of the first Moment, for example—lacking body. However, the image of the piano was more forward in the low treble than I am used to, both with my Silverman recording and with Murray Perahia’s 2017 performance of Beethoven’s “Moonlight” piano sonata (24/96 WAV file, DG 4798353). This didn’t get in the way of the music, but it does suggest that the 705 Signatures won’t be an optimal match with source components or amplification that themselves have balances on the forward side.

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