Bowers & Wilkins Midnight Blue Metallic 705 and 702 Signature Speakers Unveiled
Bowers & Wilkins has launched two new versions of its 705 Signature stand-mount and 702 Signature floor-standing loudspeakers featuring a striking Midnight Blue Metallic finish.
StereoNET has already been impressed by Bowers & Wilkins' 705 Signature edition standmount, decorating it with an Applause Award. However, if you are looking for a more contemporary finish than the wonderfully luxurious Datuk gloss of the 702 and 705 Signature loudspeakers, now's your chance.
Inspired by the Midnight Metallic Blue paint offered on the iconic Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus, the new 702 and 705 Signature are finished in seven coats of metallic-finish paint and lacquer to produce a rich, lustrous finish. To further accentuate and highlight the quality of finish on each model, both Signature speakers have bright metal trim rings around the mid/bass and midrange cones plus bright, silver-finished tweeter grilles. Finally, both models have a Signature identity plate to their rear panel, turning each speaker into a genuine and unique piece of art.
Our own Mark Gusew said of the upgraded ability of the 705 Signature:
Sonically it is highly accomplished in pretty much every respect, with no rough edges and a subtle charm that's hard not to like.
Naturally, these new Bowers & Wilkins Signature editions still feature a Continuum cone midrange driver alongside B&W's remarkable Carbon Dome tweeter, housed in that iconic Solid Body Tweeter-on-Top assembly. The 702 Signature also sports Aerofoil-profile bass drivers.
The 25mm Carbon Dome tweeter on both these models sits in the easily recognisable Tweeter-on-Top configuration. Moreover, this housing is milled from a solid mass of aluminium to provide a stiffer and less resonant structure. As a result, it weighs over 1kg and is exceptionally inert, and benefits from the same decoupling mechanism and acoustically transparent grille design as the 800 Series Diamond - the 804 being B&W's most recent Applause Award-winner. 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 outcome, says Bowers & Wilkins, is exceptional stiffness and resistance to distortion without undue mass and a first break-up point of 47kHz.
The midrange Continuum (a woven composite) cone's design is based on the concept of optimised and controlled flexibility. We're told that this helps the cone to avoid the abrupt transition from pistonic to break-up mode behaviour that drastically impairs the openness and neutrality of a conventional drive unit.
The 702 Signature is equipped with a dedicated 150mm midrange Continuum FST drive unit using an FEA-optimised aluminium chassis with a very stiff form, decoupled from the cabinet and further enhanced with the addition of a tuned mass damper on the front face of the chassis. This dampens 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.
A new implementation of the Aerofoil cone used in the 800 Series Diamond is featured on the 702 Signature's three bass drivers, using a composite structure of inner and outer skins filled with a lightweight core of EPS. The result is a dramatic uplift in bass performance, according to the manufacturer.
As with the existing Signature models, both Midnight Blue Metallic loudspeakers feature specially treated and upgraded bypass capacitors sourced from Mundorf, larger heatsinking and, in the case of the 702, an upgraded LF capacitor on the bass section of the crossover.
Both the Bowers & Wilkins 702 Signature floorstander and 705 Signature standmount are available now, priced at around US$7,400 and around US$4,000, respectively.
StereoNET’s resident rock star, bass player, and gadget junkie. His passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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