Bowers & Wilkins have released Signature Editions of their 705 and 702 loudspeakers.

This month sees the introduction of two new Signature versions of premium loudspeakers from the Bowers & Wilkins 700 Series range: the stand-mount 705 Signature and floor-standing 702 Signature.

B&W Signature

The new 705 Signature and 702 Signature models share a common philosophy with their predecessors: like previous Signatures, the new models are carefully upgraded and finished loudspeakers that represent the apex of current Bowers & Wilkins design, engineering and manufacturing processes. A huge amount of care and attention has been paid to improving their acoustic performance via an upgraded crossover design, and also to crafting the new cabinet finish.

Bowers & Wilkins 700 Series

Launched in 2017, the Bowers & Wilkins 700 Series range of speakers uses technologies first seen in the high-end 800 Series Diamond, such as the Solid Body Tweeter-on-Top assembly, unique Continuum cone drivers and Aerofoil profile bass drivers. These are used in combination with bespoke 700 Series technologies such as the Carbon Dome tweeter plus carefully optimised and rigid cabinets. As Signature products, the new 705 & 702 Signature have received further, detailed improvements enabled by upgraded crossover designs and components.

Mundorf Capacitors

Both models now 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. In tandem with the benefits both models enjoy as a result of their Tweeter-on-Top configuration, B&W says that these upgrades improve the resolution, openness and spatial retrieval on offer, lending them an even-more polished, refined and involving sound.

Upgraded Finish

Keeping up with established Signature practices, the 705 and 702 Signature have a new Datuk Gloss ebony-coloured veneer with a distinctive, beautiful grain. This custom-designed finish combines the beauty of exotic real-wood veneers with the environmental benefits of a sustainably-sourced supply, in this case from specialist Italian wood company Alpi.

Each pair of speakers is unique, with no two models sharing the same grain pattern or figuring. Bowers & Wilkins adds to Alpi’s workmanship by applying nine coats of finish, including primer, base coat and lacquer, to create a deep, lustrous appearance. 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.

Carbon Dome Tweeter

Both 700 Series Signature models feature Bowers & Wilkins Carbon Dome tweeter technology. Designed to bridge the performance gap between the Aluminium Double Dome used 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 outcome is stiffness and resistance to distortion without undue mass and a first break-up point of 47kHz.

Solid Body Tweeters

As with all preceding Signature products, the 705 Signature and 702 Signature are Tweeter-On-Top designs featuring, in this case, Solid Body Tweeter technology. This design is derived entirely from the approach used in the 800 Series Diamond and has the same performance benefits. As with the 700 Series speakers, instead of using a hollow zinc housing, the new Signature models use the same shape milled from a solid mass of aluminium to provide a stiffer and less resonant structure. Weighing over 1kg, it is exceptionally inert, and benefits from the same decoupling mechanism and acoustically transparent grille design as the 800 Series Diamond. This design also allows the use of the mass of the tweeter body as a heatsink for the dome.

 

Continuum Cone

Continuum cone midrange drivers were first seen in the 800 Series Diamond. The Continuum cone’s design is based on the concept of optimised and controlled flexibility. 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. Continuum is a woven composite that gives controlled break-up, for a more transparent and detailed midrange.

Midrange Chassis

The 702 Signature is 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 dampens any remaining resonance in the structure.

Midrange Decoupling

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

Aerofoil-Profile Bass Cone

A new implementation of the Aerofoil cone used in the 800 Series Diamond is featured on the 702 Signature, using a composite structure of inner and outer skins filled with EPS. The result is a dramatic uplift in bass performance.

 

Specifications, Price & Availability

702 Signature  

Availability June 2020 priced at £4499

Floorstander

Three-way vented-box

Tweeter-on-Top

3 x 165mm Aerofoil Profile bass

1 x 150mm Continuum FST midrange, decoupled

1 x 25mm Carbon Dome tweeter in Solid Body Tweeter-on-Top

705 Signature   

Availability June 2020 priced at £2699

Stand-mount

  • way vented-box
  • Tweeter-on-Top
  • 1 x 165mm Continuum bass/midrange
  • 1 x 25mm Carbon Dome tweeter in Solid Body Tweeter-on-Top

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