Question

AMP with Bowers and Wilkins using phantom center vs. Beam

  • 9 October 2019
  • 5 replies
  • 180 views

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I am currently using my AMP with Bowers and Wilkins speakers as LR and love the sound. The phantom center channel works really well for what it is. My questions are: 1. Will the Beam with Sub and two Play:3’s (I already have the Sub and Play:3’s in a different room) work better for TV and movies? And 2. If I do that can I keep the AMP where it is and powering the BW’s simply for quality stereo listening? I also have a turntable connected to the AMP. I would leave this with the AMP. I know that sound is subjective. Even so, I welcome opinions before going out and purchasing more equipment. Thanks!
Alan

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Userlevel 7
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I am currently using my AMP with Bowers and Wilkins speakers as LR and love the sound. The phantom center channel works really well for what it is. My questions are: 1. Will the Beam with Sub and two Play:3’s (I already have the Sub and Play:3’s in a different room) work better for TV and movies?
You are correct that is a subjective question. The only way to be sure is to audition the Beam in-home. Be sure to use Trueplay.

2. If I do that can I keep the AMP where it is and powering the BW’s simply for quality stereo listening? I also have a turntable connected to the AMP. I would leave this with the AMP.
Yes, you can do this with no worries.

Cheers!
Userlevel 1
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Have you tried the Play:3s (and sub) as surrounds with the AMP, keeping the B&Ws as LR? I think this works (that's one of the ideas I'm exploring for my set-up).
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Thanks you for replies and thoughts so far. More information is that the phantom center produced by the amp works really well. My aging ears though sometimes require me to turn the volume higher making everything else too loud in order for me to hear the dialogue clearly, especially when they talk low. I am basically very happy with the amp and love the sound it produces on the Bowers and Wilkins speakers.
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I don’t know which B&Ws you have, but I expect you will find that the Beam is too small with a too narrow soundfield in comparison.

I recently sold my Playbar and temporarily used my Beam in the living room paired with the sub and Play 3s. 

 

In comparison with the old Playbar and the Playbase I use in another room, the sound of the Beam is just too tiny and narrow for both TV and Music. It works fine in the bedroom that we bought for, but that is a much smaller room and a different usage-scenario. 

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I felt a little guilty doing it; but I decided to audition an amp driving a dedicated center channel with my B&W 704’s as LR. It sounded really good. Bottom line, though, I brought the amp and center channel back and kept the Beam with my sub and two Play:3’s for TV (it is a small room and it sounds nice) and the B&W 704’s powered by my Sonos Amp, which also connects my turntable, for stereo music listening. By the way, I couldn’t tell the difference in sound produced on my 704’s by the Sonos Amp compared to the expensive and bulky amp that I auditioned. Saving about $1,500 and everything fits so much better, is really simple to operate for either music or tv, and it all sounds great, at least to my ears.

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