Bowers & Wilkins has launched the 700 Series range of speakers. These include the stand-mount 705 Signature and floor-standing 702 Signature; both new Signature models include a Solid Body Tweeter-on-Top assembly, Continuum cone drivers and Aerofoil profile bass drivers.
Both models claim to feature specially treated and upgraded bypass capacitors sourced from Mundorf, larger heatsink, and — in the case of the 702 — an upgraded LF capacitor on the bass section of the crossover. According to Bowers & Wilkins, these upgrades improve the resolution, openness and spatial retrieval on offer, lending them an even-more polished, refined and involving sound.
Keeping up with established Signature practices, the 705 and 702 Signature have a new Datuk Gloss ebony-colored veneer using Italian wood company Alpi.
Each pair of speakers is unique, with no two models sharing the same grain pattern or figuring. The speakers include nine coats of finish —including primer, base coat and lacquer. Both Signature speakers also have bright metal trim rings around the mid/bass and midrange cones plus silver-finished tweeter grilles. Finally, both models have a Signature identity plate on their rear panel.
Both 700 Series Signature models feature Bowers & Wilkins Carbon Dome tweeter technology. Designed to bridge the performance gap between the Aluminum 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 aluminum dome that has been stiffened by a PVD (Physical Vapor 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 exceptional stiffness and resistance to distortion without undue mass and a first break-up point of 47 kilohertz.
As with all other 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 800 Series Diamond approach 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 aluminum to provide a stiffer and less resonant structure. Weighing over 1 kilogram, it is exceptionally inert, and benefits from the same decoupling mechanism and acoustically transparent grille design as the 800 Series Diamond.
Continuum cone midrange drivers were first seen in the 800 Series Diamond. The Continuum cone’s design is based on the concept of optimized and controlled flexibility. This helps the cone to avoid the abrupt transition from pistonic to break-up mode behavior that drastically impairs the openness and neutrality of a conventional drive unit. Continuum is a woven composite that gives highly controlled break-up for a more transparent and detailed midrange.
The 702 Signature is equipped with a dedicated midrange FST drive unit using a FEA-optimized aluminum chassis with a very stiff optimized form, further enhanced with the addition of a tuned mass damper on the front face of the chassis.
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.