To Randall Smith,
I ended up purchasing the B&W 684s. It really is a very nice speaker, if not totally underrated by a lot of people, in my personal opinion. It lives up to your review!
Last question: And I've seen this debate on forum boards for years and years, and frankly I have stayed out of it entirely. To me, it's one of those circular arguments with no seemingly right or wrong answer, with passionate opinions on both sides of the issue.
My only reason for asking is in the manual it indicates (and I quote): "biwiring can improve the resolution of low-level detail." What's your take on that? I've never biwired. I can afford to purchase a pair of biwire cables (and I know the difference between biamping, etc.), but do you personally biwire your own speakers or no? I wouldn't even ask, but I was surprised the manual recommends it.
It's good to hear that you found my review of the B&W 684s helpful in making your speaker purchase. As far as biwiring goes, I do not biwire my speakers. There is no particular reason why I do not biwire other than the Rockport Technologies Miras I used to own were not biwirable. My newer speakers, the Vivid Audio V1.5s, are biwirable, but I have not gone down that road yet. Will it help? I found this description in a SoundStage! Hi-Fi article that was written back in 1998: "Biwiring works by reducing the tendency for strong bass signals to overwhelm the rest of the audio signal. The larger, more powerful bass signal can greatly affect the integrity of the much lower energy components of both the midrange and fragile treble information. Running separate wires from the amplifier can have a profound impact on relieving the tweeter circuit from the back flush of EMF (electro-motive force) generated by the woofer. When the audio signal to the woofer ceases, such as when a loud bass note is finished, the woofer tries to stop moving. In trying to stop, it actually goes through a process of 'settling' because it is too massive to just stop instantly. As it settles, it moves forward and backward repeatedly until it can completely come to rest. During this movement, as the voice coil is moving through the field of the magnet, it generates its own signal. That generated signal is sent backward up the woofer wires and into the crossover, where it corrupts the rest of the music signal."
I also wonder if, by biwiring, you take a pair of jumpers out of the signal path and, in turn, this means the signal from the amplifier goes straight to the crossover without having to go through the jumper first. In other words, a simpler signal path.
But, really, the best thing to do is try it out. If you are happy with your speakers, and you have really dialed-in their position in the room, then tweaking them by biwiring is definitely the next step to see if it improves the sound the way the manual says it will. Good luck! . . . Randall Smith