700 Series Signature Technology
We thought it would be fun to go over all of the tech that is shared with the two models, then we’ll take a deeper dive into each one.
The development of Continuum™ took the B&W engineers over 8 years and 70 different versions of materials until they came up with something that would surpass the low distortion and break up levels of Kevlar. It was originally developed for the top of the line 800 series and is used in both models of the new Signature Series. The color of the Continuum™ driver is a rich silver, but the important part is how this new material behaves with audio signals. Most drivers add some flavor of their own to the signal in how they react to the sound being fed to them. Continuum™ holds its shape better than anything the B&W team has ever seen.
The resulting sound is incredibly effortless due to its super-low levels of distortion. This lets you hear all of those tiny little details of changes in volume and tone that help these speakers sound more like real instruments.
Carbon Double Dome Tweeters
B&W developed the use of diamond dust for their tweeters in the top of the line 800 Series but wanted to find something more affordable with similar characteristics. This led them to come up with their Carbon Double Dome technology.
There is an inner and outer dome they designed using laser analysis. The small outer dome which goes along the inside edge of the full-dome increases its rigidity while allowing the rest of the dome to be super lightweight. This design allows the tweeter to extend out more than double beyond the range of human hearing to an amazing 47,000 Hz.
When you hear cymbals or strings played back on the Carbon Double Dome tweeter you would think they are in the room. Everything just sounds so light and airy, it's incredible.
Solid Milled Aluminum External Tweeter Housing
This tech also comes from the studio-grade 800 series. The tweeter in both Signature models is mounted in a totally separate enclosure. This greatly reduces any chance of cabinet diffraction allowing the speaker to present an effortless three-dimensional image. Not only is the housing separate, but it's also actually milled from a solid block of aluminum. B&W could have just used a hollow plastic chamber, but it would not have sounded as good. When you think about that for a minute, it shows you B&W’s dedication to great sound. I mean who else mills solid blocks of aluminum just to hold the tweeter!
One of the most striking things about the 700 Series Signature is their beautiful finish. They sourced the wood veneers from Alpi who is a company in Italy that specializes in sustainable wood harvesting. The veneers then get nine coats of finish and we have to say the look is just spectacular! To highlight the luster of the finish, the Continuum™ driver gets a highly polished metal trim ring and the protective grill over the Carbon Double Dome tweeter also has the same bright silver finish. On the rear of the speaker is a special signature nameplate that completes their unique identity.
And while they just look stunning on the exterior, there is a lot of hidden technology inside the cabinet. B&W invented the idea of what they call Matrix cabinet bracing decades ago. These are interlocking vertical and horizontal braces that run throughout the cabinet. The 700 Series Signature used triple bracing for a cabinet that is just solid as a rock!
Both 700 Series Signature have a ported cabinet to improve efficiency. A port allows air to move out of the cabinet, but you can get issues of how that airwave reacts with the cabinet. Most ports are just a simple design and almost an afterthought, but as you might have guessed, not so with B&W. Their Stening, UK team tried many different port shapes and designs to come up with the best performance. The dimpled appearance of the Flowport adds to the distinctive look of the Signature Series.
800 Series Level Crossovers
A speaker’s crossover is often overlooked when people talk about what affects the sound of a speaker. A crossover is like the director of a symphony orchestra. It takes the incoming musical signal and decides what and how much of each frequency to send to the different speaker drivers. There is actually a ton of room for errors to occur in speaker crossovers, but it's not something you can usually visually inspect to see if it looks well made since it's inside the speaker cabinet.
The 700 Series Signature gets a lot of their tech from the standard 700 S2 line, but the crossovers get 800 level components. This upgrade makes them sound far more open and effortless than their 700 S2 counterparts. It is not a subtle difference!