Sound United now has a serious range of products and brands. It has Marantz, Denon, Rotel, Bowers & Wilkins, Polk, Definitve Technology, Michi, Classé and, for example, Heos and Boston Acoustics under its banner. That’s a lot. So it is not surprising that when they organize an event they need space to display everything. For this we drove to a small castle in Barneveld
Not all the brands we saw were there, by the way. Classé was missing. And that while the 800D4 was shining. With the P5 and two big Michi Monos it plays just fine, of course, but in that price class a Classé makes more sense. The 800, however, is not why we are here. Neither is Michi. We came for news. And that was there to be found.
Bowers & Wilkins
The star of the show, of course, is the 700 series. The “S3” version. All models except the 706S3 were on display. And yes: it looks much more modern and beautiful than the S2. Like the 800 series, the drivers are a bit “out of the box,” shall we say. With the silver frame, it looks classy. The front is also somewhat curved which should counteract diffraction. The tweeter on top has also been improved again which should raise the complete level of the 700 series a bit.
The demo in the listening/demo room was good on the Rotel Diamond series. Especially the 705S3 played very pleasant, controlled and airy. We understand that the 702S3 will cost around 6500 Euro per pair and the 703S3 around 5500 Euro per pair. The 707 comes at 1500 Euro per pair, 705S3 at 3000 per pair, 704S3 at 3500 per pair. That’s around 50% increase over the previous series.
Rotel had the new Diamond line connected to the 705S3 and the 702S3. The CD player/dac in particular made a good impression on us. Under the hood are four ESS 9028Pro dacs that provide a completely balanced output. The air, control and freedom with which the set played made a good first impression.
Now the Rotel Diamond series is not cheap, but it falls nicely between Michi and the other Rotels. The CD player / dac costs about 2500 Euros. The amplifier 4500 Euro.