Surround Sound Speaker Systems
- Written by Brian Alvarez
- Published on 11 February 2013
Setup of the Bowers & Wilkins MT-60D Speaker System
The M-1 speakers can be used as they come with the attached pivoting stand/mount.
Mounted directly to the walls with the supplied mount (including a sleek cable pass through) or with the optional and reviewed stands. There's not a lot of set up if using the factory attached stand. Simply remove the rubber pad underneath the base.
While the optional floor stands look stunning and provide an ideal solution for free standing applications, the over ease of setup of the stands is not up to par with the M-1 speakers. Speaker wires have to be run through the column of the stand, there's a plastic set screw to limit the movement of the attached speaker which is entirely too fragile and easy to damage, the speaker does not positively engage into the stand either. There's difficulty in getting the stands set up but once completed you thankfully never have to touch them again.
The PV1D in contrast is as simple as plugging in the supplied power cord, one RCA connection from my Marantz AV-7005. Using the OLED display and D-pad I set the PV1D to a line input, the default input sensitivity, gain, polarity and defeated the internal crossover. There are options for selecting specific B&W speakers including the current and older M-1. Doing so will tailor the slope and frequency of the cross over to best match the chosen speaker. Additionally if you're running Windows you can access the PV1D SubApp program to do more detailed adjustment of the settings. I only run Mac OSX so I was unable to test the software.
One very nice thing about the manual for the PV1D is the specification for DSP processing delay. If you're not using an auto setup system that can accurately measure subwoofer distance or in a 2.1 set up with no time delay, it can be extremely difficult to properly integrate a subwoofer. Not knowing how much processing delay is built into the sub assures an inaccurate placement of the sub if you're trying to time align the sub and your main speakers. You have to add the time (as a function of distance) into your distance measurements. Bower and Wilkins specifies a time delay of 1 foot. You have to add 1 foot to your actual measurement. This is under a millisecond of processing delay.
With speakers of such a small size it's not typically detrimental to have them close to walls or corners. In fact I noticed minimal bass loading effects during adjustments of placement in my room. With no sub reinforcement it was best to keep the speakers no more than 2 feet from the back wall or I would get a slightly lean sound. With the sub in place I was more focused on achieving the best imaging. Final installation consisted of five identical M-1satellites. For on the supplied stands at the Front L&R and Rear L&R locations, with the fifth as a center channel stood vertically (the speaker can be rotated 90 degrees) on top of an equipment rack below my TV. The PV1D was placed slight off center from the front wall. All listening was done with the Marantz AV-7005 pre-amp running to a Myryad MA500 multi channel amp with 100 watts per channel. All listening was performed after a full Audyssey XT calibration.