In 1991 Bowers & Wilkins launched the Silver Signature Loudspeaker. This was not only to celebrate the company's 25th year in business, but also a tribute to founder John Bowers, who passed away towards the end of 1987. At a time when their current top of the range compact speaker, the Matrix 805 sold for $2500, many raised an eyebrow at the $10,000 price tag of the Silver Signature. That is until they had a chance to listen to a pair. This started a trend at B&W, to introduce an anniversary speaker at various milestones: Signature 30 at 30 years, Signature 800 at 35, Signature Diamond at 40. Which brings us to 2020 and the introduction of the 700 Signature Series.
Previous models of B&W Signature speakers were expensive, but justified their asking price by featuring technologies and finishes which were otherwise not available. For 2020 and the company's 55th Anniversary, B&W decided to make a Signature range that was more affordable but still maintained a level of finish and performance that was a significant step above the standard range. Also, contrary to tradition, there are now two models of Signature Series to choose from - 705 Signature and 702 Signature.
The most obvious upgrade in the Signature 700 Series is the gorgeous cabinet veneer. Named Datuk Gloss, this custom designed finish uses a combination of exotic real wood veneers which are sourced from a sustainably sourced supply. And so you don't forget what type of speaker you have, there is a nice aluminum plate on the back showcasing the model number and the Bowers & Wilkins logo.
The big performance upgrade comes in the form of a new crossover which uses higher grade components such as Mundorf capacitors, larger heatsinks and an upgraded LF capacitor in the 702. Since a crossover is the device that decides which frequencies go to which driver, its quality plays a major part in the overall performance of a loudspeaker. These upgrades will reward the listener with greater detail, better sense of space and a more focused soundstage.