B&W 800 series?

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Chris Popovich, Feb 2, 2006.

  1. Chris Popovich

    Chris Popovich Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi all,

    I'm going to pick up a new pair of speaks. Looking to spend somewhere up to 4k for stereo. I will be driving them with an older 200watt/channel parasound but may replace it with something nicer within a few months.

    I was looking at picking up the B&W 804's. Anyone hear them or have thoughts on them? My last speakers were Paradigm Studio 100's, which were nice but I'm looking for a sweeter top end and more clarity. I have a great subwoofer so I'm not extremely concerned about the low frequency extension. I might start with the 805's as the set up will be in a smaller room for a while, then move them to surround and pick up the 804's for mains... not sure.

    Other options/thoughts?

    -Chris
     
  2. Jake S

    Jake S Stunt Coordinator

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    I tink you'll be very pleased , but audition against others as there are many choices in this range.
     
  3. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    I really like the 805s and hope to own a pair one day. I own Paradigms too and suspect my next upgrade in speakers will be to this line. Only problem is I need to make more $$$$. There are other good speakers in this range, but I really like the tweeter. Just be cautious because they do have their own sound and some may grow tired of it. I wouldn't but some might.
     
  4. Shiu

    Shiu Second Unit

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    I heard the Studio 100 V3 powered by a Yamaha RX-V2400, then an Anthem separates. I also heard the 804S powered by a B&K that has 125W X 5 output. The 804S sounded more transparent, with much better clarity than the Studio.
     
  5. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    If it helps any: I got to audition a pair of Nautilus 800Ds with full Classe amplification for 45 minutes with my own music & they were very nice. But at $20,000 a pair, they had better be very nice! [​IMG] Actually, to be honest most B&Ws aren't my cup of tea but these didn't seem to have any sound of their own-they just disappeared and left the music behind (an overused cliche I know, but true in this case).
     
  6. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    The sound stage of the 800 series is huge. They really do have the ability to disappear and precisely place instruments/sounds in space. The detail is amazing but not what I'd call harsh or bright.
     
  7. Chris Popovich

    Chris Popovich Stunt Coordinator

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    I tend to like a detailed speaker, I am looking forward to auditioning the 804's and 805's.

    Thanks for your input, this is good stuff.


    -Chris
     
  8. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    i agree with everyone. i have their trickle down product the DM303, i know it doesn't compare, but it's still awesome. check it out yourself and let us know what you think. i've heard the 800 vs. 600, i'm no golden ear, so they all sound about the same to me! =). but there's DEFINITELY some differences between 300 vs. 600onwards.
     
  9. mackie

    mackie Supporting Actor

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    Keep us posted
     
  10. Chris Popovich

    Chris Popovich Stunt Coordinator

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    I ended up picking up the 804's. I listened to the 805's, some very nice Martin Logans, a variety of Paradigms, NHT, Energy, PSB, Definitive, Polk, Focal, and Dali (for fun, way too much money), and the 804's won me over.

    I start grinning when I hit the 'play' button and don't stop until the song is over. I'm hearing stuff I never noticed with the Studio 100's, and I am still using an older Denon receiver as a pre-amp. Lyrics are easier to understand. The sense of space they project shocks me. Don't get me wrong, the 100's are GREAT speakers (especially for the $$$), but the 804's IMO are just plain old better, no 2 ways about it.

    I was curious to see that many people on audioreview stated that the bass was sub-par. I have found the opposite to be true -I have a Tumult subwoofer so I wasn't really needing them to dive particularly low, but I was surprised how good they sound w/out a sub. Once put in a bigger room I'm sure they'll need more help from the sub, but still very nicely done -nearly as deep as the 100's, which is a substantially larger speaker, and seems to integrate better with my sub. The lows aren't as strong with music like Crystal Method, but the actual drums sound better, with more punch. I will have to bust out the RTA and SPL meter again soon to re-graph my frequency response, but I suspect they integrate with my room better.

    I did do extensive A/B between the 805 and the 804, and though my wallet wanted the 805's, I knew the 804 was a clear winner. The midrange comes through more clearly and effortlessly, and of course the bass was also much better. I think the best way to describe is was that when listening to Holly Cole, with the 805's, it sounded great; a very good recording. With the 804's, it sounded closer to her actually being between the speakers, the image was stronger and more believable. While listening to the 804's, I then switched over to the 805's and my girlfriend -who is usually silent about my audio observations and purchases- looked at me and said "You have to get the 804's -they sound MUCH better!" She rarely makes any positive statement about changes in the audio system, and it confirmed what I was thinking.

    Still, the 805's are great speakers, but if you can afford the 804's... I would have liked to demo the diamond tweeter but honestly it is just too far out of my price range, so I didn't bother, and instead focussed on listening to things I COULD afford.

    I bought them from Spearit Sound in Boston, MA, and got a reasonable deal as well as excellent service, I recommend them if you are in the area.

    Thanks to all for input on this decision!

    -Chris
     
  11. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    hey chris, that's where i got my 303s! =). it used to be called somn else before the store was bought out by a chain. didya buy from the guy w/mustache+glasses? he smells.
     
  12. Chris Popovich

    Chris Popovich Stunt Coordinator

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    The salesman's name was Loyd (if I remember correctly), and he did not smell, lol. Nothing but a great experience there!


    -Chris
     

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