Comparing B&W Nautilus 805 to LSi9

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Doug Z, Aug 12, 2004.

  1. Doug Z

    Doug Z Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm looking to add another system to the house and currently have the RT polk's. The room will be approx 20x14 and I want to stay with the bookshelf size speakers. I have not yet heard the LSi9's yet but will soon, but I love my first set of polk's so I am somewhat biased. What I am thinking is that the 805's are probably superior to the polk's but do they justify the price? I will be using them in about a 50/50 mix of music/HT so they need to be versatile. I know my own ears are the judge but I would like to hear from people who have listened to the 805's and the polk LSi's.
     
  2. Doug Z

    Doug Z Stunt Coordinator

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    Forgot to mention because I have not added to my bio, I am using a Denon 3300 with Bi-wire of AQ Crystal to the RT 800's & CS400 as center. The bi-wire really woke-up the speakers and I have been extremely pleased with them.
     
  3. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    The Nautilus are not even in the same leauge as the LSis. The CDM (now 700) line are already a step above the LSis to my ears. When you factor in price however, that may be a different story, as the LSis are decent for their price (they could be a little less expensive, IMO). I can directly compare the LSi7 and the CDM-1NT, and there is no question that the 1NT was a superior speaker. I've only heard the 804s and 805s once, and while they were better than the CDMs, I didn't feel it was a HUGE difference.
     
  4. DavidCooper

    DavidCooper Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah...I think the 805's are one of the best speakers I've ever heard. They are amazing.....I wouldn't ever fork up the money for them though...ha ha....but they are nice.
     
  5. JordanS

    JordanS Second Unit

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    I've thorougly auditioned both of these speakers in question. I am confident in saying that the N805 is definitely a much better speaker.
     
  6. Mike Bassi

    Mike Bassi Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah the 805 is a much better speaker then the LSI9's. For the price there are some choices that might sound good with your Denon. Theil's PCS'S are a great speaker in that price range, Von Schweikert VR'1 are nice, but may not fill up that size room. Soliloquy 6.0is are very nice for the price NHT's are ok, but kind of bland. The store that I go to once in a while has a set of signature series 805 set that sound great and would fill that room up, but they are in the $3500 range. These are the speakers on the top of my head. Oh yeah check out Meadowlarks Swallow Bookshelf speaker as well.

    Cheers
    Mike
     
  7. Doug Z

    Doug Z Stunt Coordinator

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    I really appreciate the input, the problem is I listened to the 805's before the polk's. The LSi7's were the ones I was interested in then looking at the 9's I figured it was worth the jump. I strolled in a local dealer and had him fire up the N805 and was blown away, the accuracy was unreal of a bookshelf size speaker. Now I know if I don't go for something similiar to the 805 or the 805 itself I will always remember how amazingly well those suckers sounded and will haunt me. While on the topic what is a good street price for the N805? I know B&W dealers don't like to move much on their prices but just something to keep in my head, I will give the other recommendations a listen as well.
     
  8. DavidCooper

    DavidCooper Stunt Coordinator

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    I wil have to add this.....if you really like the sound of th 805's you really should look into the Swan's. I did some side by sides and they were hard to tell apart on most material. They were that close. The price difference isn't close at all.....the Swan's are an incredible value.
     
  9. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    This is a common misconception. There is actually a member of this forum who is a B&W dealer who says that B&W is one of the few brands he doesn't mind discounting. They just get a bad name because if a dealer abuses his power to discount, B&W will yank the speakers away from him. Anyway, 15% under MSRP is fairly standard, 20% is good, 25% is really good. I would go in aiming for 20% off MSRP. If you can get him down to 18% or so, you might try to get him to throw in the stands for the 805's.
     
  10. Doug Z

    Doug Z Stunt Coordinator

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    If I was to go the swan route having never heard them, would the 2.1 with a sub work as well as the 5.2 or 6.1? The reason I ask is I have heard many 2-way speakers kill a 3 or 4-way because of less driver interference but trying to keep a full range with some sacrifices. A 4 driver paradigm sounds really good but I always think they are just missing something when I hear them. I already have a sub which is why I don't mind the 2.1 setup, and at the price they are hard to overlook.
     
  11. DavidCooper

    DavidCooper Stunt Coordinator

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    Well im running the 2.1's with an SVS 20-39PC+ and they sound nothing short of amazing. A very close friend has B&W 804's and he actually likes my set-up better.

    I think in a HT system the 2.1's with a good sub will sound every bit as good as some towers. Not to mention the savings.

    I would give them a try....your only out shipping if you don't like them....but I just couldn't part with them....they are THAT good. Like I said before I LOVE the 805's just not the price....and doing some side by sides I really felt the Swan's sounded just as good. The highs were more detailed with the Swan's and the midranges sounded pretty much the same. I think the B&W's had a bit bigger sound stage but that was about the only difference I could hear.
     
  12. JasonWUC

    JasonWUC Agent

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    As for me (and that's just me) I found that the B&W 705/805 was too shrill for HT use.

    Yes, the speaker did great for music. Espicially, the Alice in Chains: unplugged album. I loved the 805's for that. However, when I listened to LOTR: the Moria scene, the goblin arrows produced a high frequency much more pronounced than the rest of the scene and it caused me to cover my ears. I couln't live with that, so I eneded up getting some Vienna Acoustics.

    The LSi9s were OK, I just don't like the Vifa Ring Tweeter.

    Like I said, that's just me.
     
  13. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    Personally I prefer the Lsi's over the B&W. I feel the the Polks were much more detailed. I listened to the B&W's in the dealers listening room anad wasn't that impressed. My opnion, just like everyone else's, doesn't mean squat. The only thing that matters is which speaker you like. Go and audition as much as you can and buy what fits your budget, suits your needs, and pleases your tastes.
     
  14. Tony Genovese

    Tony Genovese Supporting Actor

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    Frank:

    You thought the Lsi 9's were more detailed than the Nautilus 805's?
     
  15. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    Sure did, but keep in mind that I'm talking about 2 different rooms with different electronics as well. It's all about personal preference.
     
  16. Tony Genovese

    Tony Genovese Supporting Actor

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    I see. Because B&W's have a reputation of being revealing to the point of being harsh, while the LSI's (which I've owned) sounded rather laid back to me. So it must have been a room thing. I don't think "detailed" is really about peronal preference, but I could be wrong. Or maybe I just don't understand what the word means.
     
  17. Lee-c

    Lee-c Second Unit

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  18. Alex F.

    Alex F. Second Unit

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    I personally prefer the sonics of the LSi series to the products I've auditioned in the Nautilus line. I listened extensively to the Polk LSi9 and B&W 803 (and 804, for a more limited time), but ended up choosing to purchase the LSi25 over all of them based on overall sound quality. (I haven't heard the LSi7.)

    Detail, imaging, soundstaging, and dynamic range are exemplary on all the models I mentioned above. But I much prefer the LSi's gorgeous high-frequency reproduction, which I find smooth as butter, clean, and detailed, yet it never fatigues the ears nor calls attention to itself, as I found the Nautilus tweeter can do at times.

    To focus on detail specifically, using the same test CDs that I use to audition all components, the LSi and B&W products are extremely revealing of recorded details. Also, they are both able to easily differentiate changes in upstream components. Is one better than the other in detail retrieval? Not that I could tell. Again, both are superb.

    Would I choose the LSi9 over the Nautilus 805? No, not based on the cabinetry--the B&Ws have a better finish. But based purely on sonics (and assuming the 805 sounds like the 803 minus the latter's extended bass response), my answer is yes, I would rather own the LSi for both music and home-theater use.

    But please let your own ears be the judge.

    Alex

    PS: The eye of Hurricane Charley missed our home last night by about 25 miles to the east. Happily, no damage or even loss of power or DirecTV satellite reception during the storm or afterwards. But Charley sure was loud.
     
  19. Lee-c

    Lee-c Second Unit

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    Doug Z: Oh, and if you're going to be using these speakers to listen at loud levels for movies or just loud music,
    make sure you get ones that will not sound harsh or irritating
    to your ears when the volume is up. [​IMG]

    Alex: Glad to hear the big storm missed your house. [​IMG]
     
  20. Alex F.

    Alex F. Second Unit

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    Thank you very much for the kind wishes, Lee.
     

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