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Comparing B&W Nautilus 805 to LSi9


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35 replies to this topic

#1 of 36 OFFLINE   Doug Z

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Posted August 12 2004 - 05:47 AM

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 of 36 OFFLINE   Doug Z

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Posted August 12 2004 - 06:05 AM

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 of 36 OFFLINE   John Garcia

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Posted August 12 2004 - 06:22 AM

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.
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#4 of 36 OFFLINE   DavidCooper

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Posted August 12 2004 - 06:36 AM

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 of 36 OFFLINE   JordanS

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Posted August 12 2004 - 05:02 PM

I've thorougly auditioned both of these speakers in question. I am confident in saying that the N805 is definitely a much better speaker.
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#6 of 36 OFFLINE   Mike Bassi

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Posted August 12 2004 - 05:21 PM

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.

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#7 of 36 OFFLINE   Doug Z

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Posted August 12 2004 - 06:37 PM

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 of 36 OFFLINE   DavidCooper

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Posted August 13 2004 - 01:08 AM

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 of 36 OFFLINE   SethH

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Posted August 13 2004 - 01:59 AM

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.


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 of 36 OFFLINE   Doug Z

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Posted August 13 2004 - 03:43 AM

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 of 36 OFFLINE   DavidCooper

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Posted August 13 2004 - 06:03 AM

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 of 36 OFFLINE   JasonWUC

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Posted August 13 2004 - 12:15 PM

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.
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#13 of 36 OFFLINE   Frank Zimkas

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Posted August 14 2004 - 02:10 AM

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 of 36 OFFLINE   Tony Genovese

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Posted August 14 2004 - 02:30 AM

Frank:

You thought the Lsi 9's were more detailed than the Nautilus 805's?

#15 of 36 OFFLINE   Frank Zimkas

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Posted August 14 2004 - 02:33 AM

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 of 36 OFFLINE   Tony Genovese

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Posted August 14 2004 - 03:30 AM

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 of 36 OFFLINE   Lee-c

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Posted August 14 2004 - 06:06 AM

Great speakers that would be in your price range would be VMPS RM1's (floorstanders) or 626R's (monitors).
The sound quality is superb and very smooth. And the price is excellent. Posted Image

You can read more about them at the addresses below.

http://www.vmpsaudio.com/rmdoc1.htm


http://www.audiocirc....31f85c96740272

#18 of 36 OFFLINE   Alex F.

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Posted August 14 2004 - 08:03 AM

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 of 36 OFFLINE   Lee-c

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Posted August 16 2004 - 05:02 AM

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. Posted Image

Alex: Glad to hear the big storm missed your house. Posted Image

#20 of 36 OFFLINE   Alex F.

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Posted August 16 2004 - 10:55 AM

Thank you very much for the kind wishes, Lee.