B&W N804's or 803's for an HT setup?

Discussion in 'Speakers & Subwoofers' started by BrianKR, May 14, 2004.

  1. BrianKR

    BrianKR Second Unit

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    I just recently upgraded to the HTM1 (replacing the HTM2) and I have added SCM1's to complete a 7.1 setup yesterday.

    The HTM1 has made a big difference with movies! Everything is so much clearer and I am hearing things I never noticed before in movies I am very familiar with. My only problem is the HTM1 seems to over power the N805's that I am currently using for fronts and I want to upgrade them ASAP.

    What do I go with to complete my HT setup, 804's or the 803's?
     
  2. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    Have you properly calibrated your system since adding the new center? For HT I don't really see any reason to go with larger mains, now if you listen to lots of music then that's a different story. As for which is better the 803 or 804 that's completely up to your ears and your wallet. Either one should be nearly-perfectly timbre matched to your center and surrounds.
     
  3. BrianKR

    BrianKR Second Unit

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    To be honest, no I haven't calibrated my system since adding the HTM1. I am going to do that within the next couple hours. You don't think I need to upgrade to towers to match the HTM1 upfront?
     
  4. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    I don't think you do just for HT, but that's up to you. If you're going to sit around and wonder "what if . . ." all the time then go ahead and make the upgrade. Have you been buying from a local B&W dealer? If so you've obviously given him some decent business recently. Ask him if you can do a home demo with either the 804 or 803 to see if it makes a difference. What subwoofer do you have? Upgrading that may have a bigger impact on the overall system.
     
  5. DannyL

    DannyL Stunt Coordinator

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    i would recommend that you wait until the htm-1 breaks in- at least 100-200 hours before you make any decisions to upgrade. i had the opportunity to listen to the n805, n804, n803, n802 all in the same listening room with the same equipment. i felt that the jump from the 805 to the 804's was pretty significant, but going from the 804 to 803's was only a slight improvement. the 802's provided a huge leap in performance. one thing though, the system was not running a subwoofer. that may even things out significantly.
     
  6. BrianKR

    BrianKR Second Unit

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    My sub is an SVS B4+.
    The dealer I purchase my speakers from are 100 miles from me. The local B&W dealer is a jerk to deal with. He expects you to walk in the door with your wallet out and trunk open. He is not keen on allowing you speakers to do in-home demo's.

    Danny,
    I was thinking of making the jump and getting the 802's.
    It will greatly reduce my budget for a front projector but at this point I don't mind getting an ok projector until HD becomes the norm in 3 or 4 years.
     
  7. DannyL

    DannyL Stunt Coordinator

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    Brian, i have the n804's and htm-1 and i have the upgrade bug too- want the n802's. i think if you want to upgrade, go for the gusto and get the n802's. you won't need to upgrade anymore. for home theater though, i think the n802's are probably overkill, but they sure look cool! high-end audio is worse than being addicted to crack![​IMG]
     
  8. Al B. C

    Al B. C Supporting Actor

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    Brian - I have the 802's.

    Believe me, you will love them!

    Best money that I have ever spent on my system. Never once regretted the purchase. [​IMG]
     
  9. David Strand

    David Strand Agent

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    I've always admired the B&W designs, but never had the opportunity to listen to them. I've been recently looking at upgrading my speakers all the way around. I checked out the B&W website... it shows MSRP at $4000 each for the 802's!! How do their lower lines like the 700, 600, or CM series stack up to the 800s? Totally different league?
     
  10. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    The 600 line is really an entry line and, like all entry lines, does not have the signature sound of B&W. The 700 series is much closer to the Nautilus line. Still a step down, but the sound is getting closer to what people expect from B&W. The CM line is priced so close to the 700's that it seems silly to even sell them IMO.
     
  11. Wayne Ernst

    Wayne Ernst Cinematographer

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    If you ever get the chance to, do it. [​IMG]

    A local dealer had Nautilus 801s is their higher-end room being driven by Rotel gear. I sat down in the chair to view their selection of the day DVD and could not believe how incredible the sound was. They also had one of the Bob Carver "cubes" for a subwoofer to provide some fill-in bass.

    I don't think I could ever push myself to buy anything in their 600 series as I did demo them on more than one occasion, but the sound didn't "wow" me. However, something from the 800 series -- Mmmmm, sweet!! [​IMG]
     
  12. DanR

    DanR Supporting Actor

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    Rumor has it that they will be updating the Nautilis line this year, or early next year. That's certainly something to think about as you may be able to get the current line as a really good price when that happens.

    Regards,
    Dan
     
  13. BrianKR

    BrianKR Second Unit

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    DanR,

    I heard about B&W possibly updating the Nautilus line but I don't think it will help lower prices. You might get lucky at retail locations trying to move demo units or left over stock. 2nd hand they will retain their current value for some time to come.

    Look at the B&W CDM line, it's still retaining it's resale value and the 700 series has been out for over a year(?) now.

    I'd hate to miss out on some good sounds between now and then just hoping to save a couple grand :b
     
  14. JayF

    JayF Stunt Coordinator

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    Brian, I'd second the post about callibrating before making a decision. I have the same setup and do not feel the HTM1 overpowers the 805s at all.

    When I bought the 805s I was going back & forth between those and the 804s and chose the 805s because I felt they had a wider soundstage. The B&W dealer told me at the time that he had several customers that had 805s, traded up to 804s, but then went back to the 805s. For whatever that's worth, I'd give it a little more time.
     
  15. BrianKR

    BrianKR Second Unit

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    JayF,

    I calibrated last night. The HTM1 was 4db hot over the mains/fronts. Originally I just took my HTM2 off of it's stand and placed the HTM1 on it.

    I talked with my dealer (which is a haul from me) and I am going to borrow a pair of 803's next weekend and try them out. I figure that's my best bet because they are in the middle of the 4's and 2's.

    Who knows, maybe I wont upgrade.
    That just leaves me more money for a FP
     
  16. Johan

    Johan Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi!

    I work with B&W and the store that I work for is agent for them here in Sweden.

    Im a big B&W fan and had 805, 3pairs of 804, Htm2 ,Htm1, 803 and 802 and must say that the most bang for the buck is 804 or the 802 but then again if you choose the 802 you simple must buy the best amp arround.

    The deserve it, if you buy the 804 then you can live with the biggest recivers around.
    It will work but ofcource its a big leap to upgrade to seprates.

    Either way, very nice setup you have and I must ask:

    -How much does B&W Nautilus cost in America ?
     
  17. Phil Tomaskovic

    Phil Tomaskovic Supporting Actor

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    here are retail prices:prices

    you can also go to bwspeakers.com and add to a comparison lisr and select price as one of the attributes and they will give the suggested price.
     
  18. Tim Willis

    Tim Willis Auditioning

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    I have n802's and HTM1 up front with 4 705's for surrounds. They match across the high end very well. I am very happy i made the move to the n802's. I also agree that if you go 802's you will need a really good amp. They are very revealing and will also point the weakness in your system!!!
     
  19. KevinCa

    KevinCa Auditioning

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    I've got both the 805 for surround speakers, and the 804's as main speakers.
    While i've listened to the larger 803 many times, I just don't like its sound as much as the 804.
    As stated earlier, the difference between the 805 and 804 is substantial though they sound quite similar, so they match nicely for HT duties.
    I also consider the 802 the only way to go if you've already got 804's, the 803 just doesn't appeal to me.
    It sounds very different from the 804 or any other speaker in the 800 series.
    If I had the money and space, I'd get 802's myself.
    But they do require the very best amplifier you can afford, so it doesn't just end with buying the speakers.
    The 804's are already very picky about quality electronics, and the 802's just make it worse.

    The one thing I'd like to change in my setup, is my center.
    I started out with 805's as fronts, and so I got the HTM2 center.
    But as it turns out, i wound up with 804's as front speakers and now I'd like to get the HTM1.
    I'm not ready to buy it yet, but I'm not going to way too long either because of the upcoming new 800 series.
    Although I don't think we'll be seeing those until the end of 2005.
     
  20. Johan

    Johan Stunt Coordinator

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    I must say when I had the Htm-1 and two pairs of 804 ors it sounded so good that I got goosebumps all over..

    But the 802 s is probably the best speaker for the money but the cost do catch up when its time to buy your new amps [​IMG]

    Heres a picture from these old lovers of mine [​IMG]
    803 + Htm-1



    [​IMG]
     

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