B&W Nautilus owners help me choose?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David Barteaux, Mar 23, 2002.

  1. David Barteaux

    David Barteaux Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2001
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I have completed a demo of the B&W Nautilus HTM-2 center channel speaker. Compared to my existing LCR6S2, the HTM-2 blows it away IMO. Therefore I will be upgrading to the HTM-2.
    Now my problem. I will need to match the HTM-2 with Nautilus 805's. Are they good enough for a home theater application. I am mainly concerned with the bottom end response. I have a good subwoofer but I am still not sure. My preference is 50/50 HT and music. I guess I want the best of both worlds. Are the 805's mainly for two channel stereo in a small room? Should I be looking at 804's and HTM-1 for home theater? But of course ther is the $$ factor.
    All I know now is that I must have a Nautilus center channel....sweet![​IMG]
     
  2. Rich Co

    Rich Co Extra

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2001
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    David,

    I don't know about the 804's but the 805's and HTM2 comprise my front soundstage and it is sweet although i'm still only powering them with a receiver (i will be upgrading to separates in a week or two). I use them mostly for HT and they sound wonderful. Plus, they look wonderful.
     
  3. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I don't own the 800 series, but I was in the market for them, and had some similar concerns that you do (along with SACD and DVD-A playback and lack of bass management), do to those reasons I ended up with the CDM7NT, but if I were going for a $2000 speaker just for 2 channel use in a small room. the 805 would be the ones. My next upgrade will be the 804, but not for a long time, I am very happy. I ended up upgrading my Rotel amp for a Marsh and now use the CDM7 and CDMCnt.

    Good luck!

    btw, RIch is right, the 805 sure are beautiful
     
  4. Todd_Michael_R

    Todd_Michael_R Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I'll second Rich's comments (Mabuhay, Rich! I am new here too). I have dark cherry N805s and HTM-2 across my front. I'm mating them with a soon-to-be delivered SVS 25-31PCi to help eradicate any low-end problems I may have in HT. Like Rich, I'm driving them with a receiver but will also upgrade to separates when I have the cash. See if you can get a dealer to demo a pair...chances are you'll run back to the store to buy 'em. Good luck!

    Todd
     
  5. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Todd, did you get the custom tuned SVS 25 to go to 22 Hz, Thats is what I did and they blend with my B&Ws great, I love the set up. My Bro has some older B&W P6 (predecer to the CDM line, but with the fully exposed tweeter) and runs an energy Sub, and everytime he comes over to my house, he is amazed at how smooth the SVS blends with the B&Ws.

    btw, you 805 owners, RUN, don't walk to go seperates (lets not make this another recievers VS sperates thread), you will notice a huge difference, I even heard the 602 with a theta set up, and all I can say was "wow" it made that much of a difference, recently I listened to a 805 with the sim audio set up (pre and amp) with the top of hte line Marantz SACD player, it was a killer sound, very very smooth and open. Sound stage was incredable.
     
  6. Todd_Michael_R

    Todd_Michael_R Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2002
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Rodney,
    Yep, getting it tuned down to 22Hz. [​IMG] Glad to hear that the blending will be good.
    Todd
     
  7. Justin Doring

    Justin Doring Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 1999
    Messages:
    1,467
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    While the N805 and the HTM-2 with a sub is a great sounding music and HT system, the N804 and HTM-1 and a sub takes you to another level. The dedicated midrange of the N804 and HTM-1 makes a big difference. While the combination is more expensive, when you figure in the cost of stands, the difference is only around $2500, which is easily worth it IMO.
     
  8. Rich Co

    Rich Co Extra

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2001
    Messages:
    24
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Todd,
    I got cherry red's too. At first i had wanted to go cheap on the center channel since i spent a fair amount of money on the 805's, but the wife wanted them the same color.
    BTW, i had ordered a SVS 16-46CS+ yet to be delivered to start its long journey here.
    I will be getting the Rotel RSP-1066 and RMB-1075 next week (hopefully).
    I will get a better amp for the mains if i get some more though but i've already gotten a warning that i am already spending too much this year from the wife.[​IMG]
     
  9. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    1,102
    Likes Received:
    87
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    I received my divine inspiration last summer and brought home three B&Ws.
    The progression of choice was much like others in similar situations to mine. I never considered the lower-priced models as I already had a system competitive to those. If I was going B&W, the CDM-NT would be the minimum. My dealer allowed in-home auditions of anything he had on the floor.
    I started with CDM-7NT and kept it, along with an N-HTM2 center, for a weekend. I was most impressed, particularly with the HTM2. So impressed with the HTM2 that I decided I needed to step up to the Nautilus line for the mains also. The N-805 was the logical step. I returned the 7NTs and sat down for an in-store audition of the N-805. After about 45 minutes of listening to a hadful of CDs and DVDs I had brought with me, I had the dealer start the paperwork. He was kinda busy that day so I was piddling around the B&W room while I was waiting. My eye kept wandering over to the N-804 (and the N-803 but that was completely out of the question at that point). After doing some math in my head, I had my guy stop writing and I had him help me load the 804s in my truck for an overnight at my place. In retrospect, I should have just paid for the damn things then and there and saved another trip across town.
    It didn't take overnight to decide. I took about a minute and a half once I got the speakers setup. I listened for a couple of hours anyway. Then I got back in my little trucky and dashed across town, without the speakers, to sign the invoice. The N-804s (red cherry) have been in the same spot since then.
    Then last week I was possesed by the devil for a few days and I had my dealer order an N-HTM1 (red cherry to match my 804s), sight unseen. Being the kind of dealer he is, I was given full credit for the HTM2. Five days later is was unpacking the biggest, heaviest center channel speaker I had ever owned. And the best I had ever heard anywhere.
    The moral to this story is the N-805 and HTM2 combo is a fantastic setup for both music and movies. Soundstaging with the properly setup 805s is amazing and the HTM2 offers clear, natural dialog reproduction and a seamless integration with the 805s (identical driver compliment). A good subwoofer is a requirement, however.
    But...you knew there would be a "but", didn't you.
    But, the N-804 and HTM1 combo is a whole other level of performance. If speakers were drugs, this would be the crack cocaine of audio. Not the most expensive, but instantly and agressively addictive. One hit and you are doomed to walking the aisles of Best Buy looking for more CDS and DVDs to feed the habit. Beware the loss of innocence.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. David Barteaux

    David Barteaux Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2001
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Robert,

    Can you tell us, with a little more detail, the sonic difference between the HTM-1 and HTM-2? Do you run the HTM-1 as large where you ran the HTM-2 small previously? I found the HTM-2 much better with mulit-channel music than home theater dialoge. Voices still sound a bit artifical with the HTM-2. Does the HTM-1 clear this up? My dealer does not have an HTM-1 for me to demo.

    Have you or anyone heard the Aerial CC3? How does it stack up against the HTM-1?

    When considering high end components, one must make a sound decision espically when on a budget.

    Thanks
     
  11. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Robert, your story had a very predictable ending, after I read that you took the 7s home, brought them back for 805s and you started to take a peek at the 804s, it was ALL over, you were doomed!!

    nice job
     
  12. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    1,102
    Likes Received:
    87
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    David:

    I would characterize the HTM1, when compared to the HTM2, as more seamless, more "transparent" in a system with N-804s on the left and right sides. The HTM1 is a sealed enclosure where the HTM2 is ported. The ported design is likely to help give the HTM2 a bit more extension at the bass end since it is a 2-way design using a single driver for bass/midrange that is similar (but not the same) to the midrange driver in the HTM1. The HTM1 is a bass reflex design (sealed box) since it is a true 3-way design with two woofs for the bass allowing the woven kevlar FST driver to do only midrange. As you might expect from this variation in design, the HTM1 is a bit smoother and more natural in the midrange which does indeed improve dialog reproduction in film soundtracks.

    Used with N-805s, I don't see any reason to spend the money on the HTM1. However, with any of the floor-standing models in the Nautilus line, I find the HTM1 a better match.

    Whether or not is is a thousand dollars (retail) better than the HTM2 is a question only you can answer.

    In my system, I use standard THX configuration. That is, all channels with 80Hz crossover.
     
  13. David Barteaux

    David Barteaux Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2001
    Messages:
    179
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Thanks Robert for you reply.

    Because this is a thread on center channels in general, who can tell me, in thier opinion, makes a better center speaker than the B&W HTM-1 or HTM-2. Money would not be the deciding factor only sound quality. This should help me develop a better sense of what is out there.
     
  14. Dennis B

    Dennis B Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Messages:
    189
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Jumping in, I'd really appreciate your comments on how much sonic difference you think there is between the 803 and the 804. I'm planning to upgrade to one of them soon, had the opportunity to audition them side by side and felt there was a considerable difference in favor of the 803.

    However, I've been reading here and there that people kind of go for the 804 or 802. Would that be more price-level based? I mean, the 804 is the first floorstanding in the line you usually can afford, while the 802 is not that much more than the 803...

    Thanks.
     
  15. Robert George

    Robert George Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 1997
    Messages:
    1,102
    Likes Received:
    87
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
    Dennis:

    Deciding between the 804 and 803 would depend almost entirely on the system it would be used in. If one is going to put one of these in a HT system that will use a sub for low bass, most especially if one will be using a THX controller with its 80Hz crossover, then the 804 would be the best (as in, most cost effective) choice.

    In a dedicated music system without a sub, the 803 would have a definite advantage with its lower extension. The high frequencies and midrange are, to my ear, virtually identical between the 804 and 803, as they should be. The drivers are identical. The 803 has larger woofers and a large cabinet, hence, more bass.

    That said, I don't think I would consider the 803 for any application. If it was HT or a small room with a sub, I'd go for the 804. If I needed more than the 804 could offer, I consider the next appreciable step up to be the N-802. The price difference between the 803 and the 802 is not that great, relatively speaking.
     
  16. Henry W

    Henry W Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2001
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
  17. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "better" according to who? Dunleavy? I don't think I would run a Dunleavy center with a B&W set up or visa versa. They make great speakers, but sonically very different from B&W.
     
  18. Dennis B

    Dennis B Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Messages:
    189
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Robert,
    Thanks for the reply. What you said is just what I was afraid of... having to go all the way to the 802s... [​IMG]
    Although a combination of 804s and Velo HGSs wouldn't sound bad at all, for more or less the same as the pair of 802s...
    I guess you confirmed my point that the 803's problem is that it's positioned between the not-too-much-more-expensive (relatively, as you noted) 802 and the not-too-much-less-performing-but-much-more-affordable 804. Not to diminish any of the 803's exceptional qualities as a speaker. I'm just trying to understand why it seems to sell less than its 'brothers'.
     
  19. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    May 22, 2001
    Messages:
    844
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Dennis, I have also heard that the sonic characteristics of the 803 is a little different, I tried to inquire why, but nobody seems to know. Logically it looks like it would sound the exact same as the 804 just with a bit more bass, but apperantly that is not the case, thus the sales of hte 802 and 804. I don't really understand it.
     
  20. CraigR

    CraigR Agent

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 1999
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    David,

    I think choosing between the combo of 804's with an HTM-1 and 805's with an HTM-2 depends a lot on how big your room is. I have 805's with an HTM and a velodyne SPL1200 sub and think that this combo sounds great in my room. But I have a relatively small room (17.5' x 14.5' x varies to 14'). As you and others have mentioned there is a pretty significant cost difference between the two options. You'll have to listen and decide which is best for you. Have fun and take your time so you won't second guess yourself later on.
     

Share This Page