Buying B&W Speakers - What Would You Do???

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Al B. C, Jul 15, 2002.

  1. Al B. C

    Al B. C Supporting Actor

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    A store in the Phoenix area has made a special purchase on some B&W speakers and this offer might be too good to pass up.

    So here's the question......

    Should I consider buying a set of N 802's for $5199 or step up to the plate and get a set of N 801's for $7100.

    I've just about got my wife talked into this purchase so I want to make sure I do the right thing. Help!!!
     
  2. Phil Rose

    Phil Rose Agent

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    The question about N801 vs. N802 will really be answered by the size of your room and what your ears tell you when you listen to them. They are both excellent and I've heard several folks say that they like the N802s better than the N801s because of the difference in bass drivers. You should have a big room to support the bass from the N801's. I purchased the N802s because they fit my room and pocketbook better than the N801s. Also, if you look at the new N800's they use a driver configuration that is similar to the N802.

    BTW, where is this location that has a special purchase on the N800 series? I'd like to see if they have any N805's or N804's for a "good" price.

    TIA,
    Phil
     
  3. Al B. C

    Al B. C Supporting Actor

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    Well I have a set of Klipsch Cornwalls now so I am used to having 15's in the room, but like you said, I've heard a lot of opinions where people prefer the dual drivers in the 802's.

    Is the bass really that much tighter?
     
  4. Phil Rose

    Phil Rose Agent

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    Sorry, but I haven't ever had a chance to listen to the N801's so I can't say about the difference in bass. The B&W's are certianly different from say Dynaudio's and probably more along the lines of your Cornwall's in the area of bass. Have you had the chance to listen to them yet? My initial impression was that they have an outstanding mid-range, great extension and are very smooth. They do demand good electronics however since they are very revealing but, all speakers in their price range should place similar demands on the electronics.
     
  5. Al B. C

    Al B. C Supporting Actor

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    Yeah - actually I listened to the 801's, they didn't have any 802's in yet, and they sounded pretty darn nice. They didn't seem to be as bright as my old Cornwalls.

    It may take some getting used to because I haven't really listened to any non horn firing speakers in quite a while.
     
  6. Pete H

    Pete H Stunt Coordinator

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    Phil Rose has it exactly right. The N801's are wonderful but they need lots of space to properly integrate in a room. My room is 23'X 16'X 10' and I came to the clear conclusion the N801 was too much speaker and therefore purchased the N802. You can't under estimate the effect of the room. The natural tendency is to assume the N801's are better because they are more expensive. This may or may not be true. The size of your room really is the determining factor.
     
  7. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    My buddy owns a B&W dealer, he prefers the 802 over the 801-Price no object!! for what its worth, I really really trust him.
     
  8. Bruce Chang

    Bruce Chang Second Unit

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    The 802s are a great speaker, but you should compare them to other speakers like Sonus Faber, Vienna, Silverline audio, JM labs, Martin Logan, etc before deciding on the B&W. Yeah they may look cool, but try other speakers before you buy the B&Ws especially listening to Silverline audio.
     
  9. Will Gatlin Jr

    Will Gatlin Jr Stunt Coordinator

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    Hands down, get the 801's. Why?? Because if you bought the 802's, you'd be thinking about the 801's (a wonderful price). When you get the 801's, you won't give the 802's a second thought. If bass is important to you in critical 2-ch listening, get the 801's.
     
  10. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    If I had that kind of budget I'd look at Theils. I personally like Theil speakers a lot.
     
  11. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    another B&W thread that everybody feels like they need to rip on B&W (why don't I see any threads on these other speakers, and have you guys talk about them there??) (In other words-"START YOUR OWN THREAD" and stay off the B&W ones, it is getting so freaking old, it is like clock work, everytime!! Geez

    Did you guys actually read the post??? He is getting a great deal on B&Ws, I would sure hope that he actually listened to them (not only looked at them) before he drops over $5k on a pair of speaks?? Just maybe??
     
  12. Mike Burke

    Mike Burke Stunt Coordinator

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    Smaller drivers require less power to move them. The smaller 8in woofers in the N802's will be easier to drive with a less powerful amp. You will see with the new N800's they used twin 10in woofers rather then larger ones and the results from reviewers have been stunning. I was listening to the new Revel F50's and they use 3-6.5 in drivers and the dealer said the 3 smaller ones will provide equal amount of bass as the Studios using 2-8in drivers. By the way the F50's were amazing!!!!

    The electronics you will be using should play a LARGE desicion in your decision on what speaker you choose.

    Best of Luck!
    Mike
     
  13. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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  14. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    "The electronics you will be using should play a LARGE desicion in your decision on what speaker you choose."
    Mike nailed it. While I am an 802 owner, the 801s DO NOT lack in performance in comparison. HOWEVER, you have to be prepared to spend the coin to amplify them. Many 801 owners are able to spend the money on dual monoblocks for each side. If you are at all constrained budget-wise, consider the 802s. They are both incredible speakers, but you can amplify the 802s with a lot less power to achieve great results.
    Not that amplifying the 802s is cheap[​IMG] I am in the middle of convincing my wife that we should upgrade the Rotel 1090. I am considering Mcintosh amplifiers as my final choice for the 802s.
    Philip,
    Not to speak for Rodney, but I think posts like Bruce's are unnecessary in this thread. Our original poster did not ask which speakers he should audition in lieu of the B&Ws, rather which of the two models to choose from. Then, he goes on to say they "may look cool." [​IMG]
    I think your post is legit, considering you prefer Theils and if you had the budget, that is the direction you would go. Again, I don't know that the poster gives a rat's a$$ what other route to go, considering the deal he can get on some very fine speakers.
    Jeremy
     
  15. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    Phil, my point is, did you even read the post? (I appreciate opinions when they are answer the PROPER question), I don't think he said anything about any other speakers. IIRC, he asked if he should get 801s or 802s (maybe I am wrong, correct me if I am).

    I don't mean to be such a jerk, but it seems like everytime someone asks about B&Ws, everybody who thinks they have better speakers than B&W responds and says "XYZ are better", "try these instead", which is fine when someone asks them what you prefer, but when it doesn't relate to the origional question what so ever, I think people should keep some of their preferences to themselves, BETTER YET, start your own thread and say "Theil VS B&W:my thoughts" Or "review of my Thiel speakers", or something. I have responded to a question in another topic tis-morning and I gave my opinion (without stating that I prefer B&W-which i DO!!!), because the question wasn't about B&Ws vs another brand.

    I must admit, your post was VERY mild, so I am NOT speaking to you specifically, but the whole situation regarding B&Ws on this site lately. So don't TAKE it personal, I just would rather have a conversation with B&W owners and fans without someone else pipping in and saying that there speakers are better, or whatever.
     
  16. Al B. C

    Al B. C Supporting Actor

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    First of all I have auditioned some of the other brands mentioned. As a matter of fact I almost bought a set of Logans for dead cost (my daughter worked for Ultimate Electronics)but decided against them because I need a speaker that I can crank for some parties around the pool from time to time and ML's just aren't a party speaker.
    As for amplification, I am using a Sunfire Cinema Grand & Sunfire TG II pre/pro so I am sure that I can drive either one sufficiently.
    And lastly I really just wanted opinions based on these two models. If I do it, I've pretty much decided on B&W.
    I hope we don't get into a B&W flame war. [​IMG]
     
  17. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    "Mild?" What do you mean? I own B&W speakers, greatly enjoy them, and regularly advocate them.

    I guess Bruce's and my point (NEITHER of which were "ripping" B&W in any way) is why limit yourself to one speaker brand? (Al just answered that while I ws typing this) If I've got $7K to spend I'm going to listen to every speaker within my price range. It's a bit peculiar to limit onesself to one brand two models within the brand. If you know you like B&W it may be nice to listen to other speakers with a similar "sonic signature".

    It's kind of like cars. For the same price that I can get a Toyoya Avalon I can get an Audi A4. If I'm looking for an upscale car and have loved Toyotas I'm going to go to my Toyota dealer. However, I'd appreciate it if someone told me "for the same money you can get an Audi". It opens the possibilites.

    Is it worth it to get in on a "special deal" just because it's "special"? If someone is willing to spend $7000 on a pair of main speakers, don't go with a particular brand just because they are a "special deal", get them because they are the best speakers you can find, the ones that please your ears, for the money. Rushing into a special deal can sometimes be great, but sometimes not.

    I'm a big B&W fan but once my budget gets that high (it never will) I will go with Theils, which have a very similar, but more refined, sonic signature to B&W, particularly in the midrange.
     
  18. Jeremy Hegna

    Jeremy Hegna Supporting Actor

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    "As for amplification, I am using a Sunfire Cinema Grand & Sunfire TG II pre/pro so I am sure that I can drive either one sufficiently."
    Al,
    You are correct. You'll be able to drive either pair sufficiently, however, IMO, it will take more that the Grand to drive them to their optimum levels. You may get closer with the 802, but the 801 will need more "juice."[​IMG]
    Does it have enough power? Yes! But the speakers you are looking at are extremely revealing...from source to interconnects...to pre stage and amps, and all the way down the speaker wire, you will notice change. I was a non believer at first. Believe me, my Rotel 1090 is a beast when it comes to power @ 380 wattsx2 @8 ohms and over 700 watts @4 ohms...but there is a difference with amplifiers. I've auditioned several Krell amplifiers, two Macs, and a buddy's BAT. My favorite so far is the BAT 6200(?), but it is a bit out of my price range and a tough amp to find used. There is also the issue of source and pre/amp which is a totally different ball of wax.
    Regardless, my point is that when I purchased my N802s, they automatically became the strong link in my system and my gear isn't shitty. The issue is the revealing nature of Nautilus speakers. IMO, this is cool...it gives those of us mortals a chance to grow into our speakers.[​IMG]
    Jeremy
     
  19. Larry B

    Larry B Screenwriter

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    Will said
     
  20. rodneyH

    rodneyH Supporting Actor

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    Phil, your digging yourself a whole

    You give the Car example, the reason it doesn't work is because he is already getting a GREAT deal on the B&Ws (btw, I too would much rather have an Audi that an avalon).

    Also, did you read his original question??? I don't understand it, when a test is school says "true or false" you don't cross it out and say "maybe", the question was (iirc) "801 or 802" I didn't see anything else in there about another brand. Like I said before, I would think he listened to him before deciding on B&Ws

    actually I was in a situation a couple weeks back and was going to ask what color 804s I should get, I never posed the question because I knew it would end up turning into a "have you looked at Divas, they are just as good for 1/3 the $$", or "Revels sound much better look at those", or "B&Ws are way to bright, I like Sanus Fabers cremonas". Do search and look at what my thread turned into when asking about what sub to pair with the 804s, I started the thread, it is so off topic, I don't even read the updates anymore (I am sad it is in my name). I hope you get my point, if not, we will just agree to disagree. (btw, I will agree with you the theils are a nice speaker).
     

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