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Who else among you thinks that B&W N-series is a bit BRIGHT? (1 Viewer)

Arnel Enero

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May 2, 2002
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I'm wondering what is the consensus among HT/audio enthusiasts.
My opinion is that the B&W Nautilus series has a bit of treble lift which makes it sound even more detailed.
Or is it just because my Sonus Faber Concertino Home is just too dark that the B&W sounded too bright in comparison?
I'm starting to doubt that it's my system that's dark, because many people, including professionals, prefer the "B&W sound". Even George Lucas' Skywalker studio has recently chosen N802 for monitoring.
But for the record, I DON'T find the B&W annoyingly bright as some extreme opinions elsewhere suggest.
 

rodneyH

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May 22, 2001
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Sonus are characterised as being "DarK", and B&W is a little on the "bright" side, but hardly considered "bright" as in-they don't make your ears bleed/hurt like some speakers do. If you have seen a FR graph, you can see that they isn't a "peak" in the treble, it just covers the high frequencys,while others drop off.

There are some who call "B&Ws bright", but those people usually prefer a soft dome tweeter and a so-called "smooth" sound (Dynaudio, PSB, Totems, Vandersteens, amoung others).

I have a pair of Vandys in my guest room that I hardly ever use (they were given to me) compared to my B&W CDM7NTs, so that shows you what side of the fence I sit on. I would consider B&Ws "ACCURATE" since 80% of the worlds classical and Jazz studios use them (accuracy is something of most importance for these artists).
 

Jeremy Hegna

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Nov 28, 2000
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Bright, no. Sweet, detailed...YES!
I think it has a little something to do with that tweeter up on top, completely seperated from the rest of the drivers...and the mid-range too!:)
Nautilus are not bright speakers, they are accurate, IMO.
Jeremy
 

rodneyH

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May 22, 2001
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matthew, that can be extended to compare drivers made of-Paper, plastic (polyprop), Aluminum, Kevlar, etc...
 

Sihan Goi

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Nov 2, 2001
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442
PSBs don't have soft domes, Their flagship Stratus series speakers have aluminum tweeters custom made for PSB, manufactured by Vifa. Their Image and Alpha series also have aluminum dome tweeters.
 

Gil D

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Mar 15, 1999
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Arnel,

The Nautilus N805 has a touch more treble than the N804 and N803. It also depends somewhat on the amplification as this can effect the bass output. The N803 also seemed darker to me than the N804.

You should try auditioning the Signums if you can find them. This is a more lively Sonus faber and not as warm as the typical Sonus. The Signum is more on the level of the N804 (at least) IMO without the bass and represents a significant upgrade over the Concertino Home and CDM1-NT. I got my Sigs for not much more than a pair of CDM1's. Already had the Sonus stands I used with the Concertos.
 

Larry B

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Nov 8, 2001
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I also find the Nautilus line to be a bid "edgy," and not to my taste. (Thouhg I often recommend them as most everyone else seems to like them.)

Larry
 

MatthewJ S

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Feb 27, 2001
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when some people disscuss "fatigueing" speakers the B&W's always come up ,as do Klipsch and several other brands. Clearly people hear differantly, because these brands sell very well.....

I can find little rhyme or reason to explain who might prefer soft dome tweeters to metal ones to horn loaded (soft or metal), it seems to cut across musical tastes etc...

Oh well, another riddle..............
 

PomingF

Second Unit
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Mar 4, 2000
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343
They may be 'bright' but I've never find them 'fatiguing'. But then of course that is my own subjective impression. To me this bit of brightness is the price I pay for having such sweet, smooth midrange that is characteristic B&W.

Gil, I can't agree with you any better for I've tried many tweaks to soften the highs from IC's to tube pre's with the most drastic improvement came after the recent amp change. :)

PF
 

Pete H

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Mar 5, 2000
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I am familiar with the N801 and N802. They are definitely not bright but they certainly don't hide anything either. They lean toward the clean rather than colored end of the speaker spectrum. I really enjoy mine.
 

CraigR

Agent
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Feb 5, 1999
Messages
27
Arnel,

You wouldn't be looking for an excuse to buy some new speakers now would you? I use 805N's for my mains and don't find them bright to my ears. I think a perceived brightness of a speaker can have a lot to do with a combination of things. Room acoustics, amps, cables, interconnects, source material, etc. All of these things can contribute to a "bright" sound. Personally I like a lot of the speaker brands out there such as Sonus Faber, Dynaudio, Tannoy, etc. But they do sound different not necessarily bad but different. Bottom line is what sounds good to you should be the only factor that comes into the equation.
 

Les Holt

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Oct 3, 1998
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31
I use five 805N's for my home theater. Let me comment on your question whether they are "bright."

First, before burn in they do start out bright, to me. After a couple of hundred hours of use this dissipates.

Second, if not placed on very heavy and solid stands they can sound bright. The lack of mass in a light stand decreases the midrange and bass and makes the highs seem more prominent.

Third, they are extremely detailed and revealing speakers so any brightness in the source material or upstream components (preamp, amp, cables, cd or dvd player) is going to be revealed. What you're actually hearing is the brightness in these other items that other speakers will conceal because they are not as revealing.

So, the bottom line is, burn them in, put them on heavy, solid, sand-filled stands (for the 805), use neutral upstream components and cables, and the Nautilus series are detailed and accurate. After getting used to their detailed and open sound, listening to other speakers is difficult because there is so much information missing.

This is my experience, at least.

Les
 

Arnel Enero

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
May 2, 2002
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106
BTW, in most recent auditioning I noticed that the N802 has a bit more ambient information (and brighter) in the upper treble as compared to the N805. I went back to my copies of the N805 and N801 reviews by Stereophile, and found out that the N801's tweeter (same as in the N802) has a slight peak in the 10KHz region, whereas the N805 (with a slightly different, lower-spec tweeter) is pretty flat.

In fact I find the N805 to be the most neutral Nautilus speaker from the midrange to the treble. This, btw, acquits the N805 from my general accusation that Nautilus-series speakers have a slightly lifted treble.

Ok, this next one is a bit off-topic, I'm afraid that the midbass lift in the N805 may cause unnatural feeling of extra weight especially in my room which is much smaller than the HUGE listening room of the dealer. Anything that is of any excess, in audio at least, couldn't be a good thing, right?
 

Alan Kurland

Stunt Coordinator
Joined
Nov 6, 1998
Messages
99
Bright, revealing and constantly exciting!! No complaints -

N802s main stereo

N803s front home theater

602s rear home theater

HTM center channel
 

rodneyH

Supporting Actor
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May 22, 2001
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844
welcome back keith, I almost thought that a B&W thread was going to go on without you ripping on them, so much for that.
 

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