Another thing... about those rear speakers. If I did go with in ceiling speakers are there any that would sound good with the B&W's playing in 5-ch stereo mode with rock/pop music?
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I just went through this process. Worked my way up to the 803Ds, which were beautiful, but go the 802Ds. Still learning my way through the whole system and trying different music, but I have no regrets. I thought the 802s might be too big, but they look stunning. Got them in Rosenut. The cetner choice would do them justice. Due to the room and the HT as well as music requirement, I have had to go with the HTM4S center, which is not here yet, but will be on a custom mount over the screen. Compromise, but I think it will be quite a good one. I did not have the surrounds, and had the right situation to get the DS8s. What a sweet sound. You might try a small sub on your surrounds to fill out the sound? If you can fit the 802s into the room and the budget, go for it. If not, the 803s will be a delight. Enjoy and good luck!
I don't think there is such a thing as an amp having too much power -- better to have more than less.
I'd change out the sub first and run the main speakers as small and see how you like it. Then if you still want more refinement, I'd pick the 803 and run it as small.
You might want to read Dr. Floyd Toole's paper: Part One: How Many Loudspeakers? What Kind? Where?
They just sound a little stressed at high outputs and I had to change out a few tweeters already. It's not that the woofers/mids are bottoming out or anything. My biggest complaint is that I keep burning tweets. I want something that I can play at high volumes, that sounds fantastic, and not damage.
I have a music/HT setup with 803d, matching center(HTM1?; the one with the diamond tweeter but not the rounded head) and ceiling mounted b&w (I forget the designation, but they are the ones that look like directional, not surface mount, about five inch mid with alum tweeter in center, maybe CM16 or similar?). I drive all with an Anthem A5 amp; can't stay in the room at anything close to max volumes with no clipping. I also use the b&w ASW 825 sub.
The room is quite large, 20x25 with 13 foot ceilings, but this system can fill it up.
I really like this setup; have run for about 1.5 years. Having said that, I can't see where you could go wrong with the 802 either.
I replaced Vienna beethoven's with 803D's and was very happy with the performance of the 803D's using B&K Ref 30 processor and McIntosh MC352 amp. After about six months of use I replaced the 803D's with 802D's. Although the 803D's are excellent speakers, there is a sizeable advantage in performance with the 802D's. My room is large, 12'X50'
I just auditioned the 803D's and really liked them. I'm wanting to get back to more music and less theater. Today a used set of 802D's became available and I need to go and hear them as well. Seems like most in this thread like the 803D's but think the 802D's are considerably better. The seller of the 802D's told me they were 2-3 years old and in the Dark Cherry finish... I don't remember that they were ever offered in that finish... just the Rosenut. Any thoughts on that??? Just want to make sure they are really 802D's.
Well, turns out I was correct, 802D's did not come in Dark Cherry. I got the serial numbers from the 803D's and called B&W. The tech checked the numbers, and they were 802D's, in Rosenut finish. They can also tell when they were sold to the dealer, and the dealer name. Good way to get the correct facts.
I was trying to make the same decision. A local dealer had a demo pair of 803D's and I went and listened to them and they sounded great. Then another dealer came up with a demo pair of 802D's. It was a 300 mile drive, but I'm really glad I went. There was a significant difference in the quality of sound. Each range of speaker is in its own optimized enclosure and the additional cabinet size for the bass is exactly what it needs. I went with the 802D's hands down.
Getting them home... now that's another story!
I don't think your amplification is up to it for either 803D or 802D. It is proper for your current speakers though. So if you want satisfaction from 803D or 802D, pick your speaker and then start thinking of amplifier upgrade sometime soon.
I mean, Adcom are fine amps, just not for the B&W 800 series.