they are great speakers , i have owned them, they are good with rotel, big power, low pricing, but the mid with them is mucical fidelity and the best is audio research...
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I agree 100% with S7horton. They are a good speaker and I have liked them every time I have heard them (even on cheap rotel stuff). But there are better deals out there.
To me B&W (I have owned a few) have a slight coloration in the upper mids. But that can also give them a very sweet lush sound. I feel the highs on the all the Ds are top notch and possibly of my favoritt of any brand.
There are some used Wilson Sophias on here for $6,000 which IMO would better the 803Ds.
As always uses your own ears.
I have to strongly disagree with those referring to B&W as a dinosaur brand living off it's reputation .Few others spend the resources on R+D that B&W does.I can almost bet we will see a completely revamped line for the B&W 800 series within a year or so.Now, back to the original question.I had the 803D for about a year. They are good speakers and very well balanced but I agree almost all B+Ws are overpriced. However at around 5-6K used you can't go wrong.
They sound nice but I could name ten or so other speakers at their price points that, to me at least, sound better. The brands named above (although I've not heard the Piega). Would add Sonus F and Montana.
I think the 800 series is still made in the Uk. Other than the ten thousand dollar two way and the one that looks like a snail, B and W makes their products in China. Q
I have found Marantz to sound pretty good and be very under rated. It is hard to say because B&Ws are one of the few brands that REALLY need lots of power... You can get lots of power cheap from Rotel (very cheap used). I heard The 803D back to back on Classe' amps and rotel amps. The Classe's were a bit better but if you did not hear them back to back you may not know what you were missing.
So what would you be missing with Rotel? IMO a bit of treble refinement and a touch of bass control at higher volumes.
Also most people seem to think the Sophias are pretty easy to drive but still diverse good equipment.