B&W 801 Matrix or JBL L150

I know Matrix is a much more expencive, Hi-End kind of speaker but still I'm allready used to kick ass huge sound of JBL driven by Mac 6900. I'm thinking about getting myself a McIntosh MC2500 amp and possibly a replacing JBL with 801 Matrix. How do they compare? I'm sure B&W will be cleaner but I'm afraid of it's brightness (not that the highs on JBL are anything special, but they are pretty comfortable with the right system). Will it give the same HUGE sound and bass? Looks like it should but still...
I was a B&W dealer and had the earlier 801s, I had a pair of JBL 150As about the same time. I am puzzled at the question because the criticism of the B&Ws of this period was that they were too dull [I didn't think so] while the first word that comes into my mind when you mention JBL is BRIGHT. They were intentionally designed with a mid range peak for years to sound impressive in the showroom , "hear that trumpet come right out into the room". Put a big SS amp on the 801s and they will give you a BIG sound and a lot of bass, in a completely different league than the JBL.
I agree with Stanwal :The 801's ( Matrix line ) are a great speaker..The better quality power you feed them the more you will be rewarded.....The Matrix 801 is not bright,unless you feed it with bright electronics...McIntosh should work well...........
I used to own the 801 series 3 and only upgraded to the N802's because of the crossover, FST midrange driver and other improvements. I will say that years ago people would sell the 801's not realizing how good they really were because they were lacking in the electronics department pushing them with more mid-fi components. You will not be disappointed with the 801's as they perform every style of music without serious trade offs.
How would you describe 801 series 3 compared to modern N802? Did 802 lack the bass or the scale or 801?
N802's can handle any power/volume you throw at them and the 801 midrange would slightly break up. I even had the NorthCreek crossovers which made the 801's sing. Bass is not a problem, I have always used 2 B&W ASW 800 matrix subs and they blend just fine. You will never regret owning a pair of the 801's though, go that route.
How does the earlier 801 series 80 compares? There is a local guy selling it for a good price.
JBL sound dated
Just got a pair of 801 matrix for $1200 two days ago. Pushed by an old Dynaco I soldered originally in 1978 and fixed occasionally over the years the sonic image is huge compared to my old set-up: b&w 685's with b&w 650 sub. I don't hear how you could go wrong with these. Just fabulous.
I have owned many high end speakers through out the years but mostly B&W lines. I started out with 804 Matrix. it sounds awesome for it size and price. Then I upgraded to 804N, 802N and then down grade to 801 Matrix series II. When I first hooked up to 801 Matrix with the same driven power amp and pre-amp (Mcintosh MC2500 and MX119). Wow what was a different between used price 802N and 801 Matrix (average $4500 comp. to $1700, respectively.)802N lacks of bass and high. 801 Matrix is really details, clarity, and warm. But mid of 801 is not clear as 802N. I won't get tired or bored listen to 801 Matrix II. I probably hold on to this longer after upgrading and changing speakers from Martin Logan, Mcintosh XR19, LS360, Klipsch Belles, AR3. I absolutely agree to most threads above. For 801 Matrix, you really needs strong SS amp, recommended 300 watt/ch and up. I did try to compare between MC2500 and MC7270. The bass which driven by MC7270 kind of rumble/hash bass compare to the other driven by MC2500.
Matrix S2 have protection to keep from over blowing hence their higher power rating but muddier sound compared to s3. Look for S3 which have no protection, cleaner path /better sound and assume responsible individuals.

Krell - which version did you have ? No problem with mine using two classe 300 amps ?

Put S3 on sound anchor stands along with the b&w high pass alignment filter and you will never need another speaker.

But warning they need alot of space like any great speaker to breathe. If you dont have the space to give them a few feet all around I would think again about it.

I listen to mine in nearfield. They are 6 feet from front wall and 8 feet from sides. I sit 7 feet away from them.

B&W 801's are good speakers, they need a proper stand for the height, when setup correctly they can be very rewarding and are a bargain at there current prices .