I've heard the 800D's, and I have to say that the diamond tweeters sound soooo good on all the speakers I've heard them in. Very impressive and appealing.
62 responses Add your response
I own the 800N's as fronts and 802N's as sides. I personally compared the 800N's to the 800D's side by side with the same very high end equipment. To me, the sound from the N's was better---much fuller with no real diff in the tweeters. I absolutely think the price diff is not warranted at all. I will say that my opinion is contrary to 90% of other reviews and literature I've read---but, actual experience means more to me.
owned WP 3/2 for many years. Have to say I think the 802N are better. Haven't listened to Wilson recently, but newer version would be much more expensive
I sure hope so ,The 3/2 is trash IMO..On the used market for what the 802d cost you can get watt/puppy7 and real soon the 8s..Confidence C4 with cash in pocket,Kharma 3.2 with cash in pocket etc etc...look around and listen,thats all I suggest
I've heard both the 800D, 802D, and 803D. I've also heard the 800N and 801N. To my mind, the re-design incorporating the diamond tweeter makes the newer 'D' versions a considerably better speaker. I found the overall sound presentation to be more of a piece with the D than its predecessor, and the upper frequencies are incredibly clean and distortion free, so much so that I didn't hear the tweeters at all (this is very rare and the sign of a really good tweeter IMO). I found the music has an added sense of naturalness and realism with the D version. The presentation also sounded less strained to me.
Make sure you here the D version after proper break-in. After having the 'before' and 'after' results with the 800D specifically, I found it really does make a difference.
I would have to disagree with Missioncoonery. I find that the 800D is a superb loudspeaker.
Actually I currently have 5 803N's in my system, and am thinking about upgrading the front 3. Hence the question about comparing 802N and 802D. I could get either in red cherry to match my rear speakers.
Not that I am permanently wedded to B&W, but to change manufacturers totally would probably require eventual replacement of all 5 speakers for additional expense. Not to mention that all the speakers you mentioned are on sale in all sorts of bizarro color combinations (at least currently on Agon), making it difficult to match even just the front 3!
Since I doubt anyone will sell me a single 802D (or 3), we are probably talking about 2 pair. So the cost differential between the 802N and 802D mounts up. I am curious about the direct comparison, for those who are familiar with both...
DIW, if it matters to YOU, then it will be worth the money. All of this is baseless without knowing how you listen, the gear involved, the music you prefer, the room design and your overall priorities for sound reproduction. Since you have B&W and seem to like them, go for the D's in the front/Mains position...absolutely no need for D's in the rear.
Kodg here I want to add to my early opion. I have actually purchased a used pair of 802d recently. I had to drive 4 hrs. each way to get them as the guy did not have the boxes, but the price was too good to pass up. I have owned or own now ever new 800 series speaker.
IMO 802d is probably the best speaker in the world for the money. If B&W was'nt the 3rd. largest manufacturer in the world the speakers would probably cost $15,000+ more.
If your a B&W guy like me & have had good luck stick w/them. The new Focals are over $100,000.00 sound damn good but you get 90% of the performance at 1/10 of t price! Wilson & CA audio fall into the same catagory, (IMO I hate t way the wilson look also)
Once again if y are satisfied w/t 802N stick w/them.
If y must up-grade buy a pair of 802ds & one of t matching daimond centers, you will not be on odd ball speaker out.
I agree w/t other gentlemen that 802ds would be over kill for your surrounds. Not enought music is transmitted through t surrounds to justify the $$.
All thought t looks of t 802n & the 802d are similair B&W says 80% of the new 800 series has been up-dated. They are beatiful looking speakers & I can say they sound absolutely amazing!!
I could not justify spending $100,000 + more on any other speaker brand period. IMO it is not possible to improve on the sound performance you get from the 802d in a significant/real world listing experience.
*In other words y could spend another $100,000+ on some wilsons or Focals, ect. & only really improve your listing experience over t 802ds by maybe 5-10% max.
**THE LAW OF DIMINISHING RETURNS.**
Dave the room , the gear, ect. are not neccessary to rate one speaker against another as he is keeping his same set-up.
any room can be made accoustically correct, my room is a perfect example. This guy is talking about switching speakers not his amp, entire set-up. So the sound from a new speaker is going to sound different wheter it be b&w, Wilsons, Focal, CA audio, ect.
What he wants to know is if the D series is superior to the N. The simple answer is yes by about 50%. B&w does not come out w/new models every year like most speaker manufactures to try to boost sales. The Natilus ran for 7 years. B&W only makes changes to their design when they can honestly improve it, not just change colors of box design, their philosy is form follows function, hence the lack of noticable difference in apperance between the N & D. Much like Porshe. If y start w/a superior design their is no reason for a complete overhaul.
"I could not justify spending $100,000 + more on any other speaker brand period. IMO it is not possible to improve on the sound performance you get from the 802d in a significant/real world listing experience. "
100+ grand???LOL, where do you shop!..The new Wilson is in the mid 20 grand bracket I believe,and it smokes the slow&tubby sounding 802D IMO..On the used market in the under 10 grand catagory Wilson,Dynaudio,Focal are all available and are major producers,lets not forget smaller production makers(you fill in your favorite)..My point was there are lots of quailty speakers at the same price point or less that out perform the 802D..we agree to disagree!!
Jdec..It doesnt impact my speaker sales, I dont sell speakers...but I agree with Audiofeil totally.He nailed that discussion shut.I would venture to say Focal and Wilson sell as much or more speakers in the higher end market than B&W .I would also venture to say anyone shopping for speakers after listening to the new Wilson,Focal,Dynaudio,Avalon,Kharma(the list goes on and on)would never buy B&W..Just my opinion BTW,,enjoy those B&Ws
Missman, hi how are you? y tell me what the new focals list for then? ther $90,000+, wilson alexander $248, 000, ect. ect. slow & tubby 802d's you have never listened to them if thats your description!! or maybe you were looking in the mirror when you were writing your comment!
They are anything but slow & tubby!! you have to be in the 1% class that thinks the 802d is slow or tubby. e-mail one proffessional review that does'nt give the 802d at least a 92% rating! (I will be waiting for ever, because no one has rated the 802d as anything but superior.)
Dear audiofool (no serious just juicing things-up)
B&W has been in business for a long time because they produce great speakers at reasonable prices! Dinos?? B&W has been the biggest inventor of new technology in speakers since they began!!
You seem like the the guy that buys on fades, fancy colors & freaky cabinets. Your mind chages as the wind blows. I aim a blue jean & tee shirt guy not a fade chaser. I don't think y remain the 3rd largest manufacturer of speakers in the world by living off your reputation!
B&W has been an inovator & still is. Your telling me a daimond tweeter is a dino.?? that is the latest tech. available, they grow those daimond tweeters, which by the way have to reach the tempture of the sun to produce, if thats not cutting edge what is?
Of course it is just IMO. Their are so many speaker companies out their most will be gone in ten years & B&W will still be leading the way!
One last point y mentioned Wilsons as superior(new) hell they have been using the same bass/tweeter & mid range I think for 12 Years. That puppy is dead 10 times over in dog years!!
GM has been in business for years. So much for your longevity argument. There are far better values at every B&W price point IMO.
And I've owned more speakers than you've heard.
You have a B&W love affair? Fine, it only shows your complete lack of inexperience.
Stop yakking and start listening.
I would like to "take back" my thread. I wish you folks could turn the emotion down a notch.
My favorite all-time speakers (that I owned) were M-L CLS, I spent many years with them and a variety of subwoofing options. When I wanted to change to something more practical, I went to Wilson W/P 3/2's, which definitely did not suck, but were among the best small ultra high end speakers available at the time. Remember, at the time to buy something more expensive than W/P 3/2's, you had to go up to the really "big" speakers like the top of the line Wilsons or IRS V's. The IRS V's that I heard at Lyric were the best speaker that I have ever heard, but a little impractical for us folks. When I got into SACD and made the transition to multichannel, around the time that the Pio 47a came out (you remember, the first "universal player"), I bought 5 identical B&W Nautilus 805's. That was somewhat random in choice, it all started when I saw a single 805N for sale on Ebay. Obviously, I then upgraded to 803N's to get a full range sound.
I currently have a Theta Dreadnaught II, which is a wonderful 5 channel amp, and an Anthem D2V prepro. I still have my Esoteric DV-50, but more I am using my Oppo 83 to take advantage of the Anthem ARC room correction software. I don't feel the need for a subwoofer with the 803N's, but I would like to get back to the more precise imaging and "true" upper-echelon sound that my Wilson's had. Around the time that I sold my Wilsons, a good audiophile buddy bought a pair of 802N's (he got a spectacular deal) and even my wife agreed they sounded more natural than my Watt/Puppies.
Unfortunately, Stereophile hasn't had a show in NYC in several years, I didn't enjoy the environment of a stereo show, but it was a good way to quickly get a taste of a large number of different components. From those shows, I always wanted to try and create a surround system from MBL speakers, but they are really expensive and I think my wife would kill me if she saw them in our house:)
3 802D's for the front 3 speakers is lot of cash, which is why I started this thread. The idea of going to a new company for the system is not out of the question, but then I would probably be looking at eventually purchasing 5 new speakers.
There's my story. Don't beat me up too much...
By the way, I should mention that one of the key issues for me is getting a center channel which is identical to the Right and Left front speakers. Not that easy to buy a single "uber-high-end" speaker. So if anyone is willing to sell me a single Wilson, Kharma, etc., that could send me down the road of a new manufacturers' speakers!
DIW..I believe there is a single Wilson and a single Kharma for sale on this very site or there was within the past 30 days,they are out there..and cheaper because fewer are looking for singles..My point again is simply go listen to whats avalible at that price point and judge for yourself..I think most would agree to that
KODG..Something is wrong ,very wrong with your comments..No one in their right mind would compare the new 180K Focal grand utopia or its 2 siblings to the 802D,thats just silly and unfair to B&W...The 2nd generation Utopia BE which is selling between 6 and 15 grand (depending on what model you choose) IMO smokes the 802D ..The Avalon Indra retails for under 20 grand and is head and shoulders better as well.Dont believe that,look at what speaker was used at the last Vegas show,I dont think B&W was showen(could be wrong) ..The new Wilson Sasha which I just heard is priced at under 25 grand I believe ,again a far superior speaker..The list goes on and on..So really your comments are just silly..Saying that it really doesnt matter,you keep your B&Ws and enjoy them...AGAIN, my point to the original poster was go listen to whats out there
I had 802N's, changed to 802D's when I just was too disappointed in my new purchase and told my dealer who gave me an excellent price to upgrade. I was still disappointed...the difference in tweeters and crossover components did little to let the music through. I then got Vandersteen and am very pleased. The B&W's are fuzzy, opaque, flat, and not musical - both N's and D's. Listen and compare.
know that I have everyone attention I have an idea. but first I will make a comment or two. comparing GM to B&W is a bad example period. I never had any luck w/t few GM cars (Vans) I have owned. my oldler brother has never had a problem w/gm cars/trucks in 30 yrs? so their y go, it is a matter of taste (I agree w/you). last opion I said I think the 802d is the best speaker in the world for the money, all the speakers y listed were more expensive, not $110k but at least 4-10 thousand more. I have heard heard hundreds of speakers.
I do like B&W & I like their customer service. (important to me).
I was not serious I don't think anyone else was as far as nasty stuff, it just something to do,.
I recommended if y went the 802d route to get one of t 2 daimond centers they offer, so y would not have any extra speaker, or have to find a single single 802d. (I have never seen a single 80sd/n f sale) I have the 802ds & hmt2d as my center & the tonality matches perfectly.
Personally I like my system ,but I still look for fun & to possible up-grade. my old system is listed on this site by the way. When I buy I aim a research hound! (once again searching for a hidden gem is part of the fun.)
**I was thinking of starting a small audio club. The idea was to get some trustworthy guys & purchase a Cable Cooker. I been in contact w/the company that sells the most used Cable C./there best one is like a $1000.00.
Once y cook your cables they last for a 6 months- 1 year, then Ideally should be re-cooked.(so I have been told) I would love to have one but once I cooked my cables the thing would sit their for a 6 months/year before I felt t need to cook them again.
Five guy throw in $200.00 & we rotate the cooker back & forth.(each use it for two weeks, ect.) it is kinda silly to spend a grand on something you use once & rarely after that. I would fork over $200.00 to have a cable cooker available but I don't think I would want to spend a $1000 on one.
What do y guys think?
(I think five would be a good number)
Look guys, all of you need to fix your egotistical attitudes & start behaving like civilized men. And, also understand that this is a DISCUSSION & not a brain-washing session where you need to convince one or more men that brand XYZ is better than brand ABC! As all you zipper-heads know audio is a very SUBJECTIVE hobby & (often) one man's meat is another's poison.
Allow each contributor to this thread retain his opinion & RESPECT that opinion esp. if it does not jive w/ your own. As, I wrote before - it's subjective & bound to have vast differences. LET IT GO!
Now, in an attempt to contribute to this discussion: I have nothing to gain/lose here as I am no longer a B&W owner. However, I will say this: from my experience & from that of a good friend (who owns a 802D at this present time), the only way that you are going to make the 802D get up & salute you is to take care of the amplifier-speaker electrical interface. IOW, you will need an amp that has huge balls to drive this difficult load otherwise you are going to get a dull, lifeless, over-bloated bass, tizzy type of sound during playback.
look @ its impedance, phase plot.In the 20Hz-200Hz region the phase goes from + to - => inductive load to capacitative load. The amp you use will have to be capable of handling this phase lead, phase lag on a dynamic basis; otherwise, the 802D will be controlling the amp rather than the other way around. Also, in this region I note that the amplifier you use will need to have the ability to source/sink current into a low impedance load (2.5-3 Ohms) & still sound good. For most amps available in the market this is a tall order indeed. Most amps are rated for 4 Ohms & maybe even 2 Ohms but that does not mean that they sound good when driving those impedances.
From my experience at RMAF2007 I can tell you that B&W's decision to pair Classe amps with their speakers is a mistake! The new Classe amps are quite poor sonically & do their speakers a big injustice. However, what's B&W to do: they own Classe now so they have to tout their in-house brand!
So, guys, be careful mouthing off here: your experience of the 802D can dramitically change if you use the "correct" amplifier that has the ability to control this speaker. This is my personal experience - it's not hear-say or 2nd-hand experience.
The simple answer to your question is YES the d series sound better than the old n by about 40%.
I would by two 802ds & one of the (two) daimond matching centers b&w offers. I have seen some good price on audiogon for the daimond centers.
I still would like to know if y guys are interested in the cable cooker idea?
Do you think my Theta Dreadnaught II would be sufficient to cope with the issues you mention, or would it be more like the Classe in design?
By the way, I enjoyed looking at the pictures of your Scintillas. Now that brings me back to another era! Don't think I could make a surround system out of 5 Apogee's though:)
07-22-09: DiwThe truth of the matter, Diw, is that I don't know as I have never heard a Dreadnaught II driving an 802D.
after reading an online review in the Ultimate AV mag, I seem to be in 2 minds (of course, this is just a review & words cannot describe how the actual amp-speaker interface will fare; only listening can prove/disprove that). I've cut & paste from that review below:
Into an 8ohms load, with five channels driven, the Dreadnaught II clipped (1% THD+noise) at 192W per channel at 20Hz and at 189Wpc at 1kHz (215Wpc with two channels driven at 1kHz into 8ohms). Into a 4ohms load, five channels driven, clipping occurred at 228Wpc at 20Hz and at 227Wpc at 1kHz (255Wpc with two channels driven at 1kHz into 4ohms).isn't clipping supposed to indicate the point where max power has been reached? so, why didn't the amp's power increase substantially (double?) into a 4 ohm load? There was a marginal increase only.
With the Theta, however, the distortion increases gradually as power increases. At 2% distortion, for example, the Dreadnaught II will put out 257Wpc into 8ohms and 341W at 4ohms (two channels driven at 1kHz). The amplifier is able to double its 8ohms rated power when the load drops to 4ohms, but at a distortion level of 7.4% (450Wpc, two channels driven at 1kHz). It should also be noted that the distortion in the Dreadnaught II at very high power levels is higher than we measured for the original Dreadnaught.the levels of distortion seem disturbing to me but maybe I'm being too picky? Or, is this amp designed specifically for HT & these levels of distortion are OK for HT use?
I would certainly not be successful using this amp to drive my Scintillas! They'd burn up in a short time!
What does your listening tell you? Does the Dreadnaught II cut it?
By the way, I enjoyed looking at the pictures of your Scintillas. Now that brings me back to another era!Thanks for you kind words, Diw. I love those speakers. they are a very hard load to drive & they make your 802D, in comparison, a very easy load. ;-)
Yes, they belong to a bygone era (that, according to me, was when audio was a growing market & there was more dedication in the manuf than there ever will be today) - it's an oldie but a (very) goldie.....
07-20-09: Missioncooneryyou are quite the antogonist, Missioncoonery, aren't you?? on the prowl looking for a fight....
Ok, so you know that B&W speakers like power. So, which kind of amp would be suitable for this type of speaker? When you listened to this speaker, which amp or amps did you listen to it with??
Power, as your clever self would know, has 2 components & you can get high wattage increasing either or both components. Which of these 2 components of power seem to be more important for B&W speakers in your opinion?
No im not looking for a fight,just thought your writings were silly and unimportant to be honest..but as stated enjoy those B&Ws..my post might be unimportant to you but you are not the only one on this forum. My post might have meaning to others interested in this brand & those interested in making these speakers sound better. It's OK with me that you do not like B&W & never will; you've made that clear w/o mincing your words. Fine w/ me; no offence taken.
I also think that your mind is shut closed.
Further you cannot read! Read my original post & tell me if I still own B&Ws.
You have dodged my power related question completely that alone has told me a lot about you!
That's right, Missioncoonery, we are done with this!
Like you wrote before "we agree to disagree".
BTW, what the heck are you doing in this thread?? This forum is a DISCUSSION forum where we discuss topics including those that do not align w/ your likes & dislikes. If you have nothing useful to contribute in this thread (or anyother) then get lost; find another thread that you can be useful in. Simply bashing B&W (or any other brand) is NOT what anybody wanted in this thread.
Remember we are in an audio discussion forum - if you don't like a topic(s) then stay out of their. No need for you to participate & spew your venom.
You are right, we are done here. Goodbye!
Now, back to Diw's question comparing 802D vs. 802N. Members with useful comments should kindly contribute. Those that do not like this topic, keep out! (many topics in this forum will not be to your liking but try to remain civil all-the-same). Not that I like or want to be doing this but I'm pretty sick of nimrods like Missioncoonery who think they know everything swooping in & raining on someone's thread. People like this should just stay away from audio discussion threads as these sort of people are not open to any discussion - their minds are made up & they are out to bash brands that they do not like/prefer - they are no use to anyone in a discussion forum.
WHy do people who hate B&W keep responding to B&W threads? I will answer my own question: Most( not all) audiophiles I have met are complete geeks who can't seem to tolerate others opinions and tastes. They have the typical "small man attitude".They seem to have a real distain for many highly suscessful brands.They think they know more about engineering than the audio engineers who work for B&W, Wilson,Theil etc. but most of these audiophiles don't possess any post secondary degrees in mathematics,physics or electricity etc. They continually mouth off on the internet like spoiled brats.Yeah, basically they just sound like very highly opinionated idiots with a big yap.
THE BOTTOM LINE TO OUR B&W BASHER IS: ABBEY ROAD STUDIOS & SKY WALKER STUDIOS, THEY CAN BUY ANY SPEAKER BRAND IN THE WORLD , YET THEY USE B&W'S. Hmmm I guess your right they are slow & stoddgy & suck. Thats why they record 90% of the music you listen too!!
They are far from Dinasours living on past reputation, these peoples livelyhoods depend on their equipment in this case speakers & they choose B&W, not Focal, Wilsons, ect., ect., END OF STORY ON B&W BEING BETTERED BY MANY OTHER SPEAKERS!!
I love it you hit the nail on the head!! people who's paycheck rely on their equipment , carpenters, Studio engineers, ect. Now I would listen to their opion on equipment!
Once again I have said three times the 802d does sound about 40% better than the 802N. I would purchase 2 802ds for the front mains & the hmt2d center & be done with it. I run class D amplification to my 802ds & they sound wonderfull. Rated at 220 watts per channel continous at 8 ohms.
Diw, did you decide yet? It's a shame so many people can have so little to offer. If you like the B&W sound then the D's will sound much smooter and more open with less grain and a sweeter tone. If you want a complete overhaul then many possibilities exist that are more efficient to drive and may be more expressive at lower volume levels.
I've been thinking about what the "B&W sound" is. The folks here who think they sound slow remind of every time I've listened to the 801's (of various vintages). I always thought that was a poorly balanced speaker, with a ponderous bottom end. Maybe it was the shape of the speaker influencing my perception of the sound:) The first time I listened to 802N's, they were driven by the TACT amp and room correction system. And they were very quick. B&W may not be as transparent as Wilson's, but sound warmer (in a good way) and more natural to me. Then again, I haven't heard the Wilson 7, 8, or Sophias. But that's how I would characterize it up through the W/P6.
My Dreadnaught drives my 803's quite well, thank you. A very quiet amp, despite the distortion stats quoted.
Now how many years ago did they stop making the N series? How old would an 802N on A'gon have to be?
Does anyone here think I should be considering Revel?
THEY STOPPED PRODUCING THE N SEREIS IN 2005 THEY RAN FOR 7 YEARS. I AGREE MY B&W SPEAKERS ARE FAR FROM SLOW & SOUND GREAT W/MY CLASS D AMP FROM WYRED4SOUND (HIDDEN GEM)
ONCE AGAIN ALL THE MAJOR RECORDING STUDIOS USE B&W SPEKERS, CAN'T BE A COINCIDECE!! THEY JUST REPODUCE SOUND AS NATURALLY AS POSSIBLE. IF Y READ ANY REVIEWS FROM STUDIO ENGINEERS THEY ALL SAY B&W IS THE BEST SPEAKER TO LISTEN TO TO MIX MUSIC AS IN PRODUCES THE MOST UN-TAINTED SOUND FROM THE ORIGINAL MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS.
STEVE SPIELBURG RECORDING STUDIO ALSO USES B&W SPEAKERS!
MISSCOONEY YOU PROBABLY HAVE NEVER EVEN HEARD THE 800 SERIES SPEAKERS , THE OTHER GUY IS RIGHT Y JUSY LIKE TO AGRUE LIKE BA'CTH & YOUR AUDIO /VIDEO KNOWLEDGE IS SO LIMITED YOU SHOULD JUST GO BACK TO HANGING AROUND WITH YOUR VIRTUAL COMPUTER GENERATED GIRLFRIEND. YA ALL THESE EXPERTS ARE WRONG ABOUT B&W & YOUR HOLINESS IS RIGHT!!
BOW DOWN TO STUPIDITY AS HE IS YOUR MASTER & MOVE ALONG!
what is up with the knocking of krell, audiofeil, i for one think they make a great product and they stand behind it. but then i don't have audio in my name. as for B&W i have owned 800d's, 802's, and all the signiture line. for the money they can not be beat! every time some audio snob knocks them they say wilson, jm labs etc. these are very good speaker but $ TO $ no comparison, B&W gives you more. i know longer own them, i went as far in the line as i could but would never hesitate to suggest them for their value. kodg don't waist your time they are programed to say "dinosaur" or "living off reputation" because they have ears of gold. give me a break.
Your post regarding to the amplifier-speaker electrical interface is very helpful. I am looking B&W 802N or 802D but wonder if the EAD PowerMaster 8300 or 6300 can make them sing well for both music 2 chanel and movie 7.1? . I heard that with B&W 802, subwoffer would become redundant for movie. Is it correct? Would much apreciate if someone can share experience on this
Btw, I also very appreciated your review on TARA Labs Master Gen II RCA interconnects that helped me to buy this cable and being happy until now though I have tried many other cables but nothing can defeat the Master Gen II. Thanks you very much.