B&W 802d3 vs 802d2


The B&W 802d3's are everything the 'Stereophile' and other reviewers stated.
I cannot improve on their descriptions, including the d3's better integrated diamond tweeters.
Comparison with the d2's, which I just sold, 'gives one pause'.
'Two roads diverged...', and 'would I could travel them both'.
On first audition of the d3's I wondered if I'd made a big error.
Where was the immediately exciting and enchanting resonance of the d2's ?
On further audition of the d3's resonance emerged, but now it derived
more or less entirely from the audio source rather than as an accoutrement of the loudspeakers themselves.
The d3's required higher volume settings in order for the audio source resonance to emerge.
Whereas the d2's accorded a pleasing resonance to older and 'thinner' piano recordings, the d3's
did not yet convincingly conveyed the resonance of a fine piano recording.
Which brings me to ask if anyone has A/B'd the 802d3's with the 800d3's, if the latter convey a degree
of concert hall ambiance where the 802d2's may improved upon, and if a subwoofer might render the 802d3's a bit more exciting even if less realistic. 
Thanks for any input.

seventies
I’m not a huge fan, but one thing that I see listeners mistake is listening to B&W diamonds on tweeter axis, when it seems measurements and listening experience are better lower.


My personal preference is for Wilson, Monitor Audio and Revel, but you have to be true to your own ears, not mine. :)


As for a sub, integration is key, and it is rarely well done.

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802D3’s have a more overdamped bass alignment and less energy through the upper bass and lower mids, so they are by design a less warm / rich sounding speaker than the 802D2 or 800D2. Positioning them closer to the room boundary might be beneficial, and ditto less toe-in to the listening position, for a fuller, warmer sound, but the basic characteristics are different enough that it would be difficult to make one sound exactly like the other without the use of active room correction.

Fwiw, I use 800D2 in a mid sized room, with room correction below 100Hz to fix a mode at 40Hz.

Best axis for listening in my experience is just below tweeter axis, and this applies to all 800D,D2,D3 models. Listening at the level of the FST results in a loss of presence region energy. (2dB dip at 2kHz)  
@seventies - I would not make any judgements on your new D3 speakers without breaking them in at least 100 hours (possibly even 200+ hours).  The speaker cones need mechanical break-in and the Mundorf capacitors do need 100-200+ hours of electrical break-in before the speaker loosens up and settles down.

@arty-vandelay - Hmmm, I actually kind of disagree with you Arty, in some ways.  I have transition from 805D2 / HTM2-D2 to a st of 805D3 and HTM2-D3.  The D3 models actually have deeper bass and a much better midbass strenght (which is the upper bass / lower mids).  I can see where you might say the D2 series sound warmer and richer, but in my opinion, what you are actually hearing is the breakup distortion of the D2 kevlar speaker cones.  I had a significant issue with my D2 and kevlar breakup-distortion.  It made the upper mids sound harsh and distorted in comparison with the new D3 models.
@auxinput1,   I've heard 802D2 and D3 side by side, so my comments relate to those models, and what I heard is more or less supported by Stereophile and other 3rd party measurements. The older D2 definitely has more weight and warmth from a more generous bass output.

Noting too that the old Kevlar does operate through its non-pistonic range, but that's up near 4kHz, so a long way from the low mids and most of the piano range too.  

For what it's worth I agree with you re the 805D3 vs D2. 
 
Thanks to all who responded to my request for comments.
Your responses are very much appreciated.
The remarks 'by design less warm/rich sounding', 'the older d2 definitely has more warmth and weight through a more generous bass output', and 'what you are hearing is breakup distortion of the kevlar speaker cones' had particular 'resonance'.  Ditto the remarks regarding speaker positioning.
For what this might add, removal of rugs facing the d3's added what I might call 'glare' to the sound, without influencing the frequency weighting.
Regarding 'direction of energy to bass or treble', and insofar as the d3's crossover is presumably passive, knowledge of the engineering considerations would be entertaining.
Regarding addition of a subwoofer...and it would if only for space availability be a single subwoofer such as the Rythmik...I remain intrigued by the possibility of altering the output of such a device in order to tailor sound to different acoustic sources and different audiences.  Further thoughts or experience in this realm are of course welcomed.
Again thanks, Seventies.