How much $$$?
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I should mention that the showroom was not set up well to demonstrate the speakers, in case anyone is tempted to drive 100 miles to hear them there. (although they do have a demo pair of old model 800D's they are asking $14,000 for)
Like many dealers, the better rooms have given way to home theater, and all that is left is a small acoustically untreated room. Still, it was easy to hear the improvements.
Here is what B&W says about the N803D's.............
"803 DiamondThe 803 Diamond might look almost as imposing as the 802 Diamond, but thanks to its smaller footprint and more traditional cabinet design, it will fit more comfortably into a home environment. With three massive 7 Rohacell® bass drivers, it delivers almost as much bass as the 802 Diamond, filling even the largest of domestic rooms with rich, stunningly lifelike sound."
They must sound totally freakin' awesome!
From what I have read B&W is only one of a few in the entire industry producing speakers with diamond tweeters and are the cheapest of them all. The material and process is very expensive so they offer the 800 "S" models with metal dome tweeters for that reason. I am seeing the N803D's used for around $6K so that is 40% off, a great deal.
Early returns on the new line have been decidedly good so far. As for price, actually, although the B&W line has increased price-wise, if there is a commensurate or even greater improvement in sound, why shouldn't it cost more, like everything else does. Look at the prices of it's competitors, they've mostly all gone up significantly over the past few years as well. The real question is, AT their current price, how do they SOUND versus similarly priced competition? As for less-than-full-range monitors like the 805, $5k is really at the lower end of the spectrum for truly high performing monitors. There are tons of monitors priced higher 5k on up to the absurdly priced $30k Magico Mini. Just my two cents. Hopefully the new 800 series is so good there will be tons of used 802D and 800D's for sale come the summer (and I can grab one cheap, hehe).