B&W 803 Diamond

I was out for a ride & stopped by the local dealer in Great Barrington, MA to check out some CD's. As always, I wandered back to their listening room to see what they have.

They had the new 803 diamond (replacement for original 803D) on the floor, connected to McIntosh CD + tube preamp + 402 power amp. I have heard the original 803D previously more than once & didn't like it - some coloration in the midrange drove me nuts.

Well this new one is a MAJOR improvement - actually the first time ever that B&W's have exceeded my expectations. The sound is now very open and coherent top to bottom, and very involving. No midrange issues and the treble is superb without calling attention to itself. If the whole new range is improved similarly, they are going to do VERY well.
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.