Having owned and listened to a lot of BW, I would say the main diff between the 803d and 804s is in the midbass and bass, with the 803d sounding fuller and more in control. I think the 803s is probablythe sweetspot of the 800 series in terms of best price to performance. BTW, I used to own 805s, 804s, 802d.
If I had to choose between the two, IMO the diamond is the only way to go. I hear a ringing in the metal dome tweeter models. Good luck and enjoy which ever model you go with.
You are not asking the right questions because they are not designed for the same room. A room that is right for 803D will make the 804S sound bright and a room that is right for 804S will make the 803D sound boomy. So their tweeter and midrange performance is not what you should be considering.
Instead, you should be asking yourself how much bass your room needs in light of the electronics used. Afterall, bass is the main difference between the two. Only in answering this question can you determine which speaker is right for you.
Ihave a very large listening room (12H x 18W X 25L) with N804 & ASW800 sub. I am very pleased witht he audio. Fro me to upgrade to 803D would be a major outlay. I might consider used if local pickup allowed. In the end your ears will tell you which is right.
I don't have direct input for you on either speaker but as a guy that's second guessing his 703 purchase what I recommend you do is spend at least an hour if not more listening to each speaker and bring a lot of different material to listen to.
What I'm finding in my case is that my speakers become unpleasing to listen to after about 4-5 songs.
I own a pair of 803D; have had them for about 1.5 years. Installed in a large room, about 20X25 with 13 foot ceilings. Great sound at any level but must be matched with a good amp as they are a very difficult speaker to drive. I would recommend at minimum a good SS amp 200 plus watts. Best I have heard these sound is on Classe 400 watt monoblocks.
Thank all for swift input. I have to have the primary seating in this room against the back wall. Planning to hang D8Ss on the sides. Too much stuff around to use montiors on stands. Trying to avoid not having enough sound from surrounds. Make sense?
I have a pair of 803D for my mains and the HTM3S (essentially a 803S) for my center, DS8S for the surrounds and CCM-65 in ceiling for my rear backs.
For me there is a mjor difference in the diamond tweeters and the aluminum ones in the 803S and 804S. Theya sre simply sweeter and should be for the $1079 cost of each one vs. the $300 cost of the alumnimum ones. Yes, the 803D has more bass and they are perfect for my listening/HT room which is quite large with high ceilings.
Given the right cable, the aluminum tweeters can be not as forward as they are. For any of them, bi-wiring and a lot of good clean power can dramtically improve the sound of any of the 800 series speakers.
The DS8S also have alumnium tweeter which are better sounding than the 700 series and below metal tweeters.
I agree with one of the other posters that mentioned the best bang for the buck is he 803S but I'm glad I spent the money on the 803Ds for both the sweeter and more detailed tweeter and the extra bass at least in my listening area.
I'd forget about the 804S unless you have a small listening area. There is a major difference in bass between the 803S and 804S.
I've had both relatively recently for extended periods (purchased the 804S lived with them for about six months and then upgraded to the 803D lived with them for about six months and have now moved on) and it's not even close. The 803D is in a whole other league - the diamond tweeter, the midrange transparency and the bass. If you have the funds, don't waste your time auditioning the 804S. Frankly, the 803D is where B&W starts.
I have owned the 804S for 18months, upgraded to the 803D two months ago.
In comparison, for the 804S:
- smaller footprint and lower height more elegant for small/medium rooms.
- lean bass results in virtually no bass boom,
- surprisingly deep and articulate bass for relatively small loudspeaker
- more open neutral midrange (less of a dip in the presence zone)
On other hand, 803D is:
- deeper, fuller, has more tonal colour through bass
- seems easier to drive since not as much volume needed to get decent bass
- smoother transition and integration between drivers
- diamond tweeter smoother, more relaxed
I enjoyed the 804S open midrange but I could not live with the lean bass balance in the long-term. The 803D is a substantial improvement for me.
Thanks, folks. Listening tonight, and then wieghing the cost/benefit. Big question is how much I will regret not moving up vs. how much will I regret spending the money. The speaker will be with me longer than the few thousand$, I guess.
DId the listening last night. Went with the 803d. Both are wonderful speakers, but there is a difference. But there is this pair of 802ds on their floor, and they are in Rosenut... Well, you have to stop somewhere, and I did with the 803d. But if, when everything arrives next week, I decide that the 802d WOULD fit in the space.. who knows? It is a slippery slope
Thanks for your help
But there is this pair of 802ds on their floor, and they are in Rosenut... Well, you have to stop somewhere, and I did with the 803d. But if, when everything arrives next week, I decide that the 802d WOULD fit in the space.. who knows? It is a slippery slope
In my opinion, unless you have massive power and a good size room, stick with the 803D's, I suspect you'll be happier.