B&W 803S Speakers

The other day, I auditioned the B&W 683 speakers and was very impressed. I wanted to also audition the 803S, to compare, but the dealer did not have any in stock?

To all B&W 803S owners, please provide feedback concerning these speakers. Also, how do these compare to the 683?

By the way, would the 803S work well in a 12'x14' room?
I listened to both, for the money, I thought the 683s were pretty nice. The increase to the 803S' seemed a waste, they were rather flat sounding by comparison. I don't think they were flat sounding as in a neutral way, just flat sounding as in lifeless. I am still considering the 683s for a second set up.
The 803S in a small room (12' x 14') could be overkill. The 683s are far more affordable and would be all you really need.

That's interesting about what Gsxr750ccs states about the 803S being lifeless. Here we have the 803S at approx $3K per speaker vs the 683s at $750.00 per speaker. Huge difference in price.
Hmmm... I find the 803s much better than the 683. But it is a big price jump! They image much better and have tighter bass. The highs also have wider dispersion.

But for your room the 803s would be way too much. I had a pair of 703s in a 12x11room (during a move transition) and I could not get the bass under control. Plugging the ports helped. But the real problem is if you move the speaker far enough out from the walls to get the bass under control the sound stage would compress and not sound right.

Anyway you should add the 805s to your list too. They are very good and would be a good fit for your room.
James63, do you think that the 805s would require a subwoofer in my 12' x 14' room? If so, what would you recommend?
I have older 805s and they work well with REL and also older Hsu subs.
I run the 803's in a 12x19 room that opens into a second room with no problem. Have listened to the 683's but found a very big difference in imaging - 803's image much better in my opinion. I also felt that the bass of the 803's was more realistic - I just did not care for the bass of the 683's. I second the above recomendation as to giving the 805's a listen - very nice speaker. As to whether you need a sub that depends on your music choice and personal tastes - for my tastes the 805's would work just fine without a sub. As between the 805 and the 803 - the 803 is more 'defined' but the 805 is better 'integrated'. Language does not really work very well in describing sound, partly because of individual tastes and partly just due to language limitations and the lack of firm definitions. In other words, the only way to compare speakers is to listen to them in the same room with the same music and with very little delay (less than 1 minute) betwen listening to speaker A vs B. In summary, the 683's lack of imaging would wear on me after a while - the real choice is between the 805 and the 803 - If you want to stay in a lower cost bracket - find a pair of 602's used - a really incredible speaker - in my opinion just a notch under the 805 and 2k less.
Having owned the 803S (and now the 803D), the 803S was as previous posters have said and could be a bit much for that size room.

Whether you decide on the 805 or 683, both contain B&W's aluminum tweeter which is a little forward imo. I found that Audioquest's CV-8 dbs speaker cables is great at 'taming' the tweeter and producing a more relaxed and less forward high end without loosing any detail.

The diamond tweeter is another story and is not forward at all imo.

Just FYI.

Also, you'll need more power to drive the 803S given the Rochell bass drivers unique to the 800 series.
I don't think you would need a sub but I don't like my bass over done. The 805s is pretty balanced but does not go as deep as the 803s. You will just have to use your own ears.

I find B&Ws image best when they are far apart with a lot of toe in ( almost straight at the listener). With the smaller 805s you will be able to place them closer to the wall (8ft apart and two feet from the side walls) with out issues. I would think two feed would not be quite enough room for the 803s to sound their best? Some one who has owned them could tell you better.

PS. Call up B&W as see what they say. I have found they are pretty helpful with questions about room size and what not.
I don't think the 805s would *require* a subwoofer in a 12' x 14' room. However, it depends on what you like. If you do choose to try a subwoofer (ideally a pair - yes, I know it sounds overkill) make sure that you can roll it off at 30 Hz or less.

If you can drop the coin, go for a REL (or 2). For less money, I like (and own) a pair of Martin Logan Dynamos and roll them off around 35 Hz. I have a smaller room than you, too.

Also, check out "the Swarm" by AudioKenesis. I have not heard it, but in theory could be killer. Duke is a great guy, too.
No experience with the 683 but I listened to the 805S in a small room without a sub and it did not seem to need a sub. Very high quality speaker. You may want to listen to the Quad and Revel offerings in that size for the room that you describe.
It's funny how everyone forgets to mention the 804S. I had the 804N's; the 803N's; and the 802N's in the same 13X16 room with Mark Levinson gear with no problems. I have sat for hours in a room I know well with 804S's and 803D's. The 803D's are one of the smoothest speakers I have ever heard. I liked it better than the 802D's. I own Kharma's. Go for the 804S. Peace and Good Listening, Pat.
The 803S are GREAT speakers. Very, very good. However, if you go one step up with the 803D, they are AMAZING. The B&Ws with the diamond tweeters are absolutely BEAUTIFUL sounding. They are, however, very expensive.

I also agree with the recommendations for the 805S. I have these as rears, but even for fronts, they would be outstanding. Especially for your size of room, they would be great. They sound MUCH larger than you would assume for a 2-way stand-mount monitor, and they are actually not small speakers either. For music, they do not need a sub, especially for your room.

The 804S are great too, and you would get fuller bass with them, but I actually prefer the 805S. I thought the imaging was better, and as well as the separation of instruments. With a sub, the 805S would be clearly superior to the 804S. Still, with either choice, you can't lose.

I currently have the Signature 805s' in room with similar
dimensions. I'm sure the 803's are fine speakers but they could be too much for your room. I'm using a Velodyne
DD-10 with my Sig 805's and they work well together. The
805's have decent bass for a monitor and you could always
add a sub at later point if you feel your missing something.

Good luck
hi all. i'm looking now at b&w 803's or cm9's. i'm running the deal with b.a.t. amp and pre amp. is this a good marraige? my room is 14'6" x 10'6". is the room to small. help!! thanks.