B&W 804 Nautilus vs 804s vs Vandersteen 2C II


I came across a 1998 model B&W 804 Nautilus in mint condition and wonder what is considered a fair price in today's market. BTW, what are the model years of it?

Any concerns for a 13-year old pair of speakers. Parts, driver, etc? How many more years of service can I expect from them?

I intend to use it as my main speakers. How does it compare to the Vandersteen 2C II Sig. or other options in similar price range? Any recommendations are appreciated.

How's it different from the 804s (which year models) and the 804D in the performance and price?

I listened to the Maggie 1.7, 804 Nautilus, and Totem Hawk and like the sound of 804 and Maggie 1.7, which has a bigger sound stage. FYI, I had experience in Hi-Fi 15 years ago and owned the Harbeth HL Compact, Celeston 600Si, Spendor 3/5A, TDL and AE. But I found they all lack performance in bass. This is why I want to get a pair of floor stand speakers.

Thanks for sharing your experience.
I would submit that the 804's are closer to the Vander 3's. I think the B&W would be a little livelier. The Vander 3's might have a slight bit more bass, but unless that was the only focus, I'd do the B&W's.
Thanks. I never listened to the Vander 3 or 2c II. So comparison here.

How would describ the sound of B&W 804N? Neutral, warmer, cold? Accurate, tight?

What about its performance in the vocal sector? I liston to a lot of vocals, songs, etc.

Lastly, what's a fair price a 1998 B&W 804? Thanks.
I have the the 2CE Sig II that I use for both HT and Stereo listening. To my own experience, I've listened to the 800 and I think the 2CE sig II is a little bit more fine and better musical sounds. The new 2CE Sig II now uses the same mid driver as the 5's. I have no regrets with my 2CE Sig II, it's very reliable and they have excellent customer service.
I think the going price for 804 Nautilus seems to be around $1500-2000... not much less than new 2CEs!

I haven't listened to 804s (any variant) enough to pass judgment. I have however, always had a fondness for the 802s over the 801s because of their base Quality, and I think the 804 series are similar to the older 802 in that respect. I listened to Vandersteens 2Ci, B&W 801 & 802, and KEF 107 &107/2 very closely several years ago, and I would have been happy with any of them, but the 801s tended to over load the room with base, but the 802s did everything as well as the 801s, but with better base control. The Vandersteens were very good, but couldn't quite "deliver the goods" at the lowest frequencies... though, to be fair, they were much less expensive. I ended up buying the KEF 107/2s because they produced base that was as well controlled as the 802s, but went lower... without overloading the room. I suspect the 804s are similar to the later 801s (having improved tweeters & enclosures), but without the "over the top" base of their bigger brothers.

As always, it's really best to compare for yourself, but from my passed experiences with both brands, I think if I HAD to choose blind, I'd go for the 804s.

Good luck, and let us know what you end up with.

Do a search on the B&Ws and you will see many trying to figure out if they should upgrade or otherwise somehow fix the sound with amps, cables, etc. That should tell you something. Each time I have heard them they came off detailed but bright and fatiguing.

In that same range you could look to Von Schweikert 4JR or some of the Tannoy offerings.
B&W 804's are very much on the bright side, and I found them irritatingly fatiguing.

The Vandies will be something that you will want to listen to for hours on end...neutral and accurate in my experience.

I think a better comparison would be the Vandie 3A