B&W Matrix 801 Series II

There is a pair for sale in my area for $2000. Anyone have an opinion on these speakers? Are they good sounding speakers or just okay? I believe they are pretty old. My interest in them is because they are local so no shipping and I understand B&W makes some very good speakers. Thanks for the help.
Thanks guys. I have them home but I haven't had a chance to hook them up yet. I do plan on listening to them this weekend though. I will report back as soon as I listen to them.
I had a pair that took me a couple of years to get the best out of them. I initially powered them with a 250w Bryston amp but it was not until I added another 250w Bryston that they really bloomed. I had the original stands but I found that they were much better when they are 18" - 24" off the floor. This is how a few studios that I know use them. I also used Acarian Black Orpheus bi wires that are excellent with these speakers. Now they will truly rock and you can close your eyes and it's as though the band is in front of you. They were never very good at low volumes (although not too bad with $5k worth of bryston amps) but the closer you get to concert levels the more impressive and realistic the sound.
Btw- there is a pair of Blk Orpheus cables for sale here on agon at a very reasonable price - these are tough to find (I have no idea who the seller is)
Wemfan - good that u got them home safe.

With your amazing 29 x 29 x 11 room and no one to tell you how the stuff in the room needs to be arranged;
you are seriously this audio hobby's version of a kid in a candy store. can u see us drooling ?

If I woke up from dream and was placed in this situation; this is what I would do based on the info you have provided.

Initial placement.
Place speakers 10 feet out from the front wall and separated by 10 feet.
Put your listening chair 10 feet away from them making an equilateral triangle.

Try to get your existing amps that you will experiment with as close to the speakers as possible.
This will allow for the shortest speakers runs (this is important).
Use double runs bi-wire coming from the amps to the speakers.
All 800 series I have owned personally - 800(quad wired) , 801, 802, 803, 805 (bi-wired) - benefited
801-805's Matrix series were designed to be biwired and is the reason they have separate bass and mid/tweeter terminals from the factory. The better the amps the more the differences can be heard.

1) Hook up the parasound - listen to the music you like.
2) Repeat with the McIntosh - tapped on its 4 ohm terminals.
Note the difference between SS and Tube presentations.

3) If your preamp has two outputs - do the dirty and hook the parasound to the bass terminals and the Mc to the Mid/Tweeters. Listen again. Set preamp at 0 gain. Slowly increase with full range music. Adjust the parasound gain controls for tonal balance.

All 3 experiments allow you to hear the speakers without the room coming into play too much.

Room test
Start moving the 801's closer to the room boundaries. You will start to hear the rebounded bass waves come into play.
The closer you get to the boundaries the sound will eventually get muddy - too much bass.
These are serious monitors with prodigious bass. So you will know in your room when this happens fairly quickly.

Amp Test
Leave the speakers as be - and move your listening position back in increments.
This will put more load on the amps and speakers as you will require more power for the same levels.
I expect the McIntosh to cough up its ghost first when used separately.
This experiment will give you a good feel for how good your current amps will be for you.

Look forward to your impressions as you play !
As my fellow CT resident Ct0517 has described his experience with this speaker I realized how good they really are.
With the room dimensions mentioned you should be able to let the 801's bloom with authority providing you are willing to put the horsepower to them. It gets a little tricky with the Kevlar mids which, in my experience also came to life with plenty of class a power. It was the tweeters that were the bugaboo for me.
Big as they are they are still monitors and they can become holographic if put on good sound anchor stands 18"-24" off your floor. Abbey Road Studios used them in this manor as well as many other studios.
I've gone to CES for the past 10 years and have heard the best of the best and the 801's will never be mistaken for MBL's but for $2k and proper power and set-up you will be in the conversation with 75% of speakers out there. I was forced to downsize to smaller Joseph Audio monitors which are really nice but I miss the big sound of the 801's.