B&W Matrix vs Nautulis

Just wanna see what the consensus is out there with reference to which series is the better speaker. I had a pair of B&W 801 Matirx...super speaker..loved it so much i figured the 801N HAD to be nirvana. Well i got a pair. Kept them for about 3 yrs and never quite felt comfortable
with them. I kept thinking how the 801 Matrix sounded. So after some soul searching i sold the 801N's and went back to the 801 Matrix. WOW ...magic...again. Does anyone out there also think the Matirx 800 series is superior to the
800 Nautulis series? The Nautulis is missing something.
They sound thin when compared to the Matrix series. Am i crazy ? does anyone agree? thx
9f6e9c7f 5233 4f6d a3c4 8484703327b0rocky
I agree 100%. Maybe a bit more resolution with the Naut. series, but not nearly as musical. IMO, the matrix tweeter, esp the Ser II, is much sweeter and more realistic than the Naut. Jim
PS- I wish however`it wasnt such a bitch to drive well.
The Matrix has "SOLE" . I owned a pair of 801 series 2 and for years loved them.Maybe Nautulis has a bit more detial,but still feel the Matrix has the sole....I guess its all in what you want.....
just had this conversation with my dealer too - the matrix series sound very musical, maybe not as detailed as the nautilus but far more enjoyable to listen to. These are so cheap second hand right now too they are a bargain for anyone picking them up. The sound anchor stands for the 802 make a huge difference too.
It will take a hell of a speaker to make me part with my 802s3 and 805s.

Using mine with Pass X350 amplifier with great results and have the exemplatr 2900 modification underway. Cant wait o hear how good that sounds. With every system upgrade these speakers have gone from strength to strength, the certainly arent the limiting item in my chain.
Hey Rocky, I'll weigh in here and agree all around. As I mentioned in another thread regarding the Matrix vs. Nautilus sound. There is a wonderful sweetness in the balance of the Matrix 801's especially in the upper mids and treble. Very palpable and real sounding and less analytical than the Nautilus. The Nautilus is clean and detailed, but doesnt have the richness that the Matrix TS26 tweeter has. They definately lost a little something going to the N tweeter IMO..Just my 2cents..Ken
Have had the Matrix 802 S3s for 2 years. Last year meditated changing to the Nautilus line. The Ns are also excellent speakers but I didn't hear enough of a difference to make the switch.
The only speakers presently tempting me are the big Thiels. Maybe I will &, then, maybe I wont.
Hey guys...thanks for your responses. I also forgot to mention the ton on cash i saved (got back) by going back to
the matrix 801's. Used the Matrix line is quite a bargain.
Got my 801 Matirx for $2500...compared to $11,000 for a new pair of 801N's. Also if you notice there are a ton of
Nautulis speakers for sale here. Not the case with the Matrix series. I think that kinda says something dont you think? People tend to hang on the the Matrix series..i know i will this time around...thx
This thread is so interesting!

I have seen Matrix 801 speakers around for absurd prices in the past couple of years. At one point, a local guy wanted to sell me a pair for something like $850, but we never got together as our schedules didn't mesh.

I presumed the Nautilus would be superior, but wanted them anyway. If nothing more than to have one of the best of the past. Now it seems, maybe they are better than the Nautilus.

I will say that a trend in the high end of the past five years has been towards detail and neutrality, often at the expense of musicality or ease of listening. It must be that other people feel as I do, and are not exactly happy with the sound today in all cases.
i agree completely
had a pair of 802 siii's and loved them
have traded mahu speakers in and out including genesis, revel f30's and now revel studios
i like the studios a ton BUT they can be fatiguing
i never had any fatigue with the b&w's
i also auditioned a set of nautilus 802's in my house against the 802 siii's
no cometition, i just felt the siii's were so lively and smooth!
i sometimes debate selling my studios and going back to 802's but the problem is the looks
im not so crazy about the looks and my wife hates the look
oh well
just my thoughts
I owned a pair of S2's for awhile. I sold them and built another system later with the N801's. I used BAT solid state amps and BAT's vk40 and vk50se preamp and Wadia cd player.

I found that the matrix s2's were fun enough. However, The N801 tops the matrix s2's by a wide margin. Clarity, drive, size of soundstage, driver integration were all much better. To my ear, clarity is not a bad quality for a speaker to have. I get really frustrated when I feel I'm missing some of the music and details. I felt this way with the s2's.

When I installed the N801's, I immediately felt I was hearing everything there was to hear from my cd's.

The problem with the N801's is that they require a major investment in electronics and are difficult to perfectly position in a room. But when it's right, perfectly right, they are hard to beat. I found them intensly satisfying in the way they resolved music as a whole. Butbwith different electronics, I could imagine my experience would not be the same.

You make a very good point. The N801's definately require extremely top notch source and especialy amplification. In fact many feel they should be bi-amped only.Placement is key of course, as with any speaker, but the N 801's like the M 801's do require room to breath. My dealer experience with the N 801's was interesting in that they ran them with an all Krell source, I believe the top of the line CD/Pre amp combo(20K) affair. yet, amplification was a pair of Conrad-Johnson Premier 140's tube amps wired for mono at 280W/ch. I came away feeling that they were not quite right sounding..perhaps the room acoustics, or the placement of the speakers being about 10ft apart, or perhaps that even though the CJ's were high powered, they still being tube amps may not have been the best choice for the big 801's. But, all this said, I think proper matching and the fact that they require very expensive amplification to display their best, make the M 801 much more enjoyable to listen to and own..Just my 2c!:)--ken
Rocky, Most people believe that newer must mean better. Not always because some products are made cheaper and manufactures cut corners to make more profit "$$$$". I've listend to the Nautilus line extensively and fill the Matrix speakers some how conveys a more musical presentation than the Nautilus line.I just believe that B&W made something really special when they made the 801-series two or three. This speaker will always be a classic and if set up correctly is very hard to beat at any price!! That midrange is one of the best there is bar none!!!
My first love was listening to a pair of B&W 801 FS, in late 1979, how lovely and smooth were the sound. Owned a pair of 802FS since late 1986 until last year, what a beautiful relationship! I always felt that the engineering from this little British guy w/ big ears (Mister John Bowers himself!) was about 10 years ahead of anyone else on the market, with the resulting sounds of mass produced LPs and CDs just a touch "harsh" or bright on my B&W, but well recorded classical CDs sounded wonderful. From the early '90 on out, most recording sounded great on it (better recording techniques and monitor speakers?). I became engaged and married to a new pair of N802 for almost two years now, and sure enough, this system leapfrogs the current speaker designs by another decade in signal retrieval: extreme detail, revealing even of space and depth (or lack thereof) in recording venues, lowest coloration and will mercilessly show ANY shortcomings in recorded materials. Some CDs in my collections are now borderline unlistenable, many sounded better than before, some are a bunch brighter and harsher. The most fantastic sounding ones are newer DSD mastered discs (whether redbook or SACD releases), with ultra wide soundstaging, great depths, superb dynamic range and utmost clarity and lifelike impacts COMPLETELY UNMATCHED AND UNHEARD OF from previous B&W series. Yes, it was expensive, cost nearly three times the price of my old pair (I still loved it so much I gave it to my daughter so just to keep it "in the family"). Is it worth it? An emphatic YES for this music lover!