B&W N 805 vs. N 805 Sig. Opinions?

Are the sig 805's really that much better than the regular 805s. I hate paying for just cosmetics.


Dr Ken
The N805 signature is much better than the regular N803 (not 805). The tweeter is super detailed and more neutral.

They are so much better they are within a stones throw of my JM Reynaud Trentes :)
I can assure you that you are not just paying for cosmetics. I've had both in my room. There are drastic differences between the two. The signature uses a different cabinet, different woofer, different tweeter, different crossover, and different speaker terminals. It is much more open, detailed, and transparent than the N805. The bass is significantly better on the signatures.
I have to agree with the two previous posts. The Signature
805's are in a different league. The N805 is a great
speaker in its own right but the S805 takes those strenghts
and builds on them. If you can afford the S805 I would
not hesitate to buy it. I have been enjoying my pair for
over 5 months now and have no regrets about my purchase.

Good luck
Premium you are paying is to much.Better alternatives eg.JM Lab Micro Utopia.Merlin TSM-MM OR MX perhaps?I went from CDM 1 NT to Revel M20's(better than Naut 805) and now ordered Merlin VSM-MM's.Also considered 805 Signatures but Just to expensive for what you getting.New 800 series due for release soon.If stuck on B&W perhaps wait for that.I believe there are better alternatives.
Good Luck
Dr Chris
South Africa
Keeping this in perspective, others have already covered that the differences between those two speakers is vast. There are some PDF downloads from B&W's web site that also highlight the differences.

As for the previous post, that is more of an opinion than fact, and that without any real evidence of experience. Nevertheless, opinion is part of this hobby.

IMO, if you have the opportunity to take the speakers home for a trial, do so.

(To my good friend Phil, I would have to throw the stone backwards to hit the Trentes ;) )
There are no facts in Audio,only opinions.Does your opinion make it a fact then ?Who says there is no experience on the matter at hand?I do agree take it home for a trial.Do it even better,take all my suggestions home for a trial.Please read the reviews on the suggestions,which are also not really facts but well informed opinions !
To Dr Ken and Brian
Dr Chris
No question the sig. is better than the nautilus line. I own both currently. I must say that Dr. Chris needs to lighten up. These forums get to heated with opinions. The fact is the sig. is better than the nautilus and then only the buying individual can decide between brands.

Dr. James
"Dr." Chris,

I belive that Audio is a large percent opinion, but not only.

Your reply plainly states, "Premium you are paying is to much...Better alternatives are...", that is said in the manner of fact rather than opinion.

As for your question "does my opinion make it fact?", what opinion(s) are you refering to in my post?

My statement about experience was directed to your comment of considering S805's but you didn't due to cost.

I agree on as many home trials as possible; synergy is very important.

B&W is going to offer a $2500 version of the 805 SIG shortly. It will be offered in several "Standard" cabinet finishes only. I think this will make it one heck of a good deal.
How do I know---can't say, but watch for it towards the end of November.
FWIW I prefer the Sig 805 to the rather bright Revel M20 though they were nice. I prefer my Trentes to either and have read they better the Merlins and several other highly touted speakers too. The B&W sound is not quite my taste but for those it is PARTY ON.

I think Dr Chris comments are well meaning though slightly redundant as most of us have a decent head on our shoulders, I wonder if there is a slight language barrier between South Africa and the states?
Dr Ken
I think Bigtee answered your question.Same sound, less cosmetics for less Dollar.This answers your original concern about paying for cosmetics.You can even consider the 705's(EISA speaker of the year).Considered by many to be superior to the standard 805 Naut.This may also be a lateral move if you indeed own the 805 Naut.At least you are looking at the high end Two way -my favourite as well.
I still maintain that after listening to the 805 Naut and 805 Signatures you have to consider the Focal JM lab Micro Utopia Be and the Merlin TSM-MM or MX.The choice between the MM and MX will depend if you are using ss or Valve based Amplification.You can also take my route and go for the VSM's.Your choice.
Good Luck and enjoy.
Dr Chris
Brian and Dr James
Perhaps now you understand my original response to Dr Ken's question regarding paying too much of a premium for the Signature version.If you read again you'll see that I did mention the new 800 series.This was confirmed by Bigtee.
Shurely you must agree that Dr Ken's concern was valid.
Perhaps it is not Dr Ken who are going to pay the premium but you guys because you own the Signatures.Never did I say the Signatures are not fine sounding speakers- I think they are excellent speakers.As are the alternatives mentioned.I think our discussion gives Dr Ken more insight into the matter and he is the one that is going to benefit in making the right decission ,not for us but for HIMSELF!
Actually we are all Batting for the same side!
If we all agreed ,there would be no use for this Forum.
Dr Chris
Dr. Chris,

I have always been of the opinion that one is paying a certain price for the pretty finish of the S805, I am ok with that, but let us wait and see if there is a $2500 version of the S805, I find this hard to believe; in fact it doesn't make sense as the N805 is $2500, time will prove one way or the other.
Think the $2500 version wont be called Signature.More likely 805 Naut MK 2 or Series two or 805 SE. In other words will look like 805 Naut but with the "inside "of the 805 Signature.Perhaps Bigtree has more info.I got my info from the Export Manager of a Premier European Audio company.This Person has a friend who was working on the project in the UK .This issue is also currently discussed on Aasylum.But I must say this does not suprise me as I see it as typical B&W modus operandi.They are very good marketers.I think I can say this as I have been a B&W owner myself.Perhaps that is why I am moving to less "Flavour of the month"type of long term audio solutions.My remarks are not intended to be negative,just my opinion on observations over a couple of years.All this does not change the fact that the 805 Sign are indeed very good loudspeakers.

Dr Chris
Dr. Chris,

No worries, I did not see your last post in a negative light. I still am suspect that B&W will have this 'new' 805 for $2500 and it being essentially an S805 without the nice finish.
My feelings the same.Now perhaps my original remarks regarding "better alternatives" can be better understood.Hope Dr Ken is reading our writings.
Blue Bull of SA
Maybe my last comments were not to clear, I am saying that I find it hard to believe B&W will make such a speaker for $2500.

(I had a friend correct me and state that the N805 is $2K.)
Cannot give any comment.Have no idea what B&W costs in US.I'll have to compare $2500 relative to what the other models in their lineup costs.Then will be able to put in perspective
Prediction:Cost will be much closer to 805Naut than 805Signt.But this is not really an informed opinion.Perhaps Bigtee can shed some light on that.
Thanks so much all!

Dr Ken
I can't shed anymore light on this than I have but I will say it comes from a very trusted source "In the business." We will all have to wait and see what comes of it. It will simply be an "Economy" model of the current signature speaker.
Just an update. The new "805s" speakers will be shipping in January along with the rest of the revamped B&W line with increased pricing. Interesting enough is the new 805s-6db per octave 1st order crossover on the tweeter. In B&W's dealer lit, they report the 805s sounds better than the original Signature. It will be in limited cabinet finishes and sell for $2500!