The N802 is a very nice speaker for the used prices. You need to mate them to the right components. I have heard them with Krell amps and they sound very nice, I have heard them with an Accuphase 30 wpc class A amp and thought they sounded too bright. The EMC may not be the right CDP for these speakers but it all depends on the rest of your system and cables.
Why wouldn't the EMC be a good CDP for Nautilus speakers? This one stumps me. I used one with N803's w/o problems.
the 802 is a great speak at used or new pricing. you can work dealers down off the msrp. they reveal everything, which can be rough with poor recordings, but is typically awesome. you will need to match them up well though. i'm running them with krell and love the matchup...many will diss the Nautilus, many will praise, go to a dealer and listen or better yet listen in your room and let your ears tell you.
Thanks for the advice, I've haven't heard them with Krell amps, but only with Electrocompaniet gear, they sounded great. I can't do a home audition though, the dealer is not fond of lending out equipment.
One thing though I thought the Sonus Faber Cremonas were nice to look at, but pictures don't do the Nautilus any justice.
One thing I noticed was the vocals, especially Tracy Chapman, seemed a little nasally, with not much fleshy tones through her voice, maybe it might be the amps or cabling, but does anyone else find this?
There are many that find the top end of Nautilus too revealing and harsh. You will have to work to master the highs with the Nautilus. Cables and tweaking got me there though and you get to keep the detail. Smooth and beautiful.
N802 are for acoustic music lovers.
Acoustic, voice, heavy metal, live saxophone, rock and roll, you name it, they are not definable by music type. I love the suckers...funny I used to dislike B&W when I sold them in the early 90's, all except the silver signature. But by some weird coincidance I just got a pair of 802's a few months ago. I went to listen to sonus faber and walked out with 802.
Just love them, detailed, soundstage, image, dynamic, just great.
Nice thing is you can get away with a cheap amp if you starting out, (i got a proceed amp3 that will move to the HT chanel) and when you get the good amp they open up to a whole new level. Tried them out with a classe omicron and we'll it's a nice combo. Like any good speaker, the better the electronics the better the results, but unlike some other speakers, you dont need crazy electronics to make them sing.
They need a lot of current to drive them properly. Watts don't really count. I drove mine with 130 Watts / channel receiver and they sounded okay, but with music or video that had successive loud passages, you could hear and feel the amp run out of power as it could not replensish the output stages fast enough to satisfy the 802's.
I replaced the amp with a BAT VK6200 in a home theater system and have not had that problem with this amp. They were quite picky on setup (toe-in, distance from rear wall, etc.).
They are very good speakers, but like most B&W products, they will reveal the weakest component in your system. Makes for much trial and error changing of components - an audiophiles dream for some - a pain for others.
I don't think there's a fixed recipe for success with these speakers. My advice is to find components that have a sound that is described with words like, "smooth," "warm," etc.
Some people like them with Krell equipment, I have never like the combination myself. The Krell's do have the power to drive them and provide a good bottom end, but I find the sound a bit sterile with somewhat of an over emphasis of the high end.
They also benefit from bi-amping or bi-wiring. Mine are bi-wired and you can hear a difference between the bi-wired connection and using a single wire. Mid-range is clearer and the high-end has more detail. Bi-amping with a good components provides another step up - a small gain in my estimation, but it can be heard. I tried it with the VK-6200 as it has 6 amplifiers to play with, but in the end went back to a bi-wired setup.
One last caveat. I never believed in the idea of needing to break-in a speaker until I owned these speakers. I will tell you that until these speakers were turned on for nearly 100 hours they didn't sound very good at all. In fact, I almost returned them to the dealer. I took his word for it, and left them turned on every day for 15 hours per day for 3 weeks. Totally different speaker after working for that period of time.
They still need to "warm up," and sound better after being used for 30-45 minutes than they do when the system is first turned on. Mainly, the bass output increases in both clarity and output level.
They are very good speakers, but - be ready to put some time into them to get the correct setup and component match.
The 802s would be for a holiday home but the room is quite small as I cannot put them in the living area, rather a dedicated room, hence the size limitations.
I know that the 803s may suit better but my partner will only agree to 802s or higher(asthetics). The room is 3.5m by 5.5m long and 2.7m tall.
I can't get a home audition cause of where I am, an I would love to go to these speakers but am worried bout the room size.
What do you think?
It will depend upon where you're going to put them in the room. If you can put them at the small end, and use the long dimension to get back away from them, I think they will work fine. They will certainly be very powerful in that size space.
If you have to locate them on the long dimension wall, I think it will be more of a problem to get them to fill the room properly. But, most importantly to get the listening position back far enough for them to image properly. Of course, if you can use acoustic materials on the walls and floor to adjust the room response, you may be able to work with them on whichever wall works best for the room use.
Mine are setup in a room that is 17-feet wide by 24-feet long, and has a 12-foot vaulted ceiling. I am a bit constrained as to where I can put them in that space (believe it or not). I have them setup on the 24-foot wall and they are spaced about 9-feet apart, and about 18-inches from the wall. Listening position is 13-feet from the face of the speakers.
In my room, I have a rather large window directly across from the speakers (in back of me when I'm listening to them). The glass surface reflects a lot of midrange and treble, and you can hear a standing wave from the wall if you raise the volume to "live" level - even with classical music. Unfortunately, it is not possible to put heavy drapes on the windows. I have used mini-blinds and find that if I adjust the angle of the louvers upward and slightly open, they diffuse the sound somewhat and help break up the standing wave.
This is NOT an optimum setup - but, it works. In my estimation, optimum would be to have them about 12 feet apart and 2-feet from the back wall. I had to play with the positioning within the constraints of where I can put them. The biggest changes were made by moving them away from the wall and carefully working with toe-in.
I would suggest that you can make them work in your room - IF you are willing to work with the speakers and some acoustic materials. Even things like tapestries, rugs, and furniture placement can be used to adjust room acoustics, you'll just have to be aware that using the 802's probably won't be an out-of-the box, 1-shot setup.
If you are willing to work with the speakers, the space, and the electronics - you will be amply rewarded by the listening experience.
I would add one more thought. If you are using any manufacturers' pistonic motion type speaker, whether it's a Sonus Faber, Wilson, etc., - if they are of the same size and relative driver configuration as the 802 - you're going to have the same problems that you will have with the 802's for placement, imaging, etc.
If you change to a different type of speaker - like and electrostatic - you might be able to get them to work a bit easier within your space. That, however, is pure conjecture on my part.
Lastly, if the 802's don't work as you'd like, I'm sure selling them would not be much of a problem.
Thanks, I have the option to place them to wherever in the room needed, and any acoustic conditioning is fine as it will be purely a dedicated listening room.
Just I was worried about the space provided, I have mixed opinions on the effects of a room that small, some opinions vary from loss of bottom end extension which I lean towards, and others feel it will overpower the room and dull the mid to high end.
There are no windows or openings in the room other than a single door at one of the short ends. At the moment I have drapes all around the surrounding walls but I can play with how much they react to the speakers by adding or removing sections.
I have Quad electrostatics already in my permanent residence hence I would like something different for this home. Plus I may turn it into a HT setup, but I doubt that.
Thanks for your advice
I currently have the signature 805s driven by audioresearch VS110. I'm thinking about upgrading to 802s. I rarely listen at very high vol.. Do u guys think 110W of tubes is sufficient?
I'm really not familiar with the Audio Research amplifier. If it will produce also produce current (Amps) not just Watts, then yes it will drive the 802's. Be advised that although the speakers are nominally 8 Ohm loads, they will go under 4 Ohms at times depending upon the music being reproduced. Hence the need for an amplifier that will deliver current not just Watts.
I would think at moderate listening volumes most any amplifier would drive them just fine. What I noticed with the first amp I had, was that several crescendos in a row would tax the output stage.
The system never got harsh or distorted, but the bottom end would sort of just go away. The first crescendo would have slam to it, the second less so, the third even less. So the music depth got less and less until the music got back to "normal" level, at which point the amp could catch up and replenish the output capacitors. Your tube amp shouldn't have that problem.
You might want to consult the manufacturer or your owner's manual to see how the amplifier works with low Ohm loads. If it will drive a 2 Ohm load, I would think it would work fine.