B&W Series 80 808's


anyone have info. on these? My Dad was given a pair, which I have not yet seen - one of them has both 12" woofers blown. He was told that at the time they were the "flagship" product of the series. Can anyone tell me about the quality/performance of these speakers (I only have experience with the Matrix line) and also any suggestions on how to repair them?
If he was given a pair (free), then they are definitely worth the expense to fix the woofers. They still fetch $3000 on the used market, if they're in perfect shape. Go the B&W website and get this Adobe brochure.


I would contact B&W about suggestions for replacing or repairing the woofers. You could also contact Miller Sound Labs in Pennsylvania about repairs.

I had a pair for almost 15 years. There were things those speakers could do that no other B & W's since have done--a wonderful, warm rich sound. (I've only heard an un-broken in pair of the new 800's.) A very close friend of mine has them now, and they still sound great in his listening room. If you can repair them without too much trouble or cost, do it!
The 808's are incredible speakers (each one got a Matrix 801 within), so go to www.bwspeakers.com and ask for a woofer spare. In Spain each 12" woofer cost €500 (about $650) but maybe available in Cobex, not polymer (used in the Matrix 801 S2 and in your 808's). If you can find one in polimer, go for it! but in case you don't... you'll need to spend about $2.600 in spares. With a little luck, you'll find a polymer woofer in the second-hand market for sure! Good luck and enjoy your beasts!
B&W will actually recone the woofer. Call Equity (the parent of B&W, in Massachusetts I believe). I have a pair of 808s and bought the last of the spare midrange drivers and tweeter diaphragms from B&W in England. I agree that there are some things that small speakers just can't do. Set up properly these speakers have serious impact. Great for rock and large-scale music. Finally found a speaker I prefer more...my new ATC anniversary 100 towers. Same impact as the 808s but more refined.