Devore Super 8 and B&W 805s-shootout

I recently had these speakers in my home for close to a week. And I had an extensive shootout between the two, and quite surprisingly the 805s was more pleasurable to my ear on my equipment. I really wanted to like the Super 8 over the 805s, especially after all the positive press for Devore and my conversations with JD. Alas in the end, the ear doesn't lie, and rewards with personal happiness. I have learned alot about both speakers, and to my ear the 805s is an incredibly underrated speaker thats for sure-regardless of the B&W naysayers.

Whether it was my gear (all VTL) or my room I don't know. I had the Super 8 set up perfectly as instructed, played with positions etc, and all the same results. First thing I noticed was this speaker pulled me up from say the middle of the auditorium to the front row, a good thing for some. But the mid-range sound was a little thin comparitively, and sounded constipated on some of my best recordings, also somewhat glassy at higher volumes-not characteristics of the gear I own. Particularly with vocal jazz, I felt like voices in general took a back seat to the other parts of the performance, which represented a lack of tonal balance. I thought the tweeter was a little too 'present' and extended for my tastes. For a silk dome this was actually surprising, and I thought the 805s tweeter would be hotter for sure, not the case. Drums however with the Super 8 were spot on, very well done, and like none I have heard. Bass was also better than the 805s, tighter with a little less chuff. Which is understandable since the Super 8 cabinet is larger and rear-ported. To sum up, and give an overall: the Super 8 was just a snappier speaker, with a little more effervescence spark and speed than the 805s, and the imaging was definitely a little more effortless. But what it did not do was why I didn't buy them.

Once I went back to the 805s the smoother and considerably more romantic sound returned (switched back and forth countless times), much wider soundstage, and only at the expense of a small amount of inner detail I got with the Super 8. The mid range sounded richer, smoother, warmer, slower, and more accurate and delicate with a vocal presence that was delivered with realism, quite beautiful actually. The 805s just sounded altogether more neutral and balanced and ultimately more natural in reproduction of ALL manner of speech and Piano especially-my personal favorites. I felt they had better total integration for my listening habits.

I know these aren't usually characteristics used to describe a B&W, but its true-to my ear at least. And I did exhaustive listening, like I said I wanted to like the Devore. Just had to go with my gut. In the end, this audio passion is often a game of compromises, and as crazy as it may sound, I liked what the 805s gave up as opposed to what the Super 8 gave up.

Wanted to share this to help anyone who may be listening to speakers in this range. Hopefully this can help, but remember reviews can only take you so far (which is often not very far). So listen for yourself, it is the best way to evaluate.

Happy listening
I am listening to the Super 8's as I write this. I love the tone, soundstage and the imaging of the Devore's. I've been through many speakers, including a few pairs of B&W's (not the 805s) If you are happy with them I would keep them, however I noticed you are selling them. What is lacking in this speaker that is causing you to sell?
Like I said to you in another thread (which was deleted by AG)..I WAS going to sell, until I did this shootout, then decided to keep them. I just marked them sold here. They are staying until I find something better, and right now I am not really looking.
Don't sell the speakers. Mate them with a good subwoofer like the rel's and you won't regret it one bit. And I agree, the 805S is an incredibly underrated speaker and a step from the previous nautilus line.

Jdec-good advice..Those subs look incredibly nice. I have to decide if I want to dedicate resources to analog or that as a next step.
I seem to recall a while back that Stereophile had the older 805N speakers rated in their Class 1 category, but later recanted and demoted them to Class 2 because they weren't full range speakers. I haven't kept up with the Stereophile reviews in quite some years so maybe they have a separate "Monitor" section rating now. I'm glad that you like your speakers. That's all that matters.
I know these aren't usually characteristics used to describe a B&W, but its true-to my ear at least

Actually those who love the B&W sound would share the same opinion. Lots of comments these sound bright and harsh but I just find them to sound the opposite, warm and smooth. Nay-sayers probably drove them with a Krell KAV-300i in crappy room acoustics. Even with that harsh bright amp I could probably live with the 805's in a properly treated environment. I fully agree with your findings in the 3rd paragraph. These are really great sounding speakers if matched properly and it's good to hear from another avid B&W fan.

I would agree with the suggestion of getting a sub with these speakers.
Ryder-I agree..I had different Krell amps for years, loved it, still think it is great gear, when you combine and match it well, treat room etc. Overall a little analytical for me. I had a 400cx that could literally melt your face on my old n804, whereby tubes on an 805s melts your heart instead.

I think where B&W are always considered a power hungry speaker, dealers might tend to match them with some powerful, sometimes harsh gear. But I can't imagine anyone sitting in my room and listening to my current set up and describing B&W as harsh or bright, it is anything but.

According to an e-mail from AG, some do expire if they deem them not a topic that will benefit all over the long term. I am just going by what I was told by AG, and the fact that I have seen many threads (not necessarily my own) mysteriously disappear from this site.