There are changes, although I am not up on all of them. I do believe the bass drive nose cone is solid metal in the Sig's. Possible wiring modifications as well.
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I had a pair of 805 sig's and I can tell you this the difference for one is in the up graded cross over that is used in the Signature line over the Nautalus line. In the 805 Sigs you are also getting the same speakers that are used in the 802's. The Sig's offer a better soundstage and bass response over the 805N. There are 2 finishes available, Red Birds Eye & also Gray Tigers Eye, both are awesome to look at and both are finished with 40 coats of clear coat. A dealer telling you there is no difference in the 2 other then the finish, really should not be a dealer to start with.
I purchased a pair of N805sigs about 3 months ago. If contains a different tweeter, woofer and crossover than the "stock" N805's. Also, as dave mentioned, the finish is different. It does not share any drivers with the N802's. The surround is different on the woofer and the tweeter is a updated design.
I owned a pair of "stock" N805's for a few years. Recently, I decided to upgrade and listened to speakers from about a dozen different manufacturers. The 805sigs were not even on my list of speakers to audition. I was at a dealer to hear the new B&W704's when he suggested I listen to the sigs. I was blown away. My wife, who is not an audiphile, was also blown away. She hates black (grey tigers eye)speakers, but said the sound was "good enough" to look the other way. I am hearing things that I never hear on the "stock" 805's and the bass, mids and highs are all smoother and have a "rightness" to them. Worth the price of admission!
Own both S&N 805s. S has upgraded tweeter for smoother and more extended high. The magnet of the woofer has increased in surface area for deeper base. The crossover is changed from 4th order to 1st order. According many European mags., the s805s are one of the best B&Ws. Listen to both and u'll see. Other standmount at this price: JMLab micro-utopia BE, Dynaudio 25th anniv..
Each "order" represents 6db/octave roll-off.
ie: 1st order crossovers have a more gradual blending between the drivers than 2nd, 3rd or 4th order crossovers.
This purportedly results in better phase response, but increases the amount of power sent to the tweeters.
Lower order crossovers can also be more susceptible to "lobing" effects and cancellations off-axis.
Looking to upgrade to nautilus for ht and 2 channel. I would like to have s805 for fronts but due to cost constraints would need n805 for surrounds. My real question is regarding the center. The sig center is available in tigers eye only, or can I also purchase it in the red bird's eye? Anyone know how an htm 2 would blend with the s805? I use 5 channel for a good deal of my music and don't want crappy sound due to different drivers.