I know that floorstanding speakers always better than the bookshelf...
I don't know what has made you think this but that is not necessarily true.
What you can expect is a fuller sound with the 804S as they have more bottom end to them.
Which to upgrade first, speakers or amp, would be your call; what is your current amp?
thanks for your response. Yes i want fuller sound and more bass .That's what i mean better :-)I'm using Marantz Pm14MK2.
"I know that floorstanding speakers always better than the bookshelf..."
Second Brianmgrarcom, Not necesarily true. Mate your 805s to a high quality subwoofer that integrates seamless (e.g. Rel) and you'll get dynamics at least as good as the 804's if not better, and even a fuller sound than the provided by these floorstanders.
I'd actually prefer upgrading to the 804S over adding a sub, but I haven't had much experience with subs and the little I have had wasn't great.
The advantages of stand mount speakers, usually, is their ability to disppear, at least better than floor standing speakers.
I have only heard the 804S once and I liked it; having owned the Signature 805 I felt the 804S reminded me of the Sig 805's with added weight; I also have a friend that has 804S speakers and is very pleased, he also owned the Sig 805's with a sub, he prefers the 804S.
I'd save the money..but then again, I am not a BW fan
I have heard the MC6900 driving both and it is a good match either way you go. Both the 804 and 805 are nice speakers. There is something to be said for the two way design and I would not agree that 3 way floorstanders are always better than bookshelves. That is not to say that I recomend not getting the 804. You said you already have the 805 but I would A/B the 804 and 805 at a store carrying both. Audio "memory" is very short lived any other comparison (listening to the 805 at home and the 804 at a vendor) is not coing to help. Also, by listening to both in the same space you will at least have the same acoustic environment in which to make the comparison. Listen to them driven by a mcintosh amp. Keep listening - more than one session - until you know the answer.
The 804s tonal balance is a little brighter and tighter sounding than the 805s. Many have commented on the 804s being a little bass shy but I found a good quality, high current capable amp should alleviate that issue. The 804s do respond well to high quality components. In comparison the 805s sound is a little more rounded and even handed with its well balanced coherence. Depending on your room acoustics the 805 with a sub might be more flexible and pleasing with its greater bass impact. Otherwise the 804s is a good choice if you prefer a two box solution.
Do you have a dedicated room? If you do, what is the size of the room?
The 805s sounds ok to me until one day i heard it driven by a McIntosh 6900, i realize this is what my speakers need and i'm saving money for this amp now. I can't stop thinking about it :-).
You guys so lucky living in U.S where you can borrow amp, cdp bring home and testing with your system. NOT LIKE MY COUNTRY. Thanks you so much for your advices... I also like the 804s. Its second hand but few months used only. The importand thing is it's a nice price. My room size is only 12sqm(3mx4m. Btw does anyone here using NORDOST interconnect, speakers cable with B&W??? How's the result???
About six months ago I heard three S series side by side with a nice McIntosh setup. They were the 805, 804 and 803. It was at a dealer and the room was not good but remember being really impressed with the 805 and 803. Both of these blew me away. The 804 didn't do it for me. They seemed congested compared to the other two. Again, it could have been the room or general setup. All great speakers.
Given the size of the room, I presume you will be placing your speakers along the long wall. My opinion is it is more worthwhile to upgrade your Marantz integrated amp to the McIntosh rather than going from the 805S to the 804S. I believe the 805S is quite ideal for your smallish 3mx4m room which is about 10'x13'. The McIntosh will give you a fuller sound and tighter bottom-end that you seek. If you find the bass to be still lacking you can always add a subwoofer after that. On a separate note, since you have a dedicated room it would be good if you can work with the room acoustics. You can be amazed at the sound improvements with proper room treatments especially for small rooms like yours.
Thanks everybody for sharing your experiences. I think i will keep this 805s and earn more money for the new McIntosh 6600. I heard this one is better than 6900.
Does anyone using Nordost interconnect with B&W speaker? Give me some reviews please.
Ngocdj: I run my main system with an MC402 and, for my ears , there is Mcintosh, and then there's everything else. You mentioned the MC6600. One thing to check on is whether Mcintosh uses their autoformer with that model. I know that Mcintosh did, at some point in the last few years, sell an amp that did not use their output transformer or 'autoformer' . It is my opinion that the sound you get from the mcintosh amps is influenced by the use of that autoformer - This I have not verified mathematically - mainly because I do not know the electrical specs of the autoformer and have not bothered to find out. Personally, though unsupported in this matter by any analysis, I would stay with a unit that uses the autoformer. Just something to think about.
several years ago, when I first got bit by this hi-end bug, I got some BW 602's. naturally, the quest for better set in and soon I was auditioning older series BW matrix, the 805's and 804's. I settled on the n804s' and loved them for quite a while until the upgrade bug bit again. At first, I tried to run them with a HK AVR 500, an 85watt, high current home theatre integrated amp. It was ok at low volumes but clipped at too much volume. I lucked in to a Classe CA300 amp, matching CP 50 and CDP .5, they really made those speakers come to life. Now, on the other hand, I heard the 805's driven with great equipment at the dealers and frankly, I couldn't believe what they were asking for them, I found them to be no better than my old 602's. my 2 cents.
I have the N804 in a second system and the N802s in a reference system. I have also owned the 602 Series 3 speakers.
Before I picked the N804 I auditioned the N805 in my house for about two weeks. This was many years ago. The N804 is fabulous speaker. I think it is better than the N805 in every way. This was some time ago but I remember making a serious inquiry into whether the N804 was just a bigger N805 and the conclusion I came to was that in addition to the larger cabinate and lower range, the tweeter, midrange and crossover units were supposed to be better. It is not just a taller N805.
If you like your N805, you will probably like the N804 better. Basically, the sound of the 804 is a fuller 805. The difference is not insignificant, however. More bass is always significant.
Let me tell you what the problems with the 804s are. I have used them for 10 years, and I know them well. This is totally subjective. They are absolutely unforgiving when it comes to revealing the source. You NEED warm, refined components with these speakers. They are not inherently bright, but they can be quite hard on the ears with bad recordings.
Another problem is that, even though the 804 is a lot fuller than the 805, which only goes down to 49Hz, the 804 only goes down to 38Hz. This is a big improvement over the 805, however, this is not the type of speaker where you are going to simply call it a day and be happy that you have enough bass. At some point, after the honeymoon wears off, you will want even more bass. The 804 is a little lean in that sense, and you will eventually run into the same issue you are having now with the 805.
For that reason, I do not recommend the 804 as an upgrade from the 805. If I were in your shoes, I would save for the less compromising 803S, which gets down to 35Hz and in my experience is a more satisfying speaker. I feel like, since you have been compromising on bass for so long with the 805, you should move to a bigger floorstander than the 804.
I love my 804s--everything they do they do very well. They simply do not go deep enough in the bass for them to be an endgame solution.
Let me supplement my previous response by also saying that the 805, 804, and 803 are very demanding speakers when it comes to components. You can never good wrong with upgrading your front end components before your speakers, especially when you have speakers as good as the 805s.
The 805 is good enough that you should get the benefit of every component upgrade you make. I am thinking that the 805, the 804, and the 803 probably "max out" at around the same place.
With that Marantz, you are not even close to realizing what the 805 can do with respect to resolution and imaging. Not by a long shot. So you have to figure out what your priorities are. If you want to hear more midrange and high-end information, better stereo imaging, and a more refined sound, your 805 can absolutely do that for you but you need a better amp/preamp or integrated amp. If you are happy with the sound you have now but want deeper bass, the speaker upgrade will do that for you but it would be a parallel move in other respects.
There is no doubt that you should eventually do both, the question is, what kind of improvement are you looking for with your next move?
The rabbit hole gets very deep at this level.
Blackstonejd: Nice post. First, the 602S3 was a great speaker - I have a pair in my second system and I would not part with them. Second, I agree that the 803S is a large improvement over the 804. Indeed, the next step up in my opinion is not the 803D, which I found to have poor integration between the drivers, but the 802D. As to the driving electronics - absolutely agree. B&W's like current.
Blackstonesjd : Thanks for your post, it very helpful but i think i'll stay with 805s (Or may be upgrade 804s) because my room is small, it's only 12spm (3x4). 803s will be too big for this room. I'm going to buy a new McIntosh 6600 soon and find out what 805s can give first then upgrade the speakers later.
I think that is the right way to go. Please let us know what you think of the 805 with the new amp.
I've heard MA6900 pair with this 805 before at a hifi shop. It sounds amazing even the room is big and room acoustic not so good, I believe MA6600 can do better than that. Once again thanks all of you for sharing experience, i'm sure those experience cost you alot of money in the past
I currently use a Mac MA2275 tube integrated amp with a pair of 805s's and a TAD subwoofer in a large 20'x 27'room. Being a log home all the walls are (naturally)wood with a carpeted floor. The sound is excellent and there is plenty of volume available. I run the speakers direct with no crossover. Driven by the preamp outputs the subwoofer with crossover set @ 45hz is only for fill at lowest octave and is virtually unnoticeable it does not color the mid bass at all. I was never really a B&W fan but these speakers lack the brightness that in the past characterized B&W speakers to me. Female vocals are exquisite. The 804's on the other hand sound congested & boxy to me lacking both the smoothness and open sound of the 805s's. I originally auditioned both speakers driven by a C220/MC275 combo in pretty good dealer showroom. Hope this helps.
I run the speakers direct with no crossover.
What do you mean by this Gerald?
BTW, I am a fellow log home owner.
I have 805s's and originally ran them with a marantz sr8001 untill i put the money together for the MA6900. That was a huge jump for me and by far the equiment upgrade that stands out in my memory as having the largest effect. My marantz AVR has nice bells and whistles for home theater but just didnt do it for 2 channel. I continue to struggle with the pros and cons of either trying to integrate a sub vs full range speakers but I echo the others who suggest that your weak link might be amplification. (Mine was anyway...)
I have since moved on to seperates but still remember that MA6900 fondly. I hope that you enjoy yours as much as I did mine.
On the cable front, I tried about 6 or 10 different choices from the cable company in the US. My fav's for the ma6900 / 805s combo were Purist Audio Design.
Related to the question discussed here.. would there be some guidance on what would be the good components to match with either 803S or 804S. I am not certain what to buy - I have zeroed on the following two options -
1. Classe System - Integrated Amp (CAP 2100), CD Player (CDP102)
2. Linn System - Pre Amp (Akurate Kontrol), Amp (Akurate 2200), CD Player (Akuate CD)
Please advise if I am completely missing the picture here by not looking at best in class components to powere and source these speakers or are the above options good. Also, if you would advise one more than the other?
One's bad, the other worse.
I previously owned the 804S before upgrading to the 803D. Unfortunately I haven't directly compared them to the 805S, so cannot comment on 804S vs 805S.
But I do want to comment on the 804S and 803D given some of the posts above.
The 804S is a very open (definitely not congested or boxy) high definition loudspeaker that remains composed at surprisingly high volumes. While it performed well on modest Marantz gear (SR9300, PS17SA, SM17SA), the overall tonal balance was a light in my large open plan lounge.
The 803D is all round improvement (midrange a bit more laid back than the 804S), but much better bass and tonal balance. And contrary to a post above, the driver integration is superb and noticeably better than the 804S which was not bad. Surprisingly the 803D is not as demanding on amplification as the 804S, but does responds to every improvement up the chain.
I did try the 804S in a small room (3m x 3.5m) where the bass tonal balance was good, if not earth moving.
My suggestion is to compare the 804S to 803S to 805S+subwoofer with your preferred amplification before making a decision.
BTW, the Marantz PM14Mk2 is a great amp and will drive the 804S or 803S/D fine.
Thanks.. in the meantime I had a chance to compare 803s and 804s and I am sold out on 803S. The question remains on compatible electronics with the speakers that supply good power - I am going to try Marantz and Macintosh equipment over the weekend based on the suggestion. Hopefully I move closer to making a decision.
Vikaschhariya: I run a pair of 803S' with a macintosh 402. I compared a number of amps (however not any Marantz models) and nothing came close to the mac for my tastes. However, I herard little, if any, difference between the 252, the 7000 integrated, and the 402. In pushing the 803s' to their limit I could get the power guard lite to flicker on the 7000 and 252 - which did not happen on the 402. Speakers are a matter of taste- I like the B&W sound and compared the 805, 804, 803S&D, and 802 - and from my perspective the 805 and the 803S were the best of the lot. The main difference I noticed between the 803S and the 804S was the 803S sounded better at low spl levels than the 804S. While his goes against the conventional hype - I did not like the sound of the models with the diamond tweeters; if B&W currently had their metal tweeter in the 802 model I would have went that route. Good choice on your speakers - let us know what amp you choose.
Musicnoise, interesting stuff. Did you get a chance to hear the McIntosh MA6600 at all?
Brianmgrarcom : No I did not get a chance to hear the MA6600. I did listen to the 6900 and found it a little lacking in power, i.e. turned on the power guard easier than the 7000 or 252. Kind of an interesting experience actually. The store that had the 6900 apparently had an ac power feed with poor contact or some other deficit - it is the only time that I saw the room lights dim anywhere, other than due to high inrush current at power up. When the 6900 drew enough current to get the 803S to about 105 db Spl (and yes I do carry an spl meter with me when auditioning speakers) the room lights dimmed. Now I know from putting a meter on the 402 that about the most that is drawn at those spl levels is 6 to 7 amps - which never causes dimming lights or any other unwanted effect and I run the system off of 40 year old wiring.
However, I will say that the, to me, the 6900 sounded pretty much the same as the other mac amps. From my experience the macs have a different sound than other solid state amps - probably has to do with the inductance of the autoformer - I know mac says they are accurate and the specs are incredible - but for whatever reason, they do sound different . Obviously, I like the sound and would not go elsewhere. By the way - nice system - I run the C45 rather than the C46 but it was a tough choice between the two. How are those watt puppies? What is your descriptive take on those as compared to the B&W's (any model) and what music genre ?
Funny (or sad) Musicnoise that as long as I have been at this I suck at describing differences. Anyway, thanks for the kind words. I have owned the N803's, Signature 805's and the 802D's, in that order; I had positive experiences with all but the 802D's and I'll just chalk that up to not being a good match for my room. The W/P's were purchased after the 802D's and are far better (in my room). In my setup I find the W/P's more laid back than the B&W's, I would like a little more forward midrange. I listen to Jazz and some (lighter) rock with a hodge-podge of other stuff mixed in. Brian
So I evaluated MC402 with c2300 pre amp and also another MI solid state pre-amp. I have earlier heard Linn and Classe electronics and I have to say, I was overwhelmed by MI electronics. The experience was breathtaking. The MC402 with C2300 sounds so much complete and fuller sound - I am not a sound geek but I know a good sound when I hear one! The speakers here B&W 803S roared with this combination. I have to say that with Classe and Linn earlier I came back happy but this was absolutely thrilling experience..I agree with some of the observations made earlier that B&W speakers are very power hungry and therefore the more the better..
I listen to varied kind of music and I did not find the combo disappointing in anyway.. may be its my novice observation but I found the right amount of detail when I heard Marvin Gaye..giving a very good 3 dimensional feel as the songs are being rendered... and I found equally good bass and mid range listening to Simon garfunkel, Pink Floyd, Scorpions and some other world music i listen to..
I am currently based in paris and the current dilemma is buying something as expensive as this is Euros when I am hoping to go back to US in 18 months timeframe.. add to that the cost of changing the input voltage.. any good suggestions on what to do here..
Hope this helps.. suggestions welcome on the dilemma here and also any other alternatives.
Not much. Just get a sun fire sub.