How long do B&W 800 series speakers last


Hi,

I am curious to know the average life of these high end speakers particularly B&W800 series. Does the surround/ cone material give up with time due to material fatigue, dust and air corrosion etc
Does the SQ degrade.

I assume they last for like 20-30 yrs given the resale prices. I see prices dip to only 50% in 15yrs. Even less for N805's

I am sure 6-7 yrs use is very normal But what about 10-14 yr old nautilus ?
Or how about an matrix 805 treated like a baby for 20 yrs.
amitchandna06
I own a N801/HTM-1/N805/ASW850 system. In the approximate 12 years I have owned this system, only one problem. The spider became unglued from the cone in the ASW850 15" subwoofer speaker after approximately 7 years. Overall, provided these speakers are not subject to excessive abuse, they should have a good long life expectancy. It will be good to hear other peoples opinions/experience on this.
Fortunately for my ears, my 802's only lasted a few months until they started blowing drivers. If you are looking for a new pair of speakers, you can do far better for less money.
B&W's are fantastic speakers provided you give them good clean power like anything else. I had very old 801's (several pair) and had no problems at all. Also had 802D's and had no problems, now own new CM 10's and it's another fantastic speaker I expect I will own for years.
I brought my 801 Matrix s3 home in 1994. They were bought used.
The drivers today look almost the same as they did the day I brought them home.
the difference ?
A little dusty because my vinyl/system tuning is at a point now where I have no noticeable woofer pumping - nothing to shake the dust off.

I have owned maybe 30 speakers? incl from b&w

dm2000 bought new at bay bloor radio in toronto and a family member now uses them
All 800 series matrix models (bought used) except for the
\800
anyone selling a pair I am looking ?
shameless plug sorry

various cm, dm models.
original 801f.
no issues with any of these

b&w dm70 electrostatic speaker.
Both the paper cone b&w woofer and Janszen supplied esl panel on the dm70 needed rebuilding.
I place this speaker in the same category as my Quad 57 - meaning buy already rebuilt models
cheers

hey ZD -

08-21-13: Zd542
Fortunately for my ears, my 802's only lasted a few months until they started blowing drivers. If you are looking for a new pair of speakers, you can do far better for less money.
Zd542 (Threads | Answers | This Thread)


http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr.pl?gmusi&1369188682&openusid&zzZd542&4&5#Zd542

I wonder why .....
I've had my N802's since Nov. '98, the first pair my dealer sold. Initial poor packaging issues from B&W resulted in both tweeters being caved in. It took a week or two before the dealer could replace those elements at my house.

Since then, I can't say I've noticed any loss of fidelity from them. I'm sure I can't say that about my ears.

Relax, have an Alesmith Speedway Stout and listen to some Mott...
Ct0517,

Nice try. Those speakers were blown out long before that album even came out.
I have the original Matrixs 800 the big ones. They are still working very well.
"I wonder why ....."

What does the type of music have to do with blown speakers? I listen to heavy metal and techno as part of my choices and I have NEVER blown a speaker. And, I do not listen to chamber music with 75db peaks either.

I think that response was uncalled for.
seriously to the original poster, ask if the speakers were near a heat source. I had the rubber surround come unglued from a Vandersteen 2ci woofer because the speaker was near the radiator in my living room. This is what Vandersteen told me when I received the replacement driver.
"I wonder why ....."

What does the type of music have to do with blown speakers? I listen to heavy metal and techno as part of my choices and I have NEVER blown a speaker. And, I do not listen to chamber music with 75db peaks either.

I think that response was uncalled for.

Stereo5 - you are absolutely correct. it was uncalled for.
I apologize to zd , yourself and any others...

the good thing is when blown drivers happen owners can go here.

http://bwgroupsupport.com/parts
Ct0517,

I really wasn't offended. I just thought you were kidding around.
ZD - thats good because I was kidding and it was a joke. I should have put a grin at the end of it to qualify it as such. so here u go.

:^)

Thanks for your responses so far. I have a 685 and was looking around for a used N803. Since they came in 1999, i was curious if they hold SQ even after 14yrs. They still sell for 1/2 the original price so they must be good.

It seems the speaker placement(near heat) and other factors mater.
I guess speakers do fine but its the subwoofers that would have a shorter life due to excessive vibrations/cone movement/proximity to floor.

Would be nice if people can share what older B&W they have and how since how long.
I owned a pair of 703s for about 7 years (sold now) that still looked and sounded brand new.
In the past speakersunits were made often from paper. After 15-25 years they become slower. The rubberrings on the outside also get broke. These days the materialuse is better. Also from the 800 series. But after time speakersunits Always are less tight and become slower in respons.
They still play, but they do not have the stiffness of the speakerunits like wenn they were new.
Refoaming will undoubtedly need to be done, but if you are happy with that 30 even 40 years.

Just a couple of issues though. First speaker technology is a fast moving area and speakers I thought were the bees knees 20 years ago are now rather ho hum. So its unlikely you would not get the urge to upgrade after hearing better stuff.

Second, and this applies to any speaker, if you want to keep a speaker that long make sure its exactly what you want which means extensive auditioning. B&W speakers have a tendency to polarize - some love em, others like me go - ho hum.

Thanks
Bill
@ 68Pete and Rx8man
Rx8man – something happened to your last post ? anyway

I almost acquired a pair of 800 matrix this past spring but was not able to make the drive to get them plus the room was not ready to hold them.
I hope to add a pair (cull a few others...) later this year or early 2014.
Cheers
Did B&W use foam suspensions in any of the 800 series speakers?
I believe the 801 Matrices used rubber.
My matrix 801 S2 was bought new in 1990. Looks brand new, no deterioration at all. Has always been kept in temp and humdity controlled environment. There is no deteriotion of the surrounds and they are still pliable. I listen to everything from small & large scale classical to metal , & the speakers never broke a sweat. There is I guess foam under the fabric covering the top of the bass driver unit. Surprisingly, it has not yet begun to break down.
Very cool. That's quite impressive. Am I right saying the driver surrounds are rubber? Anyway, when you care of the equipment, it'll last for almost a quarter of a century like yours have.
The surround in the Matrix 801 S2 is rubber. Unless mistreated, it should last a long time.
Ok, cool. Thanks for confirming that.
Too long.
08-24-13: Kr4
Did B&W use foam suspensions in any of the 800 series speakers?


Question to B&W Support

Hi guys -

Can you tell me what type of suspension is used in the different 800 series models.
Matrix
Nautilus
D

My 801 matrix s3 drivers and rubber surrounds look new.
Was a foam suspension ever used in any models.

Thanks

B&W Answer

the foam surround was only used on some of the earlier 800 series. In particular, the 800ASW and PCS8.

All the other models are using polypropylene and various types of rubber.
That's cool..
I've had my Matrix 802/3 since 1993 or so. I've had my Matrix 805s for about 10 years. They've lasted well all this time with no need for repairs. They may eventually need to have the caps in the crossovers replaced but they sound fine so I will wait. The only thing that has happened is that, with all of the sun they have gotten in my listening rooms over the years, there is a slight black shading to the front wood veneers right underneath the black speaker covers. Didn't know the sun could do that. That is about it.
Weird question to ask about B&W?! I thought the sound matters more than the longevity.
If you consider the life/price ratio, every High-end speakers doesn't worth the price i guess...