Let me ask this another way, has anybody listened to the 946's? If so, which amp would you suggest? Can anybody offer advice with respect to the N802's, the 946's and the Totem winds?
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I have read a lot of internet comments concerning these two lines . Never heard anyone switching from JMLab to B&W but several vice versa. It seems to me that most feel the Labs to be an upgrade . I know that listening to the Nova Utopia Be set the standard for me to one day reach what I consider audio nirvana (when they become available on the used market).
I went out looking at speakers dead set on getting a pair of B&Ws. After a lot of listening in local showrooms here's my opinions of my top 3 finds.
Nautilus 802 - Beautifully made. Passes my dynamic test. (kraftwerk-showroom dummies) You should hear the thwack of a snare drum like its right in front of you. Nice mid-range but seems like it distorts slightly at high volume levels. The high frequencies seem like they are at the right level, but there seems like there is some sort of nasty high frequency 3rd-order harmonic distortion going on, no matter what the volume was. Amp- macintosh mono block. Surprisingly the new 700 series had almost identical characteristics. amp- krell showcase
Dali Helicon 800. another speaker with a beautiful cabinet. This speaker did not pass my dynamic test. The thwack of a very fast electronic snare sounded muffled like it was in another room. I don't know if this was because of its slightly lower spl rating or because of the amplifier. (classe cam-350) other-wise this speaker excelled in everything. The upper mids and high end was the best i've heard in a non-electrostatic speaker. Amp classe cam-350
Jmlab electra 926. The cabinet quality is good but not on par with B&W or Dali. This speaker passes the thwack test. Very good low end, mid-range is very detailed. The high-end wasn't as good as the Dali's but was close. This is the speaker I took home with me. I also listened to the 946. There was a little more bass but not enough to justify the cost difference. The 936 would be a good comprimise between the two. Amp. mccormack-225
You should listen for yourself. There are a lot of people that like the tweeter of the B&Ws, but I found it just painful to listen to. And this is a person that likes the high end. (infinity emit-k I think goes up beyond hearing)
hope this helped.
I searched for 2 years looking and listening at stores and private homes. Everyone on the web likes to talk down the big boys and talk up the latest designer-of-the-month. I have friends with Kharmas, Eggleston Andras, Sonas Faber Amaties, Marten Logans, Maggies, Vandersteins, Wilsons, etc... and I ended up with Nautilus 802s and I love them. I'm driving them with Levinson and they sound FANTASTIC!!! I was told they suck power and I'm using 100 watts per and the sound lacks nothing. They also love Cardas Golden Referance or Kimber Select. What pushed me to buy was a fantastic deal from a dealer on perfect demos in red cherry for less than used. I'm SO glad I made the move. Peace and Good Listening, Pat.