Mac 402 or 501 for B&W 802D?

I'm now firmly set on purchasing B&W 802D (a friend upgrades to the new Diamond model and sells his pair for a good price) so the question is - how better Mcintosh 501 monoblocks are with 802 compared to Mac 402? Nearly twice the price where I live - is it as better or the law of diminishing results kicks in big time here?
A friend of mine has the 802D's and made the progression from 402 to 501 monos to 1.2Kw monos. He felt that the move from the 402 to the 501 was a huge improvement, but that they really only came into their own with the 1.2KW monos. They really take a lot of $$$ to sound their best. There are definitely a lot of other options, IMHO, that will outperform the 802D's and require a lot less dollars spent on amplification to bring out their best qualities. With that said, if you're totally sold on the 802D's, be prepared to shell out some coin if you really want to hear everything they can do. The best I've heard the 802D's was in my friend's system with the 1.2KW's, but they still didn't float my boat. To each his own.
Why so much power? How large is the listening room? I have the same speakers and find they are satisfactorily driven by my Cary 7B cinema amp with 100w, although most of the time I use my Krell 400xi with 200. My room is 14 X26 sitting at 9' I wonder if I am missing something or the whole power thing is a little out of control.
Stl114_nj, his room is open to a fairly large area and he does enjoy really cranking them up at times. But, in my opinion, you're not seeing at all that these speakers can do unless you hit them with some very serious power. You can never go wrong with a lot of power and that statement is even more applicable to B&W 800 series. Although I can't say about the brand new 800 Diamond as I have no experience with those yet.

BW has always loved lots of watts and always will.

Control is the issue. More watts... more control. Control of the drivers sure is beneficial in music re-creation.

501s .... that was easy.

They're sexy looking but there are better for the $$$ out there if you look around and set aside for a bit, your current designs. Listening honestly is key.
Folks I'm blown away with 802's at my recent audition at a friends home (with 501 by the way!) so I'm definetely getting them. Are there better "bang for the buck" speaker-amp combos? Sure, but I simply love those. Everest_audio is right, I have a large open room and I love to crank it loud. Also I love the open easy flowing sound that flies out of the speakers and fills the entire room. Hence my original question - how better 501 does the job than 402 considering the price difference? 1.2 KW are totally out of my budget and from my knowledge are usually used with 801/800. Even B&W themselves specifies 802 model's appetite up to 500 Watts. Sure they can handle more but my real choice is between 402 and 501.
I think the 802D is a great speaker. The fact that they continue to sound better with better amps is not a detractor but speaks highly of the quality of the speaker. I have heard the 802D with the 402 and 501 and preferred the 501, more detail, neuance and space. I really liked it with the VTL S400.

I found the 402 a very solid contender for many many speakers.... I've heard the 802N, but not the Diamonds. hearing the 501s on the same speakers as the 402 & 602, were the costs all the same I'd opt for the 602 and not look back.

I thought the 501s sounded more critical by far than the other two amps. All of the audition was fueled by the top tier Mc transport, and mc SS preamp. So the electronics were pretty fair to middlin'.

naturally as important as is the squeaker + amp combo, I feel any Mc amp listed here will work electronically.... the caveat I'd submit now is this:

There's more to the quality of the resultant sound than just those two factors.

you gonna run the exact same source, cabling, and so forth as your friend?

it is something to think about, so I thought to mention it.

otherwise... your results may not be those your heard elsewhere even though the same drivers and power were in play..

BUT....IF the Ds are better integrated from the mids to the top, and the Ds top end is easier than the Ns, i could see where the 501s would attract AND even with longer listening sessions be satisfying.

if however the Ds tweeter is on par with the Ns, I'd opt for the 02s... which one is up to budget it would seem though.

I'll wave ba bye with this.. bought rightly them Macs usually hold their value. Buying a preowned but very nice 402 to try out ought not to provide much of a deficit if it simply does not float your boat and with some ... a little libation and maybe a steak, you ought to be able to coax your 501 friend to swing by with his 501s for a bit of comparison listening.

By golly you ought to know that way for sure!! then either keep or flip.

.... luck
I went to a dealer who had 802d so I could hear the Mc sound. Not sure whether it was 270W or the 402 but it did not have near the control that my Krell has. Bass was muddy and the mids undefined. That said, I would still like to hear the 501's to see what they sound like.
did you compare the krell in the same room and same setup? if not, it's probably the room that you are hearing...
I own B&W802D. Great speakers. All dealers who carry B&W also carry other B&W Group amplifiers: Classe and, I believe, McIntosh - at least I auditioned both of them. Both are OK and McIntosh is a touch better, IMO of course

The amplifiers I use and love, today, are Spectron Musician III monoblocks! I believe that only very powerful amplifier can unlock the magic of these heaven;y speakers. Spectron has the power in spades plus magic midrange and silky tops.

All The Best in your search

Look at all amplifier options before you get on the McIntosh bandwagon. Lot's of very good alternatives out there for those speakers. Those speakers can sound flat out superb with the right amps.

PS. Lucky man your friend...the new 802s are incredible and a MAJOR step forward for B&W.