Nautilus & S series

Hi all,

I am new to high-end system and currently shopping for a pair of B&W speakers. The model of choice is 803. There seems to be a nautilus 803 and 803s out there. These two look completely identical and I did not confuse it with earlier model N803 which is a lot more square looking.

Would it be a same model but a number change only after 803D came out at year 2005? Please let me know if whether they are indifferent or not? Thanks a million!!

The nautilus 803 came out in 1997. The newer 803S came out I think in late 2004. The "S" series was a big upgrade over the older nautilus series in my opinion.

I am speaking from the perspective of the 805. B&W had the nautilus 805 at the same time they had the nautilus 803. They came the signature 805 which was a big upgrade over the nautilus. They 805S came after the signature 805, didn't offer the nicer finish of the signature 805, but sonically was much closer.

You'll notice that the 803S goes for more money. The 803D uses the diamond tweeter, the 803S does not.
So here is my question, does nautilus 803 (1997 model) looks the same as 803S (2004) model? If they look the same, how can I tell the difference?

The cabinets are identical(on the outside), but the tweeter housing is slightly different. The label near the speaker terminals will say 803S. Hope this helps.
I purchased from a single seller a used pair of N803's, a pair of SCMS's and a ASW 825 subwoofer a few years ago. They were beautiful speakers. The N803's were represented to me as a pair of B&W N803s. All of my pre purchase research was based of the N803s representation. They were offered for a very resonable price and good terms. I accepted the sellers offer and trusted his representation. This was my first high end sysyem and I bought a MC207 prior from the same seller. I did not know of that there was a difference between the N and the s. Then I saw a thread where someone asked the same question as you after I had the system for a couple weeks. I looked at the model # in the location the previous poster on this this thread said. To my surprise I had the N803 and not the N803s. I did some searching of the previous correspondence with the seller leading up to the sale and without a doubt saw the written representation of the "s". Then I started looking for the differences bewtween the two models. I saw that there was definetely a opinioned difference between the two models. The bottom line was, my deal was not as good as I thought it was from the financial aspect but I loved how the "N"'s looked and the sound was very good to my ears. I later sold the system and represented the speakers properly and tried something different. Just make sure you get what you think you are getting. More my bad then anything. Watch for the difference between plural form of "a pair 803's" and a pair of 803s". Because they look exactly alike. My SCM's were the "s" model.
I think I have my answers... there are sellers out there mixing the N with S model for higher profits.

It would be great if any of you can post some pictures of the differences. I google the 803s terminal on the internet but couldn't find one. Many review and articles are mixing these 2 speakers as one model. I am so damn confusing!!

One easy way to tell on the outside of the cabinet is on the older nautilus series, the tweeter housing is sunk down into the top of the cabinet. Enough that you could see the veneer bandings that made up the top of the cabinet. The newer "S" series tweeter pretty much perches on the top of the cabinet.
There are a number of threads on this in the archives if you want to search.

It has been some time since I was "up" on the differences but let me make one clarification. The new models have dropped the "N" from the name, where the old model was the N803, the new is the 803S. That said, many have not recognized this and may still use the "N" in their ads, causing confusion.

The newer models have a new tweeter, different surround on the mid driver, new Rohacell bass drivers and new design crossovers. There can be more, these come to mind. While they look the same, there have been many changes.

An easy way to tell the difference is look at the model name stamped by the speaker inputs. Using 803's as an example, they will either say N803 for the older or 803S for the newer. The diamond series would be 803D.
Great post guys, thanks a lot. Many unethical sellers out there advertising N models in S model or use some confusing name such as N80xS to confuse people, the goal is to make more profits. I have recently encounted one unethical seller but when asking for providing an invoice of signed a bill-of-sale then they back off!

I am glad I did some researches...