Opinions on old B&W's

I have posted earlier about looking for speakers in the $2,500.00 price range (used) and have come acros a pair of B&W 802's (pre-naut./matrix) for $500.00. I'm wondering how these older B&W's (and older speakers in general) stack up against the newer products out there today.
I've been considering:
B&W N804
Vandersteen 2Ce sigs, 3A Sigs
Silverline Sonatina II, Sonata
Von Schwiekert VR-4, VR-4 gen II
Meadowlark Heron (plain)
Legacy Classic
Hales Rev.3
Revel F-30
Snell C/V
I had a pair of B&W Matrix 3's Series 2 for about 10years. I liked them a great deal, but regreted not spending the extra money for the 802's which has a better midramge driver and tweeter. The series 3 of this model line was supposedly the best. $500 seems pretty low for a used pair of 802, make sure they at least a 7 on the GON's rating system and also work!!! As far as the models you have listed, I am not that familiar with them( but have read much about each one) accept Vandersteens which I have never liked Many of those models represent advances in speaker technology and each has their strong points. Nevertheless, if you carefully system match the B&W's 802, I think you will get close in performance to the best speakers on that list. Receivers, integrated amps and mid-fi separates will be inadequate to bring a speaker like the 802 up to its threshold of performance. So reevaluate your electronics and cabling, unless you already have hi-end pieces. If you have to upgrade amp and pre, you can probably find some nice values on the GON for $2000-2200. And, if you are getting the speaker for $500 which would be a steal, then you have not wasted your investment in new electronics. Good luck, Jimbo
$500 is a good deal for the Pre-matrix 802. On eBay they were fetching $700 to $800 depending on condition.
I guess your question begs a question...are you bargain hunting or are you looking to buy your last pair of speakers for a while? The pair of B&W 802's for $500 is a fairly good deal if cabinets and drivers are in good shape. Will the seller let you try them out for a week? If not, can you listen to them at his place with your electronics/cables? Do they have the original cartons in case you want to sell them on Audiogon and have to ship them?
If these are to be your last speaker purchase for quite a while, keep looking. You can find better for a little bit more. There's a pair of brand new NHT ST4's on Audiogon for $750 that I think would kill the old pre matrix B&W 802's.
I owned a pair of 802 series 80 for 10 years. I always loved those speakers! I miss them and wish I had never got rid of them. For $500 I think you would be silly not to buy. Just make sure your amp is a good match. I used tubes (Sonic Frontiers) and Solid state (B& K) and got good results. I think newer speakers are more revealing but not more musical. Good luck.
I have a pair of 802 Matrix Series 2 speakers and have enjoyed them for 15 years. They are bi amped and mono blocked with Threshold SA1's. They do need a sub and sound as good as anything new I have heard today.
I have a pair of B&W Matrix 803 series 2, and I just love them, even compared to newer stuff, and I've listened to alot. They have air, a beautiful midrange, very musical, not nearly as analytical or harsh as many newer speakers. Would say older B&Ws are a good bargain.