Review: B & W Loudspeakers Nautilus 803 Speaker

Category: Speakers

I upgraded from B&W Matrix 805 to 803 2 years ago. Because I watch a lot of movies and concerts, so the reasons for the upgrade were to get better low end and bigger sound stage. I stayed with B&W because I was extremely happy with the Matrix 805. I also upgraded my rear speakers from M805 to N805 and the center from M HTM to N HTM1.

I found 803 to be very sensitive to the environment. Because I like airy, clear and accurate sound, I did the following:
1. Place the speakers far away from the back and side walls with big toe in angle, and listen in a near field position.
2. Replaced all the interconnect cables with Kimber silver cables for better high end clarity.
3. Added a PS Audio power plant to improve the density of low end.
4. Replaced Proceed amp with Pass Lab amp for what I personally felt to be a better match. I did not feel the need to change when I was using the Matrix 805.

The whole process took about 6 months of experiments, and the result was rewarding.

I think N803 is one of the best mid size speakers in the market. Five thousand dollars is a bid over priced, but you can find a good deal if you spend the time to look in place like Audiogon.

Associated gear
Pass Lab X3 Amp, Elite DV-38A DVD Player, Proceed AVP-S Preamp