801 ser II
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I honestly think B&W is overpriced...that being said...the entry level 601 s3 monitors are great little speakers...not much bass...but in a small room...they have that signature huge "soundstage" B&W is known for...a very overlooked speaker...and only $450...as you climb up the B&W line...the performance vs. price ladder is not in favor for B&W...there is Vandersteen,Maggies,etc. that really set the standard....
I was really amazed at Phasecorrect's statement about B&W's price. I would say the opposite. Without going into the many virtues of the Nautilus speakers:
I would put my Dan D'Agostino's designed, actively biamped B&W800's up against almost anything at any price. The Wilson X-1's can't match up to them. My speakers my not be cheap ($15,000 + $4,000 x-over = $19,000), but in the arena of $80,000 speakers, they were an amazing bargain.
In my not so humble opinion,
The spirit of the post was to find out what B&W FANS thought was their greatest speaker achievment; price vs performance or just overall. There are many excellant speakers out there so if you feel one mfg. is better than another thats fine, it's your opinion. But no one can deny that B&W has done tremendous R&D for many years to push the realism of sound reproduction further: in this regard, it benefits us all.
The only B&W I would own: Nautilus 800
The B&W with best price/performance ratio: Matrix 801 S3
I agree with Phasecorrect in regards to the Nautilus line
being way overpriced. The Nautilus line did not deserve a 2x
markup from the S3 Matrix line. The N801 should be a $7500
speaker, not $11,000. And $16,000 for the N800 is almost
laughable. It's a nice speaker, but not $16,000 nice.
On the other hand, I think some of their less expensive
speakers are terrific values, especially the DM series.
I had 805's, 802s3, & now have 801s3 with Northcreek crossovers and a bass filter from Listenup. I love these speakers alot. Sure there is always something better & people like to knock down B&W. But let's ask the million dollar question? How many B&W speakers have you owned and with what gear!!!!!!!
Looking at B&W distortion specs:
DM601s3 2nd and 3rd order harmonics:
<1% 88 - 20kHz (90 dB spl, 1m)
Nautilus 804 2nd and 3rd order harmonics:
<1% 70 - 20kHz (90 dB, 1m)
<.5% 150 - 18 kHz
At ~1/10 the cost of N804, the 601s3 is a fantastic value looking at specs like these. Small cabinet has little resonance so don't need expensive curved cabinet of Nautilus. Even has the tweeter tube.