Trust your ears. Look at the whole system and don't isolate one of its links. Enjoy the music. From the mid-fi trenches, good day.
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A friend has B&W 803's and they need a fair amount of power but I think they sound very nice. Some people think they are a little bright, I have never heard that quality, they are very detailed and cohesive from the highs to the bass. I do not think they are especially revealing but have a really beautiful tone.
The more I get into HI FI the more I realize that when 'something is missing' it could easily be speaker placement or wire or component matching.
I think if you want a slightly euphonic sound and a beautiful speaker go with the B&W. BTW I have no experience with the Theil.
I've auditioned both. The B&W where more dark & velvety and on the warmer side of neutral. The Thiels 2.3s, which I own, sound three dimensional and tonally neutral and musical (except for the bottom octave- which is just not present). The Thiels require proper system matching and proper placement (All is documented on their website). My system Pass x-250, Pass x-1, Harm Tech Pro Silway II and Pro-9, Sony SCD-1. Thiels are placed 7 ft apart slight tow in, 4 ft from the sides and 3 ft from rear. Sweet spot is 10ft away. I use 2 Jon Risch DIY Bass traps and 4 sound panels. Im in awe.
I compared these two speakers before buying and found the Thiels to be the clear winner for me. I don't care much for the B&W sound although many must since they continue to sell well and receive good reviews.
Be sure to look at the Revel F30s as well. I was impressed with them but found their appearence a negative. In the end I ended up with used Thiel CS6s for a few hundred more than new 2.3s.
What was missing for me with the 803s was life in the midrange. Those Kevlar midrange drivers sound a little dry and sterile to my ears, and maybe that's what was missing for you too. Haven't heard the 2.3s, but unless you're willing to do what it takes in the equipment matching game to get the desired results they may prove frustrating. I found the CS1.6 to be surprisingly good and not quite as given to brightness as some other Thiel models. If you haven't heard them they might surprise you.
In this price range there are lots of other worthy competitors such as Silverline, Soliloquy, Triangle, Merlin, Audio Physic, Sonus Faber, Coincident Tech., etc. If the 803s or 2.3s aren't doing it for you, my guess is one of the above will. I'd personally recommend hearing the Silverline Sonatina II and the Soliloquy 6.2 if you can find a dealer in your area. Best of luck.
If you think you like the N803's but think something may be missing, try tubes for the top end at least if you are bi-amping. I too thought the kevlar mids were dry at times. I was right. They can be dry with certain music inncertain setups. But then I began using my tubed pre and playing around with different means of isolation. That experience gave me a new-found respect for the nautilus series B&W's.
I am not familiar with Thiel, but I do own a set of BW N804's. I know they need the right electronics. I have a Classe 300 Watt amp that does it justice. However, I have heard them sound better with better electronics. But if I had my choice (and cash), I would spend the extra "g" and get the N803's. For the price they give a good return on the investment. more depth and just a more "musical" speaker. But again, the right componenets make all the difference.
Personally, I like the N804s best. There's really not much of a difference between the 803 and 804s (7" woofer vs. 6.5" woofer and larger cabinet), but certainly not $1,500 worth. If you mate the 804s with excellent electronics (in my case, Musical Fidelity gear), the 804s sing. Haven't heard the Thiels.