Thoughts on replacing an ageing pair of B&W N804s

I tried bumping an old question from 2 yrs back but think better to start a new thread.

I've been using the N804 for over 12 years with an Accuphase E-407 integrated amp (Class A/B, 180W/ch @ 8 ohm). I feel its lacks detail, bass and doesn't feel very immersive/involving.

Recently I demo-ed the Franco Serblin Accordo and it's a fantastic (monitor?) speaker but too pricy for my budget & needs a subwoofer to fill in the bass. I also tried the 803D, 804D, SF Cremona-M, & Dali (forgot the model). The rest of them didn't really do much for me.

FInally on a different floor and different setup (and sadly different music track too) I demo-ed the 805Di. Whilst not as good as the Accordo (lacked separation and soundstage by comparison), I felt the 805Di actually performed quite well, more so than its 803D/804D bigger brothers.

So here comes the question. I -think- the 805Di extended deeper and tighter in bass, had more detail, and felt more immersive than my N804. However not being able to compare side-by-side, I don't know if it's setup, or if the 805Di speakers themselves truly big improvement over my ageing N804s.

In Tokyo there's no "1-week" demo concept nor returns. Once you've bought, it's yours and will have to sell at a loss. I do not intend to change my Accuphase E-407 integrated amp.

Is there truly a big improvement between the N804 to 805Di or was it just placebo in my mind?

Like you, I had a pair of B&W Silver Signatures for nine years. I decided to replace mine, not because I wasn't happy with them, simply because I wanted something new.

This was at the same time that B&W came out with their first diamond series of speakers. I listened to a pair of 803D speakers three different times. I would never have considered replacing my Silver Signatures with the 803Ds, the music coming out of those speakers just wasn't anywhere close to the Silver Signatures.

The Silver Signatures were the original 805s, but custom made to commemorate John Bowers. I can see the 805Di speakers outperforming your old N804 speakers.

I'd also suggest that you listen to some Dynaudio speakers, especially the C1. The Magnepan 1.7 and 3.7 speakers are also worth a listen, but you need a big room for them. The Quad 2805 and 2905 are also worth a listen. You also might try a Thiel 2.4 or 2.7 if you have a large room like you'd need for the Magnepans.

I don't know the answer to your specific question. However, I have owned 5 different B&W's over the years, & never really satisfied with any of them. I finally ended up with Totems, & Spendors; & I'd recommend many models of those. Dynaudios are well worth checking out also.....
I too had the 804s for like 8 years and thought highly of the Nautilus series. I then decided to change for the fun of it. I got an used pair of Revel GEMS with its stands and a Revel B15 subwoofer like 3 years ago. With the same set-up, the sound was much more detail, dynamic and tighter bass when compare side by side. I did audition the 805 Signature Tiger Eyes but not the Diamonds before buying the GEMS. The used GEMS were much better for the $. You could try to audition the GEMS2 against 805D if GEMS are too old for you.
Wow Steve. It took you 5 times to realize B&W wasn't the sound you wanted? Just curious here.
I've heard your 804s at length and agree with your assessment. The 805Di may be better, but in that price range you should take the time to look around at more brands. I'd think in Tokyo you'd have lots of choices, and since trial periods aren't prevalent (what's that about by the way?) you should make sure you get this right. Especially these days the speaker world is much bigger than B&W. I'd also consider bringing your Accuphase with you to use in demos if at all possible to see if it's a good mate with the speakers, especially since it seems like there's no going back once you pull the trigger. Yeesh, that sucks. Best of luck.
Thank you all for your responses. There's a multitude of options but interestingly some of the ones mentioned here are to no avail. Dynaudios, for example were only found at a departmental store in the open which was hard to demo. Meanwhile B&Ws, Focals, Sonus Fabers, Dali's, etc. are easily found.

I just realised that i't silly of me not to consider some Japanese brands since they should be a lot cheaper in comparison to foreign brands (e.g. the Franco Serblin Accordos are 50% more in Japan than they are in NZ - and I'm sure NZ is not the cheapest place either).

That's gonna take quite an effort lugging the Accuphase around :D.

I'm investigating one other option...modifying my N804s to see if I can squeeze in extra life out of it. There's a business in Nagoya (not in Tokyo but at least in the same country) that seems to modify the crossovers. If it "improves it" considerably then I may consider that option.
I think you need to look harder to find other brands or expand your search area a bit. I simply can't believe the only place in the Tokyo area you can hear a pair of Dynaudio speakers is in a department store, or that you can't seek out others with a little more effort. I mean, it's TOKYO for God's sake. Also, isn't it worth "lugging" the Accuphase around if it leads to peace of mind and satisfaction in the long run, especially if you can't readily do an in-home demo with the speakers you ultimately buy? I'll just say good luck with your crossover mod idea -- that's certainly an interesting way to go. A little effort goes a long way, or then there's just the easy way. Especially when it comes to speakers, I find it's worth the extra time/effort to search for the model that really "does it" for you. It might take a while, but once you get it right every time you turn on your system you'll smile confidently...or not. Again, best of luck.
Thank you for your advice but I think you may overestimate Tokyo! It may be big and also quite controlled on what's brought in. I went through Dynaudio's local Japan page and it's distributors and where to demo in the city only 2 places popped up - one being the departmental store that was easily accessible. I do have the other dedicated audio store websites in my link checking out what products they have new and 2nd hand. Some places do have Dynaudio monitors. Demo-ing in stores is a hit/miss. Some will allow, some don't - the products are tested to work.

Err, the Accuphase E-407 is a 24 kg amp. It's gonna be hard to lug that around the train system.
Man, that really sucks. You have my deepest sympathy. Maybe it's stuff like this that's responsible for the Japanese stock market going absolutely nowhere over the past 28 years. I'd move. Again, best of luck. You'll apparently need it.