Thoughts on the new B&W 800D series speakers

I heard the new B&W 804's last night and they sounded pretty good. They completely disappeared and sounded very good tonally. Went back home and listened to my Silver Signature's playing the same CD, and I don't think I'd traded my Silver Sig's in for them.

BUT... There were things I liked better from each speaker AND... the two room sizes were a lot different, so I'd have to compare them side-by-side. The new midrange speaker was really quick and seemed accurate.

The dealer hadn't received any of the 800D line with the Diamond tweeters yet. Has anyone heard them? What did you think?
I have not heard the diamond speakers. However, I would like to comment on the 804's. I'm curious to know if they had been broken in fully. As the ones I heard were not. I used to own the signature 805's. Some say they are better than the silver sigs, others say the opposite. Personal opinion, I think. But, I bet with proper setup in your room with your equipment the 804's could sound as good as your silver sigs. What was your take on the dealers setup? Do you think it was correct, and do you think the associated equipment was appropriate? Are you considering a change?

I am considering a speaker change, that why I went to hear them. I'm very pleased with my system, but like a car, I've had them for seven years and it's time for a change. I haven't found anything yet that has made me want to sell my Silver Signature's to buy, and I've been looking for a year and a half. I've found speakers that I'd like to have, but not to take the loss on the Silver Sig's to get.

No, the 804's weren't fully broken in, the dealer just received them last week. The dealer's setup was all McIntosh (CD, tube pre-amp and ss amp) with the 804's in a 24' x 14' room sitting out about 8' from the backwall. I sat there listening for an hour (until they closed) and really enjoyed them.

My system is on the order of yours: Theta Data Basic II transport, Musical Fidelity Tri-Vista 21 DAC, Herron VTSP-1A/166 tube pre-amp, Musical Fidelity A308cr amp and B&W Silver Signature speakers. My room is only 12' x 12' with the SIlver Sig's sitting about 3' out from the back wall, and I think that was the key to the difference.

I've never heard the S805's or N805's. I've only heard the comments from Audiogon. I have replaced the thin Kimber silver speaker cable with Sonoran steel micro-bead shielded copper cable and the highs are just as good, but now there's a nice, fuller sound with a lot more crystal clear bass. The Silver Sig's are supposed to go down to 35Hz, and with the synthesizers in Enya, it shakes everything in the room. A hard kicked bass drum will also hit you in the chest, like my Dunlavy SC-IV's did.

Remember these Silver Sig's were $8000.00 in 1991, they're pretty awesome little speakers. I'm hoping maybe the 803D's will be what I'm looking for. I don't know that I can go the $12,000.00 for the 802D's, my wife would rip my head off.
It sounds like to me that the 803D would be right up your alley. Not to mention the 803D adds another woofer over the new "non-diamond" 803. I have not had the luxury of hearing the silver sigs. I do know they are held in high regard. I guess the only comment I wanted to make about that, is that it is old technology. The real question is: can you hold out until B&W comes out with their "new" signature line? It wouldn't surprise me if in a couple years they threw the diamond tweeter into the new 805 and called it the new signature line. I haven't heard of it yet, but if they follow suit, we should see one sometime.

At any rate, I really don't think you can go wrong with the new 804's. After your dealer has them broken in, I would try and get them for an audition and throw them up against your silvers. I'd be very interested to hear the results.
I heard the 801D this weekend. I liked the tweeter much better than on the Sig. If I did solidstate or big tube amps this would be a speaker I would have to hear in a home trial. They were quick and the treble was very smooth. No complaint with the soundstage either.
The new 800 series are awesome. While the non-diamond tweeter models are definitely improved with better bass drives, midrange units, and tweeters that go out to about 50K, the diamond models are outstanding. The 801s are truly a candidate for one of the better speakers available. In addition to better driver integration and coherency, they manage to play huge and maintain a sense of inner detail that you normally associate with a low powered single-ended tube amp driving an effecient pair of speakers.
i would recommend anyone in the price range on the new d series 800.802,801 or 803 look into tyler acoustic speakers. i purchased their woodmere's and it is by far the BEST speaker i have ever heard. these would retail for in a stereo store for $ 30-35,000 a pair. what the b&w do the woodmere's take it to the next level but do not have the typical b&w sound which it tipped up on the top end and does not have subwoofer quality bass like the woodmere's which i could judge by having a rel stadium 3 sub which is sold now. i think if anyone heard the woodmere's it would be a no brainer and this is after owning 805's 802s3.n802,n803. my friend bought my n802 and when i hear them now, well the woodmere's are the best bargain if you want the best thats out there without paying $$$$$$$$$$ !!! their website is good luck
Millenium, have you heard the new B&W line? They are quite a bit better than the old line. I think you might have a little different feeling about the bass if you had.
silver signature series + milbert tube amps in earl's bmw540

Krell_man, I really don't think any current B&W are on the pair with silver sigs. I owned them for 7 years and tried every Nautilus model agains them. S7horton, I did have proper setup.........all the Nautilus speakers were broken in. Silver Sigs had the "magic" only few speakers have IMHO. Unfortunately John Bowers is no longer with us and current B&W folks are leaning more and more towards commercial mentality.
Krell_man. I'd keep the Silver Sigs or go with another manufacturer.
Good luck!
I have recently had the good fortune of hearing both 800d's and 802d's. In both instances the setup seemed appropriate,without going into full detail but both pairs had not been broken in yet. I had never been very impressed with B&W product before the most recent edition of sigs came to market. I found that I could listen to the sig800's at lenght with no fatigue. Truly enjoyable. The experience I had with the new diamond version was something else again! I have been fortunate to have experienced several hundred live music performances in the last 20 years from Soundgarden to the Chicago Symphony and I have never experienced anything this close that didn't require tickets. No superlatives necessary! Obviously everyone has thier own set of ears, and therefore thier own opinion. Do yourself a favor, put everyones opinions aside and listen to the music. B&W 800d and 802d recommended without hesitation!
How would you describe the difference between the 800D and the 802D?
The nautilus 801 needs a lot of power to drive them properly. Does anyone know if the 801d is easier on amplifiers..
I heard the 801d yesterday with my electronics. The tweeter tamed bright recordings compared to my nautilus 801's. They were not run in yet but I could hear some overall differences. He had a 200w chord amp connected when I arrived, so I listened for awhile and then we biamped them with my 2 300w/ch amps and the difference was huge in a positive direction but I could still hear that they needed more power, at least for the woofer...I'm getting 4 600w mono amps for my 801's. I asked B&W about power demands for 801d and they said they are more demanding then nautilus 801... His room was longer and higher then mine but I could hear the room reflections(extra mid and teble phasy energy) and boomy bass where confusing the soundstage focus and this is the main problem with getting the most out of my nautilus 801's. I was actually considering purchasing 801d but my conclusion is that I would not appreciate the difference unless I have mega power, perfect control of the room reflections(echo and comb filtering)with diffusers and absorbers along with bass traps(panel traps and helmholtz resonators)for really good control of standing waves. My room is midway to completion for these issues and I can hear the focus improving and the posiblity for my "dream sound" is in sight. The 801d will not illiminate the need for this type of room!
I'm very confused why the "extreme" compexity of whole set up to get 801's to sound the way they should was not mentioned more by B&W, reviewers and owners?
I'm sure the 800 isn't as difficult in the bass but are owners having similiar problems from mids and highs?...
I have owned a pair of 800d speakers for 9 weeks. Set up is Meridian 808 signature reference CD, Linn Kairn pre amp 2 x Linn Klimax solos (mono).

The end result of this is a very revealing system. Weaknesses on not so good recordings which had been OK on previous system (Meridian 602 CD, Linn Kairn, Linn LK 240 power amp and Accoustic Energy AE 3 speakers)are exposed mercilessly. Equally, good recordings are revealed in all their glory.

The detail and presentation on good recordings is as close to being at a live performance as I can imagine. Bass goes very deep and is tuneful, well balanced with the other drivers and is 'quick' and clear. Equally the mid range is very revealing and accurate and the high frequencies are as as good as live across all instruments and female voices.

These are great speakers which do what they should do - present what they are fed without adding or taking anything away. As a result the better the recording and intervening equipment the better the sound that will be produced. They do need powerful amps to control them properly.

I found that they took about 80 hours before they began to sound as though they were worth what they cost - just as well my dealer had warned me!! From 80 hours on they just got better until I stoped counting the hours!!

Speaker positioning is important - not so much distance from walls but toe in and distance between then. Small changes can result in quite large affects on the sound.