Upgrading from B&W DM640's
I want to upgrade my speakers and the wife is on-board with it, yeah! I'm not sure which way to go:
801 Series II or III, Nautilus 802, 803, 804, 804S
My budget is $4000. My power amp is a Proceed AMP2, that's 150 watts per channel. I have had my 640's since I bought them new in 1991 and have very much enjoyed them. When I bought them, I sure wanted 800 series speakers, but it was not meant to be.
I have been watching many 801's going for right around $2000 which is very tempting, but we have two reservations: 1) they would be 15-20 years old. How long would my investment in that vintage of speaker last me? What I am concerned about is will the drivers wear out? 2) The look of them. I'm OK with them as I'm used to them. My wife thinks they are ugly. Our house is a 3 bedroom home with ~2000 sq ft of space. As such, we have a living room that opens into a dining room and kitchen as our main living space. Her comment last night really hit home - "for a living room, they are too big and industrial looking; if we had a dedicated family/av room, I'd be much better with them." I see her point totally and agree. We have wood floors (if that makes any difference...). Although my wife does not like the look of the 801's, she wants me to be happy and excited about my purchase and if that means 801's, she's OK with it.
It looks like N802's could almost be had in my budget. I have never listened to them. I'm sure they are awesome. I've heard 804S briefly, and they did not blow me away. I suspect that is a good thing especially considering the large theater room they were in. They didn't strike me as all that much of a departure from my 640's, but then the material probably did not illustrate the difference in the imaging which I know is there.
I know the 804S will not compare with the 801/802 on bass. To be honest, I'm pretty darn happy with the bass in the 640's. I do not run a sub and although my listening is 50/50 between 2 channel and home theater, I don't need to the room to shake. Of course I'd like lower frequency response.
I'm torn between a 20 year old amazing speaker on one extreme and a current design speaker (804S) which could be better in some respects because of newer design and technology.
What I am looking for is your input as to your experiences with these models. Thank you.