I know them both very well, my local dealer handled both Verity and B&W. I spent most of my time comparing the 802D and Parsifal Encore, this was the 802D before the most recent version but did have the diamond tweeter. the B&W is very impressive from the start, great detail, air, soundstage and bass. The verity a little bit more reserved, more mid range detail. I had more, "My God that was beautiful" moments with the Verity. I also found the Verity's more enjoyable after a few hrs of listening, the 802's would start to wear on me. Another thing, I did upgrade my Parsifal Encores to the new aluminum damping plate and jumpers. Small but noticeable improvement in clarity. Then more recently put on Stillpoint Ultra SS. WOW, all that I love about the Verity's with more detail and extended treble, much more definition at all levels and tighter bass. The Stillpoints required some repositioning as they really changed the sound and behavior of the speaker. I moved them farther apart and a little further out in the room and things improved again. I am very very happy with the Encores, ( I did buy them over the B&W many years ago ). I am so happy since the addition of the Stillpoints a few months ago that my thought of new speakers is gone and I will send them in to Verity in a few years to test all cross over parts, drivers etc, recondition with new grill style and keep them another 10-15 years.
B&W's usually sound good when you first hear them, but the tweeter's usually wear you down over time; diamond or aluminum. Not every one feels that way, but if you can't get a really good, long demo, just to be sure, I would pass. Do you like the sound of the Verity? I assume you do, but you don't say.
Oh yes, I really like the sound of the Verity. What impressed me the most was its ability to recreate the venue of the performance...in other words, they image like crazy. I have to say that your two comments confirm what others had told me about B&W's. In fact, I am also considering a pair of Sonus Faber Amati...on the used market they go for more money but the only time I listened to them I found them to be pretty impressive...although one has a hard time disentangling sheer physical beauty and sound quality. They are so superior to anything else as an object that that might bias your listening experience.
I am not sure you will get an accurate response to your question since their are many varying opinions. For example, this statement "but the tweeter's usually wear you down over time; diamond or aluminum (Zd542, 2014)", is not my impression and certainly not with the N800 series, which is the pre-diamond series.
I find the sound of the B&W N800's excellent and very pleasing to my ears, so my opinion is the polar opposite of some others. Note that the N800's are not the same types of tweeter as the newer 803D's; so my impressions are based on that particular model; however, I would suggest you make your own informed decision based on critical and fun listening sessions.
The only way you are going to get a good impression of the speakers you are interested in is listening to them in different stores, audio shows, and bringing your own listening material for your very own reference. Home tests would be the best scenario. For every B&W speaker I have listened to over the years in a variety of venues, I have occasionally found a reason to not like that speaker for some other reason, the room acoustics, source and amplification. The same can be said of other speakers, so you will have some homework cut out for you. There are many reasons why a particular speaker will sound good or bad based on listening conditions.
I find myself getting lured into a relaxing state of mind with my B&W N800's, and can listen for hours on end. The only other speaker which gave me the feeling of being relaxed like my B&W N800's, was my friends Magnepan 3.6's.
There, some more variables added to the equation. Good luck and happy listening.
I am not sure you will get an accurate response to your question since their are many varying opinions. For example, this statement "but the tweeter's usually wear you down over time; diamond or aluminum (Zd542, 2014)", is not my impression and certainly not with the N800 series, which is the pre-diamond series."
I could have sworn I put this in my first post right after the sentence you quote: "Not every one feels that way, but if you can't get a really good, long demo, just to be sure, I would pass."
Well, at least we can agree on Audioquest cables.
Seriously, though, I should have been more detailed in what B&W's I was talking about. I've had a few pairs over the years but the most relevant for this thread is the 802's with the Al tweeter. A good friend of mine has the 802D's. I've spent a lot of time with them, as well. I love the midrange on both speakers. B&W usually does a great job with the mids. Bass is OK. Not the best, but if you otherwise like the speaker, you can make it work. For me, the problem is the tweeters. I do prefer the D, but only because its not the Al. One thing I should mention is that I'm very sensitive to high frequencies. In order for me to be happy with a system, the highs have to be just right (Just right for me. As Caio states in his post, just right for you may be something else). B&W also image very well, but that will depend on placement and your choice of electronics.
Verity. No comparison in my opinion. Go listen to your 10 favorite tracks. Smoother, more detail, better mids, more dynamic. Hard to believe you are caught between these two speakers because they are pretty different. What else have you heard or what others are you interested in?
I had but not a fan of those B&W's
Bjesen, thanks for your comment. I am a long-time quad fan. In my main room I have a pair of stacked ESL-57, and I love them. The veritys would go to a different room. I am also considering a pair of Sonus Faber Amati Homage (the Serblin's original version), but I did not hear them extensively. I've had many Sonus Fabers, including a pair of Extremas. To be honest though I am more inclined to go with the Veritys...even if the Amatis are way way prettier.
I'm not familiar with the ESL-57 but I have a hunch I would like them based on the reviews and buzz surrounding them.
The highest up in the line of Sonus Faber I've heard is the Cremona M. I must say, the setup was poor (twenty other speakers in the room), and I knew more than the salesman. I helped him with set up, turned on the ayre mono's for him (he thought off was on). Over all I found the SF a bit compressed and dull. I remember hearing a really smooth, but too smooth midrange. No glow or presence. I understand this to be a very different experiencefrom the SF listeners that have owned them for years and love them. I think it was a bad room/ setup experience. However in that same room the 804D's sounded good, and I'm not a B&W fan.
If you are in New England I can provide you with some Verity Parsifal listening time.