Go for it. If you already like the B&W sound, the 802 is a far more substantial speaker than even the already very good 804. What would you do with 804?
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I had a long session at a dealer with the 802N (long ago in 1999) and liked it a lot (and heard the 801N and liked that too, even though it had a little too much bass, and ended up thinking the 802N was better balanced).
I kind of actually liked the 802N better than the Aerial 10T that I ended up buying at the time.
Wow, not an easy question to simply say bigger is better. Room size is important - perhaps the 804's are just right for your room, but the 802's would overwhelm it with bass. Consider amplification (B&W's need lots of quality power); what you have now may be perfect for the 804's, and to get the same quality (not better) from the 802's you may have to invest a small fortune. Also, consider how important the lower octave is in your musical tastes - it may be important to you; it may not be. If not, why upgrade. Also, consider how far in to the room you can afford to put your speakers - the 802's may need a few more feet away from the front wall so they are not boomy. If it were me, I would not buy 802's unless I had enough room size and the proper amplification for them, and if I did not, I would only upgrade if I was willing to shell out the additional cash for the more powerful amplifiers. Also, I would say that if you feel you need the bigger speakers for more bass, you may save a lot of trouble, money, and get better sound overall by getting a good subwoofer. If you are solely interested in the midrange improvements that perhaps the 802's -may- have over the 804's (given the isolated enclosure) and have the proper amplification, then the upgrade may be a good choice. And lastly, in favor of your choice, the 802 does have a much heavier enclosure, which in and of itself (all other things equal) can perhaps provide better sound than the 804.
CAnnot help as much there...been way too long to make definitive statements about 802D vs 802N. Just make sure you've got enough power...for 4K, i would be inclined to go for the N and either save the 4K or put it towards the amp or elsewhere. Whatever power you put towards the 802N, it probably can use it.
"Even on a hometheater setup?"
Given you have a nice subwoofer, and presumably a multiple speaker array (given the "home theater setup" comment), I wonder if that extra size going from the 804 to the 802 would be an improvement. The 804's, relegated to midrange and mid-bass duties, augmented by a subwoofer, and taking only front Right and Left signals, may be just fine without going to the trouble to get the 802's. If it were just a 2 channel music only system the upgrade might have more benefits.
Bill - I would definitely try it...can you audition at home, or must you buy first? Definitely would be tempted to do it. And the larger speaker is not so much (imho) about lower or bigger bass...its about the effortlessness and soundstage size. When i went to the big Wilsons, it was truly an eye-opener (well, an ear-opener, actually ;)). Good luck.
Hey Now Baran:
I can only assume that you are not happy with your 804S ???
Those should be providing you all that you need with your Anthem P5...I would be afraid that your jump to 802N would end up draining more power from your amp to drive them and you may have to go to monoblocks....Your 804 series is best suited for your desire in Home Theater and a little bit of music along the way. The 802N is becoming dated at this point regarding its age as they are probably 10 plus years old. I would stick with your 804S or consider a different line of speaker.
Cannot audition them at my home. they are hours and hours away. i can hear them at his house. but different amp and room.
i am happy with the 804S i have five of them. just saw the older 802N for a pretty good price and started to think... always loved the looks of the 802. just didn't know how it would compare to what I have and for what i use them for. i do not know what if anything i am missing.
i do know, i cannot go 8k for a used set of 802d or even more for the 802d2 or 800. hell even the 803d are selling for over 5k.
Honestly you are not going to get much difference other than an additional bass aspect, and if your sub is crossed over correctly this is a moot point. Plus if you do not have a separate amp to drive the 802's your benefit will be minimal at best. I would keep what you have if you are happy so far IMHO.
Baranowski, your anthem amp will easily drive the 802n. It's a beast of an amp and made to drive a good full range speaker. Personally I'm not a fan of the metal tweeter used but if you want to stick with B&W the 802n is your next step up. I would look for a good price in the used market for the 805d and then go with good subs. The 805d is more extended and much smoother than the 802n and the mids seemed less dry.
Rose...anything can drive the 802's for sure...but to get the best of what they desire its best to have them on monoblocks or to their own amp. The Anthem P5 is suitable but if he is running the other 804's off of this amp he can make breakfast with it in 10 minutes...I like my eggs over easy with crispy bacon please.
Plus the 802Ns are not much more different in sonic range than the 804S. Plus we are talking about home theater and not a 2 channel or musical application as the OP states. His benefit to go up to the 802N will be minimal at best in his home theater set up.
To the earlier post by Stringreen. Who cares if you're no fan of B&W. You push Vandersteen as if no other brand should even be considered. The gentleman is considering a great pair of 802N's for 4k.The closest Vandy in that range new is the 3A, which the B&W, any B&W for that matter will easily best. Just do a comparison. I have. You could even jump to a used pair of Quatros, and the 802's would still be the better choice.
I concur with Rhljazz (fwiw). i have heard both 804 and 802, and the 802 to me is closer to the really big B&Ws than to the 804. and i really like the 804. The 802 has a depth and weight to its music, a soundstage size that to me, marks beginning of the big boy B&w (800, 801, 802)...i have not heard the Nautilus. by contrast the 804 feels like the fuller sized big brother to the smaller B&Ws and the lower ranges. one man's opinion.
It would seem that if i was using these speakers for 2 channel then the older 802N would be a good upgrade to my newer 804S...since i will be using these for mostly hometheater, and it will be crossed over, then it would be popular opinion that the older 802N would be minimally better in a home theater application.
am i understanding this correctly?
Bill, i think if you are crossing over, you probably do lose a little of what the 802 offers over the 804...and if you are relatively less critical about home theater than 2-channel music (i am)...then save your money. Which is always a good thing...if only to allow to splurge on something else 2-channel! hah! ;)