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Scared to go hear a pair of B&W 802 D4’s

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Tone?, Nov 6, 2021.

  1. Tone?

    Tone? Forum Resident Thread Starter

    San Francisco

    Yeah I had the same experience as well.

    wasn’t like , I have to have these.

    wanted to. But nope
  2. mtrot

    mtrot Forum Resident

    Tyler, TX
    Yeah, I just didn't hear any shimmer on the cymbals or sparkle to piano notes. But, again, I'm not yet prepared to blame the 802D4's, as I don't trust those McIntosh electronics.
  3. Tawaun A Williams

    Tawaun A Williams Forum Resident

    I'd say its probably the pairing isnt a good match....i havent liked the B&W sound in years but when i heard the 1st generation Continum drivers i was like ok this is better i kinda like these....although in the same store i still preferred the PMCs by a large margin and they were way cheaper.
    Tone? likes this.
  4. Tone?

    Tone? Forum Resident Thread Starter

    San Francisco

    PMCs have quite a different sound sig. tried a few pair. Lovely mids. But lacked low mid punch
    yeah. Didn’t do much for me either
    Tawaun A Williams likes this.
  5. Tawaun A Williams

    Tawaun A Williams Forum Resident

    I somewhat felt that way as well...but they did have some of that British midrange magic..that the B&Ws lacked even tho their mids were clear but in that Canadian speaker kinda way...
    Tone? likes this.
  6. Michael Renwick

    Michael Renwick Forum Resident

    Literally just got done with a home demo of the 805 d4’s, second system. Setup as follows:

    VPI Prime Signature
    Hana ML
    Herron phono stage
    Primaluna Evo 300 pre
    Primaluna Evo 400 power

    Wow. These are fantastic speakers. We threw everything at them from Midnight Sugar and the Three Blind Mice series to the Stones to Blue Box Beatles. There was nothing they didn’t do well.
    I am use to rear firing bass port so this was a change. The bass was tight and clean, I’m use to a bit more slop and depth but I think this was more accurate. Highs were amazing and sweet. I was a bit concerned with the diamond tweeter but they really shine without a harsh sound. Mid were great. The vocals of the MFSL Dire Straits records came out amazing, one of the first times I could coherently understand Knopler’s vocal. iRobot was amazing, just really shown as did The Wall 79 Japanese pressing. There isn’t anything these couldn’t do.

    With that said I felt I could, as could my room, handle the towers. I’m thinking the 804’s are going to be my end game. Though I currently have stands, I think the 805 stands seemed far superior. When I add the cost of those stands to the 805’s the 8o4’s start to seduce me. I plan on selling a Beatles Mono Box and one of my Taylor’s to make up the difference.

    A+ for the 805’s with the tubes, a true pleasure.
    Side note, per the reviews these “shine” when turned up. Wasn’t my experience, they did amazing at all levels.
    Windy Miller, GyroSE and AaronW like this.
  7. Windy Miller

    Windy Miller Forum Resident

    Yesterday I popped into the dealers and listened to sone 803 D4s. I also listened to sone JEF Reference 3 and sone Focal Sopra 2s.

    To me, the 803s were head and shoulders above the others. I was completely blown away by the clarity, smoothness, bass, soundstage. They’re certainly not as full in the midrange as some others but electronic, string and indie bands sounds stunning. I’d never heard the instruments sound so real.

    They were fed by a Planar 10, Aura, Moon 390 and 330A.

    They’re not going to be everyone’s cup of tea but to my ears they were mint.

    I was really impressed with active ATCs which I’d demoed another time and was going to order some but think the 803s are better. And look so much nicer. There’s nothing beautiful about a wooden box with drivers on the front.

    Michael Renwick, GyroSE and Tone? like this.
  8. Tone?

    Tone? Forum Resident Thread Starter

    San Francisco

    Yeah they were really good for sure.

    I agree that the mids were lacking in fullness as you noticed too.

    clarity is definitely the strong point. And no sibilance
    Windy Miller likes this.
  9. Bachtoven

    Bachtoven Forum Resident

    I love my 803D3/McIntosh combo, and I certainly don’t hear any recessed mids. An audiophile friend who is very hard to please came over recently to listen to my system. His first reaction was “Wow, the musicians sound as if they are in the room. The mids and highs are amazingly life-like.” Several major classical recording labels use B&W 800 series speakers for their monitors, so they must not hear any flaws, either.
    GyroSE likes this.
  10. Windy Miller

    Windy Miller Forum Resident

    Id adhere that there are no flaws to my ears. They sounded lovely and clean with no harshness at all. Other speakers sound different and have their own signature which is perhaps why they sound fuller in sone areas. I was super impressed with the sound of string instruments and drums which were the best I’ve heard aside from hearing the instruments themselves. They being said, I’m sure there are other speakers out there with equal clarity. I’ve just not heard them.

    The chaps in the shop did say that B & W had addressed a number of areas which had been subject to critique including the treble with a longer housing. This allegedly smooths things without reducing insight.

    No matter what, I was impressed.
    Bachtoven, Tone? and Michael Renwick like this.
  11. Tone?

    Tone? Forum Resident Thread Starter

    San Francisco

    What was the amp driving the B&Ws?

    cause when I heard the 803 D4s with the Rotel amp I liked them way more than the much more expensive McIntosh.

    they would probably sound even more amazing with my benchmark setup.
    Windy Miller likes this.
  12. William Kucharski

    William Kucharski Forum Resident

    A lot also depends upon your perspective.

    I heard a pair of 803D4s driven by McIntosh at my local dealer and I felt they sounded good on at least some tracks because the tweeter wasn't as harsh and noticeable as it was in the past.

    Then I managed to find a few tracks that did make the tweeter stand out like a sore thumb, just like on past models of B&W, which I haven't liked.

    Honestly the only B&W speaker I've ever liked was the full-blown four amps required per channel Nautilus.
  13. William Kucharski

    William Kucharski Forum Resident

    I can always hear the enclosure on Harbeths, they always sound like cones in a box to me.
  14. Windy Miller

    Windy Miller Forum Resident

    Morning. The system used was Moon 330a and 390 which is what I have at home. The dealer chap suggested great synergy between the two brands. I think I’m right in saying that the Moon products tend to be smoother than some which may tame any top end brightness, if there is any.
  15. William Kucharski

    William Kucharski Forum Resident

    Moons are excellent.
  16. Windy Miller

    Windy Miller Forum Resident

    Well, the audition impressed me so much I’ve ordered sone 803s to go with the Moon stuff at home. Waiting time…who knows. It’ll be 2022 hopefully!
  17. GyroSE

    GyroSE Forum Resident

    Sounds fantastic! Congrats! :righton:
    Windy Miller likes this.
  18. Diapason

    Diapason Forum Resident

    Dublin, Ireland
    I often admire B&W speakers but I don't usually love them. I'm definitely more of a Sonus Faber man these days.
    William Kucharski and mtrot like this.
  19. Tone?

    Tone? Forum Resident Thread Starter

    San Francisco

    I really need to go hear the B&Ws again through a proper setup.
    And carry my music along with me.
    Windy Miller likes this.
  20. Windy Miller

    Windy Miller Forum Resident

    If your experience is anything like mine, your music will become new music. Although at 10 times the price of DT8s, the 802s should be doing that. Hope you can enjoy….
    Tone? likes this.
  21. Tone?

    Tone? Forum Resident Thread Starter

    San Francisco

    Ha , well I wouldn’t be looking to spend that much on speakers.

    I’ll see how it goes.
    Most likely there will be a move in my life soon.

    that needs to be dealt with first.
  22. monovinyl

    monovinyl Forum Resident

    B & W 802 D2's here...audio bliss.
    B & W worth the wait.
    GyroSE, Bachtoven and Tone? like this.

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