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New Bowers and Wilkins 800 series...


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For anyone interested, Bowers and Wilkins have today launched the new 800 series.

 

Initially 805 stand mount, 804, 803 and 802 floor standees with the 800 coming out next year (2016). Also 2 centre speakers.

 

More details...

Redefining the Legend: 800 Series Diamond - Bowers & Wilkins

and

B&W reveals new 800 Series Diamond speakers | What Hi-Fi?.

 

UK costs £4500 (805), to 16500 (802).

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

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Is the new cabinet a result of Hornslet Furniture closing down?

They are the Danish cabinet makers right? As I recall it B&W moved construction of 800 series cabinets to UK before the Diamond 2 range were launched

 

Who knows... Anyways, they look really bad, and the protruding drivers seem out of place, and cheap. Bet they still sound very good :)

I quite liked the pictures... But wait to see in flesh.

 

A shame they haven't gone more radical ... Optional active crossover for 802 perhaps would have been interesting!

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Link to comment

Wow! The 803 D3 looks like being over twice the price I paid for my 803 D2s 18 months ago. Of course exchange rates play a part but that is a BIG jump. As B&W say however, it is a completely new speaker and I guess they had nowhere to go as far as model numbers go?

 

When I bought the 803 D2 I thought they were the bargain buy of the range but the design (along with the 804) was very different to the 801/802. They now look like a smaller 802.

 

It will be interesting to check them out but I'm in no hurry to upgrade :)

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Wow! The 803 D3 looks like being over twice the price I paid for my 803 D2s 18 months ago. Of course exchange rates play a part but that is a BIG jump. As B&W say however, it is a completely new speaker and I guess they had nowhere to go as far as model numbers go?

 

When I bought the 803 D2 I thought they were the bargain buy of the range but the design (along with the 804) was very different to the 801/802. They now look like a smaller 802.

 

It will be interesting to check them out but I'm in no hurry to upgrade :)

Thats a good assessment I think.

 

The way I read/see it ...

  • the new 804D3 is replacing the 804D2 and 803D2
  • the 803D3 is a new speaker
  • the 802D3 is between the old 802D2 and the 800D2
  • and what they are doing for the 800D3 remains to be seen.

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Link to comment
Thats a good assessment I think.

 

The way I read/see it ...

  • the new 804D3 is replacing the 804D2 and 803D2
  • the 803D3 is a new speaker
  • the 802D3 is between the old 802D2 and the 800D2
  • and what they are doing for the 800D3 remains to be seen.

 

I could be interested in the 803D3...if B&W eventually manages to present the mid-range with a more neutral presentation. Should deserve an audition...

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I could be interested in the 803D3...if B&W eventually manages to present the mid-range with a more neutral presentation. Should deserve an audition...

The new range has a completely new midrange - they have dropped the Kevlar drivers for a new composite material "continuum"

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Link to comment

More details from a write-up by Andrew Everard for hificritic.com, interestingly :

All the new 800 D3 models are being handmade, from cabinets and crossovers to drive units and finishes in the company’s factory in Worthing, which has been the subject of substantial and ongoing investment to allow it to meet the demand for the new series: Kerr says that since showing the new products to distributors and retailers, orders are already in place to account for the next 18 months of production, even though production of the new models has been running since March of this year.

 

The new speakers will be available in a choice of gloss black, a smooth semi-matt white, or rosenut veneer, with the Turbine head and trims on white models finished in a matt silver, rather than the standard black. Early reports suggest that the white models are proving by far the most popular.

6-white-803-3qtr.jpg

 

«

an accurate picture

Sono pessimista con l'intelligenza,

 

ma ottimista per la volontà.

severe loudspeaker alignment »

 

 

 

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Of dream speakers, in my studying of Ken Ishiwata, he once said :

The founder of B&W – his dream was to come up with a speaker having like a dipole soundstage, no effect on the cabinet, yet dynamics – conventional dynamics. It was very expensive because it was an active system. It was four-way so you needed four stereo power amps or eight monoblocks to drive this with electronics crossover. It was a very expensive system but the performance of that speaker (the Nautilus) was exceptional.
And of the Japanese system that I saw on Facebook :
11391136_974224879254464_4145369769991121468_n.jpg?oh=af041877b9100c56034acce7b090a267&oe=56A7D985

11109617_974233952586890_194059903343587334_o.jpg

11000672_974234565920162_7659602733102445172_o.jpg

When will my budget...

 

«

an accurate picture

Sono pessimista con l'intelligenza,

 

ma ottimista per la volontà.

severe loudspeaker alignment »

 

 

 

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Based solely upon esthetics, I definitely prefer my current 802Di's over this new iteration. Be interesting to see how they actually perform compared to the versions they replace.

Mac Mini, Audirvana Plus, Metrum Hex NOS DAC w/Upgraded USB Module-2, UpTone Regen Amber, Pass Labs INT-30A Amplifier, B&W 802 Diamond Speakers, Shotgun Bi-wire Kimber 4TC Cables. Headphone setup: Burson Soloist Amp, Audeze LCD-3 Headphones.

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Some more reporting and photos at Worthing factory from Andrew's latest blog New Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series Diamonds in air force blue – and why you can’t buy them, couple of extracts :

continuum_drive_belt_fin-copy.jpg

 

Touring the plant, you become aware that this really is manufacturing from the ground up, from the assembly of drive units, including the new Continuum midrange driver (above) to the massive presses used to shape the cabinets of the new speakers from multiple leaves of wood, as seen below.

 

cabinet-panels.jpg

 

Hand-selected, they’re placed in the huge machines, one of which is seen below, then shaped in one action to form a complete cabinet shell. All the cabinets for the new range are made in Worthing, the company having brought woodworking back in house a while back.

 

800_press_6_fin-copy.jpg

And why :
d3-afb.jpg

Check it out, it's a good blog :)

 

«

an accurate picture

Sono pessimista con l'intelligenza,

 

ma ottimista per la volontà.

severe loudspeaker alignment »

 

 

 

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Some good pictures from a dealer who was at the launch event in this thread on another forum -- https://www.avforums.com/threads/bowers-wilkins-800-d3-series-loudspeakers.1979621/

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Link to comment

Some first impressions from Steve Guttenberg, who will be reviewing the 805D3: Listening to Bowers & Wilkins brand spanking new 800 Series Diamond speakers - CNET

 

I came close to purchasing a pair of 805Ds a couple of years ago after listening to them several times in different systems. With the right gear in the right space, I loved them. Not in the budget for me, but would like to hear the new version. I actually like their looks as well.

1070957250_Imprimatur.NihilObstatSepia3Crop(2).jpg.2162a44365e84a5df7d456bf8026ed67.jpg

 

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I could be interested in the 803D3...if B&W eventually manages to present the mid-range with a more neutral presentation. Should deserve an audition...

 

I've heard that comment from quite a few people but I personally regard the mids as one of B&W's strong points, in terms of both neutrality and dynamics.

 

I'm curious to know what it is about the mids that you think is wrong?

 

That's not to say that the mids are perfect of course. What speaker is?

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I've heard that comment from quite a few people but I personally regard the mids as one of B&W's strong points, in terms of both neutrality and dynamics.

 

I'm curious to know what it is about the mids that you think is wrong?

 

That's not to say that the mids are perfect of course. What speaker is?

 

There was too much presence in the mids. A male voice sametimes sounds a bit bigger that what would be the real thing...

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There was too much presence in the mids. A male voice sametimes sounds a bit bigger that what would be the real thing...

 

I can relate to what you're talking about but I don't find it a distraction myself. I think this is the B&W voicing, and what attracts many people to the speakers. B&W might have changed the FST mid but I doubt they will change the voicing significantly.

 

Time will tell of course. I'll get to hear the new range in a couple of months and I'll compare the new D3 against the old 802 Diamond.

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There was too much presence in the mids. A male voice sametimes sounds a bit bigger that what would be the real thing...

 

I think this is the B&W voicing, and what attracts many people to the speakers.

 

 

Interesting. Physical measurements of my 803 D2 speakers confirm the midrange hump between 400 and 1khz, regardless of room placement. I always wondered if it was to somehow counteract the BBC dip that follows?

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Interesting. Physical measurements of my 803 D2 speakers confirm the midrange hump between 400 and 1khz, regardless of room placement. I always wondered if it was to somehow counteract the BBC dip that follows?

 

It's the same with all speakers in the Diamond range. There's a 3+ dB hump.

 

The FST Kevlar mid driver itself exhibits a rising response above 500 Hz, which is (over) compensated for by the crossover itself.

 

The voicing of the speaker is 90% a deliberate consequence of the crossover design. Indeed it's possible to engineer a near dead flat response (on axis) with the kevlar FST driver by manipulating the crossover values so that they conform more closely to ideal values. The Kevlar mid's only vice is a small break-up mode at 3.5kHz.

 

Here's a software simulation of the mid + tweeter response at tweeter height using the B&W values and alignment.

 

on tweeter axis.JPG

 

Same again at 10 degrees below the tweeter axis.

 

reference axis.JPG

 

And here's a simulation using more ideal crossover values and a shunt network to notch the resonance at 3.5kHz.

 

modified3 diamond.JPG

 

So if B&W engineers wanted a flat response they could easily achieve it with a few mods.

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And further to the above post, I've actually modified my own crossovers for this end response.

 

modified2 diamond.JPG

 

I haven't notched out the peak at 3.5kHz but it basically halves the variation envelope. To my ears this response sounds best in my listening room.

 

Measurements with my Earthworks M30 confirmed the changes.

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I can relate to what you're talking about but I don't find it a distraction myself. I think this is the B&W voicing, and what attracts many people to the speakers. B&W might have changed the FST mid but I doubt they will change the voicing significantly.

 

Time will tell of course. I'll get to hear the new range in a couple of months and I'll compare the new D3 against the old 802 Diamond.

 

In fact it scores high on the "fun" department. And of course I could happily live with a 802D, but I prefer to have, as a "platform", a more neutral loudspeaker...

 

Please report your findings.

If the new 805D is neutral enough I could move from my QUAD's 2805 (they have a midrange that is not very easy to replace without spending serious money)....into a 2.2 Lyngdorf scheme, with 805D3's as mains...and Lyndgdorf passive bass speakers...

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I don't think that BnW where ever able to control the kevlar resonance at the top of the passband which to my ears sounds quite nasty. I owned the 802 S3 for a bit but the violins made my ears blead...

R

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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