B&W 804 diamond or previous 803D? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 05-31-2012, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Could you please help me in choosing the better option? I can buy either of these two speakers but the new 804 diamond cost by 1.150 more than the second-hand 803D. What would be your advice?
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post #2 of 30 Old 05-31-2012, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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AcuDefTechGuy, thank you very much for sharing your opinion. Once I heard B&W accidently at my collegue's house and since then I have been under impression. But what would you recommend me to buy instead of B&W in range up to €5000?
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post #3 of 30 Old 05-31-2012, 01:27 PM
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What color is the 803D?
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post #4 of 30 Old 05-31-2012, 01:51 PM
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papalam: I suggest you use Google to locate a few local audio dealers in your area. Take a custom demo CD with high-quality recordings and go audition as much as you can. Go find your sound.

Like you, I ventured out thinking I wanted to buy B&W but soon realized there are better speakers that offer better value.
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post #5 of 30 Old 05-31-2012, 03:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tmaschm View Post

What color is the 803D?

tmaschm: Cherry, warranty is still for three years. There are papers but no boxes.
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post #6 of 30 Old 05-31-2012, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by GTaudiophile View Post

papalam: I suggest you use Google to locate a few local audio dealers in your area. Take a custom demo CD with high-quality recordings and go audition as much as you can. Go find your sound.

Like you, I ventured out thinking I wanted to buy B&W but soon realized there are better speakers that offer better value.

GTaudiophile, there are so many different speaker brands and so small number of shops with real hi-fi in my area in the Netherlands. What do you about Focal 1028BE and Quadral Aurum Vulkan VII?
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post #7 of 30 Old 05-31-2012, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papalam View Post

AcuDefTechGuy, thank you very much for sharing your opinion. Once I heard B&W accidently at my collegue's house and since then I have been under impression. But what would you recommend me to buy instead of B&W in range up to €5000?

The other British brand - KEF. Also Revel.

Here is my opinion. If you are going to spend a lot of money, get speakers that not only sound great to you, but measure great on-axis and off-axis. Get the whole enchilada. Get everything, instead of settling for a speaker that just sound good to you but measure pathetic on-axis & off-axis.

Here is a fact for you. The cheap $400 Infinity P362 measures better on-axis and off-axis (frequency response) than the B&W 802D & 800 Diamond!

Another fact: you cannot fix a speaker with poor off-axis response with any EQ/DSP in the world.

Here is another fact: the older 802D measures almost identical to the new 800 Diamond on Stereophile! So just what exactly did they improve if the old measures almost exactly like the new? Something is very fishy.

There are a lot of speakers out there that sound great and measure great. Don't settle.
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post #8 of 30 Old 05-31-2012, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

...

Here is another fact: the older 802D measures almost identical to the new 800 Diamond on Stereophile! So just what exactly did they improve if the old measures almost exactly like the new? Something is very fishy.

...

They improved the looks, IMO, and the price (from their POV).

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post #9 of 30 Old 05-31-2012, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papalam View Post

What do you about Focal 1028BE and Quadral Aurum Vulkan VII?

Not sure about the Aurum, but the Focal 1028Be's are definitely worth a listen. I used to own a pair, they are terrific speakers.

Why let facts or common sense get in the way of your opinions.


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post #10 of 30 Old 05-31-2012, 06:37 PM
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I would definitely listen to Focal before committing, and try to listen for an extended period if at all possible. I find they 'seem' very revealing during the usual 5 to 15 minute demo. However, during extended lietening I find that extended top end becomes very fatiguing. I call them "show horses," because they draw your attention during a short demo. They may not be the best option as a daily rider.

As one reviewer once said, a speaker that stands out of a pack is not necessarily a good thing (or something to that effect). I couldn't agree more. I find that a speaker that doesn't immediately display an overt attribute is generally much more pleasant to live with in the long run. Of course, this is just my humble opinion based on my own experience and listening preferences.
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post #11 of 30 Old 05-31-2012, 06:43 PM
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If you have a larger listening space the extended bass response of the 803 may be a better fit than the 804. The difference is not subtle. What size is your room?

You'll never know the difference between the current 804D and the previous 803D in the mids and highs unless you have them side by side. Even then the difference will be subtle. Get whichever speaker best fits your room.
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post #12 of 30 Old 05-31-2012, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papalam View Post

Could you please help me in choosing the better option? I can buy either of these two speakers but the new 804 diamond cost by 1.150 more than the second-hand 803D. What would be your advice?

B&W is a polarizing brand on this forum. Personally, I'm a big fan of B&W above the CM series.

With the difference in price between the two, go for the 803D. Six months from today the 803D will likely be worth the same as originally paid, the 804D new takes a big hit on your Euro in the same time frame.

Take a look at Dynaudio and Dali if considering something else
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post #13 of 30 Old 05-31-2012, 07:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbawilly View Post

If you have a larger listening space the extended bass response of the 803 may be a better fit than the 804. The difference is not subtle. What size is your room?

You'll never know the difference between the current 804D and the previous 803D in the mids and highs unless you have them side by side. Even then the difference will be subtle. Get whichever speaker best fits your room.

I think this is wise advice.

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post #14 of 30 Old 05-31-2012, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubbawilly View Post

If you have a larger listening space the extended bass response of the 803 may be a better fit than the 804. The difference is not subtle. What size is your room?

You'll never know the difference between the current 804D and the previous 803D in the mids and highs unless you have them side by side. Even then the difference will be subtle. Get whichever speaker best fits your room.

bubbawilly, my room is 50 m2.
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post #15 of 30 Old 05-31-2012, 10:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by stevensctt View Post

B&W is a polarizing brand on this forum. Personally, I'm a big fan of B&W above the CM series.

With the difference in price between the two, go for the 803D. Six months from today the 803D will likely be worth the same as originally paid, the 804D new takes a big hit on your Euro in the same time frame.

Take a look at Dynaudio and Dali if considering something else

stevensctt, thanks for your clear explanation. May be in future I will decide to upgrage for bigger speakers and it's worth investing in good speakers now to sell them with the minimal loss.
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post #16 of 30 Old 05-31-2012, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, guys, thank you all for your responces. That made me tune my mind to buy 803D. After that I will ask you about a good matching amplifier for them. My current one is Onkyo A-933 obviously being too weak to drive 803D well as I understood from other sources.
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post #17 of 30 Old 06-01-2012, 06:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papalam View Post

OK, guys, thank you all for your responces. That made me tune my mind to buy 803D. After that I will ask you about a good matching amplifier for them. My current one is Onkyo A-933 obviously being too weak to drive 803D well as I understood from other sources.

You know what they say about B&W - they need power to sound good.

Some people say at least 400wpc 8ohm/800wpc 4ohm.

So you better get an external amp like the Crown XLS 2500 for $550, which is capable of about 400wpc 8ohm/ 800wpc 4ohm x 2ch RMS. It is silent from 6 inches away. No worries about fan noise. I've compared it to my $3,000 amps, and I could not tell the difference.

But some people say they can hear the difference.
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post #18 of 30 Old 06-01-2012, 10:33 AM
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I use a Behringer EP4000 for my 805Ns and it sounds great!
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post #19 of 30 Old 06-01-2012, 08:22 PM
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I drive a pair of 804Ds in a 13'x15' (open ended) room with a pair of Conrad Johnson LP125 mono blocks. I couldn't be happier with the combo. The 803s present a similar load, as does the entire series. Go for 150 solid state watts and up. Higher power tubes like the LP125s are a great match as well.
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post #20 of 30 Old 06-01-2012, 08:45 PM
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When I heard the 803 vs. 804 a couple of years ago I thought they must be in different lines. The 803D's were a significant step up in performance, at least to my ears. B&W revamped the line since then so I don't know if the gap has narrowed, but I would go for the 803's unless the 804's have really stepped up.

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post #21 of 30 Old 06-01-2012, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

The other British brand - KEF. Also Revel.

Here is my opinion. If you are going to spend a lot of money, get speakers that not only sound great to you, but measure great on-axis and off-axis. Get the whole enchilada. Get everything, instead of settling for a speaker that just sound good to you but measure pathetic on-axis & off-axis.

Here is a fact for you. The cheap $400 Infinity P362 measures better on-axis and off-axis (frequency response) than the B&W 802D & 800 Diamond!

Another fact: you cannot fix a speaker with poor off-axis response with any EQ/DSP in the world.

Here is another fact: the older 802D measures almost identical to the new 800 Diamond on Stereophile! So just what exactly did they improve if the old measures almost exactly like the new? Something is very fishy.

There are a lot of speakers out there that sound great and measure great. Don't settle.

Dang - this is fantastic advice. A big +1 from me, on everything.

Brands to research and/or audition:

Revel
Kef
Salk Sound
Dynaudio
Philharmonic Audio
Acoustic Zen

Happy Hunting/listening!


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post #22 of 30 Old 06-01-2012, 10:02 PM
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The 803D has a much smoother, warmer trevle than the 804 which almost sounds muted at times.
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post #23 of 30 Old 06-02-2012, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Dear All, finally I bought 803D. Thank you very much for all your detailed answers! Very impressed with sound even with my current amplifier, so difficult to stop listening them. But anyway I would like to upgrade my amplifier to use their whole potential. I am going to open a new topic for that. Hopefully see you all again there!
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post #24 of 30 Old 06-02-2012, 04:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papalam View Post

Dear All, finally I bought 803D. Thank you very much for all your detailed answers! Very impressed with sound even with my current amplifier, so difficult to stop listening them. But anyway I would like to upgrade my amplifier to use their whole potential. I am going to open a new topic for that. Hopefully see you all again there!

Congrats and enjoy!


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post #25 of 30 Old 06-02-2012, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papalam View Post

Dear All, finally I bought 803D. Thank you very much for all your detailed answers! Very impressed with sound even with my current amplifier, so difficult to stop listening them. But anyway I would like to upgrade my amplifier to use their whole potential. I am going to open a new topic for that. Hopefully see you all again there!

Sweet. Yes, congrats and enjoy.

How much did you pay for them?

I'll probably buy the 802D one of these days............ Or I could just donate the money to charity.
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post #26 of 30 Old 06-02-2012, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by AcuDefTechGuy View Post

Sweet. Yes, congrats and enjoy.

How much did you pay for them?

I'll probably buy the 802D one of these days............ Or I could just donate the money to charity.

Just buy a pair for me and write it off as charity. I'd be happy to hear how those poor measurements add up in my room!

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post #27 of 30 Old 06-04-2012, 10:34 AM
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I have the 804s (previous model from the 804d, two steps down from the 803d) and I love them.

I'm running them off of a McIntosh MC300. I've never done a double blind/level matched test between it and my Denon receiver (generally used as pre/pro), but it seems to give a warmer sound than the Denon. I've heard the 803d was voiced warmer than the rest of that line (to better differentiate them from the 802d), so you might want to avoid a McIntosh if you don't want the system to have highs that come off too recessed.

Now someone come in and say I'm completely wrong :-D
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post #28 of 30 Old 06-13-2014, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papalam View Post
Dear All, finally I bought 803D. Thank you very much for all your detailed answers! Very impressed with sound even with my current amplifier, so difficult to stop listening them. But anyway I would like to upgrade my amplifier to use their whole potential. I am going to open a new topic for that. Hopefully see you all again there!
So after listening to your 803 Diamonds for several years, what do you think and what kind of power amp did you buy for them?

I have enjoyed my 803D's now for a year and driving them with classe CA-5300 amp. I'm amazed every time I listen and so are my audio fanatic friends.

South Florida is my Theater
Listen to live music and recreate it at home.
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post #29 of 30 Old 06-16-2014, 04:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by papalam View Post
Dear All, finally I bought 803D. Thank you very much for all your detailed answers! Very impressed with sound even with my current amplifier, so difficult to stop listening them. But anyway I would like to upgrade my amplifier to use their whole potential. I am going to open a new topic for that. Hopefully see you all again there!
So after listening to your 803 Diamonds for several years, what do you think and what kind of power amp did you buy for them?

I have enjoyed my 803D's now for a year and driving them with classe CA-5300 amp. I'm amazed every time I listen and so are my audio fanatic friends.
I bought a Mcintosh pair amp MC402 and pre-amp C48 plus hi-end interconnect, speaker and power cables. Now I don't think at all about any improvements in my setup, only listening and enjoying.
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post #30 of 30 Old 06-16-2014, 06:40 PM
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I bought a Mcintosh pair amp MC402 and pre-amp C48 plus hi-end interconnect, speaker and power cables. Now I don't think at all about any improvements in my setup, only listening and enjoying.
Its always about enjoying the music, you are so right.

South Florida is my Theater
Listen to live music and recreate it at home.
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