I few years ago, I bought a very well broken in set of 805N. I love them and since then I've tried out many other brands: Harbeth, Dynaudio, Selah, Merlin, Usher, PSB, Focal, Magnepan, Sonus Faber as well as some others. The speakers I come back to again and again are the 805N. The midrange is amazing to me.
So, I took the plunge on some 805D2 new. I was awaiting the same great sound of the 805N but with a more refined tweeter. Initially they were pretty dry sounding. They soundstage did not have the same palpable body of the old 805N. I played the 805D2 day and night for a few months, racking up about 300 hours. I kept waiting for the AHA! moment but it never came. They remained uninvolving and sterile to my ears. Putting the 805N back on the stands was a total relief. it all sounded the way it should again. A warm, full sound with crisp detail and solid imaging.
Now, a set of 802N came up for sale close to me and I jumped on them expecting the same qualities as the 805N but with more information below 60hZ. . The owner told me that despite their age, they have very low hours - about 30-40 he guessed. So, I set them up, got them positioned, stabilized the image. What do I hear...? The same DRY midrange as the 805D2. No sweetness initially. If I turn them up to strong listening levels then they do really come alive but at normal, easy listening levels they are dry like the 805D2 - just not as much. I find myself able to listen to the 802N for extended periods of time because the tweeter seems to be less harsh. The downside to this is that I find film dialogue to be fuzzy - I find myself working to understand the words whereas with the 805N dialogue is self evident.
So, friends, my questions are:
Does B&W really have a very extensive break in, to the point that the "life" that I seek from them really only comes into being after many 100s of hours?
Is the 802N an 805N with more bass or is it voiced differently so that it has a recessed midrange?
MAC6700 Integrated 200wpc @ 8ohm