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Thinking of Upgrading to B&W 800Ds  

post #1 of 353
Thread Starter 
I've got a surround system with BW 703s and HTM7 in front and 705s for surrounds. I've got an SVS PB12 Ultra/2 SW. I was considering the big step up to 803Ds for the front. I would also like to get the corresponding center which I think that would be the HTM 1D.

1. If I could only go with the 803s would those match ok with the 700 series center (HTM1)?

2. If I went with either the three 800D series in front or mixed two 803s with the HTM1 center would those combinations match ok with the 705 surrounds?

Thanks for any help.
post #2 of 353
Quote:
1. If I could only go with the 803s would those match ok with the 700 series center (HTM1)?
You said "803s" - might we assume you meant "803D's"?, in which case I'd say no....if you are talking about the 800"S" series, I'd say maybe.

Quote:
If I went with either the three 800D series in front or mixed two 803s with the HTM1 center would those combinations match ok with the 705 surrounds?
O.k., in the short term, as matching the rears is a very good idea but less important than the front three.
post #3 of 353
Thread Starter 
I'm a bit confused at the moment. I'm definitely considering the D series. In a nutshell what are the key sound differences in the D series between the 800, 802, and 803?

From what I can tell, the 800 is the king but why? The 802 seems to have the same tweeter but smaller mid/bass range drivers. The 803 is smaller all over but has an extra driver. How does all this play out in terms of sound?
post #4 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D
I'm a bit confused at the moment. I'm definitely considering the D series. In a nutshell what are the key sound differences in the D series between the 800, 802, and 803?

From what I can tell, the 800 is the king but why? The 802 seems to have the same tweeter but smaller mid/bass range drivers. The 803 is smaller all over but has an extra driver. How does all this play out in terms of sound?
Bright.
post #5 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D
From what I can tell, the 800 is the king but why? The 802 seems to have the same tweeter but smaller mid/bass range drivers.
The 800D, 801D and 802D have the same tweeter and midrange in the same Marlan enclosure. The only differences among them are the woofers. The B&W website has all the info.

Kal
post #6 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by HTMAN21
Bright.
Not the Ds.

Kal
post #7 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson
The 800D, 801D and 802D have the same tweeter and midrange in the same Marlan enclosure. The only differences among them are the woofers. The B&W website has all the info.

Kal
Kal,

Yeah I looked at the BW site and I know I have to listen to them before I buy but I am just not sure what difference in SQ it is going to make between the three you mention. And there is also even more difference with the 803D.

Also: do you think that mixing the 800D series with the 700 center would be a big problem? My constraint is that my cabinet will not house the HTM1D or the HTM2D. If I have the means to upgrade to the 800s L/R it seems a little dumb not to do it just because I cannot match the center but if it is really going to cause a mismatch that will noticeably diminish the SQ for 5.1 listening.......

thanks.
post #8 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D
Yeah I looked at the BW site and I know I have to listen to them before I buy but I am just not sure what difference in SQ it is going to make between the three you mention. And there is also even more difference with the 803D.
Of course, you need to listen. Many posters have found greater differences among the 800-801-802 series than I did. I did not listen to the 803D but I got the 804Ss for my surround channels.

Quote:
Also: do you think that mixing the 800D series with the 700 center would be a big problem? My constraint is that my cabinet will not house the HTM1D or the HTM2D. If I have the means to upgrade to the 800s L/R it seems a little dumb not to do it just because I cannot match the center but if it is really going to cause a mismatch that will noticeably diminish the SQ for 5.1 listening.......
Dunno. I am quite biased about matching the center as closely as possible and I wouldn't consider the HTM7 center. This is not based on experience, just bias. In fact, I prefer an exact match and ended up with 3 802Ds! OTOH, I think the dealer who sells you the 800Ds should be willing to let you borrow an HTM7 to see if it suits you.

Kal
post #9 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson
I am quite biased about matching the center as closely as possible and I wouldn't consider the HTM7 center. This is not based on experience, just bias. In fact, I prefer an exact match and ended up with 3 802Ds! OTOH, I think the dealer who sells you the 800Ds should be willing to let you borrow an HTM7 to see if it suits you.

Kal
I already have the HTM7 to go with my other 700 series speakers, so I would have to borrow a set of one of the 800Ds to swap with my existing 703s but I would also want to compare it with an HTM2D. Otherwise I wouldn't know what I was missing if I stayed with the HTM7. I suppose if I am willing to go this route I would just have to consider replacing my cabinet to fit the 800 center spearker. Maybe it doesn't make sense to do it halfway and I know that just about everything I've read says it is crucial to match the front three speakers. Interesting about using an 802D for center. You mean you lay it on its side under your screen?
post #10 of 353
Jack,

If money is not an issue, then I would recommend replacing the cabinet and getting the matching HTM2D. BTW, I also sent you a PM,
post #11 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HiFiListener
Jack,

If money is not an issue, then I would recommend replacing the cabinet and getting the matching HTM2D. BTW, I also sent you a PM,
Well it's not so much that money is not an issue but if I had to do it I could. I just bought the friggin cabinet early this year! Hate to replace it already!
post #12 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D
I already have the HTM7 to go with my other 700 series speakers, so I would have to borrow a set of one of the 800Ds to swap with my existing 703s but I would also want to compare it with an HTM2D. Otherwise I wouldn't know what I was missing if I stayed with the HTM7. I suppose if I am willing to go this route I would just have to consider replacing my cabinet to fit the 800 center spearker. Maybe it doesn't make sense to do it halfway and I know that just about everything I've read says it is crucial to match the front three speakers. Interesting about using an 802D for center. You mean you lay it on its side under your screen?
no way he would lay it on it's side since that would totally defeat the purpose of using it as a matched center for front set.....
post #13 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dssturbo1
no way he would lay it on it's side since that would totally defeat the purpose of using it as a matched center for front set.....
Why would it totally defeat the purpose? You mean it changes the acoustic properties of the speaker to lay it on its side? So how does one use a tower speaker as center? I guess if you have a PJ you can put it behind the screen. Otherwise the only thing I can think is that you have to put your plasma or whatever up pretty high to clear the speaker.
post #14 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D
Why would it totally defeat the purpose? You mean it changes the acoustic properties of the speaker to lay it on its side? So how does one use a tower speaker as center? I guess if you have a PJ you can put it behind the screen. Otherwise the only thing I can think is that you have to put your plasma or whatever up pretty high to clear the speaker.
Exactly.
post #15 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D
I already have the HTM7 to go with my other 700 series speakers, so I would have to borrow a set of one of the 800Ds to swap with my existing 703s but I would also want to compare it with an HTM2D. Otherwise I wouldn't know what I was missing if I stayed with the HTM7. I suppose if I am willing to go this route I would just have to consider replacing my cabinet to fit the 800 center spearker. Maybe it doesn't make sense to do it halfway and I know that just about everything I've read says it is crucial to match the front three speakers. Interesting about using an 802D for center. You mean you lay it on its side under your screen?
Have you considered using the 802Ds for your front right and left speakers and an HTM1D for the center? Since the difference between the 800Ds and the 802Ds is the woofer, you could do what I did and buy some really musical subs with parametric equalization and run them in stereo mode at an 80Hz crossover point somewhere close to the wall, while still near enough to the main speakers to integrate well. The HTM1D is practically an 802D, except it has an extra woofer.

I was considering buying 800Ds as well at one point, but I figured that for the price difference it was a better deal to keep the 802Ds I have in the front where they are and buy some Revel Ultima Sub 30s (the sub models were the recommendation of an acoustical engineer - they can also be found for incredible prices on Audiogon) to fill out the bottom end. BTW, they ended up integrating perfectly, and because of the parametric equalization my lower frequency output is not muddy anymore and does not have any significant peaks or nulls in the region from 20-80 Hz. With the appropriate material (well engineered and not weak in the bass department) the added bass extension and low frequency control is outstanding.
post #16 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D
I already have the HTM7 to go with my other 700 series speakers, so I would have to borrow a set of one of the 800Ds to swap with my existing 703s but I would also want to compare it with an HTM2D. Otherwise I wouldn't know what I was missing if I stayed with the HTM7. I suppose if I am willing to go this route I would just have to consider replacing my cabinet to fit the 800 center spearker. Maybe it doesn't make sense to do it halfway and I know that just about everything I've read says it is crucial to match the front three speakers. Interesting about using an 802D for center. You mean you lay it on its side under your screen?
God, no!!! Standing up. If you lay it down, you lose proper driver orientation. But, since you already have the HTM7, you have nothing to lose trying it with the 800Ds.

Kal
post #17 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D
Well it's not so much that money is not an issue but if I had to do it I could. I just bought the friggin cabinet early this year! Hate to replace it already!
The only worse bane on proper speaker setup than a 'friggin cabinet' is a fireplace mantle. Neither belongs in the room.

Kal
post #18 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueueCumber
Have you considered using the 802Ds for your front right and left speakers and an HTM1D for the center? Since the difference between the 800Ds and the 802Ds is the woofer, you could do what I did and buy some really musical subs with parametric equalization and run them in stereo mode at an 80Hz crossover point somewhere close to the wall, while still near enough to the main speakers to integrate well. The HTM1D is practically an 802D, except it has an extra woofer.
Yeah I am considering just about everything to do with the BW 800 series at this point. The problem with the HTM1D is THE CABINET--mostly! :D The HTM1D is gargantuan at 23 inches high. It would mean a totally different cabinet and also that my plasma would end up being higher up by a few inches. I don't like looking up at the plasma. I'm hoping that the HTM2D is a reasonable compromise.

Two subs? sheesh! ;) Too much to think about at this point. I've got an SVS PB12 Ultra/2 which I think is pretty darn nice and pretty big (don't know where I would find the space for another one). In any case, if the main difference in SQ between the 800D and the 802D is a bit more bass I would doubt for me that the massive increase in price of the 800 is worth it. The 802D is already going to be a big jump in price.

BTW I've seen conflicting info about the MSRP for the 802Ds. I've seen 12000 and 8000. Anyone know for sure?

Thanks.
post #19 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson
God, no!!! Standing up. If you lay it down, you lose proper driver orientation. But, since you already have the HTM7, you have nothing to lose trying it with the 800Ds.

Kal
Ok. Got it. Something else I learned today.
post #20 of 353
803D is 8000$US
802D is 12000$US

get rid of the cabinet and get the best speakers you can afford. Can you sell your 700 series gear at your local dealers to get it traded up to 800 series gear? some B&W dealers are very willing to do this.
post #21 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D
.........................................BTW I've seen conflicting info about the MSRP for the 802Ds. I've seen 12000 and 8000. Anyone know for sure?

Thanks.
AFAIK, MSRP is $6000 each. Dealer discounts, if available at all, may vary.


Edit: I see I am not fast enough on the keyboard.
post #22 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kal Rubinson
The only worse bane on proper speaker setup than a 'friggin cabinet' is a fireplace mantle. Neither belongs in the room.

Kal
Aw come on man! :D A good cabinet is so nice looking.;) Don't make me take it away! I confess that aesthetics are important to me. I'm increasingly greedy for better SQ but still it has to look cool too. :D So I guess that puts me out of the in club. :D

Seriously: So what is the problem with a cabinet? You don't want a big blockly thing between the two speakers from an SQ point of view (imaging suffers?)? Well I could hang the plasma on the wall but that would create other problems for me in design and layout of the room, not the least of which would be a ton of wires all over the place (I don't own my flat so can't open the walls or do anything major in the way of construction). And then I'd have the center speaker just sitting there under the plasma.

Thanks.
post #23 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D
Aw come on man! :D A good cabinet is so nice looking.;) Don't make me take it away! I confess that aesthetics are important to me. I'm increasingly greedy for better SQ but still it has to look cool too. :D So I guess that puts me out of the in club. :D

Seriously: So what is the problem with a cabinet? You don't want a big blockly thing between the two speakers from an SQ point of view (imaging suffers?)? Well I could hang the plasma on the wall but that would create other problems for me in design and layout of the room, not the least of which would be a ton of wires all over the place (I don't own my flat so can't open the walls or do anything major in the way of construction). And then I'd have the center speaker just sitting there under the plasma.

Thanks.
I would bring the speakers out into the room so that they were in front of the cabinet's axis (parallel to the backwall). The center would be on its own stand and as high as possible without blocking the plasma (to match the heights of the tweeters as close as possible for the front speakers). This should help imaging for the soundstage.
post #24 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonomega
803D is 8000$US
802D is 12000$US

get rid of the cabinet and get the best speakers you can afford. Can you sell your 700 series gear at your local dealers to get it traded up to 800 series gear? some B&W dealers are very willing to do this.

Know the MSRP of the HTM1D and HTM2D?

Yeah I only bought the 5 700s in March. My local BW dealer is Myer Emco. They have a trade up policy. Am waiting for a response from the guy now about price specifics.

See other response about the cabinet. I'm sorry but I just don't see how I can do away with a cabinet all together. I want as clean a look as possible. I could get a different cabinet that has more vertical space but then that pushes my plasma a bit too high for my liking. I've been thinking about it and I think I can probably do some sawing of internal "vertical sides" on my existing cabinet to allow room for the HTM2D but not the HTM1D which is just too tall.

Thanks.
post #25 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D
Yeah I am considering just about everything to do with the BW 800 series at this point. The problem with the HTM1D is THE CABINET--mostly! :D The HTM1D is gargantuan at 23 inches high. It would mean a totally different cabinet and also that my plasma would end up being higher up by a few inches. I don't like looking up at the plasma. I'm hoping that the HTM2D is a reasonable compromise.

Two subs? sheesh! ;) Too much to think about at this point. I've got an SVS PB12 Ultra/2 which I think is pretty darn nice and pretty big (don't know where I would find the space for another one). In any case, if the main difference in SQ between the 800D and the 802D is a bit more bass I would doubt for me that the massive increase in price of the 800 is worth it. The 802D is already going to be a big jump in price.

BTW I've seen conflicting info about the MSRP for the 802Ds. I've seen 12000 and 8000. Anyone know for sure?

Thanks.
The driver for the woofers between the 802D and the 800D is different as well.

In any case, if you are placing the speakers and/or the center channel in a cabinet I wouldn't bother buying expensive speakers at all... As putting them in a cabinet will highly effect the sound, defeating the purpose of buying high end speakers whose cost is based on designs that place them out in the room, not in cabinets or right next to walls, which is the case with the B&W speakers you have mentioned thus far. I'm not sure how the custom theatre 800 series by B&W function in cabinets or close-to and/or in walls, but those might be a better choice considering the placement you have in mind for the center channel. That or place the HTM1D on the floor, which is what I will be doing when I am ready (I've just purchased my surround speakers for my 802Ds, and those two subs I bought last month, so it will be awhile until I save up for the center channel - the projection screen and projector have to be purchased before the center as well in my case.) Of course, if you are the only one watching and listening in this room, then you don't have to worry about off axis listening much and could live without the center channel. Some people even like the sound better without one. :eek:
post #26 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonomega
I would bring the speakers out into the room so that they were in front of the cabinet's axis (parallel to the backwall). The center would be on its own stand and as high as possible without blocking the plasma (to match the heights of the tweeters as close as possible for the front speakers). This should help imaging for the soundstage.
My speakers are already a bit in front of the cabinet(s) (I've got two equipment racks and the cabinet that the plasma sits on in between) but not fully. Hmmm I guess I could think on if I could stand to have the center sitting in front of the cabinet. I think it would look kind of ugly although if I could stand any center speaker just sitting there it would be one of the BWs from the 800 series. The HTM1D looks pretty cool to me. But then I'm afraid one's eyes end up being drawn to the speaker and away from the screen.

thx
post #27 of 353
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueueCumber
The driver for the woofers between the 802D and the 800D is different as well.

In any case, if you are placing the speakers and/or the center channel in a cabinet I wouldn't bother buying expensive speakers at all... As putting them in a cabinet will highly effect the sound, defeating the purpose of buying high end speakers whose cost is based on designs that place them out in the room, not in cabinets or right next to walls, which is the case with the B&W speakers you have mentioned thus far. I'm not sure how the custom theatre 800 series by B&W function in cabinets or close-to and/or in walls, but those might be a better choice considering the placement you have in mind for the center channel. That or place the HTM1D on the floor, which is what I will be doing when I am ready (I've just purchased my surround speakers for my 802Ds, and those two subs I bought last month, so it will be awhile until I save up for the center channel - the projection screen and projector have to be purchased before the center as well in my case.) Of course, if you are the only one watching and listening in this room, then you don't have to worry about off axis listening much and could live without the center channel. Some people even like the sound better without one. :eek:
OK. You guys have got me thinking along another line now. That's what is so nice about this forum. It's almost as much fun talking about this stuff as it is buying nice stuff and enjoying the listening experience. :D

Still I cannot belive that it is totally not worth it to get, say, the 802Ds just because I might decide to put the center speaker in a cabinet. First of all, for music listening--which is gonig to be the most important reason to fork out for the 800 series in my mind--the center speaker is not relevant. If I can find a way to get the orientation of the L/R speakers correct, even with the cabinet there, I imagine I'm going to notice a hell of a difference from the 700 series.
post #28 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D
Know the MSRP of the HTM1D and HTM2D?
$8000 and $4000 are the listed MSRPs, respectively.
post #29 of 353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D
OK. You guys have got me thinking along another line now. That's what is so nice about this forum. It's almost as much fun talking about this stuff as it is buying nice stuff and enjoying the listening experience. :D

Still I cannot belive that it is totally not worth it to get, say, the 802Ds just because I might decide to put the center speaker in a cabinet. First of all, for music listening--which is gonig to be the most important reason to fork out for the 800 series in my mind--the center speaker is not relevant. If I can find a way to get the orientation of the L/R speakers correct, even with the cabinet there, I imagine I'm going to notice a hell of a difference from the 700 series.
Well, if you aren't putting the 802Ds in the cabinet as well, then it isn't as bad as I thought!
post #30 of 353
If you are putting it in a cabinet, I would definitely consider the HTM2D over the HTM1D. Possibly even try the HTM3 and see how it sounds. Since you already have the 700 series center, you might as well use that and try to demo the other 800 series center channels. I actually traded in my 703s, 705s and the HTM7 for my 802Ds, and the one thing I remember about that surround setup was how bad the HTM7 was as a center channel compared to the 703s.
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