Yamaha A-S3000 and B&W 803 D3 at TAVES 2015 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 23 Old 11-03-2015, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Yamaha A-S3000 and B&W 803 D3 at TAVES 2015

One of the best-sounding 2-channel rooms at TAVES 2015 featured a combination of components that I did not expect: A Yamaha A-S3000 integrated amplifier ($7000 USD) plus a CD-S3000 CD Player/DAC ($7000 USD) connected to Bowers and Wilkins recently launched 803 D3 speakers ($17,000 USD).

Within a minute of listening to the Yamaha system running the 803 D3s, I realized the sound quality I experienced at the New York debut of the 803 D3s was no fluke—they are supremely good speakers. Furthermore, Yamaha's flagship integrated amp had no problem driving the B&Ws to very satisfying volume levels, while the CD-S3000 served as a DAC for the MacBook that served up the tunes.


I loved this Yamaha plus B&W system, it performed above its price point.

The Yamaha A-S3000 is a highly refined 2-channel integrated amp that pumps out 100 watts per channel (RMS) into an 8-ohm load or 150 watts per channel (RMS) into a 4-ohm load. Production is limited to eight units per day, and Yamaha is proud of the attention to detail involved in the construction of its flagship, including solder-free internal connections, a MOSFET input stage, and a symmetrical design for its stereo circuitry. The 803 D3 speaker is a three-way, 8-ohm design with a 1" diamond dome tweeter, a 5" Continuum cone midrange, and twin 7" Aerofoil cone woofers. Frequency response is listed as 19 Hz to 28 kHz +/-3dB with 90 dB sensitivity, and the maximum recommended amplifier power is 500 watts.

The demo went very well. I heard some of the absolute best quality bass of the whole show coming from this system. Indeed, the combination was quite possibly the price-performance leader among the high-end rigs I demoed. To my ears, it outclassed some systems that cost up to ten times as much.

I heard LCD Soundsystem's "New York, I Love You, But You're Bringing Me Down" sounding quite great; the track's gimmick-free and intimate rock-and-roll production reminded me of being in a small club listening to live music.

Daft Punk's "Motherboard" from the album Random Access Memories proved the system had what it took to rank among the top systems at the show at any price. When it comes to demos and judging a system's capability, "Motherboard" has it all: Perfectionist production values, a gloriously engulfing soundstage, delicacy, power, and depth. I'm playing the track right now, through a system that includes a pair of JL Audio e112s handling bass, and if my memory is serving me well the B&W 803 D3s powered by the Yamaha A-S3000 delivered just as much depth and clarity down low. It literally sounded beautiful.

Patricia Barber is a jazz singer I actually enjoy listening to, and hearing her perform "Ode to Billy Joe" from her album Café Blue offered a peek at how the system handled a minimal acoustical recording. Guess what! It nailed her voice, and the bass, and the finger snapping. The speakers were invisible, replaced by the virtual presence of Patricia. Pure perfection!

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Last edited by imagic; 11-03-2015 at 02:07 PM.
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post #2 of 23 Old 11-03-2015, 02:19 PM
 
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That's pretty cool; I would be happy with a simple setup like that...Yamaha/B&W combination. ...And it doesn't cost $300,000 but only ten times less.
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post #3 of 23 Old 11-03-2015, 02:29 PM
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I heard this system as well at TAVES and was quite surprised by the 803D3's! So much so I am considering them for my next speakers.

The bass was surprisingly detailed with authority I didn't expect on 7" drivers. The new continuum midrange I now believe as a leap forward in technology from B&W on the same level as when they introduced the diamond tweeter, they are that good!

When I asked the Yamaha rep how much power were being fed to the speakers and was told 100w, I was astonished as the speakers didn't require that much to drive well.

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post #4 of 23 Old 11-03-2015, 03:52 PM
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The NEW B&W's seem to be impressing everyone. I wish I could afford them.
I wonder if they are going to make a new Sub to go along with the New series?
The DB1 seems to be a step behind.
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post #5 of 23 Old 11-03-2015, 05:33 PM
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LCD and Daft in the same demo?

That woulda been one sweet room to visit! Two of my absolute faves, on a reference system ta boot. Jealous!
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post #6 of 23 Old 11-03-2015, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthSky View Post
That's pretty cool; I would be happy with a simple setup like that...Yamaha/B&W combination. ...And it doesn't cost $300,000 but only ten times less.
LOL! So Yamaha is "in" now? When I owned a Yamaha setup no one took me seriously and said I owned a "squawk box." This is like that line from Pixar's Wall-E: "blue is the new red!!" This hobby is nothing but a sequence of fads.
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post #7 of 23 Old 11-03-2015, 06:30 PM
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Man those speakers are absolutely gorgeous.
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post #8 of 23 Old 11-03-2015, 07:20 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scanido View Post
I heard this system as well at TAVES and was quite surprised by the 803D3's! So much so I am considering them for my next speakers.

The bass was surprisingly detailed with authority I didn't expect on 7" drivers. The new continuum midrange I now believe as a leap forward in technology from B&W on the same level as when they introduced the diamond tweeter, they are that good!

When I asked the Yamaha rep how much power were being fed to the speakers and was told 100w, I was astonished as the speakers didn't require that much to drive well.
I'm sure it's a very well designed integrated amplifier; perfectly suited to drive speakers like those hi-end ones, from B&W.
{Would love to see its internals...simple curiosity.}
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post #9 of 23 Old 11-03-2015, 07:24 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WebEffect View Post
LOL! So Yamaha is "in" now? When I owned a Yamaha setup no one took me seriously and said I owned a "squawk box."
This is like that line from Pixar's Wall-E: "blue is the new red!!" This hobby is nothing but a sequence of fads.
Yamaha is "in" since the early seventies. ...No lol here, seriously good stuff...Yamaha.
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post #10 of 23 Old 11-03-2015, 07:28 PM
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post #11 of 23 Old 11-03-2015, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WebEffect View Post
LOL! So Yamaha is "in" now? When I owned a Yamaha setup no one took me seriously and said I owned a "squawk box." This is like that line from Pixar's Wall-E: "blue is the new red!!" This hobby is nothing but a sequence of fads.
It depends on which Yamaha you owned. By the way, Yamaha's high-end stuff has always been coveted.

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post #12 of 23 Old 11-03-2015, 09:19 PM
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Would be very interested to hear this setup. Already posted my comments about the new 800 series, and I've been extremely impressed with everything I've heard through them. So far I've listened to the new 805, 804, and 802. I'm sure the 803 punch way above their weight as well. I'm very seriously considering a pair from the new 800 range as my next big upgrade.

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post #13 of 23 Old 11-03-2015, 11:15 PM
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What's with the woofers sticking out now? Looks hideous.

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post #14 of 23 Old 11-04-2015, 07:17 AM
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What's with the woofers sticking out now? Looks hideous.

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I hear that you have to see the new offerings by B&W in person to fully appreciate the design.

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post #15 of 23 Old 11-04-2015, 07:44 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by VectorLabs View Post
What's with the woofers sticking out now? Looks hideous.

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A matter of personal taste, I suppose. I like it. I'm curious if there's a technical reason for it.

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post #16 of 23 Old 11-04-2015, 08:50 AM
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What's with the woofers sticking out now? Looks hideous.

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For some reason in photographs they seem more pronounced and stick out like a sore thumb but in person it's hardly noticeable as a sticking point.

The woofers look great and offer more presence on the speakers.
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post #17 of 23 Old 11-04-2015, 09:09 AM
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I was only darting around to the audio rooms this time at TAVES, but that B&W set up was the nicest sound I heard. It was rich, tonally beautiful, with a silky sense of fine detail and open sound.
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post #18 of 23 Old 11-05-2015, 02:01 PM
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Honestly the components are almost irrelevant. You can hook up anything to these b&w and they should sound great. Very impressive even compared to past diamond series speakers that have always been a little bit on the "lifeless" side of a flat response.

All of the special sauce technical mumbo jumbo described by B&W has definitevely led to great speakers. Among the best out there for that particular speaker type (domw tweeters, non-horn loaded). This is simply not an exageration.

We won't be hearing a lot of negative testimonials about this new series of 800's except for gripes about pricing...
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post #19 of 23 Old 11-05-2015, 09:06 PM
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love this setup... these are two of my favorite companies
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post #20 of 23 Old 11-06-2015, 08:52 AM
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Love the Yamaha. I know those speakers will sound good and they cost more than my car but I find them U G L Y.
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post #21 of 23 Old 11-07-2015, 10:06 AM
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New 803's

It shows you don't need mono-blocks to move those speaker, I listen to them on Rotel amp I was very impressed.
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post #22 of 23 Old 11-08-2015, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imagic View Post
One of the best-sounding 2-channel rooms at TAVES 2015 featured a combination of components that I did not expect: A Yamaha A-S3000 integrated amplifier ($7000 USD) plus a CD-S3000 CD Player/DAC ($7000 USD) connected to Bowers and Wilkins recently launched 803 D3 speakers ($17,000 USD).


I loved this Yamaha plus B&W system, it performed above its price point.!
$45,000 I really can't get used to the look of the new 800D3

I need to see them in the wood!
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post #23 of 23 Old 11-19-2015, 07:31 PM
 
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