This pair of 801's was originally purchased by Sony and installed in Sony Music Studios in New York City. There they remained for quite a while, used to master some of most beautiful recordings of the time. While there, Sony made some modifications which significantly enhanced the sound. Crossovers were somewhat heavily modded with incredibly high quality components, attenuators were added to adjust the relative levels of the midrange drivers and tweeters (eliminating the need for a bass-alignment filter), and speaker terminals were replaced with balanced connections to accommodate the long cable runs required in a studio environment. Bass driver surround was also modified to improve frequency response. Handles were added (which is GREAT if you are unfortunately tasked with moving them around). All in all, these modifications have resulted in an absolutely incredible sounding speaker, one which far outclasses the original (which is in itself world-class). I have heard both this speaker and a standard unmodified Matrix 801 (albeit S3) connected to the same equipment in the same space and this pair absolutely blew the unmodified S3 out of the water. Color is black with custom aluminum head bolts. (One of the original plastic bolts had cracked and my line of work allowed me to have another pair made from the uncracked head bolt; B&W no longer supplied them.) Anyhow, I am the third owner of them. They were originally purchased by Sony Music Studios, were sold when Sony upgraded (to newer B&W's when the 800 series came out with diamond dome tweeters) to the cousin of someone who worked at the studio. It was from this gentleman in NC that I purchased them from about 2 years ago. Unfortunately, since then, I've moved to a smaller space and the current setup is suboptimal. As such, I've made the decision to downsize and reconfigure the system. As far as condition, the speakers are sonically perfect. Really, it's absolutely amazing to hear them sing. They bring out textures in music (even music I'm familiar with) that I didn't even know existed. Interestingly, they can also image EXTREMELY well if properly set up. I'd even go so far as to say they can image with some of the best monitors. It's really something to experience. Driver integration is seamless and time-alligned. Reinforced cabinets do not resonate at all. It's almost fun to knock on the side with the back of the knuckle to hear a 100% dead thud. Cosmetically, these are not a 10/10. From a distance, they don't look bad, but there are various marks on the cabinets One bass driver cover has a broken joint (although it doesn't really affect anything). Definitely not perfect, yet not terrible either. They look pretty clean from a couple feet away. I figure the cosmetics are more than balanced out by the improved sonics so I've priced them about where I would a perfect normal pair. If you have any questions don't hesitate to shoot me a note. I'd be happy to demo if you were local. Also available for local pickup in central VA. I'm happy to help as best I can with shipping on my end. I've shipped large speakers before without problems. Feel free to ask any questions you'd like. I'd be happy to take more detailed pictures if you were interested. I would also consider a package deal with my McIntosh MC402 and/or C46 if you were so inclined to explore that option. I'll be listing them in the next week or so separately. I might also consider trades for other high end audio equipment (although likely nothing this physically or sonically large). Again, any questions, don't hesitate to ask. There is a great review of these speakers in Stereophile (searchable online) for further perspective. Thanks for looking and best wishes. Paypal please add 3%.
Specs from stereophile:
Description: Three-way, reflex-loaded, floorstanding loudspeaker.
Drive-units: 1" (26mm) metal-dome tweeter, 5" (126mm) Kevlar-cone midrange unit, 12" (300mm) high-power
Crossover frequencies: 380Hz and 3kHz.
Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz ±2dB free-field.
Sensitivity: 87dB/W/m. Nominal impedance: 8 ohms (not falling below 4 ohms).
Amplifier requirements: 50-600W.
Dimensions: 39 11/16" H by 17" W by 22" D.
Weight: 110 lbs.