Bowers & Wilkins (B&W) Diamond Series 802 D's (first version in gorgeous Rosenut from authorized B&W Dealer see :
One owner in nice used condition with a cupola pictured touched up small nicks (see pictures).
Serial # 0011186 & 87. No low offers considered. No boxes / so we prefer local Los Angeles Pick up or California delivery.
If shipping add $300 to build boxes for partial cost of parts and time plus shipping costs.
Please note: we have a specialist and expert delivery person who only does California deliveries who specializes in Art, Antiques & fragile Audio boxed or un boxed so it is agreeable to deliver anywhere in California with extra prep fees. Therefore, it is best to call or ask for shipping pricing.
Stereophile's rave review said: https://www.stereophile.com/floorloudspeakers/1205bw/index.html Specifications
/ Description : Three-way, floor standing, reflex-loaded loudspeaker.
Drive-units : 1" diamond-dome tweeter, 6" Kevlar FST-cone midrange unit, two 8" Rohacell-cone woofers. Crossover frequencies: 350Hz, 4kHz.
Frequency response : 34Hz–28kHz, ±3dB, on axis (–6dB at 27Hz and 33kHz).
Dispersion : within 2dB of reference response: ±60° horizontal, ±10° vertical.
Impedance: 8 ohms nominal, 3.5 ohms minimum. Sensitivity: 90dB/2.83V/m.
Harmonic distortion : (second and third harmonics, 90dB/m): <1% (40Hz–100kHz), <0.5% (70Hz–100kHz).
Recommended amplification: 50–500W.
Dimensions : 44.7" (1138mm) H by 14.5" (363mm) W by 22.2" (565mm) D. Weight, each: 176 lbs (80kg) net, 196 lbs (89kg) shipping.
Finish : Rosenut-veneer with leather accents, woofer enclosure, lacquered Marlan (synthetic mineral-filled resin) mid and HF enclosures.
Manufacturer : B&W Loudspeakers, Dale Road, Worthing, West Sussex BN11 2BH, England, UK. US: B&W Group North America, 54 North Concord Street, North Reading, MA 01864-2699. Tel: (978) 664-2870. Fax: (978) 664-4109. Web: www.bwspeakers.com.
Stereophile's Description :
The innovations B&W has included in its new 800 series include tweeters with diamond domes, redesigned Kevlar FST midrange cones, new woofer diaphragm materials, and a new crossover configuration. And while to the casual observer the 802D may look much like its predecessor, the Nautilus 802, there are external changes as well.
The 1" tweeter used in the new 800 series has a dome of vacuum-deposited particles of diamond, which, though not as low in mass as materials such as beryllium, possesses greater stiffness in the useful frequency range. With its new suspension and motor assembly, the tweeter's lowered fundamental resonance also permits a first-order, 6dB/octave crossover to the midrange, which in turn dictated the new series' most obvious external feature: the bullet-shaped tweeter enclosure is now embedded deeper into the midrange enclosure, so that the tweeter and midrange drive-units are in phase at the crossover frequency.
The 6" Kevlar-cone midrange driver, in B&W's signature yellow tint, has been updated with the addition of a foam damping ring under the cone periphery, and its more powerful but smaller neodymium magnet structure and redesigned basket mean that obstruction of the cone's rear radiation is greatly reduced. The controversial FST midrange cone is still intended to break up in a controlled manner, but even more uniformly and predictably. Again, the characteristic midrange Nautilus-shell is nestled into the soft, glove-leather embrace of the main enclosure, as in earlier 800-series speakers.
Two 8" woofers with Rohacell diaphragms complete the driver array. Rohacell is a lightweight sandwich of rigid foam between sheets of carbon fiber. B&W engineers like to demonstrate its remarkable stiffness by standing on a speaker cone unsupported by frame or magnet assembly.
B&W's proprietary Matrix construction is retained for the woofer cabinet, but the 802D's base and port are inherited from the Signature 800. The flared port is lined with dimples that, like those on a golf ball, are intended to reduce air turbulence, providing for noiseless laminar flow at all sound-pressure levels. Further, the port is aimed downward at and precisely spaced from a fixed base. The construction, shape, and relationship of the base to the port fixes the port's performance and makes it independent of floor coverings and mounting devices, such as casters and spikes. The wider bandwidths of the new drive-units allowed B&W to simplify the crossover, with fewer passive elements in the signal path between input and driver.
Biamp terminals and jumpers are provided, as are machined aluminum phase plugs to replace the plastic ones, if you can live without protective screens over the Kevlar midrange drivers.
As before, B&W provided me with delivery and setup—these babies weigh 176 lbs each. Still, I was impressed by the clever design of the reusable packing and think that the average healthy buyer should be able to handle moving these speakers, with a little help from a friend. The little casters provided aid in positioning the speakers on carpets but might mar a hardwood floor.
Rolled into position in my main system, the 802Ds seemed only a bit less imposing than the Signature 800s and no less beautiful. After biwiring them with AudioQuest Mont Blanc/DBS to my bridged Bel Canto eVo6 monoblocks, I immediately noticed the 802D's relatively high sensitivity—my system's default settings were a bit generous for them. Even with the level controls trimmed, the 802D still displayed a little British reserve, but sounded good enough for the B&W guys to know that their work was done.
Of course, that was not enough for me. I spent the next few weeks fussing with exact speaker position, orientation, and room treatments to optimize the 802Ds' performance as perceived at my regular listening position. They ended up in almost the same places where they'd begun, but with a toe-in of about 10°. I moved a pair of Echo Buster Phase-4 traps into the room corners behind the speakers, rotated to expose their more reflective sides, and placed a pair of regular Echo Busters directly to the 802Ds.
The 802D, like other topnotch designs, was immediately musically appealing and disarming. The bass was full, the presentation somewhat forward. The 802D seemed to invigorate favorite old recordings, drawing me into the music. Though I must now proceed to the analytical, the 802D kept pulling me away from that responsibility.
Starting with the bass, the 802D did a great job. Extreme low bass, which depends as much on the room and speaker position as on the speaker itself, was extended, but less so than I recall hearing from the larger Signature 800, or than I can get from a dedicated subwoofer. That said, the quality of the low bass and midbass, where voices and overall tonal balance begin, was excellent. Cellos and basses, both orchestral and electric, had weight and impact but retained all their distinguishing overtones in appropriate balance. Listening through the 802Ds to the opening lower strings of Boccherini's La Musica Notturna delle Strade di Madrid, from the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra's Die Röhre—The Tube (SACD, Tacet SACD74), was scarily close to getting the Stuttgarters themselves into my chamber. Nor was there any need to suspend disbelief when the higher strings entered with smooth strokes and delicate pizzicatos.
I then pulled out my old bass torture discs. The 802D was capable of pounding power without losing the characteristic acoustic qualities of the electronic Cosmic Hippo or of Saint-Saëns' Symphony 3. While some bass EQ to minimize room influence might have been useful, it was clear that my room and the 802D's low end nicely accommodated each other; short of sound effects, I had no need of a subwoofer.
Because the 802D splits the range of the human voice by crossing over from the woofers to the midrange driver at 350Hz, it was remarkable that I heard no discontinuities in voices that spanned that transition. Instead, they were full and somewhat forward, which suited some better than others. Lorraine Hunt Lieberson's mezzo-soprano on her Handel Arias (SACD/CD, Avie AV0030) had a smooth, engaging presence, but Patricia Barber sounded almost too intense on her Café Blue (SACD, Mobile Fidelity MFSA2002).
I also found that, just below the lower crossover frequency, the smoothness of lower male voices varied when I used different power amps. Men sounded full and forward with the sainted McCormack DNA-1 Rev.A, a bit less forward but still ripe with the Simaudio Moon W-8. With either amp, male voices and lower strings had a greater-than-natural heft that some visitors found impressive. With the Classé Omicrons or bridged Bel Canto eVo6s, that range was not emphasized though still full enough to be thoroughly engaging and realistic, but was disappointingly lean with the admittedly overmatched 56W of the Linn Chakra C4100 amp. I settled on the eVo and the Omicrons for most of my listening.
Regardless of the power amp used, the 802D exhibited degrees of detail resolution and clarity from the midrange up that could put some electrostatic speakers to shame. The speaker's generous bass helped it to engage me in a way that few speakers have, including B&W's own estimable Signature 800 or my reference, the Revel Ultima Studio. Perhaps this was due to the diamond tweeter's transparency without any glint or tizz. Cymbals, struck or brushed, had realistic initial transients and extended, detailed decays. There was no subjective brightness in the highs from any musical source, and the soft background hiss of FM broadcasts was extended, as with the other speakers. The 802D's upper-range transparency was as likely due to the seamless integration of its diamond tweeter with its midrange, both mounted in the unique Nautilus head unit, which blended their outputs into what seemed a single, indivisible sound source even when listened to from only a few inches away.
All of these probably contributed to the 802Ds' open, wide, deep soundstage, which seemed almost completely disassociated from the physical structures of the speakers themselves. Especially in the upper midrange and treble, voices and instruments were magically arrayed in a large three-dimensional space that began well in front of the speakers. The 802Ds did equally impressive jobs with small jazz ensembles such as Ray Brown's, on his Soular Energy (DVD-Audio, Concord Jazz DVD2011), and small chamber groups such as Pavel Serbin's Pratum Integrum Orchestra on The Italian Album, a disc of music by Dmitry Bortnyansky (SACD/CD, Caro Mitis CM 0042003), revealing all the intricacies and interactions while simultaneously establishing their presence in the ambience of an actual performance space. In fact, so generous was the 802Ds' spatial rendition that switching to the multichannel tracks of the Bortnyansky hybrid SACD gave only a subtle increase in soundstage width and virtually no change in balance, resolution, or soundstage depth.
I then hauled out the big stuff. I went happily from Verdi's Requiem
, with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Vienna Philharmonic (SACD, RCA 61244-2), to Mahler's Symphony 5, with Yuri Temirkanov and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic (SACD, Water Lily Acoustic WLA-WS-76-SACD), to excerpts from Pink Floyd's The Wall
, from Burmester's test CD Vorführungs CD II
—nothing fazed the 802Ds. Given sufficient amplifier power—and I'm sure they could have handled more than I had on hand—the speakers played very loud without any change in character or balance. All I had to do was find the musically appropriate levels and these babies delivered. In that way, they recalled the original, unflappable B&W 801s.
However, the 802D was infinitely more winning and appealing as a presenter of music. Sure, the Verdi Requiem's Dies Irae is powerful—but at the same volume setting, there was delicacy and immediacy in the Ingemisco and Libera me. The St. Petersburg's Mahler 5, so detailed and coherent through my multichannel system, was tightly focused and weighty through the two 802Ds, as if I were looking down on a massive, intricate engine. And from the hair-raising helicopter to the careening voiceovers and spine-tingling children's voices, the Pink Floyd excerpts pounded the room as if the walls had come alive with throbbing pulses. Any limits here were due solely to my own and my neighbors' tolerance.
The B&W 802D demanded the right amplifier to ensure that its upper bass wouldn't be excessive. Some may like such ripeness, but it can become increasingly distracting with extended listening. Any partnering amp must provide gobs of power and a slightly lean and tight upper-bass range of its own. The bridged Bel Canto eVo6s—especially when run from the APC S-15 and Environmental Potentials EP-2450 power conditioners—and the Classé Omicrons fit the bill. I was surprised to find that, despite the 802D's high sensitivity, it was still pretty power-hungry. It will make decent sounds with a small amp, but might sound as if it's being starved.
Another issue some will have with the 802D is with a feature that I found very attractive. Unlike many more timid speakers that are characterized by a slight midrange dip (such as the original Kharma Ceramique 2), the 802Ds projected the music and the soundstage out in front of them. This made listening to them sound like listening in the nearfield even when I sat, as I do, about 12' back. I found this exciting, involving, and addicting, and though I expected it to become fatiguing, over the span of months that has not happened. Nonetheless, the difference in image presentation between the 802Ds and my Revel Ultima Studios, whose frequency response John Atkinson measured as quite flat, was readily apparent.
Recordings of solo piano are superb for distinguishing different speakers' defining characteristics of presence and timbre. First, the piano is capable of wide ranges of frequency and dynamics. Second, it is a large instrument that produces different sounds from its different sections. Third, its sound includes both percussive and woodily resonant components. I chose for my A/B test a recording of Earl Wild performing four Ballades and four Scherzos of Chopin (CD, Chesky CD44).
Wild's Baldwin piano sounded excitingly big and up-front through the 802Ds. There was tons of detail, high and low, and I could easily discern the changing resonances of the piano's body as Wild held, then released the sustain pedal. It was as if the piano was situated directly between the 802Ds, with Wild at the keyboard to the left. However, I thought I could also discern treble and bass notes as sounding somewhat separate from each other in space, and from the resonances radiating from the cabinet.
When I switched back to the Revel Ultima Studios, I needed some time to adapt before I could again appreciate my reference speakers. Even after I'd compensated for the B&W's higher sensitivity, the piano was immediately more tightly defined in space and farther away, and its details and intricacies were much less apparent. The Revels' highs often stood out brightly on the ping of treble notes. Nonetheless, I felt that the Revels integrated all of the piano's various parts into one coherent instrument, as well as revealing more of the performance space. The 802Ds were much more revealing of the piano itself, and threw it in greater relief against the backdrop of the recorded ambience. I can easily appreciate how mastering and balance engineers might find the B&W 802D a magnificent tool for hearing into a mix.
Lest you've failed to notice, the 802D is large. You can get good, clean sound at reasonably high volumes from much smaller boxes, such as NHT's Xd system, which I reviewed in the November 2005 Stereophile. However, there's something about big boxes that helps them sound harmonically balanced at all dynamic levels. Small boxes, with or without subwoofers and/or sophisticated EQ, can do wonderful things and, not insignificantly, are aided by their visual unobtrusiveness. Speakers such as the B&W 802Ds and my Revel Ultima Studios—to say nothing of such monsters as the Wilson Audio MAXX2s—fill the room in unique and different ways, challenging you to ignore their bulk—to close your eyes, if necessary. Technology may have an impact on that distinction, but, so far, if you want the level of performance I've described, you have to make room for the B&W 802D.
The B&W 802D came to play. It brings the musical performance into the room, right in front of the listener, rather than opening a window on a performance happening in some other, more distant space. Such powerful immediacy without glare or stridency is thrilling and untiring.
Like B&W's Signature 800, the 802D represents the cutting edge of modern speaker technology in terms of driver design, cabinet construction, and laboratory analysis, in addition to its exquisite fit and finish. The result, due in no small part to the extraordinary smoothness of the new diamond tweeter and its integration with the other drive-units, is a speaker that is remarkably transparent and detailed throughout the audible range. Given a couple of hundred clean watts behind it, the 802D has no significant performance limits in terms of dynamics or resolution.
I try to restrict the speakers I review to those that interest me and that I can afford, and sometimes I question whether I should replace my current references. The 802D is pretty much at the outer limit of what I can afford, but it has forced just such a consideration.
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