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|Suggested Retail Price:||$4000USD|
|Review by mark_nz (A) on April 14, 2007 at 22:33:11|
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for the 804S
I have owned the B&W804S for almost a year.
The 804S is the baby floorstander in the 800 series with following features: Tube loaded aluminium dome tweeter, kevlar FST midrange driver, Two 165mm (6.5 in) diameter Rohacell® cone bass drivers. Matrix-braced cabinet.
The speakers look fabulous in the Rosenut wood veneer finish, and their compact rounded cabinents are as unobtrusive as a floorstander can be.
As a reference, I have owned the following loudspeakers: B&W CDM1, B&W CDM 2SE, Jamo D830 (Concert 8) and Jamo D870 (Concert 11). Currently the Jamo D870 and D830 are used for the home theatre system.
It was with some trepidation that I bought the 804S due to my concerns about the potential brightness of the treble from the older 800 range and controvesy re the FST midrange. But both concerns were unfounded, the treble is very precise and clear without any spurious edge while the midrange is smooth and open.
Imaging is precise, stable, and in comparison to the other loudspeakers I owned, unique in allowing the decay of high frequency sounds to be followed easily into the music's background ambient noise.
The midrange is smooth, non-fatiguing and open, if slightly laid back - it doesn't draw attention to itself. I am not sure if this is the most transparent midrange around, but fortunately doesn't have any obvious vices.
The bass is accurate, with good articulation of the mid-bass and superb integration with the mid-range. Unfortunately it lacks impact, and doesn't go particularly deep, but I guess that is why the 803S and 803D models exist.
I have used the excellent Jamo D830 as my reference to which all loudspeakers are compared. Surprisingly the 804S doesn't go any deeper than the 2-way D830 bookshelf loudspeaker (which does have exceptional bass for a bookshelf), but in every other respect the 804S is better.
In comparison to the D870, the 804S sounds a little bit cleaner, but lacks bass authority compared to the D870. On the otherhand the bass is faster than the D870, and better integrated with midrange.
The 804S sounds well balanced at both low late night listening and loud party levels.
If you desire deep and big bass, look elsewhere, otherwise recommended.
|Product Weakness:||Bass is bit muted and doesn't go particularly deep.|
|Product Strengths:||Looks, build quality, clean treble, clear midrange, coherent, imaging|
|Associated Equipment for this Review:|
|Amplifier:||2 x Marantz PM15S1 bi-amp|
|Preamplifier (or None if Integrated):||None|
|Sources (CDP/Turntable):||Marantz SA14v2 & Sony CDPXA555ES (modded)|
|Music Used (Genre/Selections):||All types, especially pop and jazz|
|Room Size (LxWxH):||12m x 4m x 2.4m|
|Other (Power Conditioner etc.):||Monster Power Conditioner|
|Type of Audition/Review:||Product Owner|
If you use Passlabs X150.5, you may get better bass.
My setup is 804S, Passlabs X2.5 for my pre-amp and X150.5 as my power-amp.
I just bought a pair of 804s after a good long home audition. I replaced a pair of Dunlay IIIA which I like alot (and still do). I have to agree with about ever thing that you say in your review. My Dunlavy's had a lower bass and impact (then use a downward firing Scanspeak 10" woofer), but the 804s are not bad in my room. They seem to disapear better a little better than the Dunlavys, and probably have a little better detail (better tweeter than Dunlavy's $10.00 tweeter). I agree with you that the all the old model B&W 800's sounded bright and hard. The new series is very detail and even still a little laid back like a Proac(except not vailed like a Proac). I do not need tons of low freq, but I will probably auditon I could sub like a adjustable Velodyne. I never had a chance to listen to the 803s or D,s so I do not know how much difference there is in the low end, but the specs only show about 3hz lower. With out comparing the 804 to the 803 it seemed to make more sense to maybe have to buy a good $1,500 Velodyne sub with the 804s. More flexability on adjusting the bass with the room interaction and about the same price difference.
Just because someone left out that the speakers are emotional does that mean the speakers are bad? Don't think so.
We have now approached the time when people get attacked in their postings or reviews because they do not use all of the adjectives to describe something! The original post was absolutely fine and the response does not justify "Getting another speaker" response, it does appear to be an attack instead of support, praise or recommendation. Why does it seem someone can't be content with other peoeple reviews?
If I may state the obvious (but sometimes over looked) room placement will effect your bass a lot. Take a look at the Audio Physic or Cardas method for finding the best bass in your room. Sometimes we don't have a lot of room to move them though....decent review. Good Luck.
I do use the Cardas method and then fine tune. My room does have good bass response. Basicly I get a new set of speakers set up and then just enjoy the music.
that's pretty good, especially with the typical B&W bass response that you get. I'm glad you can justify it. If I ever read a thread that conveyed the lack of emotion for speakers, this was it. Forget the sub, get some better speakers.
You can disagree without name calling.
Otherwise, while we don't filter the F word, it's subject to delete on sight for that branch of the thread, the mod likely will delete this.
Please use the King's English in the future.
I did not disagree with any body. I was attacked and insulted for particpating in this forum, simply describing my observations on a paticular speaker. This persons subject line and response was an obvious attack and insult, not an argument or discussion on this or any other speaker topic. Maybe people who use this forum for there own self serving attention should be "deletd" from this sight.
It was evident to me at least, from the above posts that all does not seem right with your use of those speakers. I have heard them many times and agree with the assessments offered, or at least the insights that I read into them. There are many good speakers that offer the attributes that seem to be lacking. If I am wrong in my reading of those posts and you are happy with them then great. I often see folks justify their purchases and live with issues. This is not always necessary and there is much to be learned in the world of audio. I wish I had expressed these sentiments to you differently. Again, my bad and I apologize.
It is evident to me that you just want to start shit and get attention. The reviewer of the 804s is pretty accurate in my estimation. Those are the things that I like about the speakers. I listen to a demo pair for a long time and I like them. I personally do not need any type of justifaction, validation, or some magazine review to make me feel good adout a purchase. I know and trust my ears and tastes. The only thing that I eluded to was the range of the low end. Not much less then my Dunlavy's , which is fine to me. If you really read what I said, it was that I would like to see what a sub sounds like with these speakers. It is something that I have not done with any speakers that I have had in my system. One of my friends has just done that with his speakers, and likes the results. That's it.
each time I have heard the 804s there was a B&W sub; it was a very very nice sound and it integrated well. Amazing detail and sparkle and excellent overall sound. I can't recall the model but it was around $2500 per sub. I think in a 2 channel application many folks advocate 2 subwoofers.
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