Speaker Shoot Out

Hi Bodger,

I have followed this thread as well and like many others had nothing to contribute simple because I have a limited knowledge about speakers in this range.

Unlike speaker cables (mine are black) which nearly all of us have in our systems, your topic was a very specific one. So please stay with us.

Mulberry posted:

Hi Bodger,

I have followed this thread as well and like many others had nothing to contribute simple because I have a limited knowledge about speakers in this range.

Unlike speaker cables (mine are black) which nearly all of us have in our systems, your topic was a very specific one. So please stay with us.

Mr MULBERRY. I have been a little keen towards your Avatar and namesake since it appeared.  Is the colour ,or color a thing of true beauty or is it a thing of my imagination ?

hi, Bodger,

I enjoyed reading your post very much. I auditioned 802d3 recently too. I liked them a lot, but I heard them singing without using naim at the front.  Your experience really gave me confidence about the match of 802d3 and naim. I will probably purchase a pair myself at the end of the year, though my set up is only 552+300. 

Hungryhalibut posted:
Bodger posted:

Lars,

well done too. Hope to hear soon what you chose and more importantly why.

I must admit I'm getting tired of this forum lately. I have written several long pieces above trying to share real experiences and and my path through the decision making process. The feed back and constructive response has been very light. Were one to ask a question like, "what colour is your speaker cable?" or "what new turn table should I buy" you are guaranteed to receive 167 replies in a day. Maybe adding the smiley icon functions has taken us too close to the Facebook state of mind whereby "liking" something is a significant contribution to the debate.

Dave

 

Dave, I wonder what exactly you feel is missing? You've had some potentially helpful suggestions along the way, and feedback too. Perhaps because you've been looking at a few expensive speakers that few here have heard there is less scope to contribute usefully. You seem to have wanted the D3 all along, so maybe that put people off? Who knows? You've ended up with a result that suits you, and that's what counts. 

 

HH, I agree overall that there will be fewer folks with experience of the mid/high part of the price curve. There are also a good number here, albeit a minority with grander systems than mine and presumably pretty decent speaker choices arrived at carefully over time. My whinge was not aimed at this silent minority though.

I did get, as you say, some useful contributions, FT, Allan, Lars etc included. Just like the “what are you listening to.. and WHY would anyone be interested” thread, lots of people report what, and not why. By all means, give speaker “X” a go but say why. This was part of the disappointment, no doubt.

I live in a hifi desert. I never get to talk about my secret habit. So I was hoping to get some interesting chat going with fellow addicts. That is why I tried to include in the overall stories, choice of tracks, my opinion of the tracks, some musical references, impact of DR v non-DR in the last post etc. Also, in the spirit of the more the merrier, more replies means more opinions which is what I needed. I even suggested being a heretic and buying without a demo, surely a hanging offence. As the thread had dried up, I stopped checking it out a while ago.

No real drama but that is my 2 cents.

I hope Allan will “like” this post.

Dave

Bodger posted:
Hungryhalibut posted:
Bodger posted:

Lars,

well done too. Hope to hear soon what you chose and more importantly why.

I must admit I'm getting tired of this forum lately. I have written several long pieces above trying to share real experiences and and my path through the decision making process. The feed back and constructive response has been very light. Were one to ask a question like, "what colour is your speaker cable?" or "what new turn table should I buy" you are guaranteed to receive 167 replies in a day. Maybe adding the smiley icon functions has taken us too close to the Facebook state of mind whereby "liking" something is a significant contribution to the debate.

Dave

 

Dave, I wonder what exactly you feel is missing? You've had some potentially helpful suggestions along the way, and feedback too. Perhaps because you've been looking at a few expensive speakers that few here have heard there is less scope to contribute usefully. You seem to have wanted the D3 all along, so maybe that put people off? Who knows? You've ended up with a result that suits you, and that's what counts. 

 

HH, I agree overall that there will be fewer folks with experience of the mid/high part of the price curve. There are also a good number here, albeit a minority with grander systems than mine and presumably pretty decent speaker choices arrived at carefully over time. My whinge was not aimed at this silent minority though.

I did get, as you say, some useful contributions, FT, Allan, Lars etc included. Just like the “what are you listening to.. and WHY would anyone be interested” thread, lots of people report what, and not why. By all means, give speaker “X” a go but say why. This was part of the disappointment, no doubt.

I live in a hifi desert. I never get to talk about my secret habit. So I was hoping to get some interesting chat going with fellow addicts. That is why I tried to include in the overall stories, choice of tracks, my opinion of the tracks, some musical references, impact of DR v non-DR in the last post etc. Also, in the spirit of the more the merrier, more replies means more opinions which is what I needed. I even suggested being a heretic and buying without a demo, surely a hanging offence. As the thread had dried up, I stopped checking it out a while ago.

No real drama but that is my 2 cents.

I hope Allan will “like” this post.

Dave

Hi Bodger

I have been following your post since it started and since I'm also using B&W speakers I don't know why I did not reply,so I apologise .On a happier note I'm having a couple of exciting days ahead.I've booked myself ( taking my whole family with me,younger ears,to help me listen/ choose) a couple of demos tomorrow.First up is at Cannonbury Yard ( not sure if I can mention dealers name) to audition B&W 802D2 (what I have) vs 802D3 vs 800D3 and latter on to New Cavendish St. to audition Sonus Faber Armati vs Wilson Sabrina.Hope there's something I like.

On Saturday will be going to Harlow for Devialet/ Vivid Audio Giya 4 open day. Couldn't wait.

ayap1

TOBYJUG posted:
Mulberry posted:

Hi Bodger,

I have followed this thread as well and like many others had nothing to contribute simple because I have a limited knowledge about speakers in this range.

Unlike speaker cables (mine are black) which nearly all of us have in our systems, your topic was a very specific one. So please stay with us.

Mr MULBERRY. I have been a little keen towards your Avatar and namesake since it appeared.  Is the colour ,or color a thing of true beauty or is it a thing of my imagination ?

Hi Tobyjug,

thanks for your kind words. I simply like the colour that goes by the name "mulberry" or "Maulbeere" over here in Germany. Some of my furniture is black with some mulberry-coloured drawers in it (I look at those right now). To my eyes a very understated elegance and a joy to look at, even after 15+ years.

As a sort of bonus, the name was still available at many sites, including this one. The Avatar was first meant as a quick way to get away from the placeholder, but it has grown on me since.

By the way, still remember your "guy with the huge moustache" Avatar. It took me some time to figure that one out.

ayap1, it sounds like you are planning a similar experiment, just in reverse order. My first post in the thread was based on 4 speakers, 2 of which you are trying, in New Cavendish Street. The last report was from Cannonbury Yard. The Amatis sounded like last years Hifi and the Wilsons were quite a tough load. As you are taking many pairs of ears you should be thoroughly confused. I think just trying 1 or 2 speakers is much more effective looking back. I ended up taking notes when I did the first batch. Mistake probably but I had to try to fit in as much as possible on each trip home. Good luck and don't rush it.

Dave

 

Unless the difference in sound is vary similar, rarely the case, then I have found comparing multiple pairs relatively easy, referring the next back to the best so far, needing only a small nuber of different types of music to enable picking of a preference, and only needing long auditioning where either the differences are quite small, or where quite different but equally likeable on first listen.

Just had two demos today ,listening levels were set at the right volume,unlike many they were set too high,so that's a good start.

Tracks listen to were : Jennifer Warnes --Way Down Deep and Somewhere Somebody .

                                     Goldfrapp--Annabel.

                                     Uncle Lucius--Keep the wolves away.

                                     Arron Neville--I bid you goodnight.

                                     Mary Black--Song for Ireland.

                                    R.E.M.--Ignoreland.

Four tracks were played on the 802D3 .The first few seconds of of the first track (Way deep down) we look at each other,my family of four that is,we all agreed that it was a lot better than our D2.The mid and lows were very good.Except that I find the R.E.M. Track a bit 'glassy and bright' if that's the right word.The 802 was then swapped for the 800 D3.I was thinking how can you improve on the already excellent 802 and how wrong was I. Again within the first few seconds we agreed it was a lot better.The sound is fuller,the mid clearer and the lows lower,nice low that is.The R.E.M. Track has lost it's brightness and is now sounding nice.

A further couple of tracks were played on the 800 and then swapped for the 802 .I look round and ask what do you guys think? And the first word my daughter said was Dad change the speakers i.e. D2 to D3.

Next demo was supposed to be Wilson Sabrina vs Sonus Faber Armati but on arrival at the dealer was told that the Armati was about to be discontinued so it was only the Sabrina that was listened to. J Warnes and U Lucius sounded good for not such a big size speakers BUT with A Neville track it sounded lifeless and flat.Don't know why ,it sounded so good with the D3 at the first demo.Listen to a couple more tracks and that was it.

So I might have found my speakers but not yet because I have a couple more to listen to.

ayap1

 

HI Ayap1,

nice post, good to get the family involved too.

 

I wouldn't sign on the dotted line until you get final confirmation in a home demo; I know the 800 and 802 are huge beasts but if you've fixed on one of them then the dealer should be happy to give you a home demo before sale ... just to confirm that they work in your listening environment.

 

Enjoy the next dem,

Allan

Allan Milne posted:

 

HI Ayap1,

nice post, good to get the family involved too.

 

I wouldn't sign on the dotted line until you get final confirmation in a home demo; I know the 800 and 802 are huge beasts but if you've fixed on one of them then the dealer should be happy to give you a home demo before sale ... just to confirm that they work in your listening environment.

 

Enjoy the next dem,

Allan

Thanks Allan

Will definitely get a home demo before I say yes.

Ayap1

Ayap1, what electronics did you use for your demo?

Brave man trying the 800D3. As I said earlier in the piece, I avoided this for fiscal reasons. They were right outside the demo room too. I'm sure they winked at me at one point.

Did you get to hear the last 2 speakers on your list yet?

Dave

 

Bodger posted:

Ayap1, what electronics did you use for your demo?

Brave man trying the 800D3. As I said earlier in the piece, I avoided this for fiscal reasons. They were right outside the demo room too. I'm sure they winked at me at one point.

Did you get to hear the last 2 speakers on your list yet?

Dave

 

Hi Bodger

Electronics used were 500 series except the source.Instead of CD 555( which they don't have) so NDS was used.

Heard 1 of my last 2speakers on Friday. It's Vivid Audio Giya 4 driven by Devialet amp.Dealer said he can bring to my home for a demo so wait and see. Last speakers is Kudos Titan.When I start home demo will ring this dealer to bring titans to my home .It's going to be a busy end of year! 

Ayap 1

This should be the last instalment of my particular speaker saga which began in earnest mid July this year. I have had the opportunity to listen to seven very different speakers but only one of these was a home trial. Long story short, I now own a shiny new pair of B&W 802 D3’s. They arrived last Saturday and are now warming nicely. The 802s replace a 2005 pair of 803S. After about an hour of unpacking and generally faffing around, unpacking, getting the ramp in place, removing transit screws for the mids etc., we got some music.

 

The weather has turned recently here in Athens and the units were very cold to touch. Even so and out of the box, the music was a quantum up from the old 803’s. Over the course of Saturday I got some hours in them and borrowed a pair of ears too. Lots of detail and bass grunt but also not surprisingly, not the sound I had previously heard during the demo with well run in samples. It was like the drive units were waking up at different speeds and the soundscape was not together yet. Not surprising as the mid units had only been released from the transit position for a few hours.

 

Sunday was better. I had left them playing quietly with a CD on repeat overnight. I reckon it will take 100 hours or so to get there. From the outset I did hear new things on familiar tracks, both vinyl and CD. The sound was opening up and becoming more satisfying. This was only days 1 and 2 so lots more to come. I could live with the sound right here, so any improvement, which is inevitable, is great to ponder. Last night started with a rough patch, rather harsh for 20 minutes or so. As I had mostly been running in with very low volumes, I moved up to 12 o’clock on the pre. The music just came alive.

 

Some other vague observations. Listening is extremely enjoyable at background to low volumes; they deliver a very complete image even when barely audible. I guess the drivers are getting along. They appreciate being given some “welly”. It seems the louder the better. Walking over to change a CD sounded like I was getting closer to the stage. Previously I was aware that I was moving towards the left speaker. They seem to disappear behind the music – you are not aware of two boxes at all. The sound is coming from over there. This is not to say there is no image as imaging is great but it is from points in space not left or right.

 

No worries about making the right choice now. Thanks to all for the feedback since July. It is now a good place, to know that the itch has finally been scratched. Once they settle down more I will fiddle with final positioning. To date simply plonking them down where the old ones were seems to work just fine. I would also add finally that the finish is absolutely first class.

 

Allan Milne posted:

 

Well done Dave,

 

Hours of wonderful listning ahead of you

 

12 o'clock on your pre - I can barely get above 9 ...

 

Great to journey but even better to arrive.

Enjoy,

Allan

Allan,

 

Thanks. Sit back and enjoy now. 12 o'clock was a bit of a one off but the point remains.

Dave

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