250DR / B&W 802D3

I'm pretty sure that the NAP250DR would be be able to drive them, within its thermal limits, and provided the speakers cabling is suitable.  However, much will depend on just how capable are your source and pre-amp?  These would need to be absolutely top notch. Have you heard them together with your dealer?

Hello,

 

Don't know about the 802 model but I have had a pair of 803d3D for some time now - retirement present to myself

 

Originally these were driven by a lowly 200 (nonDR) and now with a 250DR - magnificent! Even the 200 drove them fine but the 250DR definitely gave a further level of detail and is perfectly happy driving them.

 

Don't want to get into all the source first argument; its not as simple as that - depends totally on where you are, where you want to go and what you're looking for now.

 

I know mine is a mullet system with a front end of Majik LP12 (+Krystal), UnitiServ, DAC V1 and 202 … but then I also know that my speakers are reproducing  everything the front-end can throw at it … and if I ever do upgrade my front-end I know that my speakers are giving me all that any improvements bring without contstraints.

 

Perhaps my only adverse comment is that lower volume listning (8 o'clock on the 202) doesn't have quite the same detail as at 9 o'clock.

 

Allan

 

I have 802D3 speakers and use them with a single 500.  I suspect that with two bass units, a mid range and a tweeter per speaker, they are not the most efficient of speakers.  I recall speaking with a dealer about the previous version and I'm pretty sure they suggested minimum 300 power amp to get the most out of them.

You should most definitely give them a good audition and I'd suggest switching between 250/ 300/ 500 to give you a decent flavour of what they are capable of.

Peter

My local Naim/B & W dealer, when quizzed about the least powerful Naim amp to drive, at the time 802 Diamonds, stopped at a 250. They thought a 200 would be under powered.

At the time I was using a non DR 500 with 802 Diamonds. The 500 was DR'd about 18 months ago with a considerable improvement to taming the B & W's. They need a firm grip.

After a lot of thought, last Friday I took delivery of a pair of 802 D3's. The upgrade reminds me of the jump in performance in having the 500 DR''d. They are a different speaker entirely. I was not prepared for how much better they are than the previous version. They appear to need less running in OR is there much more to come?

One thing which pleases my wife is they do look smaller than the older shape, even if they weigh more then me. 90 kg or 14 st 2 lhs in old money.

Douglas.

Tyendra,

I'm perfectly happy with my 250 powering my 802D2, great sound, even at 60% output of my 272. The impedance curves of 802D2 and 802D3 look pretty similar, so I expect that a 250DR with 802D3 will be just as great.

Only once the thermal protection of my 250 kicked in when my daughters were playing heavy dance music at 60-70% output for hours.

So it depends a bit on the volume you want to play. If you have a large listening room (say >50 m2) and you like to play really loud (60-80% output of your pre-amp), you may be better off with a 300. But for normal living rooms the 250DR will be perfectly fine. Have a listen!

 

It's not the maximum volume or whether the amp gets hot and shots off or not that counts most. But wether the amp is enough amp for the speakers to reach their full potential, to sound their best at any listening level.

Will a 2.0 litter L4 engine move a Ford F150 pickup truck? Sure it will! But to be honest, a 3.5L V6 would be much suited for the 3.5 tones truck. While a 5.0L V8 would definitely be the perfect partner for a proper pickup truck used for the purpose it has been built for, not just cruising highway in the weekends.

I'm sure you can listen to music on your 802 though a Unitiqute. But I would not bother with anything less than a 300DR. 

The combination of Naim and B&W seems to be ever-divisive. Some say it's an abomination which goes against everything which is good and true in the world. Others, like me, have found it deeply satisfying and enjoyable. There are some very well-respected Naim dealers who have a long and productive history as B&W dealers as well: I don't think this can be coincidental, but I suppose I would, wouldn't I?

What I think is true is that B&W speakers need a very tight grip. When I bought my 804Ss* the advice I got from two separate Naim and B&W dealers was that a 200 would be the absolute minimum I should consider running them with and upgrading to anything more powerful would simply bring further advantages. To a first approximation, I suppose the answer to the OP's original question would be similar.

Mark

* Any suggestions for pluralising '804S' in a less ugly way will be gratefully received.

You can’t argue with the impedance curve which a B&W speaker presents to a Naim amp

you can’t argue with the strange frequency response which are visible on every B&w speaker review on stereophile

but if you like that sound there’s simply no accounting for taste

I have a couple of different Naim amplified setups. An Supernait / snaxo / x2 nap 200 active ovator 600 setup, a nac 72/140 B&W CM5s2 setup and some others, but I leave that out of the story now. I know the 800 series of BW quite well, but don't have it - future wish.

When I listen to music on the CM5's first it is quite satisfying, whatever kind of music I throw against it. When I switch to the Ovators, it is like a whole layer of dust is removed. I have tried to switch the amps and or sources, but the same characteristics to the loudspeakers remain intact.

When I listen (somewhere else) to 800 series BW, pre diamond, these are safe loudspeakers too, quite tolerant. For the diamond tweaters, it becomes different. It these are not positioned, matched on source / amplification well, the treble can be quite direct / harsh. Then you might enter the world of room treatment etc - but it is just a matching issue.

I'd love to trade in my CM5's for pre -diamond 805's.

analogmusic posted:

You can’t argue with the impedance curve which a B&W speaker presents to a Naim amp

you can’t argue with the strange frequency response which are visible on every B&w speaker review on stereophile

but if you like the sound then that's all that matters.

That's better 

Actually the latest D3 version is considerably better

its still a moderately difficult load but is very sensitive at 91 dB

and stereophile like it too....

“Overall, the Bowers & Wilkins 802 D3 Diamond measures very well. I'm not surprised that Kal Rubinson liked it as much as he did.—John Atkinson“

 

B&W specifies the 802 D3's sensitivity on the tweeter axis as a high 90dB/2.83V/m. My estimate was a little higher, at 91dB(B)/2.83V/m. This speaker will play loud for very little input voltage! However, it is a relatively demanding load for an amplifier to drive. Fig.1 shows the B&W's electrical impedance (solid trace) and phase (dotted trace). The magnitude drops to 3 ohms between 100 and 130Hz, and again between 670 and 770Hz; and while the electrical phase angle is low in the lower region, it becomes increasingly inductive above 600Hz, reaching +46° at 1kHz, where the magnitude is 4 ohms. There is also a combination of 4 ohms and –64° at 69Hz, implying that this speaker does require an amplifier that is not upset by a low effective impedance.

 

 

analogmusic posted:

You can’t argue with the impedance curve which a B&W speaker presents to a Naim amp

you can’t argue with the strange frequency response which are visible on every B&w speaker review on stereophile

but if you like that sound there’s simply no accounting for taste

Analogmusic

Dare I ask if you have taken the time to listen to music through lp12 or cds3/ 552/ 500/ 802D3 in familiar surroundings?  I find listening is critically important in  helping inform my decision making about whether a hi-fi component sounds good or not (over the years I have been very guilty of not following this advice!).  By strange coincidence Stereophile appeared to agree in the article I read.  I too was one of the nay-sayers about B+W speakers as they have suffered quite a bad/ mixed press on the forum over the years and I assumed they weren't up to much.  I have changed my mind since the arrival of the D3 series.  If you haven't had a proper listen to a system suited to the 802D3, I'd suggest you may be very pleasantly surprised if you can find the time to do so.

Peter

Hi peter I use to own an 805s and very familiar with the range as I auditioned them with each generation, the latest D3’s I heard with classe amplifiers.

I plan to audition with Naim amplifiers in good room soon

however my latest audition from both Focal sopra and Dynaudio Contour 60 remains extremely compelling....

who knows though I may well like the 804 D3 so much that I part with my existing Dynaudios

I feel the main divisiveness surrounding Naim partnering with B&Ws comes from the pre-D3 era where the Kevlar mid ranges were used. I couldn’t get on with them previously but as Northpole mentioned, the D3’s are quite different animals from those before them so it’s worth an audition for sure.

Going back to Tyendra's original question: "Would my 250DR amp have enough power to drive a pair of B&W802D3? "

As ichard Dane replied: "I'm pretty sure that the NAP250DR would be be able to drive them, within its thermal limits, and provided the speakers cabling is suitable."

And I can speak from 4 years experience that the combination 272+250+802D2 is excellent for my ears, with the 250 having a tight control over the 802. I'm now saving for a upgrade or exchange to the 250DR.

So Tyendra, did you try the combination already? What is your pre-amp source?

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