B&W 802D3

swapped my 803D3 yesterday for a dem pair of 802D3

they are sounding great will be hoping with a few weeks of playing they will get even better.

tonycurran1 ND555 with 2 PS555 300 DR  552DR

unity core

B&W 802 D3 

chord reference signature speaker cable

5x powercords

powe line

fraime lite

Hiline

Original Post

The 802D3s are rather special aren’t they Tony?  Ex-dem also takes sting out of price, and I’m sure someone else will enjoy your 803D3s!

I have the 803D3s (largest speakers that my small music listening room can take), however auditioned them originally at the dealers against the 802D3s.  At the time I think I summarised it as the 803D3s giving me about 80-90% (subjective of course!) of the 802D3s.  At the time, I was upgrading from the smaller 804D2s, so the uplift in sound quality was significant.  Still pleased with my 803D3s, and like you, soon to be joined by a ND 555.  Also, finally swapping out my Fraimlite for Fraim and chipping in my US-SSD for a Core.

Out of interest, did you go for the new Prestige Edition finish 802D3s (high gloss ‘Santos Rosewood’)?

Hope you enjoy your new speakers.

ATB. George.

Where to start?

The Santos Rosewood retails at about £19500 or there abouts which is quite a premium on the 802D3 standard finishes. The black gloss takes about a month to make. All this from a B & W demo at my south London dealer last July. Gloss black is the most popular UK finish. Rosenut in US and far east. For me the £3K premium could be better spent else where. It takes a day to clean out the spray booth for an alternative finish.

Brightness! The 802 D2, which I upgraded to D3, at home first sounded over bright but settled down to "normal" level as did the bottom end. At the dealer demo the D3 could and did sound over bright. At home they can be this way, but on balance I put this down to a better L/S and individual recordings. NOT a distraction.

My D3s seems to need less running in. Dealer says their demo pair, 18 months old, still have more to give, but they don't use them all the time, like me. Interestingly the 800 D3 on its own could be mistaken for the 802 till you get the bill! the head unit is the same and the bass unit only slightly larger and heavier overall. My room and budget would push the 800 too far I feel.

TONYCURRENT1. I see you have an ND555 with 2 555DR power supplies. I am in a similar situation, but with a CD555, 2 x 555DR power supplies. 552DR and 500DR.  Did you come from a CD555 as I am not convinced yet of the "cost to change"? Any advice on this one would be really helpful. I tend not to buy initially but see how the things develop. Heard the ND555 dealer demo. Not enough to get the CC out though.

Douglas.

GeeJay posted:

The 802D3s are rather special aren’t they Tony?  Ex-dem also takes sting out of price, and I’m sure someone else will enjoy your 803D3s!

I have the 803D3s (largest speakers that my small music listening room can take), however auditioned them originally at the dealers against the 802D3s.  At the time I think I summarised it as the 803D3s giving me about 80-90% (subjective of course!) of the 802D3s.  At the time, I was upgrading from the smaller 804D2s, so the uplift in sound quality was significant.  Still pleased with my 803D3s, and like you, soon to be joined by a ND 555.  Also, finally swapping out my Fraimlite for Fraim and chipping in my US-SSD for a Core.

Out of interest, did you go for the new Prestige Edition finish 802D3s (high gloss ‘Santos Rosewood’)?

Hope you enjoy your new speakers.

ATB. George.

Hi no black.

douglas posted:

Where to start?

The Santos Rosewood retails at about £19500 or there abouts which is quite a premium on the 802D3 standard finishes. The black gloss takes about a month to make. All this from a B & W demo at my south London dealer last July. Gloss black is the most popular UK finish. Rosenut in US and far east. For me the £3K premium could be better spent else where. It takes a day to clean out the spray booth for an alternative finish.

Brightness! The 802 D2, which I upgraded to D3, at home first sounded over bright but settled down to "normal" level as did the bottom end. At the dealer demo the D3 could and did sound over bright. At home they can be this way, but on balance I put this down to a better L/S and individual recordings. NOT a distraction.

My D3s seems to need less running in. Dealer says their demo pair, 18 months old, still have more to give, but they don't use them all the time, like me. Interestingly the 800 D3 on its own could be mistaken for the 802 till you get the bill! the head unit is the same and the bass unit only slightly larger and heavier overall. My room and budget would push the 800 too far I feel.

TONYCURRENT1. I see you have an ND555 with 2 555DR power supplies. I am in a similar situation, but with a CD555, 2 x 555DR power supplies. 552DR and 500DR.  Did you come from a CD555 as I am not convinced yet of the "cost to change"? Any advice on this one would be really helpful. I tend not to buy initially but see how the things develop. Heard the ND555 dealer demo. Not enough to get the CC out though.

Douglas.

Hi Douglas no never had a CD555 ( always wanted one )

my ND555 is on its way back to Naim as it just stopped working

my dealer loaned me my NDS back which I am using 2 PS555DR

biggest improvement in my system is the 552DR it’s like you have added a bigger amp.

my room is only 13ft by 13 ft no problem with the 802D3.

Hi TONY,

Sorry to hear your ND555 is back in Salisbury for fixing.

Interesting to hear the 802D3's are OK in a square room. I think at last B & W have tamed the over healthy bass. My room is about 13 ft across leading into a bay window and 18 ft the other way. They fire down the longer dimension with no problem after 2/3 months. The previous generations could always hint at an over exuberant bass, the D2 was the least guilty in this respect and to a tiny degree only.

Room interface. The hardest nut to crack. Hope you get the ND555 back soon.

Douglas.

 

 

Quite brave posting here about B&W. I've never seen much other than criticism of them so I tend to keep quiet about my guilty secret. I bought mine a couple of years ago (802D3) after trying any number of alternatives. Unfortunately only one home demo as I live in Greece. At the time I did not listen to the 800D3 due to the price difference. I did hear the older 800D2 at the shop demo. The D3's are IMHO better across the board and the newer 802D3 was prefereable to the 800D2. Smaller too thankfully. Mine are a keeper now. My old Naim dealer in Montrose used to love the Naim-B&W sound. I thought I was the only one who ageed with him!

Dave

 

There is an aspect of B&W which should not be forgotten.

I showed my wife various loudspeakers, and she approved always the B&W's. She was not aware of brands / sound quality etc ... Buying B&W's is relatively uncomplicated for me.

It is a small sacrifice on SQ, but they communicate the Naim boogie well.

 

Dave - I too use that dealer in Montrose and, having heard a couple of alternatives, also agree with him and you regarding the B&W sound.

 

I got my (mullet) 803D3 as a retirement present to myself and have never regretted it - they are keepers.

They allow me to hear any potential upgrades to my other kit without compromise and are very happy being driven by the 250DR.

... and, like Ardbeg, SWMBO likes the look of them too

 

Allan

 

Allan Milne posted:

 

Dave - I too use that dealer in Montrose and, having heard a couple of alternatives, also agree with him and you regarding the B&W sound.

 

Allan,

I've been away from the area for years. Do you know if "that shop" is still going?

Happy memories of great sounds and lots of biscuits. Robert sold me my first Naim kit, a CDX2.

Dave

Hi Dave,

 

Shop still going but Robert has retired and son Rovvie is running it now.

They have been with me all the way through my hi fi journey from NAD/Riga through Naim/LP12  to my current home demo of Supercap DR to replace old Hicap on my 202 (hope for pre-loved 252 next).

Never a bad suggestion from them with exemplaray service.

If you are ever back in the area do get in touch, we might have a duo crash to the shop!

 

… and that is the trouble with my (mullet?) B&W 803D3 I bought from them …  … they are so good you can hear the upgrades and that's costing me £

I've thought for a couple of years now that I was at an end-point and that surely there couldn't be much more than the fine sounds I was hearing but then comes another suggestion and ...

 

Allan

My room does not seem to care what speakers you stick in it

back in 1990 I had a full active Linn Isobarik  system in my room sounded amazing 

I still would love to hear a pair of passive again

would be great to compare to what  the difference with speakers we use 28 years later.

Very interest in this! We are currently running 805D3s and was planning to go to 802D3s. After a de-clutter the 805s had about double the space around them, pretty much to the spec of the manual and they sounded night and day better. This got me thinking that perhaps less is more, and the 803s with more space around them would sound better than the 802s with less space around them. Anyone experienced a similar sceneraio or effect? Russ

As an 802D3 user of 4 months and really very pleased with them and hopefully not to biased, I think the trade off is between ease of use and the larger scale of the "2".

If you are happy with the "5" and continue to be so then save yourself some money. You can always demo the "2" at home, essential, and they are more room friendly than the 802D2, my previous L/S's.  Especially in the lower bass. The hardest bit  to get right.

Douglas.

 

Thanks Douglas, how much space do you have around your 2's? There is an elemnet of my original post which could be read as, you followed the manual and they sound better, quelle surprise but interested in where the boundaries lie. I suspect we will stick to 3s as next upgrade.

Hello RJFK. The  802D3s are in the same position as the802 D2s which is about 60 cm from the side walls and 30 cm from the rear for both speakers. All dimensions from the side and rear of L/Ss. Speakers about 85 cm apart. Dealer set them up and they have not been moved. Not at 94 kg. They are both sides of a fireplace and all walls 9" sold brick.

One dealer, not my regular one, suggested 800D3s would work in in my room. I think they may have been chasing the money as the regular guy reckoned they would be too big. not that much bigger or heavier, but a £7k increase. Too much in both cases with larger bass units.

douglas posted:

Hello RJFK. The  802D3s are in the same position as the802 D2s which is about 60 cm from the side walls and 30 cm from the rear for both speakers. All dimensions from the side and rear of L/Ss. Speakers about 85 cm apart. Dealer set them up and they have not been moved. Not at 94 kg. They are both sides of a fireplace and all walls 9" sold brick.

One dealer, not my regular one, suggested 800D3s would work in in my room. I think they may have been chasing the money as the regular guy reckoned they would be too big. not that much bigger or heavier, but a £7k increase. Too much in both cases with larger bass units.

Douglas,  by most expectations placement of 85 cm apart would seem to be  close, same for 30 cm to back wall. Does this suggest that B&W 800's can be placed close to back wall and not far apart without being excessively resonant and still dispersing coherent musical portrait?     

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