B&W 804 Floorstanding Speakers

804

User Reviews (16)

Showing 1-10 of 16  
musicenthusiast   AudioPhile [Mar 18, 2016]

very good hi-end with clear and enjoyable highs, extremely open midrange which can get offensive and a tight, deep but somewhat confusing bass. all in all very open with a tiny little bit of warmth. can get strenuous. very delicate on partnering with amps, sources and cables. price is clearly to high up even for this quality, as you have capable competitors for much less in the market. and then the new 804D3 is even dearer !

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
2
marcus_helsinki   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 28, 2006]
Strength:

Strengths:
very few background noise, much detail in midrange. Nice to hear so much detail with almost silent background. Player's attack/strikes to instruments can be heard clearly. Vocal have a natural, deep sound. Clear vocals.

Weakness:

Weaknesses:
too few and odd lean bass, too bright, especially with home listening sound levels. Loses detail when played at moderate sound levels and too few bass makes home listening tirying. Pushing volume up to get makes higher frequencies hard for your ears. Vocals little laid back, with some "nnnn"-sounding-edge. Doesn't sound airy. Uninteresting overall balance, where's bass?

These were explained by the fact that Kevlar cones have their own sound compared to other cone types. In a source it was said that designers have to be careful with cone resonances with Kevlar. I wonder why the crossover is so high, at 4 kHz, it will be bad for just these cone resonances. In the frequency graph i think the beginning of those resonances are seen just below 4000 Hz as a peak and a dip then towars 5000 Hz. The dip in the end of the human voicer frequency range may explain the lach of air. And another, much higher peak (very high, 9 dB smoothened) is seen just above 20 kHz, which may be bad for at least ears if not heard by al listeners. The test can be seen in Stereoplay. Remember the Frequengy graphs are smoothened!

Summary:
good for midrange detail revealing, but not for everyday nice listening



Similar Products Used: B&W620i (bad)
JBL MRV 308 (nice)
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
1
Humping_Poast   AudioPhile [May 17, 2002]
Strength:

Depth of soundstage, bass (in my room anyway), midrange clarity.

Weakness:

At $2100 there are no conceivable weaknesses. Had I paid full price I may have a gripe, but I can''t think of any at this time.

I think my system is finally done, for now. I''ve had been for a while, slightly disappointed with my former DM604 S2''s but had not been willing to really admit it, or take any steps towards buying anything better. But when a chance to get a pair of these for $2100 presented itself, it seemed like the opportunity I needed and not the kind of thing to pass up. I went back the next day and bought them. Now, don''t get me wrong, the 604s are still a great speaker for the price, but working at a dealer that sells the Vienna and Sonus Faber lines had me constantly aware that no matter what I used to run the 604s, that they would never cross the boundaries into the high-end realm. When I got the 804s home the differences weren''t as immediate as I had hoped for them to be. I guess it was me being too eager to HEAR a difference instantly... I was trying too hard. Then as I spun a few more tracks, subtle nuances began to obviate themselves in a way the 604s never had. I noticed for the first time, a prolonged decay on crash cymbals, strings sounded more true to life, and piano recordings rang through with an eerie realism. THIS is what I had been longing for all along. The bass response is also quite formidable for a relatively small speaker. They have a strong presence down to around 35Hz in my room. Tympani and concert bass ring through with power and clarity. My "vintage" Velodyne ULD-15 takes care of the rest. All in all I''m very happy with them. And I will no longer say my equipment is outclassing mt speakers (the older 604s) My system: Preamp: Anthem AVM-2 Amplifier: Rotel RMB-1095 CD: Rotel RCD-991 DVD: Pioneer Elite DV47A Cables: Straightwire Encore II, Chorus, Monster M1000i, Kimber 8tc Surge protector: Monster HTS5000 Subwoofer: Velodyne ULD-15 Center: LCR-6 S2 Surrounds: DM-601 S2

Similar Products Used: DM604S2, Vienna Motzart, Beethoven; Sonus Faber Grande Piano
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
henry14   Casual Listener [Mar 02, 2002]
Strength:

dynamic full range sound

Weakness:

long break in period; needs to be coupled with a subwoofer

After looking at a number of B & W speakers, you really have to move up to a 802 to find a speaker significantly better. The only difference between this and a 804 is the cabinet and price. Even an 803 is not significantly better. I strongly recommend this speaker in the B & W line until you can move into a 802. The sound improves with age. The speakers have a heavy or bass sound. They are so good I''ve purchased 4 more to round out my home theater system and replace my Infinity Interlude IL-40. I use two ACI Titan Le II sub woofers for the low ranges. My crossover is 40 hz. I use a Lexcon MC-12, a HTM-1 center, 2 Bryston 4B-ST, and a Bryston 6B-ST with the CDM 9 NT as the mains. I would buy a 802 but it is too big for my room. I strongly recommend the CDM 9 NT. Best regards-Henry

Similar Products Used: Infinity Interlude IL-40
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Rocinante2012   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 01, 2002]
Strength:

Everything is of course amazing, but they do a great job with imaging and someone did a great job building them.

Weakness:

Can be warm on the low-side if poorly placed. Avoid listening positions by walls. Try facing them the long dimension of your listening room.

Just wanted to drop a quick line saying that I truly enjoyed the break in period. They drop the "throaty" quality they have out of the box and imaging settles beautifully. I loved witnessing this process and almost miss it... almost.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Glenn   Audiophile [Feb 16, 2000]
Strength:

Intersting design, look cool, decent sound.

Weakness:

Way, way overpriced.

I listened to the 804s at a local shop for about 30 minutes. Components were Adcom GDC750 digital, Adcom GFP750 preamp, Proceed Amp 2 power, audiophile grade cables.

I don't want to diss these speakers too harshly, since I didn't listen for a long time or with any other electronics, but I must say I was dissappointed. It's not that they sounded outright bad, but they really couldn't hold a candle to some speakers I've heard at their price (and much lower). I took notes while listening, and following are some of my impressions.

Generally, the bass was not well articulated, and it rolled off sharply on some passages. The result was unenthusiastic music with some noticeable holes in the "soundscape." I use the same power amp at home and know that it was not the amp. The muddiness could have been partly the front end or preamp or room placement. Also, the speakers were not bi-wired. Regardless, my NHT 2.5 at home do a better job in this department. Be sure to check if they suffer a similar malady in your scenario.

With acoustic bluegrass, I noted good attack and detail on the strings with respectable dynamics. Tonality was on the warm/heavy side of neutral. On one classical guitar piece, it was unnaturally heavy in the lower midrange.

I thought they favored air and aura over sharp imaging. However, they were not as liquid, dynamic, or harmonically rich as the Vandersteen 3A signatures.

In general, while I don't think they're a BAD speaker, they fall way short of their $3,500 price tag.


Similar Products Used: B&W 805, Vandersteen 3A & 3A sig, Aerial 6 & 7b, Meadowlark Shearwater, Von Schweikert VR4, Maggie 1.6QR
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
2
Anonymous Anonymous   Casual Listener [Feb 02, 2001]
Strength:

Best in small rooms (10-25 square feet)

Weakness:

In very big rooms, they are too small and don't have enough bass

If you want the best speakers for a small room, get nautilus 804 - it is as simple as that. No other loudspeakers can compare. Timbre sounds are unbelievably realistic, the yellow "midtone" are very clean. There is sufficient bass for the small room. These speakers have an incredible feeling of "being there". Try listen to a live concert! The speakers are particularily excellent at classical music, acoustic music (Gipsy Kings etc.) and music such as Madonna (Ray of Light)/Enigma/Era, but they can handle other genres as well.
If you have a very large room, you should get nautilus 802 instead (these speakers are worth it). Don't get nautilus 803. There is not much difference between 803 and 804 (except the price!!!).
The speakers fit well with NAD silverline products and Marantz PM17. Remember that you need a good ampflier, good cables etc., becuase these loudspeakers are very revealing!

Similar Products Used: B&W 302, DM602s2
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Tom Terrell   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 28, 2001]
Strength:

Incredible midrange clarity. Imaging and soundstage was the best. It brought to live my entire collection of CD's and LP's.

Weakness:

A little weak below 40hz. Took almost 3 months to get "completely" broken in.

In music, I found the speakers worked very well on my Sherbourn power amps. I found that on the correct equiptment, (TAG Mclaren AVR32EX) the bass got considerably tighter and much more articulate. Although deep bass was not apparent, the amount, at least in my room, seemed sufficient for classical or even acoustical recordings.

I found that the soundstage was enormous and the 804's were able to move large instruments with little effort and still maintain the fine details of string instruments.

In home theater, I found the match to the center was magnificent. Timber matching was exceptional and created the best home theater experince I've had without spending over $20k. I would recommend these speakers to anyone looking for a very muscial speaker that is not only beautiful, but can also perform as well.

Similar Products Used: DM600s2 series, CDMNT series, Magnepan 1.6 and 3.6, Definative Technology BP2002tl and BP3000tl, Boston Acoustics VRM 50's and 60's, and Meridian DSP 5000's, 6000's and yes even the 8000's.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Brian LeVoguer   Audio Enthusiast [Apr 14, 2001]
Strength:

Clarity, accuracy

Weakness:

Low end warmth

There is no question that these speakers are high quality. Sophisticated sound reflects a sophisticated look. The high and mid ranges are extremely accurate and precise. I am debating if the very high notes are exagerrated or if they are actually real. When I first received them I wanted to send them back. I had a pair of 640's which had a much different lower end sound. The N804's have such a tight bass response that at first I found them "non-musical". BUT, they do improve with time. I have approx. 30 hours on them at higher than average listening levels and I can hear them "loosen" up a bit.

Unforgiving of equipment and recordings. Time will tell if I can live with the low end. I have a large room (14 ft ceilings, 600 sqft floor).

I would like to know if anyone has gone to the N803's and found a significant difference.

Running ROTEL 1080 Amp, 995 pre-amp, 855 CD and real 12 guage cables.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
SKM   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 13, 1999]

Ordered my 804s late last week, expect to recieve by early next week. Sound during demo was SUPERB. Plan to also get a Bryston AMP + Preamp, in a few weeks. For now, my SONY AMP will have to do.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 16  

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