B&W Matrix 802 Floorstanding Speakers

Matrix 802

(2) 8" Polymer Woofers, 5" Kevlar Mid and 1" Metal Dome Tweeter (1978-1985)

User Reviews (35)

Showing 1-10 of 35  
chef judge   AudioPhile [Feb 06, 2011]


clarity wise it's really good... the mid..and the high... the low is conservative...
it's with me for a long time... love it... my advice if you want to invest in 802 series 2,
use a good player, pre amp, and a good amp... pls your cable don't forget...
i have a lot of very good speakers 802 s2 is 1 of my favorite in my music room...

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Audiomaven   AudioPhile [Aug 11, 2008]
Strength:

Transparency, imaging, transients, Fast articulate bass, sweet hi end. Non fatiguing.

Weakness:

I cant afford another pair.

Bought the B&W Matrix 802 series 3, black ashe finish, from an Audiogoner. Stands included. Always loved this speaker, but could never afford them when in production. Upgraded from Polk monitor10. was using a B&K EX-442 , upgraded to a Classe' DR25 Using an ARC LS-7 Tube preamp. The Transparency and imaging are incredible. Tremendous bass, not bass shy at all.( Play track 7 of Micky Harts, planet Drum) Amazing midrange, I bought them 4 years ago or so and not looking to upgrede any time soon. If you have a pair and are not completely satisfied, look to upgrade your upstream components and cables. Im using Tara labs Prime 1000 Bi-wire. Very Happy!!. Stands are a must. Sound anchor dedicated stands needed to elevate and free the bass, giving more clarity. What can I say. Excellent speaker. Tubes help to give bloom and soundstage. I have the matrix htm for center and 602's for rear in the 5.1 configuration

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Denniz   AudioPhile [Feb 26, 2003]
Strength:

Midrange, treble, neutrality, clarity, soundstage.

Weakness:

Bass

I own these speakers for about 10 years now. I recently upgraded my Amp (Sony 555ES mkII --> Marantz PM-14) and since that moment I know what these 802's are capable of. Sounstage is fantastic, midrange and treble as well. Bass output could be improved, but over all I'm very satisfied with these speakers. The B&W's give (have given) us very much pleasure... If you can buy them second-hand, do not hesitate.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Big Dave   Audio Enthusiast [May 14, 2002]
Strength:

Clear, clean midrange.

Weakness:

Not much bass.

I bought a pair of these several years ago, and kept them for a few months. They put out a clear, clean sound; the midrange is WONDERFUL. But they''''''''re bass-shy, and when I got a chance to sell ''''''''em at a good profit, I did so. Otherwise, I probably would have kept them, as they are high-quality speakers, and fine for most types of music.

Similar Products Used: ADS, Bozak, JBL, DiAural, Aztec ... too many to list!
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Tuong Nguyen   an Audiophile [Nov 25, 1997]

I've own a pair or 802 FS for about 12 years now, but the system sounded thin when we moved to a larger home with high ceiling (20ft). Very low coloration, specially in midrange, wonderful with vocal music (could it be that the midrange units approximate a human head!?). All I needed was some low bass augmentation, around 25-50Hz. I have built a pair of tube subs using NHT 1590 12in drivers, low level x-over using a Paradigm X-30, set at 80Hz (50Hz even better if you don't have to play very loud), then feed the signal thru a NIKKO 220w/ch to the subs. The main amp is Nakamichi PA-7A power the B&W. The end result, for me, is nothing less than a complete redefinition of High Fidelity! This from a guy who played and tweaked stereo for over 25 years. Thanks to the Internet and Madisound, the info is widely available to build these subs. You will not be disappointed, just make sure you have proper tools and know how, my skills with furniture building really help. Happy listening.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
Fabien Parent   Audiophile [Oct 05, 2000]
Strength:

Very lively, musical sound....

Weakness:

Needs good electronics to run them

Bought those in March, and they sound very nice.
At fisrt they were install in the living on the main floor then move them in the rec room in the basememt what a difference they sounded a lot better. I don't get tired after listening to some music for a long period of time.
Type of music: Classical, jazz, blues, folk and rock.
amp: YBA DT
CD: Copland 266CDA
Turntable: Linn LP12
Speaker cable: Van Dan Hul D352
Interconnect: Van Dan Hul The Second (cd)
Room Size: 22' x 13.5' wide


OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Thomas Sanchez   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 03, 2000]
Strength:

Neutral with great soundstage

Weakness:

needs sound anchor stands and Bass alignment filter to reach potential

I have had this pair of speakers exactly two years now and I am enjoying them more by the day. My experience with them right out of the box was very pleasing; however, after listening to them over many hours I have learned that these speakers improve substantially with the use of the sound anchor stands and using a Bass Alignment filter to smooth the frequency response and extend the bass reproduction. In addition these speakers love to have room to breathe. As I continued to experiment with placement I found that they sounded best at least 3 Feet from the rear wall and depending on the room their in at least seven and a half feet apart. In my listening room I have them five feet out from the rear wall and about eight feet apart. These speakers will force you to upgrade your front end, especially pre-amp and Amplifier. It is a crime for anyone to drive these speakers with any receiver. There are a ton of speakers out there that are good performers with limited gear but these are not it. They absolutely deserve the best amplification you can afford. I have had the oppurtunity to purchase the 802N but everytime I get serious about dropping the long green on 'em I have a great listening period with the 802 Matrix, besides I do not even miss the two grand now that I have had them for two great years. These are with out a doubt the best value on the aftermarket when set up properly with the sound anchors and the Bass alignment filter. Five stars for aftermarket value and and when taken in the context of its speaker class five stars. ( I am not comparing them to Wilson Grand Slams)




Equiptment:

Bryston Bp25
Bryston 4Bst
Adcom Cd changer and D/A
Kimber and Mit cables
Golden flute Bass Alignment filter

Similar Products Used: Mirage Bipolars, Martin logan aerius and SLs, Thiels
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Woong Park   Audiophile [Mar 20, 2000]
Strength:

Amazing transparency!

Weakness:

Amazing transparency!

This is a truly great speaker! However, bit hard to drive.
I've been using with Chord amp and they are perfect match!!!

my system:

Meridian 506.20
Chord SPM1200 amp
MF A3 as a preamp

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
DANIEL   Audiophile [Jan 30, 2000]
Strength:

THERE IS NO WEAKNESS IF YOU USE GREAT GEAR!

Weakness:

NONE TO SPEAK OF

I HAVE BEEN USING MY 802 SERIES 3 FOR ALMOST 2 YRS AND I LOVE THEM AS THE DAY I BOUGHT THEM. IAM USING A MARK LEVINSON 331,THETA MILES RUNNING DIRECT AND TRANSPARENT CABLES. THEY SOUND GREAT IN EVERY ASPECT. MIDRANGE BASS AND HIGHS ARE AWESOME.I MUST SAY IF MIDRANGE IS YOUR BAG THEN YOU WILL LOVE THESE SPEAKERS!!! I HAVE COMPARED THEM TO THE NEW N 803 AND THEY SOUND MUCH BETTER SO BEFORE YOU WASTE YOUR MONEY ON THE NEW SERIES TRY THE OLD

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Michael Clyne   an Audiophile [Jul 04, 1997]

I owned a pair of 802 II's for three years, and I look back upon them with fondness. Tight, extended, very quick bass response, a wide open soundstage, and excellent detail made them one of my all-time favorites. They do require high quality electronics, as they can be mercilessly revealing of any flaws in the chain. Series 3 lost the protection ciruitry, further improving sound quality. I ran them with Audio Research electronics (solid-state, not tubes), and found it a wonderful match. Look for them in used market - a real deal!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
Showing 1-10 of 35  

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