B&W Matrix 804 Floorstanding Speakers

Matrix 804

3-Way Vented Speakers - 6.5" Woofer, 6.5" Mid-Range, 1" Tweeter

User Reviews (41)

Showing 1-10 of 41  
Bill P   [Feb 11, 2018]
Pros: I feel I can really tell how this speaker holds up. I bought it new in 1997. I am finally in the market for a replacement speak 20 years later. So, here is what I know. Yes the speaker has a sound. I can hear my speakers sound different compared with other brands that have been connected to my system. The thing is every time I make a change in my system, the speakers react. Change wires? I can hear it. Change amps? yes. Change phono cartridges? yes. The system resolves. I am trying to get my electronics to the point where the speakers are topped out. I think I am close now. I have Classe CP-60 preamp, Wyred4sound Power Amp, VPI Classic 1 table, and a Cambridge Audio Azure 840 CD player. I am stymied on my choices for a replacement speaker.
Cons: Like all great speakers, it needs good power to get the best results. No sub woofer needed.
Price: 2400   New/Used: New   Year Purchased: 1997
OVERALL
RATING
4
David   Audio Enthusiast [Jun 07, 2015]

The B&W 804 matrix are a great speaker if you pair it up with good gear. The problem with these speakers is that they will reveal a bad recording when it's played. These speakers need a lot of power to run them or they tend to get shreaky in the top end. Buy good cables for these speakers, I'm using the higher end kimber cable and then I switched to cardas silver core wire. Both great wires. If you have the extra cash laying around a good DAC warms up these speakers and presents a better sound stage. If you want these speakers in a newer form, B&W has brought out a newer version of the old matrix (CM-8 , and the CM-10) they come in a piano black finish and they are based on the old design with a much higher price tag (CM-10 roughly $4000.) great speaker with the newer tweeter from the nautilus. the only real complaint I have with these speakers is the price tag. You are paying for 30 old technology at a premium price. From the matrix to the nautilus is a 50% jump and to the diamonds is even higher price range. The replacement tweeters are at a staggering $550 plus taxes for the matrix alone! The Nautilus is a $1000. Plus taxes. Expensive to repair and referbus. Great speaker if you enjoy a flat sounding speaker that will deliver great detail and soundstage.

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Steve   AudioPhile [Mar 23, 2011]

Really good for the money!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Jeb   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 28, 2009]

I got them from local dealer that convinced me that is best value for the buck. I tried to connect to My holographic Carver and the result wasnt outstanding. Then I tried Bryston 4B and it sound even worst. Basses are lack depth; mid/high are real harsher from that I expected from Kevlar speaker. I didn't like it. The idea behind getting B&W was to achieve clear and emphasized midranage with advantage of clear highs. Previously I used Klipsch Heresy II and was tired of too high tones from these speakers.
Previous experienced with:
ProAc Studio 150 (I probably going back to this one!)
Klipsch Heresy II
B&W DM600



OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
DJDJDJ   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 18, 2009]


THIS IS MY FIRST BREAK IN WITH B&W SPEAKERS AND THEY DO LOOK NICE,PICKED THESE UP BY LUCK AND PUT THEM ON SOME 20W VALVE MONOBLOCKS I HAVE, AND WOW WHAT A FANTASTIC SPEAKER ELECTRO STATIC LIKE WITH TIGHT DEEP BASS SORRY BUT TO ME THEY DO HAVE A SOUND LIKE QUAD 57S SPEAKERS BUT BIGGER I WILL STILL KEEP MY TANNOY LOCKWOOD RECONED BERKLEYS BUT HEY KEEPING THESE TOO!!!! WELL DONE B&W

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Rush   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 23, 2007]
Strength:

Sound really good.

Weakness:

hard to find good used.
people keepim'
Often mint electrically/mechanically but not as good cabinets.

Finally found a mint used pair for the deal.
Mechanically/electrically and cabinetry.
What a musical treat!!!
You don't seem many for sale and you don't have to wonder why!!
Great for the fronts.
Using DM 2000's on the surrounds
600series on the rears.

Similar Products Used: B&W DM 2000's side/surrounds
B&W 602 series on the rears
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
whynotgolf   Audio Enthusiast [Jan 22, 2004]
Strength:

Midrange and highs are pretty accurate , and the bass is more than adequate for most listeners. Very good balance for a speaker in this price range.

Weakness:

Not easy to find since they were replaced by the Nautilus series.

I guess an audio enthusiast is an audiophile on a budget. My system was primarily for 2-channel music until I recently added HT components. For a moderately priced speaker, I found the matrix 804 to be very accurate for the music I listen to (jazz, both traditional and fusion) in the midrange and treble after the break in period. Not a heavy thumping bass, but more than sufficient for a wide range of music unless the listening room is very large. Raising them off the floor a few inches really improved an already good sound. I would encourage anyone in the market for a well rounded, high quality speaker to seek out the matrix 804.

Similar Products Used: Klipsh, Kef, Linn
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
dlbritton42   AudioPhile [Sep 03, 2003]
Strength:

Exceptional bass response, good overall balance when associated components are carefully chosen.

Weakness:

Best sound is with tubes, especially when used for cd playback.

Although an excellent speaker overall, these can be too bright and can sound terrible if used with the wrong associated equipment. If you can put up with the hassle of tubes, the Matrix 804's can sound incredibly good. They can also sound very good with carefully selected transistor equipment, but mixing and matching for best results can be very time consuming. If using a cd player as the front end, this is even more crucial. The time spent choosing the right associated eqipment can be very rewarding if you hit the right combination. The bass response of these speakers is astounding, and appears to go much lower than claimed by the manufacturer. This is amazing considering the small size of the bass drivers. I recomend using without the equalizer that was offered as an option.

Similar Products Used: Rogers LS3/5A, Meridian 206, Forte Model 4, Audio Research LS3, Linn Classik
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
Ram Raghavan   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 21, 1999]
Strength:

Sounds wonderful with good front-end components

Weakness:

Pricey when bought new

I am resubmitting this review since I can't alter the one I submitted below in Jan' 98.

I've owned the 804's for nearly two years now. About a year ago, I radically upgraded my front-end from a cheap, low-quality Technics integreated amplifier to the high-quality Proceed AVP processor and a Bryston 9BST amp. I also biwired the speakers. I use a Toshiba 3109 DVD player as my source.

The improvement in sound is astonishing. I've come to agree with folks who say that the signal path before the speakers contributes the major part to sound quality. As they say, don't shoot the messenger!

I'm giving 4 stars since my audio taste is vastly improved, and I understand what good sound is, and I'm convinced that there must be better (and probably more expensive) speakers out there.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Machiel Hoek   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 10, 2000]
Strength:

Clarity, Bass, Space, Definition

Weakness:

No specific weaknesses

Not to restate everything that has been said before, I will keep this short. These speakers are really terrific, under the following conditions:
- correct placing (experiment!)
- enough amplifier-power
As with lots of speakers, these B&W's are sensitive for correct placing; just experiment. I find that they do best when there axes cross approximately 1/2 to 1/3 on the distance between listener and loudspeakers. They will have to be turned quite significanlty. Any other experiences?

I have also found out that amplifier power really brings them to a higher level. I have used a 2x50Watt (at 8 Ohms)amplifier (Nakamichi Amplifier 2) before, and I thought this was a good combination. I know better now, as I recently bought a Quad 606 power-amplifier. Wow! What a difference! The sound and bass sound so easy now. Percussion is so clear. Voices are detailed; instruments are very balanced and well-placed. Absolutely a hint. Any other experiences with amplifier-power in combination with these speakers?

Overall, I find these speakers very good - with the right equipment. An absolute bargain and recommendation for all kinds of music-lovers! Buy the last ones available new, or second hand, although not very many owners would want to sell them.

Similar Products Used: B&W Matrix 2
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 41  

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