B&W Nautilus 800 Floorstanding Speakers

Nautilus 800

  • 3-way vented-box system
  • Net Weight 125kg / 275 lb
  • Freq. Response 37Hz - 23kHz ± 2dB on reference axis

User Reviews (1)

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JohnL   AudioPhile [Jul 14, 2004]

Neutrality and balance over an extreme range. Natural convincing bass. Awesome resolution. Ease of setting up.



I bought these speakers to replace a pair of 805 Sigs. which I had really enjoyed but had decided I needed real, direct-radiated bass. Yeah I know the arguments about the lack of directionality of bass but standmounts and a subwoofer just don't sound the same - maybe there's some acoustic interaction and co-ordination of three inline drivers. I spent a day comparing and contrasting them to the 802s at my dealers using DVD-A and CD on an EAD 8000 pro player. Initially I was pleased to prefer the 802s which grabbed your attention and left you gob-smacked with the wow-factor - needless to say the bass on the 802s was also very good. So why pay an extra 11000 for the 800's? - Absolute neutrality, balance and composure and tireless listening won me over. Naturally with 2 10" woofers in a 125kg enclosure you can expect deep, involving and melodic bass and likewise state of the art tweeter and midrange delivers clarity, detail and focus in spadeloads but what underwhelmed but grew more and more on me was balance, neautrality and composure - these damn monoliths stand impassively with not a flutter of speaker cones no matter what you throw at them. Recordings I had previously considered poor with extreme dynamics and transients (Mahler 2/U2/Hawkwind) were delivered cleanly in a civilised yet awesome manner. There doesn't seem to be anything they can't handle Rebecca Pigeon vocals, a capella, orchestration - and electric guitar - well what can I say - Santana on Abraxas SACD or Budd Dharma on BOC DVD left me dumbstruck. They also seem very civilised and not fussed about location or precise positoning and the sweetspot is as wide as your sofa. They worked as well in the dealers tiny listening room as my living room with brick walls, wooden floors and cathedral ceilings. Contrary to some pro reviews I would say they are definitely not power suckers despite their size - I reduced pre-amp output by around 15% to get the same listening levels as I had used for the 805s. I'm going to fiddle with cable and biwire or not but in all honesty straight out of the box, not run-in, cheapo Ixos cable - they sound fabulous. Was I worried about laying out AU$35000 for a pair of speakers? - you bet your your mother-in-law I was but I can sleep easy at night these two twins, I will have to name them, are my best hifi buy yet.

Similar Products Used: 805 Sig / CD7NT / Paradigm Monitor 100 / ML Aeons
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