B&W Nautilus 802 Floorstanding Speakers

B&W Nautilus 802 Floorstanding Speakers 

DESCRIPTION

Vented Floorstanding Speaker - (2) 8" Woofers, 6" Mid and 1" Tweeter

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 146  
[Dec 13, 2017]
db budget minded audiophile
Audio Enthusiast

Magical and accurate are the best words to sum these speakers up. I have spent a lot of time with lots of different speakers, I am not wealthy so all have been used, older models. Kappa 9, KEF 105/3, Magnepan 1.7, Martin Logan SL to name a few. None were slouches, yet none come close to the performance of the Nautilus 802's. I have only owned for about 2 months now, and they still impress the hell out of me. Low end response is very good, very tight and plenty deep for most music. No harshness, just airy highs, and a midrange that is very accurate and smooth. Imaging is outstanding. These speakers grab you and make you want to sit down and really "listen" to the music. These will rock out when you want, and still sound as smooth and detailed as they do at lower levels.
I am running these with Balanced Audio gear, VK-40 preamp and VK-500 amp, which has turned out to be a match made in heaven.Interconnects are all Audioquest Red River, along with older Audioquest Hyperlitz Crystal speaker cables.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 03, 2017]
crizzy
AudioPhile

Ignore the B&W bashers, they are on every thread on the internet. If someone heard this speaker and didn't think it was spectacular, then they have a terrible room and / or terribly matched amplification. On my system it is NEVER harsh and I am very sensitive to harshness. The Matrix 801 was a bit too harsh for my taste. The 802 definitely does not match the sheer power of the 801's bass but other than that, the Nautilus beats it handily.

I have heard top of the line Von Schweikerts VR-33, VR-35, VR-4 HSE and VR-5 , Quad ESLs, Klipschhorns, Kappa 9, Dahlquist DQ-20, Thiels (several different ones), Dynaudio... etc etc. and Nautilus holds up to anything out there IMO.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 19, 2014]
Ghost_of_the_phonograph
Audio Enthusiast

This was one of the speakers I tried out during my search of my perfect speaker.

From the outside, it's a really impressive and well built piece of gear. Personnally, I regret the few woods available for a product of this price tag. We are speaking of speaker that costs more than 18'000$ in Switzerland. For this prices, wood options should be available.

For the sound, I heard him through my own accuphase C-2110 preamp and different power amps in AB and A class.

Globally, it was a good reproduction. I founded the bass, sometimes, too exagerated in the reproduction. He was able to reproduce it well, but you needed great rooms and a good room preparation for that. Something that I liked was the fact that he hasn't the mushyness of the other, more basical B&W's. On this one, the sound is really clear and you could enjoy more freely the details. Highs was ok. Some speakers are repdroducing full high details. This one seemed to not be that analytical and showed you a great part of this frequency. It sounded true, but less fatiguing this way. It's a compromise. Some will ike it, other will despise it.

Generally, the B&W sounded better in greater rooms, and with greater volume. Not so much the "intimist" loudspeakers. But, at the other side, he was able to really blast impressive levels during long time periods. Nearly a PA speaker. Another thing that is, for me, a bad habitude, is the way it demand great power amplification for beeing well controlled and clear. It's just at the limit of insane. 150w could be considered to a minimum.

My conclusion is that I will not buy it. Because I listen to my stuff to less higher volume, and some cheaper contestants like ATC SCM50, Xavian XN360 and PMC Fact8 are able to bring more details, stage, deepness and emotions in the reproduction. But they are, although, more difficult to find in normal stores.

But globally, the 802D is not a bad speaker. He's just a tad too over the top for me.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
3
[Dec 01, 2013]
Darren
Audio Enthusiast

Purchased these from Audio One in Ontario, Canada, I got a really great deal on these as they were on the look out for a nice pair for me for about 4 Months.

These Babies are very heavy, had a bit of trouble getting them in to my " Theatre of dreams" , they were hooked up with a Levinson 332 and an Anthem D2 Pre/Pro, for movies this combination and a Rotel RMB 1075 for the surround speakers were great, however for music something was missing, not the sound I wanted.

I changed the Anthem Pre/pro and replaced it with a VAC Standard LE Pre with Phono, now these Babies sing all night long with very little effort, the music comes alive and fills the "Theatre of Dreams" with life like concert sound,now I am only 2 Channel.

I know this is a review for the B&W 802 N, but I just have to mention the VAC and the beauty of this piece, hands down a great Preamplifier.

I love these Speakers.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Mar 09, 2012]
uriah50
AudioPhile

These are the absolute best speakers I ever owned and heard. I just love them and would never sell them for another brand.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 21, 2011]
sbul2020
Audio Enthusiast

Love reading some of the reviews trashing these speakers. They must be listening with mis-matched components or in a poor room, or both. And they definitely can't spell.
I've had my N802s for a couple of months now and originally had them connected to a mid-fi Denon receiver just to test, and was shocked at how good the combination sounded- in the RIGHT room. They've since been paired with a McIntosh amp and pre, MC352 and MX132 respectively. Using Oppo BDP-83SE for source. I'd say the 802s are a little bright and revealing, which I prefer, and I can see how pairing them with similar components would leave you turning the volume down on certain recordings. All's good with the Mac components though. Very dynamic speakers that make horns sound right. Mids and highs are very detailed, vocals are superb. Though bass extension is good and tight, they're not the last word in deep bass, which is my only critique.
Given what these can be had for on the used market, there aren't many options- new or used- that can better them. I've listened to 802 and 803 Diamonds, and to 803Ds, and personally can't justify the difference in price. I've owned 805Ns, 805Ss and 804Ns and they're all great speakers. I think the Nautilus line is a great value.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 21, 2011]
Steven Bullock
Audio Enthusiast

Love reading some of the reviews trashing these speakers. They must be listening with mis-matched components or in a poor room, or both. And they definitely can't spell.
I've had my N802s for a couple of months now and originally had them connected to a mid-fi Denon receiver just to test, and was shocked at how good the combination sounded- in the RIGHT room. They've since been paired with a McIntosh amp and pre, MC352 and MX132 respectively. Using Oppo BDP-83SE for source. I'd say the 802s are a little bright and revealing, which I prefer, and I can see how pairing them with similar components would leave you turning the volume down on certain recordings. All's good with the Mac components though. Very dynamic speakers that make horns sound right. Mids and highs are very detailed, vocals are superb. Though bass extension is good and tight, they're not the last word in deep bass, which is my only critique.
Given what these can be had for on the used market, there aren't many options- new or used- that can better them. I've listened to 802 and 803 Diamonds, and to 803Ds, and personally can't justify the difference in price. I've owned 805Ns, 805Ss and 804Ns and they're all great speakers. I think the Nautilus line is a great value.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 29, 2010]
Peter Green
Audio Enthusiast

What a piece of junk. horible sound no substance. Not worthy any thing. I gues two star for looks jut about it

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
1
[Sep 02, 2010]
Simon
Audio Enthusiast

With the right gear on ( not classe) i think they are Very Very good
In fact the sound was more right on ML no29 then no334.. go figure
And i also had good result with Modified Holfi gear
I never understood the accuse of sounding harsh untill i had the no334, and the sound was to analytical
But if you get the mach right ( system cable ect ) then they are Great allroundspeakers, and they look nice imho

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Dec 19, 2007]
Don C
AudioPhile

Strength:

Life like sound pressure levels.
Amazing imaging and detail.
Very dynamic and revealing.
Best vocals I've heard

Weakness:

Very revealing of poor recordings and electronics.
Power hungry can easily use up to 500 watts/ch.

After more than 5 years I still feel these are the best all around speaker I have ever heard. They are very revealing of both the recording and the electronics. They do need power, lots of power. Don't purchase these speakers if you can't afford the amplification to drive them.
I still feel the Bryston 14B SST was made for these speakers, but there are lots of amps that will drive them, but they won't be cheap. I was recently made aware of a simple tweek that can be done to the crossover for those that feel the top end is too bright. I myself have a very acoustically bright listening room with hardwood floors, lots of glass windows and leather furniture..... not a great listening environment. My wife only allowed so much room treatment, so I tried the tweek and it sounds awesome. It involves very carefully laying the speaker down on it's side (not an easy feat) and removing the two rear castors and the wooden cover plate of the crossover using metric allan wrenches. You then locate the high frequency crossover board which is clearly identified. On it are two Vishay RCH50 3 Ohm 1% resistors wired in parallel for a total resistance(1/R1 + 1/R2= 1/R total) of 1.51 ohms. If you unsolder or cut the wire from the farthest resistor from the input and output wire, you will put all the current thru the one resistor that is left and you will end up with 3 ohms of resistance. This will accomplish two things, it will drop the output of the tweeter by approximately 2.5 dB and allow the tweeter to safely handle slightly more power.
I was told of this mod by a tech who used to service B&W speakers.
We don't live in anechoic chambers, and if you have a brighter sounding room this works wonders. It takes the edge off without losing detail or air.

Similar Products Used:

B&W 801 matrix III
Martin Logan Summit
PSB Stratus Gold I
Magnepan MGIII's
Acoustat Model 3's

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Showing 1-10 of 146  

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