B&W 805 Diamond with REL B1. Good or bad idea?


Prominent Member

I am hoping to create a new/better stereo set up using some bits of existing kit.

Already own:
Amp: Arcam FMJ A32 amp,
Subwoofer: REL B1 subwoofer.

For speakers I was thinking of B&W 805 Diamond or maybe the CM9's.

I am biased towards B&W partly because I already have a 5.1 set up with an early version of the CM speaker range.

At the moment I think the stereo set up will be in a different room to the HC but I may decide to keep the 5.1 and stereo in the same room but as separate systems.

Stereo room options:
Option 1 room is >60m2, open plan ground floor and gallery in one corner
Option 2 HC room 4.4x5.6 m=25m" to share with an existing PB13U sub, CM2, CM4, CMC and LX81 amp

Music source is FLAC from NAS via Logitech Touch

Has anyone any experience of the 805D's with a sub? Comments are welcome.

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Deleted member 134693

I think it may help if you decide if you want to have two separate systems or implement the new speakers in to your 5.1 system.

For me personally I'd try and stick to a pair of speakers for stereo. Yes you can add a subwoofer but it takes quite a bit of work to get it working in synergy with your speakers as most hi-fi amps have no built in EQ systems to blend the amp in like an AV receiver.

The 805 Diamonds are very nice speakers and should work quite well with the Arcam as they can sound a little on the bright side compared to previous 805S's.

For the price of a new set of 805D's you could maybe consider selling the subwoofer and spending around another £500 and buying a mint 2nd hand set of 804D's which will give you a little extra bass from the larger cabinet and 2 extra bass drivers.

If you're wanting to have a 5.1 system with a nice stereo system implemented then look at the CM9's as the front L-R and add a power amp to drive the CM9's and use your existing AVR as a processor and amp to drive the other 3 speakers and sub.


Prominent Member
At the moment the most likely sceneario is that I have the 5.1 one in a dedicated room and the stereo setup in an open plan dinning/living room area.

In that situation I was planning on the 805D's with the REL B1 sub and Arcam amp. I will use the B1 gain and roll-off settings to integrate the bass. The only thing I need to buy is the speakers.

I am hoping to demo a similar set up if possible but I would be pleased to hear from anyone with experience or advice of the 805D's with a sub.

The only reason I may change is if the mrs complains about the noise from the stereo travelling throughout the open plan house. In that case I could have to move the stereo into the 5.1 dedicated room. So, I have to keep an mind what I would do in that event and try to ensure I am flexible without wasting money. Hopefully all is OK with stereo set up in the main part of the house.

Deleted member 134693

I also forgot to mention in my previous post, you may want to look at adding a DAC to your source. The SBT is ok but an external DAC maybe required if you're thinking of getting 805D's as they can be very revealing speakers and a SBT alone wouldn't do them justice.

Have a look at the Proac D18's they sound stunning, and have superb bass. I really love the sound of them and I'm a HUGE B&W fan myself. They'll come in cheaper than the 805D's as well. I really wanted a pair but couldn't afford any at the time at ended up going down the B&W/Classe route instead.

A sub will integrate with the 805D's no trouble but you just have to take the time to set it up correctly and if you can do that then you'll be fine! You weak point would then probably be the amp but you should still have a very nice sound without having to worry too much about the next upgrade. Just try and sort the source out slightly. an Audiolab M DAC would be worth a look.


Prominent Member
Thanks for the tips guys.

I can't afford to do it all at once (new house project is underway) but I always like to step up a notch when I buy a component. I was hoping the 805's would take me up to the next level for my stereo listening and then I could add an external DAC and a better amp at a later date.

I have already auditioned the 805D's they sounded very nice indeed in the treble. They were quite punchy in the bass too for such a small box but in the room they had them in but I did notice a drop in the deep bass compared to the 804's and other floor standers. I think some the extra bass came from some room boom.

If I start down the upgrade road with 805D's I was worried that even with the REL B1 supporting that they still wouldn't have the oomph for a large open room and I would be disappointed with that aspect compared to my CM4's and SVS PB13U set up.

Even though the room is large I will be seated a few meters away, so maybe my fears are unwarranted!

The shop I heard the 805's has offered to set them up with a sub so I may check out how they perform with bass heavy music and sub..
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Deleted member 134693

I would also ask the shop for a home demo. Its pointless spending nearly £4k on a set of speakers to get them home and then not be happy with the results.

I run my 805's in the lounge which is 19ft x 13ft and they go plenty loud enough but I wouldn't say the bass is mind blowing.

There's a mint set of 803S's going from a dealer over on hifi wigwam for £2k maybe they'd be a better option and spend the other £2k on an amp upgrade or new DAC.

To be brutally honest you maybe a bit disappointed with the 805's in your room as it sounds too big and open spaced for one and you don't have the level of kit required to do them justice. I've tried mine on a Naim XS which is a step up or two over your Arcam and it didn't really do them justice. I'm now running a Classe CAP2100 and they sound stunning Same with the source the SBT has an ok DAC but can be bettered by a Rega DAC or Audiolab MDAC and it will honestly make a big difference!!

I think a home demo should be your next step as only you can decide if it really works in your room with your kit we can only guestimate on the forums it may sound superb!

Member 566779

Established Member
Unfortunately Arcam_boy is right... the amp would not do them justice but its not always practical to upgrade everything in one go... the thing you will need to decide is if this is your upgrade for the few years it would be better to aim for a lower speaker and upgrade the amp... but if you are only a few months behind with the Amp then best to do it in the two stages and get the system you really want.

Personally I prefer a decent set of stand mounts and spending that extra time integrating a subwoofer to underpin their bass... better imaging and more coherent sound for my liking but everyone is different and so is every room.

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