B&W 805S owners thread....

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by arf005, Sep 20, 2007.

  1. arf005

    arf005
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    Plenty of you on this forum - thought I'd start a dedicated thread....

    Interested in how many of you there actually is out there, what you use them for - stereo or home cinema, did you buy them new, were you upgrading or starting from scratch etc etc.

    Basically a thread to praise these wee beauties no end......:D

    Here's mine........

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I'd go on for longer but I need to write my handover - I'm offshore at work (use the term loosely) at the mo......

    Cheers,
    Ali
     
  2. Thekop

    Thekop
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    Nice thread mate and a nice system you've got there :smashin:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I use mine strickly in my hi-fi system. Quad CD-P2 CD player directly into a pair of 909 Power amps.. The subwoofer ( B&W ASW750 ) in the picture is now in my AV set up - with Acoustic Energy Evo 3/ Evo center/ Canon S30 speaker set up...

    The B&W 805s are cherished and well just wonderful speakers..

    What more can i say ........ ! :D
     
  3. Arcam_boy

    Arcam_boy
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    i'll apologise now for the poor pic I'll post some better ones after the weekend with my new canon 400d :D pc has turned into a htpc since but thats about the only change for now!

    [​IMG]
     
  4. skazz

    skazz
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    I'm couldn't resist sneaking in a photo of my Nautilus 805s in their beguiling red-stained Cherrywood:
    [​IMG]


    (photo taken with flash, so they look different at daytime)

    It's nice to see so many others who decided that the matching FS805 stands were worth buying. I love mine, and they are actually hugely practical particularly because of the cable run to prevent having cables hanging out the back and down to the ground (we have a cat in the house).

    Just out of interest arf005, why are you not running your speaker cables inside the stands? Just no need to (no kids or cats in sight) or are your Naim cables too thick?
     
  5. arf005

    arf005
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    Thanks guys, nice to have some replies - although I know there are more of you out there.....

    I should maybe have called this the 805 owners thread - I wasn't intentionally trying to put off the "older" Nautilus owners!

    In fact it's nice to see a pair of the old ones up close, thanks skazz, there are subtle differences that I hadn't noticed......the last pair of N805's I demo'd was a few years ago when I first started demo'ing naim kit.....

    - the obvious one was the tweeter position, placed further forward on the "S" series to improve the timing.
    - they still use 8, sunken, allen screws on the mid/bass surround, but they are positioned differently.....the spacing is the same so I'm guessing they thought it looked better....??
    - one I've just noticed is the dimples on the flow port, they spread out onto the face on the old nautilus model, and look a little tidier/contained on the "S" series....

    Here's a few more pics.....taken before I moved things about a bit.....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The cable I'm using - Naim NACA5 - is very stiff, which is partly the reason I don't run it inside the stands, which are filled - did you all do same?
    The other reason I don't is because my Naim dealer recommended against it due to the vibrations imparted onto the cable from the stands.....they are, after all, a support but also isolation device.....

    Cheers,
    Ali
     
  6. arf005

    arf005
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    I forgot to say a couple of things.....

    Thekop - love the matching cherrywood sub....that'll definitely add an extra kick for av/gaming!!!

    skazz - forgot to ask if that's the bungs I see in the flowports there, it a bit hard to see for sure....??

    Cheers,
    Ali
     
  7. alexs2

    alexs2
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    All of you have such tidy rooms!.....I'll have to have a serious clear-out before even thinking of posting mine.

    Maybe wait until the kids have all gone!

    Until then,my 805s are the earlier non-S versions,and are used for both AV and stereo,although sometimes I use the ESL's instead for stereo,when I can be bothered to change the setup.

    The rest of it is a mixture,including a Meridian M33 centre,which not only fits the size and power needs,but matches the 805's very well tonally.
     
  8. skazz

    skazz
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    I deliberately only posted a closeup of mine : Too much bother to clear things up for a good room-wide photo :)

    No, no bungs inserted on my N805s. Blame it on the camera flash that you can't see that properly indeed.

    In the interests of appeasing my girlfriend I not only don't have my stands sand-loaded, but I am actually using the supplied rubber feet instead of spikes. Thankfully my parquet floor is glued/nailed to a wooden underfloor which is glued to the concrete, so it doesn't resonate, creak or anything like that. I assume that failing to spike/weight the stand would have most effect on the bass of a speaker, but I know for sure that my N805s still produce viable clean accurate bass at 35Hz (and tail off completely around 31-30Hz) in room, so I don't seem to be losing out.


    (Thankfully my soundstyle rack basically had to be spiked, so she had no choice but to accept that)
     
  9. Smurfin

    Smurfin
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    805s offer clean bass @ 35hz? Are you sure that's correct? Most floorstanders can't even do that!
     
  10. skazz

    skazz
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    In room... The specs are -3dB at 49Hz and -6dB at 42Hz iirc, but my room seems to be giving them a very nice helping hand between 35-40Hz. I'd offer to prove it to you using the home theatre shack sine wave test tones, but I suspect you'd have quite a long distance to travel just to listen.

    But I'm now very sorry for having sidetracked the thread. More pretty 805 pictures please!!
     
  11. Thekop

    Thekop
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    I'm not sure how deep they go, but for moderate sized speakers they can certainly kick hard in the bass... I stress to anyone thinking of buying a pair of these, they do need quality amplifiers to really kick them into life.. They are remarkably muscial speakers though.. A real joy..

    To answer arf005 yeah i filled my stands with a small bag of dried play-sand from Tescos - only a couple of quid. It worked a treat and certainly made a difference in clarity, focus and imaging.. I would most definitely recommended filling the B&W stands to those unsure..

    I use QED Silver Anniversary Bi-Wire cables ( Bi-amped from the Quads ) and works a treat with the B&W's.. I wouldn't mind upgrading them at some point for something a little bit more exotic though :)
     
  12. indus

    indus
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    Hi to all the 805 owners:hiya:

    Can I pick your brains for a second? I'm trying to choose some speakers to go with my newly purchased Quad 909 power amp and Quad CDP2 and am not having much luck so far. I haven't heard the 805s but my Quad dealer says they are too good for my setup, a needless and non worthwhile expense.
    Is my setup not up to the job?

    I've discussed this with Thekop before (he biamps with 2 x909s) but would like some other opinions (and his if he isn't bored of talking to me:boring:)

    Thanks
     
  13. alexs2

    alexs2
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    I think a few of us gave our views on your dealer's blinkered views on your other thread.

    The only way of resolving this is to actually try them,with a few suitable power amps and see which sounds and performs best to your ears.

    The 805s perfrom best with powerful,stable amplifiers,and biamped 909s would fit that pretty well.
    You would also need to try the likes of Bryston,Krell,Classe,Parasound,and as many others as you can,incl Rotel for a cheaper option.

    Newer versions of the 805 are considerably easier to drive than earlier ones which were quite a nasty load for some amps,and required tolerant,and powerful amps.

    There are of course a wealth of other speakers to cloud the issue,including Quad's own excellent ESLs in various incarnations,which sound superb on most material.
     
  14. indus

    indus
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    Thanks.

    I've already bought the 909, so testing other poweramps will be pointless I'm afraid. The ESLs you mention iirc cost 3k+ and so over budget.

    You're right of course, the only way to really know is to have a listen. I'll be doing that on Saturday:)

    Thanks:)
     
  15. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Older ESLs such as the ESL63 and 57 sell for considerably less,but may not suit your requirements.
     
  16. skazz

    skazz
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    I'll just add a quick comment in case it helps.

    My own choice of amplification for the quite difficult load of the N805s might seem underpowered (60W integrated with reasonable but not enormous current capability), but I listened extensively to the N805, N804 and Kef Reference 1.1, 2.1 with a large variety of amps when I was buying. (blame the dealer for having a 3 way multiswitch box system and a decent selection of kit in the listening room)

    I found that the Kefs and to a certain extent also the N804s really only started to sing when given quite a lot more power - having 60W on tap just gave a quite bland result lacking dynamics and drive. It surprised me to find that the N805s were offering almost all of what they could do with a 60 watter. Sure, I could upgrade to something with significantly more power and get slightly more grip, slightly more effortless sound, but to my mind it's not vital or required.

    Given that the 805S is supposed to be easier to drive, smoother, slightly warmer treble and easier to play soft with, I should think that you'd get even further with fewer watts, and your 909 should have no trouble atall. If you are after a speaker to drive a large room to massive levels you shouldn't be looking at compact standmounts anyway ;)
    I suggest you should be worrying far more about whether you like the tonality, dynamics, soundstaging and detail levels of a Quad/B&W combo, rather than about whether your amp will have the power to drive them. Find yourself an audition pronto. :clap:
     
  17. indus

    indus
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    Thanks Skazz.

    Not trying to shake the walls of a large room at all. Quite the opposite in fact, want something that sounds good at low/med volumes in a medium sized room (ie 14ftx17ft). As I've auditioned speakers and not liked them the dealers have offered me bigger and bigger speakers thinking thats what I've wanted. Actually the speaker I've liked most so far (but not quite perfect for me) is the Dynaudio 140 which is the smallest of the lot!

    Anyway I'm off today to pick up the amp/cd and will insist on an audition of the 805s even if they say my amp is not powerful/good enough. Based on the info I've got here I can disregard dealers opinion that the amp is defo not up to the job. Whether I like the sound of course is another matter!

    I'll post back later with what I thought (though I'm sure no one is interested!:))

    Thanks again:)
     
  18. Arcam_boy

    Arcam_boy
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    sorry not been keeping up with this thread.

    I filled my stands each with a tub of atacama sound bytes to weigh them down a little. I used the spikes on the floor and also stand the speakers on the small spikes. I had a job getting my cable into the cable tidy as its rather thick and stiff but have managed it ok and it looks a little neater.

    I've ran my speakers off an Arcam A80 and now a Musical Fidelity A5.

    I found the Arcam to offer geater warmth to the sound but they always seemed to be slightly under driven but still sounded great.

    The Musical Fidelity amp has really opened the speakers up, not quite as warm but very detailed and the speakers go extremely loud at just 1/4 volume. :suicide:

    I'm hoping to eventually move the 805S's to the rear and get some nice 802D's at the front but that won't happen unless I get a job at subsea7 (you might of heard of them arf005??)

    anyone else with some more pics?
     
  19. skazz

    skazz
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    Just out of interest, did you check to see what a big FMJ Arcam amp would do before buying the A5? You've got me wondering whether you are describing more grip or just less of that Arcam politeness...


    Edit:
    I've been thinking about filling the stands. Do you happen to know how many litres each stand takes?
     
  20. Arcam_boy

    Arcam_boy
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    I tried a primare I30 amp which was superb and a nice improvement over the A80. I also tried a cyrus 8 but really didn't like that just way to clinical and a tiring listen. Yes I did have a listen to an Arcam A32 as I'm a huge fan, as Arcam as you can probably tell from my name, and I was also very impressed and it offered a superb sound with plenty of warmth and was a very close runner with the Primare. I had my eye on the MF A5 amp but hadn't demoed one. I then had the chance to buy a brand new MF A5 Tuner which is amazing and so decided to have a listen to the A5 amp. All I can say is WOW :eek: Just superbly detailed plenty of bass weight and bags of power on reserve. It just seems to reproduce any music effortlessly and although a few people aren't overly keen on MF's hyped power claims the A5 amp was certainly the best to my ears with the 805s although I wouldn't mind a demo of a classe amp.

    I used the atabites which are 9kg tubs and 3 tubs did both stands. You could try kiln dried sand but the atabites do the job a treat :thumbsup:
     
  21. skazz

    skazz
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    Thanks. I ordered 3 tubs of atabites today - wasn't sure whether I'd need 2 or 3. Should get them on Friday.

    Re: demo of a Classé amp: I say don't risk it. Hearing something like the CAP-2100 at 4k pounds with the B&Ws it was probably voiced for is not going to improve your love for your A5.
     
  22. Arcam_boy

    Arcam_boy
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    good buy :thumbsup:

    are you using the floor spikes and the ones that the speakers sit on as well. I was'nt sure if it needed them but decided to anyway lol.

    thats the problem I doubt I will get a chance to listen to one and I am honestly more than happy with my Musical Fidelity amp. All I need now is a nice cd player. I might try and save for the KW DM25 DAC/Transport but with my other hobbies (cars/car audio/photography/computing) my pennies need splitting several ways! :suicide:
     
  23. skazz

    skazz
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    I ended up deciding that 2 tubs of atabites were sufficient, and didn't open the third one. Both speaker stands are now full to within 10cm of the top, so I wouldn't have needed more than a portion of the third tub even to fill them up totally, but doing so would have left me worried that atabite metal chips would find their way down the speaker wire part and onto the ground. Very definitely helps both stability and the stands are now totally dead when you tap them, compared with being clearly resonant before. Worthwhile improvement.

    I also have to eat my words above regarding power and the 805. I got curious after reading so many 805 owners going on about needing more power, so I arranged a home demo with a nice big chunky 150W amp this weekend. It wasn't a good match (harshness when combined with the N805 tweeter in my medium sized and lightly furnished room), but the increase in detail, the improvement in soundstage, the lack of compression in huge orchestral moments was all larger than I recalled from previous demos of the N805 with bigger amps. And what surprised me even more (and something I'd never have thought to test in a shop demo) was how much better the 150W amp was at playing my N805s really really softly without losing detail.

    So now I am shopping for a 100-150W amp with plenty of current, which is absolutely not harsh in any way, but retains a detailed, refined, neutral sound, presumably in the price range of 2000 pounds (give or take a bit). Sounds like it should be easy, but I suspect it'll be a tricky search. I've got zero access to Naim/Musical Fidelity at any shops in the area, and certain usual suspects (like the Krell integrated) which are known to be quite bright are undoubtedly not going to work. The list of accessible makes is still huge (Primare, Electrocompaniet, Ayre, Linn, Quad, Marantz, Rotel, CA, Densen, Copland) but as always it's not easy to set up valid demos and some shops here refuse to do home demos.

    Thoughts? At the moment I'm leaning towards a Marantz PM-11S1 as first candidate due to the reviewed "non-fatiguing sound" in addition to oodles of power and a detailed, mature, smooth sound. Has anyone compared this to stuff like Primare or Electrocompaniet with B&W 800 series speakers?
     
  24. RugbyAl

    RugbyAl
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    Have a look at the laboratory series integrated from AVI, powerful (175 watts per channel 8 ohm/ 300 watts per channel 4 ohm) about £1600. Sounded great last time I heard one.
     
  25. skazz

    skazz
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    I'd like to. Can't find any dealers nearby though... (The Netherlands). I have a desire to stick to the brands which are stocked locally given the number of times I've bought hifi and had to take it back for some reason or other, so I'm sort of stuck with the list I mentioned in my post :(
     
  26. Arcam_boy

    Arcam_boy
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    from reading your above post it just seems the Arcam A32 ticks every single box and I know it'll work superbly. Its ever so slightly laid back and although I haven't heard it with the N805's it certainly makes the 805S's sing :thumbsup:
     
  27. skazz

    skazz
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    ...and another make which I can't find anywhere in the vicinity. Arcam's own dealer locator website refuses to even work which doesn't help matters. :rolleyes:
     
  28. Arcam_boy

    Arcam_boy
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    I have had a look for you Skazz and it has come up with....

    Audiac
    Herenstraat 71a
    NIEUWEGIN,3431 CX
    00 31 30 604 9000
    [email protected]
     
  29. skazz

    skazz
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    thanks for that. They are the distributor and thankfully do list various hifi shops within the Netherlands. But the weird thing is that it lists a shop in my town which I've simply never ever heard of.... I walk down that street regularly and there is no such shop???

    edit: Ah, figured out the shop. On their own website they don't list Arcam and I have to say I've never seen them have much hifi kit in stock since they are mostly a multichannel audio and rare recordings place. Bah, this is getting annoying.
     
  30. skazz

    skazz
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    thought I'd just update. Spent the last few days with a Marantz PM-11S1 on home demo. Been some of the most frustrating evenings of my hifi-owning life.

    On the one hand, that Marantz has oodles of power, is effortless in the loud bits. It unearths so much detail it's just astonishing - it was as good as my Sennheisers at digging up the tiniest nuances in the mix to the point of being scary. Made me proud of the resolving power of my 805s :) It is also amazingly good at jazz and pretty much anything with the human voice (really good at bringing out the nuances and making the voice sound very accurate and hugely fun to listen to).
    On the other hand, tonally it's a little bare for classical orchestral stuff, the top end is highly present (not harsh, but just relatively powerful) which gives a rather top heavy perspective in combination with my 805s, and the bass is voiced rather softly compared to the rest which is unfortunate when combined with a standmount. I found myself missing the nice juicy mid to low bass I'm used to.

    I can certainly see why some people love the Marantz, but it's sadly not a good match for my music or for standmount speakers. I have a feeling my search is going to take quite a while and I'm starting to wish I had easier access to a dealer who sells the MF A5 since I'm beginning to think it might be an excellent match.
     

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