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B&W Nautilus 800

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by bamber, Jun 30, 2003.

  1. bamber

    bamber
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    I have heard some really good things about the Nautilus 800s lately. So I phoned my dealer about them and he can offer me a really good trade in on my 802's or 803's against them.

    I would also have to move my AV system into the living room to accommodate them.

    The living room is roughly 24' x 28' x 8' 8". Is this room big enough to let these things sing?

    I will have to arrange a demo but can anyone that has heard them give me their opinions?

    I have heard the 805 Sigs and wasn't really keen on them.

    If I go with them, it will blow my AV budget for the next 4 months and I still need to get a sub and possibly another plasma or projector.

    Thanks

    Gazza
     
  2. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Room sounds fine - but you'll need some military-grade amplification to drive those things. I don't know that even your Bryston 4B-SST amp will do them justice. Four Linn Kilmax Solo monoblocs would probably do quite a good job - a snip at £14K. :)

    I hope you're going to give people in the forum the opportunity to pay you more for your second hand 803s and 802s than your dealer wants to give you for them in part exchange....
     
  3. bamber

    bamber
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    Thanks NicolasB,

    I was hoping that the 4B SST would be enough to get me going. If I have to upgrade to 2 x 7B SST or a 14B SST then i will have to get this notion out of my head for now.:(

    I live in Northern Ireland and it would cost a fortune to ship 802's or 803's over to the mainland. So probably wouldn't get any more than the dealer is offering.

    If anyone has tried these with a 300W pc amp please let me know.
     
  4. alexs2

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    Room size should be ok,but as Nicolas says you'll need some serious amplification to do them justice...the Brystons should certainly get you going,and whilst the 7B and 14B will be very good indeed,if you can stretch to it eventually,one of the higher powered FPB Krells would be ideal....you may even find that by running them as full range speakers,you can do without a sub,as I certainly found with a set of Linn Keltiks and Krell amps.
     
  5. bamber

    bamber
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    If I got rid of 4 x 803's and went to a 5 speaker scenario. That would be 800's L/R, HTM1 C and 802's rear. I could bi-amp the 800's using the 2 x 4B SST's.

    How much are the FPB Krells alex2?
     
  6. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    One other point: the HTM1 centre is not as good a match for the N800s as it is for other speakers in the Nautilus range. The N800s use the same tweeter as the speakers in the Signature range. (In fact they are absolutely identical to the Signature 800s in sound, they just don't have the fancy finish on the case and cost £5000 less). Thus the signature HTM centre would probably match them better.

    (I guess B&W want you to use Sig 800 fronts / Sig HTM centre / Sig 805 rears).
     
  7. alexs2

    alexs2
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    gazza.....FPB600's are changing hands on the used market for about £8k,with new prices around the £14k mark if I remember....the lower powered FPB400 should be perfectly adequate!...with lower prices also.
    As an alternative,if you avoid the KSA S series,some of the older KMAs and esp KAS Krells are still superb,and if you can find an MDA on the used market,you'd have a superb amp for those speakers.
    I have a set of KMA 100's which I wouldn't change for anything less than FPB Krells(if cash was forthcoming!)
     
  8. bamber

    bamber
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    Thanks again Alex and Nicolas.

    I can't believe I am thinking of replacing the Bryston Amps (which I really like) and the B&W 803's/HTM1.

    Does anyone use the 800's in their system? How do they compare to others in this price range?

    I noticed that Gordon F started a thread on the 800's, I would be grateful if he could give me his opinion.
     
  9. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    The 800 will need more umpff, bigger amps I am afraid. These are a difficult load to drive and the normal Tag / Brston 300w 'ers struggle a bit. NICE sized room by the way
     
  10. bamber

    bamber
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    Thanks Beekeeper.

    As Alex2 stated I could use the 800's as full range speakers, thus not requiring a sub. I could then sell 2 x Bryston 4B SST and 4 x 803's. I could then afford to buy a Krell amp and get a projector in a few months time.

    What about using a third 800 as a centre speaker (Even more power required then I guess)?
     
  11. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    The N800s' official frequency range (+/- 2dB) is 37Hz to 23kHz. That's -3dB at 32Hz, and -6 dB at 25Hz. Not using bass management might be possible, but I hope no one is seriously suggesting feeding the LFE channel through the fronts.
     
  12. nathan_silly

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    Perhaps you use the various speaker crossover settings on the newer processors (40hz, 60hz, 80hz etc) and that'll lessen the strain on the amp- until you can afford the ones mentioned above?
     
  13. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Don't forget Nic,thats the response in an anechoic chamber,and is considerably different from it's in-room response.
    And no,running the LFE channel through the front speakers wasnt what I was suggesting,merely that the in-room bass ouput of the 800's may be sufficient until a sub is introduced...if necessary.
    Gazza...you certainly could run a 3rd 800 as a centre speaker,but your Krell bill will also go up!.....Beekeeper is absolutely right about these being difficult speakers to drive,and Tag amps would be non-starters in that respect....they don't even drive my 805's adequately.
     
  14. CounterWhine

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    :eek:

    Bloody Hell! A pair of 800s is worth more than half my entire system and that's only 4 months worth of saving!?

    I want to be you ;)

    D.
     
  15. bamber

    bamber
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    DavidR,

    If I go with this I will be trading in at least £6000 worth of gear. I have also sold quite a bit of old hifi gear lately so have a bit in the bank. So really don't need to save alot.

    I am certainly not money bags mansions.:(
     
  16. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Damn, I'll stop being friendly now ;)
     
  17. bamber

    bamber
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    Now I've got all the info I need from you Beekeeper, I don't need to pretend anymore.;)
     
  18. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Possibly - I grabbed the figures off B&W's website, and they don't specify if that's in-room or anechoic. But either way, do you really want to be depending on something as hard to control as in-room standing waves to extend your bass range?
     
  19. bamber

    bamber
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    So I am now thinking about a

    Krell FPB700
    2 x Nautilus 800's

    and trading in 1 x Bryston 4B SST and 2 x Nautilus 802's.

    I will keep the other Bryston 4B SST, Bryston 6B SST and 4 x Nautilus 803's.
     
  20. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Not quite what I said Nic....what I said was that the in room response may be sufficient until a sub is introduced as necessary.
    I certainly wouldn't depend on room modes etc,but the presence/absence of such are well worth taking into account also.

    I certainly had problems with that when moving house,and found the in-room response of my Keltiks couldnt be tailored adequately in the very old timber framed house we moved to.....hence the Keltiks went.
     
  21. NicolasB

    NicolasB
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    Well, if you're not depending on room modes, then you are relying on things like wall reflections to boost the bass volume level - but wall reflections apply equally to high frequencies. So if you want to ask the question "what is the maximum decibel level achievable at x Hz with y% distortion?" then whether it is in-room or not is important. But if you're asking "at what frequency is the volume 6dB lower than it would be at 50Hz?" then factors like wall-reflections won't make any difference. That means your frequency response in the 20-37Hz range will be distinctly non-uniform, and hence not as nice as it would be with a subwoofer that is flat down to below 20Hz. Whether it's in-room or anechoic has no bearing on this, unless there is some factor whose influence increases smoothly as the speaker response rolls off.
     
  22. alexs2

    alexs2
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    Thank you Nic....I'm certainly not going to get embroiled in a semi-technical discussion,when all I was saying was that gazza may find the in-room response of up to 3 very large speakers coupled with Krell FPBs quite sufficient,before lashing out on an equally expensive sub to match,bearing in mind that a sub is also vulnerable to reinforcement effects.
     
  23. dunkyboy

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    Not only vulnerable to them, but sometimes reliant on them - don't SVS recommend putting their subs in the corner..?

    Dunc
     
  24. BJO

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    Hi Gazza982,
    I upgraded from 801's about 6 months ago and was BLOWN AWAY by the difference between them and the 800's. As for amlification, have you tried Classe amplifiers, I use CAM 350s to drive the 800s and 25's to drive the centre (HTM1) and rears (804's) the the 25's are a few years old now but they still pack a punch. The 350s are well suited to the 800's and are used by B&W for Demos (B&W now distributor for classe). As you are based in the North it might be worth a call to Cloney Audio in Blackrock Dublin to dem the 800's. The guys there have great experience in dealing with Nautilus set ups. I hope this helps. Before I sign off, I would like to say that I can't recommend the 800's enough, with the right amplification and set up they are truly magnificent.
     
  25. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    OK,,,,I am drunk in hotel near Birmingham......

    800'S are stonking. Yes, they need driven. However, they are much better ,even with limited amplification, than 802's etc.

    If you have to change amps look at Bonnec. Nic Rhodes has heard these. Quite frankly they are THE best amplifiers I have ever heard. Even their 7 Channel amp will destroy everyone elses 2 channel amps unless you are talking ultimate sound pressure levels.....which I hope we all agree is irrelevant. Their two channel amp is astounding...and it's not short of an amp or 10..

    My only grievance with 800's is the slow bass which isn't as deep and tight as an great active or servo driven system. This can be addressed by third party developers though.....(top secret info only to be divulged to those with platinum amex cards)

    cHEERS,

    G
     
  26. Steve.EX

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    Gordon (Hi there)

    Just for the sake of asking at what price point do the Bonnec's live at and wgo holds the licence?


    Steven.
     
  27. bamber

    bamber
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    Thanks BJO and Gordon , I think that it's time to demo them.

    BJO , I purchased my 803's and HTM1 from Michael at Cloney Audio and found their service to be top notch. How do you find the HTM1 and 804's fit in with the 800's?

    Gordon, Are there any UK Bonnec dealers?
    They don't list any dealers on their website.

    Cheers

    Gazza
     
  28. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Bonec two channel stereo amp is £4500
    Multi channel is somewhere around £6000 I think off the top of my head.

    There is now a distributor in UK for this product. Previously dealers worldwide bought direct from Bonnec in Germany, StereoStereo are a dealer. I know that they have found some dealrs in England but cannot remember the names of them.

    Gordon
     
  29. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
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    Bonnec are stunning especially with the 800, just don't compare specs, these babies work :)
     
  30. NicolasB

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    By way of a swift addendum: I've recently been demoing lesser B&W Nautilus speakers with a view to choosing rears - Nautilus 805 vs Signature 805 vs a second pair of 803s - and was chatting to Phil Kleiser (of Martin Kleiser in Chiswick) about some of the higher speakers in the range. His opinion of the N800s is that they are "stunning" but "impossible to drive". He says they hooked up four Linn Klimax Solo monoblocs to a pair of them (the price of which I got wrong higher up the thread, incidentally - that's £23,200 of amplification) and even that, in his opinion, wasn't adequate.
     

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