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Nautilus 802s vs Signature 805s

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by zcaps57, Feb 15, 2003.

  1. zcaps57

    zcaps57
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    daninthemix,

    Yesterday, I and my wife went to audition N802 against Sig805.

    A CD player used was called Wadia (I'm not sure if anyone's familiar with it. It was my first time with the unit, and I'd never heard of it! :D ) The CD player was quite big in size! and it was directly connected to Classe power amplifier. (XLR connection)

    Anyway, we first listened to N802, and I loved it. I've actually listened to N802 extensively before. My wife liked it very much too. We listened to it for about 30 minutes.

    And then we changed the speakers to Signature805. First impressions that struck us was that it's quite different sonic characteristics. I immediately, told her I preferrd N802. (I didn't mean it though. I just wanted her to be another judge on her own) Sig805 sounded brighter, yet smooth, and extremely detailed. Mids were punchy enough with very detailed sound.
    Bass was the only part that Sig805 can't match 802. But strange thing was that we both felt that soundstage of Sig805 wider and deeper than N802. I thought with a subwoofer which blends very well with Sig805 would be better than N802 in every way.

    I was very surprised with its sound from bookshelf speakers. So we went back to N802s, and listened to them again. And then, Sig805 again. I was and still am very reluctant to admit that I prefer Sig805. But My wife definately prefers Sig805.

    I think..it's a man thing. :D (100% being honest with you gentlemen)
    I actually perfer the look of big 802, but sound of Sig805.
    By the way, Sig805 (Bird's eye) looks very gorgeous. But I'd like my main speakers to be a sort of big in size. :D it doesn't have to be terribly big, but the size of N802 would be perfect!

    Haven't bought them yet. I need to think about this and reconsider. If I go for Sig805, I'd buy 3 pairs of them(six in total) for mains, centre, and surrounds.

    what to do......what to do...
     
  2. Lowrider

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    Zcap57,

    If you preferred the Sig805 without subwoofers, you can imagine with a good (pair) of subwoofers, and you need them anyway for AV... :rolleyes:

    Also, don´t forget that the best place for bass is not the same for imaging, so it will be much easier to place the Sig805 in your room... not to mention that they will sound even better relieved from playing deep bass...
     
  3. Phil_Yeoman

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    zcaps57

    If you are going to spend around £45k on a system you need to consider the envirornment you are going to install this in. If you are installing in a general living environment then this level of system will not be at its best. Even if you intend to build a custom theater you should consider spending a reasnable chunk of cash on the room itself. All the processors highlighted here would be considered top draw but for your final system to excel you need to consider sound damping, room accoustics, sound interference patterns and induced sound form structeral resonance. All these can be tackeled with a custom build but are very difficult to address in the average family room.

    As you can see I basically have two setups in my house. The family room was initally the only room and had the MC12 and the brystons in it driving the 7 B&W 803's. When the HT was completed the amps and processor moved and and the family room was driven by pioneer ax10. Now the sound difference between the pre/power setup and the ax10 was noticable but I was amazed that the difference was not dramatic. After playing around and putting the 803 in the HT i relised that the system had simply been overspected for it enviorment. the same setup in the HT sounded very good.

    In a nutshell at this level the room starts to play a very important role in the overall perfomance of the system.

    Phil
     
  4. Lowrider

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    Phil,

    You are right, of course, one more reason to go with the smaller Sig805 + subs, easier to setup in the family room...
     
  5. Gordon @ Convergent AV

    Gordon @ Convergent AV
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    Hey,

    I seem to remember someone on this forum suggesting 805sigs with a sub would totally outperform 802's....oh, it was me:smashin:

    Gordon

    p.s. You know you relaly want 800's hahahaha
     
  6. uncle eric

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  7. Phil_Yeoman

    Phil_Yeoman
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    Hmm sig805 v 802 I think their may be more to your assertion that the 805 whoops 802. You must remmber that the 802 is a ba****d to drive you have to throw some seriuous wattage at it or else it sounds uncontrolled and a little wooly. What I am saying here is that these two very good speakers require very different amplification. To drive the the 802 well you need and amp that would embed the sig805 mid/woofer coil in your chest :laugh:

    Seriously though the sig805 is much more hiFi than HT.

    Phil
     
  8. martintyler

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    Phil, in your previous post about the environment.. you make it sound like there is a black and white different between a 'family room' and a HT. Obviously I understand and agree that the room can make a big difference, but what do you think makes the difference between your two rooms? and did you do anything specific in your HT to make it better than your family room?
     
  9. Phil_Yeoman

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    Hi the spec fot the HT is as follows.

    New build underground (security + soundproofing & still have a garden)

    The wall are triple bonded plasterboard mounted on rubber isolated studs

    The gap between the concreat wall and the plasterboard is filled with very fine sand

    Roof space has gap filled with 50cm of high density rockwool

    Walls are covered in cloth and I have sound absorbing pannels on the walls a tweeter hight.

    The door (often forgotten) is custom made and filled with sand

    None of the wall ceilings or floor are parallel (no not because of my building skills :laugh: )

    Finally no pictures or hard objects on walls or floor

    I can wind the system up and from the garden you can't hear a thing (system can generate over 4000watts rms:zonked: )

    I swear to god here even a transitor radio sounds good down their.

    Phil
     
  10. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    Got any pics Phil?
     
  11. Phil_Yeoman

    Phil_Yeoman
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    Not with me I am over in Eygpt on business and running this reomte from my office server :) Ill try to get some sorted soom

    Phil
     
  12. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    Cool. Cheers.:smashin:
     
  13. Lowrider

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    I am glad to confirm that I am not the only one preferring monitors with subwoofers over floorstanders... :clap:

    I also believe you can get very good sound from these in a normal living room, just beeing careful with positioning and furniture...
     
  14. Jeremy Hill

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    Hi Zcap,

    > I was and still am very reluctant to admit that I prefer Sig805

    Wow, these little sigs must be *really* good, maybe Gordon was right after all... Of course this is assuming that the amp used was powerful enough, as in at least 200W.

    If you like them that much you have the chance to do a 'full monty' HT system; one with identical speakers and amplification all round. That was what I originally intended to do, but in the end gave up on because with 805s and a relatively modest amp budget it would have compromised stereo too much. I still think it is slight overkill for the surrounds, but if you can afford this it must be the biz for HT.

    You've got me thinking I should have waited for the 805 sigs to come out before buying my stuff!

    However, I do have one anecdote to add. It's no more than that though, just a story.

    When we (+GF) were originally considering the 802s we went to the local dealer for an audition, to compare them to the 804s. The shop also sells Classe, so for the demo they used a big 250W Classe amp (4K quid) and CDP. The system was good, but not great, and neither of us were really impressed with the improvement offered by the 802s over 804s. I was sufficiently disappointed that I arranged to take all my kit to the shop and do the demo again. But in fact this never happened as I heard the 802s in other setups and became convinced anyway (actually whilst comparing them to Mezzo Utopias).

    I can't believe the Classe gear was at fault; B&W themselves now use Classe. It could have been for any of a number of reasons. Nevertheless, that was our experience, make of it what you will.

    I really envy your position, a chance to get a whole system at once. Most of us have to 'evolve' the system as funds allow, and make loads of mistakes along the way. Just don't be in a rush and keep doing what you are already; ask for input and then test, test, test.

    And yes, as someone pointed out, the room is *critical*. I speak from bitter eperience; ours is truly gorgeous and sonically awful. Budget for getting the room right.

    Jeremy.
     
  15. poda

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    Jeremy,

    there is a little box that can help you out there;)

    Regards

    Michael
     
  16. zcaps57

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    daninthemix, good points. Thanks. :)
    What are you using to drive those KEFs ?
     
  17. zcaps57

    zcaps57
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    Phil, very good point. I'll dig harder.
     
  18. daninthemix

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    At the moment Marantz KI amps - soon, hopefully, a Chord power amp + Theta processor. All in the air at the mo though...
     
  19. zcaps57

    zcaps57
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    Gordon, you're now in my Christmas card list. :D

    P.S. Gosh... yeah.. 800 would be real nice. too expensive though. :(
     
  20. zcaps57

    zcaps57
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    Theta ? :eek: Casablanca II ? Wow. What's the retail price for one of those with Xtreme DAC for 4 or 5 channels ? I am scared to ask!
     
  21. zcaps57

    zcaps57
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  22. daninthemix

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    Not going for the Extreme DACs - they only ouput balanced, and the Chord I'm looking at is only RCA. To my knowledge no Chords are true balanced anyway.
     
  23. zcaps57

    zcaps57
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    Jeremy,

    if I were you, I wouldn't worry about it one bit. I would be very happy with either N802 or Sig805 as far as SQ's concerned. - Currently preferring the size of N802. - can't help it. :D
    But... sound from Sig805 was very surprising, indeed.

    FWIW, the Classe amplifier used was CA-301.

    EDIT:
    By the way, good point. I might as well have another audition at different dealer.

    Also, another impression I got from Sig805 was that Sig805s wouldn't match with Nautilus line of centre speakers such as HTM1 and HTM2. Sig805 sounded just different from Nautilus series.

    This is a problem. Because if I go for Sig805 for a centre channel as well, I'll end up raising my screen since Sig805 on stand would be about 1M or a bit higher.

    To avoid this, I have to go with Sig HTM1 so that it can be stand mounded on a dedicated centre channel stand which can be placed under my screen, but the finish of Sig HTM1 is in "Grey Tigers Eye" only. LOL!
     
  24. zcaps57

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    Hmm... wouldn't balanced XLR connection be better in terms of S/N ratio, especially for long runs ? At least in theory, that's what I've heard. What's you take on this ? :)
     
  25. daninthemix

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    True - I believe Theta themselves suggested a 3dB increase in s/n with balanced. But my 'long connections' will be all of .5 meter, and the improvement in power amplification over the alternative (which for me would be Theta) makes it worthwhile I think.
     
  26. zcaps57

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    So. your going to use short RCA-unbalanced to your amplifier, and long speaker cables ? (surrounds etc)
     
  27. daninthemix

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    Ah, well - may I refer to this point I made on page 5: "2. I have a small room"

    From amp to the front three speakers, you're looking at about 2 meters. To the rears more like 8. But who cares about rears anyway? (sorry!! I know they are important but I've somehow grown to despise the extra cost they add to a setup vs. what they bring to it!)
     
  28. NicolasB

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    I'm pretty sure they do the Signature HTM (without the "1") in a red finish as well.
     
  29. ReTrO

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    The Signatures are available in both finishes that I am aware of.
     
  30. zcaps57

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    hmm... according to B&W website, only Signature805 is available both in 'Grey Tiger's Eye' and 'Red Bird's Eye'.

    Signature 800, Signature HTM, and Signature SCM are available only in 'Grey Tiger's Eye'. - according to their website(specifications)

    I wonder why they make only Sig805 in red bird's eye. I guess it's either they haven't updated their web, or red bird's eye finish is due to relase soon for their Signature range. :confused:

    Red bird's Eye finish of Signature 805 looks fabulous...exellent build quality... I haven't actually seen Grey Tiger's Eye, though. ;)
     

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