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Author Topic: B&W speaker question  (Read 23301 times)

Bob Boyd

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Re: B&W speaker question
« Reply #30 on: September 07, 2007, 02:44:31 pm »

Julio Di Benedetto wrote on Mon, 03 September 2007 07:13

....McIntosh MC252.  I could hear the difference  but it was not until the Classe was back in my hands and i did a side by side comparison that the  beauty of the sound from the McIntosh was revealed.  The Classe made the Speakers sound brittle and hollow, the McIntosh made the speakers sound  open, smooth and with a detail that was not there with the Classe.  I was astonished.  I have to say nothing so far has made such an impact on the sound of my room.  



The McIntosh MC252 is the amp I am currently using on my Egglestonworks Andra II's.  It's a fantastic amp and I wholeheartedly agree with your description above.  It blew my previous amp - a Bryston 4B SST - out of the water.  Commanding low end, smooth yet very detailed.

As a comparison I would love to hear the Pass at some point. I know that they are spoken highly of.
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Bob Boyd
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MoreSpaceEcho

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Re: B&W speaker question
« Reply #31 on: September 07, 2007, 04:00:40 pm »

Matt_G wrote on Wed, 05 September 2007 21:05


One other thing I noticed was that the mid/highs sounded seperate to the lows, like they were still 2 different boxes.


when i first brought the 805s home it sounded like everything from say 8k up was totally separate from everything below it. VERY weird. i think they just need break in time. i just left music playing through them all weekend and at some point was like 'heeeeyyyy...these sound GOOD.'
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Matt_G

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Re: B&W speaker question
« Reply #32 on: September 07, 2007, 08:05:20 pm »

MoreSpaceEcho wrote on Sat, 08 September 2007 06:00

Matt_G wrote on Wed, 05 September 2007 21:05


One other thing I noticed was that the mid/highs sounded seperate to the lows, like they were still 2 different boxes.


when i first brought the 805s home it sounded like everything from say 8k up was totally separate from everything below it. VERY weird. i think they just need break in time. i just left music playing through them all weekend and at some point was like 'heeeeyyyy...these sound GOOD.'



I don't know that break in time would cure this effect. The 802D's in the shop were a demo pair that have had hours of music played through them daily, so they are definitely run in. Perhaps you just got used to that sound after listening to them for a while? I know that any speaker will sound better after some run in time, but the separate sound of the tweeter in the B&W's is part of the design. I would imagine that the further back you listened from them the more cohesive the sound would be. I monitored about 3m from them which felt about right, but I could still feel the separation.

Matt
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Matthew Gray Mastering

Brisbane Australia

bblackwood

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Re: B&W speaker question
« Reply #33 on: September 07, 2007, 08:11:26 pm »

Matt_G wrote on Fri, 07 September 2007 19:05

I don't know that break in time would cure this effect. The 802D's in the shop were a demo pair that have had hours of music played through them daily, so they are definitely run in. Perhaps you just got used to that sound after listening to them for a while? I know that any speaker will sound better after some run in time, but the separate sound of the tweeter in the B&W's is part of the design.

Sounds more like a crappy room to me...
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Brad Blackwood
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Matt_G

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Re: B&W speaker question
« Reply #34 on: September 07, 2007, 08:25:38 pm »

bblackwood wrote on Sat, 08 September 2007 10:11


Sounds more like a crappy room to me...


I'd be silly not to rule that out, but it's interesting that others have also noticed this even auditioning them in good rooms.

Talking to the store owner he said that the 802D is pretty much completely redesigned. The low drivers are now made with rohacell & the crossovers have been optimized & of course the diamond tweeter is different & has also been aligned further forward to be slightly ahead of the midrange. I'm curious to know just how different they sound compared to N802's. Have you heard the 802D's Brad?

Matt
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Matthew Gray Mastering

Brisbane Australia

bblackwood

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Re: B&W speaker question
« Reply #35 on: September 07, 2007, 10:50:07 pm »

No, never heard the D802s - I absolutely love the N802s. While I find it hard to think B&W would actually regress in the design, I suppose anything is possible.

In my room, the N802s sound like one driver doing it all - they're quite stunning.
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Brad Blackwood
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Matt_G

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Re: B&W speaker question
« Reply #36 on: September 08, 2007, 04:35:47 am »

bblackwood wrote on Sat, 08 September 2007 12:50


In my room, the N802s sound like one driver doing it all - they're quite stunning.


Even with the subs? can you remember where you've got your LPF set on your DD12's?
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Matthew Gray Mastering

Brisbane Australia

bblackwood

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Re: B&W speaker question
« Reply #37 on: September 08, 2007, 06:28:55 am »

Matt_G wrote on Sat, 08 September 2007 03:35

bblackwood wrote on Sat, 08 September 2007 12:50


In my room, the N802s sound like one driver doing it all - they're quite stunning.


Even with the subs? can you remember where you've got your LPF set on your DD12's?


Yah, even with the subs. I have the DD12's LPF'd @ 36Hz.
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Brad Blackwood
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Matt_G

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Re: B&W speaker question
« Reply #38 on: September 08, 2007, 09:47:44 am »

Brad you may find this interesting... Just to prove I'm not hearing things, I did a search on some 802D reviews & found one done by Kalman Rubinson at Stereophile. While he praised them on the whole there were a couple of lines that stood out to me. Which I'll quote below...

Quote:

Another issue some will have with the 802D is with a feature that I found very attractive. Unlike many more timid speakers that are characterized by a slight midrange dip (such as the original Kharma Ceramique 2), the 802Ds projected the music and the soundstage out in front of them. This made listening to them sound like listening in the nearfield even when I sat, as I do, about 12' back. I found this exciting, involving, and addicting, and though I expected it to become fatiguing, over the span of months that has not happened.

...
Quote:

Wild's Baldwin piano sounded excitingly big and up-front through the 802Ds. There was tons of detail, high and low, and I could easily discern the changing resonances of the piano's body as Wild held, then released the sustain pedal. It was as if the piano was situated directly between the 802Ds, with Wild at the keyboard to the left. However, I thought I could also discern treble and bass notes as sounding somewhat separate from each other in space, and from the resonances radiating from the cabinet.

When I switched back to the Revel Ultima Studios, I needed some time to adapt before I could again appreciate my reference speakers. Even after I'd compensated for the B&W's higher sensitivity, the piano was immediately more tightly defined in space and farther away, and its details and intricacies were much less apparent. The Revels' highs often stood out brightly on the ping of treble notes. Nonetheless, I felt that the Revels integrated all of the piano's various parts into one coherent instrument, as well as revealing more of the performance space. The 802Ds were much more revealing of the piano itself, and threw it in greater relief against the backdrop of the recorded ambience. I can easily appreciate how mastering and balance engineers might find the B&W 802D a magnificent tool for hearing into a mix.


A number of things stood out to me which I've highlighted in bold. These rang true to what I was hearing when I listened to them even in that crappy show room. For instance I enjoyed the fact that you could listen to them from 10-12' away & still hear the detail of the highs & mids almost like listening to nearfields. I also enjoyed the wide & deep sound stage of the mid/highs & never felt it was too fizzy or unbalanced tonally. But what I disliked & what disarmed me was the cohesion between the high/mid & low drivers. The low mids/lows did feel like they were in a different time & space to the mid/highs. I bet if we could pull the cabinet apart & leave the dome part of the cabinet at 12' & bring the low drivers somewhere between 8-10' they might re-align at some point & regain their cohesiveness.

Anyway thought this might be useful info for those looking at the newer 802D's. Whether the N802 exhibits these same characteristics I can not say. However it was enough of a problem to turn me away from purchasing them for my room.

I think I'm going to order some Lipinski L707's & buy an extra DD12 to make stereo subs. Even risking not hearing them, I've gathered enough information to know that they are more in line with what I'm looking for in my next monitors.

Matt

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Matthew Gray Mastering

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Greg Reierson

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Re: B&W speaker question
« Reply #39 on: September 08, 2007, 09:58:07 am »

bblackwood wrote on Fri, 07 September 2007 21:50

In my room, the N802s sound like one driver doing it all - they're quite stunning.



Brad,

What's the appropriate speaker / listener orientation? That may be influencing some people's experience.

When I installed my PMCs I started with the mid drivers at ear height. When they didn't sound right I called PMC and they explained that the tweeter and mid focus about 10% down, so at a distance of 8 feet I had to have the woofer at ear height. HUGE difference.


Greg Reierson
Rare Form Mastering
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bblackwood

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Re: B&W speaker question
« Reply #40 on: September 08, 2007, 04:47:29 pm »

Greg Reierson wrote on Sat, 08 September 2007 08:58

bblackwood wrote on Fri, 07 September 2007 21:50

In my room, the N802s sound like one driver doing it all - they're quite stunning.



Brad,

What's the appropriate speaker / listener orientation? That may be influencing some people's experience.

When I installed my PMCs I started with the mid drivers at ear height. When they didn't sound right I called PMC and they explained that the tweeter and mid focus about 10% down, so at a distance of 8 feet I had to have the woofer at ear height. HUGE difference.

Greg - I'm sure it varies from room to room, but I have mine on Sound Anchor stands which raises them about 7", so that combined with the natural rear-ward tilt of the speakers, the mid-point between the midrange and the tweeters is what is 'aiming' at my ear.

Again, haven't heard the D802s, but the cohesiveness of the N802s is very, very good.
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Brad Blackwood
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Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: B&W speaker question
« Reply #41 on: September 08, 2007, 08:41:59 pm »

Bob Boyd wrote on Fri, 07 September 2007 19:44

Julio Di Benedetto wrote on Mon, 03 September 2007 07:13

....McIntosh MC252.  I could hear the difference  but it was not until the Classe was back in my hands and i did a side by side comparison that the  beauty of the sound from the McIntosh was revealed.  The Classe made the Speakers sound brittle and hollow, the McIntosh made the speakers sound  open, smooth and with a detail that was not there with the Classe.  I was astonished.  I have to say nothing so far has made such an impact on the sound of my room.  



The McIntosh MC252 is the amp I am currently using on my Egglestonworks Andra II's.  It's a fantastic amp and I wholeheartedly agree with your description above.  It blew my previous amp - a Bryston 4B SST - out of the water.  Commanding low end, smooth yet very detailed.

As a comparison I would love to hear the Pass at some point. I know that they are spoken highly of.


Hi Bob,

Thats an amp and speaker pairing I would love to hear.....

I realize we might be drifting off topic but imho I dont think you can discuss speakers without reference to the amp that drives them......sort of like talking about the beautiful design of your favorite automobile without mentioning the performance of the engine....

I would also like to hear the Pass.....I know it drives a few ME's B&W speakers on this forum and other speakers as well.

All of a sudden I have an urge to go drive my car really fast......must be all this talk of engines and B&W's
Surprised
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Mike Peake

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Re: B&W speaker question
« Reply #42 on: September 09, 2007, 09:58:05 pm »

Pardon me while I live vicariously through you folks... I remember when Brad first posted about his new PASS amp. Gorgeous. Glad to hear that it's proven to be the correct choice. Perhaps one day they'll be in my price range (currently going used for around $3500.00 on cls.audiogon.com).

http://128.121.228.176/i/c/f/1188677623.jpg

Homer Simpson drool effect...

Edit: I've just found that the Nakamichi PA7 "Stasis" amplifier I'd owned was designed by Nelson Pass, presumably the same person... And oddly, I'd have to agree with a previous statement, that there was some slightly odd HF "detachment" or "extension" going on, even in my crap rooms, on the ADAM S4C passives. I'm nowhere near your folk's league, so take it FWIW. Outstanding amp aside from that. This ADAM doesn't have the same overall coherence of the S3 or S5, so it's likely just my fault. I know that this amp is also not in the same league as the recent Pass models.
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present

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Re: B&W speaker question
« Reply #43 on: September 10, 2007, 01:28:56 am »

Mike Peake wrote on Mon, 10 September 2007 03:58

I've just found that the Nakamichi PA7 "Stasis" amplifier I'd owned was designed by Nelson Pass, presumably the same person... And oddly, I'd have to agree with a previous statement, that there was some slightly odd HF "detachment" or "extension" going on, even in my crap rooms, on the ADAM S4C passives. I'm nowhere near your folk's league, so take it FWIW. Outstanding amp aside from that. This ADAM doesn't have the same overall coherence of the S3 or S5, so it's likely just my fault. I know that this amp is also not in the same league as the recent Pass models.


That might not be your Nak, but the ART tweeters on the Adams. Some people love them, some find them sounding detached, just like you said.
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Mike Peake

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Re: B&W speaker question
« Reply #44 on: September 10, 2007, 03:31:37 am »

I've tried the ADAMs with five or six different amps, which is specifically why I bought the passive version. The Nakamichi sounded the best, but was light in the midrange and a bit glossy in the treble, compared to other amps (level-matched A/B/X testing). It did however show up as better-sounding than the budget amps we tested against. I really want to hear the new PASS stuff.

And I made a mistake in my post: the poster said that that B&W monitors had that effect, not from a particular amp. I'm just tired today; ignore my post please.
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