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Thread: B&W 808's

  1. #1

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    Default B&W 808's

    What are your thoughts on B&W 808's? I bumped into a pair today. I had never heard of these before, but you talk about a jaw dropper when I saw them! Just a little research tells me they were $8000 a pair when they came out and seemed to have some pretty good reviews depending on room size and what you pushed them with.

    This pair was virtually mint... even the grills. The biggest problem is powering them. They were hooked up to a 250 watt/per channel Mcintosh and it went into overload protection mode.

    Now, here is the question...to me it seems somewhat of a no brainer, but before I let my emotions take over and I go back for them (I had no way to haul them at that point or I would have brought them home)...Like I said....they are virtually mint all the way around. I would rate them a 9 easily.... I can have them for $500!!!!

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    deleted.... I would be somewhat cautious of them if the McIntosh was struggling on them. There may very well be something wrong with them. They also appear to be the red-headed stepchild of the B&W family in that some liked them alright and others hated them. Regardless, my quick search showed very little love.
    Last edited by nooshinjohn; 04-09-2010 at 12:37 AM.
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    Hmmmm, like I said, it was a love at first sight and was more an emotional thing. It isn't that the Mc couldn't drive them, it just needed more. Was like driving my Monitors with the Yamaha avr....just didn't quite cut it. But they looked sooooooo cool! I was even invited to bring my 565's for a tryout. At least they are an hour and a half away so it is not like the neighbor is tempting me.

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    Default Buckeye Tim

    Check them out, if you don't want them, and let me know if you want to send me the info.

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    Seriously? Do you realize what it takes to actually power these things? Unless you need them for a stage production or have a very large room to put them in with at least 300wpc of high current power...dont even think about it. These are a later model with nice angles on the cabinets...a nice looking piece indeed. Still, they are massive.

    They only real benefit to having these in a smallish room (under 3 brazilion sg/ft) is the chubby factor. They look so cool you get an instant chubby.

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    Was the Mac tapped right? And yes they do have the chubby factor.
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    Personally I think they are butt ugly but for $500.00 I would allready have them sitting at home. Irregardless of whether you like the looks or the sound of them you should be able to do a quick resale at $2500.00 or so, and then get something you really want. For me at least it's a no brainer.

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    IDK how they sound, but looks like a great 'flip' option, if you don't like them.
    These are for sale for $2300
    http://www.audioxsell.com/classified...8-Speakers.htm



    Some reviews/ comments....They say the 808 like about 500watts EACH...yeah bebe :D
    http://forum.audiogon.com/cgi-bin/fr...openflup&2&4#2

    07-03-09: Theprof
    I spent a lot of time with the B&W 808 AND the Matrix 800s. I used to work at B&W research and development in Steyning. I would 'borrow' the 808s for the odd show - a presentation I did and a fashion show in Arundel castle. For the latter I used a 500 watt bridged amplifier - 1 kw in total. The 808s filled the entire banqueting hall with top end audio. They are really amazing for very large rooms. However its easy to fry the tweeters as they are plastic domes. The Matrix 800s have similar power outputs but are built using matrix techniques giving less boxy artifacts. Similar problems with the tweeters which are nearly 2 inches, they can fracture under heavy load. Sound on both is more 'rock stadium' than subtle. Certainly the nearest you can get to a 'live' sound. If you can get your hands on a pair of 808s you won't be disappointed even though the sound is a bit old fashioned, its a warm tone, not clinical, and tons of power in the bottom end too.
    Theprof (Answers)
    Last edited by kcoc321; 04-18-2010 at 02:19 PM.

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    My friend had a pair of these when we lived in Saudi back in 1992. He paid about $8K for them. They really rocked the house with clean sound for parties. They don't have SDA imaging or course but they do crank out massive clean sound levels. He drove them with a Carver 1.5t amp and it worked quite well. I would buy them for $500 in a heartbeat.
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    They didn't last long. I told my bro-inlaw who runs Maggies, and another guy at work who has some huge Snells that he pushes with Classe monoblocks. When I said I decided against it....they both called the following week. Unfortunately, they didn't last long and were sold.

    I suppose, hindsight being what it is, I should have bought them when I had the chance. If I had been in my truck, I would have. I was driving the Trailblazer which would have ment a return trip (85 miles).

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    I might be snagging a pair of these later this week. Placement could be a problem!

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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckeyeTim View Post
    What are your thoughts on B&W 808's? I bumped into a pair today. I had never heard of these before, but you talk about a jaw dropper when I saw them! Just a little research tells me they were $8000 a pair when they came out and seemed to have some pretty good reviews depending on room size and what you pushed them with.

    This pair was virtually mint... even the grills. The biggest problem is powering them. They were hooked up to a 250 watt/per channel Mcintosh and it went into overload protection mode.

    Now, here is the question...to me it seems somewhat of a no brainer, but before I let my emotions take over and I go back for them (I had no way to haul them at that point or I would have brought them home)...Like I said....they are virtually mint all the way around. I would rate them a 9 easily.... I can have them for $500!!!!
    Must be a short in the x-overs or drivers. These speakers are rated at 91db and 250 watts should have no trouble at all making them perform
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    I'm picking up a pair of these on Sunday!

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    So I've got mine hooked just now. So far so good. The bigger than usual tweeter makes it not quite as detailed on the top end as I am used to with most speakers, but I am really pretty pleased. I am mostly glad that they are in good working order, as you can't get the drivers for them anymore. I am also very pleased that they come with high quality casters, as moving them around is really awkward.

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