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  1. #1

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    Default I may have ruined myself...

    Drove about 30 min to one of these real deal hi-fi stores I have been hearing so much about. Everyone says they are becoming more and more rare, so I thought I'd better check it out. There are actually two here in Madison, WI. Read some reviews and stopped by the one that sounded like it would suit my needs. I was mainly interested in looking at amps, they mostly had NAD and Rotel. For speakers they had a small selection as well, mostly Paradigm and B&W. What they lacked in selection, however, they more than made up for in knowledge. The guy was super helpful and definitely not a pushy salesman. He answered a bunch of questions and offered suggestions. I will definitely return there at some point when I am ready to really upgrade.

    Anyway, to the point about ruining myself...after listening to some bookies and towers in the main area, he took me into a separate listening room and sat me down in the black leather chair and proceeded to play "Rooster" from AIC's unplugged album on a $15,000 pair of B & W Diamonds powered by $10,000 worth of amps!

    Not sure if music will ever sound the same...time to start putting pennies in the jar...

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    2-channel
    Sources: Pro-ject 2.9 wood Grado Gold cartridge; Oppo BDP-105; Amps: Anthem Integrated 225; PS Audio GCPH Speakers: Polk - LSi15's (sub mod)


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  2. #2

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    The 802Ds are one of my dream speakers too. They deserve the proper electronics to make them sing. I heard them paired with
    Classe' 400 watt mono block amps and I was hooked.

  3. #3

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    Are you trying to say 15K speakers sound better than 500 dollar speakers?
    They probably used some fancy speaker wire to sweeten up the sound too.

  4. #4

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    So much for everything sounding the same. I have a feeling I will be buying a pair of Wilson Sophia 3 this year. Time for some gear upgrades.

  5. #5

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    I believe those are 800Ds, but yeah, it's one of the few speakers that I even have a slim prayer of ever owning that would get me to move my modded 2.3s out.
    Are you part of the dirty digital peasants or a member of the great Analog Master Race?

    SDA Recommended Playlist https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...FZCRkdxYXVNanc

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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by rebuy View Post
    Are you trying to say 15K speakers sound better than 500 dollar speakers?
    They probably used some fancy speaker wire to sweeten up the sound too.
    Not saying they sounded $14,500 better, but yea they sounded better. How'd you know about the speaker wire? It was flat and wide. About the size of duct tape (a little thicker). The guy said it was some technology that was used for nasa, but then the funds ran out so they started making speaker wire with it. He said they had about 8 grand worth.
    2-channel
    Sources: Pro-ject 2.9 wood Grado Gold cartridge; Oppo BDP-105; Amps: Anthem Integrated 225; PS Audio GCPH Speakers: Polk - LSi15's (sub mod)


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  7. #7

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    You can do better than B&W or Wilson in that price range.
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  8. #8

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    B&W speakers are one of the worlds best at any price. They can take you places most cannot. They can reproduce sound better then just about everything on the planet.
    Whats cool about them is they have different levels starting in the 6 series. This level most can afford and get some of that sound quality you heard in the Diamond line. All B&W speakers sound good. So if you fallen in love with the 800 series and think you could never afford them , look into the lines you can. They are worth taking the leap.
    Last edited by mantis; 01-29-2012 at 10:07 AM.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    You can do better than B&W or Wilson in that price range.
    That is totally a matter of opinion sir.
    Dan
    My personal quest is to save to world of bad audio, one thread at a time.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    You can do better than B&W or Wilson in that price range.
    Sonus Faber Guarneri Mementos for ~$15K come to mind. At least IMO they do. YMMV. That's with stands. Closer to $12K without them.


    But honestly, the last time I heard a set of B&W 8XX series speakers, it was a Polkfest and they got their ass handed to them handily by a set of these:



    http://www.polkaudio.com/caraudio/pr...recent/sr6500/

    Shame you can't get them anymore though.
    Last edited by Jstas; 01-29-2012 at 10:18 AM.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

  11. #11

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    I've read on the internet that B&Ws do better w/ SS amplification vs tubes.

    Since I read this on the internet it must be true?

    I've got some B&W bookies and have been tempted to try a tube integrated - but if tubes and B&Ws are a not a good match, I guess I'll pass.

    H9: If you don't trust what you are hearing, then maybe you need to be less invested in a hobby which all the pleasure comes from listening to music.

  12. #12

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    How do you like the B&W bookies. When I upgrade from my M70's for my 2 channel, I am trying to decide if I would go for towers again or bookies and a sub. I heard some B&W bookies in the $2,000 range and they sounded amazing as well.
    2-channel
    Sources: Pro-ject 2.9 wood Grado Gold cartridge; Oppo BDP-105; Amps: Anthem Integrated 225; PS Audio GCPH Speakers: Polk - LSi15's (sub mod)


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    Amps: Sony - STR-DG1000; Outlaw 200 Mono; B&K Reference 200.2; Speakers: Polk - CS2, Monitor 70's, RC80i's; Video: Optoma HD20; FAVI HD-100


    Man Cave
    Sources: Sony PS-LX410, Denon 3910; Amps: Dared sl2000a, HK 3490, Simaudio Moon LP3; Speakers: Polk - SDA 2A's

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    That is totally a matter of opinion sir.
    If you don't mind their colorations...
    "He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And when you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you." Friedrich Nietzsche

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    If you don't mind their colorations...
    All transducers will color the sound to some degree. So perhaps you could share you wisdom regarding better speakers in that price range?
    Are you part of the dirty digital peasants or a member of the great Analog Master Race?

    SDA Recommended Playlist https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...FZCRkdxYXVNanc

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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Tracy View Post
    I've read on the internet that B&Ws do better w/ SS amplification vs tubes.

    Since I read this on the internet it must be true?

    I've got some B&W bookies and have been tempted to try a tube integrated - but if tubes and B&Ws are a not a good match, I guess I'll pass.
    It's not that they aren't a good match. The B&W's will sound fine on tubes. The problem is that most B&W speakers are difficult loads to drive due to rather robust driver construction and complicated crossover networks. So tube amps, being relatively low power on average, can't always drive the B&W speakers to a point where they perform well like they would on a high power solid state.

    So most people, instead of just listening at a reasonable level that their amp can handle, try to over-drive the speakers by cranking the volume up past the point of clipping. Since tubes don't hard clip like a solid state but rather have a progressive curve towards clipping, the over-driving sounds harsh but not like the mechanical "thwopping" of a driver being ripped apart.

    If you want to try your B&W's on tubes, have a blast! Just beware of the impedance and power level requirements for your speakers. If your tube amp doesn't have the guts to push them, you're not going to get the loudest sound out of them. But it will likely be just as pleasing as any solid state amp would be.

    BTW, I heard a B&W 6XX series bookshelf and a 7XX series bookshelf powered by a McIntosh tube pre and solid state amp at Bob and Ron's World Wide Stereo a couple years ago and they sounded just peachy with more than enough power to drive them effectively.

    Don't listen to what others say. Unless it's a physical impossibility like trying to drive original Amazings with a push-pull 16 watt tube amp. Then don't do it. But just because somebody says "it sounds bad" doesn't mean you shouldn't see it for yourself. I mean, if someone told you that the Grand Canyon was an ugly hole in the ground, would that stop you from going to see it? Wouldn't stop me. I'd still want to see what the biggest ugly hole in the ground looked like! You don't get applicable experience by just listening to what everyone else tells you is good. You get applicable experience by listening to everything for yourself and making your own opinion.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by hochpt21 View Post
    How do you like the B&W bookies. When I upgrade from my M70's for my 2 channel, I am trying to decide if I would go for towers again or bookies and a sub. I heard some B&W bookies in the $2,000 range and they sounded amazing as well.
    Well, I like them.

    I have an older pair of the CDM1NTs - got them used for about $575 locally - and for the money I'm in a very happy place....for now.

    With a sub - they image wonderfully, have a great midrange presentation and the top end 'sparkle' I prefer. Tried some LSi7s and felt they were too laid back for my tastes for the music I like.

    But as anyone who has been in this hobby knows - there is no stopping on experimenting and no substitute for ears on listening as you go on the upgrade path.

    Enjoy the journey....

    H9: If you don't trust what you are hearing, then maybe you need to be less invested in a hobby which all the pleasure comes from listening to music.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by quadzilla View Post
    All transducers will color the sound to some degree. So perhaps you could share you wisdom regarding better speakers in that price range?
    I'll let Face answer for himself but in my experience, B&W's can have crossover peaks or enclosure peaks that they try to compensate for with crossover trickery. A bunch of it has to do with some of their weirder enclosure designs. B&W is not known for their conservative enclosures like what you find in, say, the 686 bookshelfs. They are known for the fancy globes and odd baffles like the OP's original picture.

    All those odd shapes, they can be engineered and designed out the wazoo but the fact remains that when you start complicating your driver and placement designs like that you start complicating the problems you have as well. They aren't always easy to overcome. That's why the real fancy stuff costs as much as a house or car. It takes a bunch of trickery and prototyping to get things right and if you have a price-point to meet, a bunch of compromising to make the design work well enough.

    The fancy B&W's with complicated baffles providing crazy reflections and resonances that are compensated for with both active and passive crossover trickery often do not sound as clean and pure as more simplistic designs like that Sonus Faber I mentioned above.

    Here's a picture:


    That's also the "entry level" bookshelf from Sonus Faber's TOTL model series and it's positively orgasmic in audio reproduction. IMO, it's in the top 5 if not the best bookshelf on the market at any price (sorry Polk, the LSi's are VERY good but it's hard to compete with a speaker that costs 6 times what your best bookshelf costs). There's very little coloration, the enclosures are designed very well and feel more like stone than wood and those stands are acoustically dead. They make no sound at all. The baffles are well designed and have predictable reflections. The crossovers are decidedly less complicated than the B&W deals in their TOTL series as well. It ends up being just a cleaner, more balanced sound.

    It's hard to explain on an Innerwebs forum. Listen for yourself and you'll hear what Face is talking about.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face;
    You can do better than B&W or Wilson in that price range.
    Quote Originally Posted by mantis;
    That is totally a matter of opinion sir.
    And one that I completely agree with.
    "Just because you’re offended doesn’t mean you’re right." - Ricky Gervais

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  19. #19

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    I heard a set on a Mac 275 amp. I call BS on the internet!
    "The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg." --Thomas Jefferson

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by shack View Post
    And one that I completely agree with.
    Thirded

    B&W regardless of their price is still to this day one of the most boring speakers I have ever heard...
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  21. #21

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    I've heard them, too, and I wasn't ruined at all. I learned that I can be really happy somewhere south of 15K. Far south.


    Like Antarctica.
    7.1 - polk RTi10 x 3 (LCR) : FXi3 x 2 : RTi4 x 4 : MFW-15 (RIP): Yamaha Aventage RX-A1000 : Adcom GFA-7500 : PS3 : Squeezebox Touch : DIRECTV : Panasonic PT-AX200U PJ @120"
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  22. #22

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    I have a pair of 800 D's but it cost me 20,000

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by zoraduntov View Post
    I have a pair of 800 D's but it cost me 20,000
    Congrats!
    www.Vr3Mods.com ///// www.Version3Audio.com

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  24. #24

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    I know a girl that got 36 D's and it was a lot less that 20 K and more fun than speakers too.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Face View Post
    You can do better than B&W or Wilson in that price range.
    Quote Originally Posted by mantis View Post
    That is totally a matter of opinion sir.
    Quote Originally Posted by shack View Post
    And one that I completely agree with.

    Count me in. And I'll make one suggestion, ANY Focal in a similar price range to B&W will have the B&Ws for lunch, and that's only one example. I just don't understand the "fascination" with this company? There are a LOT of great speakers that cost mucho Dinero!

    Of course this is also just "my opinion". I don't like the B&W highs (tweeters that is), I never have! They're like a metal laser beam aimed at your ears...ouch!

    However, I do believe that if you were trying to create a perfect recording of "fingernails on a chalk board" B&W would be the perfect speaker to mix your recording on. lol

    cnh
    Last edited by cnh; 01-29-2012 at 12:27 PM.
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  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Tracy View Post
    Well, I like them.

    I have an older pair of the CDM1NTs - got them used for about $575 locally - and for the money I'm in a very happy place....for now.

    With a sub - they image wonderfully, have a great midrange presentation and the top end 'sparkle' I prefer. Tried some LSi7s and felt they were too laid back for my tastes for the music I like.

    But as anyone who has been in this hobby knows - there is no stopping on experimenting and no substitute for ears on listening as you go on the upgrade path.

    Enjoy the journey....
    Good on you Erik.

    May I suggest a natural progression for you would be the CDM 7NT's, one of the few B&W speakers I liked.

    Opinion gents, nobody can claim mega buck speakers aren't worth it anymore more than the owners of those mega buck speakers can claim your wasting yout time on a 500 buck pair of speaks.

  27. #27

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    I'm out.

    So what started as one Polk member sharing an experience, turns into an eye poking contest.

    Nice

    H9: If you don't trust what you are hearing, then maybe you need to be less invested in a hobby which all the pleasure comes from listening to music.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Erik Tracy View Post
    So what started as one Polk member sharing an experience, turns into an eye poking contest.
    Doesn't it always.

    The 800's aren't in my budget but the CM9's are and they sound fantastic. They're definitely a upgrade from any Polk speaker I've heard for HT but that's just my opinion. If one likes a very clean detailed speaker B&W should fit the bill.

  29. #29

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    Turns out I'm not ruined after all. I just listend to "The Band" and I rather enjoyed it on my current speakers. Am I still planning to upgrade...yes. But for now I will save that $14,700 for a down payment on our next house.

    Nice to hear all the opinions. For me, that's what these forums are about. Thanks gents.
    2-channel
    Sources: Pro-ject 2.9 wood Grado Gold cartridge; Oppo BDP-105; Amps: Anthem Integrated 225; PS Audio GCPH Speakers: Polk - LSi15's (sub mod)


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    Man Cave
    Sources: Sony PS-LX410, Denon 3910; Amps: Dared sl2000a, HK 3490, Simaudio Moon LP3; Speakers: Polk - SDA 2A's

  30. #30

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    The 802D is still one of my top speakers to have. I also have a crush on the Dali EUPHONIA MS5. So it would be either of those for me, both sound awesome.
    Shoot the jumper.....................BALLIN.............!!!! !

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