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Bowers and Wilkins 802D2- Rosenut (pair) USED

PRICE:
Regular price $9,100.00 USD
Regular price $15,000.00 USD Sale price $9,100.00 USD
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CONDITION: Used

description

Very good condition,  no visible defects/blemishes, conservatively rated due to age. We Installed new into customers basement where they remained for their entire life.  Includes original factory packaging, grills, jumpers and original owners manual.  Speakers are fully functional and sound great. 

  Speakers must ship freight due to size/weight

Sound

With all of these improvements, I was eager to plant myself in my listening chair and spend some hours exploring the boundaries of B&W’s new 802 Diamonds. I began by listening to "Desire," from Boz Scaggs’s Dig (CD, Virgin 8 10635 2). The track begins with a deep, forceful bass line that can be challenging for some equal or lesser speakers to communicate accurately. The result can be blurred or bloated bass with less-than-ideal definition. Through the 802 Diamonds I could hear none of this; I was treated to cleanly defined bass that was textured and detailed enough for me to hear the bass-guitar strings being plucked in the background, the tone of each note easily differentiated. As the track progresses, a tambourine plays consistently off to the right, later complemented by a triangle on the left. The enhancements made to the diamond tweeter and crossovers were evident here: I could clearly hear the tambourine’s zils shimmer each time the instrument was struck. What’s more, the combination of transient speed and air with which the zils were presented contributed to a very convincing sound.

I had a similar response to the timing and natural decay of the triangle. I’m used to hearing the triangle farther back on the stage, with a fast transient attack and little decay. The 802 Diamonds painted a completely different picture, positioning the triangle more forward on the stage, with longer decays. Despite being impressed by the individual improvements made in driver integration, transparency, and timing, I was most impressed by their cumulative effects, particularly with respect to imaging. In this track, Scaggs’s voice is positioned center stage, above his electric guitar and between the triangle and tambourine. I state this not to be obvious, but because the degrees of dimensionality and solidity with which the image was presented allowed me to do so.

The placement of Scaggs and his guitar on the stage, and the realism with which they were portrayed, were the best I’ve heard from any B&W speaker, period. The crossover’s integration of the outputs of the midrange driver and tweeter was seamless, allowing for such textural cues as the grain in Scaggs’s voice, and the breath supporting it, to be easily heard without either driver drawing attention to itself. This isn’t to say that there was no room for improvement. Despite being imaged solidly in the vertical and horizontal dimensions, Scaggs’s voice was slightly more forward than his guitar, which made it sound as if someone else were playing behind him. I’ve also found that the Kevlar B&W uses in their FST midrange drivers has a slight inherent coloration that, in direct comparisons with speakers such as the Wilson Audio Sophia 3 and Revel Ultima Salon2, is consistently audible, particularly with male voices. Those minor quibbles aside, I felt as if I were listening to "Desire" in a new light through the 802 Diamonds.

Wanting to hear how the B&Ws would handle female voices, I cued up "Good Morning," from Norah Jones’s latest album, Little Broken Hearts (CD, EMI 7 31548 2). With this simple arrangement -- just an electric guitar to the right, and a Rhodes piano in the background offset by an acoustic guitar -- I was able to focus on Jones’s voice, which was well textured and solidly imaged at dead center, with a healthy dose of in-the-room realism. The next track, "Say Goodbye," is a playful one that involves a number of instruments, adds a bit of reverb to Jones’s voice, and is supported by a punchy kick drum. Despite the fact that a lot is going on in this arrangement, the 802 Diamonds never sounded congested, clearly delineating everything onstage without ever sounding as if they were dissecting the music.

I moved on to a 24-bit/192kHz recording: Eva Cassidy singing Paul Simon’s "Bridge Over Troubled Water," from Best of Audiophile Voices V (24/192 FLAC, Premium). The 802 Diamonds really opened up when fed hi-rez material, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Cassidy’s voice now lacked much of that Kevlar coloration, sounding clearer and more neutral, with just the right amount of warmth. The 802 Diamond also had no problems fully communicating the dynamics and power of her voice without sounding bright, regardless of volume level. In fact, the 802 Diamonds remained in control even when pushed aggressively by my Classé CA-M600 monoblocks, filling center stage with Cassidy’s voice and the bass and drums, each of which maintained its sense of scale. Moreover, every instrument on stage was believably defined in three dimensions -- opposed to what I’d noted of the positioning of Boz Scaggs’s electric guitar in "Desire." I also appreciated the shimmer and decay of the cymbals in the Cassidy track -- they sounded very natural, reminiscent of what I’d expect from a ribbon tweeter.

Listening to "Ride Across the River," from Dire Straits’ Brothers in Arms (SACD/CD, Vertigo 9 87149 8), I was again reminded of just how well the 802 Diamond balanced all its attributes in an overall warm, musical character. Here, with the volume turned up well beyond any sane level, the resolution of high-frequency detail was present in spades, but in such a way that it never drew attention to itself. This was evident not only in how clearly I could hear the beads in the shakers, but also by how natural they sounded, and how easily I could determine the amount of force used to create that sound. Mark Knopfler’s voice remained controlled, retaining its warmth and liquidity, and microdynamics were portrayed accurately and naturally. This midrange warmth extended through the midbass as well, allowing the tone of the bass to be clearly delineated and its texture to be easily perceived. The lowest frequencies were firmly articulated, with no perceivable dips, which let me hear and feel them without dwelling on them.

No matter what I threw at it, the 802 Diamond maintained its warm, smooth composure, presenting everything with a relaxing yet confident ease. When a speaker can sound convincing with everything from pop music on "Red Book" CDs to high-resolution audiophile recordings, I appreciate it.

Conclusions

About a year ago I got engaged, and quickly became acquainted with the four C’s of diamonds: cut, clarity, color, and carat. During my time reviewing Bowers & Wilkins’ new 802 Diamond loudspeaker, I quickly became acquainted with the four D’s of their new tweeter: detail, depth, dimension, and dynamics. In the end, I was smitten with these speakers, and forced to move them up from my "love to own" category to "must own."

That said, I can’t tell you to go out and buy a pair. I can tell you that if you’re in the market for a new set of reference-quality full-range speakers, you absolutely must hear the 802 Diamond before you buy anything. Once you’ve seen it, you won’t be able to deny the amount of R&D, technology, manufacturing, quality, and refinement you get for only $15,000/pair. And when you’ve heard it, there will be no question that the 802 Diamond competes not only with its peers, but with loudspeakers costing as much as 50% more.

Faced with those facts a few months ago while shopping for a new reference speaker, I put my money where my mouth is. B&W’s 802 Diamond is my new reference loudspeaker.

Specs:
Three-way, floorstanding, reflex-loaded loudspeaker. Drive-units: 1" diamond-dome tweeter, 6" Kevlar FST-cone midrange unit, two 8" Rohacell-cone woofers. Crossover frequencies: 350Hz, 4kHz. Frequency response: 34Hz–28kHz, ±3dB, on axis (–6dB at 27Hz and 33kHz). Dispersion within 2dB of reference response: ±60° horizontal, ±10° vertical. Impedance: 8 ohms nominal, 3.5 ohms minimum. Sensitivity: 90dB/2.83V/m. Harmonic distortion (second and third harmonics, 90dB/m): <1% (40Hz–100kHz), <0.5% (70Hz–100kHz). Recommended amplification: 50–500W.

Dimensions and Weight - EACH:
44.7" (1138mm) H by 14.5" (363mm) W by 22.2" (565mm) D. Weight, each: 176 lbs (80kg) net, 196 lbs (89kg) shipping.