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richieb

Heard a $40K rig yesterday - pretty impressive

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A local brick mortar A/V is calling it quits and I took advantage buying what I am sure is one of a last few new Samsung plasma big screens.

I've got one of those too (60-inch F8500). Sweet picture. Inky blacks.

I have a 65. Very nice

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I beleive it... I heard your Palladiums in person.
and what did you think of these? comparable to your scala 2's?? 

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A local brick mortar A/V is calling it quits and I took advantage buying what I am sure is one of a last few new Samsung plasma big screens. In the "big room" - B&W Nautilus 802D, Classe 600 watt monoblocks, AR tube hybrid preamp, high end table, cables, DAC etc. totaling around $40-45K. I must say where most of us here have good if not great sounding rigs, me included, this level of gear is in a different league. And yes it sounds very, very good. Extremely clean, crisp, almost too much bass to the point of bloat but an effortless hi end sound. A real clinic on hi end "hi fi" presentation. Whatever the hell that might be. Through it all each piece showed tremendous build, engineering quality. No doubts there.

 

I've always been a fan of B&W speakers. I've actually owned a set (albeit smaller bookshelves, but have spent numerous occasions auditioning their big boys).  I have also owned Audio Research tube gear and Classé amplification (have one in my possession at the moment).  But let me state this, the better Klipsch models do not take a back seat to these setups.  In fact, some would say when done right, they can be better.  I would be one of those.

 

The best sounding system I've had set up in my own home thus far consisted of stock 1978 Klipschorns powered by either Wright Sound 2A3 SET monoblocks or Juicy Music pCAT monoblocks.  Preamps were the Juicy Music Peach and also from Cary Audio.  Source was a Theta Digital transport and DAC combo from the late 90's.  The sound coming out of this sytem was as enjoyable as I have heard.  The room they were set up in must've been just right as every single time I turned it on I could not believe how incredibly good it sounded.  I used to think the more expensive brands outperformed even the best Klipsch speakers, but my mind has been changed.

 

I've relayed this story several times but I'll restate it again.  At one time I had an extra pair of Klipschorns that I was selling and someone came over that was interested in hearing the Klipschorns as he knew of them but had never heard them.  He was an "audiophile" who only knew of their "lower class" status per his friends and the audiophile community he frequented.  He explained to me that he had significant disposable income but only one hobby to spend it on.  He preferred to buy used so that he can buy and sell to try out different gear without taking a significant loss in the process.  The gear he owned at the time had a value of somewhere between $30-40k (his preamp alone was a $10k Audio Research Reference model).  So I demoed my system for him and he spent well over an hour listening to different types of music (jazz, vocals, classical, rock, dance, acoustic, etc. -- just about every piece I had that was well-recorded).  He couldn't believe the sound and wanted to know every piece of equipment I was using from amplifiers to cables and speaker wire.  The fact that the speakers were being powered by 3-1/2 Watt amps blew his mind.  Not only did he buy my Klipschorns, he would've bought my entire system if I had been willing to sell it all.  The speakers that the Klipschorns would be replacing -- Avantgarde!  The most telling comment he gave me was this one -- he told me straight up that my system sounded better than his friend's $100,000 Wilson Audio system.  That gave me validation that the great sound I was hearing wasn't just in my own head.

Edited by JMON
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I'm an imaging freak.

The guy I bought my KHorns from wanted me to hear his 802D. They didn't image at all but he was very happy with the 'upgrade' over the KHorns.  Got the KHorns home and they didn't image at all!  Turns out one of the crossovers had the mid-driver wired in reverse polarity. Once that was sorted out they disappeared from the room.

I'm sure that 802D properly setup can be awesome. Those I heard were not.

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I heard a very similar system at our local hi fi shop and thought it sounded awful. Bass was bloated and everything seemed smeared together. I asked my wife what she thought of it and she took the words right out of my mouth. We listened to take 5 and it didn't resolve a lot of the dynamic parts. It had to be the room, or the mono blocks which were 15k a piece. Lots of people like the 802's so something most likely was amiss...

Edited by juniper

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I have heard demos of the B&W 802 since they first arrived at the high end audio shops.  My most recent listen was at a Magnolia room. It was a nice sealed quiet room, they were powered by 300 watt Mcintosh monos. I found their soundstage shrunken, vocals sounded miniature. I have become used to my Epic CF3's. With their 9"x13" horn centered between the 2 10" drivers, they put out a huge bold effortless voice that just makes ones listening experience much more enjoyable and the hearing of little 1" tweeters far from ideal. Pass.

Edited by shiva

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It's interesting to me that Abbey Road Studios uses B&W 805N speakers for monitoring (among other systems). How much different are they than the 802 series?

 

Bruce

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The best B&W speakers I ever heard were the Matrix 800.  I used to go to my local dealer all the time to listen to them.  They had them powered by some big Krell monoblocks.  I don't think I like their newer versions as much.

 

anaylsis_plus_system.jpg

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I have heard 802D's with a good amp and acoustic treatments. Damn good sounding speakers. I will say though that, in my opinion, you can do far better for the money with a pair of Klipsch RF-7 II towers if you do a few easy mods to them (better bracing, damping, and crossover network). With these upgrades done, Klipsch towers can quite easily keep pace with the B&W towers and even beat them, as I have heard both. :) Just my opinion, take it with a grain of salt. :P

Edited by ninjai18

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I beleive it... I heard your Palladiums in person.
and what did you think of these? comparable to your scala 2's?? 

 

 

 

I have to be careful... I dont want to upset anyone :).

 

the Palladiums are definitely very nice, but tiger didnt have them set up to perfection because he was moving things around and doing some refurbishing of his home. The LSII's/CW set up I have right now is D-I-A-L-E-D in... it sounds so dimensional and really quite good. I have some more mod's coming very soon that should hopefully take care of the heat from the mid range and balance everything out quite nicely.

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