Polishing – the fine art of loudspeaker manufacturing

Our 800 Series Diamond loudspeakers are required to look (almost) as good as they sound. And there’s only one way of achieving this – hours and hours of attention by our skilled craftspeople.

A high-end end, high-performance loudspeaker is primarily (and rightly) judged on sound quality. The 800 Series Diamond was conceived by Bowers & Wilkins engineers as the ‘world’s most advanced loudspeakers’. Loudspeakers that not only dramatically improved upon the outgoing range, but also set new standards for high-performance loudspeakers everywhere. This, we feel we have achieved, and the new 800 Series Diamond range contain the best sounding loudspeakers Bowers & Wilkins has ever produced.

However, with great sound quality comes great responsibility, and Bowers & Wilkins was determined that the new 800 Series Diamond came close to looking as good as they sounded. No easy feat, this involves a whole new industrial design, because when form follows function, form is likely to change dramatically with new technologies.

But it also involves continued investment in the art of craftsmanship – something that has played a major part of Bowers & Wilkin ethos for decades, and is most obvious in the 800 Series Diamond.

Polishing
A major pillar in the craftsmanship is the efforts at Bowers & Wilkins’ Worthing factory to ensure that after the intensive painting process, every single speaker cabinet, Turbine head and Solid Body Tweeter assembly is hand-polished by skilled craftspeople in a highly labour-intensive process.

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At the Bowers & Wilkins manufacturing facility in Worthing UK, the polishing department takes up much of a floor. There are currently 38 skilled crafts people employed in the polishing shop, and it takes a single person a full eight-hour day to polish a single 802 D3 cabinet. This is, of course, after the paint has been left to dry for a minimum of two weeks in the case of the white models, longer for the Piano Gloss Black.

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The process is highly intricate, and involves increasingly fine tools – the very final polish is achieved using 3000 grit paper, which is incredibly fine. The goal is to produce a finish that bests even that in the high-end automotive world, and involves creating a depth of finish that is impossible without putting the (highly-skilled) hours in.

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This level of attention to detail and precision is unique to Bowers & Wilkins in the Hi-Fi world, and the result is that the best sounding loudspeaker range is also the best built and finished.

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2 Comments

  • H.Dekker says:

    I like the 800 speaker,you write same as the music.but my house had the sound ot a gra-f.chamber.
    How is the sound dan or what you expect dan? greetings,Henk.

  • Dino says:

    That’s the most amazing story from all speaker companies I’ve ever read.
    Absoloute poerty in motion completing each work of art, each model, each Bowers & Wilkins speaker.

    One day…i will understand when i have my own.

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