Bowers & Wilkins launches 800 Series Diamond at CES 2010

Bowers & Wilkins launches 800 Series Diamond at CES 2010

Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series has long provided the benchmark by which all high-end speakers are judged. Five generations of 800 Series have offered an unbeatable combination of outstanding performance, the latest audio technology and stunning aesthetic design. Now the 800 Series Diamond builds on that legacy, with vastly improved performance across the board and for the first time the inclusion of a diamond dome tweeter in every speaker in the seven- model range.

Bowers & Wilkins is proud to announce the launch of the 800 Series Diamond. The first new incarnations of the legendary 800 Series for six years brings Bowers & Wilkins closer to the ultimate ambition of its founder, John Bowers – to create a transducer that truly neither adds to nor subtracts from the original signal.

The 800 Series has long been the world’s premier high-end loudspeaker range. Designed for the home, but offering levels of quality such that the most demanding recording and mastering studios in the world choose to use them. Abbey Road Studios in London and Skywalker Sound in California both use Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series.

The already un-rivalled levels of performance are boosted by the implementation of Bowers & Wilkins’ famous diamond tweeter technology throughout the whole range, including the new 805 Diamond, a speaker that brings diamond tweeters into the range of more discerning listeners than ever before.

Further major advances in audio-critical areas provide the entire range with a dramatic leap forward in terms of audio quality compared to the outgoing 800 Series. The diamond dome tweeter is now a quad-magnet design, which increases efficiency and improves the dynamic range of the top-end performance. A new surround material aids dispersion characteristics, and provides a more stable stereo image while increasing openness.

At the other end of the tonal scale, bass performance has also improved with the introduction of a new dual magnet motor system, which utilises powerful neodymium magnets. This innovative design improves the linearity of the bass drivers’ performance, therefore reducing harmonic distortion.

Serious work has also gone into the small details that combine to make a loudspeaker special. New Bowers & Wilkins-designed oxygen-free-copper speaker terminals and links ensure the signal quality into the speaker is the best possible. All models’ crossovers feature a new design of capacitor using a unique silver, gold and oil construction. This component, chosen subjectively by Bowers & Wilkins engineers, in itself provides a dramatic increase in sound quality.

Elsewhere, proprietary Bowers & Wilkins technologies such as Kevlar® FSTTM mid-range drivers, NautilusTM tube-loaded tweeters, Matrix enclosures and the unique sphere/tube heads on the two largest speakers in the range, remain as acoustically valid as ever.

All the new speakers in the 800 Series Diamond range will be introduced here over the next few weeks. Come back regularly for more updates.

59 Comments

  • Dr Rousseau says:

    Dear Buck,
    I checked the quoted net weight for the 800 Diamond compared to the previous series (800D) and indeed almost all the weight reduction is caused by the new magnet construction. The new motor system based on a neodynium magnet is substantially lighter (64% lighter in fact). So we haven’t compromised the cabinet construction. In fact, because of the lighter motor system, some of the cabinet structural resonances have been pushed further out of band, resulting in a more inert cabinet. Regarding the 802 Diamond weight figures, the use of neodynium magnets also results in a weight loss, but because the drive unit motor systems are a lot smaller in the first place (compared to the 800 Diamond), the weight loss is less noticeable.
    I hope this clarifies this issue.

    Kind regards,
    Dr. Martial Rousseau, Research and Design Engineer
    Bowers & Wilkins

  • Brian says:

    For those of us with 801D’s, will an “upgrade kit” become available? Perhaps the new improved midrange and tweeter units, and a crossover if required. I have compared the 801D to the brand new 802D2 and still find the bass to be more coherent from the single bass driver. Dual bass units lose that snap that a single driver possesses. However, the midrange and top end are clearly superior on the new 802D2.
    If an upgrade kit is not feasible, can there be a limited edition 801D2? Maybe a special 31 year anniversary model? Please continue the 801 legacy somehow…either with an upgrade kit or a new, limited edition model. Thanks B&W, you are the best.

  • Kent says:

    I’M WITH YOU BRIAN! I SURE HOPE B&W DECIDES TO BRING BACK THE 801. THE 801 WAS THE NEXT SPEAKER I PLANNED ON PURCHASING FOR A LARGE LISTENING ROOM. I THINK THE 801 IS ONE OF THE BEST VALUES IN HIGH END AUDIO FOR A TRUE FULL RANGE SPEAKER SYSTEM NOT TO MENTION ONE OF THE BEST REGARDLESS OF PRICE!

  • Brian says:

    Long live the 801D2.
    That single bass driver has a timing that is so good, you can hear the bass pedal hammer hitting the drum head. It even affects the lower midrange, making it more snappy too. I’ve had many different B&W speakers, but now, with the 801D’s I often hear real instruments in my living room. The 801D is that good.
    B&W, pretty please, with a cherry on top, bring back the 801D2 or an upgrade kit? Please.

  • Kent says:

    AGAIN I AGREE WITH BRIAN!!!!! PLEASE BRING BACK THE 801!!!!!!! BIG ROOMS ARE NAKED WITHOUT THEM!

  • corbelli says:

    +1

    I Agree with Brian and Kent.

    For me its the end of the road in B&W credibility (I´m very disapointed). I have a pair of 801D beautifull speakers in my home cinema room in Spain (a.k.a. “el bunker de corbelli”) and I had 3 pairs of 801 Matrix speakers, one pair of matrix 800 speakers (a rare, limited and incredible speaker but that not had the 801 family coherence sound) and many others B&W speakers…. This 801D it´s really the last perfect speaker made by B&W in my humble opinion…I´m sure that It´s expensive for B&W due to the weight (shipping costs), the production costs and benefits in comparison with 800 and 802 (volume, man cost, raw material,etc) ,and the worst: its a virtually indestructible speaker (except diamond diaphragm). I know that this is not the business of B&W, but its the flagship that gave the fame and prestige . Don´t forgive this. Its very important a REAL Flagship in the mind of many music lovers. A litlle error have a solution with a little change.

    :)

    PLEASE an upgrade kit, AND the promise to keep the ilussion of one more 801 in the future (The SPEAKER)…

    Another “Bring back 801″ fan community.

    PD: excuse my painfull english

  • corbelli says:

    The same comments for the B&WHTM1D….

  • corbelli says:

    In the spanish B&W 800 brochure:

    “El renacer de una leyenda…
    En 1979 redefinimos todo aquello posible en la reproducción del sonido con la
    primera caja acústica de la Serie 800, la Matrix 800.”

    Matrix 800 In 1979? First, the leyend B&W 801F (1979) after matrix 808 and matrix 800…
    Marketing for 800 number? Why 801 leyend don´t appear with the picture instead the matrix 800 label? B&W confuse their models? change the history????

    http://assets.bowers-wilkins.com/med/Libraries/3/800_Series_Diamond_Brochure_I2_3.pdf

  • corbelli says:

    Link is lost. New link In spanish:

    http://assets.bowers-wilkins.com/med/Libraries/3/800_Series_Diamond_Brochure_2010_2.pdf

    New link in english:

    http://assets.bowers-wilkins.com/med/Libraries/3/800_Series_Diamond_Brochure_Iss2_2.pdf

    Regards.

  • Brian says:

    Wanted to check with Dr. Rousseau about the possibility of an 801D2 or an upgrade kit to make existing 801D’s into and 801D2? Would it be just drivers, just crossover, or both? Thanks so much keeping the single bass driver, speaker system up to date.
    All whom I have compared still prefer the 801D to the 802D2, even with acknowledgement that the top end is clearly more detailed and faster on the new 800 Diamonds.

  • P says:

    Hello. Will it be good buy to buy the old Matrix 800 system or is it best to go for the newer nautilus models.?
    P.
    Denmark

  • Peter Jones says:

    Any hifi press reviews of the DB1?

    I support a trade in scheme for 800 series

  • Brian says:

    Dr. Martial Rousseau,
    How are the new 801D2 Diamonds or upgrade parts-kit coming along?

  • Pedro Brognara says:

    Hi Corbelli and 801D lovers

    I also own 801D. I didnt get an especial moment to compare my 801D with the new models. But when i heard the old 800D i realize this isnt at same level, they sound analytical, and fatigue sound dont have the same balance, the legend natural sound of 801s speakers. I carry the same opinion: the 801D should be the best BW i ever heard. They have an awesome frequency response, AND a great impedance curve which make them easily to drive as the old matrix models. I will do an upgrade in the future with a Krell Evolution 600 series, and then i would not change my setup for many many years :-)

  • Brian says:

    Dr Rousseau,
    Any chance of an upgrade kit for the 801D to bring it to the new, 801 Diamond status? Thanks for considering it…I really like my 801D’s but acknowledge the improvements in the crossover, midrange, and especially tweeter units in the newest 800 series line. Thanks again.
    -Brian

  • Brian Herndon says:

    B&W Engineers and Marketing:
    I’ve been quiet for almost two years. I feel there is hole between the 802D2 and the 800D2.
    I see a 34-year anniversary model 801D2! It could retail for $20,000-$25,000 USD. It could re-use the cabinet from the 801D, maybe the bass driver too! It could use the crossover, midrange, and tweeter drivers from the 800D2, with modification for the 15 inch bass driver. It seems like minimal R&D to make this happen. What do you think? Pretty please.

  • Brian says:

    Will the B&W 801D2 be announced at CES-2014 in January?
    35th year anniversary of the original 801 back in 1979…awesome!

  • Waruna says:

    Hi evryone

    Just bought the 802Diamond, only played for 15 hours so far, a bit stiff, any idea of a break-in time.
    Using the much raved and affordable ANTI-CABLE Reference cables
    USED PASS XA 160 monos, I feel that the speakers are very power hungry, I have to push up the volume to 55/83
    to get a sound-feeling, but speakers produce a good beass even at volume 15/83.

    Any comments, should I sell the amps and get CLASSE Monos??
    Any recommendations, advise is so welcome.
    Thanks everyone

  • Brian says:

    Is the 35th year anniversary 801D2 Diamond going to be announced at CES 2014, next month? Thanks B&W!

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