Für alle B&W Freaks erste Daten:
Available globally on 15 January 2005
Significantly broader range of models
Standard speakers markedly better than the previous Signature series, for only a small step up in the price for the previous standard range (makes the price rises seem so much better!)
Diamond series even better again in quality with the new tweeter!
All new bass drivers based on having a sandwich construction using carbon fibre skins and a Rohacell® core.
Upgraded FST midranges using the technology from the Signature 800 (aluminium phase plug and neodymium magnet system) and a further improved chassis design.
Standard tweeter based on the previous Signature series Aluminium dome (response up to 50Kz)
Diamond Tweeter in the D series range offering even better performance up to 70 Khz
Both Tweeters frequency low end frequency response improved allowing a first order capacitive filter for the tweeter, giving smoother high frequency integration and phase response.
Upgraded crossovers using higher quality components
Cabinet designs based on an improved version of the signature series (e.g. continuous curved back panels and even greater rigitity bracing.
Model overview and pricing (US $):
800D $20,000 a pair - A 3-way system comprising 2x 250mm (10 in) Rohacell bass drivers, 1x 150mm (6 in) Kevlar FST mid driver and a 1x 25mm (1 in) diamond dome tweeter. Contains several unique refinements, most notably the ultimate in crossover capacitors using silver and gold metals.
801D $16,000 a pair - A 3-way system, comprising 1x 380mm (15 in) Rohacell bass driver, 1x 150mm (6 in) Kevlar FST mid driver and 1x 25mm 1 in) diamond dome tweeter.
802D $12,000 a pair - A 3-way system, it comprises 2x 200mm (8 in) Rohacell bass drivers, 1x 150mm (6 in) Kevlar FST mid driver and 1x 25mm (1 in) diamond dome tweeter.
803D $8,000 a pair - The 803D is a completely new speaker introduced as result of market feedback with the aim of providing something of the performance levels of the flagship 800 models but using a more conventional looking cabinet. Of slightly larger dimensions than the 803S, the 803D is a 3-way system comprising 3x 180mm (7 in) Rohacell bass drivers, 1x 150mm (6 in) Kevlar FST mid driver and 1x 25mm (1 in) diamond dome tweeter.
803S $5,500 a pair - A 3-way system comprising 2x 180mm (7 in) Rohacell bass drivers, 1x 150mm (6 in) Kevlar FST mid driver and 1x 25mm (1 in) alloy dome tweeter. The 803S’s cabinet, and internal Matrix, have been revised to increase stiffness, which has resulted in an increase in weight of 11kg (25 lb) over the previous 803 model.
804S $4,000 a pair – The entry-level 3-way model in the 800 Series and comprises 2x 165mm (6.5 in) Rohacell bass drivers, 1x 150mm (6 in) Kevlar FST mid driver and 1x 25mm (1 in) alloy dome tweeter.
805S $2,500 a pair - Builds on the huge success of the Signature 805, offering greatly improved performance from the same cabinet design. It is a 2-way system comprising 1x 165mm (6.5 in) Kevlar bass/midrange driver and 1x 25mm (1 in) alloy dome tweeter,
SCMS $2,200 a pair - Based on the 805S and designed to offer 800 Series performance from an on-wall location. It comprises 1x 165mm (6.5 in) Kevlar bass/midrange driver and 1x 25mm (1 in) baffle-mounted alloy dome tweeter.
DS8 $3,000 a pair - A new rear channel speaker designed for both dipole or monopole operation, selectable via a 12V trigger or mechanical switch. It comprises 1x 165mm (6.5 in) Kevlar bass/midrange driver, 2x 100mm (4 in) Kevlar midrange drivers and 3x 25mm (1 in) alloy dome tweeters.
HTM1D $8,000 each - The new flagship centre channel of the 800 Series. Referred to internally as the ‘Hummer’, it, for the first time, offers the Marlan head unit of the flagship 800 models in a centre channel. It comprises 3x 200mm (8 in) Rohacell bass drivers, 1x 150mm (6 in) Kevlar FST driver and 1x 25mm (1 in) diamond dome tweeter.
HTM2D $4,000 each - A new model offering the diamond tweeter in a more conventional cabinet. It comprises 2x 180mm (7 in) Rohacell bass drivers, 1x 150mm (6 in) Kevlar FST driver and 1x 25mm (1 in) diamond dome tweeter.
HTM3S $2,500 each – Similar to outgoing Nautilus HMT1 and comprises 2x 165mm (6.5 in) Rohacell bass drivers, 1x 150mm (6 in) Kevlar FST driver and 1x 25mm (1 in) alloy dome tweeter.
HTM4S $1,300 each - Builds on the outgoing Nautilus HTM2 and is near identical acoustically to the 805S. It comprises 1x 165mm (6.5 in) Kevlar mid/bass driver and 1x 25mm (1 in) alloy dome tweeter.
ASW875 $TBA each - (1x 380mm / 15 in) Rohacell bass driver, coupled to a 1000w power amplifier and B&W’s digital room correction system.
ASW865 $TBA each - (1x 300mm / 12 in) Rohacell bass driver, coupled to a 1000w power amplifier and B&W’s digital room correction system.
ASW825 $TBA each - Identical to the outgoing ASW800, except for the upgrade of a 300mm (12 in) Rohacell cone driver.
Some useful links:
Copy of B&W’s Press Release which is well worth reading
Article in Stereophile by Kalman Rubinson (technical features - not listening!)
Thread in avsforum (US forum tracking news on the new speakers)
Thread in avforum (UK Forum tracking news on the new speakers)
Article in Portuguese hificube site (nice pictures - so here's a link to Google to translate it to English automatically!)
Some comments on mixing and matching:
One of the design goals that B&W had for the new Nautilus range was to preserve the investment made by existing owners by allowing “mix and matching”. To support this, the new range deliberately retained the same visual look and aesthetics as the previous range. With the Nautilus range already being extremely neutral, maintaining a compatible sonic signature was also a natural outcome.
The new Standard or Diamond series front speakers can be added to an existing surround sound system using older model Nautilus rear speakers. Equally the new Standard range surround speakers (SCMS and DS8 ) can be added to systems with older model Nautilus front speakers. ASW subwoofers are fully compatible across the new and old Nautilus ranges.
B&W do, however recommend that the front speakers are maintained of the same series wherever possible to maintain a seamless soundstage. Recommended combinations are:
1) 800D or 801D or 802D with HTM1D
2) 802D or 803D with HTM2D
3) 803S or 804S with HTM3S
4) 804S with HTM4S
So we don't have to replace everything to buy the new range
Will B&W be providing upgrades for existing owners? - No too much has changed and the cost of the all new drivers, crossover and speaker mountins would not be worth it.
Are they really that much better? - Apparently so - B&W and a few select people who have heard them are very confident that the standard models in the new range are substantially better than even the Signature Series in the current range
When can I hear them? - Some dealers (USA and UK) will have demo stock by the new year for orders for delivery 15 January 2005. Manufacturing is underway to allow dealers who commit to have initial stock shipped for then.