The traditional manufacturer Bowers & Wilkins is not one of those companies that is resting on its laurels – it is constantly being researched and optimized. A far-reaching revision has now also been made to the successful series, which is casually referred to as the “800” among those who know the subject.
B&W 800 Diamond Series – technical innovations
A recent press release said that Southwater, England, had been honing and designing for six years in order to advance the new 800 Diamond series. What remains: The series consists of seven models – four floorstanding speakers, a compact one and two center speakers for the home cinema area. And what’s new?
The most visually striking innovation is likely to be the newly introduced “Satin Walnut” color shade, which adds another stylish variant to the previous colors black high gloss, white and satin rose nut. The housing design of the stereo models is also new: the previous wooden top has been replaced by an aluminum cover plate – it provides greater rigidity and reduces housing vibrations. The eye eats too: the plates are refined with Connolly leather applications.
The tweeter-on-top design was retained, but the tweeter now resides in a newly developed, longer housing that is milled from solid aluminum. At the same time, the decoupling system was also revised, which is now based on a two-point decoupling. In addition, B&W has modified the motor unit of the tweeter so that the chassis – as the press release says – can “breathe” more freely without sacrificing performance. The result shows a lower resonance frequency behind the diamond dome tweeter.
The stereo loudspeakers 805 D4 and 804 D4 now come in a housing with an “inverted” design, which reduces the surface area of the front baffle and at the same time increases the stability of the entire system. The matrix struts inside the housing have also been improved: instead of MDF, solid wood is used, which has been reinforced with aluminum at central points.
B&W 800 Diamond Series – chassis technology
Not only the case, but also the drivers have been optimized. Although B&W still relies on Continuum as a material in the midrange, the previous tissue centering spider has been replaced by a newly developed suspension. The new so-called biomimetic suspension is a comparatively slim system and ensures that unwanted sound, which a normal tissue spider can generate, is significantly minimized.
In addition, the midrange drivers in all three-way models are equipped with a highly rigid aluminum basket and vibration dampers, and the chassis and drive systems are also fitted with spring-loaded decoupling bearings to limit unwanted vibrations. The midrange speakers of the B&W 803 D4, 802 D4 and 801 D4 reside in a stiff turbine head housing made of aluminum and are therefore acoustically securely separated from the bass housing below.
Speaking of bass: B&W uses a special material called Aerofoil. This was developed using computer simulations and consists of a lightweight foam core with a carbon fiber coating. In addition, the motor system has also been revised here, and the floorstanding loudspeakers have been fitted with a new anti-resonance plug.
So a lot of innovations – we are very excited about the new models!
Pair prices (unless otherwise stated):
- B&W 801 D4: 35,000 euros
- B&W 802 D4: 26,000 euros
- B&W 803 D4: 20,000 euros
- B&W 804 D4: 12,500 euros
- B&W HTM81 D4: 7,500 euros (each)
- B&W HTM82 D4: 5,500 euros (each)