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How out of date would these speakers be compared to today's speakers. I have a chance to get a pair and do the mods that improve the crossovers. I think they are still a great speakers and used would make them very affordable. Or should i just look at new speakers in the store. Which wow speakers have gotten so expensive. I haven't bought speakers in about twenty years. My little 805's are still cranking the jams.
 

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The 801s are certainly a good sounding speaker but are really large and heavy. If you have a sub there really are many other speakers that will sound as good for less.
 

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The B&W 801 Matrix Series 2 and Series 3 speakers are incredibly neutral. If you can deal with the size/appearance, and if you can get them to proper height (look for the stands when you buy), I highly recommend the speakers.

I had a pair of 801 S2, which finally failed on WAF. I cannot say that I've had anything that was heads and shoulders better sonically, and the things that edged it out (Salk, Nautilus 801, etc) were far more expensive than these gems can be had currently.

Do check the state they are in though. They are old enough that the tweeter (esp in S3) can have dried up, there can be surround problems, and the crossover caps may be ready to be replaced.

*Also: though not nearly as demanding as the N801 that replaced it, I still would recommend putting some decent current under the 801 Matrix for best results. I used a Yamaha P4500S, which worked really well. I do not recommend running them off an AVR.
 

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The B&W 801 Matrix Series 2 and Series 3 speakers are incredibly neutral. If you can deal with the size/appearance, and if you can get them to proper height (look for the stands when you buy), I highly recommend the speakers.

I had a pair of 801 S2, which finally failed on WAF. I cannot say that I've had anything that was heads and shoulders better sonically, and the things that edged it out (Salk, Nautilus 801, etc) were far more expensive than these gems can be had currently.

Do check the state they are in though. They are old enough that the tweeter (esp in S3) can have dried up, there can be surround problems, and the crossover caps may be ready to be replaced.

*Also: though not nearly as demanding as the N801 that replaced it, I still would recommend putting some decent current under the 801 Matrix for best results. I used a Yamaha P4500S, which worked really well. I do not recommend running them off an AVR.
I have a pair of 801s circa 1981. I had them from the start. I had to replace capacitors in the xovers and fix the woofer surrounds. The tweeters were also replaced. They still sound very very good. I have a 25x 24 x 8 room . They need a lot of power . I use a Bryston 4 sst2 to power them.


I have them 5' away from the side walls and 3' for the front walls. I have a baby piano in between them.
 

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They used to be the standard by which all other speakers were compared. DG and other Euro recording companies used them as their mixing and mastering monitors. Many reviewer "reference" systems used them. There may be better speakers made today but not many and none for the price you will likely pay for these used ones. Highly recommended. No need to mess with the crossovers unless they are faulty.
 

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I have a pair of 801s circa 1981. I had them from the start. I had to replace capacitors in the xovers and fix the woofer surrounds. The tweeters were also replaced. They still sound very very good. I have a 25x 24 x 8 room . They need a lot of power . I use a Bryston 4 sst2 to power them.
That would be the "Series 80" version of the 801. The "Matrix" line was introduced in 1986. They look similar on the outside.

The one's that really need a good amp are the Nautilus line. There's this really steep curb on part of the impedance plot that comes up from 2ohm fast. It's not so much wattage, per say, but the ability to deal with the sharp changes in resistance.
 

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That would be the "Series 80" version of the 801. The "Matrix" line was introduced in 1986. They look similar on the outside. The one's that really need a good amp are the Nautilus line. There's this really steep curb on part of the impedance plot that comes up from 2ohm fast. It's not so much wattage, per say, but the ability to deal with the sharp changes in resistance.
They are still going strong after 35 years. They Bryston does will with these oldies in a 25x26x8 living room
 
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