The new B&W 804 D3 speaker is the only “traditional” looking speaker in the new 800 D3 range. At a quick glance, it’s easy to mistake it for the previous D2 version. It is also easy for someone to mistake it as just another tower speaker, but don’t be fooled by its modest exterior. Internally there are technologies incorporated into its design that would make many speaker manufacturers envious.
Like all D2 and now the D3 versions of the 800 series, B&W own diamond tweeter has been used to give this a very sweet sounding high frequency reproduction. But what has changed from the previous version to the current model, is the tweeter’s housing has been completely redeveloped. Now, the diamond tweeters housing is made from a single piece of billet aluminium, that is virtually resonance free. It may not seem like a drastic improvement on paper, but listening to it the differences are clear as night and day.
As we move down the speaker from the diamond tweeter, we reach what is probably the most recognizable change, at least visually, to the 804 D3 from its predecessor. The Continuum Cone FST midrange drive unit; silver has replaced the classic yellow Kevlar midrange unit we all associate with B&W speakers. It has been noted by B&W that the new silver Continuum cone took over eight years to develop in order for it to be able to retain all the richness, yet negate break-up behaviours that were found in the yellow Kevlar FST cones. Another noticeable attribute is how the Continuum driver now protrudes from the cabinet (as does the two bass drivers) which is said to help reduce the influence of standing sound waves on the front baffle. So, are the midrange improvements noticeable? Most certainly. Vocals sound more lifelike and instruments, particularly acoustic guitar, have a presence and tonal quality, I’ve never heard with any B&W speaker before. The more you listen to the midrange on the 804 D3, the more you fall in love with it.
Onto the two 165mm bass units. Made of new material B&W is calling Aerofoil, these drive units have been created with the aid of computer modelling. With various thickness throughout the cone’s material, B&W were able to increased (or decrease) thickness where further support was needed. All this bring the low frequency response to a new level of performance. Going from the D2 to the 804 D3, the bass is snappy, hard hitting, and surprisingly agile without distorting, giving a rhythmic sound that is going to be hard to beat. There is defiantly more low end grunt to the D3 but yet it not over done nor is that any unwanted bloom heard. I think a lot of it has to do with how well balanced this speaker is (and for the matter, the rest of the new 800 D3 range).
The 804 D3 has a universal chameleon like adaptability that truly shines through when the end listener hooks them up to their system. What exactly do I mean by that? Say you have a real hard hitting system that likes to go loud – no problem. Or, say you have a warmer and inviting sound to your system – no problem. Or say you have a system that is very detailed and like to draw all the gradations of the music – no problem. Whatever you like about your system, the B&W 804 D3 will surely help you hear it. This is one of those speakers that will find itself in many systems due to the level of performance it produces and that it beats out most four-figure speakers its put up against.
Come in and have a listen to the B&W 804 D3 speakers…it will be a treat to your ears.
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For availability of the 804 D3 click HERE