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B&W 804D LOUDSPEAKER REVIEW
Tall, slim and stylish yet seemingly hewn from hard stone, B&W's new 804D Diamond Series loudspeaker is the very epitome of the modern floorstander, says Noel Keywood...
With a worldwide reach and reputation, B&W's recently introduced high end 804D is a floorstanding loudspeaker I could not ignore. It is a domesticated version of the larger 800D and 802D loudspeakers, predecessors used in studios. Priced at £5,750 these new babies will be slugging it out with a host of rivals from KEF, Monitor Audio, Martin Logan and Tannoy. It's a hot place to be.
The 804D is a fabulously well finished, slinky looking product that strongly conveys its purpose. Not only have B&W come up with a pleasing visual arrangement of curved non-resonant panels, but they've applied a rich gloss black finish and positioned a natty looking 'Nautilus' tweeter assembly on top. The quality of detailing matches that of modern design icons from the likes of BMW and Apple, planting 804Ds firmly in a current style idiom. They feel solid and well made when handled, weighing a manageable 27kgs and standing 1020mm high. Rear terminals accept bare wires, spades and 4mm plugs, and allow biwiring.
Our review samples had been 'somewhere' and lacked the foam bungs B&W usually supply, and they also had odd screw-out whatsits on the rear, unexplained in handbook or website, that should have had stickers over them saying 'Transit Screw - Remove', we were told by B&W. Removal allows the midrange unit to float on a compliant suspension to decouple its chassis. The diamond tweeter has a removable grille.
Spikes are supplied, plus floor pads to preserve wooden floors. The 804Ds are narrow but have no stabilising plinth, so they are not for homes with boisterous children.
This is a classic three-way loudspeaker with large Kevlar coned midrange unit, aided by two reflex loaded bass units and a tweeter.