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Article Index
B&W 804D
Sound quality
Conclusion
Measured Performance
All Pages

MEASURED PERFORMANCE
Our frequency response analysis clearly shows the B&W 804D has the usual phase dip at crossover due to the use of a slow (first order) low pass filter feeding the midrange unit. B&W insist this gives a better sound irrespective of the dip. In practice the dip shown tends to change according to microphone position but its existence is consistent all the same.
    Tweeter output was also consistently high, peaking up by +6dB around 12kHz. This will produce audible brightness in the treble, even a treble sting. High frequency output above 3kHz was generally strong from the 804D, giving good detailing but a bright sound balance. High frequency output from the 804D borders on excessive for a so called high fidelity loudspeaker. It is far from accurate.
    The midrange unit peaks around 600Hz in the midband and will push vocals forward a bit, giving them good presence.
    A third octave pink noise analysis, not shown, shows bass output is very even down to 55Hz (foam port bungs out). Port output peaks around 30Hz and its effect can also be seen in the impedance curve as the usual dip at this frequency. Bass will be quite dry but there is sufficient subsonic output to give some low bass weight.
    Sensitivity was high at 89dB from one nominal Watt of input (2.8V) and overall impedance measured 6 Ohms. The 804D uses a 4 Ohm bass unit measures 4 Ohms across the lower midband, from 90Hz up to 700Hz, so it will draw current.
    The 804D will have even sounding bass with a dry-ish quality and some subsonic content. It will also sound bright across the midband and sharp in its treble, straying far from accuracy. It is normal as a load, good sensitivity meaning 40 Watts will make it go loud. NK

 

FREQUENCY RESPONSE

 

IMPEDANCE



 
Comments (5)
When is enough enough?
5Wednesday, 14 January 2015 22:37
Jenell Kesler
The 802's are rather large, so I understand the need to create a speaker with a smaller footprint, but why make an 804 to begin with, if the 803 is better, why not put all the effort there, cut the price with no 804 costs, and just make the higher end at a better price?

Does B&W really need to be ALL things to ALL people?
aa
4Wednesday, 10 September 2014 13:39
aa
Hi Laurie. The Monitor Audio PL300s and B&W 803Ds both have raised treble output, our measurements show. If that's the balance you like then they are otherwise well engineered and will suit the Naim SuperUniti. You should also consider the Usher Dancer Mini-2 that has a diamond tweeter like the 803D, but of smoother response and better quality: compare the B&W804D and Usher Dancer Mini-2 frequency response curves on this site. You might also like to audition Tannoys, like the DC8/10s that are great for Rock and smoother than the B&Ws and Monitor Audios. Noel
to Laurie
3Tuesday, 23 April 2013 21:41
Bert
Hi Laurie,
I compared the 804 Diamond with the Monitor Audio PL300 and found the PL300 a bit tiring with too much treble. The 804 came across much more natural. With the 804 I then compared Superuniti with NAC-N172XS+NAP250 and the latter combination was a true winner, which I bought in the end. Initially the speaker sounded a bit harsh but this disappeared in the first weeks.

It depends also on your musical taste: the 804 Diamond is magnificant for classical and acoustic, but probably less suitable for dance.

Good luck!
B&W 803Ds speaker drivers
2Monday, 01 April 2013 14:14
Waldemar Koralewski
Hi Noel. I'm well happy with that review and your conclusions. But is there any chance you could tell bit more about the B&W 804Ds speaker drivers itself. If possible some about the HTM1 centre channel as well. I'm more interested about the values and characteristics. Since my B&W 600 s3 home cinema got flooded being in garage for a while. Over decoration change. Really sad. So I decided to keep the drivers but build my own DIY speaker system. Still based on B&W but similar to the 804D with HTM1 as centre channel . So basically I'm looking to find out what is the ohm values and the frequency range of each driver. To figure out if the diamond series crossover would work well with the spare drivers I got left. Maybe I'm not for here. But any professional help I'll be much appreciated. Thanks

I do not have that information. The best solution is to salvage the parts you have and rebuild the cabinets if they are damaged, ensuring they are the same volume as before. You will not successfully re-design the 'speaker with the information you are looking for. It is a complex business requiring considerable measurement with software such as we use, Clio from Audiomatica of Italy. NK
Query
1Sunday, 10 March 2013 21:59
Laurie Hogan
Hi Noel,

I'm saving up for my first hi-fi system. Demo'd the Naim Superuniti with Monitor Audio PL300s and Proac D18s; thoroughly impressed. I'm also looking at demoing the B&W 803Ds. What else do you think i should be considering? I aim to make so with the power output of the SU until i can move up to a NAP 250/300 after paying of the initial sting.

Kind regards,
Laurie

Hi Laurie. The Monitor Audio PL300s and B&W 803Ds both have raised treble output, our measurements show. If that's the balance you like then they are otherwise well engineered and will suit the Naim SuperUniti. You should also consider the Usher Dancer Mini-2 that has a diamond tweeter like the 803D, but of smoother response and better quality: compare the B&W804D and Usher Dancer Mini-2 frequency response curves on this site. You might also like to audition Tannoys, like the DC8/10s that are great for Rock and smoother than the B&Ws and Monitor Audios. Noel

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