Monday, September 28, 2009

Speakers - B&W 802 Series 80 - Initial Thoughts

There were two pairs of these early 80's beauties listed on our Los Angeles CraigsList in the past four days. I found the first pair Thursday evening and the sellers wanted only $400 for them. I caught the advert 2 hours after it was posted, and it turns out I was too late.

Bummed, but determined and now on a mission to find another pair, I kept looking. Then, Sunday morning another pair showed up for sale in the San Fernando Valley for $600 - more in-line with their true value of ~$800 or so. The advert was posted at 11:41PM, and I responded at 5:05AM - SCORE! See, the early bird DOES get the worm. . .or the loudspeaker.

I only had time to haul these up to the loft and plug them in last night. Listened for just a few moments, but it's too early to write up a judgment. More photos and a review coming soon.

Have any experiences with the B&W 802 Series 80 speakers? Let us know what you think: hificollector88 [at] or leave a comment.


  1. Wow, those are really good looking speakers. Now I'm envious.

  2. I heard B&W 802 back in 1988 and they had a price of 2500 DEM .Excelent speakers which needs big room and lot of power.

  3. I bought these speakers in 1982 and still enjoy theirs sound. I wouldn't exchange them for nothing else but the latest 802. The sound is still amazing.

  4. I have a set of these great speakers and need to onload them if anyone is interested. I live in the backwaters of Oklahoma and there just isn't a market for them here. contact for details.

  5. lol. Did you ever think that the flipper that bought them for $400. turned around and resold them for the $800? I mean, come on, kinda suspicious that 2 pairs wud show up within a weeks time. Man I haven't seen 1 pair for sale here in Toronto for a long long time.

    Anyways, its all good. They are amazing speaker'z
    I love mine.

  6. Yes, actually - the thought occured to me that I bought them for a higher price than the person who sold them to me, but - I also made $200 profit when I sold them after three weeks. It's all in the game :) Thanks for your post.


  7. Why did you end up selling them, Tom? They look fantastic and I've read so many great reviews about them too. Was it the Vandersteen 3A's that pushed them out? :-)

  8. There was a frequency "hole" or dip right at the top of the vocal - midrange, around 7,000 HZ. Drove me nuts. I had a couple other friends listen to them and it didn't bother them as much, but they also weren't the ones who shelled out the cash to buy them :) And yes, my favorites, the Vandersteens helped push them out of the loft. You're right though about their looks. Some people think they are ugly, but man - very unique and great-looking speakers, especially with their grills off. W8...are we describing speakers or girls here?!? Ha! Thanks for your comments.

  9. Hi, I bought some years back B&W 801 80 series.
    I thought I bought the 'Matrix' system. Finally I found out they were the type before this 'Matrix' system. I paid 2000 euro! Ripped me off, that guy.
    I think they sound awful. The bass is weak and they don't sound clear. At higher volume, the bass speakers cannot handle and make this awful blob blob sound what brings me ciris. I bought 2 more, for only 400 euro. They sounded exactly the same. So this was the standard in the sevebties? I almost cant believe.
    They look similar as yours but only one big woofer. Big and heavy like washing machines. And now they are stored at my mothers place. Can I do something to upgrade them? I would like to love them. (I still have B&W's,.. TheDM640. They sound really great. Tweeters sound a little sharp at high volume. And the lowmid section is a bit weak. But, I like them. And I have DM802’s They sound good. The tweeters are better then in the 640’s)
    Greetings Hugo Peeters

  10. I bought 801 80 series a few years ago, had experienced same as the above. Checked the circuits inside, very dirty, so cleaned using special circuits cleaner, sounds much better, a few months later, cleaned all speakers' fixing as well as detatchable cable to the bass unit. At the end of the day, they are over 30 years old, circuits are so dirty. The outcome was astonishing, it is physical experience, 3D, body massage. You need to separate those over 3M, incredibly sensitive to the amp, sounds completely different, so need to choose your favourate amp as well, I thought. I love to listen to these when it was perfect condition.

  11. I would like to sell my pair of vintage B&W Series 80 Model 801 speakers I got from their original owner who purchased them in the 80's. My intent is to sell locally in SW Florida, but I suppose shipping can be arranged. If anyone is interested, please check my Craigslist posting under Lee County, FL asking $1,000. Thanks.



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