Saturday, October 3, 2009

Speakers - B&W 802 Series 80 - Follow-Up

"The suspect, you see my dear Watson, is right here in this room!"

After a week of listening to these speakers and not being satisfied with the sound, I finally figured out what the problem is. There's a hole in the upper-midrange frequencies that's probably being caused by a bad capacitor. . .or it could be the midrange driver, itself. In any case, one speaker sounds fantastic, and the other one is sorely lacking in the upper register.

It took nearly a week to diagnose this problem because it wasn't apparent in all the music I listened to. I just couldn't figure out why some jazz sounded great, while female vocals (and Michael Buble when really belting one) sounded anemic, flat, and . . .cheezy - good technical term.

Anyway, I wrestled both speakers out of the loft and they will be going to Orange County Speaker on Monday for a thorough work-up.

Stay tuned for their professional diagnosis, and the amount of the . . .gasp. . .bill!


  1. Hi - I'm waiting for your part III of the B&W 802 saga. Were you able to take them over to OrangeCountySpeaker?

  2. Hi - I'm awaiting for part III of your B&W 802 saga. Were you able to take them over to OrangeCountySpeakers?

  3. Hi - provide us a feedback if you can soon. I just found a pair where the seller a reputed dealer (b& w) is asking 950. Speakers seem to have had only one owner and are in good condition. B & W customer service seemed to caution buying them due to lack of spare parts at this time. Your thoughts - I do like the speakers although I always wanted to get the 801s.

  4. Araxi - The price is right for the 802 Series 80s. It really depends on how they sound to you. I found, through the help of OC Speakers, there was a frequency drop-out, a "knotch" in the 7,000 Hz range - right at the top end of most vocals/midrange. This may be indicative of a problem with this model, or just the pair I had, but I had to sell them after a few weeks because that frequency drop-out bothered me. For this price range, try a pair of KEF Reference II or maybe even Reference IIIs (got mine for $1,000, but expect a little more). Overall much better sound than the B&W. The only B&W pair that I've really liked was the B&W DM604. You can probably also get a pair of Vandersteen 2CE Signatures for about a grand - again, to my ears, better than the B&W models I've heard. Thanks for writing in. Leave a comment after you've chosen - like to hear what you decided on.

  5. can pick up the 802's for now, until you come across a pair of 801's. $950 seems a little high for the Series 80, but since it's the dealer, that's expected. I did get an update from the poster that said the mids were sort of out, probably due to the crossovers, and the pair in the picture was sold soon after that.

    I've been buying my gear on the used market with the understanding that replacement parts are either non-existent or would cost more than what I paid for the system, so I take that into account when deciding how much to pay. If something breaks and if I cannot locate the part, I would then need to sell it as parts unit, etc. But my 802 has been working just fine for the past couple of years I had them. My pair was sitting in an outdoor storage shack for a couple of years, and corrosion made their way into the voice coil gap, so I had to send two of the woofers over to Bill at MillerSound to clean them up. In the future, I may recap the crossover which contains quite a few electrolytic caps.



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