|B&W Debuts New 800 Series|
|Home Theater News Floorstanding Loudspeakers News|
|Written by AVRev.com|
|Wednesday, 29 December 2004|
In coordinated launch events in London and New York, Bowers & Wilkins has announced a new flagship 800 Series, due to be available worldwide from B&W’s authorized 800 Series dealers on January 15, 2005.
The new 800 Series’ greatest innovation is the pure diamond dome tweeter used by the six top designs, identified by the “D” suffix of their model names. The diamond dome technology began as a research project but became more important as listeners reported that the diamond dome tweeter contributes an absolute transparency, according to B&W.
The remaining models in the 800 Series (denoted by an “S” suffix) use the alloy domes developed for the acclaimed Signature Series, and improve on the original Nautilus 800 models.
B&W’s use of Nautilus tweeter tubes continues in the new 800 Series. Moreover, in all models the mechanical design has undergone further refinement and is considerably better damped and more isolated from energy in the main cabinet.
FST Midrange Driver
All of the new 800 Series’ three-way systems utilize an improved version of B&W’s FST midrange driver including an aluminum phase plug and neodymium magnet system, as well as an improved chassis design. The Marlan sphere/tube ‘head’ continues, but with detail changes to its interface with the tweeter tube.
B&W is using a new cone with a sandwich-construction of carbon-fiber skins and a core of Rohacell, a rigid foam widely used in the aerospace industry. Rohacell cones are not unique to B&W, but until now their manufacture has been limited to the 1 - 2mm (0.04 – 0.08 in) thickness range.
The new 800 bass drivers are 8mm (0.3 in) thick, which increases the suppression of sound transmission through the bass unit itself.
The crossover feeding the tweeter section in all of the new 800 Series uses a single series capacitor developed by B&W with a European component manufacturer, and physical placement of the tweeters has been moved slightly forwards, towards the listener, to maintain phase coherence with the midrange driver.
On all models in the new series, the main curved part of the cabinet is formed from a single piece of layered ply, eliminating a join at the rear of the cabinet. All models continue to use B&W’s patented Matrix bracing system.
An important development embodied by two of the new 800 Series’ subwoofers is the introduction of digital room correction, which improves the performance and integration of a subwoofer into real-world rooms by automatically optimizing its frequency response to reduce the impact of measured anomalies in room acoustics.
All of the new 800 Series models are available in Cherrywood, Rosenut and Black Ash wood finishes. All models will be available January 15, 2005 except the ASW875 and ASW865 subwoofers, which will be available Spring 2005.