Stereophile's 1999 Products of the Year Product of the Year
B&W Nautilus 801 loudspeaker
Runners-Up (in alphabetical order):
dCS 972 digital-to-digital converter
Linn Klimax 500 Solo monoblock power amplifier (review)
Linn Sondek CD12 CD player (review)
Mark Levinson No.30.6 D/A processor (review)
Naim CDX CD player with XPS power supply
Pass Labs X1000 monoblock power amplifier
Revel Salon loudspeaker (review)
Sonus Faber Amati Homage loudspeaker (review)
VPI TNT Mk.IV turntable
Wadia 27ix D/A processor
It seems that late-millennial high-end is an art that's constantly reinventing itself. In each category, from high-flying budget components to all-out cost-no-object statement products, each component, in its way, redefines what's possible.
The B&W Nautilus 801 walks away with the honors for Overall Component of 1999. It impressed one and all with its novel engineering approach, bold, evocative style, and huge, coherent, and focused soundstage. B&W sells lots of speakers and could easily have left well enough alone. But, like most high-end companies, they—are—driven—to do the best they can right at the bleeding edge of the art. And, not content to rest on their laurels, they ratchet that new technology right on down through the Nautilus line. Our congratulations to B&W for building the best in a worthy field of contenders. The 800 series lives again!