Maserati and B&W Pimp Each Other's Rides

Photo by Bowers & Wilkins

On Thursday, June 13th, British hi-fi mainstay Bowers & Wilkins and Italian luxury car manufacturer Maserati brought their Seven Notes World Tour to the Industria Superstudio in New York City’s Meatpacking District. The event presented the B&W-designed in-car audio system, the new B&W 805 Maserati Edition loudspeaker, and a performance from Howie B.

At the entrance, exquisite women in wavy, knee-cut, blue-gray dresses granted permission to enter via iPad guest-lists. Diamond ear-pierced, broad-collared male fashionistas and evenly tanned belles waited outside. Caterers handed out never-ending glasses of Prosecco with vodka and sliced pears or Prosecco with Campari and blood orange. B&W products under spotlights lined the main floor including the Nautilus, 800 loudspeaker, Zeppelin Air iPod Dock, and B&W P3 headphones.

In the back corner, guests circled around and crammed into a Maserati Quattroporte for their chance to listen to the B&W system. The vibrant-colored cocktails were confiscated before entering the automobile. The B&W audio system features fifteen drivers: five 25mm aluminum dome tweeters, five 100mm Kevlar midrange drivers, two 165mm Kevlar bass/midrange drivers, two 165mm Rohacell bass drivers, and one 350x20mm subwoofer. A 1280-Watt Class D amplifier powers the speakers.

In a short interview, Danny Haikin, Director of Brand Management at B&W, described how the B&W and Maserati relationship developed. Maserati was looking to improve their automobile’s sound, disappointed with their previous partner. Upon discussions with B&W, the two companies felt they shared much in common. B&W designed the speakers and sent blueprints to Harman in the United States to build. Audio processing is provided by Harman’s QuantumLogic Surround Sound. The B&W car audio system is currently available in the Quattroporte and Ghibli but will be in all Maserati cars in the near future.

As part of their continuing partnership, B&W and Maserati redesigned the B&W 805D loudspeaker with elements of the Maserati car interior. The outer speaker cabinet is finished with a bird’s eye maple real wood veneer like Maserati woodgrain panels. Black Italian leather lines the front baffle, and a Maserati trident logo is emblazoned on the speaker’s feet. The B&W 805 Maserati Edition will cost approximately $10,000 per pair. The standard 805D costs $5000 per pair. “This is the same speaker as the 805D, sonically speaking,” Haikin advised. You don't get better sound for the money, but you do get exclusivity. The B&W 805 Maserati Edition will be available by November 2013 on a limited basis through select dealers.

B&W and Maserati plan on releasing a P5 Maserati Edition headphone by the end of 2013.

The name “Seven Notes Tour” originates from the seven distinct musical notes generated from a revving Maserati V8 engine. Scottish music producer and DJ Howie B performed a semi-ambient fifteen-minute set based on this engine tones through a row of eight B&W CM8 loudspeakers. The song featured interesting dynamic contrasts of engine bursts and silence. The crowd parted halfway through the set at the discovery that beer was now being served.

B&W and Maserati will bring the Quattroporte Maserati, the B&W 805 Maserati Edition loudspeaker, and Howie B to Dubai, Bejing, Shanghai, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and London as a continuation of the Seven Notes Tour.

john abramson's picture

Things must be real slow at the office, when nine paragraphs are allocated to this advertisement.

Ariel Bitran's picture

this advertisment is eight paragraphs.

Wanderlust2000's picture

but I had to pay for mine, drank while listening to my DM603s3s, playing the sounds of a Maserati in Gran Turismo 5.

I guess we really do have alot in common, eh?

Ariel Bitran's picture

you're almost there! just close your eyes

also, nice username. have you heard this Bjork remix by Ratatat?

JohnnyR's picture

"The B&W 805 Maserati Edition will cost approximately $10,000 per pair. The standard 805D costs $5000 per pair. “This is the same speaker as the 805D, sonically speaking,” Haikin advised. You don't get better sound for the money, but you do get exclusivity."

Well at least they are honest about THAT.cheeky I think that sums up a LOT of "high end" products, all flash and no substance.

Chigo's picture

All around, just weird. Four double the (already not insubstantial) price, you can have your speakers look like the inside of a car and your friends ask why they have the Maserati logo on them. Does anyone want that?

Ariel, will you please suggest to JA that Stereophile produce a CD based on what was played at this event? You can call it "Bizarre Ambient Car Noise Music: Contrasts of Engine Bursts and Silence." I am convinced you will sell out of these in a matter of minutes.

Seriously, though, I'm sure these systems sound a lot better than my car stereo, not to mention the fact that my car most definitely does not do 185 (sorry, couldn't resist). Ariel, your wit is enjoyed as always.

Ariel Bitran's picture

but there is this weird cross-pollination between lovers of luxury/high-end automobiles and high-end audio (SonicFlare is a good example). it wouldn't surprise me if a few people are turned on and want it in their own living room.

Et Quelle's picture

Why is the typscreen scerw

Ariel Bitran's picture


Chigo's picture

...the cross-pollinators. And that bird's eye maple is sexy.

Another idea: B&W should partner with BMW, just to confuse the hell out of everyone when they talk about it. "B&W?" "No, BMW." "Isn't that what I said?"

Speakerphile's picture

These will sell out.  No problem.  B&W stopped asking for foregiveness on 800-series pricing long ago, and yet they're still not sitting on a pile of unsellable inventory.  


Seriously, you guys do realize this is Stereophile, right?