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snakeybyrne
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Last seen: 1 year 3 months ago
Joined: Feb 14 2011 - 12:14pm
B&W 801 Nautilus oppinon

My system is as follows: Gyrodeck with Orbe platter origin live illustrious arm, Lyra Delos cartridge, Trichord Dino phono amp. Pre is Cyrus 7 with Cyrus psu. Power is 4 Cyrus mono x bi amping Gershman Avant Ggarde floor standers, these are a Canadian 3 way. I am thinking of getting B&W 801 Nautilus second hand but, I am wondering if my four cyrus mono blocks would have enough power to drive them. (I have heard they need serious power) My Gershman speakers have performed well over the years but I have moved into a converted chapel and need bigger speakers to fill the space. Any thoughts on my considered change from your more informed forum members would be much appreciated. Are there any other speakers in same price bracket with a fuller clean bass and which would give me an overall improvement on the Gershmans?

commsysman
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Speakers
snakeybyrne wrote:

My system is as follows: Gyrodeck with Orbe platter origin live illustrious arm, Lyra Delos cartridge, Trichord Dino phono amp. Pre is Cyrus 7 with Cyrus psu. Power is 4 Cyrus mono x bi amping Gershman Avant Ggarde floor standers, these are a Canadian 3 way. I am thinking of getting B&W 801 Nautilus second hand but, I am wondering if my four cyrus mono blocks would have enough power to drive them. (I have heard they need serious power) My Gershman speakers have performed well over the years but I have moved into a converted chapel and need bigger speakers to fill the space. Any thoughts on my considered change from your more informed forum members would be much appreciated. Are there any other speakers in same price bracket with a fuller clean bass and which would give me an overall improvement on the Gershmans?

My recommendation is the Vandersteen Quattro Wood speakers.

Vandersteen speakers repeatedly win "Best of Show" at high-end audio shows, and for good reason (I can't remember the last time any B & W speaker won any such award...).

The Quattro has a built-in superb subwoofer and amplifier, which you will need for a large space.

Because they have the bass amp built in, the power required from the main amps is reduced considerably.

Bodhi
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Hi @snakeybyrne, I'll be

Hi @snakeybyrne, I'll be honest and say i'm not familiar with your equipment. But I have a few thoughts about the B&W 801 Nautilus. Those speakers have been around now for 19 years, so they definitely qualify as vintage speakers, which means you need to consider that things like x-over caps, internal wiring and driver boots from that time period will have started to degrade by now. But if you know their history and can find a one or max two-owner pair in good shape, you can mitigate those issues. I'm not trying to dissuade you from considering 2nd hand vintage speakers, but I bought a 2nd hand pair of Infinitys from o/s seller called ‘lwschwartz’ on forums years ago and got screwed. I ended up selling the speakers at a heavy loss. You just need to go in eyes wide open if you go down that road.

The first speakers I thought of when I read your post were the Legacy Audio Focus SE ($10.6k). I have a friend who owned a pair of Focus SE's which replaced his previous Infinity Renaissance 90's. He really liked the Legacy speakers, and thought they did everything the Rens did, only better; especially the bass which digs down to 18Hz thanks to their dual 12" long-throw bass units & dual 7" mid-bass couplers. Hence they should move enough air to pressurize your large room. Although the Focus SE is a 4 ohm load, it has 95.4db sensitivity. Home Theater Hifi magazine rated them as a “moderately easy load”, hence your amps would have no problem driving them. If you sounded out your local Distributor and kept an eye out on the used market, you should be able to find a pair within your budget if you’re patient.

That said, fyi there is an XD model ($12.6k) which has an internal 750 watt ice-powered amp. That model can be run either semi-active with your amp(s) just powering the mid/highs, or fully active. If you could somehow swing the XD’s, that’s the way I’d go as it gives you a lot more flexibility with amplification, including tubes. The good news is however, the SE model can be upgraded by the factory at any time for <$2k which provides an upgrade path. Btw the piano black finish on those speakers looks gorgeous ;).

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