At Axpona 2022 B&W was advertising a new spider design for their midrange basket with some astonishing measured improvements. While I didn’t get a chance for a long audition there, I thought what I heard was quite promising. Cue T.H.E. Long Beach, and I got a chance to check out Sunny Components‘ rooms, which were stuffed to the brim with some awesome gear.
Words and Photos by Grover Neville
Sunny was one of the several rooms which brought room treatment—and I found that all of the rooms that did so got better sound—and was displaying B&W 802 D4s with Vinnie Rossi Brama Preamp and Amplifier. The sound was was unlike older B&W 800 series that I’ve heard many times in mastering studios—gone is the midrange peak which can sometimes be so aggressive, and in its place is a smooth, open and sweet sounding presentation at 3khz. Wow. The top end is still somewhat north of neutral, but in a very gentle and classy way.
Even on more aggressive modern music, I never felt the treble or mid-range were harsh—in fact they sounded spacious and even a little relaxed, with good low end performance. What I’ve heard of the new 800 series has been excellent, and I’m excited for this new era of B&W, as this is a sound profile I can really enjoy not just in the studio, but in the home as well. I came away from this room quite impressed.
System Components and Prices
- Vinnie Rossi Brama preamplifier – $34,500
- Vinnie Rossi Brama amplifier – $34,500
- Meitner MA-3 DAC/streamer – $10,500
- Neodio Origine S2 Ultimate CD player – $24,900
- Bowers & Wilkins 802 D4 loudspeakers – $28,000/pair
- DB1D subwoofers – $5899/each
- AudioQuest Niagara 5000 power conditioner – $5500