B&W's objective opinions lean or accurate

I have a few posts and my system is evolving with the addition of a McCormack DNA225 for the fronts (which will be upgraded by Smc), McCormack HT5 for the center and surrounds, B&W N804 - scm's - and center, McCormack UDP1 Deluxe disc, Denon 3800 Blue Ray, etc. The system is evolving and can be changed as time progresses.

I have also read many threads on amps and B&W's. I understand there are very basic philosophical differences between tube system and ss system orientations and desires. But what I am struggling with is the B&W's and their signature sound. I am thinking of upgrading and do not want to regret making a narrow decision as my system evolves.

Assuming that the components powering them are acceptable, are the B&W's simply too lean and bright or are they accurate? As some have said, in a concert the sound is bright which is true. Also there is the fact that we personally listen to a wide variety of types of music so I think that we need a versitile speaker. I like the N804's but want more depth. I do like detail, soundstage, seperation of the instruments and vocals, and do not tend towards a dark sound or smooth if it means the loss of the individual instruments and seperation.

The limitations include this is a hobby with a budget and I can not hear all the brands. Even in S Cal there are limited comparison possibilities at showrooms who only want to push their favotites. I was already taken by that process and won't even mention the older stuff I bought. Here the stores push B&W, Sonus, Focal, etc. If you own anything over 3 years old, they want you to trade in. So I now buy used quality instead.

So, if you were in my position and in the cost range up to the pricepoint of a used B&W 802D, what would you reccomend as speakers in your opinion and why? In that price range there would seem to be many options.

I appreciate any feedback and understand this is very subjective and likely B&W's are overdiscussed in the threads. I really am still learning and enjoy getting the suggestions of different viewpoints and the knowledge of serious enthusiasts who have already gone through this.

Thanks again, sorry for being so wordy.


This is one of my issues. The room is 13"w x 36 L, it starts as a family foom and goes into a kitchen. The speakers can only be about 12" - 16" away from the wall, the main listening area is 8' - 9' from the mains
Then I'd seriously consider the Thiel 2.4's and a Spectron Musician III Mk2 amp.

You need to hear the Thiels, supposedly people either love them completely or hate them completely. I really like them.

I'm in a 10' x 12.5' room so they wouldn't fit. If I was in a larger room, my favorite speakers are Magnepan, Thiel and Meadowlark.

The Nautilus 804 were a bit too bright for my taste. The newer 804S has a much smoother frequency response and much better driver integration. A much better speaker overall, IMO.
If you consider 802D why not give them a home audition? I have chosen my 802D in a direct home comparison to Thiel 3.7 and Focal Diva Be. It is all up to personal tastes, but I find 802D neither lean nor bright. Actually, to make them a bit leaner and tighter on bass I switched all cables to Shunyata.
What is an objective opinion? How does it differ from a subjective fact?