Bowers and Wilkins, 801 D4

Hi all, i'm looking to get some new speakers, maybe Wilson audio sasha DAW, or B&W 801 D4, my amp is the Audionet Humboldt integrated , 

Specs & Pricing

Output power: 320Wpc into 8 ohms, 460Wpc into 4 ohms
Frequency response: DC–700kHz -3dB
THD+N: <-100dB at 1kHz
SNR: >120dB (A-weighted)
Channel separation: >140dB, 20-20kHz
Dimensions: 450 x 320 x 505mm
Weight: 61kg
Price: $55,000, i have mk 1  sasha's at the moment, sounds v-good, would my amp have enough grunt , for the B&W,s, they do have two 10" base drivers, on paper they are easier to drive, but as we know in real life, not always the case , i am in England, so Wilsons are £40,000, B&W £32,500, a big difference,  thanks 


Get the Wilsons.  I think you’ll be disappointed with B&W since you already have Sashas.

Get the B&W 801 D4. I think you will be disappointed with Wilsons, as the B&W will sound better and for a lower price.

I heard the B&W 801 D4 at Axpona this year, they sounded and looked spectacular. Crystal clear sound with extended FR and great dynamics. They were also reviewed very favorably in HiFi New and build quality is outstanding.

One fantastic speaker you have overlooked the MBL Loudspeakers 

they not only radiate evenly but their direct connection to the source allows parts of the recording lost in most other speakers I have 2 friends and my brother sold his 1 year old Shasha daws , forthe MBL floorstanders under the 101s 

the efficiency rating is deceiving since it radiates equally the same spl level all around the room ,and pretty much even off axis it has a sweet spot a Fantastic Loudspeaker ,every one of their models has the same carbon fiber tweeter and midrange. I am hoping to buy a pair next year they are that good.after 3 decades I found a true reference , a high current Amp is all they ask .

B&W’s you just hookup and maybe spend some time positioning. The Wilson’s require a tool kit, Sun dial, abacus and loads of patience! No clue why an Audiophile would invest in them…Engineer, Rocket scientist, maybe but wayyy too much going on with their upper end speakers IMO…

Both speakers , are “cliché “ speakers with a great marketing plan , very knowned  ,but I don’t like them ,because (for me ) they don’t give the natural sound , perceptibility , you don’t go “into the music” : you miss the feelings and empathy… that’s mine opinion … there are many speakers that sound much better : but you have to make the effort to look for them keeping in mind your favorite music/genre , and it must match with your other components…

Hi, well i have , an Esoteric K01-X cd player, Audionet Humboldt integrated amp, Wilson audio Sasha mk1, all cabling is MIT HD 60, dedicated room 12foot by 23 foot, firing the down the length of the room, music is mainly  prog rock, but anything guitar based,  ish,

will my amp have enough grunt for the B&W, and is my room to small for them, 

Also i can't find out how  many Amp's it puts out, thanks andy



I had original 801s for many years when they were freshly launched (1995?) and I was very happy.  Both the tweeters failed after around 7 years, not in a user-induced event.  I replaced and sold on at that point, replacing with ML CLX Anniversaries.

Your amp has plenty of power to drive either speaker well but looking at its output into 8 and 4 ohms, it could benefit from a stiffer power supply.

The current Sashas are way better than the originals. It's debatable whether the same progress has been made in the evolution of the 801s. Personally I think B&W have regressed, while Wilson have advanced - and that is based on listening to both speakers.

Depending on your room size, it's potentially worth starting your Wilson auditioning with the Sabrina X - you might be surprised.

I also thought the B&W sounded great at Axpona but it would be well worth your time to audition the Rockport Avior ii as well. Superb build quality and amazing sound. You will have a new front runner. Good luck!


B&W 801 was my dream speaker to own. This year I went to Axpona, and auditioned 802 on first floor for hours and 801 on 6th floor for limited 20 minutes. They sound very good, but high frequency is so abundant that causes ear fatigue after 30 min. It should be related to diamond tweeter. Some high end dealers confirmed that. After comparing side by side at a dealer, I bought Wilson Sasha DAW, and I am very very happy with them. You need a very good external DAC, I would recommend Denafrips Terminator Plus, It is pure music heaven and audiophile dream. I compared to Denafrips to dCS Bartoc which is 18K. Absolutely Denafrips is superior by miles. For $6500 Terminator Plus is best DAC for the money. I power them Hegel 590. Absolutely Fantastic.

I have not auditioned any of the later generations of B&W, but 20 years ago, I did chose between the B&W and Audiovector, and definitely fell for the Audiovector. At a lower level however, 803 vs Audiovectors 3 series. Could be worth taking a look at the R6 or R8 from Audiovector too.

Personally I like the more natural sound of the Wilsons, their cabinets are solid. Audition the two pair of speakers, and let your ears decide. Buy what sounds better to you!

I have the new Alexx V, great speaker.

Good Luck!


I was very impressed with the Rockport’s at a local dealer.  Just wish I were rich and I could get these past the gate keeper.  Wonder how many others have this problem.  I would feel selfish spending so much money on myself,

For exactly the price of the B&W, you could get a Sonus Faber II Cremonese.  Which is no contest.

When my first wife died, I needed a present so I got B&W 802 (I think).   They might have been wonderful when I auditioned them, but they got very "annoying" in less than a month with my Vandersteens and have remained.

Make sure you listen to the B&W loud and long before buying, they are a bright speaker. 

I have B&W 802D's & love them. They are not bright in my system (all SS BTW) / room. I have not heard the D4 version but would check them out in a heartbeat if looking to replace the 802D's.