Tuesday, June 07, 2005

"Secret " of B&W new D-series speakers ...

Personally I'm sick to see B&W's marketing machine working, i.e. every hifi-magazine is full of their latest diamond tweeter speakers reviews - which without exception have been positive. Quite many, though, have highlighted that some models in D-series are not the most neutral, but nevertheless enjoyable. Like Hifi+ issue 38 reviewing 803D: "...the midband, 500Hz - 1kHz, is rather forward, and output falls significantly thereafter to very restrained presence octave 2 -4 kHz, before the tweeter stages some recovery."

UPDATE: German Stereoplay in June 2005 issue reviewed B&W model 802D and French Prestige Audio Video in its part model 803D. Both magazines' measurements confirmed previous findings: D-series is not the most neutral. The measurements show that there is accentuated mid bass between 50-80Hz and mids in presence region. Though the 802D's highs were not entirely smooth, the 803D showed in PAV's measurements more lifted high frequencies between 8-15kHz. In addition, the 802D measurements showed that this is not the easiest load to drive: minimum impedance is 2.8ohm. But both magazines nevertheless gave their recommendations for both speakers.

Viewpoint: The success might be to some extent explained by B&W's decision to use the first-order crossover instead of previous models' third-order filter, i.e. speakers are phase coherent - like Dunlavy and Thiel speakers. The inherent simplicity of 1st order cross-over means low components count, and on top of this B&W has sourced the special oil-filled capacitors from German specialist Mundorf. That 1st order cross-over necessites that B&W's minimum recommended listening distance should be adhered in order drivers to integrate.

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