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Speaker Asylum: Re: B&W Nautilus 804 - review posted by John Ashman

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Re: B&W Nautilus 804 - review posted

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What I find fascinating is that the things you say are great about N804s are precisely the things I feel they do the worst.

1. The tweeter has an obvious, measured peak ~9.5kHz
2. There's a dip between the midrange/tweeter causing a clear separation between the drivers.
3. There's a dip between the midrange/woofer causing a clear separation between the driver
4. The extra harmonics added by the Kevlar, combined with phase problems and mediocre off-axis response causes flaky imaging that doesn't hold up except in one spot in the room.
5. Bass is peaky and lightweight, so your room would have to be extremely complementary to sound good.
6. Construction quality isn't poor, but not nearly as good as the marketing materials and reputation, such that it is, would imply. They aren't terribly heavy speakers and aren't any more densely constructed than some well done $1000 tower speakers of similar size.
7. The harmonics and resonances produced by the Kevlar, exacerbated by the FST design, make the speaker seem tweaky, demanding, and critical. However, it's just the sound of cone resonances that you won't find on better drivers from SEAS, ScanSpeak, Vifa, Focal and others. You can read more about good speaker design at the link below.

That being said, it's nice that you had good things to say, but if you can't hear any of the above, the review becomes highly suspect. All speakers have flaws and if you can't hear them, reviewing might not be your calling. I apologize, as much as I can, in advance, but Bose is proof positive that "reputation", great reviews, popularity, great marketing materials, high price, etc is not a reliable indicator of quality. Extrapolate as needed.

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Topic - B&W Nautilus 804 - review posted - JerryS 12:17:32 10/30/04 ( 37)