Bowers & Wilkins 800 D3 arrives

The Bowers & Wilkins 800 D3 loudspeaker has arrived at Pearl Audio.

Joining the 805 D3, the 804 D3, and our 802 D3 Prestige floor models, the new 800 D3 is the largest and most powerful of the 800 Series and their statement 800 Series loudspeaker.  

The 800 D3 driver complement is: 

1" Diamond Dome Tweeter Solid Body Tweeter on Top
6" Continuum FST Midrange Turbine Head
2 x 10" Aerofoil Bass Drivers

The 800 D3 is specified to handle 1000 watts of power, which ties the Magico A5 for the power handling record for speakers in our store. We've hooked the big 800 D3s up to our most powerful amplifiers - the 1200 watt McIntosh MC1.2Ks -and they can indeed play at earth-shattering levels with extraordinary dynamics. As we've found in our store, McIntosh and B&W are two of the most synergistic components available.

Today we've been listening to the 800 D3 with our Boulder 1160 and find the remarkable midrange and diamond tweeter of the 800 D3 brings out the Boulder amplifier's studio-grade resolution and absence of electronic artifacts. The 1160 is also an astonishingly fast amplifier which translates to instantaneous bass attack when playing big orchestral or rock music. The bass in both the 802 D3 and 800 D3 is like the best of sealed speaker's bass in terms of speed and lack of overhang.

Bowers & Wilkins 800 D3 with Boulder and Luxman amplifiers 

We've been trading back and forth between a few preamplifiers as well with the Linn Klimax LP12 and Klimax DSM as sources. In blue you can see our new Linn Majik LP12 with the Krane tonearm - Linn just started making these custom colors available.  

On the rear of the 800 D3 you can see the massive fluted aluminum panels. This billet spans all the way from the 800 D3's solid metal base to the cabinet top and serves as both a brace the Matrix cabinet and a heatsink for the crossover which is mounted to it. The base of the new 800 D3 (and the 802 D3 and 803 D3) are now solid metal which provides a stable foundation and also acts as a counterweight to the 40lb milled-aluminum turbine head.  

Bowers & Wilkins 800 D3 rear aluminum panel with Audio Research, Boulder and Linn

The 800 D3 loudspeakers weigh 212 lb each yet are some of the easiest speakers to move because they have metal rollers set into the base with retractable spikes. Pure genius! 

You can see the near mirror finish of the 800 D3s reflecting the Luxman and Boulder amplifiers.

Bowers & Wilkins 800 D3 reflection Luxman M-900 and Boulder 1160 amplifiers

I think the 800 D3 deserves some sort of award as a great rock speaker. We've been playing AC/DC through them and the combination of lightweight and rigid 10" woofers with a large cabinet brings this speaker to a rock-n-roll hall of fame status in our books. You should HEAR the opening Hells Bells with the huge bell resonating in our room then Angus Young's guitar coming in, completely alive then followed by that perfect drum kit - I don't think I've heard a speaker that pulls that music off so perfectly. It's just HUGE sounding, like the recording itself.   


John, Russ, Connor & Tara.