Bowers & Wilkins 803 D4 now on display in Portland Oregon!
The 804 D4 is the first of the floor standing turbine head Bowers & Wilkins 800 D4 series loudspeakers to arrive on demonstration here in Portland. The look is absolutely gorgeous with perfect gloss white finish, natural finish machined aluminum tweeter enclosure and Connolly leather top on the main enclosure. They are works of art visually and even more beautiful than the photos show.
I think these 803 D4's might just become the best selling of the Bowers & Wilkins 800 D4 series loudspeakers. They are an excellent size for living rooms that want a performance speaker, but not something so large that they dominate. They are just in that perfect larger-medium size range that you could pair a big Integrated amplifier like the McIntosh MA12000 - shown in photo at top - and have a powerful fully immersive full range system without visually overtaking a living room.
We've been having a lot of fun playing these with our McIntosh MC1.25K and C1100 reference system in our big room, but also find rather chameleon-like the 803 D4's are also a match for our small room when paired with a muscled up integrated. Some nice small-medium room pairings of the 804 D4 include our McIntosh MA12000, the MAC7200, the MA352. Bowers & Wilkins do have a pronounced synergy with McIntosh Labs. That said, we also find the 804 D4 pairs well with Luxman 509, Luxman 590 Class A, and Boulder 866 integrated amplifiers. Each pairing brings out a different sound, which is why in-person auditions for these systems is so important. They're all good, but one will be your sound. Trust me not his one.
An interesting thing about the size profile of the 804 D4 is that you can effectively tailor the speaker to the room size by adding or subtracting power. Our big room is 16x26 and the 803 D4 fills them nicely when coupled to our big amplifiers: Audio Research REF160S, Luxman M900, Boulder 1160 or big McIntosh amps - MC462 / MC611/ MC1.25K. Our smaller room is 12x14 with a large double door behind the listener. Putting the 804 D4 on a quality integrated takes the bass output down enough to make it an excellent speaker for this medium-small sized room. We don't have many speakers that perform well in such different room sizes. Both rooms have 10 foot ceilings.
We'll have a little more listening notes on the 804 D4 soon - check back with this blog.
John, Russ, Connor & Tara