One of the world’s best loudspeaker range introduces an all-new industrial design plus a range of breakthrough technologies to set even higher standards for outright sound quality.
This major challenge has occupied the world-renowned Bowers & Wilkins engineering team for the past six years. Their solution is to combine continuous improvement of every component in each design with innovative and proprietary technology that re-imagines the fundamental basics of a conventional loudspeaker drive unit: the new, unique and revolutionary Biomimetic Suspension. Each new model in the range combines hundreds of detail improvements plus several entirely new technologies to create the most transparent, detailed and natural-sounding series of loudspeakers Bowers & Wilkins has ever produced.
For B&W the 800 Diamond series is everything they know and everything they are.
801 D4 is the largest floorstanding loudspeaker that tops the 800 Diamond range and will be the standard by which all high-end designs are judged over the coming years. This range topping model is endowed with every new technology the 800 series has to offer and marks the return of one of their most iconic model names.
Refined, elegant cabinet proportions plus luxurious, premium detailing combine to make this the most premium 800 Series Diamond range yet. The first and most obvious change is the addition of a fourth finish to the line-up. The new range now includes a Satin Walnut finish, joining the established selection of Gloss Black, White and Satin Rosenut.
Every stereo model in the range also enjoys a significantly upgraded cabinet design with an all-new rigid, cast aluminium top section – replacing the previous wooden version – to offer even greater stiffness and thus improve cabinet quietness still further. In a luxurious touch, the profile of the new aluminium top is finished in ‘Leather by Connolly’ – in black for dark cabinets (Black, Satin Rosenut) and light grey for lighter finishes (White, Satin Walnut).
Every model in the range adopts a revised version of the iconic Solid Body Tweeter-on-Top housing, with a new, elongated tube-loading system to produce an even more open sound for high frequencies. This supremely stiff enclosure deftly resists unwanted resonance and is an exceptional acoustic form – especially
when combined with a new two-point decoupling system that isolates it from the rest of the loudspeaker more effectively than ever. As before, the Solid Body Tweeter is milled from a single solid block of aluminium and now, it uses an anodised finish, either dark or light depending on the cabinet colour, to celebrate that fact.
Continuum™ Cone, FST & Biomimetic Suspension
The result of an eight-year research programme, the composite Continuum Cone – used for both midrange and mid/bass applications – is already famed for its open, transparent, and neutral performance. When used as a midrange drive unit in Bowers & Wilkins floorstanding speakers, it is always combined with the Fixed Suspension Transducer (FST) midrange technology, which carefully avoids the coloration that traditional cone surrounds can introduce.
Now, Bowers & Wilkins has combined the twin benefits of Continuum and FST with an all-new advance that transforms the other key element of a drive unit’s normal operation: the fabric spider. Over decades of continuous development to nearly all areas of speaker design, the fabric spider, a key element in the suspension of every conventional loudspeaker drive unit, has remained largely unchanged – until now.
The all-new composite Biomimetic Suspension replaces the conventional fabric spider with a minimalist composite suspension system that revolutionises midrange cone performance by greatly reducing unwanted air pressure – aka sound – that a conventional fabric spider can generate, removing its unpredictable, non-linear effects. The result is unprecedented midrange transparency and realism.
Decoupled Midrange & Turbine™ Head
Bowers & Wilkins combines all the performance-enhancing benefits of its Continuum Cone, FST midrange technology and Biomimetic Suspension with careful isolation of the complete midrange assembly from the rest of the surrounding cabinet. In all three-way models, midrange drive units include a highly stiff all-aluminium chassis featuring Tuned Mass Dampers (TMD) to quieten any resonance. These complete drive units and motor systems are then isolated on sprung-mounted decoupling mounts, further restricting the flow of vibration into the assembly.
Finally, 801 D4 includes the massively stiff all-aluminium Turbine Head enclosure for their midrange drive unit, providing not only an outstanding acoustic form but also even better isolation – since the head assembly is itself further decoupled from the bass enclosure below.
Solid Body Tweeter
To minimise the unwanted transfer of resonance into each model’s Diamond Dome tweeters, an exceptionally stiff enclosure is required. The new 800 Series Diamond introduces a revised version of the iconic Solid Body Tweeter housing; this continues to be machined from a solid piece of aluminium, but now it features an elongated form (almost 30cm/12in long) with a longer internal tube-loading system.
The new Solid Body Tweeter assembly is now decoupled from the speaker body or Turbine Head (depending on model) in two locations rather than one: this notably improves spaciousness and openness. At the same time, the tweeter’s motor assembly has been re-engineered to allow the drive unit to ‘breathe’ more effectively with no loss of performance. The result is a notable reduction in the resonant frequency behind the tweeter dome.
Reverse-Wrap Cabinet & Matrix™
Matrix has been a core Bowers & Wilkins technology for more than 30 years and has also been continually developed throughout that time. An internal structure of interlocking panels that brace the loudspeaker internally in all directions, Matrix helps to make speaker cabinets rigid, inert and quiet.
Every stereo model in the range also features the new cast aluminium top replacing the previous wooden design, dramatically increasing the rigidity of the speaker enclosure. As before, drive units are housed in stiff aluminium pods mounted to the baffle of the speaker while crossover units are fitted to equally stiff aluminium spines running up the rear of the cabinet. Finally, 801D4 introduces a steel plate in its base section around the port – again, all in the name of adding stiffness to the enclosure and further quietening its operation.
The result of advance computer modelling, the Aerofoil Cone is a composite bass cone with a varying thickness designed to offer maximum stiffness where it is most needed while preserving a low mass – thanks to its carbon-fibre skin and light syntactic foam core.
Grahams recommend you partner these loudspeakers with:
- Naim NAP 500 DR 500 series power amplifier
- Naim NAC 552 DR 500 series pre amplifier
- Naim 555 PS DR power supply
- Naim ND 555 Network Music Streamer
Please contact us to arrange a demonstration.