B&W 804 D3 replacement

I hesitate to post this as I appreciate how subjective preferences are when it comes to sound. But here goes.

I am needing to downsize my apartment and my B&W 804’s are going to be too large for the new space, which is about 5m square. I’m more than happy with the sound, unfiltered, clear, precise with controlled bass, but willing to experiment.

My Naim system is Nac272/XPS and NAP DR300. This is staying with me.

I am therefore looking to trade the 804’s for bookshelf sized speakers. I’ve auditioned the Kef Ref 1’s, and found them a suitable replacement if not a bit too smooth compared to the 804’s. They are maybe a bit too big though, they’re a deep speaker. I’d prefer to go smaller still.

I’ll be doing more research auditioning other speakers as my move date approaches but was curious if anyone here had faced a similar predicament and found a brand maybe I’ve missed. Floorstander sound in a bookshelf body. My budget is £4-6k.

I have a small apartment and the Spendor D7.2s I have on demo are great. Very surprised since most Spendors I have heard are too mellow.


Since you like the sound of the 804s, is it too obvious to suggest trying B&W 805s?

The D4 version would be slightly over budget, but you might be able to get a deal. Secondhand D3s might be more within budget.



Hi Hercole, if you could be a bit patient and not act before you move in to your new abode, simply to ensure you try your new contenders in that space. A square 5x5 metres space assuming the ceiling height is the stardard 8 feet doesn’t unfortunately handle low frequency pressurisation terribly well. Worse of course once the wick gets cranked up. Maybe think a speaker that starts with a roll off at around 60 Hz to give yourself a fighting chance. Good luck Peter

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For what it is worth here is a comment on the new B&W 805 D4 speakers……

I have just upgraded to the 804 D4 speakers from a pair of 805 D3’s.

My Dealer gave me a good trade in on the 805’s. He said that he had listened to the new 805 D4’s and his comment was “ even straight out of the box…wow!”

Do you want to downsize the speakers because of the physical size/look or soundwise?

Bookshelves on stands are not necessarily (much) smaller than floorstanders as far as footprint & height goes. They do look smaller though. I agree that I would be patient and not do anything before you’re in the new room.

I also suggest waiting until you have everything settled in the new room and then assess your existing speakers. Any speakers will need playing with their and the listening position, and more challenging with a square room. 5m long and wise isn’t snall, being quite a big larger than average UK living roons.

Thanks for the replies, much appreciated. I hadn’t considered the 805’s mainly because I’m less in love with the look of them, ie the external tweeter. I’d be looking for something that blends in more, looks are important to me more with this move.
I agree, waiting until I’m settled makes perfect sense, and I couldn’t drop that kind of cash without a home demo.
I was more curious if there were a standout speaker which fell into the category of giant killer. Certainly the Kef Ref 1’s were reviewed as such and on my home demo I found them to be every bit as full as the 804’s.

Hi Hercole, as a 804D3 owner I faced a similar dilemma in moving to a smaller room similar in size to yours. The 804s work well even in this somewhat small room, so you may find you can live with them, space permitting as nicnaim suggests. At the time I was looking to purchase my first ever B&W 804’s (D1 model) I was torn between the B&Ws and a make called Audiovector, their R1 model. It was a stand mount smaller speaker but at a similar price point to the B&W 804. Unfortunately I could not locate a Naim dealer who stocked both brands for a side by side comparison. The Naim dealer who stocked Audiovector would not agree to a home demo, (despite my offering to leave a credit card payment) whereas the Naim dealer with B&W did. The home demo sealed it for me, but I can still recall the very seductive sound from the Audiovectors, which was amazing considering the modest size of the speaker enclosure. However I think the logical way forward is to try the B&Ws in the smaller room and take it from there. Good luck.

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I have not compared the 804 D3 speakers with the new 804 D4 S however I now have the 804 D4s which are now run in and sound gorgeous.
If you are a fan of B&W I’d put the D4 version of the 804s on the list.

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Dave. Thanks for the reply. The Audiovectors look interesting and met usual dealer stocks them so I’ll certainly give them a listen when I move into the new place.
Jatel. I do love the sound of the B&W but I’m struggling with the aesthetic of the external tweeter, heresy I know, but I’m ready for something more discreet, so is my partner…

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