I think I've found love

Just switched from Harbeth SHL5+ 40th anniversary to Bowers & Wilkins 805 D3 prestige. WOW!!!


Well done! I was just listening to those at Axpona last weekend, along with some 800s. Fabulous speakers.

Nice. May I ask what’s the perceived difference with the switch from the Harbeth Super HL5+ 40th Anniversary? Is the bass of the 805 D3 adequate when compared to the SHL5+ 40th Anniversary?

I was wondering as well.

This is a change for a test or definitive?
You looked very happy with the SHL5 :open_mouth:

I think that the Harbeths are an excellent speaker, but not with all the music I listen to. I found the B&Ws to be better at soundstage left and right, depth and height and for there to be better seperation between bass, mid and high. I think my room was too small for the big SHL5+ cabinet. The Harbeths could have a tendency to sound a little flat and sometimes boxy. In my room the 805D3 don’t.

Also the 805s produce more than enough bass in my room, where the 30.3 Harbeths that I started with didn’t (albeit on a Nova, not with my current setup).

It’s a permanent change - 805D3s are special. Also the look better with my furniture :slight_smile:

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I think that SHL5+ is a highly recommendable speaker, but it’s got to be in the right room and it’s got to work for the type of music you are into. At lower volume it worked well in my room with some of my favourite stuff, but at higher volume it came across as flat or uninterested in some stuff and sometimes, boxy and a little strained on higher volume. This is most certainly the room and the position of the speakers. The Harbeths need a lot more air around them than I can give.

Hi Marka

That looks a great set up - what’s the support rack you are using for the amps and streamer please?

Oh, it’s totally nothing special. It’s a Mandir Sheesham Low Hi-Fi Shelving Unit that I have pimped up with 10mm glass shelves and Naim ball and cup supports.


The cabinet looks very nice. I had something similar and was pimped up, but I took the back panel out to help with airflow and cable dressing

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Thanks looks good and your set up will sound superb. I’m using a Nova/250DR at present but considering trading in the Nova towards a NDX2 and 282

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How is the Nova with the 250 versus on its own?

Beautiful speakers and a fantastic sound @marka - congratulations!!

I love the 805D3 and in the rosenut gloss finish, think they look absolutely spectacular.

I run 803D3 on my main system (804D2 before that) and B&W CDM1 on my home cinema system, so the B&W family has a strong appeal (visual and sonic) to me.

I’m considering upgrading my 25 year old CDM1s to 805D3 at some stage, as the new speakers have made some huge sound quality advances compares with their predecessors.

Hope you enjoy your new speakers and the new dimension to music that they bring.

ATB. George.

Hi Hollow
As you would expect the 250DR certainly improves the sound but not by a huge amount. I bought the 250DR secondhand with a view to trading in the Nova when the replacement 272 arrived - and of course it hasn’t so far. If it doesn’t appear soon I may go down the separates route with a Naim streamer and 282 or even an alternative streamer/pre. Currently I am also trying an older but good Nac 82 and Hicap with the 250DR and using the Nova purely as a streamer and it’s quite an improvement over the Nova/250DR - better bass bass, more clarity and improved separation between the instruments. The Nova streamer section is certainly top notch

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ok cheers, like you I was considering it as a half way stepping stone as opposed to going down the Supernait 2 / NDX2 route. I should really just keep the Nova as I suspect improvements are incremental and not vast taking in to account the outlay required.

I’ve just done both, kept my Nova for a second system and a new SN2 and NDX2 for the main system. Yes, it’s a big outlay, but the lift in performance has been quite substantial and way above what I was expecting.


Thanks for the response which was much appreciated. I can certainly relate to your comment about the lack of soundstage and separation between the bass, mids and highs of the Harbeth in comparison to the B&Ws. The house sound of the Harbeth is a fuller and rounded presentation ie. less separation when compared to most detailed speakers out there.

I have a soft spot for the B&Ws as the I’ve owned the CDM 1SE for close to 15 years and the N805 for several months. Somehow I prefer the sound quality of the CDM 1SE more than the N805.

The 805 D3 surely looks the part and I can certainly agree that it looks stunning. If the 805 D3 is a huge departure from the N805 or S805 in sound quality, I’m sure it’s something special.

i like the audio rack

maybe you may want to try some absorbers on the wall behind the speakers

just 2 of them


request you to please let me know the spacing of the rack shelves ( inner to inner ), thickness of shelf and the total height of the rack

i might want to make one like this…

thank you

Speakers are very much about how they fit your room. I agree that 5+ need some space around them to sound good. In my dedicated listeningroom (6x4,5 m, but due to bedroomwalls a bit smaller) placed on the longest wall, with a distance as far as 3m between the speakers righ now. Clarity, a huge soundstage and very good separation by the performers on the stage. Now I’m more as a part of whats going on in the music.

Have not heard B&W for years, but I’m sure they sound good.
Nice looking setup also, enjoy!


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