Bowers & Wilkins 801 D4 Loudspeaker $35,000 Review

April 9, 2022 § Leave a comment

The comprehensiveness of the 801 D4’s sonic strengths is apparent, I should say, even with amplifiers that don’t entirely conquer the impedance drop described above. One certainly should not conclude that there are only a few amps out there that will do the job. Just a few days after I parted ways with the review pair, for example, I heard the new 801s at Capital Audio Fest played with a pair of McIntosh MC901s, the solid-state section driving the woofers and the tube section handling the upper drivers. The results were stunning.

Unless you view the fact that the Bowers & Wilkins 801 D4s demand stout and sturdy amplification to sound their best as a demerit, they are a loudspeaker without any musically consequential deficiencies. If you listen to nothing but Renaissance recorder music, these speakers will give you a sound that’s airy, dimensional, and tonally correct. If it’s Death Metal that floats your boat, you won’t be disappointed, either—they’ll render all the slashing, bashing, and growling with as much attitude as you could hope for. Best of all, if you indulge in the Baltimore Consort in the afternoon and Cannibal Corpse after dark, the 801s won’t bat an eye.

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