Billed as the ultimate version of the acclaimed 800 Series Diamond loudspeaker range, the Bowers & Wilkins 800 Series Signature has arrived.
Bowers & Wilkins only uses the Signature name sparingly, reserving it for the rare and radically upgraded versions of its conventional loudspeakers and technologies. Since the brand was founded in 1966, only seven series of loudspeaker have carried the prestigious Signature mark – a reflection of its prestige and exclusivity.
The new Bowers & Wilkins 801 D4 Signature and 805 D4 Signature build on a heritage that stretches back to the Silver Signature loudspeaker of 1991, originally developed as a posthumous tribute to the founder of the company, John Bowers. The new models build on the high performance and aesthetic benchmarks of the 801 D4 and 805 D4 models that form the basis of their respective designs, featuring carefully upgraded componentry plus luxurious and beautiful new finishes. The new 801 D4 Signature and 805 D4 Signature represent the pinnacle of current Bowers & Wilkins thinking and design and as such should be viewed as the new flagships in the company’s loudspeaker portfolio.
A new statement in floor-standing loudspeakers
The larger model in the new Signature range is the 801 D4 Signature, a powerful three-way floor-standing loudspeaker that builds on the specification of the 801 D4 as found in Abbey Road Studios.
Based on the brand’s Diamond Dome tweeter and Continuum Cone FST midrange drive unit, the 801 D4 Signature adds powerful twin 250mm (10in) Aerofoil Cone bass drivers with upgraded and improved
magnets to their motor systems relative to the 801 D4 model. It also includes an enhanced aluminium top plate beneath its Turbine Head midrange enclosure; this new design uses a new optimised skeletal structure and carefully placed damping material to significantly reduce unwanted resonance from the top of the enclosure. The result is more midrange transparency and openness to the already strong performance of the 801 D4.
The port output on 801 D4 Signature has received similarly significant upgrades; it is now cast from aluminium, creating a stiffer and quieter structure that is less prone to unwanted port noise. In combination with the updated Aerofoil Cone bass drivers, this results in even cleaner, lower distortion and more accurate sounding bass.
As with all Signature models over the years, the 801 D4 Signature benefits from careful upgrades to its crossover aimed at further increasing transparency with new and upgraded bypass capacitors for every element of the assembly. Finally, the 801 D4 Signature introduces a new FEA-optimised design of tweeter grille mesh that builds on the already impressive transparency offered by existing Bowers & Wilkins loudspeakers. The new mesh provides a new superior blend of transparency and stiffness, allowing even more energy from the Diamond Dome tweeter into the room, while guarding the diaphragm against unwanted damage.
The highest performance stand-mount
The 805 D4 Signature brings new standards of performance and capability in a smaller, more room friendly form factor than its sibling. As with the larger 801 D4 Signature model, the 805 D4 Signature also includes an all-new grille mesh for more openness and transparency plus an upgraded crossover with new bypass capacitors. In addition, an all-new bass / midrange motor system features upgraded performance from its 165mm (6.5in) drive unit, ensuring a cleaner delivery through the midrange plus more extended bass. Finally, it features mechanical revisions to its aluminium top plate aimed at further reducing unwanted noise and vibration from the structure.
To properly identify their prestigious position within the Bowers & Wilkins portfolio, both the 801 D4 Signature and 805 D4 Signature are only available in two exclusive new finishes. The Midnight Blue Metallic paint is the same as offered on the iconic Nautilus loudspeaker, featuring a total of eleven coats of paint and lacquer that are machine polished to a gleaming and lustrous finish. Excluding curing times, the paint application process alone is in excess of 18 hours of labour. Midnight Blue Metallic loudspeakers are further celebrated with a bespoke blue Leather by Connolly trim on the top plate. Alternatively, both models can be purchased in an exceptional California Burl Gloss wood veneer, featuring unique wood figuring and a luxurious high gloss finish trimmed in black Leather by Connolly. The wood veneer is sustainably sourced engineered wood from Italian specialist, ALPI. Including no less than fourteen coats of lacquer and multiple sanding processes, the total finishing time for a single 801 D4 Signature in California Burl Gloss is in excess of 24 hours.
As with all Signature loudspeakers over the decades, both our new 800 Series Signature models are the perfect embodiment of Bowers & Wilkins’ product philosophy and are a proud addition to our heritage in this category. The company remains passionate about providing the best, truest listening experience we can. The 800 Series Signature models are the next step in the journey towards this goal. This is the best of our best.
Commenting on the launch, Dave Sheen, Brand President of Bowers & Wilkins says, “800 Series Signature represents the coming together of everyone across the Bowers & Wilkins brand, from our colleagues in manufacturing to our world-class engineering teams in R&D, to produce the very best loudspeakers that we have ever made. I’m incredibly proud of the collective effort that has gone into producing the new 800 Series Signature models and I can’t wait to hear what both reviewers and our customers make of them.”
Available from 28th Juneto end users.800 Series Signature is available in two special finishes: Midnight Blue Metallic and California Burl Gloss. The 801 D4 Signature is quoted at £45,000 | €50,000 | $50,000 USD per pair and the 805 D4 Signature at £10,000 | €12,000 | $12,000 USD per pair.