In an earlier post by phil that got this thread going, a brief history of the evolution of the 800 series speakers was discussed. Allow me to fill in some details. After the success the huge 800 model, which was a departure of sorts from the 801 type series speaker which made popular the separate mid/tweeter head assembly, the company updated the 801 series by introducing the nautilus line. This had a more modern and sleek appearance and the mid-tweeter assembly was now mounted in an inert Marian head enclosure. The bass driver, as before, was housed in an elaborately braced cabinet known as the matrix enclosure. The company continued to use an aluminum tweeter and it's trademark yellow colored Kevlar midrange driver in tandem with a rohacell woofer. And not to be outdone in the driver materials war, a synthetic diamond tweeter was introduced in 2005 for the higher end 800 series line. This is a very expensive driver as replacement units cost just over a thousand bucks each! To put it in perspective, the highest grade, very popular scanspeak ring radiator tweeter costs roughly 350 bucks, while the famous dynaudio esotar tweeter about 550. And early last year, B&W again upgraded the whole 800 series line so that even the cheapest model now sports an upgraded diamond tweeter. Some quarters have criticized the continued use of the Kevlar midrange driver but the company seems to believe that this is the best driver for this job.
Which brings me to the question posed to any user of the latest generation 800 series speaker: how does it compare to the first generation diamond spec'd models considering that physically, they're virtually indistinguishable. Even John atkinsons measurements of a current models was very similar to it's predecessor. And even more importantly, how does the latest 800 model compare to it's similarly priced rivals such as the Wilson sasha, the VR 5 anniversario and the magico v3? Feedback anyone??