The B&W 803S is like the more “affordable” version of the excellent 803D (in our opinion). Its $5,500 MSRP price tag is more reflective of the mid-range hifi enthusiast it is targeting at and for the money, its a very good pair of speaker that warrants the investment. Side by side with the 803D, itself almost twice the price of the 803S, you can hear the difference between the two. But is the 803D twice as good as the 803S? We don’t think so. If you have $10,000 to splash on a speaker, by all means, go for the 803D. But if your have a more “down to earth” budget and cherish the sonic ability of the 803D but can do with a bit of compromise, the 803S will do just fine.
Frequency range of the 803S is almost on par with the 803D with the 803D and its diamond tweeter having a higher extension in the higher frequency – up to 28KHz versus 22KHz on the aluminum dome tweeter in the 803S. Both models have a 90dB sensitivity and a nominal impedance of 8 ohm. Both speakers extend down to 35Hz but the 803D having an additional 7″ Rohacell bass driver, delivers a more voluminous bass. Add the 803D bigger physical stature, its soundstage was bigger and is best fitted to a larger room size. If you have a medium size room, the 803S would be a better choice for proper room assimilation. The 803S does display the same tautness in the bass section as with the 803D and a well defined mid-section with clean detailed highs. High powered tube amps was a magical combination with them and likewise warm sounding solid state amps.
Cosmetically, these speakers are in good condition. Minor scuff marks common with use but nothing major. Speakers were very well cared for by its previous owner. Grille covers are perfect. We have the original box, manual and jumpers. Finish is rosenut. Local pickup is welcomed but if shipping is required, we will ship them strapped on a pallet.