B&W Matrix 802 Series II Loudspeakers

B&W Matrix 802 Series II Loudspeakers


I owned the 802 Series 2 for about three years, which is a long time for any piece of equipment to stay in my stereo system. It was an excellent performer. As you would expect just by looking at this speaker, it images very well, allowing precise visualization of each player or instrument. The integration of the individual drivers is also very well done.

A MAJOR upgrade is to defeat the APOC protection circuitry (blue relays). Simply unsolder one end of all diodes on the circuit board, and short the relay contacts. Shorting the relay contacts requires removal of the circuit board, but the diodes are easily disconnected from the component side. I also upgraded the capacitors and resistors, but these mods made only a very small overall improvement (and cost a lot, too).

They work well with a wide range of amps. I used a Rowland 1, Classe CA300, and a BEL 1001 mk.2, all with good results. The Series 2's sound better than the early Series 3's, I'm told. Their only deficiency is the lack of low bass. Unfortunately, the 802's are too transparent to use many of the bass alignment filters available without causing a very detrimental loss of transparency in the midrange and lower treble. My only regret is that I do not still have them to try with my current amplifiers. My guess is they could be 10 LP speakers in the right system.

These speakers are a terrific bargain at their current used prices (<$2K).

Overall Rating: 8.5 LPs

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