B&W has just announced the third generation of its legendary Diamond series of high-performance loudspeakers. From a body style standpoint, it’s the first major change since the Nautilus 800 Series launched in 1998 – 17 years ago. The familiar yellow Kevlar cone is gone, and only the Diamond dome, a few capacitors and the binding posts remain from the last generation. There are 868 changes, to be exact!
Almost all of the component parts are different from the outgoing 800 Series Diamond. As Bowers & Wilkins Head of Research Martial Rousseau says, “This is not an update. This is a completely re-imagined design. One of the few remaining elements is the Diamond tweeter. We found it impossible to improve on the performance offered by diamond, although behind the diamond dome, the motor system was improved conrightrably.”
The changes involve a vast number of technological, engineering and acoustic innovations that combine to create a sublime listening experience. Most striking is the transformation of the midrange drive units. A new Continuum cone, developed in-house by Bowers & Wilkins engineers, replaces the Kevlar cones that have long been a major factor of the 800 Series’ famously realistic midrange performance. The Continuum cone takes the best acoustic aspects of Kevlar further, providing a level of clarity that simply must be heard to be appreciated. Bass performance has also been dramatically improved by the introduction of the Aerofoil cone, which considerably reduces distortion thanks to a new variable profile cone geometry and more advanced sandwich construction.
Distortion has been reduced dramatically in every regard — the innovations mentioned above, in addition to improved cabinets, more robust Matrix bracing system, a new solid body tweeter assembly and the vastly improved Turbine head midrange enclosure, combine to produce the ultimate in clarity.
The new 800 Series Diamond will be available for demonstration in ListenUp stores in early October. We will be taking orders soon, and these should be filled around the end of October or early November.
For more info, see the videos below. There’s also an informative article from The Absolute Sound here.