World leading specialist audio brand Bowers & Wilkins faced a question: How to enhance an already iconic product?
Now, thanks to strong demand from both customers and the company’s specialist dealer network, Bowers & Wilkins has created new Prestige Editions of its 802 and 805 models, featuring a very special and distinctly beautiful Santos Rosewood finish.
The 802 and 805 Prestige Edition models are acoustically unchanged from standard 800 Series Diamond loudspeakers and feature the same advanced specification, including the Diamond dome tweeter, Turbine Head, Continuum and Aerofoil drive units and Matrix cabinet construction.
The high-gloss Santos Rosewood finish is prepared by hand by skilled Bowers & Wilkins craftsmen at the company’s factory in the UK.
Crafting each cabinet is labour intensive, with the finishing process requiring 40% more manufacturing time than a standard 800 Series Diamond loudspeaker. Bowers & Wilkins highlights the distinctive Santos Rosewood veneer used on each loudspeaker with thirteen coats of lacquer to deliver a supremely rich and desirable finish, with a deep, luxurious colour and distinctive grain pattern that makes each loudspeaker a unique piece of art.
In total, the process to create the Santos Rosewood finish takes around over four weeks.
The stand mount 805 Prestige Edition costs £5500 per pair; the larger floor standing 802 Prestige Edition is £19,500 per pair. Both luxuriously finished models are available via Bowers & Wilkins specialist 800 Series Diamond retailers.
About the 800 Series Diamond
When Bowers & Wilkins introduced the world’s most advanced loudspeaker range at the end of 2016, the 800 Series Diamond range redefined performance standards for both the 800 Series itself, and for the wider world of premium loudspeakers.
In a combination of tireless research and development, advanced engineering, and countless hours of listening by the very best ears in the business, the 800 Series Diamond has become the choice of Professional recording studios and revered by serious home audio and Hi-Fi enthusiasts.
Hear the sound, not the cabinet. That’s the principle behind Bowers & Wilkins separate head units – a feature they introduced when they first launched the original 800 Series speaker in 1979. Constructed from a single piece of aluminum, braced with internal radial fins and with a raised, slimmer profile, the turbine head is almost totally inert, producing a sound that’s free from cabinet coloration, reduces internal resonance and aids sound dispersion, and performs better than ever.
Solid body tweeter
Vibration is the enemy of good sound. To minimise vibrations, you need components that are as stiff as possible. For the 800 Series Diamond, Bowers & Wilkins created their stiffest tweeter enclosure yet. The tweeter assembly for the new range is housed in a solid piece of aluminium, while an improved gel decoupling system isolates the tweeter from the effects of cabinet resonance.
Thanks to its unique stiffness-to-lightness ratio, diamond makes the perfect tweeter material. Developed especially for the 800 Series Diamond, the Diamond Dome tweeter pushes the break-up frequency threshold to a remarkable 72kHz, resulting in superb clarity and detail with unrivalled acoustic detail, naturalism and spaciousness.
Following eight years of intensive development, the patented Continuum cone avoids the abrupt transitions in behaviour that can impair the performance of a conventional drive unit. The result is a more open, neutral performance. And a giant leap forward for loudspeaker design.
By using advanced computer modelling and a new syntactic core material, Bowers & Wilkins were able to produce a cone of varying thickness, with maximum stiffness where it’s needed most. This optimised shape means the cone displays pistonic behaviour further up the audible range, producing bass that’s precise, controlled and utterly lifelike.
Reverse wrap cabinet
Instead of a flat-fronted speaker with a curving back, the 800 Series cabinet has a front and sides formed of one continuous curve, held together with a spine of solid aluminum. Fewer joins make for a stiffer, more inert structure, and a curved front means less baffling around the drive units. So sound dispersion is improved, and cabinet reflection is reduced.
Matrix is an internal structure that works like the bracing of a ship’s hull, with crisscrossed interlocking panels keeping our cabinets rigid and inert.
A great speaker needs a rock-solid foundation. By moving the crossover from the plinth to the main body of the speaker, Bowers & Wilkins created a base for the 800 Series Diamond that’s more stable and resonance-resistant than ever. Replacing the original open-box design, the new plinth is constructed from a solid piece of aluminum. This improves stability by lowering the centre of mass and counter-balancing the weight of the turbine head.
About Bowers & Wilkins
Bowers & Wilkins, founded in the UK in 1966, has been at the forefront of high performance audio for more than 50 years. Bowers & Wilkins designs and manufactures precision home speakers, headphones, custom installation and performance car audio products that set new standards for innovation and sound quality, earning countless awards and accolades from the world’s leading recording studios and musicians. Bowers & Wilkins’ reputation is based on the unwavering pursuit of the best possible sound and an unsurpassable music listening experience.
Learn more at www.bowerswilkins.com