Room Setup 801 S3 Monitor MAIN ROOM From Stereophile
"Higher in frequency, the response trend (averaged across a 30 degrees lateral window on the tweeter axis) is basically flat, but with a slight excess of energy in the presence region and a corresponding lack of energy in the top octave. All things being equal, this will make the speaker both a little too revealing of recorded detail and somewhat fussy when it comes to the quality of source and amplification components, just as LL noted in his auditioning comments."
Up high and away from all walls. A couple of thoughts since owning these 801's since '95.
1)Setup 801 S3 Monitors - There are two ways to setup 801 S3 imo. A) A huge room or B) a smaller/regular sized room like mine about 12 x 24 as part of a two room containment system. With option (B) the first room allows you to set up speakers as needed in the room. The secondary room/ area outside of your main room is needed to accept a certain amount of bass seepage. How much seepage is dependent on WAF and neighbors? Trying to build a fortress around these speakers in a regular sized room will be frustrating because of the prodigious bass, and the reason IMO that they are no longer sold. Too hard to integrate into a domestic environment. So why go to the trouble of the 2 room system? Well, I have a basement area that acts as this seepage containment space. The speakers that I have heard at (homes/shows) that matched or bettered the 801 energy levels to me, all cost huge amounts of money. Add to this the fact that my 801’s drivers still look like the day I brought them home. How many full range speakers sold today can honestly do 20 - 20 response.
2)Bass Alignment Filter - The 801’s have a 40hz hump without the BAF filter in my room. This prevents hearing 20 hz. One way to achieve 20hz with them is with the bass alignment filter as documented in the manual. I have talked with an engineer that is very familiar with the 801 and the BAF. It is essentially an equalizer that forces the amp/amps to send more power to the low frequencies – works the amps a little harder. This makes the B&W 801S3 much more Linear in output down to 20hz. This allows for 20hz to be audible. Otherwise masked by the 40 hz hump without the filter. The BAF imo is the first step before the S/A stands can be used in a beneficial way. This has been my personal experience.
Three advantages of the BAF.
1) 801 matrix become very linear – the 40 hz hump disappears and the BAF provides for much cleaner defined bass. The first impression is actually of a little less bass when you first hear it. This allows for a little easier placement. The resulting bass is much much quicker.
2)If there is sub 40 hz in the music you will now hear / feel it. If not, its not in the music.
3) Woofer pumping with vinyl at high SPL’s all but eliminated. With the woofer barely moving the bass is taut and much quicker.