One material sums up our quest for perfection in sound reproduction more than any other. Diamond. It’s the ultimate tweeter material – and the magic ingredient in our flagship 800 Series Diamond. It’s part of the reason why 800 Series speakers have become legendary among professional recording studios and serious sound enthusiasts alike. And now, for the first time, you can hear the incredible precision and clarity of diamond in every speaker in the range. The very best just got even better. And perfection just got even closer.
A legend reborn
At Bowers and Wilkins , the quest for perfection never ends. There are always new goals to aim for, new standards to set. In 1979, we redefined what’s possible in sound reproduction with the very first 800 Series speaker – the Matrix 801. But we didn’t stop there. We continued to refine and experiment. And now we’ve raised the benchmark yet again, with the brand new 800 Series Diamond, which harnesses the unique properties of diamond throughout the range.
Behind the scenes
The 800 Series Diamond is more than a speaker. It represents the pinnacle of our technological achievement, and the sum total of almost 50 years of research and development at the cutting edge of acoustic design. Inside the sturdy cabinet of every speaker in the range is some of the most advanced technology ever to be put inside a box.
Hard enough to cut stone and grind glass, diamond is a miracle material, used in advanced industrial applications like the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Its combination of lightness and incredible stiffness also makes it the perfect tweeter material, capable of producing high frequencies way beyond the range of human hearing. Using modern scientific processes, we grow diamond under laboratory conditions to form the optimum tweeter dome shape.
Not all sound generated by speaker drive units is good sound. The kind that emerges from the back of a driver into a conventional box cabinet can bounce around and make a mess of the good sound coming from the front. Our trailblazing Nautilus™ speaker found a way around boxes, with tapering tubes that soak up the rearward sound energy and reduce resonances to a minimum. The 800 Series Diamond models follow the same principle. So all the sound you hear is good sound.
Magnets have an important role to play in speaker design, producing the energy for the motor system that powers the drive units. For the 800 Series Diamond. we’ve refined the science of magnet motor design to a fine art. For the bass drivers, we’ve introduced a dual magnet motor system, making the magnetic field more symmetrical and reducing harmonic distortion. Meanwhile a unique quad magnet design keeps the tweeter running cool for a greater dynamic range.
It’s the wonder fabric in bulletproof vests. But, as Bowers & Wilkins discovered, Kevlar’s ability to absorb bursts of energy also made it perfectly suited to disrupt the standing waves that cause coloration in the midrange. To enhance the properties of Kevlar® yet further, we’ve added FST™ – a circular shock absorber around the cone that almost totally absorbs the sound-smudging bending waves that travel outwards to the cone’s perimeter. A midrange driver never sounded cleaner, or more responsive.
With its massive construction and imposing magnet and voice coil, the 800 Series Diamond bass driver is a formidable piece of engineering, designed to preserve the speed and ‘slam’ of the most demanding bass lines. The cone material is Rohacell®: a sophisticated foam/carbon fibre composite normally used for aircraft and performance cars. So high air pressures are not a problem. For unshakable bass, it’s the bottom line.
A crossover’s construction speaks volumes about the quality of a speaker. What to look for is simplicity. The rule is, the better the design of the drive units, the simpler the design of the crossover can afford to be. And the quality of the 800 Series Diamond drive units is such that we’ve been able to make the speaker’s first-order crossover one of the simplest – and best – we’ve ever produced, using only the most exceptional, hand-picked components.