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Invitation to Listen to the Original B & W Nautilus Speakers

Discussion in 'Speakers' started by Mark B, Mar 31, 2005.

  1. Mark B

    Mark B Yamaha Fan Subscriber

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    My first trip to Dufur (Oregon) to Mike's hacienda was a memorable experience. With the stars the only lights in sight from horizon to horizon other than the lights of the house, Mike, Dingus and I settled in to groove to the music wailing from the Altec Valencias. It was the first time that I had had the pleasure of hearing what great sound the classic old speakers are capable of. Mike is far too modest - those Valencias kick ass!

    We spun cd's into the wee hours, and when Dingus & I loaded into the car for the journey back to Portland, I felt it had been one of those rare perfect days.
    _
     

     

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  2. john_w

    john_w Miscreant

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    805's are the "baby nautilus" bookshelf models. They still sound great on proper stands, but need a sub. I don't know what you could describe as "snails" other than the TOTL "Signature Nautilus" these guys just listened to. Perhaps they were 802's or 801's? (Those have a separate, round compartment to isolate the midrange.)
     
  3. Thatch_Ear

    Thatch_Ear Addicted Member

    Messages:
    7,735
    Definatly snail floor standers with bullet shaped tweets, maybe the mids too, and at the time new as I had recently listened to a pair at Hillcrest HiFi. The guy that owned them was an audio installer for the wealthy and after talking to him I believe he sold to his clients from his place, so they were probably comps.
    I was there with my wife to check out his place which he ended up renting out to her company for the office Christmas party. I walked and said "Oh you have Nautilus!" which got him all excited to know that I was into audio and so I got the nickle tour. His control center was really something, projector for movies and where you put in the discs for tunes. The Nautilus were in the main room downstairs and you could use a remote aimed at a IR senser mounted on the wall to control the volume.

    I kinda liked his yellow Ferrarri too.
     
  4. Thatch_Ear

    Thatch_Ear Addicted Member

    Messages:
    7,735
    801s....Googled up some pics.
     
  5. john_w

    john_w Miscreant

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    Those 801's are monster speakers in their own right! I've at least seen them. I think I've only heard anything as high as the 802's in that line, and I've at least been in the same room with 801's.

    I didn't mean to be picky earlier about the room set-up. Just too bad it had to work out that way. I'm sure the rep. did everything he could. And no, I wouldn't expect those monsters to be moved around at whim!

    I've never even seen any TOTL Nautili in person. :worried: Glad some of these guys had the experience, though! It's also good to see Nautilus get glowing reviews, since I've seen them get bashed a couple times recently.
     
  6. Mark B

    Mark B Yamaha Fan Subscriber

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    It's funny that you should post a picture of 1 channel of the IRS (Infinity Reference Standard) speaker system. Yesterday Dingus & I were discussing making these the next speakers to arrange a listening session for. :yes:
    .
     

     

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  7. dingus

    dingus Super Member

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    pic's

    pic's are posted in the speaker gallery, look for Echo Audio. along with the Nautilus there are several other "make you drool" type speakers all in one place.
     
  8. elroymcgee

    elroymcgee Active Member

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    Buckley, Wa
    that looked like an awesome shop, but i still didnt need to hear a set of $45,000 SPEAKERS, I would probably end up cashing out my 401k for the penis extension
     
  9. john_w

    john_w Miscreant

    Messages:
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    Well, I don't know about the rest of you guys, but that was far more than I wanted to know! :rolleyes:
     
  10. theophile

    theophile Pheasant Plucker. Subscriber

    What an interesting read.

    Mike G,
    Thanks for asking the question that I had in my own mind."How do the Vals compare in such illustrious company?"
    I'm sure they wouldn't blow-away the others,but it's good to see the flattering assessments from your visitors. :)
     
  11. Mike Gibson

    Mike Gibson Modulator Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

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    Theophile, I just had my Mark Knopfler "Golden Heart" CD returned yesterday and listened to it and fell in love with that CD all over again. I'm like Dingus in that I went and really enjoyed listening to some excellent speakers and came home and still appreciated what I have. I have always wanted to hear some really high quality speakers and now that I have I see that mine don't hold a candle to the others technically but They will fill the room with music which sounds good to me and that's what really counts.
     

     

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  12. ByrdWyngs

    ByrdWyngs Well-Known Member

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    I'm really wishing now that I'd been able to stick with you guys for the rest of the day. Would have been nice to hear the Vals and the Veritas to see how thay compare to my HPMs and Connisseurs. Unfortunately I promised the wife I'd go shopping with her, and get about an acre of lawn mowed before dark. I think you definitely had the better afternoon ;-)
     
  13. Thatch_Ear

    Thatch_Ear Addicted Member

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    7,735
    After I listened to the big B&W floor standers hooked up to a SACDP and bunch of McIntosh SS with cables fatter than a garden hose at the HiFi store(cables might have been $10K) I went home to a Toshiba 24/96 HDCD/DVDP and a Fisher 400 reciever driving some Shahinian Obelisks and felt that though the Mc & B&W system was definatly better it was only better by about 10% while the cost was around 1,000% (actually around twice the price of my house) and the extra quality wasn't justified by the price. Just my opinion, not that it matters because there is no way in hell I would ever be able to afford to buy the in store system and if I could, I wouldn't.
     
  14. john_w

    john_w Miscreant

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    Yeah, that's just a tad out of my price range, too.

    IMO, if someone wants to go strictly by cost/quality ratio, they should buy a cheapo transistor radio or CPC boom box from Wal Mart and call it good. Nothing wrong with that. Law of diminishing returns starts at rock bottom, as far as I can tell.

    So at what point does the diminishing return become unreasonable? That's totally subjective. I suppose if I were a multi-billionaire, I wouldn't think twice about buying a 200k system to squeek a 10% gain out of it, since it would be less than .01% of my income.
     
  15. dingus

    dingus Super Member

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    most definately! Mike says i have the distinction of being the only person to ever fall asleep to his Valencia's. for the record it was about 0400 and i had been up since 0500 the previous day, and i was only resting my eyes, i heard everything.
     
  16. theophile

    theophile Pheasant Plucker. Subscriber

    Regarding laws of diminishing returns etc.

    This discussion becomes ever more pertinent in the context of Audiokarma as a forum in itself.
    One way to diminish the effect of the "law" of diminishing returns surely must be the purchase,secondhand,of underappreciated vintage components.
    Audiokarma as a forum must be somewhere near the vanguard of websites where information is shared and opinions proffered and discussed regarding overlooked but very definitely worthy pieces from time gone by.
    Thankfully,there seems to be a greater appreciation of the worth of some of the lesser known(to the followers of todays trends)gear.I do understand that this can cause some angst when due to the equation of supply and demand,the prices of vintage gear have and will continue to skyrocket,but surely isn't it better that this stuff is appreciated and valued rather than being destined to landfill?
    P.S I'm just glad I've assembled a satisfying system before vintage prices really go crazy! :yes:
     

     

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  17. Mike Gibson

    Mike Gibson Modulator Staff Member Super Mod Subscriber

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    Since sound is pretty subjective one thing that has helped me keep on an even keel (well as even as I get :) ), is I try and make sure my biggest investment in any system is in money and not ego. So when someone doesn't particularly like the sound of your system you are not compelled to get all defensive and hurt. I learned that from a friend named Bill and his Airline stereo console.
     
  18. john_w

    john_w Miscreant

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Yes, it is true that there's more bang for the buck in vintage. Rarely have I had to do anything to maintain anything beyond a good cleaning, even items that go back as far as the early '70s. (Of course, I don't have wild parties where my speakers are set on fire by spilled hard liquor and cigarettes, and I don't have kids around that often, so it's easy to take care of my gear.)

    Of course, Nautilus doesn't go back far enough to qualify, although I'm not familiar with the other specific models you guys were listening to. Sounds like they're at least mostly vintage.

    I can definitely relate to shopping all over town for speakers, then going home and cranking my existing system and thinking it sounded better than anything I just listened to. Maybe it was just less than ideal room acoustics and positioning at the show rooms, but I still think my vintage stuff sounds great!
     
  19. Mark B

    Mark B Yamaha Fan Subscriber

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    I was just reminiscing about this listening session. Here's a photo of one of the B&W Nautiluses we listened to.

    NautilusRacingSnail.jpg .
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  20. theophile

    theophile Pheasant Plucker. Subscriber

    Wow.Thanks for the photo but it's kind of spooky opening a notification to a thread you had completely forgotten...
     

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