I went to a local audio shop today and listened to some B&W Nautilus 800s. They were powered by McIntosh solid state preamp and humungous McIntosh monoblock amps (either that or they were two of their stereo amps bridged. Either way, they were the biggest amps I've ever seen.) Source was a Marantz SACD player. Sorry, I can't recall all the model #s of the stuff. Anyway, onto my listening experience. I first popped in Joe Satriani's self titled album. Hello! The Satch Man hasn't sounded so good in a long time. His guitar work had depth and body. I could feel his low notes in my gut. And the bass! It was tight and controlled. At first I thought, "I'd like a little more thump" but then I realized that it sounded so damn good that I didn't need any more thump. Highs were clear and airy ... never thought they could be so smooth out of a metal dome tweeter. I think B&W and Focal have the market cornered on the best sounding metal dome tweets. Onto other recordings ... I then stuck in Dream Theater - Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence, Disc 2. What the hell? It was bright, hissy, and tinny. I've heard DT played through a bright system before (Krell amps and ML electrostatics), and they weren't this bright. Maybe it was the Marantz cd player? Maybe McIntosh amps are bright? I dunno, but some crappy source was being revealed here, quite possibly the recording. Very harsh and fatiguing sound. Blecchhh!. Okay, not to be thwarted, I put in Santana - Supernatural. I consider this my reference recording, it seems to be the best quality overall out of all the CDs I own. Since I had only had a little time left on the parking meter outside, I played my favorite track. The last hidden track at 8:00. I was completely floored. Again, the guitars had body and richness, very lifelike presentation. Again, the bass retained control while still yielding a satisfying thump. The woofers seemed to go quite low, but I can't say for sure since I didn't run any sine sweeps through. them. Clapton's vocals sounded beautiful, and gave me that feeling that he was right there in the room with me, playing along with Mr. Santana. I would've listened more, but the damn parking meter had run out of time at that point. So, to sum up my review: B&W N800's are awesome, very revealing speakers. Detailed mids and highs, and some of the best sounding bass I've ever heard from a full range floor standing speaker. They seem to be on the "musical truth" side of things, rather than just a pleasing, smooth, euphonic sound. That being said, they seem like they have the potential to be harsh and fatiguing with poor recordings. If I had the money for those speakers, I would use a tubed pre/power (at least 200wpc) combo, or perhaps a very smooth-sounding solid state preamp and amp like an NAD S100 and S200. *Sigh* I love to dream.