The Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus Speakers is a triumph of engineering and design – the result of five years extensive reseach and development tasked with designing the perfect loudspeaker.
Precise to the finest level, and great in external aesthetics, there are 1-inch and 2-inch tweeters along with 4-inch mid-range driver that play a crucial role in giving out a rather crisp, clear, and more vibrant sound output. On further probing, it is said the vibration patterns are monitored to the level of 1/3000th of a millimeter by using Laser-Doppler velocimetry. The result of that is of course the precision and crispness of the sound. For the times when bass plays an important role, there are 12-inch bass drivers which are housed in a curved spiral tube, thus enabling waves to travel without reflection.
Also, B&W Nautilus speakers use an active crossover design that allows each driver to operate on its own frequency unlike the more-than-common passive crossover designs. This lends a crisper and clearer final tone output, and this means that you will need four separate amplifiers for each speaker to power them.
The speakers’ bodies are handcrafted from fiberglass-reinforced ABS and are finished with paints and lacquer systems used for luxury cars. he speakers are available from Hammacher Schlemmer for $60,000. Not a typo! That’s sixty thousand dollars.
Bowers & Wilkins Nautilus 4-Way Active Loudspeaker System
- Drive Units (High Frequency): 2 domed units of anodised aluminium of similar construction, 50mm and 25mm in diameter, handle the 880Hz – 3.5kHz and 3.5kHz – 25kHz ranges respectively. All drive units are completely mounted on silicone rubber O-rings to decouple from the cabinet
- Drive Units (Mid-Range/High Frequency): From 220Hz – 800Hz, a 100mm flat-fronted unit is employed to prevent the gentle cavity resonance found in conventional cone units at around 2kHz interfering with the output from the upper/midrange unit. A rare earth magnet assembly with hollow pole is used to minimise the obstruction to the rear radiation from the diaphragm
- Drive Units (Bass): A 9.5kg (21 lbs) magnet with a 100mm (4”) voice coil acts as the massive motor of the 300mm (12”) bass unit (10Hz – 220Hz). This, when used in the exponential line enclosure, results in a high-pass behaviour so over-damped that the traditional second-order characteristic is replaced by two distinct first-order slopes and no stored energy. A 250 micron one-piece aluminium cone ensures coherent motion to beyond 1.5kHz
- Frequency Response: 25Hz – 20kHz ± 0.5dB on reference axis
- Frequency Range: -6dB at 10Hz and 25kHz
- Power Handling: 100W – 500W into 8 ohms, one amplifier is required for each drive unit
- Electronic crossover supplied with speaker
- Dimensions (H x W x D): 1210mm x 430mm x 1105mm
- Net Weight: 110kg (Loudspeaker – 60kg, Base – 50kg)