B&W Signature Diamond: speakers that sparkle

Bowers & Wilkins (B&W ) has launched a new high-end pair of speakers, limited to just 1,000 pairs worldwide. The Signature Diamond is a bespoke, no-compromise design. Each pair takes six months' worth of man-hours to build. It also counts diamond and marble among its construction materials.

The Signature Diamond has been created B&W's chief audio engineer Dr John Dibb and industrial designer Kenneth Grange CBE.

"The result of John's audio expertise and Kenneth's design brilliance is the finest two-way floorstanding speaker we have produced in our 40 year history," says B&W spokesman Andy Napthine.

"The Signature Diamond achieves new levels of musical clarity, image precision and detail."

Diamond, marble, silver and gold

The £11,000 speaker certainly gains plaudits for material innovation. The tweeter pod, for example, is carved from Italian Grigio Carmica or Belgian Black marble, making it acoustically and mechanically robust. The nature of marble's patterning also ensures that each speaker is unique - even bought as a pair.

The innovations don't stop there. The formed plywood cabinet combines elliptical and circular shapes to eliminate unwanted resonances. The Signature Diamond also has kevlar drive units (a B&W trade mark), and uses diamond crystals to strengthen the tweeter dome. Silver and gold are also used in the speaker's crossover networks.

Tech specs

  • Technical features: free-mounted diamond dome tweeter with Nautilus tube loading; Kevlar brand fibre cone bass/midrange; Flowport
  • Description: 2-way vented-box system
  • Drive units: 1x 180mm woven Kevlar cone bass/midrange drive unit; 1x 25mm diamond dome high-frequency tweeter
  • Frequency range: -6dB at 32Hz and 33kHz
  • Frequency response: 40Hz - 28kHz, plus or minus 3dB on reference axis
  • Dispersion: Within 2dB of reference response; Horizontal: over 50-degrees arc; Vertical: over 10-degrees arc
  • Sensitivity: 88dB spl (2.83V, 1m)
  • Harmonic distortion: 2nd and 3rd harmonics (90dB, 1m); less than 1 per cent 80Hz-100kHz; less than 0.5 percent 110Hz-100kHz
  • Nominal impedance: 8 ohms (minimum 4.6 ohms)
  • Crossover frequency: 3.8kHz
  • Recommended amplifier power: 50W-120W into 8 ohms on unclipped programme
  • Max. recommended cable impedance: 0.1 ohms
  • Dimensions: 230mm (w) x 930mm (h) x 375mm (d)
  • Net weight : 25kg