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By today's standards, they simply lack resolution, accross the spectrum.
I would not agree with IndianEars and I fully agree with you Srinath. I had owned B&W 801 Matrix S3, one of the best speakers I owned. All it needs is clean raw power and they deliver and it has been bought by our Forum member Clearcut, he is now driving them with Accuphase E303X.I wouldn't say that.
They are just difficult to drive. The simple way to think about it is, they require current, but some amps that seem to be well below par may surprise you.
They also dont force the amp to "drive" them, like carver amazings or infinity kappa 9's do by dropping in impedance and pulling the power form the amp. All the amp has to do, is to stand being loaded at 1 ohm or 1/2 ohm in those cases.