SPENDORs are a high-end brand every bit the equal, if not the top contenders for the top of the heap ranking of all your listed choices.
As with any speaker choice, their audio performance is a product of the system synergy with the rest of your equipment : front and centre. To evaluate them in isolation is meaningless.
I've seen them paired with EXPOSURE electronics and VAN DEN HUL cables array at several audio expos. (The system was lovely!) This pairing has also been mirrored in mag reviews:
I’ve been a major fan of British speakers for many decades. Spendors “house” sound is lush and lovely. I have two pair of their ls35a’s as well as an older SP1 that I still use on a daily basis in a second system.
Ran Proac response 2.5 as well. I have heard the newer house sound on B&W as well as KEF. While quite nice I do prefer Spendor and/or Proac. They are every bit as good and possibly better than the others. Harbeth is also a major contender. More like Spendor than the others......I love the SLH5 plus......
But you must hear for yourself.
Spendor make, well, splendid speakers. The D7 and D9 are superlative. Their SP100 is also very interesting, but is often in the shadow of the Harbeth 40. Unlike Harbeth, who goes the monitor route, Spendor also make these less expensive floor-standers. They have a major presence in Britain and Europe; as with Proac, it's a question of distribution and publicity campaigns in the US, compared to the likes of KEF.
I think so, yes.
Of course if you are talking about old Spendor models, they are wonderful sounding and many will say they still do some things "better" than many modern competitors.
But in terms of sheer technical prowess, advancements in accuracy, detail, clarity etc, they have been surpassed.
However Spendor hasn't sat on it's hands. I remember thinking the sound coming from a pair of Spendor D9s (or was it D7?) was among the best at a recent audio show. Really convincing clarity and timbre with jazz saxophone, drums, sense of drive, etc.
Spendor were my first foray into high quality speakers and historically they are a top British speaker manufacturer. I have owned the 3/1, 7/1, and 1/2e (twice) all from the Classic Series of days gone by (versus the Classic Series of today). I would not classify their sound as lush, in fact I have found them to be fairly transparent, and in the case of the 1/2e, with a midrange only bested by my Quad ESL 57s and Music Reference ESLs. I found my Spendors sounded better with solid state amps of moderate power vs. tube amps. Many others feel Spendors and tubes are a great match.
Today's series of Spendors are quite different in my opinion, and admittedly I have not listened to any of them. However, Derek Hughes (son of SPENcer and DORothy Hughes) designed the Stirling Broadcast LS 3/6 and from all accounts has recreated the classic Spendor sound.
As a point of reference here are a few links that I have found useful:
I recently purchased a pair of Spendor D9s after listening to KEF Reference 1, B&W 804S3, Harbeth HL5+, and 40.2. I had never heard a pair of Spendors and wasn't planning on listening to them, but the dealer suggested I give them a listen and they were my favorites along with the 40.2.
I thought the D9 was very similar to the 40.2 but is ~ $5K less (MSRP) and was much easier to fit in my smallish listening area.
Thank you to all who responded. I appreciate the feedback; also, special thanks to those responders who provided links about previous models in the Spendor.LINE
I am considering a trade/ purchase deal with TMR, the internet seller for a pair of A6R's which are current IN their lineup. however TMR trade-in values are low, and they have one pair of what I own in their inventory Also have not seen much press on the A6R speaker.
Yup, they have always made an easy to listen to speaker. Great minds like the harbeth's and a bit on the sweet side of things. I was a long time Proac owner until I went with the Vandy's, but I have enjoyed both Harbeth and Spendors for that luscious mid range. Not the last word in extension on either end and they don't throw the largest soundstage, but who cares if that's the sound you are looking for.