My New Review of the Spatial Hologram M4 Open Baffle Speaker


I've been very impressed with the Spatial Hologram M4 speaker and have posted a detailed review on my audio blog. 

Enjoy and please feel free to leave comments and questions either here or on the blog.

https://stevefolberg.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/world-premiere-review-the-spatial-hologram-m4/
rebbi
Wonderful review rebbi. 
I entertained the notion of getting a pair of Spatials about a year ago. Owning a pair of semi-open baffle Tonian Labs TL-D1s makes it easy to relate to what you hear with your Spatials. There's definitely something going on with open baffle designs that makes listening less a chore and more a pleasure.

All the best,
Nonoise


Cool rebbi. Thanks for the detailed review of it's musicality.
Thanks so much for the kind feedback. I really enjoyed writing it.
I love that the Spatials use two 12" bass drivers, are open baffle, use a concentric mounted compression driver, and are comparably efficient as a result. Seems like a nicely thought out design compatible with most amps and worth hearing.

I recall the DIYers at an audio show a few years back demoed much smaller home made open baffle speakers made from a couple hundred dollars worth of parts that was one of the most uniquely engaging sounds at the show. They sat just above floor level for bass reinforcement and with open baffle angled slightly up for high frequencies. Very unconventional yet practical and delivered the goods! The big name high priced dealers there must have hated that room.

It re-confirmed to me what I always thought that with just a bit of out-of the-box thinking, things need not be massive and uber expensive to sound great.
Map,
Yes, Clayton is a very smart fellow. I've never met him but he impresses me as a guy with a vision who's very methodical about how he brings the vision to reality.
I wish you lived closer... we could have a field day with the M4's - trust me, you'd love them!  :-)
Excellent - thank you!
I have the M1 they sound like Maggie's on steroids. I drive them with a 8watt 300B amplifier. Best speakers I've owned and I have had many well known planer, box and ribbon designs over the past 30 years. Just love their huge soundstage and room filling sound.
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Maggies on steroids is largely what I was looking for to end up where I am today. Sounds good to me!

I would really like to hear these. Might have to pick up a pair just because I can.
Go for the M3 with the 15 inch drivers. They disappear in any size room. I have a friend with a very small room and he has no problem with bass overload.
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I like to shoot for the sky usually when it comes to these things as much as I can.   Bigger done well is usually better but also more expensive.    We’ll see. I’ve got some reading to do.
I know I just found out I can upgrade my M1's. Have to do it.
Nice review - I really enjoyed your enthusiasm for both the speakers and the music you love and mentioned in the review.

Getting excited about the music is really what it is all about, I hope you enjoy these speakers for a long, long time.
Doug,
Thank you for the kind words!
Nonoise,
I had looked at the Tonians - for awhile there was a dealer selling some version of your speaker on Audiogon and I was very tempted because I've heard that they are quite wonderful. Enjoy!
Hey yesterday I was twiddling with the speakers in my wife’s sunroom (switching in an old pair of Boston A40 sereis II I had just re-foamed to try) and my wife asked out of nowhere if I could put a pair of white speakers in there to match the decor better.

So there you go. The wife is asking for a new pair of speakers. What can I say except OK? Now I gotta show her a picture of the Holograms and get a reaction. They are much bigger that what’s in there now.

Also I have had floor interaction problems with every pair of speakers I’ve tried in there. The Holograms are likely no different. I’d need to find an isolating platform of some sort that fit them. My current Isoacoustics brand monitor stands in there would not.

BTW in the initial audition, the little old Boston’s sounded really good in there! I recall their sound from about 30 years back when I bought them and had high hopes for them in the sun room. They did not disappoint. These little old babys are sounding very smooth yet detailed! The tonality reminded me of Goldenear Aon speakers I have heard and liked recently. The re-foaming really did the job! But the wife wants white speakers so there you go.
Has anyone heard the difference between turbo and turbo s models?  Turbo S uses more expensive compression driver apparently but what is the difference in the sound I wonder?

I saw where somebody online wrote about having moved up from the Turbo to the Turbo S and thought the Turbo S was a substantial improvement. When I spoke with Clayton about the difference, he joked that at our age (late 50s) unless we had an unusual amount of hearing above 14,000 Hz, there might not be that much difference. :-)
What I have heard over and over again is that the better crossover parts that are used in the higher end models do make quite a difference. That's why my M4 pair is the (no longer available) base model, but with the better crossover parts. Hope that helps.
as i sit here listening to my audio nirvana full range drivers in open baffles i can only nod in agreement. it sounds like the crossover is exlnt in that unit. i recently put the drivers back in cabinets and while the bass gets more punhcy i realize that i have been conditioned to think that is better. it isnt. the openness of the bass sans box is much more realistic imo. great review
So there you go. The wife is asking for a new pair of speakers. What can I say except OK? Now I gotta show her a picture of the Holograms and get a reaction. They are much bigger that what’s in there now.

Map, here’s a photo of the M4s to scale.
Hmm not as big as I thought which is a good thing for that room.  

Thanks.  

Fin in have you heard them?   Are you an owner?

Can’t say I have, Map. Seems to be getting good reviews on the forums I frequent. The adverts on Spatial's homepage makes them appear bigger than they actually are....at least the M4.  Hope they are not the Flavor of the Month. If Rebbi keeps ’em, that may be a sign. :)
Map- 
I think that you would love the M4.  And with the 60 day home trial, you have very little to gamble. 
 Really, everything I said in the review was deeply felt. I think they are extremely special.And, yes, I am planning on holding onto them, unless I decide to trade up to the M3, up for that last bit of low and extension! :-) 
rebbi,
I read your reviews of both the Fritz and the Spatial. Which did you prefer? If this question puts you on the spot please answer by private message. Thanks!
rja,
Happy to message you off the forum but can't figure out how to send a PM on the new Audiogon. Can anyone enlighten me?
... can't figure out how to send a PM on the new Audiogon. Can anyone enlighten me?
Near the top of the Audiogon home page, click "Explore" and then "Member Lookup."  Use the search box that will appear to locate the member's screen-name, then click on the screen-name and you will see a "send message" button.  Alternatively, you can use the "Member Lookup" link that appears near the bottom of your Audiogon Inbox page.

As usual, a very informative and beautifully presented review, Rebbi.  Thanks!

Best regards,
-- Al
 
Al,
So nice of you, Al, thanks for the technical help and also for the kind comments.
rebbi,
The reason I asked about these 2 speakers is that the Fritz while being more of a conventional design costs twice the Spatial.
If you add the Seas Be tweeter to the Fritz it ends up costing $5000.
That's a costly monitor in my opinion and I'm wondering if the performance is in the $5000 category or if the Spatial offers equal performance at half the price. There are many excellent monitors at the $5000 price pint and even below.
I also thought as a reviewer that you might not want to discuss this on a public forum.
rebbi can certainly speak for himself but I think if you'll read how he wraps up his reviews you'll notice a definite preference.  I also believe he was working within a budget so while price likely is a limiting factor at the end of the day and in his final choice(s) in speakers, I don't think it is factor in his own impressions of two evidently very good speakers.

He has been on an interesting speaker journey for a few years now. His various threads and his blog make for good, informative reading.

I do agree that the Fritz, at $5 - 6K gets into very competitive territory - both new and used.
rja: personal message just sent - thanks to Almarg for showing me how to do that!
finsup: Thanks for the kind words.
So much comes down to what you value in a speaker, what kind of presentation you like and what your budget is.
As small-ish monitors go, I think the Fritz's are wonderful and well worth considering. I think that the Carbon 7 SE, in particular, is a great all rounder that, as I wrote in my review, was much more compatible with a SET amp than I'd have expected "on paper." I am less inclined to offer a strong opinion on the Carrera as a value proposition because I suspect it would have performed even better with a more powerful amp than I have at my disposal. But there's no question that the Carrera is a classic Fritz product: well built (especially that cabinet!) and fitted with premium drivers, with balanced, non-fatiguing sound and shocking bass extension for the cabinet size.
Yes, I am working within a strict and rather tight budget, which is one reason that the Spatial's impressed me so much. They are quite great regardless of price, but especially for what they cost.
Thank you rebbi!
I will report back. Just had my M1 upgraded with a new tweeter. Guess what there coming back in? New boxes at no extra charge. Now that's customer service.
Very intriguing speakers- thank for the write-up Rebbi.  I'm currently very happy with a pair of restored/upgraded MMGs in my small listening room- all tube electronics, as well as a pair of Sonus Faber Liuto monitors, but am quite tempted to avail myself of the 60-day home trial of the M4's.

And just when I thought I was "done."   :)
Lad,
This thread is stale, but I thought I'd chime in as an M4 Turbo S owner with now about 200 hours on them and they simply wonderful.  I hooked up my REL T-7 sub and it sure fills out that the lower octave in a way that makes the sound presentation come alive.  They are very easy to drive with a 7 wpc tube amp, but also sound wonderful with a CJ solid-state amp.  I could't be happier wit the sound I am hearing.  Cheers, Mark
Mark - Whitestix,

Did your M4's experience a break in period whereby the sound changed and/or improved over time?
Thanks,
Randy
Anyone tried corner placement with any Spatials?
For what it’s worth, I haven’t tried corner placement. I think you’d have to ask Clayton whether that was a good idea. He recommends either a far-field or near-field placement – and these options are detailed in the Owners Manual. On the other hand, my setup isn’t exactly compliant with either of those two set up recommendations, and I’m getting great results. I think there really is something to be said for the "controlled directivity" concept as implemented here in terms of "taking the room out of the equation" with placement.
Frankly I am amazed more open  baffle designs are not in systems everywhere. There is no going back when you lose the box unless you spend big dollars. Nice review!