Do you want a speaker more like the Spendor or do you want something a little bit different.
The Harbeth line is pretty much like the Spendor, but I like the Spendor better, imo.
Hi Dave, my concern is to loose something while I'm trying to improve. But yes, something a bit different.
Ok, how much money are you willing (or can) spend?
I've own S100s (twice) and currently own a pair of 9/1s.
Bass extension can be addressed by adding a subwoofer. I prefer REL, but there are others. Better control and possibly punch can be addressed by products like the DSPeaker Anti-Mode 2 equalizer. I haven't tried it, but it's received great reviews in TAS and Stereophile. Both have noted that it is easy to use and reasonably priced.
The upper bass of SP100 can overwhelm certain rooms (not necessarily small rooms) and make the speaker seem a bit muddy. Room treatment, particularly bass traps in the corners of the room can do a lot to tighten up the upper bass and improve the perception of more deep bass impact. The other suggestions about digital room correction and possible use of a subwoofer are also very good.
If you like the basic sound of the SP100, you should look first at such corrective measures rather than looking for new speakers.
However, if you are getting an itch to try something completely new, that can open up a whole new range of possibilities and discovery. It is almost impossible to make specific recommendations, given how even small changes can be significant. For example, the same drivers of the SP100 are used in the discontinued 9/1. The 9/1 is a VERY different sounding speaker -- tighter, leaner and clearer (more "modern" sound)-- which is a plus or a minus depending on one's taste. That is why I cannot begin to guess what would be a suitable recommendation for something "similar" but perhaps an improvement.
At best, I recommend that you look at speakers from certain manufacturers whose speakers I generally like that I am crudely guessing will be compatible with the taste of someone favoring Spendors: ProAc, Harbeth, Classic Audio, and Sonus Faber.
First of all, thanks to everybody :-)
Yes, I'm starting to imagine which loudspeaker could be the next, something to hear that can be considered an improvement over the SP100r. Room treatment can be a problem due to the WAF, there is a good audio technician who is living not so far from me: maybe a good investment can be ask him to measure the room.
Anyway, thanks Larry for your suggestion. My budget should be not more than 12000 USD.
Consider this as a brainstorming and I appreciate every intervention because I need to restrict the models range.
Thanks again :-)
To get a better understanding of what you might like, perhaps you can list some speakers you heard that sounded good to you (regardless of price). Also, if you have any other particular requirements or limitations (such as placement issues) tht would be helpful to know as well.
Near or below your price point, I would recommend auditioning the Gradient Revolution (extremely versatile in terms of room placement because the bass section is configurable to match different locations). I have heard this speaker in a small room and in a room where it was placed near the corner and the sound in both instances was quite good.
For a somewhat warm balance (without being muddy or slow sounding) I like the Gershman GAP 828. This might be a little above your stated price range, but, I bet you could work something out.
I personally tend to like speakers that are a bit more immediate sounding (good dynamics, particularly at lower volume levels, sense of speed rather than a slower, "heavy" sound). This sound quality is hard to achieve without becoming harsh or dry and thin sounding. A few speaker companies that manage to pull this difficult trick off include Classic Audio and Horning. I have only heard the higher priced Horning model, so I have no experience with the model in your price range (Aristoteles), but the brand is on the right track to me.
Because you mentioned WAF, I would suspect that Magneplanar speakers might be out of contention. If that is not the case, the 3.7 model is something that should be auditioned -- great value for the money, in my opinion.
Good luck on your search.
I would recommend B&W or high end JBL, but those are probably too forward sounding for you.
I would go with ATC or PMC. They have soft dome tweeters.
Thanks Larry. Regardless of the price, I like DeVore speakers.
Magneplanar was an option but unfortunately they are too big for the available space, see the picture at the link in the first message, not so much space available :-(
Dave, about JBL I will have the opportunity to hear, with my amplifier and DAC, the Array system, cannot remember at the moment if 1400 or 1000, I will check next week.
Maz65, a few random opinions:
the Magneplanar, DeVore and JBL are all excellent loudspeakers, but being that you have severe placement restrictions, how will any of these speakers sound better than what you already have? From looking at your system pic it appears one speaker has to be in a corner and the other speaker is next to an open area. Both speakers look like they are fairly close to the rear wall. Most full range loudspeakers will have problems in the lower midrange thru bass with your arrangement. That's why I earlier suggested the bass equalizer. Additionally, the Maggies and the DeVores will not go lower in the bass than the Spendors. Someone suggested Gradient Revolutions -- I have these speakers and they don't have the midrange of the Spendors and they are very inefficient (you'll need a new amp). The Gradients have better placement flexibility, a more linear bass and far outclass the Spendor in soundstage/imaging. Basically, if you switch to any of the speakers mentioned I think you could lose the things you like about the Spendors without really gaining the improvements in the bass you desire.
I am a fan of DeVore speakers too. I recently heard the Orangutan with Line Magnetics amp and that combination is quite good. I don't consider the DeVore speakers to be what truly deep bass fans would be looking for, but, they do deliver a lively and well balanced sound. Dave mentioned the high end JBLs. I also think that the high end models with the horn drivers (e.g., Everest) sound very good.
As someone who has owned SP-100s for the past 11 years, I can sympathize with your situation. During the past few years, I have considered a wide variety of newer speakers as replacements for the Spendors, yet still have the SP-100s. Some that you may want to listen to are Daedalus Athena and Ulysses, DeVore O/96, Audio Note E series, and Tannoys. One thing that I have learned is that for someone who likes the Spendor sound there are very few alternatives that will satisfy. Another thing is that the SP-100 has so much potential that it deserves top-notch sources and amplifiers. From your description of your system, it appears you reached the same conclusion.
The practical alternative for me has been vintage speakers. At present I alternate between the Spendors and a pair of homemade speakers that use a vintage 15" Jensen woofer with Altec 32 horn and 802-8G compression driver. There is a photo on my system page. While not perfect by any means, the vintage speaker is actually more satisfying on most types of music than the SP-100s, and I say that as a Spendor fan. Just something to consider.
I just took a closer look at your system page and noticed the stands you are using for your Spendors. To get deeper and stronger bass, I suggest you try some some Skylan stands. I recently replaced my Sound Anchor stands with Skylans and was rather surprised what a difference this made.
Oh yeah, I forgot about Tannoy. Good choice.
Hi All, thanks for everyone comment.
I guess first of all could be better ask for a serious room analysis and try to made such a non-invasive room correction as someone suggested. I am also evaluating the Salectric suggestion: to try different stands. My actual stands was crafted by customdesign.co.uk and I placed ceraballs between wooden floor and stands.
In the meantime I will try to hear some JBL (Array 1400, 4365) than can fall into my budget.
Other suvggestions are everytime welacome, thanks again!
And about Harbeth M40.1 ? Could I make a step forward of it is more or less the same as SP100r ?
Very similar, imo. I prefer the Spendor myself.
And as far as JBL goes, see if you can listen to the K2 9900s or what I have, the S4700s. The retail price on the S4700 has been reduced to $15000 USD.
Thanks Dave, I will give a try to S4000s.
About Spendor/Harbeth, I guess I also prefer Spendors, not only for the sound but the major efficiency that is good for listening at low volume.
There is a European distributor for Skylan stands since they are popular for Harbeth as well as Spendors.
Another thing that occurred to me is your choice in speaker cable. The Kimber cables tend to have a deep and nicely controlled bass but can be somewhat thin and lacking in body above the deep bass. You may want to try some alternatives for a fuller, more robust sound. In my case, I use Wireworld Eclipse (the original version, not one of the later models) but I am sure there are others that would work well with the Spendors as well.
Salectric, thanks for suggestion.
Yesterday I sent an email to the Skylan european distributor, asking for a quotation, maybe tomorrow he will answer me. Definitively this could be the starting point with a relatively cheap amount.
I tried in the past the Wireworld Eclipse 6: nothing impressive in my setup, but I had a different amplifier.
You're welcome. Sounds good.
Go to the JBL synthesis website and have a look.
Agree with you on the WW Eclipse 6. I tried the Eclipse 6 and Silver Eclipse 6, and preferred the original Eclipse speaker cable at least in my system. The earlier Wireworld desigs (the original and Series II and III) used a totally different type of construction.
I had a pair of S-100s many years ago--they were one of my all time favorites. When I wanted to get back to that sound I went with Harbeth (C-7's) which were a bit more detailed through the mids with (obviously) less bass (but I was in a smaller space). When I moved back into a larger room I wanted something with the midrange magic of the Spendor/Harbeth sound but with better dynamics, bass power and agility. I went with Daedalus and have never looked back. I'd suggest you give them a listen.
Hi Dodgealum, Deadalus are not available in Europe...
after some investigations I found the Horning and gradient revolution dealers, I will give them a try. Thanks!
I know Lou sold a pair in the UK. Have you contacted him?