Recently at Axpona heard the Spatial Audio speakers and to be honest they did not impress. (Did not hear Zu speakers). BUT did listen to the Tri-Art Audio open baffle speakers which to my ears were one of best of show.
my take at axpona 2019 was that the spatial x3s and the big tri-art's were among the best sounding speakers at the show. esp given their price points.
Happy Spatial M3 Turbo S owner here. The open baffle design creates an an amazing sound stage. More info on what you're looking to achieve with the upgrade would help. If you have any specific questions on the M3, fire away. I feel these will be easy to find used once the X5 and X3 get released as owners look to move up the Spatial line.
The Tekton Perfect Set 15 is on my short list for my 2nd (home office) system. I'm mainly waiting until more reviews are available. Given the number of happy Tekton owners, they look like a solid bet for my needs in this system.
Try listening to a well set up pair of Vandersteen 3A Sigs.
A preowned pair of Spatials will cost about the same as a new pair of Tektons....The Tektons will likely cost $2-400 to return if you don't love them...probably the same as you might discount the Spatials if you decide to resell them.
Have you heard other OB speakers...or planars in the past and what did you think of the sound? How big is your room...can you have the Spatials at least 3' out from a rear wall and at least 2' from a side wall? How important is low end?
@yakbob you don’t by chance play bass heavy music do you? I’m eyeing m3 Triode Masters but am afraid deep bass found in a large subsection of my vinyl library won’t let me avoid subs.
most of my critical listening is jazz based, but that includes artists like Ron Carter.
Bass heavy recordings in my collection include Jill Scott, Eryka Badu, Tool, and rap artists like Talib Kweli.
I am running dual 15” sealed subs in my system which are eq’d with an SVS AS-EQ1, a discontinued but invaluable piece of equipment.
I have tried the M3s with subs out of the system, and in my room the low end was missed. But, I have a terrible room for bass. Small in dimensions, huge in volume due to a 2 story height, and also open to the rest of the house. I’ve run the dual subs with every speaker pair I’ve owned.
It sounds like you might prefer the M3 with some sub reinforcement, or at least eq or tone controls. They don’t do deep bass in large rooms, but they’re strong in areas like soundstage and in creating a “live” sound that I find addicting.
let me know if I can help with any other questions.
I was pondering m3’s as a potential endgame speaker but it seems subs are a must. I really don’t want to get into subs and all the hassle and expense.
In my little universe $4k is a monumental amount to spend on speakers, especially ones that would still need subs. Damn. Probably rules them out.
I guess I should also mention my amplification, which is an Odyssey power amp 110 watts Class AB which will soon be fronted by Odyssey’s tubed preamp.
if that makes a difference
I also dont want to get into subs...& my room is poor ..fairly wide open..
thought the m3s got down low enough.. ( & $4k would be at the top end of my limit)
another speaker just popped up onto my horizon..contrast audio black moons... demo version available from high-end electronics for $2.5 ..havenot heard much info on them
What is it you are hoping to improve.......there is no doubt that the Zu sounds musically alive from a dynamic standpoint...but maybe not so musically accurate from a tone standpoint.
By way of example....these are unbelievably musical loudspeakers that do almost everything beautifully...but if you want to play at 95db and are more concerned with rock concert type presentation...then they would be the wrong choice.https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=162229.0
@gochurchgo, you might want to look into Tekton's offerings. While I haven't heard them personally, there is no shortage of positive reviews in their lineup.
If used/semi vintage towers are in the running, consider a pair of KEF R107s. I've owned this speaker for 5 years and thought it would be the last one I would own...but it turns out I'm a fickle DINK. :-) These towers (when used with the required KUBE equalizer) create incredible bass with a quad of 10" drivers in a bandpass configuration. This pair I could easily drive without subs and have all the tuneable bass needed. Restored pairs with KUBE could be had for 2k or less. You would need to run separates, or an integrated with PRE OUT/AMP IN jacks in order to use the KUBE EQ.
Thanks @yakbob Ive been eyeing Tekton but had been, up until the Spatials, set of stand mounts to account for continual downsizing from here on out. Tektons are fairly large.
I never heard the Perfect Sets. I did own the Electrons with upgrades. I recently got a pair of Spatial Triode Masters to test and preferred them for many reasons. Over all better at everything you can think of when it comes to audiophile terminology. Now even with that said, I really like the Electrons a lot, but the Spatials from Top to Bottom were more refined. Both Tekton and Spatial have very generous trial periods. Never heard the ZU's but I doubt you would be disapointed with the Spatials or the Tektons. Both make great speakers. Oh and I will say this, you do need a bit of space for the Spatials to sound good, so if space is not available...like 2-3 feet behind them (otherwise the bass will suffer) and at least a foot from the sides walls, then you might want to try the Tektons. Good Luck!
My M3 Turbo S's are an endgame speaker. For now :). But seriously, having had everything from Maggie to AZ, Triangle to Focal, Ref 3A to Totem, Vandys to Decware, the Spatials are the most satisfying.
Why not just go for the new X5 for under $6k it is excellent
and a noticable step up in refinement Tekton not even in the same Class here !! One listen you will be sold .
You have heard the x5?
The spatial (m3 I think) at CAF was amazing... so open and lifelike. Very interested to hear what others have heard with various spatial options...
The speaker you heard was the new M3 Sapphire. I own the new X-3 and it is a fantastic speaker.
how did you audition your speakers? Did you have access to hear them before hand or did you do sight-unseen and audition them in your system with the return policy? How is the front/back imaging? I see that the X-3 have the AMT tweeter (versus the dome tweeter of the sapphire). Also curious what you think of the bass. I really wish there was a dealer or place in the DC area where I could really audition both of these speakers with my gear :)
If you haven't yet, you might want to check out the Spatial forum over at audiocircle. Reports on the X5 and X3 are starting to trickle in there.
People who've heard both the new M and X series state the AMT driver offers more controlled directivity (like the old M3's point source nature), where the sapphire dome is more widespread and potentially offering a wider sweet spot. Surprising to me is that people specifically mention the great bass response in the M3 Sapphire where one review I read on the X3 mentioned subs could be a requirement for bass lovers.
The X5 was going to be my next speaker until I lucked into a great deal on the Tannoy Legacy Arden. I only mention the Arden since you're interested in bass. This speaker allowed me to take (2) 15" sealed subs out of my system. They offer an acoustic weight that I've not gotten out of any other speaker in my home.
Best of luck with the Spatial research, Clayton has some amazing engineering talent.
M3 Turbo S owner here and I absolutely love them. The most satisfying speaker I’ve owned used to be the Rethm Trishna. The thing I love most about the M3s is that even at low volumes they have a lot of weight to the music. I listen to a lot of classical and jazz and there’s still that "oomph" factor. For me, that’s an excellent thing when I’m listening to some soft Chopin.
You can check out some pictures on my virtual systems.
I bought the speakers on blind faith. But I really like them very much. Image depth is great and the bass is very articulate but has impact and slam when called for.
I am a few hours from you in lynchburg va. and you are welcome to listen here.
Keep in mind while the sensitivity is high on the Spatials, and you would think it would pair well with an SET amp, the impedance curve it's not friendly to them.