Spatial Audio open baffle speakers, who has them? Worthwhile change from Maggies?


Of late have been eying the Spatial Audio line of open baffle speakers and like what I have seen and read so far.
Now I am extremely happy with my baby Maggies which have easily bested any and all box speakers in my room ( that I can afford anyways!).
So looking for opinions and views from actual owners of said open baffle speakers, what did you change from and what are the real strengths of the Spatials?
Not short of horsepower to feed them even though they do not need much juice by all accounts but you know the old saying, " too much is never enough!"
Thanks in advance.
F9988e03 5b38 4b2f 8f67 357de0a06706Ag insider logo xs@2xuberwaltz
I’ve heard them and owned Magnepans for many years and the answer is a definite yes.
I owned a pair of the Spatial M3 Turbo S for about a year. It was a fantastic speaker and really opened my ears to both open baffle and concentric drivers. They provided a level of imaging in my room I had not previously experienced. Its one of those speakers that offers way more the sum of it’s parts. There’s nothing exotic about the drivers, but man what a sound. I was driving them very easily with a Pass XA30.5 and a Bob Latino ST-70 and KT66 tubes.

Since you’d be coming from Maggies, I imagine you have the room for placement. They do prefer at least 3’ to the back and side walls.

My only nit to pick with the M3 was my room’s volume. Lots of cubic feet and not quite enough low end for me. I was all set to sell the M3s, and move up to the X5 with their built in powered subs, when I lucked into a great deal on a pair of Tannoy Legacy Ardens. I’m in sonic bliss with the Tannoys, but would still love to hear the new X series.

If you haven’t been over to audiocircle, there’s a dedicated Spatial forum with lots of feedback.

You are correct about space, the Maggie's are 4 ft clear front and side of walls.
Already have a pair of subs as Maggie's not renowned for deep meaningful bass either.


The m3 turbos ( sounds like a BMW!) were the ones I had my eyes on.

Thank you for the feedback!
Although it’s been a few years, I have owned Maggie’s in the past. A pair of 1.6s with modded xovers and the 3.5s. I now have the Spatial Audio X3. To say I absolutely love these speakers would be an understatement. They are every bit as transparent as any planar I have heard, but with dynamics and excellent bass response. OB speakers will load the room similarly to a planar but play louder and lower, and with a lot less power demands.

So yes, I love my speakers. And Clayton Shaw is a true gem of a find in this industry. Very customer oriented and always willing to help.

Oz
Thanks Ozzy
Just the sort of real world user information I was looking for.
Yes Clayton Shaw does seem like a true Gentleman so far as well.
I have owned Accoustat 2+2s, which I loved but the servo amps were too problematic (now there are people who know how to stabilize them), but I love how open baffle throws a sound stage and the speed. After several box speakers I bought a pair of Maggie 3.5Rs which I could never get it to sound close to the 2+2s. I tried exotic fuses, biamping, pure silver jumpers, replacing the passive XOs with active XO,


For a couple years now I have enjoyed Emerald Physics KCIIs, which kicked the 3.5Rs arse and is super easy to drive. with ample solid bass in a normal size room.

I am confident you will love the Spatials, but the EPs can be had for quite a bit less money, if that's an issue for you

hth
I've never been a Maggie fan though I've not tried them in-home. I thought at last years Capitol Audiofest the LTA/Spatial room was one of the best. Really excellent sounding speakers and unlike Maggies easy to drive.
Ozzy summed it up nicely. 
@uberwaltz,

I have heard both Spatial or PAP on multiple occasions. While they may sound good initially but over extended period of time, they couldn’t keep my interest. Call it a listening fatigue or lack of emotions, it just not there with either of these brands.

Then I had a good fortune of listening to Sound Kaos ’Liberation’ speakers. Once you get passed the aesthetics (either you like it or hate it) you’re in for a emotional experience that will most likely kill your desire to own anything else in open baffle design.

The pairing of Liberation and Bakoon Amp 13-R was simply astounding and nothing I’ve ever heard under $20K budget.

I plan to own Liberation some day...there is no doubt in my mind that they will be match made in heaven with my Accuphase Integrated or 300B SET mono’s.

PS: Sorry to disrupt your rhythm for Spatial....thought you should know the competition before pulling a trigger on your next set of speakers. Personally, I consider speaker purchase a very serious investment and an important decision in making or breaking your system.
No need to apologise lalitk!

The more information the better including other speaker brands than the ones I am looking at.

It all helps as do not want to go down another blind alley!
They are certainly "different" in appearance however the price is way past my budget, past, present and future unless I win the lottery... Lol.
Who said Swiss Gold is cheap..Lol. But jokes apart, I think they were a bargain when I compared them with following brands,

http://www.diesisaudio.com

http://kyronaudio.com.au

M3 Turbo S owner here. My Spatials are the first speaker I've owned in 25 years in this madness that gave me the "weight" in music that I've been looking for, specifically in classical music. Also, they have a naturalness to them that I really like.
Of the times I've listened to Maggie's, I've never felt they had sufficient bass or moved enough air.

I love my Spatials.
@devilboy  are you using a sub as well? 
I should also mention that there is weight even at low volumes. This is A HUGE requirement for me.
uber,
I have to echo lalitk’s comments. I owned the Turbo M3 for about a year. They are very detailed, easy to drive and really fill the room but in my mind were devoid of any emotion. In my mind they were the best (detail) and most boring (unemotional) speaker I have heard. It’s weird to think a speaker can project emotion. I went back to a cabinet speaker and I’m much happier. I believe Clayton offers a 100% return policy for a period of time. So for the cost of shipping you can give them a try.
Falcon
What did you replace the Turbo M3 with if I may ask?

Unfortunately the cost of shipping is quite steep as they have quoted $250 freight to my zip and if we said the same back makes $500 so not a very cheap endeavor just for a trial.
So trying to be as sure as possible before making any decisions.
Uber,

Ohm Walsh speakers ended up replacing my Magnepans. Worth consideration in the same space as Magnepan and Spatial. Easier than both to place near walls and large sweet "sweep" are their unique qualities compared to either. Also more dynamic than Maggies like spatial. My experience with Spatial is limited to one audition ( with the designer sitting next to me at a show) but I liked them very much based on that. They might well be the choice for me for use with lower power and/or tube amps but those are not in my arsenal.
Mapman
Due to room design and constraints speakers have to be in the classic Maggie's position which is why they work so well in here.
4 ft from side walls and 3ft 6 in from back wall.
I can move them forward but no further back and box speakers have NOT liked that position in my room.
Then I tried the Maggie's and it was a huge sigh of relief and finally just enjoy the music.

But my interest is piqued by the OB type speakers and Spatial Audio in particular as unlike his previous EP speakers they do NOT require additional DSP type control to smooth out the pro audio based drivers.

Low bass is not a concern with any speaker as I have two ML subs to fill the very bottom end in.
“ sounded like the truth

seemed a better way

sounded like the truth

but it’s not the truth today”...

W
Just what I am listening to Uber.. Leonard Cohen talking speakers and our desire to look for another pair - me included....

as the astute War Department would say “ what is the budget ? Or is this a cost plus contract ?
Tomic
Her who must be obeyed does not care too much about my budget as long as it does not unduly impact the alcohol budget.......
She sounds ideal, keep her !
We are dealers for GT Audio Works planar speakers. They are a must audition and have a ton of rave reviews. Herb Reichert from Stereophile stated they can go toe to toe with any speaker system out there cost no object.
unlike maggies and other planar magnetic designs they use a Kevlar like membrane that is non resonant, copper traces not inferior aluminum and most importantly no crossover.

https://gtaudioworks.com/

Post removed 
@faxer can you elaborate on “ Kevlar like “
?
Mapman, et al,

I understand the first gen EPs had issues, but the Gen 2s were significantly improved and most recently are available with carbon fiber drivers.

I ordered mine (pre carbon fiber) with conventional passive XO, but with several upgrades, including Clarity Caps and WireWorld OCC wiring

hth
In response to Tomic 601’s query-
I am using the term Kevlar like to make an analogy between how a Kevlar vest essentially stops or prevents a bullet from penetrating a Kevlar vest - the analogy here being the propriety membrane having enough tensile strength like Kevlar from stopping or preventing resonances from occurring on the membrane. This material is unlike Maggie, Apogee, Martin Logan in that it is not solely a Kapton or Mylar film - which in and of itself will exhibit resonances  when it has played and very high volumes.
I haven't heard the Spatials, but I have owned four sets of Magnepans (MG1, MG2, Tympani IV, MG3.6r) and now own a set of GR Research NX-Oticas.

Over the years, I went back and forth between Maggies and dynamic box speakers. Each time I owned the Maggies, I missed the lively dynamic sound provided by good dynamic-driver speakers. When I had box speakers, which included some well regarded products such as Duntech Sovereigns and Revel Studios, I missed the huge deep sound stage, excellent clarity, and tight non-boxy bass that the Maggies produced.

The NX-Oticas are the first speakers I've owned that deliver the best of both worlds. I don't know if the Spatials produce the same kind of sound, but I would definitely recommend giving OB dynamic speakers a try.
Faxer, 

Those are indeed interesting speakers, but if Uber is looking at the M3 Turbo S, I think your speakers are pretty far above his price range.

Oz

Jaytor,

The NX-Oticas looks like it is sold as a kit.  How difficult was it to build?  Were you able to hear it before you bought it?

Oz
You are indeed correct
I would not like to spend much more than 2k right now on a test!

My mind says that for the grand sum of $450 for my Maggies there just HAS to be better speakers out there.

But my ears and soul say, bugger that just sit down and keep on listening!

That's my dilemma right now.
I've heard GT Audio planars at CAF in years past and liked the sound very much. 
@berber99 - Yes, they are sold as a kit, and need subs to be full range. They were not difficult to build, but took about 50 hours including building the stereo open baffle subs. See my post 

https://forum.audiogon.com/discussions/gr-research-nx-otica-and-servo-ob-subs?highlight=nx-otica

I didn't have a chance to listen to them first, but I was convinced after watching many of Danny Ritchie's  (the designer) Tech Talks (https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=165408.0) that he knew what he was doing, and had a similar perspective on what was important as I did. If you are interested, contact Danny at GR Research and he can put you in touch with someone near you (of exists) that would be willing to demo them. I'm in Portland, OR.

@uberwaltz - The NX-Oticas are a bit out of your price range, particularly if you add the subs which I think are necessary for most music. But GR Research has other options that would fit your budget if you are interested. Many are not yet listed on their website, so give Danny a call. 

I've had Maggie 3.6Rs and now have Spatial M3 turbo S's. They both perform flawlessly. The Maggie's project a bit more presence because of their size, but the Spatials images are pinpoint without being clinical. 

The Spatials are slightly more flexible with power. 

Either way, winner winner chicken dinner. 
No way my room can handle Maggie's of that size!
I am very happy with my Maggie's but loath to even consider the next size up as I think would be too large for my room tbh.

I do not believe the Spatial Audio M3 will overpower my room.
What are your room dimensions?
Approx 11*16 with sloping ceiling starting at 10 coming back to about 8 at my listening end
I have a friend with M3 Sapphires in an 11x14 room and they do really well in there.

Oz
Oz
Pretty sure they are a good fit room size wise.
But it's a big move mentally for myself as have gone through so many speakers that have all left me wanting in one way or another until.....
The Maggie's.
So yes why am I even looking?
Lol.

Well must be better somewhere!
Spatial  speakers if you get one of the better ones are much better than Maggie's in bass weight ,detail and great midrange and highs as well.You must put them with very good cables, amp and preamp as well for best sonic results.Good luck.
My listening room is a finished basement: 18x30x7.5. The Spatials are about 3 1/2 feet from the back wall, toed-in slightly, 9' apart, and some 11' from my listening area. They pack plenty of punch and low end presence powered by a Pathos Classic Mk3 (140w @ 4 ohms).
Due to room and equipment layout all speakers have to be at least 3 ft from back wall, 3 to 4 ft from sidewall and approx 7 to 8 from my listening sofa.

Hence the probable reason most box speakers failed miserably and the Maggie's excelled.
Just bought Clayton's pair of M3 Triode demos he had listed here at $1995 shipped so we will soon see......
Are emerald physics as good as spatial?? There is a pair of 4.8 carbon fiber driver speakers for 2600 bones. Suppossed to be a 9k speaker. 
Great call on the triodes! 
Check out his check out this detailed review.
 https://youtu.be/R9VeZOdatao
Congrats on the purchase. Can't wait to hear what you think.

Oz



Very nice.  Interested to hear how it works out. Keep us posted.