Spatial X5 speakers

Just got mine, with upgraded crossovers, a couple of weeks ago.  I now have about 250 hours on them - mostly driven by the Voyager Gan 350 wpc class D amp and most recently by Don Sachs 65 wpc tube amp.  Speaker Cables are Griver Huffman Pharoah's and the preamp is Don Sachs tube preamp.  They are easy to set up as they come fully assembled.  Right out of the box they sound promising but the bass is cardboard like and the tweeter can sound harsh.  Nevertheless, after about 175 hours, these babies developed a pleasing midrange liquidity and nice open baffle bass.  They throw an expansive soundscape that extends beyond the width of the toed in speakers that is also deep front to back.  I mean, these speakers truly disappear as in my listening spot nothing localizes to the speaker itself.  Both amps drive these speakers nicely.  The Sachs amp defitely sounds better using the 8 not 4 ohm speaker posts.  I am now getting air with very nice detail and tonal colors.  


These speakers are just awesome.  They are worth every penny I paid for them.  Clayton warned me about the prolonged break in time and he was dead on the money.  I just love the OB box less sound.  These speakers are awesome.


I hope this thread does not degenerate into a toxic pussing contest like my Voyager Gan amplifier thread.

128x128Ag insider logo xs@2xjaymark

@jaymark  - Congratulations on the new speakers. Glad you are enjoying them. Would love to hear a pair sometime.

Congratulations!  I have not yet had the pleasure of hearing an open baffle speaker.  I was planning on this year's RMAF, but we all know what happened there.

Congrats on the Spatials X5. It's been years since I heard them and they were maybe the M3 models. Checking out the X5 online brings out some good old envy on my part. 😀 Enjoy them as they break in.

All the best,

I heard open baffles from Spatial, GR Research and Linkwitz.

My favorite is the GR Research $4k system by Danny Richie.

The Linkwitz at $12k throw a soundstage I would not have thought possible.

The downside of the Open Baffle is the room size requirement. I have a

medium sized room and it not big enough to do them justice.


I heard one of the M3 versions at a show several years ago and loved them.  I've since been interested in trying them again but they are not sold here so I guess it will have to wait until I move.

Thanks for the report. How would you characterize the difference between how they present with the tube amp vs. the other one? You have quite a range of power and topology difference, there!

Also, since these can be driven with even lower powered tube amps, does that tempt you?

I had a really wonderful listening experience at a friend's house with 101db speakers and a 3 watt tube amp. Very wide baffle on the speakers, AMT tweeters, outboard crossover -- DIY. There was an amazing lightness to the sound; not lacking body but floating in space.


Congratulations and enjoy! I have the M3 Sapphires and they are so stunning! Best speaker I have ever owned!  Yes they love tubes 😀

I just passed the 500 hour mark on my X-5's and they are still changing for the better!  Stunning!

I have them paired with AGD Audion mono blocks and a Mark Levinson 380s preamp.  Beautiful results.


Congrats! I heard Spatials, not sure which model, sounding great on the end of some LTA gear at CAF 2019.

@hilde45, right now it's a moving target.  The Don Sachs amp sounded better than the Voyager GAN, however. The Voyager was used mostly during their first one hundred hours of play.  The X5s have improved considerably while powered by the Sahs amp.  So to get a handle on your question, I need to reinsert the Voyager GAN.  I am though suspicious that these speakers my keep improving for another couple of hundred hours of play.  Next week I am going to try my newly modded PassLabs X150.5  amp and see how it does...


Congrats we are happy for you. I am very intrigued by the open baffle and one day may pull the trigger on a pair.

@jaymark what is the size of your listening space.

Have a great day.

@jaymark My X3s continued to improve well over the three hundred hour mark

@hilde45 I moved on to Cornwall IVs and now LaScala IIs. I’m not taking anything away from the spatial speakers they were very good. But horns have always spoken to my hear more than most other designs.

@ozzy62  Thanks. My ear is evolving toward other things, I sense. This is an interesting hobby.

I had the pleasure of hearing M3's with modded Prima Luna Dialogue Four just this weekend. I've not heard open baffle in years since moving on from various Alon's. Brought back memories of why I've always loved open baffle designs, spacious, airy. Spatial apt name for these speakers.


I too moved onto horns, present extreme modded Klipschorn, wouldn't mind a second system with Spatials. Enjoy your Spatials!

They area very respectable speakers and good value for the money.

the Odam Xover cap upgrade is very good ,theJupiter copper foil ,with vh audio bypass caps Cutf 2-3% is better still ,but harder to mount , the Odams capacitors are still very good and takeover 300. + hours to runin .


What footers are you using on you M3 Sapphires? Have you dialed in their location sweet spot yet as they look close to one another?


Just when I've made up my mind to get The Perfect Tekton 12, you've reminded me of the link with the M3 Sapphires I got from Clayton awhile back. Aaahhh!!! This hobby of ours! Nice thread.

Loving my M3 Sapphires. Depth of the soundstage is very impressive--one of the first things I noticed after getting them. In a nearfield configuration this is a huge advantage. The soundstage is projected rearward behind the speakers. It helps a small room sound larger.

Very effortless and easy to listen to as well. Listening sessions have lasted for several hours with the sound getting better the longer I listen. Only have to stop because the sun is rising!


I'm using IsoAcoustic Gaia II's. They made amazing improvements on my hard wood floors. Low end is tight and dynamics are stellar! Yes, currently the M3's are 6 ft across and approximately 8 ft from my ears, toe'd in maybe 10%. They haven't moved in the last 2 years. I have added some substantial absorbers and diffusors to the room and did some REW tests. It sounds amazing but I still may play with positioning over the holidays.


What's your room config? Are you using tubes? M3's love tubes!

@audiosaurusrex & @jaymark 

I meant to write ’M4 Sapphires, getting older has it’s disadvantages sometimes.☺


My room is 11'5" wide by 15'5" long. Speakers are a little under 7' apart centerline to centerline, and a little under 9' from the listening position. Toe in around 15° but I think I will try less toe. I tried 19 different positions, moving the speakers incrementally before settling on the curent spot. I was worried about using the larger M3's in such a small room, but they work amazingly well. As I mentioned, the open baffle design has advantages in small/difficult rooms. Hard to imagine a box speaker working out as well.


And yes, I am using a 21wpc tube power amp that drives them easily. The 93dB rating of the M3's means lower power tube amps can be utilized.

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@jaymark Nice speaker! Its easy to drive so you have a lot of amplifier choices available.

Even though you would think the X series speakers would be great with a low powered tube amp, the Decware Torii I had at the time would not drive the speakers sufficiently in my room. This amp had sounded wonderful with a pair of khorns, but sounded anemic with the X3s. A Carver Crimson 275 and a Music Reference RM9 were much better matches.

@tyray I had a pair of Revel F208s that were modded by Doug Jesse of ASi Teknology.  They were awesome speakers.  However, being an audiophile that is just not enough....

Congrats jaymark, enjoy.   

I had a pair of Emerald Physics 2.3 in the system for a short time.  Took a while to get them dialed in.  They did a lot of things right but just didn't like the tweeter/mid setup.  No matter what I did it was always a little shouty to my ears.  Looks like the Spatials are a somewhat different animal.  I would really like to hear them some day. 

Jaymark, I have had the X5's for a year and a half now and they are truly amazing sounding now that I've had over 500 hours on them.

You mention you had the upgraded crossover in your speakers, are you saying that you ordered them with the VH odam capacitors?  Mine came with the Clarity Cap capacitor so it seems Clayton now uses the VH Odam capacitor or offers it as an upgrade.  I believe he did as well when I had ordered but I don't know much about capacitors and if the difference between them is significant or not.  I know I can easily bypass the Clarity cap and insert a different capacitor outboard if I want to experiment, who knows maybe I'll try that but the speakers sound so good right now I don't know if I want to even experiment.  I'm running low powered tubes with them.

Once you go Open Baffle, it's hard to go back to a box speaker.


Just sayin'. I hear the X5's last year at a friends home and while I can't afford a pair right now, I DIY'd a pair based on the Infinity RS1 form 40 years ago (three 5.25" midwoofs and a Planar Tweeter with stacked 12" H-Frame Subs under it (instead of a sealed box like the original).

@jaymark by chance did you happen to see the post on AC about Don Sachs, tube amplification, and talk about 100+ hours of burn in on the X5s? Not just the woofer drivers, but AMTs will change too with time

As you likely know by now, AMTs can sound glorious when paired with capable tube amps. I’m noting your comments about the upcoming modded X150.5 next.

Maybe you can use the Pass 150 amp to burn in the Spatials, and after you get 200hrs on the X5s, go back to the Don Sachs tube amp and try again for tube bliss on the X5/AMTs :) Curious to read your reports later after all is fully run in and settled. Happy listening.






Yes, sir: OB for the win, at least when in this caliber. I have Emerald Physics 3.4s (12" concentric driver with one inch polyester tweeter). Have you checked out my V thread of late? I report on using Nobsound springs under all my kit and the surprising improvements. I plan to put them under my speakers which are currently on Harbor Freight dollys, but it's a 2 person job



@decooney I now have close to 300 hours on the speakers.  They for sure are real keepers.  They just keeping better.  I agree with Don Sachs, the X5's disappear.

I do plan on inserting the Pass Labs amp just to see how it sounds.  However, it was just modded so more parts to break in. Yuk....

@jaymark good to know.  A great position to be in, at least the speakers are good to go awaiting whatever amp you have to throw at it.  I'm following along with your progress now, while helping a remote friend looking at some form of efficient [brand new] AMT based speakers. Maybe X5s for him. I do my own custom amt builds. 

Sure seems like you are in the sweets spot for your X5s having both of these amps in your fleet. I can partially understand why, and would likely test the same as you.  

Just wondering, since you already have the DS-65 tube amp, was there something which caused the need to try/go to the X150.5 instead, or did you already have that amp prior?   

I have a set of X5's and for the money they are really hard to beat. Mine are powered with PSA BHK 300's

@jaymark One opinion I'd love to hear from you -- whenever you feel experienced enough to proffer it -- is this: Does the Spatial need softer tube amps to sound good (not harsh, even tonality, etc.) or can a variety of non-tube amps also make it sound the way you want?

Same type questions as @hilde45 to Spatial owners or those doing demos.

SS: Why are some of the Spatial owners here feeling compelled to run big 150w Pass Labs and big 300w PSA BHK solid state amps with these 97db speakers?

TUBE: How about some history from anyone around trying some lower power "softer" 300B, or 211/845, SET or PSE [TUBE] triode amps; or maybe even some lower power EL34/KT88 pentode mono tube amps?

What are we missing. Please share more, thanks!




As I mentioned before, the 20 watts of a Decware Torii were not enough to drive X3s to a satisfying level.

I'm interested in above question as well. I found some info here


The Spatial M3's I heard the other night were powered by diy modded Prima Luna Dialogue Four I sold to present owner,  he was running in triode mode, around 25wpc. No issues whatsoever with dynamics, bass control, smaller room. Perhaps I could convince him to bring speakers over to my house someday, could try with my 300B or 845 SET's. Not sure about impedance curve with Spatials in general, this could be issue.

@ozzy62 As I mentioned before, the 20 watts of a Decware Torii were not enough to drive X3s to a satisfying level.

Good to know.  A colleague of mine did not have much luck with his DW Tori II either. He resold it for other SET amps with half the power, and much more satisfied now. Not sure what's up with that amp or driving it with the right preamp. Definitely worth re-trying with other amps, with some hefty transformer iron behind it. Finding a good synergy with some amps and speakers can be a challenge. :)  

So weird that 20 wpc is not enough for a 97db speaker. I know there are other factors, but this seems like the question of whether a volkswagen beetle can tow a tricycle. Why wouldn't it be able to do that?

@jaymark An excellent, excellent choice. I heard a debut of the X series at Axpona a few years back and was blown away. I wish I had the proper amount of space for them but I can't go more than a foot from the wall, just no room. But those X5 (tho it might have been X3 playing I know both were on the floor that day) was very close to Best in Show for me, and probably would have won Best Value from me. 

Also, re power requirements: doesn't Spatial partner with LTA, and aren't those fairly low - power amps? 

Good reference point @wassaicwill 

Yes, LTA sells a package with the (13-watt) LTA Z10 amp and Spatial M3 speakers.




Question: If the Spatial M3s work fine with tubes (and they must because they are sold together) why did Clayton previously create an M3 version called the M3 triode master:

"The award winning M3 has been re-engineered [changing from 4ohm] to present an optimal load to tubed amplifiers with its16Ω design and simple load characteristics. Compatible with SET, Push Pull and OTL designs."