Spendor A9 : Your first impressions


I just upgraded my 3 years old Totem Forest with the Spendor A9. It's my first experience with Spendor speakers but after 3 month of listening to find the Forest successor, I believe the A9 is the one.
My system is
Oppo 83bd SE or Imac + AE + Toslink
Dac PS Audio DlIII Cullen IV
Plinius 9200
Hovland Radia
Acoustic Zen Cables

I find the A9 very neutral and quick but the most improvement over the Forest is on timbers accuracy, they are just beautiful. It's also very transparent, so one must pay attention to the association.

They are not spectacular at first, but cd after cd, you can't just stop listening to them. I like the air between instruments, and especially with voices. The forest used to emphasize the voices over the rest, here there is more space to put everything in the right place.

The bass is clean but not very deep, which is maybe the only weakness I see. Although it doesn't bother me, as I don't like boomy speakers.
The sensitivity is over 90dB, and are easier to drive than the Totems.

I use to listen to Jazz, world and classical.

In my quest to replace the Forest (which I loved), I've tried:

802D : associated with Mac amps, and it was not great (maybe not 802 fault)

Cremona M : boomy and colored medium...not my taste at all

Some Adam speaker : aggressive highs

Peak Consult Princess Sign.: a big curtain between them and you, where is the presence and the transparency ?

Some Nola floorstanding speaker: boxy sound, which is weird with theses medium and tweeters outside the cabinet !

Devore Gibbons 8: superb small speakers, so musical, but in the same league as the Forests (slightly more expensive). I regret to not have tested the Nines.

Wilson Sophia 3: a lot of energy and obviously very good. Best bass I've heard. Not as refined mediums & highs as the Magico. 2,5 x more expensive than the A9.

Magico V2: clearly an other class, like the sophia, but I know why they are so expensive. Although for the money I believe the A9 give you 95% of these two...

So now if other people own or have listened to these A9, you are welcome to give your impressions here.

Hi Fabien,

how are you doing with the Spendor A9? Do they continue to impress or have you found a weakness of sort?

For me, the Spendor A9's are not the perfect speaker but are indeed a great speaker. Fabien, my concern lies with the imaging... for some reason I cannot get them to place the spectrum of sound in the right places. It sounds pleasing but just does not capture the stage. Bass is lacking in some respect but can be surprisingly good with certain tracks. Aesthetically they are gorgeous and are well received by my wife.

I will continue to listen and try to change cabling and placement for the "right" sound.

I await your thoughts of the A9. Mine are judged with about 130 hours.

Take care,

Spendor A9's are fantastic. Switched out my interconnects to Gabriel Gold Rev. II and the sonic stage was set.

They need 200 hours of play time to open up and are not too picky with placement.

Spendors play all genre well.

I highly recommend the A9's.
Hi Kosta

When I first read your post on image, I thought it was maybe an association problem. I'm glad you solved it.

On my side, I changed some of my IC which are now full AZ Matrix II vs silver + matrix. The A9 are so revealing that the highs were a little bit fatiguing with the Silver Ref.
I've also a new pre, Capri from Jeff Rowland, which is very neutral, but maybe lack some involvement into the music.
I see you have a full tubes system, I'm thinking about going to tubes for the pre.
How do you like the synergy between tubes and A9 ?
I am pretty sure I can fix your brightness problem. Please give the Gabriel Gold Rapture Interconnects a try. WOW!

Detail with warmth. The dynamic and transparency is all there just with this rich tonal musicality. Hard to put in words but this Gabriel Gold Rapture r cable was a full component upgrade.

The A9's respond well in any system... they really let you know where the weakest link is.

I have tried a SS and TUBE amp with the A9's....preferred TUBE. Not saying the SS was just terrible. In-fact the SS sounded great but if I had to chose with a gun to my head.

The Spendor A9 is a keeper. They are improving as more time passes, fantastic.
Hi Kosta,

I followed you advice, tried some cables (Wireworld, Cardas, AZ, Gabriel) and finally ended with these two:

AZ Absolute xlr between Dac and Pre,
Gabriel Gold Rapture r rca between Pre and Amp

The agressivity is gone, but I still enjoy transparency. And now music is more organic and lively. I replaced also the stock power cables with Wireworld Electra for a nice improvement in refinement and noise reduction.

I've the feeling I can really mesure now the A9 potential, and I believe it could even get better with other improvements (dac, pre).
Anyone go from the old S8e model to the A9? I'm curious how they'd compare. I've had the S8e's for about six years, and they're the only thing in my system that I haven't felt compelled to replace.
I'm surprised Spendors are described as bright. I thought they were similar to Harbeths. This was my impression when I heard Spendors at shows. (I have Harb. SHL5s and sometimes I wish they were more resolving. They are anything but bright.)

Rgs, I have always been attracted to revealing and transparent speakers. And as an old owner of ML Quest I can say the A9 is on this category, and very close to the Quest midrange (and much better on some other fields). I hope you'll have the opportunity to listen to the A9 on a store or show. I believe you'll realise they are quite revealing.

But before all, the main quality you'll finally remember is the seamless integration between all registers from bass to treeble and the almost infinite range of timbers and colors from one CD to an other.

I've noticed this brightness in the store after 20/30 mins of listening (paired with vahallas) and at home with different elements.
I used to have bright cables (AZ Silver ref) and when I upgraded to the Absolutes, the aggressivity was gone. They will show any unbalance in you system.

They are also quite easy to drive, which may be also a other difference with previous Spendor speakers. I don't have any experience with previous models, but every person who have seems to confirm the people in Spendor did something quite new with this one.

Finally, here is a quote from a review (HI Fi+ 77):

"A few issues back, I waxed lyrical about the Magico Q5. Sadly, not everyone has the amplifier girth, the room width or length or the wallet depth to cope with so demanding a £65,000 loudspeaker. What happens for the rest of us? The Spendor A9 happens. It gives you a lot of that Q5 sound for nigh on 1/13th the cost, and doesn’t need a powerhouse amp or a stateroom to hold court."


I had the luck to listen to the Magico V2 on the same day and same store as the A9. It also also occured to me they were quite close to the V2 in terms of balance, linearity and richness, this time for 1/3 of the cost.

I feel the same. I keep on adding new equipment always assuming that at some point my spendor s8e becomes my weakest link, but so far, I haven't felt the need yet. truly amazing speakers. Great match with LFD integrated amp gear.
I had an earlier generation of this speaker. When they arrived, I loved them except for the shallow bass. Several months later I realized that the bass had opened up beautifully and it was now VERY deep and real.
I was at RMAF 2011 for the first time last week where I heard some very nice systems.

But my feeling is I would have to put at least 20K (listed) for speakers significantly better than those A9.

The one could be among Tidal Piano, Hansen The Knight or YG (the Tripod was really good but the cost is so high: 49k...)and the 2 other are around 24k...

The others, like Sonus or B&W, just dont fit the bill (for differents reasons), imho.
Hi guys, used to own the A6. The A6 was gorgeous for natural timbre. voices and acoustic intruments sounded dead on. However, all the new A line spendors lack bass. They roll off at 50hz. This is big problem IMO. Even the A9 with 2 bass drivers is bass light. I found it frustrating. Caused me to seek out bass heavy recordings. Didn't try them with a sub. With a sub they would probably be sublime. But stand alone, they just need more bass and given the price they really should have more. In the same league but WITH bass is PMC. They have a similar tonal quality IMO to the spendors, but they have much more bass. Highly recommend for spendor lovers.
Hi Jaxwired,

The lack of bass is what you notice with the A's when they are new or less than 9 months/1 year old.
But i recently realized that the low range on my A9 was much more in line now with the others registers than during the first months. This is really stricking for me now, after slightly more than 1 year of use, I still get good surprises ...

I may have said it before but this is not the kind of speaker you'll fall for after 30 minutes of listening. At the opposite it will grow on you if you have the patience to wait for it.
By the way I see Artmaltman have had the same experience with bass with a previous generation of Spendor, this may tell something I suppose.

Thx Art, do you still enjoy your Spendor ?

I now have Bountchacny's Spendor A9s and they are well run in.
By placing them closer to the rear wall you can reinforce the bass. I use a powered sub for 50hz and below. Spendor doesn't pretend to do the low-lows with mid-bass hump.
Hello Audiodon,

It's been a while since I came here, I hope you 're still enjoying the A9.
Ooh, can I get in line for 's A9's next? I too owned the A6's and felt they were too bass light to be called balanced, though my partnering amp was a little "nimble" itself,now I have the perfect amp, but no speakers! (JK, MA RX6 but I'm lusting after tge high end)
I realise that this thread is quite old now but i just bought a9s for a very nice price 2 weeks ago. I also bought a chord hugo tt at the same time (so for me quite some spend£) , i hope that the comments of bountchacny and kosta123 come true because i cant help feeling a bit underwhelmed by the a9s so far. Ive run in for about 50 hours so far. What happens at 200 hours? My system beforehand was somewhat modest with audiolab cd and pmc tb2 speakers. There was less detail yes but the involvement and "zip" was more. I must have significant gaps in my system now somewhere so i think i need to do some serious more work on cables and amps??