You're in Providence? Make the trip to Audio Video Therapy in (tax free) Nashua, NH. Talk to Mark & John. They have the 1/2 available for demo. Tell them Marc R. sent you!
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I'm interested in these also.
Reading past the obligatory kind remarks that every reviewer makes he admits the bass was overwhelming and he shoved socks in the ports plus "dynamics are not top drawer". With this being the only review to be found I'm hesitant to drop $8 grand on them. Yes I know we should listen to them but Bluebird Music gave me a retailer 3 states away. I was able to track one down in a neighboring state but they have no Classics to audition. I found a demo pair in the UK for a price that would make it a fair gamble not sure they'll ship to the US.
Harder and harder to audition high end speakers these days as so many brick and mortar retailers are under seige.
I have had SP1/2’s for 15 years, along with many Harbeths, ProAcs, Acoustic Energy and ATCs. The Spendors are definitely a relaxed speaker, beautifies and takes sharp edges off the music, especially strident treble. The bass does lack impact, it is more of full rolling bass, not a slam bang bass. But the sound is oh so lovely. And I never feel like I am missing out on detail. The larger baffle and woofer makes you feel like a wave of music comes gently at you, while the center image stays well defined and solid ... I listen more to the music on the Spendors (jazz, vocals, some pop/soul) and more to the system using the other speakers.
I also have the ProAc D30r’s... they are immediately noticeable as a more ’transparent’ speaker... sharper edges, quicker on transients, more piercing on hot recordings. The ribbon tweeter is sweet and super clear at the same time. The overall image is slightly sharper and deeper (not wider) than the SP1/2, but sometimes, when playing loud, you feel the music is being shot out at you more, not so much a gentle rolling wave of sound.
I run good solid state to grip the woofer on the Spendors and move to tubes to slightly mellow the ProAcs... big big big smiles with both.
My comments on Classic 100 and A7, recently posted in another thread:
I’ve recently had the chance to listen to a pair of Classic 100 paired with some lower end Naim gear but also with my own Audio Analogue Maestro Anniversary integrated amplifier and my own source and cables. A bit underwhelming to be honest, at least compared to my very high expectations. The highs were OK, not as refined as those of my Harbeth M30.2 Anniversaries (I compared them directly) but nice and not "too polite" as I’ve fount the highs of the Classic 1/2 described on another forum. The bass was big (the whole sound had the scale I was expecting from such large standmounts) but, surprisingly, not deep enough for my taste - strong enough until, I don’t know, 40 Hz or so and then it plummets. My old Mackie HR824 monitors, which should be a joke compared to these in terms of size, price and reputation, go obviously deeper. Also, the bass was not very tight.
The mids were their strongest point, sweet and musical with a natural, inner warmth that is unfortunately missing in my Harbeths. Because of this, the midrange piano notes were more natural, more convincing on the Spendors - piano is my favourite instrument as well as my main audiophile benchmark and I know the timbre very well, I grew up with a piano in house. Also, my Harbeths have a mild but audible dip in the presence region (the BBC dip I guess) that I’m not particularly found of - the Spendors don’t have it or maybe they do a little bit, but to a much smaller degree.
Overall, the sound was a bit unexciting I guess, to be honest I have a suspicion they were not totally burned in. The resolution could have been better too - the Harbeths were a bit better and my Martin Logans at home are in another world from this point of view.
Some Spendor A7 I’ve heard in another system though were really promising:: beautiful mids without a trace of a BBC dip as far as I could tell, silky and lively highs albeit a bit too pronounced, very nice upper bass detail, good timbre reproduction, good scale and bass extension considering their dimensions but ultimately trying too hard to descend where that 7 inch driver shouldn’t. This or it was the amplifier - a rather cheap Atoll I’ve never heard before or after so an unknown factor for me. If I were to move on from my electrostats, which I might eventually, I could live with some hypothetical improved A7’s with better bass extension, a bit better scale and, of course, higher resolution overall.
Some Spendor A7 I’ve heard in another system though were really promising:: beautiful mids without a trace of a BBC dip as far as I could tell, silky and lively highs albeit a bit too pronounced, very nice upper bass detail, good timbre reproduction, good scale and bass extension considering their dimensions but ultimately trying too hard to descend where that 7 inch driver shouldn’t. This or it was the amplifier - a rather cheap Atoll I’ve never heard before or after so an unknown factor for me.
I owned A7’s for the past year and this is a great summary of their sound profile. I had them paired with a Line Magnetic 805ia SET amp. No slouch by any measure. What you heard re. trying to reach too deep, was one of the few issues I had with them. There was a lot of bass but the bottom did get congested/messy.
If I were to move on from my electrostats, which I might eventually, I could live with some hypothetical improved A7’s with better bass extension, a bit better scale and, of course, higher resolution overall.
They are called the D7.2’s and are now what I own. They improve upon the A7’s in exactly those 3 categories. Bottom end of bass has better extension, clarity, and articulation. The LPZ tweeter has much better resolution and clarity. Though some would say too much - and this is where pairing with electronics becomes crucial for the D7’s. I have them running off of the 4 ohm tap on my LM 805ia and they sound absolutely fantastic and almost perfectly balanced. It’s really hard for me to find fault with them at the moment.
All that said, they are simply not the same kind of sounding speaker as the Classics/SP1's or Devore's.
I listen more to the music on the Spendors (jazz, vocals, some pop/soul) and more to the system using the other speakers.
Same here. I notice this every time I throw my Spendor S3/5s in to my system. Which is why I wanted to hear the new Classic series. Unfortunately no one ever had them for demo, even local Spendor dealers.
I actually traced a demo pair to a dealer in Montreal when I was there, came in to hear them, but they suddenly didn’t seem keen on setting them up for me. Instead I got to hear the Devore O/96 speakers there again and they actually had a sound like my Spendors but "on steroids," - that is the same woody, organic tone, but more vivid, greater clarity and nuance, and more dynamic. (Though with sometimes overbearing bass).
Once the pandemic abates I’ll probably go sniffing around for an audition of Spendors again.
Well, not much interest shown so I'll be short. They are amazing. The acoustic instruments are incredibly realistic - great tone and timbre. Piano is great, violin is great, acoustic guitar is astonishing. Very musical and inviting midrange. Low end is a bit slow, not particularly tight / punchy and starts gently rolling off around... 50 Hz? (just a guess) Quite (but not very) smooth and extended highs, good enough in my book. I like them more than the aforementioned Classic 100, they are more musically engaging to my ears and perhaps, just perhaps, more insightful in the mids and highs (!).
Did I mention they are amazing?
I had a set of Spendor SP1/2Es for several years. Absolutely one of the finest midranges I've heard -- if voice and smaller group or solo unamplified acoustic instruments were your thing, they may be one of the finest speakers out there. Bass was a bit weak, especially if you liked processed or electronic material, but within their element they were fantastic. I only ended up selling them because the wife said the 1970s boxes had to leave our living room. Even though I like my current speakers (Ohm 1000s in my main stereo and GE BRXs in the smaller system), there are days I still miss them.