Spendor Classic 3/1 vs Graham Chartwell LS6 ?


Hello.

I am a beginner in audio system and currently interested in Spendor Classic 3/1 and the Graham LS6.

I listen to Jazz, Vocals, EDMs, Rap, as well as some chillout cafe music and classics.

From what I know about the Spendor Classic series, they have added improved high frequencies units to the older SP series, the sound stage is very wide, imaging is very clear, perhaps not the most opulent bass on 3/1 model as with all speakers of this size, but that is what my room can handle and I have no issues there. Here is a link that made me to pick the 3/1 as one of my candidate speakers Spendor Classic 3/1 playing EDM. In this video, the uploader uses an ambient electro music to demonstrate the speakers performance. It is absolutely stunning to my ears, but I do not know if this is close to real life experience. One interesting thing about the Spendors new Classic series, the company played EDMs on their Classic 100s and 200s in audio shows. I only saw a few youtube demos from the shows, but Spendor must had confidence in their speakers playing fast paced EDMs.

The Youtube demos Graham LS6 on the other hand do not play any EDMs. By all means, EDMs are not the only type of music I listen to, but that was what impressed me on the Spendor 3/1 and hoped to see what it is like on the LS6. Nevertheless, from what I see, the speaker sounds amazing with Jazz. Here is a link music starting at 2:00. It isn’t quite clear which speakers perform better to my ears because the demos don’t play the same track. Also, the reviews on LS6 are saying this is an awesome speaker, but no review on the 3/1 could be found.

I understand I will have to audition those speakers myself eventually, but there isn’t a Spendor or Graham dealers in my local area. I hope to learn about the differences of these speakers, which one would be less fatiguing, why you think one of them would be your choice, and more.

Thanks!

K
talkskiwon
Haven't heard either of these specific models and I doubt anyone here has experience with both. 

That said, I have heard other models from both brands and all have been excellent. If EDM is one of your primary genres and you don't have a large room, you should consider the Spendor A4s. Their dynamics and bass are quite excellent and probably better suited to EDM than the thin-wall cabinets of the Classic series. I realize the A4s are their most affordable line but there's nothing "budget" about their sound.


@helomech Thanks for the suggestion. I too realize their A lines are very well regarded. I did not have any idea about thin-wall speakers. Do they sound better on classics and vocals instead?
I currently own the Graham LS6 and in the (distant) past have had a lengthy home demo of the Spendor 3/1. But it was a long time ago and not the current model, so probably not too relevant. At that time I found the Spendor a bit too coloured and woolly, particularly at the bottom end. But this may have improved in the current model.
I can say that the Graham LS6 is an outstanding speaker. I have been through a lot of standmount speakers in my smallish room over the last few years, including Harbeth P3ESR, M30.1 and M30.2, Dynaudio C1, Dali Epicon 2, Graham LS5/8 and others. The Graham LS6 has ended my long search and is exactly what I have been looking for. Tonally rich but not coloured, dynamic with good bass extension, and very musically engaging.

That said, my choice of music is mostly jazz and classical, with a bit of rock and electronica.  I'm not sure if my preference would change if I listened to EDM mainly.

I should also mention that the LS6 take a *long* time to run in - a couple of months, at least - and sound a bit shrill and boomy for the first month or so. If you get a demo, make sure it is a well run in pair.
And definitely do not make any judgments about speakers based on Youtube videos!
Apart from all the other links in the chain, I think you're also hearing the very different acoustic of the two rooms.
@twoleftears Thanks for pointing that out. 

@rossb Thanks for the heads up and suggestions!
Another speaker you might consider if your space and dealer availability allows, is the Stirling Broadcast SB-88. It's larger than the other speakers you're considering but that will result in more life-like scale. It uses the same midwoofer driver tech found in the LS6, and like other Grahams, was also designed by Derek Hughes.

I have a pair of SB-88s and Spendor SP2/3R2s. The Spendors play with larger scale and greater bass depth but the SB-88s have the upper hand in refinement and fatigue factor. The SB-88s are also a bit more dynamic in the midbass. However, the new Classic series is alleged to be much improved in terms of dynamics.

If you're in the U.S. and interested in the Stirlings, send me a PM. I know where new pairs can be had for a great price. 
I have the Graham’s 5/9, fantastic speakers for jazz, classical and voices, I think the Spendors and Graham’s speakers are more alike than fundamentally different. I find that my 5/9 need a bit of space away from side walls and toed in a bit.
It's really quite uncanny since I'm looking at spendor classic 3/1 as well. The difference is that I own the Graham ls6.

I can tell you without a doubt, ls6 is bad for edm. The bass is just way too boomy, especially if you put it near walls. That is the main reason why I'm looking at the spendor classic 3/1.

But, if you stuff socks into the ls6, it turns into one of the best bookshelves you can own. Mid range and treble is impeccable. Bass is tight as well. But it rolls off gradually from 100hz
just to revise what i say, saying it as one of the best bookshelves is perhaps too hyperbolic especially since I have never tried any of those high-end bookshelves like wilson, raidho and the recent raved upon buchardt s400

and one more major let down from the ls6 is the veneer quality. it feels cheap, and is prone to damages. the falcon ls3/5 that i have, has much better quality veneer.

I asked someone who owned the spendor ls3/1 r2 (the previous version), and he said that bass is tight. I am interested to hear from other spendor ls3/1 owners but apparently they are far and few between.
It's really quite uncanny since I'm looking at spendor classic 3/1 as well. The difference is that I own the Graham ls6.

I can tell you without a doubt, ls6 is bad for edm. The bass is just way too boomy, especially if you put it near walls. That is the main reason why I'm looking at the spendor classic 3/1.

But, if you stuff socks into the ls6, it turns into one of the best bookshelves you can own. Mid range and treble is impeccable. Bass is tight as well. But it rolls off gradually from 100hz

The majority of modern speakers sound boomy when placed near walls, especially if the walls are of typical North American construction. 

The 3/1s are rear-ported, thus likely not any better than the LS6s in terms of bass boom. Better off getting sealed-cabinet speakers.
From the video samples (I know), the Spendor sounded better to my ears. I have had SP2/2 for decades and they are excellent. The SP2/3R2 might be worth a look.
Not too many sealed speakers around anymore. I wonder why that is?
Not too many sealed speakers around anymore. I wonder why that is?

I wonder the same. There are advantages to sealed designs that cannot be achieved in a ported box. Porting helps with efficiency but power is relatively cheap these days.