Spendor D7


Looking for new speakers to use with Leben cs 600 amplifier.  Considering Devore Super  9 , Proac Ds30R.  Goal is natural sounding, not too forward high end.  A friend recommended the Spendor D7. I have listened to the A7 but found it too bright.  Has anyone auditioned the D7?  Is it forward sounding?
Thanks
M
mpomerantz
I listened to them driven by Naim gear and they were very laid back but because of the Naim amp, not the speaker itself.  

They are neutral and will reflect the sound profile of your amplifier.  If it is forward and bright, the Spendors will be but if your amps are neutral, they will be neutral.

They are impressive speakers.  


Are you a dealer of Spendor?
Nope.  I am not a Spendor dealer.  I listened to the D7s while I was hunting for speakers before I started my company.  I liked them a lot though they weren’t perfectly to my taste.  

In the sub $10K range, they are spectacular.  I was hunting for something that sounded a bit more like Wilson but at Spendor prices.  The only way I could do that was to make them myself.  

For perspective, I make a stand-mount that is $500 more than the D7s excluding the stand.  My cabinet is carbon fiber and I am really competing with The Magico A1, Wilson Tune Tot, Wilson Benesch and Marten.  


Do you make a floor standing model?
My wife is not a fan of stands.
Thanks
M
I own D7’s and love them. Not bright at all, upgraded tweeter vs A7. I first heard D7 immediately after listening to A7 for 40 minutes- difference in quality was MASSIVE. I knew right then my budget for speakers needed to jump above my initial $5k target.

I’ve posted a lot about them across various threads (you can quickly scan - I think I still have less than 100 posts).

Basically I thoroughly auditioned a couple dozen speakers between $3k and $10k over several months and liked D7’s best.

But that’s just my preference.

Gotta go listen to as many as you can would be my recommendation, but yeah Spendor D7 one of most acclaimed speakers last 5 years - just seek out the reviews. It’s difficult to find anyone with anything bad to say about them.

Oh and if you generally like tonality of Spendor but want a little more reserved, then I’d suggest Vandersteen may be well worth auditioning. 
Thank you for asking.  I don’t make a floorstander yet.  I had to decide between next product being at a more approachable price point or a floorstander.  I am launching to less expensive stand mounts at Capital Audiofest and will introduce floorstanders next year.  

The only others I liked better the Spendors were much more money.  If you can find a used pair of Wilson Sabrinas, Sasha’s or Magico S1s in your price range, they would be a step up from the Spendor’s but new, they are more than 2x the price at ~$16K.  


There is one other product worth listening too that I think had a great sound profile assuming you have a big enough room to handle a side firing woofer.  You probably need at least a 15’wide room (20’ would be better).  

The Scansonic MB line.  I demo’d The MB6 side by side with Magicos and it is a great speaker.  Another one that delivers an awesome value.  The tweeter from them is really special.  The 3.5 and 5 are great and might meet your needs.  
Love my D7s.  They pair remarkably well with tubes in the case of my system - fantastic for bringing out the textures in acoustic jazz but can also rock out when needed.  The break-in time is at least 200 hours to soften an initial treble edge but with some patience you are rewarded immensely.  I heard these at AXPONA and just knew I had to have them.  To me they sounded close to the Joseph Audio Perspectives but at less than 1/2 the price.
I don't think the side firing would work; but thanks for the recommendation.  I also am limiting my search to speakers I can audition at home; which greatly limits my search as there are few dealers in RI.  I was very close to buying AudioNote AN-E.  Fortunately the local Devore dealer had a pair of used ANE which he brought up for a listen.  Both he and I were surprised by how poorly they sounded in my system in my room.  I don't know if there is a Scansonic dealer in the area but I will look.  Have you any thoughts on the Devore Gibbon 9s?  I have heard them several times with varying results ( related to cable etc).  Thanks for your insights.
Mike
Side firing doesn't work for a lot of people.  I just know they are great speakers and are outside of the "usual suspects" of PSB, KEF, Revel, Musical Fidelity, B&W, etc... which I assume you have already heard.

DeVore makes wonderful speakers.  I have had limited exposure to them.  I have heard them in passing but never really had a chance to do any critical listening the way I have with the Spendors.  My understanding is they require some effort with amp pairing.    

What equipment will you be driving these new speakers with?  What is your room like?
I use a Leben cs 600 amplifier which apparently is one of Devores favorites.  I believe the Leben works well with the Devore O series, I am not sure how it fares with the Gibbons- but will find out shortly.  The room is 19 by 16 with an adjacent kitchen area . Ceilings are 9 foot and lots of glass. Not the best acoustics.
I found a Scansonic dealer in Boston, and may actually go take a listen. Perhaps the side firing might work.
Mike
Given your amp, I would stand by Scansonic as a potential.  I had Raidho’s for a stretch and the key with Raidho’s and Scansonics is having that minimum of 9’ between them and a solid 3’ from the back wall.  

The Leben is definitely awesome with DeVore’s from what I hear.  That makes a lot of sense that they would be a strong match.  

I am fascinated to hear your POV if you hear the Spendors driven by that Leben. Leben is not ultra-warm like some lower powered tube gear so I think it will be great.  

The one other you might want to look into is Legacy Audio’s Signature SE.  the nearest dealer to you is up in NH but the AMT they use is very tube friendly and might be pretty spectacular.  
I didn't know there was a Legacy dealer in NH: Legacy directed me to the dealer in NJ who was a bit pushy a la NJ/NY fashion ( I grew up in NJ do I am entitled to comment as such).  Who is their NH dealer?

The Scansonics probably won't work as I don't have 3 feet from back wall.

With respect to the Spendor/ Leben pairing.  The Leben definitely woke up my SP-1s.  Was a very striking pairing.  I home auditioned a bunch of amps both SS and tube; and there was something magical with the Leben.  

The other interesting speaker is the Joseph Pulsar 2 and there perspective 2 ( which is a bit of a price reach).  I heard the Pulsars and they were beautiful.  But my wife vetoed the stands.

The problem with all of these options is the distance from RI.  The Spendor dealer is in Nashua but he sold off his D7s and is thinking of getting the new version and/or the Classic line.  I was interested in hearing the Classic line but didn't have the time or energy to travel to NE Philadelphia to listen to them.

So what do your speakers sound like?
I was wrong...it is not a dealer in NH, it is a Studio for Legacy.  I know the guys you are talking about in NJ.  For a stretch, the whole NY Metro area didn't have a legacy dealer.  At least they picked up one.  

I have two very distinct speakers, neither is ideal for the Leben as it is at the very low end of recommended power and would probably only pair well in a relatively small room.  

The Blackthorn is precise with a big soundstage. If you are comparing it to the most accurate speakers, it will stand up and deliver a decidedly uncolored sound.  The key is that the cabinet is completely dead as it is super rigid and the honeycomb core has a ton of surface area.  The issue is it has an 84dB SPL.

The Nightshade is less precise and maybe gives up a hair in detail compared to the Blackthorn.  It has a bigger soundstage and female voices in particular sound lush and soulful.  The cabinet is fiberglass with the same core.  Tons of surface area but not quite as rigid.  It has an 85dB SPL.

Both need a little power to achieve the right volume but are extremely easy to drive with minimum impedances at or above 7.3 ohms so they are very tube friendly.  

I am working on two other products that based on your above comments, one might be of interest to you.  PM me and I can offer up a couple details and hopefully will be listening to and tweaking the crossovers this weekend.  I don't want to discuss this particular bit of new product development in a public forum.  

Audio Classics in Vestal NY is also a large Legacy dealer.
My Spendor experience was just the opposite. After hearing both the D9 and A7 at an audio show, I had a home audition of both of the exact sets of show speakers. I was set on the larger full range D9s, but wound up purchasing A7s. They just sounded more coherent and better to me in my listening room. Even though the D Series has the updated tweeter, I preferred the top end of the A7s.
I also spent some quality time in the Legacy room. I had the $ and space for larger full range speakers, but chose the A7s.
Interesting. I liked A7 a lot and if I’d have stayed at $5k speaker budget would have narrowed it down to A7 and Dynaudio X38 (not sure which would’ve won for me).

I liked D7 more than A7 and never had chance to hear D9. Also heard A4 and A2.

Main differences between D7 and A7 are tweeter, more sophisticated flow port, internal bracing/damping and finish options I believe.

But yeah A7 just won speaker of the year from one of the UK mags.
The D7s are a brilliant speaker.   Transparent and neutral that crosses over the thin line between forgiving and accuracy without being fatiguing!  
My my only grumble was that they take a very robust (e.g. 200 WPC)  amplifier to deliver the best sounding bass.  

We learned long ago that there are no absolutes in audio. Speaker X may be "brilliant" to one set of ears and much less so to another.

If several people concur that a given speaker is good, then it may be worth seeking out to give it an audition, though it's possible that another listener may not like it at all.

@mpomerantz,I have listened to the D7. They are absolutely not bright or forward sounding loudspeakers. I loved them when I went looking for speakers. Heard them with MBL electronics. Also auditioned the ProAc D30RS. These are musical loudspeakers. I ultimately ended up with ProAc D49R in a room size that is similar to yours. But if you are leaning towards the D7, got for it. They are excellent loudspeakers.