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I'm not sure it's fair to compare the D7 to the Classic 100. The D7 is a completely different animal and comes in at half the price of the Classic 100. I would think folks in the market for a Classic 100 may be making more comparisons against say another large standmount like a Harbeth 40.2 than a small floorstander like the D7.
With this said I've only heard really great reviews about the Classic 100 but have yet to hear one in person.
there was something in particular about the D7 treble range that made me uncomfortable
I’ve encountered this same criticism a few times, even from a Spendor dealer. I was told the D-line is Spendor’s interpretation of a modern studio monitor.
I haven’t heard the newest Classic 100s, but their predecessors, the SP100s, are still reference-grade speakers IMO. In fact, even among speakers costing upwards of $30K, I’ve yet to encounter any that I think are superior overall. Very few speakers, if any, manage such a wide array of talents. And most are tonally inaccurate in comparison (in my opinion of course).
If you want the sound of SP100s/Classic 100s in a smallish floorstander, get the A7s. My dealer thinks they’re as close as it gets without buying the new Classic range. I did get to hear the new A4s in the same room where I heard the SP100s. Aside from bass output, I think I’d be hard-pressed to discern a difference in a blind listen. That makes the A4s sort of a great bargain IMO.
If you’ve fallen for the Classic Spendor sound, I’m afraid there’s really no substitute outside of the new A-line, at least not that I’ve heard. And no, the Harbeth sound is not very similar.
I recently auditioned the A7. I have a pair of SP1 at home and found the A7 much more dynamic, but lacking the sweet golden tone of the SP1. I have found the SP1 very much dependent on amplifiers. Originally ran it with a Harman Kardan and its was dull and boring. Got better with my Rega Brio, but came to life with a Leben cs600. Its only weak point is still not so dynamic with classical music.
@salectric The Classic 100 is the model name for the latest iteration of the SP-100. Effectively it=the Mk3.
@three_easy_payments. Agreed, but the Classic 100 and the D7 were what were in the store. I think people looking at the D9 should at least think about the Classic model.
@helomech The Classic top-to-bottom had more body, more oomph, and then as I say there was something in the D7 treble range, which I presume is the same in the D9, that didn't sound right, especially after hearing the 100.
Bought my S100’s new in 1990. I’ve owned various solid state and tube pre-amps and amps, the speakers have always sounded superb! Some, noting this ’universally’ good sound, regardless of (most) associated gear, suggest an artificial euphonic ’voicing’. I don’t know anything about any of that. All I know is that if this is wrong, I don’t wanna be right!;) BTW, the OP started the thread saying he never sees the big Spendors mentioned around here. You might want to try a search as I know they’ve been mentioned through the years (I’ve been reading reviews and what-not for close to 30!)
The Classic series of old and the recent models are totally different in my opinion. So much so that instead of buying any of the recent versions of the 1/2 I waited patiently to buy a pair of the older 1/2e that I had owned several years previously as well. I find the Sterling LS3/6 to be more in line with what the older Classic series sounded like versus anything Spendor is making today. Spencer Hughes came up with some excellent designs and took advantage of main drivers that would cover quite a bit of the frequency range before crossing over and "lossy" cabinets to create that special sound.
The Classic series of old and the recent models are totally different in my opinion. So much so that instead of buying any of the recent versions of the 1/2 I waited patiently to buy a pair of the older 1/2e that I had owned several years previously as well. I find the Sterling LS3/6 to be more in line with what the older Classic series sounded like versus anything Spendor is making today.I have to strongly disagree. I own SP2/3R2s and find them to basically sound like a scaled-down SP100. They're just a little less detailed and of course, cannot play as loud.
I owned the Stirling LS3/6s for a few weeks. While very good, they are far brighter than any Spendor I've heard and quite lacking of warmth in comparison. The Stirlings produce a washboard-flat monitor sound.
I see plenty of recommendations floating around recent threads for the D7 and D9, but nary a mention of the Classic 100. I wonder why. Are no dealers stocking it for demo?
...and as for the new 2/3 and 1/2 (the later looking especially interesting as a "poor(-er) man's Classic 100" with a similar 3 way configuration), nobody even mentions them!
the D7 speakers take a LONG time for the treble to balance out. Mine took ~ 200 hours.
At first they were crazy bright and imbalanced. They sound amazing now, bottom to top.
Never heard the classic series but had Harbeths previously. I'm sure I would like them but am very happy with the D7s.
I recently read your D7 thread on the Hoffman forums with great interest. After demoing the D7s I have a pair on order right now. Good to know about the prolonged run in time. The pair I heard were amazing and I didn't note the treble edge but then again they may have had plenty of hours on them already. I really like their pairing with tubes.
The D7s just arrived today and I've just started running them in. No doubt there is a treble edge that I never heard in the pair I demoed. However it's also immediately clear these speakers have a ton of potential as they run in. Very fast and responsive with a deep, wide soundstage. I look forward to listening to them open up like a fine bottle of left bank bordeaux. I have them playing with covers off and no spikes directly on my maple hardwood floors. Over the next month or so I will start experimenting with the spikes and possibly using them spikeless directly on top of Symposium Svelte speaker shelfs.
You are welcome. I spent about 16 hours in the last 1 year to come to a final position that I currently have. The problem with big speakers is moving them and then spiking them. My wife helps me if I have to remove/attach the spikes. Hopefully I don't do it so often to irritate her :-)
Do keep us posted as you spend more time with the loudspeaker. If it were not ProAcs, then Spendor is what I would have definitely got.