Spendor D9.2 Run In

Just got new Spendor D9.2's, primarily because of the well regarded midrange, and wanted to know how long the run-in will take based on experience.  I generally don't play them loud, but when I do they seem to blare.  A bit concerning.  Also when played at moderate levels the mids sound tuned high.  What is the deal?  Thanks


All new speakers take a few hours/days for the woofers to break in, but it shouldn't take that long.  Play some music with strong bass at moderate levels and let them stretch a bit.  Donald Fagan "Morph the Cat" is good.  Cassandra Wilson "Blue" is good as well.  Spendors are not forward speakers, so if they sound harsh after a week or two, it's something else in the chain.  I assume you bought without audition?  It's an occupational hazard in the modern hifi buying experience.  But I think they'll end up sounding more balanced after a few days.  

I have McIntosh components: C2700, MC275.  I felt sure they would act to mellow the sound.

Congratulations on your purchase. I have not heard them… most speakers at least a hundred hours. Typically most speakers are trebly and have wooly or flabby bass… don’t panic.

Nothing worse than mixed feelings about a new purchase. 

If you put some photos of your system under your user ID we might be able to identify some other possible factors.

That's normal.  It takes awhile for everything to break in and settle down. I've got three D series with LPZ tweeter.  Absolutely amazing when broken in, but give it a couple hundred hours (no kidding).  They sound bright when new but neutral and glorious in the end.  Different sound from traditional Spendor, the D series is

When I have my ear right up on the speaker, the brashness seems to be coming from the midrange and not the LPZ tweeter.  The speakers do throw the mids and highs forward, which I like - especially the tweeter.  I can hear it at a distance.  What I find odd is voices seem to be higher in pitch than I am accustomed too, and that's the midrange.  I am hearing detail I never heard before, which startles sometimes.  But it's the pitch, and at higher volumes especially, brashness or tinnyness, that is a bit unnerving.  I will try to be patient.

I wonder if you possibly have bad tubes in your MC275.

Spendor has made some duds with respect to tweeters but has never failed to get the midrange right. You might try to borrow a SS integrated from a friend just to rule out the amplification. 

The D series speakers measure nearly ruled-flat and as a result will sound “lean” compared to many/most competitors. 

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I had the D7 for a while and the mids were pronounced but I wouldn't have used the word blare. The tweeter was a bit annunciated in the presence region. Any comparisons to the Volti's? 

The Spendor midrange is as overly pronounced as the Volti's was not.  I have switched the Spendors between my SS and tube Mac gear and really don;t see much difference.  "Lean" is a good word, but the pitch seems wrong to me.  t is true some recording sound better than others.  

+1 on more break in time. My speakers took 300 hours plus to really settle in. Good luck ! 


OK, I will be patient.  These are beautifully made and I can tell the detail is stunning.  But you have to ask, if a speaker needs 300 hours, why isn't the manufacturer running the speaker (or drivers) in?  I know Zu does.

I have the D7.2s and I bought them for their midrange. To me, vocals and instruments sound wonderful, and music that is subtle sounds as engaging as tracks with more tempo and energy. I listen to a huge range of music genres, and most sound superb. I would say for rock they aren’t natural performers, but do a good job that I can enjoy when I fancy it. These speakers don’t have huge slam and punch, but they still deliver electronic music very well, just again they don’t excel your big dynamic drum and bass tracks. 
For 90% of my listening then they deliver perfectly, and the main reason is they are so balanced and do not shout at you, so I can listen to them for hours on end without fatigue. 
My partnering equipment is a Hegel H390 which is a smooth amp, and I use the internal dac with an Auralic G2.1 streamer. Never has the midrange been shouty or unnatural, I would say I tested them also with the Michi X3 and did find it edgy and less natural, so I’m wondering if your other gear is creating that. 
As for run in, they loosened up over a few months, but really just smoothed out even more than they already were.

Overall an incredibly easy speaker to listen to for hours on hours, I would have assumed they’d be extremely similar to the D9.2s in that regard. 

OP,  “speaker needs 300 hours, why isn't the manufacturer running the speaker”.

That is simple. Cost. Think of the space required and taps to power them. Not in this price category.

Hang in there… only 12.5 days of playing. 


Give them a couple hundred hours. Speaker drivers do need to settle in. 

All the best.

I have not purchased any "new" equipment in decades.  Back then my speaker break-in was done out of the box, connected to an old receiver in a closet.  Speakers place face to face with one speaker hooked in reverse polarity.  Receiver set to an FM music station, Mono mode and ran a bit higher than my regular listening setting.  After a couple days, I reverse the speaker polarities.  And run them another couple of days.  Reset the connections to proper polarities and in Stereo Mode another few days.   Took a few days to a week, but never was disappointed because of "break-in".  


My PNB Montana XPS speakers reportedly take 450 hrs to break-in. Good thing I bought them used 🥴

I haven't heard any of the D series Spendors, but from what I have read about them, I wouldn't expect the typical Spendor midrange. I think for that you need to stay with the Classic series, which I do own.

But it’s the pitch, and at higher volumes especially, brashness or tinnyness, that is a bit unnerving.


That sure sounds like what I heard when I auditioned Spendor D7s (which were broken in).

They were just about the only speaker I had to keep turning down because the brittleness/steely quality in the highs bothered my ears. Couldn’t have been more surprised that this was coming from a Spendor product, of all brands!

(I heard a similar quality in the "A" line of floor standing speakers as well).

Well prof, I think that it's apparent that Spendor was trying to stay current with that line, and appeal more to the modern younger audiophile who's looking for "accuracy". Reviewers rarely outright trash a speaker, and I'm sure that this one doesn't deserve to be, but you can usually find mild criticisms if you read between the lines, and that's what I gathered reading about these; namely that they were too bright.

I think that the OP should look at the classic series either new or used to find the Spendor sound that he's looking for. 

philip swift some years decided on the bifurcated strategy to cover market/buyer segments for speakers

classic series for classic looks/bbc design. a/d series for modern slimline floorstander looks, and increasingly, a modern sound - meaning he is targeting focals, revels, magico, proacs, wilsons and so on... but perhaps not so successfully as one would hope...zippy city...

for a modern-styled floorstander type speakers that hark back to the more beautiful, less attacking, natural sound of spendor classics, i think modern sonus fabers deserve a look, perhaps some revels, some devores (non orangutans)

I have a pair of D9.2s, paired with a Naim Uniti Star. They are great speakers but definitely need a bit of eq imo. This is easy to do if you're a Roon user. 


We're in agreement, but when I think about it, it is a little surprising that they would have gone so overboard on the treble.

A couple of years ago I auditioned at length the Spendor Classic 100's in a hi-end system.  For comparison, afterwards we subbed in a pair of D7's (no D9's in the store, and just before the .2 version came out).  There was no real comparison.  The Classic 100's sounded significantly better by every metric: fuller, better balanced, etc. etc..  It's my understanding that they also use the same tweeter, so obviously some else significant was going on.


We’re in agreement, but when I think about it, it is a little surprising that they would have gone so overboard on the treble.

terry miles, who for many years succeeded derek hughes at spendor (post sale of the company to philip swift) as their main designer, remains active on the spendor user board -- he has recounted how the company has felt the need to ’modernize’ its sound in light of what it sees as market trends... even successive iterations of the classic models have had the treble/upper midrange energy dialed up slightly each time (of course, despite this, in absolute terms, the classics remain quite natural sounding) - think this explains why/how the d9/d7 have been pushed so far in that direction...

terry is ’one of us’ so to speak, still feeling connected to the bbc heritage, more natural style of sound... interesting that he recently departed spendor and now works with alan shaw at harbeth


That's interesting. I didn't know that he had gone off to Harbeth, and I had just guessed at the rest. I understand that market pressures must be very strong.

When I settled on D7’s, I demo’d a couple dozen different speakers before finalizing. Spendor D series, to me anyway, is neutral, and sounds the best in its price range and higher. Brighter speakers include Focal Kanta/Sopra, Magico, Paradigm Persona, B&W 800 series, etc., and warmer speakers include Harbeth, Sonus Faber, classic Spendor, Vandersteen, etc.

Just my opinion. YMMV. Everyone hears differently.

No right or wrong answers. Everyone prefers a different tonality. I say steak is better than lobster - you say lobster is better than steak. Both are correct for themselves

agreed @kren0006

other factor here is that some speakers with hotter top ends, if they are not torture chamber loads as seen by the driving amps, can sound really lovely with tube amps

proac response speakers were/are a prime example of this... stew tyler voiced them with audio research tube amps for years - and so folks who bought, say, a set of proac response 3.8, then put a run of the mill solid state amp on it, would hear a speaker that was pretty darn edgy, strident and unforgiving.... but then if they swapped in an arc vt100 or a music reference amp, and then tonally, everything would be ’just right’, the imaging would become expansive and enveloping... ahhhhhhhhhh....

I'm a week in and granted, would have liked to have played them more by now, and louder.  But what I am noticing is the midrange HAS softened but is still quite strong compared to anything I have heard before.  Perhaps over several more weeks even better results will follow.  What I can say is the top end detail is astounding and probably what folks here call "forward."  What this means is I find myself turning the volume down compared to my Volti Razzes which these replace.  So to get the midrange detail in the Razzes - I had to play them loud.  These Spendors, not at all.  I hear details I never heard before, even on records I have heard a million times.  I wonder if my ears are reacting to the detail.  Other speakers rounded the edges compared to these very accurate speakers.  People are saying these are like Focals.  I had given my son a system that included Focal Arias as a graduation gift and when I fired those up - they were bright too.  So yes, these "modern" designs are different.  The detail is amazing.  I will post later with age.


I'm glad to hear you are enjoying the Spendors!

I haven't heard the D9.2s, so I don't know how they compare to the original D7s.



Stick with them. They take long to break in. The mids will come around and surpass what you are used to

I’ve owned speakers with so much midrange presence that they would make my ears ring even at low volumes. The trend towards making everything sound “live” can sometimes come with punishment on all but the best of recordings or extremely well selected gear. The D7 didn’t hurt my ears with the Cs600 or the Coda CSIB. Interesting about the Volti mids. I tried the Cornwall 4 and found the mids pretty much to my liking but not as refined as I wanted. Try to hear a pair of Verity speakers they play well with a wide range of amps.

They may not ultimately be the speaker for you but it is too early too tell.  my D7 Spendors took at least 200 solid hours for the bass to become pronounced and the treble to smooth out.  

the bass has to bloom as one way to balance the mids and highs and you do this by flexing and working the woofers with bass heavy material at higher volume for 48 hours just like breaking in a subwoofer-  see RELs subwoofer break in process.  

thom yorke and atoms for peace is an excellent break in cd.  

in the mean time there are things you can do to help- 

make sure they have plenty of space around them including away from any screens or big surfaces that can reflect midrange outward.  

try setting the toe angle so they aim at a spot a few feet in front of you, the off axis response tapers off the upper mids and above. 

try tube rolling to offset the highs, the stock mac jjs can have a bright top.  

definitely avoid or replace any hybrid silver copper or silver speaker and interconnects.  go for high quality copper, ohno or occ, the kimber 8pr speaker cables are excellent for warming the midrange and smoothing highs.  

big picture i am sorry that I eventually sold the D7s.  they did some things better than most speakers including incredibly deep bass from the transmission line port, excellent detail and imaging and through the ceiling micro dynamics and speed that gives music a realistic sense.  also very efficient and easy to play loudly.  the things they do well are difficult to find in other speakers.  


I have owned these D9.2s for over a month now.  Spendor told me to crank them out of phase a few inches apart for 48 hours.  Can't do that, who can?  But over the last month I have been leaving the house for hour long dog walks and I leave them CRANKED.  Lotta Raggae mostly to exercise the low end too.  WHAT A DIFFERENCE.  I now appreciate the details, and the harshness has subsided.  Did it go away or did get used to it?  I can't say.  My internal oscilloscope may not be that accurate,  All I know is I here details I have not heard and I do not find these speakers at all fatiguing, anymore.  I'm starting to think Spendor's claims of midrange brilliance may be... correct.  So on we go, enjoying the journey.

Mechanical breakin in speakers is a must imho.Some of the most bass heavy stuff i got barely move rubber on my atc 19...good to hear AD.

That’s what we all told you, based on our own ownership experience, would happen once they broke in ; )

I'm coming in later here and I've not read every post.

I also have the D9.2's and run them off my C2700 and MC275 like you and frankly they are disappointing in my room. What I'm getting is a very detail but tipped up presentation the tweeters are just to hot IMO. they also do not play well at lower volumes. They are lacking in bass at lower levels and don't really come on song until your up above 75db. I find them very picky on position as well.  

I'm going to try different tubes in the MAC's as i feel the stock tubes are rather bland sounding maybe a bit bright too and that's not helping the hot top end of the D9.2's. I know new production tube can sound like that so i'll hunt down some nice NOS 6550 to try. 

But over all they do some great things in the midrange and soundstage but bass extension and tone are not really there and the top end is IMO too hot. 

Note I have a very difficult room so many of my issues could be the room. as i demoed them in a fully treated room and they sounded significantly better in that room. 



Wow, that sounds really disappointing overall. Especially the lack of good tone.

"Wow, that sounds really disappointing overall. Especially the lack of good tone"

Yup I've had mine for 8 months now and I'll be listing them for sale soon as i just cannot get them to gel in my room. my room has been a pain in my you know what for a decade now. 

midrange is great the rest is lacking IMO, in my room of course. 


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That was a clever ruse for inserting spam @racs_fear . Hopefully the moderators will see it and flag you.