Spendor S9e or ProAc Response D28

I've been eyeing the Spendor S9e and ProAc D28 and while this is your typical "how does this compare to that thread", I wanted to give some background about where I'm coming from.

I currently own a pair of B&W 703's and my gripe with them is that my ears get tired of listening to them when playing music after 20mins or so. To be a bit more specific, at low volumes 60-70dB, these speakers are very listenable but low volumes don't do rock music justice. At higher volumes (80-85db) my ears get tired within a couple of songs.

In fact, at louder volumes even if I'm in the other room doing stuff on the computer and listening to music playing from my living room I get annoyed.

Not all is bad with these speakers, they shine when it comes to movies. I only have two of them but even so they generate an excellent phantom center (note: I haven't felt the need to add a dedicated center because they are that good). They also disappear into the background. Weird thing is I listen to movie louder than I do music, yet under this activity I don't find them fatiguing.

I've been thinking of upgrading my pre but the question I keep asking myself is that maybe I've outgrown this brand of speaker (I used to have 603's).

A bit more about me and my setup:
- Ratio of music-to-movie duty: 50/50
- Listening preferences: rock+hard rock (90%), everything else literally (10%).
- Source: Squeezbox v3 (my library has been converted flac)
- Preamp/Poweramp: NAD T742 / NAD C272
Weird thing is I listen to movie louder than I do music, yet under this activity I don't find them fatiguing

Movies are not COMPRESSED like pop & rock music. The reason you find rock + hard rock music fatiguing is because it has been compressed (no dynamics - example Metallica)...nothing to do with your speakers (although some bad speakers might help - something warm sounding with a recessed midrange will do).

Unfortunately audiophile systems will tend to push your tastes towards other forms of music that are better recorded...

See this for information Turn Me Up. Compression is not natural and it is done in the studio. It raises the average sound level significantly by making everything loud - in the case of Metallica I have heard the head of Meridian describe it as pretty close to white noise (when viewed on a spectrum analyzer...)
I don't know about the Spendors but I can say that the D28s are about as smooth as you can find and absolutely non-fatiguing. Musical, organic, whatever you want to call it, those are the D28s. If you had asked for an in-your-face speaker that will make paint peel off the wall with hard rock I would say DO NOT get the D28s, but if not then these really sound like your cup of tea.

They offer in my eye a mid to back hall presentation while offering all the detail you would expect. They are beautifully made and go to an honest 20hz. I am a dealer so I am biased, but let me know if I can assist.

Your right that quality of the record is a big factor but in my case I find that even my MFSL Guns and Roses stuff gets annoying after a bit of listening.

The music that sounds best with these speakers is stuff like jazz, classical and trance to some extent but I rarely want to listen to this sort of stuff. I'm a fan of rock what can I say =)

My guess is that maybe the 703 accents a certain set of frequencies that my ears don't really like.
I have a set of Spendor S8e speakers and really enjoy them. Very smooth and very musical at all volumes and I listen to a very wide range of music.

I've not heard them side by side with the Proac but my impression is the Proacs are a bit brighter and more forward, but certainly don't have the "edge" I hear from B&W speakers.

Shadorne does make a good point about the fatiguing effects of compressed music but I'd also ask the question, have you heard other systems that don't fatigue you in that fashion at the same volume level?

Since we all react differently to different speakers the most important thing is that you listen to them before you buy. The best audition is in your own home, but if that is not possible at least listen to them at a dealer.
"have you heard other systems that don't fatigue you in that fashion at the same volume level?"

Short answer is no. The reason why I went with B&W is because of the proximity of the dealer to my, at that time, apartment.

At that time I had a pair of Athena bookshelf speakers, they were fairly ho hum. I picked up a pair of B&W 600's and was floored with how good they sounded. Then again the B&W's cost a few hundred dollars more.

I later traded in the 600 put in some extra cash and bought the 603's and then did it again for the 703's. My dealer has been good too me in buying back my speakers at full retail cost. I have heard other speakers at other stores but those setups cost many many times more that what I have.

Still to this day the best speakers I heard where a pair of Quad ESL's and if I had the room to fit those here this discussion would have never taken place :-)
I A/Bed these two speakers and thought the Proac's were smoother and more engaging. Both were fantastic speakers and it came down to preference, but the Proac's in my mind were less fatiguing if you will.
This a reviewers comments on Guns & Roses MFSL

No, even Mobile Fidelity's GAIN system doesn't turn Appetite for Destruction into a precise audiophile disc. But their mastering makes quite an appreciable improvement on this album, turning a barely listenable mess into a rather well recorded album for this genre. While this isn't in the very top tier of MoFi improvements, it's certainly well above average as remastering differences go. I don't know how many Guns N' Roses fans there are that will appreciate the improved quality of this disc, but anyone who likes this music would be much better served buying Mobile Fidelity's release instead of that poseur release Geffen sells. It's a much more enjoyable CD to listen to.

Improved from a barely listenable mess does not (to me anyway) equate to audiophile sound....need I say more.
I have had both in my system and chose the Proac's. I use Naim gear and tried the s8e's and the D28's. I loved the top end of the Spendors. My room acentuates HF to make your ears bleed, (at least my ears) and the Spendors were really smooth and non fatiguing on top. But the bass was where I had problems. Deep but slow, a tad wooly. I tried altering the port and moving them around but the bass was always too much and it made everything sound like it was a beat behind. I knew it wasn't the amp.
Then I tried the D28's and while they don't roll off the HF as much the bass is really tuneful and tight. They are smooth as well but a tad less polite, more truthful. I bought them and never looked back. This is after using Sequerra's for 12 yrs. or more.
I'd worry that the s9e's would be a handful for your amp. That big woofer needs a lot of control. But if you need to smooth out your sound they are probably a better choice. But don't say you weren't warned about the bass.
Since much of hard/metal/heavy rock tends to depress the mind, maybe you are just now becoming aware of this and are thinking it's fatigue. 20 years ago a friend saw two therapists because of depression. Both recommended he change types of music since he mostly listened to metal and hard rock. My friend was told this type of music causes central nervous system irritation. One also told him to have his work desk moved near a window so florescent lighting was reduced. Claimed flor. lighting also causes irritation. I turned him on to Hendrix and Coltrane and he stopped digesting AC/DC, Def Lepard et al on a daily basis (and going to rock bars and concerts). He got better pretty quickly but I have no idea if he got his desk moved.

Certainly not a scientific study, just a single incident.
I have to wonder if your source components might not be the problem here. You play your movies from disks, I take it, but all of your music comes through the Squeezebox. Its a good piece, but not great. An external DAC could make a big difference. Just a thought.

Here's another. To test the hypothesis, play some CDs on your DVD player and see how they sound compared to the Squeezebox.
Foreigner, Journey, Air Supply definitely caused me central nervous system irritation. So does most of that 50's rock crap.
Come to think of it, so does Jane Fonda, Carol Burnett, and AT&T.
Some things just need to go away and never come back.

Thanks for reading, I feel better now.
You forgot Boston.
Iam looking into the D28 coming from the Proac signature 8's which are great...stunning really, but Iam also a rock fan and even in a small listening room 11.5 by 12 with 9 foot ceiling and french doors that open behind me making the room larger the 8's were just small. What room sizes are some of you using the D28's in. 6 box cyrus system and cardas cables. Thanks Mike
Given what you are considering, you should also consider Harbeth and possibly Sonus faber. Did someone say an the D28s give honest 20Hz?? I don't think so. 40Hz yes (I'm not saying there is no output at 20 Hz).
Pubul57, have you owned the D28s? Well I do, and they go an honest 20hz. Not sure what you are basing your comment on. Give me a break about Harbeth.....they do an honest 80hz at best and Sonus Fabers have been relegated to big box stores.
Hi Drubin,

You make a good point that it could be my source, I'm planning on adding a Lavry DA10 DAC soon just to get out that last bit of resolution that's lacking. I know the squeezebox DAC isn't the greatest but it's much much better than the DAC inside my NAD receiver (which I use as a preamp btw). The NAD tends to flatten the presentation so that there's no airiness between instruments. The SB is much better sounding but rolls off the bass. I'm thinking a better DAC will be the solution.

I'll try playing a CD or two to see if that makes a difference, I just need to dig them all out of the back of my closet.

I also realize that most if not all rock recordings are recorded very poorly and when I think about it over the last couple of years I've started listening to more and more different types. I may be wrong with this line of reasoning but could it be possible that I've managed to setup a system that is more clinically revealing as opposed to musically revealing and that I'm just starting to realize this now as my hearing is evolving to pickup newer nuances/detail that I wasn't aware of before?
About Sonus Faber,

I've read countless posts/reviews about these speakers saying that if your the type to listen to rock music or expect big bass you should look elsewhere.

I agree that music does influence your mood. Luckily, I don't listen to enough of it on a continuous basis that for it to affect me more than just momentarily.

I get stuck in traffic a lot to and from work, and I'm the type that really really really hates traffic. I remember one specific occasion where I was stuck in traffic and listening to system of a down...that was a really bad combination.

I pulled out that disc and put in Eva Cassidey's Live at Blues Alley and it made the situation much more tolerable, my mood changed pretty much instantly.
Arbuckle, a box that size with a 6 1/2" mid/bass driver cannot produce an honest 20Hz, I'm basing that on the laws of physics. And by honest I mean meaningful output, not whether or not there is some output. If you want "big" bass you need a big woofer. P.S. I've owned the 3.8s and love the brand, although I doubt even they put out much below 30Hz. On your Harbeth comment, well what can I say - other than the HL5 puts out a very honest 40Hz. The comment on SF may be right, but they do not fatigue, but I have to agree they are not a rock speaker.
Have you addressed room issues? The room is one important component, more so if one listens at high volume levels. If the room is not an issue then only you should proceed to look into replacing the 703's. However, if room acoustics are not properly addressed, I reckon any speaker will sound the same and your ears will hurt when listening at high volumes.
Good point!
Stumbled on this thread from a web search, so sorry for the late post. I recently picked up a pair of ProAc Studio 140s and suggest you at least take a listen to these speakers. I am sure they do not have "honest" bass output to 10 Hz; however, they play very realistic bass for rock music. Also, I find them to give me all the detail I want, without a sharp edge.... great for extended listening periods. I owned a pair of Sonus Faber Grand Piano Homes before and sold them off precisely because they couldn't deliver realistic rock bass.