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Thanks for sharing..I'd had read a bit regarding the SP Tech line and their hybrid waveguide/shallow horn philosophy..Looks very interesting and Poistive On-line had some nice things to say of the 2.5 Conti.I swore I was looking at a KEF 104.2 for a second on first view!
SP Maybe the next great speaker and technology to come down the line since ESL's..
Enjoy your Mini's!
There is great work being done in the "Mega Mini Monitor" category. I have the Silverline SR17.5s and they too are incredible. I would describe their sound the same way you have described the Minis "both lifelike and musical" with in room -6db at 32hz. I would love to be able to compare them with the SP Tech Mini.
I have to tell you the real great story involved with these speakers. Since I have had so many speakers, >30 so far, I always play the new ones for my wife who loves music but cares nothing about the hobby. When I played her the SPTECH, she actually said that these have the best definition of any of my others, and that I should not sell them as I ususally do to feed my curiousity. I did not know she even knew what that word meant. She also said they were very good looking so the WAF is high. I have not heard the Silverline but have heard good things. You can get much info on AudioCircle.com regarding SPTECH. They are a small company but may be growing very rapidly.
Congrats on your new speakers, Bbchem!
If I weren't doing something similar in format myself, I'd definitely be a dealer for Bob Smith. He's a very humble yet extremely enthusiastic man, and does his homework with extreme diligence and precision and tenacity and competence. I have a great deal of respect for the man and for his loudspeakers.
"He's a very humble yet extremely enthusiastic man, and does his homework with extreme diligence and precision and tenacity and competence. I have a great deal of respect for the man and for his loudspeakers."
Well said Duke. I would also add brilliant engineer. My SP Tech Continuum 2.5 IIIs should be arriving shortly.
I can second Bbchem's thoughts on the SP Tech Mini's. I've also been lucky enough to receive a pair and am truly amazed at how they sound. I spent literally 30 seconds setting them up and right out of the gate, they sound better than any other speaker I've had in my room, many of which were well known, expensive designs requiring lots of care with positioning. These speakers literally disappear and leave a very clean, coherent sonic window. I'm listening to discs I've heard many times before and I can honestly say that for the first time I'm hearing the intent of the musicians as they play and their interaction. Hard to describe, but easy to hear. Bass is deep and tight, mids are clear and open, and the treble is very detailed, with no etch or harshness. Pace and rhythm are faultless as well. I couldn't be more delighted!
Ethanh, funny you should ask, I tried 4 amps so far, A proceed 150wpc SS, an older Carver 1.5T SS, An Adcom 535 60wpc and then and now a TAD-60 tube amp biased in A/AB. The Tad is my current favorite amp and I find it can drive anything down to 82DBL Sens. in my 20x17 room. The sound with the TAD is just simply amazing. Insturments and vocals are so lifelike it hard to concieve of a better sound for me. I had the Totem Hawks and loved those for Clarity, Detail and soundstage. I believe the Minis bass goes much lower. I just finsihed testing the bass response and found it goes down to 40HZ at good levels and at 30HZ its easily hearable. I don't remember if the hawks could go that low
I switched, after one year of ownership, for reasons I'm not going to discuss on a public forum. I owned a pair of SP Tech Continuum A.D. monitors a couple of years ago when SP Tech was first starting out, so I'm familiar with the SP Tech sound. They weren't perfect back then, but some of the things they did were amazing and still burned in my aural memory. With some of he recent changes in drivers and crossover components, I have no doubt the current crop will be world beaters. Can they compare to the MM3? Time will tell.
I still own the first pair of Timepiece 2.0s Bob Smith sold outside a 50-mile radius of La Porte, IN, and I believe Duke's analysis of Bob is spot on -
He's a very humble yet extremely enthusiastic man, and does his homework with extreme diligence and precision and tenacity and competence. I have a great deal of respect for the man and for his loudspeakers.I've been dealing with Bob for years, and yes, he is all those things, as well as being a brilliant designer. His smaller speakers are world-class IMHO, and the top-of-the-line Revelations are the best top-to-bottom (especially bottom!) I've ever heard, bar none.
The super low crossover point is seamless to my ears, a fact that will only become more evident as one compares them to other speakers. It took Bob years to tune the waveguide by hand to find the exact dimensions necessary to (1) allow the desired crossover point and (2) exhibit the dispersion characteristics he wanted.
Bass is tight and tuneful in every SP Technology speaker I've heard (all but the Timepiece Mini), but the proprietary T-line used in the Revelations and (presumably) in the coming Revelation Grand Master and Infra-Wave subwoofer is unlike any I've ever heard. It represents the only time in my music-loving life that my jaw literally went slack the first time I heard it.
I'm not sufficiently articulate to describe it; it's one of those things you must hear to understand and believe, which is precisely what happened during a listening session at Steve Chang's Denver home (Chang Audio Network - firstname.lastname@example.org) during October's RMAF.
After all, a speaker capable of replacing Sound Lab A-1s and convincing enough to bring tears to the eyes of renowned speaker-hater Jim Merod must have something going for them, eh? Here's the feedback Jim offered SP Tech after hearing the Revelation MR-1 MKII's at T.H.E. SHOW 2006 -
"I despise speakers. I love microphones ... all microphones, because -- if you know what you're doing -- each microphone,
The "tears" comment is supported by Greg Weaver's coverage in Positive Feedback Online. See the comments beneath the next to last picture here.
Though I did list the Timepieces in the "best all around monitor" thread a few years ago, I don't often post here, and I realize credibility is earned. As SP Technology speakers continue to find their way into the hands of new owners, I'm confident my credibility and that of other happy SP Technology owners will realize a commensurate boost.
FWIW, my classically-trained wife (piano & trumpet) has asked that I bring no other brand of speaker into the home, a request to which I have unhesitatingly - and happily - acquiesced.
And finally, aside from being a longstanding customer and vocal supporter of Bob Smith and of SP Technology, I have no affiliation with or investment in this or any other audio-related company.
If you're serious, Tarsando, you may have to wait.
Response to the Mini has been overwhelmingly positive, so much so that Bob said he needs to stop answering the phone until after the first of the year in order to meet current demand. He's essentially a 2-man shop, though I see that changing in the not-too-distant future.
I said back in 2004 that things were sure to break at some point. It seems the Timepiece Mini has taken SP Technology to the brink, and with more speakers going out to new owners every day, I believe it's just a matter of time.
i gather someone likes these speakers. no doubt there is a good reason for the praise. i may get to hear them myself.
it is a stretch to say they are the best speakers, period.
it is always a matter of taste and i wonder if there is anything to be accomlished by making such an absolute statement.
consider all of the large panel speakers out there and the original quad 57s. it would be interesting to compare a mini monitor with a larger speaker.
Dear Springbok,I actually had first emailed Bob about how much I liked my Mark and Daniels Rubys and they are the highlight of another room currently. He responded that the Minis would probably have more detail than the Rubys so needless to say I was intrigued. I bought a pair of Minis and the two are as close as you can get sonically. The minis have more detail and similar crossover point. These are two of the speakers that will be left in my house for a long long time. As I have been saying lately, the technology is getting to the point that there can be more than one great one. I have room for 4 systems in my house. These two are the ones left. The Minis are close to sounding real and musical as the Rubys. That is the sonics that I value most. Bass is also amazing on both. As for placement I have them about 8 ft apart and two feet from the back wall. Both are not ported as well
it is a stretch to say they are the best speakers, period.If you're referring to my comments, they were in reference to SP Tech's top-of-the-line speaker, the Revelations. And yes, to my ears, they're the best I've ever heard.
Did I miss an "absolute statement" wherein someone said they're the best ever, period, for everyone?
As for the Quad '57s, here is one person's comparison of his Quads and an 'older' version of Timepieces he owns. The latest SP Tech speakers employ the use of all Mundorf crossover pieces and parts, a significant upgrade from the speakers he and I own.
I'm not sure why you'd think it an "apples vs. oranges" comparison; I think it'd actually be a pretty valid comparison of similar design approaches. I'm a big fan of Roy's work, and have met him couple of times at shows. He's an terrific designer IMO, and a very nice, laid-back sort of fellow.
If SP Tech didn't exist, I'd probably own one or more of Roy's speakers. For the money, it would be difficult to find a speaker that better suits what *I* want from a speaker.
Well doublugly, if I have to wait I have to wait. And who knows, in that interim an even better speaker by some other manufacturer may come out and then I'll be glad I had to wait. And how would I know it was a better speaker? Advertising, as Jaybo suggests, or, possibly even a similar thread on the 'Gon will tip me off.
the problem with the word transparency is that it has nothing to do with timbre it is an artifact of sound, somewhat like focus.
did anyone attend a concert of un amplified music and use the word transparent to describe the presentation ?
it is a word which audiophiles use. it doesn't necessarily mean that what you hear is real, or that instruments are accurate timbrally. sometimes transparent borders on analytical.
mr tennis is correct...there can't be 'only one', not even with an individual over time...here is the problem with 'testimonial' threads touting new products. most of us have had incredible first impressions over the 'fine points' of a product's character that eventually become the 'very reasons' we move on to something else. its better to write an initial review, and a follow up review. this helps others. the 'hurray-i love this speaker-only to get something else in a month or two-'thread is way too common...if you have these years from now, that (in of itself)will be the real testimonial.
.if you have these years from now, that (in of itself)will be the real testimonial.I've owned my Timepieces for almost 4 years. I own other speakers, too, but the SP Techs get the vast majority of play time.
As I said in my initial post, I understand credibility is earned over time. Conversely, the fact that I and/or some of the others don't have hundreds of posts here doesn't mean we're neophytes, or that we're blind to the myriad of issues associated with this hobby and this medium.
My opinion of SP Technology speakers is based upon years of ownership. Whether the same holds true for Bbchem, Groovybassist and others remains to be seen.
I've only had my Mini's for a couple of weeks now, but I've owned at least 15 pairs of speakers over the last 20 years from the likes of Thiel, Vandersteen, JM Labs, B&W, Devore, PBN Montana, Naim, Paradigm, Joseph Audio, and on and on. I don't consider myself a neophyte at all and have very sensitive hearing. Add to this the fact that I set-up my systems using test discs and an SPL meter to ensure the spectrum is as balanced as possible in the room in which my system is located and I'm a former musician. While I don't disagree that opinions of a product change over time, I wholeheartedly disagree that initial reviews of a product are somehow less valid than longer term ones. I'm quite confident the Mini's are providing something to me that none of these other (and many much more expensive) designs have offered after careful setup. I guess that's all that really matters to me. Whether others choose to pursue SP Tech speakers is up to them.
I have them now for 4 days and have put on about 20 hours. I agree as well, but like Groovybassist, I have had a total of 33 pair of speakers which is to many. I bought almost all of them from reviews and forums since I never lived near a higher End store. As you can tell if I currently have two of them, I apparently sold the rest. So many times the ones I bought sounded OK, but bugged me in some way and made me lose interest quickly thus the sale. The Mark and Daniels Rubys I have now for several months and have no intention on selling. The Minis are still a step up in Detail and definition over the amazing Rubys, and like I mentioned, my wife loves them and told me not to sell them like the others. That was her first time asking me that. She usually says they all sound good and she can't tell the difference. I will continue my posting on these over the next several months.
its better to write an initial review, and a follow up review. this helps others. 'hurray-i love this speaker-only to get something else in a month or two-'thread is way too common...if you have these years from now, that (in of itself)will be the real testimonial.
Well said Jaybo. However, congrats to Bbchem on his new found love. I think it is quite normal to be ecstatic during the honeymoon period. Lets not be "grumpy old men" who resent these SP Tech owners shouting their joy with just a bit too much hyperbole. No doubt great speakers that look awesome...Kudos to all you new SP Tech owners. Enjoy!
a stand mounted speaker with a small enclosure will not sound the same as a panel with a large radiating area.
as fine a product as it might be it is not an apogee , martin logan, quad, magnepan, analysis audio, etc.
preference is so subjective that any testimonials are only meaningful to the speaker owner.
detail and definition, per se are not substitutes for accuracy of timbre, pitch and dynamics. too much detail leads to an unnatural presentation of the sound of instruments. too much emphasis is placed upon detail and transparency and not enough recognition of timbral realism.
I have had a total of 33 pair of speakers
I've owned at least 15 pairs of speakers over the last 20 years
I assume people who make statements like this are trying to establish a certain degree of credibility. That said, would you go with your spouse to a marriage counselor who states that he's had 9 different wives and therefore knows about relationships? All I'm saying is that the message can be interpreted more than one way.
Onhwy61,Mrtennis, I guess I deserve that. but I am not alone. this forum is dedicated to finding the holy grail whether it be speakers, amps, etc. My problem is I am very passionate about all "stuff", electronics in general is my hobby especially regarding music. No-one is forcing anyone to buy anything on this forum. It is a good place to alert people about whats new. I agree 1 Million % that its all subjective after all, I can't exprerience what you experience. I like your marriage counselor analogy, my problem like many other is curiousity and the belief that maybe I can find something a little better.In fact my friend went to a live concert the other day and said it sounded terrible and his audio gear was much better?? So is live music the holy grail? Makes you stop and think what are we really looking for in the end.
Mrtennis - if you ever have a chance to hear one of the Mundorf-based SP Tech offerings, I hope you take advantage and report back. They may not be your cup o' tea, but frankly your repeated points of emphasis make you an ideal candidate for ownership IMHO.
Then again, you may hate then. Who knows?
Some will have to do with component matching, obviously. I ran mine with Butler Monad monoblocks for years, but I heard the new Spectron Musician III Signature Edition drive a pair of Revelations well enough to prompt a very recent change. Might turn out to be a mistake, but time will tell.
Regardless, as a wise man once told me, the more you hear, the more you know...
if i like large panel speakers, why would i like a stand mounted box speaker. before i go to the trouble of requesting a pair for the purpose of reviewing them, i should have some idea why i might like them. otherwise, i go through a lot of trouble and it doesn't benefit the designer at all.
i am indeed skeptical that any box speaker will last more than a half hour without my wanting to listen to a panel again.
so perhaps you could enlighten me as to the benfits of auditioning this speaker.
my preferences are large panels, tubes, very soft and rounded presentation, very laid back with lots of depth, no cone woofer "sound", no cross over sound, no emphasis on high frequencies.
is this speaker any different from a cone in a box ?
i failed to pick up on your last senetence which is not true. knowledge does not come from experience. at best you may be able to use inductive reasoning by extrapolating from previous experience. knowledge is a different entity. it involves truth and certainty. listening to audio equipment has nothing to do with truth and certainty.
audio experiences create attitudes and opinions not knowledge. too many times i thought i liked something only to change my mind after extensive audition. where is the knowledge ?
in audio, there is only a probability of truth not truth itself
Can we say "HYPE" here? These might be the "greatest speakers in the world", but let time tell. Amytime, someone comes around and pretty much says "these are the greatest", my BS meter goes off. I can't wait to see how fast these speakers hit the "for sale" in Audiogon. I'm guessing it won't be all that long. Are these "keepers" or this month "favorites"? Hype would say it fall into the this months "favorites".
I understand and in-part agree with your response to my friend's comment that, "The more you hear, the more you know."
I'll only say that we all gain from experience, and I submit that it is actually through deductive reasoning that I've come to own and appreciate SP Technology speakers.
The theory behind their design intrigued me, I listened, I liked what I heard, kept them beyond the 30-day MBG period and have now listened to them in my home for almost 4 years.
The longer I've owned them, and the more I've compared them to other speakers, the more I understand what it is I like about them, and why. I know what I like, and for at least this moment in time, SP Technology speakers suit me.
I don't believe anyone is trying to ram any absolutes down your throat, Mrtennis. The only absolutes I've made refer to my own thoughts and feelings about the speakers, and as you have astutely pointed out, even they are subject to change.
Four years and counting, though... that's a heck of an audition period IMHO.
Double..the "apples vs. oranges" reference was due to the fact i included yet another speaker in this discussion!...the B&Ws..on the surface the SP techs appear to be overpriced...but hey...im cheap too so go figure!...but almost 3gs for a monitor is a little excessive in my book...regardless of performance...
I have been watching this thread since its beginning and had chosen to stay clear of the debate...until I read your post. I appreciate everyone's skepticism as this is healthy for the consumer and audio market in general. As we all know too well, many claims are rooted in hype and many products are little more than "snake oil."
Being the designer and president of SP Technology I am well aware of the limited weight any words that I might write here on this (or any other forum) will carry. In light of this I would still ask you to consider the following.
First, if you were to research our products and particularly our website, you will find that our design philosophy and marketing approach is to eschew most of the very concepts embodied in the vast majority of today's audio products. In other words, we don't play up the use of exotic materials or use the latest industry "buzz words" to promote our stuff. Rather, we base our designs on optimizing the fundamentals of the physics involved... then attempt to inform the consumer of those efforts.
Second, of all the systems we have delivered I can count on one hand the number that has been sold on the used market. Out of 5 pairs sold used, only one was for the purpose of finding a better performer - and that customer has now returned and purchased our new "top of the line" model that is still in the research phase. Delivery for that is not expected until at least March of 2008. The other customers have sold their systems due either to financial needs or to move up to our larger models. The bottom line is that our customers keep their systems and very few ever end up on the used market. That fact alone is a testimony to the legitimacy of the recent claims being made here and seems to fulfill you requirement for exemption from the "hype club."
Finally, I will add one other little qualifier. Most of you are familiar with NuForce amplifiers, I assume? What you may not know is that we were the primary contractor that they selected to assist them in the design of their S-9 loudspeaker. Sales to the consumer can be about almost any level of performance and value or lack thereof. Sales and contracts between companies are a different story. Typically a company doesnt get selected if all they have to offer is hype especially if they have no marketing to back it up, as in our case.
Nevertheless, I am not here to "shill" our products in any way and am being as forthright as I know how to be so please excuse the intrusion. I am posting here now to simply point out that we have been in business since 2003 and unfortunately, put all of our financial resources into manufacturing and fabricating capacity. Our investment in a considerable amount of machinery including a quite advanced CNC boring/milling center and a 13,000 sq.ft. facility is far from the largest of investments made in the industry, but nevertheless that combined with the ongoing overhead is quite a substantial financial risk and burden.
In our short sightedness, this heavy investment left virtually nothing for advertising until just recently. This is why most of you here on Audiogon have either never heard or have heard very little of us. With only word of mouth sales to sustain us, and the considerable overhead, if our products did not offer tremendous value we would have been out of business long ago.
So to sum up whether or not our products fulfill yours or anyone elses requirements to suggest SP Techs products are about hype couldnt be much further from the truth. I hope my efforts here have shed a little light on the matter. Have a great Holiday Season and
SP Technology Loudspeakers
This is all very interesting and we all have many valid points. My only point in identifying other speakers I've had is as a basis for those which I'm comparing the sound of the SP Tech's to. To my ears, the SP Techs have been the best out of the gate and I'm not hearing anything that would lead me to believe I won't enjoy them for the long term. One thing I do know for certain - there are very few of us right now that have any basis to speak about them with any direct knowledge. I personally consider myself lucky in that regard and will spend a lot of time enjoying them. I hope you all can have the same privilege, regardless of what vehicle you choose to ride.