What could be the differences between the Spendor A4 and A7 in terms of sound quality?


Hello fellow audiophiles!

I got recommendation for speakers and think Spendor A4 and A7 are really awesome for what they offer.

Link to Product website

They use the same tweeter and the same size mid-bass unit. The cabinet is slightly taller on the A7 (33.9 inch for A4 vs 36.8 inch for A7) and the width also is only slightly wider for A7 (6.5 inch A4 vs 7.1 inch for A7) and deeper (11.2 inch A4 vs 12 inch A7). I can imagine A7 can go slightly deeper in bass and slightly higher in pitch.

Do you think A7 will sound better?

How would you chose between the two speakers?


My playlists consists of Jazz, Vocals, EDMs, Rap, Pop songs, and Classics.


talkskiwon
Hi,
I’ve auditioned both A4 and A7 before going with D7 for my main system (love them). I don’t recall now which electronics were used in the demo (it was about a year ago), but if I had to guess it was likely an Ayre integrated amp and a CD player of similar quality, so arguably electronics at slightly higher quality level then the A series Spendor speakers (ie, the electronics were not a bottleneck in the demo).

My listening preferences are blues, jazz, rock, country so wide spectrum.

I am considering A7 for my secondary system later this year. I have SA1 in my office system, so yeah, I’m pretty much a Spendor guy.

A4 and A7 sound similar, as you’d expect, but A7 just gives you "more" of the Spendor sound. Fuller sound, better bass, but tonally very similar.

One notable difference between the A7 and A4 (apart from cabinet size) is in the ports that they use. The A4 and A2 use a less sophisticated tube port on the back that is typical of what you see in ported speakers in the price range. But the A7 uses a linear flow port near the bottom rear that is closer to the better port used in the D series. I don’t think the A7 uses the same port as the D7 (D7’s port is optimized in some ways), it is a downgrade from D7 in that respect, but still an upgrade over the simple tube port used in A4 and A2. There may be some interior dampening advancements also that A7 has over A4, but don’t quote me on that -- but there are many professional reviews on each where that sort of stuff is discussed, so you can research further.

The result of the differing ports will be better and more coherent (tighter) bass with the A7 vs A4, perhaps easier to place regarding rear wall distance, etc., but I’m not an expert on that placement aspect. I know there is a Stereophile review of A7 where they discuss some placement aspects. With my D7’s, I do need to space them out a couple feet from the rear wall or I get too much base.

Size wise A4 and A7 are pretty close. A7 is just a little bigger than A4, but closer to A4 size than to D7 size if I recall. Room size will play a role as well. A4 will do well in smaller room; A7 in slightly larger room. For that matter, I listened to A2 as well and even that one sounds really good with ample bass. If it were me, I’d go with whichever my budget allowed. Stepping up to the D7 is an altogether higher level IMO due to the improved tweeter among other things. But there is another poster here on A’gon who auditioned A7 and D7 and chose A7 as better sounding, so lots of room for individual preferences, as with everything audio.

Good luck, great speakers.
I’ve been researching the A4, A7 and D7 for quite a while. Generally forum comments lean toward the A7 (more base, fuller sound), the only trade off being the price difference. D7 is considered a step up, though many still prefer the A7 upper mids and highs. I’ve heard all 3 and am leaning to the A7. Cost isn't a consideration, i just don't want to make the wrong choice. 

What amp are you considering? The only thing holding me back is whether 35 PL tube watts will do. It seems that the impedance curve is fairly benign (min 5.7 ohm) and  should work, I didn’t detect and problems during a listening session. 

@kren0006 Thank you so much for great info! Learning a lot about speakers here in A'gon.

@glow_worm I am considering a used integrated Amp from PrimaLuna or a used Ma252 from Mcintosh for having tube pre-amp system. But, I am a newbie and will probably have to research on amp matching separately. I am totally unfamiliar with 35 PL tube.
Sorry...PL = primaluna :)
I’d think PrimaLuna would sound nice with A series, but haven’t heard it to verify.

FWIW, I use Audio Research DSI200 integrated amp with my D7’s.

I think both the A and D series are not too difficult to drive; pretty easy impedance curves as noted; not extremely high sensitivity ratings but decent.

As you probably know, A series doesn’t come with grills, so the drivers are exposed. I find that the A4 looks kind of strange because the mid-bass driver has a somewhat truncated look (don’t have full circle of material surrounding the driver - like sides are shaved off), almost like the cabinet is not quite wide enough, but that’s just a personal aesthetic appearance thing -- probably some people think that looks cool.
@glow_worm Thanks for clarifying that out lol There seems quite a number of used PL tubes out there and I would love try them out once I make the decision on speakers.

@kren0006 Yes, I noticed the A4s have the woofer edges cut out to have the cabinet shape. I thought it was okay, but seemed a little compromised sound-wise, externally. I’ve just read your posts about the A2, A4, A7, and D7 in other threads btw! Great help.
I assume that it’s just an appearance thing. Can’t imagine that would affect sound. Just looks kinda strange to me. Minor detail 
Agree about the A’s appearance. Vinyl Sound makes grills for $189 I’m considering https://vinylsound.ca/products/splendor-a-grill
Magnets attach to woofer screws, I assume the sound would be unaffected but can’t be sure. 
As a recent A7 owner and exhaustive researcher, I will throw in my 3 cents for both the OP and @glow_worm:

1. I have not heard the A4's but I am not aware of anyone who does not think that the A7 sounds better than the A4. The bass port, larger cabinet, and dampening are the main reasons. That’s an easy binary if cost is not a big issue.

2. D7(.2) is definitely a step up technically. But some don’t like the analytical top end. I am personally tempted to try the D7.2 but early reviews suggest it’s not much different. Even leaner if anything.

3. Tubes go very well with modern Spendors. I am using a 48wpc Line Magnetic LM-805ia and the synergy is amazing. Note that the smaller A4 is less sensitive and on the flip side, while the D7 is a bit more sensitive it has a lower impedance and thus a bit harder to drive.

So if you are concerned about the PL 34 watts the A7’s may be the safest match. That said, tubes might also mitigate the extra sparkle on the D7’s and bring it to perfection. I know there are others who happily run tubes with the D7’s.
Personally I think you neither want nor need grilles for the A series. Though it is chintzy not to include them.
Room size may dictate your choice as well in terms of how much bass, and thus speaker, is appropriate.

the A7's, in my 13 x 23 room, produce superb bass at times and are pretty easy to position. I have the front baffle about 26" out, positioned along the long wall. I actually seek out music with lots of upright bass now. Not as chest thumping as some other speakers but they dig deep and very articulately. Almost like a larger sealed box.

I don't think the A4 can go there with the simpler bass port, D7's have even better bass of course but may need to be further out as per @kren0006 above, again depending upon room.











I think the various opinions on how detailed or forward or sparkly or bright or whatever term you want to use for Spendor are interesting.

Here’s my take on it.

For decades, Spendor has had the reputation of producing very laid back speakers. I have read all of the professional reviews on all Spendor speakers going back 10-15 years, and what you see over and over, at least in the background portion of the review, is a description of the brand as belonging to the "pipe and slippers" camp, or the "comfortable pair of shoes" camp, or similar descriptions. That seems to be the prevailing opinion of many of these folks who review speakers for a living.

Nothing wrong with that - it’s probably what helped the brand survive and thrive for 50 years now, and build the following they have.

But as that old reputation pertains to the current lineup, I think maybe it fits (as you’d expect by the name) moreso with the "Classic" line (which I haven’t heard as much of), than with the current A Series (I’ve heard all extensively), and even less so with the current D series (I own).

Some may say the D series really departs from the long-held reputation, and maybe that’s right.

Think of it as a spectrum from dull to overly hot, 0 to 100, if you will, with precisely neutral at 50, just for argument’s sake.

Maybe the historic reputation of Spendor put it in the 25-35 slot on that spectrum (just a guess, not claiming to be a super authority on this). Maybe the A series now is at 35-45 on that spectrum, and maybe the D series is now at 45-55.

My point is that (IMO) it is wrong to consider D series to be a "forward" or "bright" sounding speaker in the universe of all speakers. Brands like B&W, Paradigm, Focal, Klipsch and others based on my listening auditions (note, my opinion only -- I’m sure some may disagree, but that’s what I heard) rank above 70 on my hypothetical "hotness" scale (again, just my opinion), and Spendor D nowhere near that.

So are Spendor D more engaging and lively than historical Spendor? Sure, but keep it in perspective, Spendor D probably now right in the sweet spot of neutrality around that median 50 on the dial.

just my opinion. Nothing scientific about any of the views described above, just pontificating.

For those not familiar with the lines, the D uses a Spendor proprietary LPZ tweeter that differs from the tweeters offered on A and Classic lines. Spendor designed and manufactures the LPZ themselves, making them one of a fairly small number of speaker manufactures that design and manufacture without 3rd party help all drivers of the D line.
Kren0006. Excellent comparative much appreciated. Will help a lot in my A7 v D7 decision. I have to listen again and then decide. Like many here I’m really cautious about bright, tilted up, over analytic etc., so it leads to a little paranoia whenever it’s mentioned. Again v helpful thanks. 
Don’t take it as gospel : ) Just one person’s opinion.

That’s what I heard, but let your ears guide you. One person’s bright is another person’s neutral. And it depends what electronics you’re using of course as well. Before purchasing my D7’s I heard them with 3-4 different amps and ended up buying the one I liked with them the best.

I've not heard the D7.2's but it uses the same drivers as D7.
I’ve owned many Spendors over the years. I just sold the A5r because I have too many speakers. The A5r is a 2 1/2 way sealed design. It is not in the Spendor line up anymore but it was the best sounding Spendor that I have owned. You can still get a new pair from this place. I doubt that you will go wrong with it!!
https://store.acousticsounds.com/d/103549/Spendor-Spendor_A5R_Stereo_Speakers-Speakers