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Something interesting about the new Spendor Classic 4/5

Discussion in 'audio' started by Jodet, Jun 7, 2020.

  1. Linus

    Linus pfm Member

    I was trying to choose between a number of the modern ls3/5a types including the 4/5 for which there was almost no information. I also thought about the 3/1 as I like Spendor and could have gotten a decent price direct from a UK Dealer. In the end I chose the Proac Tablette. I did so on part because I felt a sealed box would work better for my little bedroom system. I’ve not regretted the choice, although I’m certain the 3/1 does bring some goodness to the table that the little Proac simply can’t. Were it my only speaker the 3/1 would have more than likely been the winner. One thing about the Proac is I’m finding it a little harder to drive compared to the Dynaudio Emit 10. Sensitivity is reportedly similar if not equal and the impedance characteristic of the Proac was supposed to be mainly above 8. Strange. As much as I would have loved to have tried the Falcon or Rogers, they were about twice the cost of the Proac and the ‘authenticity’ factor doesn’t mean that much to me. Not that there is anything wrong with that...
     
  2. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    Re. ProAc and the Tablette, I’m surprised Stewart Tyler didn’t continue with his LS8 model.
    From the little I’ve read about it, it has been well received.
     
    Panderos likes this.
  3. Allaboutmusic

    Allaboutmusic pfm Member

  4. ArtK

    ArtK Wine & Music

    Oh yeah, very much. They are a great combination of virtues.
     
    Allaboutmusic likes this.
  5. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    I really don't get the interest in shoe box size speakers....
    Back in the day budget speakers of rather larger dimensions were all the rage, and because, at this low price, a small cabinet of basic construction can be much less lively acoustically than a larger one. I'm talking Heybrook HB1, Monitor Audio R252, and all the similar budget fave raves of the time. These were only about £120 though!

    Now we have a glut of £1500 plus (some double that!) speakers of half the size again which should surely be selling for only around £400.
    LS3/5A's were £179 in 1981... the same as Mordaunt Short Pageants...
     
    JensenHealey, Snufkin and Darren like this.
  6. Allaboutmusic

    Allaboutmusic pfm Member

    Personally I like the aesthetics and sound from mini monitors and would have some again if I had a smaller listening room or an office system etc. They are expensive for what they are though. I believe the spendor Classic 3/1s are a reasonable size, similar to the Graham ls6 but according to the spendor website work well close to a wall so seem an interesting proposition.
     
    ArtK likes this.
  7. ArtK

    ArtK Wine & Music

    The Classic 3/1 has a lovely open sound. Lot’s of detail and a great midrange. To me the bass is good as well. I don’t feel that I am missing anything. Super easy to drive too.
     
    Allaboutmusic likes this.
  8. omers

    omers pfm Member

    Has anyone compared classic 3/1 vs 3/1R2?
     
  9. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    I do rather like Spendor's:)
     
    Allaboutmusic likes this.
  10. Goat

    Goat Member

    First post here, but thought I’d share my thoughts on the Spendor 4/5’s, which I’ve had for a week or so now.

    Planted on HMS T1-600 stands. Powered by the Arcam SA30 integrated amp. Only used in a 4x4m bedroom so far (with bay window making up some of that space), not too far from the wall behind. Suspended wooden floors beneath carpet. But there’s a smaller 2.8m x 3.5m bedroom next door I may use too.

    I’ll preface this by saying I demoed a number of speakers a year or so back (e.g. Kef R3, Dynaudio Special 40, PMC21, Spendor A4). They all had varying degrees of virtues, but I couldn’t shake that feeling of them all sounding a bit forward and grating.

    I’ve also never heard an LS3/5a variant before, so can’t really directly compare these Spendor 4/5. I only demoed the latter in store, although probably should have done a home demo first.

    They’re certainly easy to listen to, and forgiving enough to make them so across a broad range of music. A mile away from the previous Kef R3’s for example.

    They have a natural midrange tone and just sound so open, detailed and clean. Luscious at times. Voices sound particularly good, but thankfully the midrange isn’t overly warm or woody. There’s definitely a hint of colouration and warmth, but it’s subtle and inoffensive.

    The upper frequencies are crisp when the recording dictates, but generally have a slight silkiness to their character. They aren’t shimmery and washed with ambience in the way a Dynaudio tweeter is, but they are smooth and easy going, so no complaints there.

    The togetherness of their presentation, from top to bottom, is superb. But with it you get an enchanting, natural and engaging midrange, with loads of space in the soundstage, an easy going treble and tons of detail. As an overall presentation, they trump anything else I’ve heard in my room. Female vocals are incredible. It’s an eye opener hearing something so fast, open and detailed, yet somehow never tiring.

    Yes, the low end is limited and they don’t have substantial punch or sweeps in dynamic, and sometimes I miss that. But the bass there is, is so fast, precise and well-integrated. Ironically, on some bass-heavy tracks, they’re actually a blessing over other speakers, as the bass is kept tight and manageable, without being overwhelming. The bass response/timing on Bad Guy by Billie Eilish, or Paradise Circus by Massive Attack is staggeringly good through the 4/5’s, as they follow the undulating rhythms perfectly, but never dominate. Bass heavy pop tracks sound great for this reason, which is not what I expected. Rock (e.g. think guitar crescendos) is underwhelming however. Ambient electronica suits them really well, as does folk / acoustic music. Plus any music involving a female vocal basically!

    Part of me wishes I set my sights higher on a pair of Spendor 3/1s or even some Harbeth 30.1’s...but then that would dominate the room more visually (it’s a bedroom after all) and have less wife appeal factor. Not to mention the extra cost. Plus (I’m guessing), you’d also then lose that ridiculously coherent response the 4/5s give.

    It’s only occasionally I miss not having more bass. But perhaps a non-intrusive, musical sub for when the mood takes me would be worth it. Dunno if a Rel TZero or T5i may fit the bill.

    Anyone else heard them?
     
    ToTo Man, EPear and ArtK like this.
  11. ArtK

    ArtK Wine & Music

    The sound you describe is what I am hearing with the 3/1’s except with the additional bass weight and ability to rock.
     
    Torris12 likes this.
  12. Goat

    Goat Member

    Lovely.

    While the 3/1s are a bigger speaker, they probably do share a similar sound signature. Out of interest, how would you compare them in the mids and highs to the Harbeth P3esr and Proac Tablette?
     
    Torris12 likes this.
  13. ArtK

    ArtK Wine & Music

    Better in every way. Open like the ProAc’s but with better tone and more weight. They are an alive and dynamic sounding speaker with my Croft amp. Bass is deep and well defined. There is an ease about which these speakers go about tackling any kind of music that gives me the confidence that no matter what I play from my collection it will be a compelling experience.
     
    Goat likes this.
  14. Howdy

    Howdy pfm Member

    Do you think they could be placed close to rear wall?
     
  15. ArtK

    ArtK Wine & Music

    I probably would not but I’m not sure as I don’t have them close. I will say that they are a great match in my tiny room (8.5 ft x 9.75 ft). I would have thought they would be too much. The bass is tighter and more defined than any of their predecessors, with much greater weight.
     
  16. DimitryZ

    DimitryZ pfm Member

    One of the best sounds I heard was medium sized Proacs driven by VTL tube amps. My colleague that started me in this hobby 30 years ago had Spendors driven by Quicksilver monos - lovely sound as well.

    I have long committed to planar speakers.... but when I downsize, this would be a strong contender, along with LS-50:

    https://www.the-ear.net/review-hardware/eminent-technology-lft-16-loudspeaker

    I own its' big brother. It has a flaw in that the dynamic driver is allowed to run further up in the frequency than it probably should, because first order slopes are used.

    I use bass management in my Emotiva preamp to roll off the woofer before trouble starts.
     
  17. Subito

    Subito pfm Member

    Quicksilver Audio is still alive and well, and in the US anyway offers stunning value for money. Made in the USA with legendary quality, reliability and sound quality—all for less money than many of the YouTube newcomers.
     
    Linus likes this.
  18. Goat

    Goat Member

    Glowing review of the Spendor 4/5 in this month's (January) issue of Hifi Choice magazine.
     
  19. Goat

    Goat Member

    Gah, you've had me wondering about the 3/1 now! ;)

    The 4/5s are stunning little speakers. The overall presentation is fantastic. But I've had that nagging desire for more bass/bloom to the sound too often. 4 x 4.5m bedroom, but reluctant to go the subwoofer route due to extra boxes and neighbours.

    As above, on bass heavy pop tracks or electronica, the bass is incredibly good, as it's tight, tuneful, perfectly integrated. Ironically their presentation of bass is one of their most engaging attributes.

    On other stuff like rock or jazz, certain dance tracks, they just sound a bit small, constrained and a slightly top heavy, lacking in dynamic oomph.

    My dealer has very kindly offered to get some 3/1s in for demo, for a possible exchange. It'll be an interesting comparison. I suspect they'll solve the dynamics, bass depth and fullness problems...but may make me miss the 4/5s speed and control, and small footprint. But time will tell.
     
    omers and ArtK like this.
  20. marcin375

    marcin375 pfm Member

    Have you compared 4/5 with the 3/1 yet?
     

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