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Something interesting about the new Spendor Classic 4/5

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

  1. marcin375

    marcin375 pfm Member

    And have you heard previous versions of the 4/5? (3/5 classic, 3/5r2)
  2. Goat

    Goat Member

    Nah, unfortunately I think there will be a bit of a wait until they're available. I'll post my thoughts when I can though.
  3. Goat

    Goat Member

    Nah, I've only compared them to a wealth of other, more modern speakers. Kef R3, Dynaudio Special 40, PMC 21, Spendor A4, Dynaudio Evoke 10, Kef Ls50, Q Acoustics concept 300, ATC Scm11.

    Spendor 4/5 came out on top in terms of naturalness, coherence, soundstaging, integration from top to bottom, midrange tone, treble balance, bass speed (if not depth).

    Certain other speakers aced in specific areas. Dynaudio S40s for dynamics, Kef R3 for razer sharp image stability, Atc scm 11 for being a clear window into recordings, Spendor A4 for bass depth.

    But as an overall package, in my 4x4m bedroom setup, the Spendor 4/5s have been the best all rounder by some margin, and the most enjoyable and engaging.
    Torris12 likes this.
  4. marcin375

    marcin375 pfm Member

    Sounds good. Looking forward to hear you observations.
  5. Goat

    Goat Member

    I ended up buying a Rel T5i recently, to augment the Spendor 4/5’s, as it came up in the January sales. While I had considered the 3/1’s, I couldn’t face turning my back on the 4/5’s luscious imaging, overall cohesiveness, snappy timing, positioning flexibility and sleek form factor. I am sure the 3/1's do have their own unique advantages too of course.

    Not even experimented much with integration and settings yet, but it’s already a lovely improvement. The Rel T5i just gives that bit of extra bottom-end bloom, but also increases the soundstaging abilities of the 4/5’s even further; they now sound like larger speakers with generally more oomph and body, while retaining all the 4/5’s innate qualities of speed and imaging.

    I’d love a second Rel, but that’s not gonna happen given lack of girlfriend appeal!

    Interestingly on some tracks – although relatively rarely - the 4/5’s still sound better with no sub attached. And that’s on some of those modern pop or EDM records, which already have overblown bass. The 4/5’s control that overblown bass perfectly and just produce a strong, quick and satisfying bass. i.e. no further augmentation from a sub is beneficial! But for most tracks, covering most genres, the sub is a beneficial addition.

    I was reluctant to go the sub route, but I’m very glad I did. It’s nice having the flexibility of placement and settings etc. The speakers now sound easily big and involving enough, and ideal for my preferences.
    Torris12, marcin375 and ArtK like this.
  6. Linus

    Linus pfm Member

    Have you compared them to the Proac Tablette 10? I’d be interested to know your views on this comparison.
  7. Goat

    Goat Member

    No, only to the other speakers mentioned. Shame though, as I'd love to hear a Tablette 10 and P3ESR in comparison to them.
    Linus likes this.
  8. Goat

    Goat Member

    I’m a nightmare. Days after buying a subwoofer, that offer to home demo the Spendor 3/1’s has come to fruition, so curiosity has got the better of me. Upgrade rabbit hole.

    The differences between the speakers are less than I expected. The 3/1’s definitely sound bigger and thicker, but not massively so. Certainly they feel slightly more effortless and clearly they’ll handle higher volumes better. A difficulty comes from the fact I only listen at low to moderate volumes, in a bedroom setup, which makes it a fairly moot benefit. I also get the impression they may be (slightly) more polite, which could be a good or bad thing, depending on preferences; jury is out on that one. I’d not call them punchy or toe-tapping, but they are natural and flow with the music in an engaging, unfatiguing way.

    What’s nice about the 3/1’s is that the bass isn’t overblown, despite their cabinet volume and port. They sound controlled, with decent texture. The bass guitar on Sweet Home Alabama sounds delicious and fluid. Switching back to the 4/5’s (even with a sub connected) just doesn’t give quite the same satisfying, effortless depth.

    Imaging isn’t too different. Perhaps the 4/5’s sound fractionally quicker and more immediate, but we are talking small differences.

    The overriding difference isn’t sound related at all, but sheer size disparity. The 3/1’s dwarf them, particularly in terms of cabinet depth. So on form factor alone, they are far less balanced for domestic bliss. On the other hand, there would be no need for a subwoofer and extra cabling, not to mention the faff involved with that.

    Going to spend a little more time with them to see where I want to go with this.
    omers, Torris12 and ArtK like this.
  9. ArtK

    ArtK Wine & Music

    I just brought my 3/1's back out and rekindled that love for them. They sound lovely with any type of music and at any but the highest volume. I also like how easy they are to drive.
    TimF and Torris12 like this.
  10. Goat

    Goat Member

    Good stuff. Did you put them away for a while in place of other speakers?
    ArtK likes this.
  11. omers

    omers pfm Member

    It ain't easy...
    Goat likes this.
  12. ArtK

    ArtK Wine & Music

    I also have a pair of Harbeth P3’s that I like to rotate in sometimes. Just for fun I’m running the 3/1’s with a Rega IO. Easy to drive and nearly impossible to make sound bad.
  13. omers

    omers pfm Member

    Are they less "alive" than the 4/5?

    This lack of depth in the bass is what I fear of when mating a sub to a small speaker. It's mid and upper bass effortlessness, and it's at a range mostly higher than the sub. what is your low-pass frequency?
  14. Goat

    Goat Member

    Yeah, spent another couple of hours listening to a variety of music, and I'd say the 4/5's are a bit more upfront and alive. The 3/1's are more syrupy and thick, but go much lower.

    The problem I'm finding with the 3/1's is that on more bass-light, older music, they're extra heft is really welcome...but then on the more modern, bass heavy music I listen to, they are a bit overwhelming. I wince and turn the volume down, for fear of annoying the neighbours. Whereas the 4/5's egg me on to turn the volume up and get lost in the tight mid bass and snappy midrange. The bass is still surprisingly satisfying on lots of music.

    Maybe it's just a weird room, but at 4x4m and them well clear of walls, I assumed the 3/1's would be fine. Could be the bay window, fitted wardrobes and wooden floorboards under carpet I guess. If there were no neighbours, the extra bass would be a blessing.

    I'll give it another listen, but I'm now swaying towards the 4/5s and then calling on the sub as and when.

    Sub settings (and I've not spent any time trying to integrate it yet) are around the 9 o'clock mark for crossover and gain. At a guess, maybe 50hz? Sounds decent already, plonked behind left speaker, without much thought.
    ArtK likes this.
  15. ArtK

    ArtK Wine & Music

    If you get the 3/1's set up well in your room much of your objections will melt away. I had a sub for a few weeks with mini monitors. Thought it was great for a minute or two and then quickly tired of it. I am in a tiny cube of a room (8.75 x 9.5 x 8 ft) with the 3/1's and get no bass bloat.
  16. Goat

    Goat Member

    Yeah that is a small room, so encouraging they sound good in there.

    What was wrong with the sound you got from the P3esr's with a sub?

    Dirac Live is built into my Arcam SA30, although not used it yet. Not sure if that could assist maybe.
  17. ArtK

    ArtK Wine & Music

    No matter how I setup the sub I always heard it and it was distracting. I used to have a very nice home theater and HIFi in my living room and owned a lot of high quality subs. REL, SVS, Hsu, Paradigm, B&W, Era Design and so on. Loved them for home theater but learned early on that for me they don’t work for stereo. I tried again a couple of years ago to supplement the bass in my Harbeth’s and it worked as I stated above.
    Goat likes this.
  18. Zombie

    Zombie pfm Member

    Ask the importer to order one pair for you
  19. jusphish

    jusphish Active Member

    Yeah I just picked up a set of second-hand Tab 10s and they sound great to me. The more I play them, the more I like them... and this is on a desktop without even proper stands or isolation. I was also looking at Spendor 4/5 and P3SER but managed to pick these up second hand at really good deal.
    Goat likes this.
  20. Goat

    Goat Member

    The Tablette 10s do look great. I expect their sound will jump up in quality if on stands or isolation pads.

    Spent more time with the 3/1s. They're great speakers, but I prefer the 4/5s overall for my personal preferences. Primarily I find them more engaging and fun to listen to, which comes down to a quicker transient response, slightly better imaging and a tighter, more snappy presentation. They really excel in semi near field too, just disappearing into space.

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