Naim and the new Spendor Classics

A few weeks ago, I asked about Naim and Harbeth speakers. For some reason, I cannot copy paste the thread. Here is a copy paste of my post:

"I recently upgraded my 5i V2 integrated to a Supernait 2. I am considering eventually upgrading my Sonus Faber Venere 2 stand mount speakers. There is nothing wrong with the SF Venere's. I like them very much. But, I know I can do better and my budget allows it. My source is an ND5 XS streamer.

I am primarily looking at stand mounters. I have often heard that Naim amps match very well with Harbeth speakers. The Harbeth model I am looking at to match with my SN 2, is the Monitor 30.1.

I have three elements that are very important for me in a speaker:

-1. I do not need earth shattering deep bass to be happy, but I want tight, fast and articulate bass. I don't want bloated, slow or loose bass;

-2. I like a detailed, but smooth tweeter (no brightness or metallic sound);

-3. I like FAST speakers. I need speakers that are fast, rhythmic and have PRaT. I love the Naim sound for its speed and rhythm. So, I want a speaker that can keep up with the SN 2's pace.

If anyone of these three criteria are not met by a speaker, it is a "deal breaker" for me. I am reasonably confident the Harbeth M 30.1 can fulfill 1 and 2 (can they?). But, I have heard on a few occasions that the Harbeth's tend to be slow and lack speed (see John Darko's review of the P3esr as an example). 

I can audition the Harbeths, and will if it is worth it. But, I would greatly appreciate any opinions."

Now I ask the same question of the new Spendor Classic speakers. The model I am looking at is the 3/1. What Hifi reviewed the Classic 2/3 and described it as dynamic. 

Has anyone tried the new Classic series Spendor? Are they fast and dynamic? Do they have the clear midrange the Harbeths are known for? 

 

 

Original Post

What do you actually mean by 'fast'?  That description can be applies to more than one characteristic of a speaker.

When people criticise a speaker for not being 'fast' it often actually means that it's not performing optimally for the room (including not at optimal positioning), rather than reflecting any specific characteristic of the speaker itself.

One thing you can always do to improve the 1st cycle response and transient response of ported speakers is to block the reflex port (or TL port as appropriate).  Another thing you easily can do to tailor transient response is to reduce the amount of internal damping.

Annoying!  Well, they're just one option.  Personally, and bearing in mind your criteria which I relate to, I really quite like the Focal Aria 926s.  Now there is the Kanta no.2, and although I've not heard them, I would have high hopes based on the aria presentation.  Focal get a pretty bad, or at least mixed, review around here, but in my limited experience they're more affordable aria range is pretty damn good with modest Naim gear such as the SN2.

Hey Daniel, the newer Spendor D series is exceptional sounding, very dynamic, nothing like the Spendor of old.

As far as recommending one brand over another, I can only add that speakers are a very personal choice. The Spendor D series I have auditioned and have heard at recent CES shows are at a pretty elevated level of performance. I am pretty sure the new Spendor Classic line uses the driver technology from the D series, If not the same drivers for the mid-bass units, so I wouldn't be surprised if they are everything you're looking for.

I would seek out the new Classic series, and let your own ears decide if they are right for you or not. Recent speakers that I have heard or auditioned that goes really well with Naim and the SN2 are Proac's and the Twenty5 series from PMC. They are very fast, detailed and transparent, they also have excellent bass.

I personally preferred them to the other brands mentioned.

'Rhythmic' isn't too difficult and even the larger Spendor SP2s that I have can do that very well (with the ports blocked), but for what I would consider 'snappy', you'll really need very strongly marked (and possibly even artificially accentuated) leading edge transients; unfortunately this tends to have a deleterious effect on some of the more subtle genres of music

I suggest you look at smaller sealed box loudspeakers, and probably a more authoritative amp than a SN2 - I suggest a 282 + 300DR would be appropriate for 'snappy'.

I own the Spendor 3/1R2 for quite some time now. Probably more than 7 years.

They look boring but are great for me.

What I love about them is 1st the midrange. If you like the classic BBC 3/5 midrange, you will like this, but with a bigger sound and more bass.

The speakers are not the most detailed, but they got it covered if you do try to look for it. They just don't shout about it, it's all there as part of the music. With voices, they sound relaxing, smooth and touching. You can listen all day, and at high volume without listening fatigue.

I listen to rock a lot, they are plenty fast for me. My supernait 2 can easily drive it. I've listened to other systems and either they make rock sound confusing, or the bass just lags behind... that's a fail for me. If I'm not jamming with energy.... I'm not paying for it...... yeah, I was looking to upgrade... but they are hard to replace for me.

The best thing for me is that they are pretty room friendly. About 30cm from the rear wall, no boom bass and the midrange doesn't collapse.

SongStream posted:

 modest Naim gear such as the SN2.

Maybe modest by your standards, or even Naim's standards. What isn't modest compared to the Statement series?? But being named one of the 19 best amplifiers of all time is pretty high praise indeed! There's nothing modest about it's performance.

badlands posted:
SongStream posted:

 modest Naim gear such as the SN2.

Maybe modest by your standards, or even Naim's standards. What isn't modest compared to the Statement series?? But being named one of the 19 best amplifiers of all time is pretty high praise indeed! There's nothing modest about it's performance.

Chill, man. I love the SN2.  I ordered one three years ago, and it had me hooked straight away, I love it to bits, and it's not going anywhere.  It's not modest in real world standards, but as you pointed out with the Statement reference, modest in the grand scheme of Naim things.  

SongStream posted:

Annoying!  Well, they're just one option.  Personally, and bearing in mind your criteria which I relate to, I really quite like the Focal Aria 926s.  Now there is the Kanta no.2, and although I've not heard them, I would have high hopes based on the aria presentation.  Focal get a pretty bad, or at least mixed, review around here, but in my limited experience they're more affordable aria range is pretty damn good with modest Naim gear such as the SN2.

I am looking for stand mounts or small tower speakers. The Kanta are too big for my room. The Focals I would consider are the 1008Be or maybe the Sopra 1 if I stretch my budget. 

badlands posted:

Hey Daniel, the newer Spendor D series is exceptional sounding, very dynamic, nothing like the Spendor of old.

As far as recommending one brand over another, I can only add that speakers are a very personal choice. The Spendor D series I have auditioned and have heard at recent CES shows are at a pretty elevated level of performance. I am pretty sure the new Spendor Classic line uses the driver technology from the D series, If not the same drivers for the mid-bass units, so I wouldn't be surprised if they are everything you're looking for.

I would seek out the new Classic series, and let your own ears decide if they are right for you or not. Recent speakers that I have heard or auditioned that goes really well with Naim and the SN2 are Proac's and the Twenty5 series from PMC. They are very fast, detailed and transparent, they also have excellent bass.

I personally preferred them to the other brands mentioned.

Thanks! The Spendor D7 look very interesting. They are a bit big for my space, and they are rear ported which might pose problems. Ideally, my new speakers would be front ported. 

kmchow98 posted:

I own the Spendor 3/1R2 for quite some time now. Probably more than 7 years.

They look boring but are great for me.

What I love about them is 1st the midrange. If you like the classic BBC 3/5 midrange, you will like this, but with a bigger sound and more bass.

The speakers are not the most detailed, but they got it covered if you do try to look for it. They just don't shout about it, it's all there as part of the music. With voices, they sound relaxing, smooth and touching. You can listen all day, and at high volume without listening fatigue.

I listen to rock a lot, they are plenty fast for me. My supernait 2 can easily drive it. I've listened to other systems and either they make rock sound confusing, or the bass just lags behind... that's a fail for me. If I'm not jamming with energy.... I'm not paying for it...... yeah, I was looking to upgrade... but they are hard to replace for me.

The best thing for me is that they are pretty room friendly. About 30cm from the rear wall, no boom bass and the midrange doesn't collapse.

The new Classic 3/1 don't look boring to me. They no longer have holes for the grilles, and the woofer is all black. They look great in cherry finish. I find them better looking than the Harbeths. I love the Harbeth rosewood finish, but dislike all the screws on the front plate. I very much like the uncluttered classic style of the Spendors! There is beauty in simplicity. 

They sound very interesting from your description. I am glad to hear they are room friendly as well. They would be about 60cm from the rear wall in my setup. They are also the perfect size for me. I will try to audition them when I am ready to buy.

There is only one dealer who sells both Naim and Spendor in my area, but I think he only carries the A and D lines. The only other Spendor dealer in my area, is still selling off the older Classic models and does not seem to have the new ones yet. 

 

 

 

Daniel H. posted:

There is only one dealer who sells both Naim and Spendor in my area, but I think he only carries the A and D lines. The only other Spendor dealer in my area, is still selling off the older Classic models and does not seem to have the new ones yet.  

So why not audition the older models? You will certainly get the Spendor flavour from doing so & will also probably get a good bargain on end of line stock.....

S3/5R-2's here - love the Spendor sound 

I have an old pair of Spendor SP2/2s somewhere here.  They're lovely speakers, very nicely balanced, and particularly adept with smaller scale classical pieces, voices etc.. They're a real classic of the BBC type monitor and in many ways one of the best speakers Spendor ever made (and still make as a series 3).  However, they are not what i would call a particularly "rhythmic and snappy" speaker. In that sense a modest pair of Linn Kans runs rings round them.  However, I know which one I'd rather listen to when it comes to Songs of the Auvergne, or Starker on the Cello.  

Considering what you say you're looking for, I'd probably be looking to listen to something else.  Have you tried Totems or Neats?  Either mate well with Naim and would likely give you more "snap" and rhythmic ability.  I'd imagine that Totem is well distributed in Canada?

Daniel, on what aspects of the sound of the Sonus Fabers are you trying to improve?

What do you like about them and what do you dislike about them?
What are the dimensions of your listening room, how is it constructed and how is it furnished?
To what genres of music do you usually listen?

This will allow us to give a more focused set of recommendations for audition (never buy speakers 'blind' but you have already implied that you're well aware of this!)

Hi,

Not that this will bring much to the party here but I heard recently a pair of Spendor A2 (part of a new range) floorstanders, albeit on the end of the latest Rega Brio amp and I have to say these sounded very fast and articulate. Not a million miles away from the Kudos X2 or Neat Motive SX2 speakers. 

Daniel H. posted:
badlands posted:

Hey Daniel, the newer Spendor D series is exceptional sounding, very dynamic, nothing like the Spendor of old.

As far as recommending one brand over another, I can only add that speakers are a very personal choice. The Spendor D series I have auditioned and have heard at recent CES shows are at a pretty elevated level of performance. I am pretty sure the new Spendor Classic line uses the driver technology from the D series, If not the same drivers for the mid-bass units, so I wouldn't be surprised if they are everything you're looking for.

I would seek out the new Classic series, and let your own ears decide if they are right for you or not. Recent speakers that I have heard or auditioned that goes really well with Naim and the SN2 are Proac's and the Twenty5 series from PMC. They are very fast, detailed and transparent, they also have excellent bass.

I personally preferred them to the other brands mentioned.

Thanks! The Spendor D7 look very interesting. They are a bit big for my space, and they are rear ported which might pose problems. Ideally, my new speakers would be front ported. 

Daniel, they are actually bottom ported, so they may be easier to place in your room.

The D7s are actually rear ported via the large Venturi type port as shown and can go fairy close to a wall depending on the room.

I actually thought I was going to buy some PMC speakers during a system update but ended up much preferring these, speakers are a very personal choice so try to listen to as many as possible a home demos is a must 

 

Pcd posted:

The D7s are actually rear ported via the large Venturi type port as shown and can go fairy close to a wall depending on the room.

I actually thought I was going to buy some PMC speakers during a system update but ended up much preferring these, speakers are a very personal choice so try to listen to as many as possible a home demos is a must 

 

Always like to see a well spiked carpet - the sign of a committed audiophile!

G

badlands posted:
Daniel H. posted:
badlands posted:

Hey Daniel, the newer Spendor D series is exceptional sounding, very dynamic, nothing like the Spendor of old.

As far as recommending one brand over another, I can only add that speakers are a very personal choice. The Spendor D series I have auditioned and have heard at recent CES shows are at a pretty elevated level of performance. I am pretty sure the new Spendor Classic line uses the driver technology from the D series, If not the same drivers for the mid-bass units, so I wouldn't be surprised if they are everything you're looking for.

I would seek out the new Classic series, and let your own ears decide if they are right for you or not. Recent speakers that I have heard or auditioned that goes really well with Naim and the SN2 are Proac's and the Twenty5 series from PMC. They are very fast, detailed and transparent, they also have excellent bass.

I personally preferred them to the other brands mentioned.

Thanks! The Spendor D7 look very interesting. They are a bit big for my space, and they are rear ported which might pose problems. Ideally, my new speakers would be front ported. 

Daniel, they are actually bottom ported, so they may be easier to place in your room.

Spendor refers to them as bottom rear ported, so they are not a traditional rear ported design, more of a PMC flow port type design, I would guess both descriptions would be correct.

Daniel H. posted:
SongStream posted:

Annoying!  Well, they're just one option.  Personally, and bearing in mind your criteria which I relate to, I really quite like the Focal Aria 926s.  Now there is the Kanta no.2, and although I've not heard them, I would have high hopes based on the aria presentation.  Focal get a pretty bad, or at least mixed, review around here, but in my limited experience they're more affordable aria range is pretty damn good with modest Naim gear such as the SN2.

I am looking for stand mounts or small tower speakers. The Kanta are too big for my room. The Focals I would consider are the 1008Be or maybe the Sopra 1 if I stretch my budget. 

I've heard both on the end of Naim systems and both are excellent. The Sopra 1s are though a bit pricey and are perhaps not that much better than the 1008be's, given the price differential.  

Richard Dane posted:

I have an old pair of Spendor SP2/2s somewhere here.  They're lovely speakers, very nicely balanced, and particularly adept with smaller scale classical pieces, voices etc.. They're a real classic of the BBC type monitor and in many ways one of the best speakers Spendor ever made (and still make as a series 3).  However, they are not what i would call a particularly "rhythmic and snappy" speaker. In that sense a modest pair of Linn Kans runs rings round them.  However, I know which one I'd rather listen to when it comes to Songs of the Auvergne, or Starker on the Cello.  

Considering what you say you're looking for, I'd probably be looking to listen to something else.  Have you tried Totems or Neats?  Either mate well with Naim and would likely give you more "snap" and rhythmic ability.  I'd imagine that Totem is well distributed in Canada?

Thanks for the information Richard. From your description, the Spendor Classic might not quite be for me. I also got confirmation that the Spendor dealer in my area does not keep the Classic line in stock; so a demo is impossible.

I might consider the Neat Motive SX1. I found out today a dealer in my area now has the Neat Motive line in store for demo (there were no Neat dealers in my area before). The Neat SX1 is small enough for my space, and has a bottom firing port. It should be easy to place in my room. I also very much like the way it looks. The price is also right.

My one question is, will it be enough of an upgrade over my current speakers the Sonus Faber Venere 2.0? The SF Venere's sound great. Detailed but smooth treble, fast and rhythmic, with a nice body to female voices. They are also good with all types of music. I do not want to upgrade at all costs, because I do not find them lacking, and I could be happy with them for a long time. But, I upgraded recently from a Naim 5i to a Supernait 2, and I thought I should give the SN 2 better speakers.

When I started looking at possible upgrades, I considered the SF Olympica 1, B&W 805 D3, Focal Sopra 1 amongst others. They are all much more expensive than my SF Venere 2.0s, but I have not heard them. The Neat SX1 are reasonably priced. They are $3600 here in Canada VS $2700 for my Venere's. The Focal Sopra 1s are $10000, and the B&W $7000. 

Ideally, I would like to keep the qualities of my SF Venere 2.0 (rhythm, speed, smooth detailed treble, versatile) and improve on them with more clarity and resolution, and an even better top end. I don't want a bright or brittle or metallic sounding top end though. My experience of aluminum tweeters (the Neats have aluminum tweeters) has not always been positive. Some of them sound bright and metallic. Any comments on the Neat Motive series would be appreciated. If I can upgrade my Venere 2.0 for less money than I had originally thought, I would be very happy! 

Stephen Tate posted:

Hi,

Not that this will bring much to the party here but I heard recently a pair of Spendor A2 (part of a new range) floorstanders, albeit on the end of the latest Rega Brio amp and I have to say these sounded very fast and articulate. Not a million miles away from the Kudos X2 or Neat Motive SX2 speakers. 

Are you saying the Neat Motive SX2 are better than the Spendor A2? 

Huge posted:

Daniel, on what aspects of the sound of the Sonus Fabers are you trying to improve?

What do you like about them and what do you dislike about them?
What are the dimensions of your listening room, how is it constructed and how is it furnished?
To what genres of music do you usually listen?

This will allow us to give a more focused set of recommendations for audition (never buy speakers 'blind' but you have already implied that you're well aware of this!)

The size of my room is 3 X 4.5 meters. If you read my other posts, you will find answers to your other questions.

I am now considering the Neat Motive SX1 and SX2. I have found people on this forum, that had too much bass from the SX1 with room sizes similar to mine. Maybe the smaller SX2 would be plenty for my room. 

Daniel H. posted:
Stephen Tate posted:

Hi,

Not that this will bring much to the party here but I heard recently a pair of Spendor A2 (part of a new range) floorstanders, albeit on the end of the latest Rega Brio amp and I have to say these sounded very fast and articulate. Not a million miles away from the Kudos X2 or Neat Motive SX2 speakers. 

Are you saying the Neat Motive SX2 are better than the Spendor A2? 

Hi Daniel,

No, I was just generalizing as in having a very similar driver configuration, price, single wired, size etc.. Choosing between them would be a matter of personal taste.

I would be happy with any of the trio I mention, meaning  from what I've heard none of them suffer with bass boom or being slow in anyway. All of them sound articulate in their own right that time well with any music being played and all being much more than the sum of their parts.

I thought you were very keen on Spendor so I just brought them into the mix just to give you more choice, anyway a home audition (as you may know) is a must.

I hope you find what you are looking for and good luck.

 P.S. I run a pair of Neat Motive SX2 speakers after auditioning them against a pair of Kudos X2s at home. There wasn't much in it but I found my foot was tapping more with the Neat's so I went with them and a year later I could not be happier.

Regards,

Steve

The D series is the "fast" sounding speaker line.  I have the SA1 - predecessor to the current D1 - a shoebox size speaker perfect for a small room like yours.  It's a sealed box and there's not much bass (not always a bad thing) - the speed is unreal.  Listening to the Prodigy (or any techno) is incredible - the music almost feels sped up.  Resolution is excellent too.  I use it with a Supernait and Hugo.  What the D series loses to the classic series is the beautiful tonality of the latter.  

Daniel H. posted:

"I recently upgraded my 5i V2 integrated to a Supernait 2. I am considering eventually upgrading my Sonus Faber Venere 2 stand mount speakers. There is nothing wrong with the SF Venere's. I like them very much. But, I know I can do better and my budget allows it. My source is an ND5 XS streamer.

There's a very good case imo for addressing this first, then speakers later. Your dealer should be able to show you the difference a source improvement makes.

Richieroo posted:

Have you heard the A2 or A4 .... I listened to them at Bristol show....I thought they were fantastic......

No, I have not heard them. They would work size wise in my space. They are similar in price to the Neat SX1 and SX2, but the reviews for the Neats seem better. Reviews can be inaccurate though...

Christopher_M posted:
Daniel H. posted:

"I recently upgraded my 5i V2 integrated to a Supernait 2. I am considering eventually upgrading my Sonus Faber Venere 2 stand mount speakers. There is nothing wrong with the SF Venere's. I like them very much. But, I know I can do better and my budget allows it. My source is an ND5 XS streamer.

There's a very good case imo for addressing this first, then speakers later. Your dealer should be able to show you the difference a source improvement makes.

I very much like the ND5 XS and don't plan on replacing it. I do plan on eventually buying a used XP5 XS power supply to upgrade it. The ND5 + XP5 sounds as good or better than an NDX, from what I have heard. Surely, this would make it good enough. 

I have pretty much narrowed down my choices to the speakers I plan on demoing. I have done many hours of research. If a speaker isn't on my list, it is because it has been eliminated for some reason (price, looks, size, not available in my area, etc). 

-Neat SX1 and SX2;

-Harbeth C7ESR;

-Ryan S610 (to be released summer 2018);

-Sonus Faber Sonetto II (to be released summer 2018);

And maybe the Spendor A2 and A4.

I really like the look of the Neats! They just look like an attractive and fun pair of speakers. They are also perfectly sized, and match well with Naim. The reviews are also very positive. 

×
×
×
×