The Spendor conundrum

Yelamanchili manohar

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I love my Spendor A5, first thing's first and now that is out of the way.

There were some changes to my stereo set up at the beginning of 2021. I got the Spendor A5s used, I also added the RME ADI 2 as DAC. At the moment as you can see from my signature, the Spendors are being driven by Marantz PM8005. The Spendors initially sounded a bit dull, change of speaker cable sorted that out and right now they sound just right. I love how dynamic they sound, epic in moments, capable of inducing goosebumps.
Unfortunately we, the bespoke audiofiles are rarely to stay content for long. Disclaimer aside, I have had the feeling that these can do more, quite a bit more.
To be absolutely candid, I am not certain that I will be splashing cash but I want a possible discussion on it.
My Marantz can be used as a power amp, that got me thinking (never good I know)..., how good is it an idea to add a preamp to sample maybe a different sound signature? Being different is alright but then to stand truly out of the crowd you have to be outstanding, so just being different will not fly for long. I do not wish to spend and find that this was a lateral movement. What do you think of this idea of sampling a preamp? If so then some suggestions will be helpful.
I do feel Spendors need the grunt and authority to bring the very best out of it. Something that is a bit lively in nature, energetic to make it burst into a song and a dance.

Then, I went to read on the interweb. People talking about Naim and Spendor combo. Well, I would not say no to a Naim, who would in reality? But Naims are once in a lifetime buy, they are expensive. Nait 5i is only 50 Watts in power, is that a little too low for Spendors?
How about Rega or Musical Fidelity maybe. For me used gear has always been the right way forward, it is no different here either.
Budget is a miserly 1L.
Hi...I know a lot of folks in the UK, who absolutely swear by their sugden + spendor classic combo. Unfortunately sugden are not cheap. But atleast you can carry your speakers to a dealer and hear B2790F74-700C-4984-BF0D-9CD46B7F8304.thumb.jpeg.a076585b36779ac6e63e42c909e58c15.jpeg them there at the end of your marantz and then a sugden. If you find that the sugden is a better match, then you can atleast hope, that some of this better sound translates in your room too.

PS : the 2 black boxes to the extreme left are a sugden amps. He uses as power amp either with his Copland or primaluna preamps.

Below is a better pic with a rearrangement :)

IMG_30072022_113438_(1000_x_818_pixel).jpg
 
Last edited:

shibashis

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What happened to the Musical Fidelity?
It is there! a 250W powerhouse and it does justice to the Spendors. What I meant to say is that a lot of my music listening is at the work desk now, because of you know life. With a 4 year old running around, work and family takes precedence over dedicated music sessions at the moment.
When I get to enjoy the Spendors, those hours are precious.
I have plans to give my work/study/music room a do-over, for now though I am taking it slow. It will happen, just not in a rush.

Having said all that....the revival of this thread fans that deep rooted excitement, that according to history has never failed to have an impact on my savings. No no no....keep calm and listen to music. :D

Hi...I know a lot of folks in the UK, who absolutely swear by their sugden + spendor classic combo. Unfortunately sugden are not cheap. But atleast you can carry your speakers to a dealer and hear View attachment 70927 them there at the end of your marantz and then a sugden. If you find that the sugden is a better match, then you can atleast hope, that some of this better sound translates in your room too.

PS : the 2 black boxes to the extreme left are a sugden amps. He uses as power amp either with his Copland or primaluna preamps.

Below is a better pic with a rearrangement :)

View attachment 70928
Oh you do not have to point the Sugdens out to me Sir, I can spot them a mile away and that I might add....is a problem. hahaha.
 

goget

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Hi...I know a lot of folks in the UK, who absolutely swear by their sugden + spendor classic combo. Unfortunately sugden are not cheap. But atleast you can carry your speakers to a dealer and hear View attachment 70927 them there at the end of your marantz and then a sugden. If you find that the sugden is a better match, then you can atleast hope, that some of this better sound translates in your room too.

PS : the 2 black boxes to the extreme left are a sugden amps. He uses as power amp either with his Copland or primaluna preamps.

Below is a better pic with a rearrangement :)

View attachment 70928
Brilliant, will love see close up photos of speaker one photo with grill on , one photo with grill off as cant make out the brand name of speakers.
Cheers
 

[email protected]

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Hi...I know a lot of folks in the UK, who absolutely swear by their sugden + spendor classic combo. Unfortunately sugden are not cheap. But atleast you can carry your speakers to a dealer and hear View attachment 70927 them there at the end of your marantz and then a sugden. If you find that the sugden is a better match, then you can atleast hope, that some of this better sound translates in your room too.

PS : the 2 black boxes to the extreme left are a sugden amps. He uses as power amp either with his Copland or primaluna preamps.

Below is a better pic with a rearrangement :)

View attachment 70928
What are the massive speakers in the first pic ?
 

Fiftyfifty

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Can you shed some light on this one? Impact of damping factor is often debated about... Would like to hear your observations....
True, there's a lot of debate on this. I think most folks agree that a very high damping factor in an amp doesn't add any positive value. But does it have any negative impact? Some people believe it thins out the bass and doesn't allow the mids to open up fully. Many good amps have damping less than 100.
I do not have an answer because I've not personally tried an amp with low damping. My amp has a damping factor of 2000. Hopefully i will soon be able to try a lower damped amp and will post my observations.
Cheers
 

Miany

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True, there's a lot of debate on this. I think most folks agree that a very high damping factor in an amp doesn't add any positive value. But does it have any negative impact? Some people believe it thins out the bass and doesn't allow the mids to open up fully. Many good amps have damping less than 100.
I do not have an answer because I've not personally tried an amp with low damping. My amp has a damping factor of 2000. Hopefully i will soon be able to try a lower damped amp and will post my observations.
Cheers

Yes. Sugden IA-4 has got a damping factor of less than 50, while the class A counterparts from the likes of Luxman, Accuphase etc have much higher damping factor. I am also not too sure of how that is going to affect the overall SQ of the system. I also don't have much experience with amps of diverse damping factors.

From whatever I could gather, High Damping factor is desirable; but that should not be at the cost of heavy negative feedback in the amplifier design.
 

shibashis

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For those still looking for more reasons to go with Spendors, I have had couple of rare free hours this past week and played my favourite tracks one after other, almost trying to satiate my thirst.
After a few tracks I felt that I should write this here, my diminutive Spendors are brilliant when it comes to bass definition and timbre. These are tiny towers and so they do not go that low, you should not expect them to but they more than make up for it with the quality they put out.
I will come back to the word 'definition', it really stands out. It is beautiful how it sketches different instruments in the lower end of the frequency spectrum. The fullness of the tone is extremely pleasing, instruments sound like what they are and not their imitation.
They image beautifully too, this helps to create the illusion of being able to perceive different instruments. This by extension makes you love the tone these put out, helps you to believe in something that is not really there, I am not sure if I am explaining it right.

Anyway, I do not think you can really go wrong with Spendors. In my experience my speakers are not very finicky about placement, take that with a big gulp of salt and I will explain why. They sound 'decent' even if you almost carelessly stand them a few feet apart in the room and not throw them right against the wall. But, if you take the time and pay attention to how they sound, play around a little and is able to hit that right spot then you have enormous potential.
 

goget

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For those still looking for more reasons to go with Spendors, I have had couple of rare free hours this past week and played my favourite tracks one after other, almost trying to satiate my thirst.
After a few tracks I felt that I should write this here, my diminutive Spendors are brilliant when it comes to bass definition and timbre. These are tiny towers and so they do not go that low, you should not expect them to but they more than make up for it with the quality they put out.
I will come back to the word 'definition', it really stands out. It is beautiful how it sketches different instruments in the lower end of the frequency spectrum. The fullness of the tone is extremely pleasing, instruments sound like what they are and not their imitation.
They image beautifully too, this helps to create the illusion of being able to perceive different instruments. This by extension makes you love the tone these put out, helps you to believe in something that is not really there, I am not sure if I am explaining it right.

Anyway, I do not think you can really go wrong with Spendors. In my experience my speakers are not very finicky about placement, take that with a big gulp of salt and I will explain why. They sound 'decent' even if you almost carelessly stand them a few feet apart in the room and not throw them right against the wall. But, if you take the time and pay attention to how they sound, play around a little and is able to hit that right spot then you have enormous potential.
Great post but for those who dont want to spend big bucks on Spendor what is the second best speaker option consider price reduction by 50% say if Spendor costs Rs 3 lac then for Rs 1.5 lac which speaker is best bang for the bucks paid.
That is the question still in my mind.
Kindly share your thoughts for Amps to with it on the same lines as discussed above.
Many Thanks.
 
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