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New toys today as part of The Grand Plan.

12th Monkey

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Aug 31, 2015
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Picking up some Spendor D7s today (not the current model) but bought at a good price and in great nick. For various reasons (Personal and professional), I've found Covid 19 very stressful, and this is probably a reward for weathering the storm.

I've been thinking about the longer-term picture, and have decided on a plan. The setup from today will get me to retirement, at which point my plan is to upgrade CD, amp and speakers quite significantly - my focus is almost completely on saving at present.

Can't wait - bought this morning, collecting this afternoon!
 

12th Monkey

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Sitting in on a training webinar until 12 and counting down the minutes until it's time to get in the car...

Thanks guys and will report tomorrow!

What's interesting is that if the tray on my previous Arcam CD hadn't started to play up, I think I'd have stayed as I was, thinking I was happy with it. Sometimes you only think you are happy, it seems...
 
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sonic1

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Sitting in on a training webinar until 12 and counting down the minutes until it's time to get in the car...

Thanks guys and will report tomorrow!

What's interesting is that if the tray on my previous Arcam CD hadn't started to play up, I think I'd have stayed as I was, thinking I was happy with it. Sometimes you only think you are happy, it seems...
Good luck with your upgrades.

I have a webinar tomorrow morning, don't you just love them ?:rolleyes:
 
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12th Monkey

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Right - the 'non-ideal' first. I'd have preferred a lighter finish, but no option there.

There are two songs where I prefer the bass from the GR20s - The Jam's Funeral Pyre and Bob Marley's One Love. Both sounded a little more musically engaging and fuller in the bass. But having compared bass with several other demanding tracks, it's because the GR20s were over-egging things just a little - less accurate but more engaging for it. But it's clear that the bass is taughter and deeper, albeit not by huge amounts. Massive Attack's Angel is a bass-fest that testers seem to use as well as me, and it sounds as taught and attack-laden as it should. There's a double bass intro to Cement Lament by Michelle Shocked and that sounds much more organic and full, allowing the notes to decay naturally. So bass is better in almost all contexts, but a couple of tracks are less tappy-of-toe.

They also show unrefined/harsh vocal recordings for what they are - see Funeral Pyre again. But other poor recordings make it through well - I listened to a couple of Flesh for Lulu songs (80s indie rock) and even though the recordings are from a draw nearer the bottom than the top, they capture the feel of the songs without butchering them.

In terms of what's good, stereo imaging is superb, voices and midrange instruments are wonderfully fluid and natural, the highest frequencies are effortless and cymbals sound better than I have heard before - gently struck ones seem to me to be one of the hardest tricks for hifi to pull off. Electric guitars have greater energy and fizz.

There's more detail all over the place, but whilst it's possible to sit and analyse, I kept finding that I had stopped doing so and was just getting lost in what I was listening to.

So pleased? Absolutely. But I also appreciate the strengths of the GR20s anew. Given that we are looking at a price difference of £2k and ten-plus years of development separating the two, the GR20s clearly warranted ever single point on each of the five stars earned back in the day.

(Without wishing to make the last paragraph seem suspect - because I do mean it - if anyone hear knows of anyone who might be interested in them, feel free to point them in my direction. Failing that it'll be Fleabay for £500 or so.)
 
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jonathanRD

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Good review and I do recognise much in your early impressions of the D7's.

After having the D7's for just over 6 months (light oak ;)) I now appreciate much more the wide range of bass sounds. This includes both the actual sound and the 'weight' that comes with that sound.
For example, I have CD's by the Bee Gees and the Eagles in concert, where the bass comes with some 'weight' as it portrays I suspect some big drum kits/speakers pumping that out to a large crowd. I have the same songs recorded in the studio and the bass is completely different, and much lighter.
The first time I came across the D7's was at a Bristol HiFi Show, where I felt them as much as heard them, with some heavy bass track cutting through all the show noise and thumping into my chest.
So when I eventually got a pair, I thought all bass was going to sound like that, but it doesn't, and over a period of time I started to appreciate that the D7's were just being accurate.
My son is a dancer/performer and the last time he was home we played some of his music - Lady Gaga - me turning up the volume, him commenting that it felt like we were in a club, but with the music so much clearer.

For anybody wanting a pair but thinking they are out of reach, I researched, demoed, and then tracked 2nd hand prices, and with a bit of patience - bingo!
 

Al ears

Moderator
Good review and I do recognise much in your early impressions of the D7's.

After having the D7's for just over 6 months (light oak ;)) I now appreciate much more the wide range of bass sounds. This includes both the actual sound and the 'weight' that comes with that sound.
For example, I have CD's by the Bee Gees and the Eagles in concert, where the bass comes with some 'weight' as it portrays I suspect some big drum kits/speakers pumping that out to a large crowd. I have the same songs recorded in the studio and the bass is completely different, and much lighter.
The first time I came across the D7's was at a Bristol HiFi Show, where I felt them as much as heard them, with some heavy bass track cutting through all the show noise and thumping into my chest.
So when I eventually got a pair, I thought all bass was going to sound like that, but it doesn't, and over a period of time I started to appreciate that the D7's were just being accurate.
My son is a dancer/performer and the last time he was home we played some of his music - Lady Gaga - me turning up the volume, him commenting that it felt like we were in a club, but with the music so much clearer.

For anybody wanting a pair but thinking they are out of reach, I researched, demoed, and then tracked 2nd hand prices, and with a bit of patience - bingo!
Perhaps may be a few more around now they have the D7.2 speakers out.....
 
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12th Monkey

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Aug 31, 2015
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For anybody wanting a pair but thinking they are out of reach, I researched, demoed, and then tracked 2nd hand prices, and with a bit of patience - bingo!
'Go and demo' is usually sound advice, but it does get complicated when you are considering new and used and your budget is flexible. More complicated still if doing so during COVID19...

I spent a lot of time looking at reviews for the different speakers I was considering, but the first step was coming up with a manufacturer shortlist that seemed to be very consistent. Spendor were a fairly safe bet, as PMC would have been and possibly ProAc. PMC I leaned away from - I don't care for the backwards slope, which sounds pretty shallow but it's the truth. There was a ProAc model within the same price band which also had excellent reviews, but they were two-way, rather than 2.5. The room is about 7m square, so making sure there's enough air moved to generate sufficient bass was an issue and I felt more comfortable with an extra driver - I also prefer the appearance, if honest.
 

12th Monkey

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Aug 31, 2015
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Perhaps may be a few more around now they have the D7.2 speakers out.....
There were only two pairs on eBay at the time. I've no doubt the new ones are an improvement, but I doubt they are worth the cost of an existing user swapping. Depreciation in hifi isn't as bad as it is in cars, but cost-to-change might well be quite steep for the gains.

I think if I'd shelled out full price, my expectations would have been greater!
 

jonathanRD

Well-known member
Jan 27, 2011
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18,620
'Go and demo' is usually sound advice, but it does get complicated when you are considering new and used and your budget is flexible. More complicated still if doing so during COVID19...

I spent a lot of time looking at reviews for the different speakers I was considering, but the first step was coming up with a manufacturer shortlist that seemed to be very consistent. Spendor were a fairly safe bet, as PMC would have been and possibly ProAc. PMC I leaned away from - I don't care for the backwards slope, which sounds pretty shallow but it's the truth. There was a ProAc model within the same price band which also had excellent reviews, but they were two-way, rather than 2.5. The room is about 7m square, so making sure there's enough air moved to generate sufficient bass was an issue and I felt more comfortable with an extra driver - I also prefer the appearance, if honest.
I genuinely approached my local dealer with a view to purchasing new. The options were the Spendor A7 or D7 (the D7.2 had not arrived to the dealer but were imminent) and PMC, but my dealer felt they would not suit my tastes. I demoed both A7 and D7 at the dealers (hard to tell big differences in a shop demo) and was due to arrange home demoes soon after. Posting my findings on another hifi forum, another member offered me his D7's and that was that. I have to say however, that it would have been a big decision for me to pay the extra for the D7's over the A7's. But I'll never know now.
I was looking at Spendor, PMC, Proac and ATC, but there were other options from Kerr, Fyne, Kudos and possibly DIY.
I think if I narrowed it down to maybe two, it would be the Spendor D7 and ATC SCM40, and if I had the cash to start from scratch it would be a pair of ATC SCM40a's.
 

jonathanRD

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Jan 27, 2011
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18,620
There were only two pairs on eBay at the time. I've no doubt the new ones are an improvement, but I doubt they are worth the cost of an existing user swapping. Depreciation in hifi isn't as bad as it is in cars, but cost-to-change might well be quite steep for the gains.

I think if I'd shelled out full price, my expectations would have been greater!
'There is quite a big jump in cost between the two versions, and my dealer told me that the D7's could be upgraded (although I have not seen that written anywhere since). Most of what I have read says there is not a lot of difference.
The seller of my D7's was swapping to a pair of Russell K Red 150's for a change!
 
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12th Monkey

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Yes, it's an extra grand, isn't it? Hadn't seen it was that much. I wonder how much the upgrade costs, if it is available. Less than that, you'd assume.

EDIT: I've asked!
 

jonathanRD

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Jan 27, 2011
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Apparently not - the structure of the speaker cabinet is different, so no dice!

EDIT: Performance with classical is 'impressive........most impressive.'
Not surprised as my dealer told me that before he had received the new version, and I hadn't seen anything since about it, but worth confirming all the same.
Can we assume you will mainly be listening to music over the weekend (y)
 

12th Monkey

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Aug 31, 2015
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Safe to say it'll get some use!

Been treating the wood to some orange oil - something I did with the gR20s periodically - always makes them work better, like driving a car that's been thoroughly cleaned.
 

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