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Spendor S5e vs A5 (or S6e vs A6)

admin_exported

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I am interested in the S5e so would like to hear some opinions. Has anyone put these against each other?

Spendor S6e vs A6

Spendor S5e vs A5

and Spendor S5e vs S6e... (WHF rated S5e at 5 stars but S6e at 4 stars)

currently both S6es and S5es can be had for 45% less than the new range (A5 & A6). I understand the new one is better but so much better that its worth saving up and paying up for the new line? S5e won many awards and were WhatHiFI bestbuy speakers in 2004, rated even higher than better S6es...

I would like to audition but not sure I will have the time... In the meantime would like to hear from you people.
 

SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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chainrock:

I am interested in the S5e so would like to hear some opinions. Has anyone put these against each other?

Spendor S6e vs A6

Spendor S5e vs A5

and Spendor S5e vs S6e... (WHF rated S5e at 5 stars but S6e at 4 stars)

currently both S6es and S5es can be had for 45% less than the new range (A5 & A6). I understand the new one is better but so much better that its worth saving up and paying up for the new line? S5e won many awards and were WhatHiFI bestbuy speakers in 2004, rated even higher than better S6es...

I would like to audition but not sure I will have the time... In the meantime would like to hear from you people.

If only on value for money, rather than absolute terms. I would imagine that the 6e's have a bigger more natural soundstage, and a more extended bottom end.
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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Spendor fitted a lighter version of the LF driver on the A5, which tightened things up a little - the S5e was a great speaker, but the bass wasn't as controlled as it could've been. As good as the S5e is, the A5 is quite a bit better - the difference between the S6e and A6 is not quite so big.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Thanks David.

Last night I came full circle back to keeping my RS6s for a bit... but reading more today am tempted to put in an order for S6es as they sound like a bargain at £800 less than A6s, but the 4 star WHF rating (in 2004) puts me off a bit. WHF said "some may wish for greater bass; occasionally they exhibit a confined midrange" and that they are not class leaders at the price, which at the time was £1495... I also have a lot of less-than stellar recordings and a bit afraid Spendors will be less kind to poor recordings than the RS6s.
 

SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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chainrock:
Thanks David.

Last night I came full circle back to keeping my RS6s for a bit... but reading more today am tempted to put in an order for S6es as they sound like a bargain at £800 less than A6s, but the 4 star WHF rating (in 2004) puts me off a bit. WHF said "some may wish for greater bass; occasionally they exhibit a confined midrange" and that they are not class leaders at the price, which at the time was £1495... I also have a lot of less-than stellar recordings and a bit afraid Spendors will be less kind to poor recordings than the RS6s.

My own personal opinion is that the WHF reviews are probably the leats consistent and to my ears inaccurate. I have downloaded a few back copies from HI Fi Answers and HI Fi News that give the S6e very good reviews. A good example is the review of the B&W DM303 - these were speaker of the year in the WHF 2003 awards IIRC, but by 2004 they had suddeenly become 4 stars whilst their inferior supertest competitors retained their 5 star ratings...... Frankly, they were and still are amongst the best budget small boxes, and I could not understand the logic of downgrading them so much relative to other speakers from the same test!
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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The Spendors aren't the sort of speaker that sound awful with bad recordings - their warmth and smoothness can only help. I think the A6's would be a little less tolerant, as would the MA's. Granted, the S5e/A5 may not be the ultimate in accuracy, but they extremely enjoyable and make music rather than noise.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
David, I am finding the RS6s a bit harsh with rock at med-high volumes with Kandy K2 - thus Igs and others recommended soft-dome speakers like Spendors. Do you think they would be a good match at taming down the brightness but retaining sweet treble and HF detail?
 

SteveR750

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I don't think many people would describe the K2 as harsh, even when its being driven hard. If anything, my system is a little too laid back and smooth at the top end, so crash cymbals for example are ever so slightly lacking that brittle "bite" to them.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
You tried some speaker cable with silver in it? Perhaps the Chord Odyssey 2, silver plated copper that can give more of that cymbals bite.
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
567
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18,890
chainrock: David, I am finding the RS6s a bit harsh with rock at med-high volumes with Kandy K2 - thus Igs and others recommended soft-dome speakers like Spendors. Do you think they would be a good match at taming down the brightness but retaining sweet treble and HF detail?This is similar to a customer I had who had RS8's - he was finding them similar to yourself with his Cyrus equipment (DACXP/CDXT/X Power). He ended up going for S6e's (curent at the time), as he didn't want to change any of his electronics. The Spendors will do what you want them to, especially the 5's.
 

SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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igglebert:You tried some speaker cable with silver in it? Perhaps the Chord Odyssey 2, silver plated copper that can give more of that cymbals bite.

No, am using my trusty QED anniversary that I've had for about 7 years or so. Might be worth a punt I spose
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Def try the Chord Odyssey 2 as it's superb. I used to use Chord Carnival Silver Plus biwire and moved to the Odyssey 2. The upgrade was very noticable.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
FrankHarveyHiFi: This is similar to a customer I had who had RS8's - he was finding them similar to yourself with his Cyrus equipment (DACXP/CDXT/X Power). He ended up going for S6e's (curent at the time), as he didn't want to change any of his electronics. The Spendors will do what you want them to, especially the 5's.

David, Why do you say especially the 5's? Don't the 5 and 6 have the same tweeter and wouldn't larger bass drive on the S6e provide for a even more balanced sound?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Having heard the A6s and going by what has been said about the S6 bass control, I think you'll need a lot more power than a K2 to keep things under control. Obviously it depends on how you like your sound but something like the A6/S6 really want control and space to breath.
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
567
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chainrock:FrankHarveyHiFi: This is similar to a customer I had who had RS8's - he was finding them similar to yourself with his Cyrus equipment (DACXP/CDXT/X Power). He ended up going for S6e's (curent at the time), as he didn't want to change any of his electronics. The Spendors will do what you want them to, especially the 5's.

David, Why do you say especially the 5's? Don't the 5 and 6 have the same tweeter and wouldn't larger bass drive on the S6e provide for a even more balanced sound?Even thought they do use the same tweeter, there is quite a noticeable difference in their overall balance. The 5's are a lot smoother than the 6's.
 

SteveR750

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Mar 11, 2005
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igglebert:Having heard the A6s and going by what has been said about the S6 bass control, I think you'll need a lot more power than a K2 to keep things under control. Obviously it depends on how you like your sound but something like the A6/S6 really want control and space to breath.

The you start getting into Krell territory! If a K2 hasnt got anough grunt then there isnt much else around for sensible money that has!! I am pretty sure that a Nait 5i or even a Cyrus 8 would be enough for a sensible sized room; even a NAD352 would probably be ok. They are not a dificult load for a amp and have reasonable sensitivity so I can't agree that a K2 isnt man enough for them, unless you live in a large castle or similar......
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I guess it comes down to the general sound of the amp and your tastes. The Arcam A38 with 100W didn't seem to keep things in check as I would expect when paired with the A6 but something leaner like a Nait or Cyrus amp might work a bit better. Not sure about the K2 so I'm just posing ideas rather than quoting experience.
 

respe

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Apr 16, 2009
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It's not really watts that the S5e's need, it is I believe called damping factor, or something similar. It basically means that a 50 60 watt amp will feed them with more than enough drive, what matters is how the amp can cope with the bass units desire to over involve themselves at times. From what I have heard of the Roksan it will do it. With the wrong amps driving them the S5e's basic smoothness can turn to bland, with the right amount of drive and grip they rock along with the best of them, and still have the delicacy of touch required with tighter jazz mixes, and excel with female vocal. I would suggest that you need around 250mm behind them, and double that to the side walls to give them the space to sing. That is in my listening room, other rooms will of course vary. I have found that the Van Damme speaker cable (blue studio grade 4mm square) matches very well with my Rega's and Spendors. If you wanted to add a bit more zip (or to be more honest emphasise whats there) try some cord.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Just a short note to say that I find the bass on my S5E anything but ill defined and its sounded great on my old Cyrus 8vs2.

When I decided on the Spendor I auditioned the MA RS6 and 8s and found the treble horrible and the bass on the MAs all over the place. Granted, there was lots of it and it was enjoyable in a way but it was boomy, imprecise and a fair bit out of control imo.

If you can get some S5Es for a bargain price, go for it. They sound lovely and look great too and at the same time are really unfussy about where you place them. They look much smaller than most floorstanders when you see them in a shop but when you place them in your living room they are big enough.
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
567
0
18,890
No one's saying, well, not myself anyway, that the S5e's bass is ill defined. It's just that the A5 has improved upon the S5e in that area. Bass depth and definition wasn't the S5e's strong point, but that's not to say they seriously lacked either.

Aside from what has been said, the S5e's and A5's do need more power than normal. I have already mentioned a demo I did with a yamaha AV amp with the A5's, in which I had to turn up the A5's an extra 7/8dB or so to get the same volume from them compared to some more averagely sensitivite speakers. So A5's and S5e's DO need more power than your average speaker - just like any speaker whose sensitivity is the wrong side of 88dB.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Sorry mate. Too much speaker for me, plus I have no car to pick anything up. Now if someone delivered to central London I could be tempted...
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Grimaldi:Just a short note to say that I find the bass on my S5E anything but ill defined and its sounded great on my old Cyrus 8vs2.When I decided on the Spendor I auditioned the MA RS6 and 8s and found the treble horrible and the bass on the MAs all over the place. Granted, there was lots of it and it was enjoyable in a way but it was boomy, imprecise and a fair bit out of control imo.If you can get some S5Es for a bargain price, go for it. They sound lovely and look great too and at the same time are really unfussy about where you place them. They look much smaller than most floorstanders when you see them in a shop but when you place them in your living room they are big enough.

Thanks Grimaldi and David. I am still undecided...it's quite a bit of cash. I posted my RS6s for sale so if those go soon I will certainly get one of the SPENDors. Still can't decide which will be the best bang for the buck, S5e, S6e or A5...

Also wondering if these speakers will be TOO laid back, ie lack excitement. I read on another forum someone went from RS6s to S6e (or S8e) and found that they went too much the other direction...
 

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