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Spendor S5e vs A5 (or S6e vs A6)

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Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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chainrock: 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... That I can understand. Once you're used to the quite forward presentation of the MA's, going to the S5e's/A5's is really going to the opposite end of the tonal spectrum.The S6e/A6's are a little more lively, so the difference wouldn't quite be so big. If you do audiotion the A5/A6, listen to them for a good half hour or an hour, as it does take a little time to get accustomed to their tonal balance. If you just do a quick A/B, you'll probably dismiss the Spendors as being too smooth.
 

jaxwired

Well-known member
Feb 7, 2009
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chainrock:

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...

First of all, I will say it's the perfect time to unload the RS6s since they are about to be replaced by Monitor Audio and their value will soon plummet.

However, having owned both the spendor A6 and the MA RS6, I would recommend against getting the spendors. If you like how engaging and entertaining the RS6s are, I do not think the spendors will make you happy in the long term. I spent dozens of hours with the A6s and while they could be stunningly realistic with quiet acoustic pieces, they were not good "all-arounders". And you just can't get much further from the RS6 sound than the Spendors. For awhile, I had the RS6s and the A6s side by side and I could A/B switch back and forth with my remote control. Every non-audiophile I did this for preferred the RS6s. And it wasn't close. It was "holy cow. LOVE those black speakers" or "no brainer, dude", etc... I'm not trying to knock the spendors as I think they have great redeeming qualities and I can totally understand someone loving their sound. I'd just be surprised if an RS6 lover was happy with them, being so different.

But like you, I'm not totally satisified with the RS6s. The RS6s are a great party speaker and will make anything you throw at them sound pretty good and some material sounds over the top amazing. However, they do not satisfy my audiophile ear when it comes to imaging and mid-range realism. Don't get me wrong, I think they are the best floorstander for the money (by far).

I'm personally looking at dynaudios as my next floorstander. Either focus 220s or Excite X32s. I've got a pair of small Excite X12s now and they are absolutely amazing. They are almost a hybrid of what I like about the RS6s AND what I like about the Spendor A6s. These little stand mounters are breathtakingly realistic but at the same time, still have the energy, dynamics, and excitement.

When it comes to appearance and cabinet work, the spendors eat the dyns for lunch. No comparison. The dyns look like they were produced in a Chinese factory. I mean, the dyns are nice and solid, but the spendors looked like hand crafted fine furniture.
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
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jaxwired: However, having owned both the spendor A6 and the MA RS6, I would recommend against getting the spendors. If you like how engaging and entertaining the RS6s are, I do not think the spendors will make you happy in the long term. I spent dozens of hours with the A6s and while they could be stunningly realistic with quiet acoustic pieces, they were not good "all-arounders". And you just can't get much further from the RS6 sound than the Spendors. For awhile, I had the RS6s and the A6s side by side and I could A/B switch back and forth with my remote control. Every non-audiophile I did this for preferred the RS6s. And it wasn't close. It was "holy cow. LOVE those black speakers" or "no brainer, dude", etc... I'm not trying to knock the spendors as I think they have great redeeming qualities and I can totally understand someone loving their sound. I'd just be surprised if an RS6 lover was happy with them, being so different.As I said - you can't do quick A/B dems with the Spendors as you have to settle into them - once you do, they're extremely musical. Quick A/B dems just make the Spendors sound dull, but once you're used to them, you realise that they're not actually dull at all, and do have the detail you thought they didn't have initially.

The Spendors may not be as good an all rounder as some, but you tend to find the better all round speakers aren't that good at any specific type of music. Speakers like the Spendors and Proacs that are not classed as 'all rounders' tend to produce far better representations of real instruments, which is what it's all about as far as I'm concerned. One of the exceptions to this is the ATC range.

But like you, I'm not totally satisified with the RS6s. The RS6s are a great party speaker and will make anything you throw at them sound pretty good and some material sounds over the top amazing. However, they do not satisfy my audiophile ear when it comes to imaging and mid-range realism. Don't get me wrong, I think they are the best floorstander for the money (by far). 'Party' speakers don't make good hi-fi speakers. The MA's midrange can't compete with the Spendors, and the Spendors will do a far better job of presenting you with real instruments.

I'm personally looking at dynaudios as my next floorstander. Either focus 220s or Excite X32s. I've got a pair of small Excite X12s now and they are absolutely amazing. They are almost a hybrid of what I like about the RS6s AND what I like about the Spendor A6s. These little stand mounters are breathtakingly realistic but at the same time, still have the energy, dynamics, and excitement.Do try the floorstanders first - I wasn't so taken with them as I was with the standmounts. You could also look at the Proacs, although based on your preference for the MA's and Dyn's, I'm assuming these may not quite have enough bass for you.
 

SteveR750

New member
Mar 11, 2005
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+1 for Dave's comments. You really need to take time with Spendors and similar "accurate" speakers. It al comes down to whether you want to hear what is really there warts and all, or whether you want a pleasing sound. I think the reference "party speakers" just about sums up the RS6's for me, perhaps all show and not really any substance. Personally I find that presentation tiring after a while, whereas the longer I listen to music with the Spendors the more I listen to the msic and not the sound, they somehow just disappear from the process of reproducing music. But you do need to be patient and be realistic about what you really want to hear.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
SteveR750:+1 for Dave's comments. You really need to take time with Spendors and similar "accurate" speakers. It al comes down to whether you want to hear what is really there warts and all, or whether you want a pleasing sound. I think the reference "party speakers" just about sums up the RS6's for me, perhaps all show and not really any substance. Personally I find that presentation tiring after a while, whereas the longer I listen to music with the Spendors the more I listen to the msic and not the sound, they somehow just disappear from the process of reproducing music. But you do need to be patient and be realistic about what you really want to hear.

+2 for Dave's comments and +1 for Steve's
I have a pair of Mission 753s, they are damn good even though a little old now. They are quite forgiving and can deal with all kinds of music thrown at them - nice all-rounders. I actually auditioned a pair of RS6s against them a few years ago but decided not to change as the RS6s didn't really add anything. The Spendors are in a different league altogther and not just in terms of price, I tend to listen to more music involving vocals and instruments (especially pianos) and my S6es eat the Missions (& RS6s) where mid-range clarity, accurate presentation, separation, 3D soundstage are concerned. But horses for courses.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks everyone for replies.

For better or worse, I won an auction for Spendor S5es on fleebay today so hopefully will have them soon. Still wondering if used A5s or new S6es would have been a better way to go but the trigger has been pulled :) (Joel Slim style too, with a glass of wine in hand)
 

jaxwired

Well-known member
Feb 7, 2009
283
4
18,895
I hope they work for you. There's no doubt about the quality. The good news is that buying on ebay means you can always get your money back...
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Yeah, I am looking forward to getting them...

I see your Quad has arrived, Jax.. How does the new kit sound?
 

jaxwired

Well-known member
Feb 7, 2009
283
4
18,895
chainrock:

Yeah, I am looking forward to getting them...

I see your Quad has arrived, Jax.. How does the new kit sound?

Actually, I changed my sig early. I don't get it until Wed...
 

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