Spendor SA1 or A6

FennerMachine

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Feb 5, 2011
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Spendor SA1 standmount or A6 floorstander

For a small room, 3.3M x 2.8M (11M sq)

Which one and why?

Discuss!
 

Frank Harvey

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Jun 27, 2008
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I'd say it might be down to the type of music you listen to and what sort of sound you prefer. While tube SA1's bass isn't bad for it's size, it's strengths will lie in the treble and midrange, which will be far more revealing than big bassy floorstanders. It'll be a tight, lively sound, with plenty of insight into what's going on.
The A6's will be a much warmer and rounded sound. In direct comparison, the A6's may seem heavy and slow (or the SA1's might seem thin and lightweight) - this isn't criticising any of these two speakers, just exaggerating the differences that would be heard switching from one to the other. In isolation, what I've described is non existent.
In a room that size, the SA1's would be more than enough for most people unless they like a lot of bass. If you really needed a floorstander, you could look at the A5's, or the new, dinky little A3's
 

FennerMachine

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Feb 5, 2011
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In this room I have gone from standmounts (B&W 601) to floorstanders (B&W 602.5) to floorstanders (Mission 782) to standmounts (VR1).

The best of these are my VR1's but they were also the most expensive so they should be, in theory!

Not interested in massive bass (late teens I was but then I discovered Hi-Fi!).

From memory the 602.5's were a bit boomy but through a Denon AVR3801.

The Mission 782's are boomy with there side firing bass cone but was fairly happy with them for a few years until I got the VR1's.
 

chasefrench

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Mar 16, 2011
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I have asked the exact same question a few days ago in an earlier thread. I am in the exact same position with a similar sized room. Currently I m leaning towards the A6s, what are your own thoughts?
 

FennerMachine

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I have demoed the A3 & A6. Have yet to demo A5 and SA1.

They sounded similar as they should from the from the same range, but the A6 had a distinct increase in realism over the A3 especially with saxophone on Pink Floyd - Money. It was instantly noticeable.

I have yet to demo SA1 and A5.

I emailed Spendor asking if the A5 or A6 would work in this size room and they said that the A6 would possible work better than the A5.

Difficult one to call. I will likely try to demo them within the next 2 weeks.
 

chasefrench

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Mar 16, 2011
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I have heard the SA1, the B&W N805 and the ATC SCM 13. Out of all of them the spendor was def my favourite. But in the large demo room, maybe 6 by 7M, you could tell they started to have difficulties filling the entire room. That is what led me to the A6s, which I have yet to hear.

If either of us are ever going to get a bigger room, then I think the the A6s are the better way to go. However, if this doesnt happen in the next 5-6 years, then I think the SA1s are a better way to go cos you can upgrade later.

My choice right now is
SA1s and Benchmark DAC or A6s
I just can't decide
 
A

Anonymous

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Not much difference in price between the 4 models, but i think there is a significant difference in the timbre. I have heard all of the above and they all have their strengths. Personally if i had to choose again between the ones mentioned then i would still buy the A6 floorstander. If you position it right and pay attention to your speaker cables then it will give you a fantastic sound stage and at lower volumes it does not loose anything. This is
 

Bodfish

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Jun 25, 2009
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The A6 are single-wired. I used to have the A6 in a room smaller than that and they were fine with careful positioning...but I did change to Harbeth P3ESR which is IMHO a better speaker overall than the A6 anyway.
 

chasefrench

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Mar 16, 2011
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Any problem if i take the two bits of cable from my cyrus 8vs and cyrus 8 power and combine them into one wire at the spendor terminal?

I can just coil the two wires around each or something?
 

Bodfish

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Jun 25, 2009
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Is the 8vs an integrated amp? If it is, it doesn't sound like a good idea to me to run an integrated and power amp into a single wired speaker - perhaps someone more technical can advise but I would either just use the integrated on it's own or use the 8vs as a 'pre-amp' and only run the 8 power to the A6's.
 
A

Anonymous

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chasefrench said:
Any problem if i take the two bits of cable from my cyrus 8vs and cyrus 8 power and combine them into one wire at the spendor terminal? I can just coil the two wires around each or something?
Erm, i wouldn,t do that
 
A

Anonymous

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Nobody has mentioned Spendor's Classic SP2/3R or SP3/1R at similar price to A6 and SA1+stands respectively? Reviews say the SA1 stands make a distinct difference (compared to regular Partingtons etc), any comment on this?

When I tried the SA1 I found mid-range and treble amazing; vocals and instrumentals as if they are in the room; great with classical but a lack of bass means that other genres lack presence. I also tried A5's which sounded somehow laid back and lacking sparkle, plenty of bass with depth and separation but without the fast and detailed strength of SA1.

Comments based on trials with Naim Uniti/Chord Epic Twin & QED Silver Anniversary, 5mx5m room.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Nobody has mentioned Spendor's Classic SP2/3R or SP3/1R at similar price to A6 and SA1+stands respectively? Reviews say the SA1 stands make a distinct difference (compared to regular Partingtons etc), any comment on this?

When I tried the SA1 I found mid-range and treble amazing; vocals and instrumentals as if they are in the room; great with classical but a lack of bass means that other genres lack presence. I also tried A5's which sounded somehow laid back and lacking sparkle, plenty of bass with depth and separation but without the fast and detailed strength of SA1.

Comments based on trials with Naim Uniti/Chord Epic Twin & QED Silver Anniversary, 5mx5m room.
 

FennerMachine

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Spendor's Classic SP2/3R apparently needs a bit of room to breath properly, according to WHF about 50cm from any walls so not a good idea in a smaller room, might be OK for you as you have a larger room. The SP3/1R might work. The SA1's look amazing though don't they!
 

chasefrench

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Mar 16, 2011
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that is not good news at all! An 8 power alone is not enough to drive the A6s properly or the SA1s probably.

I might have to try and sell the 8vs now. If anybody has any suggestions about what I can do, I d be very grateful. The cyrus pre amp is not cheap!
 
A

Anonymous

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chasefrench said:
that is not good news at all! An 8 power alone is not enough to drive the A6s properly or the SA1s probably.

I might have to try and sell the 8vs now. If anybody has any suggestions about what I can do, I d be very grateful. The cyrus pre amp is not cheap!
Alternatively try other speakers. There are plenty that match Spendor for quality, and some are even better....
 
A

Anonymous

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Sonus Faber, ATC, Martin Logan, EAR, Vienna Acoustics, Canton Reference series ....
 

FennerMachine

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The 8 power should run them, just not at their best, but where do you stop with ampfilication?

You can add another 8 power later and use them as mono blocks and use the 8vs as a pre amp.
 

chasefrench

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Mar 16, 2011
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Well you have 2 mono blocks, you know how much better having the second amp sounds! Had a look at the cyrus website, and am probably going to sell the 8vs and get the Pre Xpd Qx since I was going to spend like 700 pounds on a benchmark DAC anyway. Plus Whathifi says the difference between the 8xpd and Pre Xpd + 8 Power is pretty large. So I can't imagine how much better it will be over the 8vs! However, I also noticed that the difference in price between an 8 power and x power is 200 GBP, but the price to upgrade an 8 power to an x power is 600GBP! Given that I only bought the 8power 6 months ago, i reckon I can sell it on for maybe 90% of the purchase price. Then get the Pre Xpd QX and an X Power. Then I can upgrade an old Cyrus Power to an XPower for 600 GBP. Essentially, I can go from an 8vs + 8 power to a PreXPd QX + 2 Xpowers for 2kGBP. Then get the the A6s. I have kinda destroyed my budget but i m thinking I wont need to upgrade again for like 10 years, Or I could just be getting carried away!
 

chasefrench

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Mar 16, 2011
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I know, but this is going back to your point about how much amplication do you really need.

If I ever see myself wanting to go to dual x Powers, it is far more economical to do it now. If I did it later, it would cost 1200 GBP more on top of the cost of the 8 power upgrade.

If I have time, I m going for a demo of the SA1s and A6s tomorrow. I ll post back what I think
 

FennerMachine

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Feb 5, 2011
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Nice! Hope you enjoy.

I am veering toward the SA1's for a smaller room. Larger room I would go for the A6.

One of the things that has influenced me is the crossover point.

The A6 is at 4KHz the SA1 at 4.8KHz.

The human ear is most sensitive at about 1KHz to 5KHz meaning that the SA1 covers most of this frequency range with one cone!

Nice!
 

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