Want to know more about Spendor SA1 - See this !!

Inter_Voice

New member
Oct 5, 2010
62
0
0
I have recently bought a pair of Spendor SA1 which sounds a lot lot better than my previous MA RX1. My SA1 has been runing in for 30 hrs and I need more than 50hrs running in time before I can hear its best.

To find out how good my SA1 is I have taken some meaurements using REW software with an omni directional microphone. The results are shown in my link below. Just click on the picture and then you can see my comments there. The layout of my living room is also shown. The freq. response of my previous RX1 is also included for comparison purpose.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/64195350@N03/

I also found that to get the best out of SA1 your ears need to be at the same level with the twetter. If your head is too far above or below the speakers then you will notice that the high frequencies reduces by a small amount. I have confirmed this by taken the frequency response at different heights above and below that of the tweeter. With this finding it seems the SA1's light weighted stands might be a bit low and you need to sit on a low sofa to enjoy the best of your music.

Just one last word don't undermine the effect of using acoustics to get the most out of your hifi system.
 

Inter_Voice

New member
Oct 5, 2010
62
0
0
As Spendor SA1 is lean in bass and to transform it to a full range system I have added to it a MJ Acoustic Pro50 MkII subwoofer to extend its low frequency range.

With this little wonderful unit in place now the low frequency is down to 25 Hz and you can see the FR from the following curve I took:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/64195350@N03/5863706578/

The curve is actually quite smooth and matches well with SA1. The peak at 50-60Hz of the curce is due to the humming noise picked up in the jack from the computer to the amplifier rather than part of the actual FR curve. The actual FR curve should be without this peak.

My SA1 has run in for about 50 hrs now and the SQ is still improving. I can only say I am totally satisfied with my combination and it will last for quite some time before I consider another major upgrade.
 

gpi

New member
Mar 29, 2008
23
0
0
I think my wife would leave me if I stuck those things on our wall and ceiling.
 

Inter_Voice

New member
Oct 5, 2010
62
0
0
gpi said:
I think my wife would leave me if I stuck those things on our wall and ceiling.
Well, my other half said nothing after hearing the big improvement in SQ with the fitting of acoustics
. Apart from the ceiling the acoustic tiles at the back wall are all hung up and can be taken away easily.
 

The_Lhc

New member
Oct 16, 2008
1,175
1
0
You've gone to an awful lot of effort but I can't help thinking those speakers are rather close together to get a decent soundstage. I thought a good 6 feet was recommended between stereo speakers?
 

Inter_Voice

New member
Oct 5, 2010
62
0
0
T_L you are right the SA1s should be placed a bit apart to get the most of it but unfortunately I have the constraints due to room size.

With the speakers closer together I know that I will lose some of the soundstagings but other than that I am very happy with the SQ.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
If you can I'd also get them on a pair of stands, I now you've invested in those granite blocks but you'll never realize the full potential of the SA 1, it seems odd to have the acoustic treatment and not go the wool hog. (Your rooms looks bigger than mine) I got some good stands recently (originally meant for Harbeth's) and the difference was not subtle, I'm still waiting for my Spendor stands to arrive though.
 

Babyboomer

New member
Jun 7, 2011
2
0
0
Hi Inter_Voice,

You have both speakers that I am considering. I heard both in different shops with different equipment. As the price difference is about 3 times I am wondering if the SA1 can be used satisfyingly without a subwoofer and whether the improvement in sound quality is really "night and day" evident compared to the RX1.

I am using PS Audio Pre-pwr and the Audiolab 8200CD. My other concern is whether the Rx1 would sound too warm (the shop demoed them with budget China made CD player and valve int amp - forgot what brand). I am looking for good clarity with lots of detail and good bass definition. Your comment on the metal RX1 tweeter seems to indicate that this may not be case. With speakers these size my other concern is too little bass. Again your comments says you find them a bit bass heavy. I would be using them on stands about 18 cm from the rear wall and clear of side walls.
 

Inter_Voice

New member
Oct 5, 2010
62
0
0
Hi Bb: When I fist bought my RX1 I felt this was a wonderful speaker with that kind of money spent (£400). I auditioned the speaker in the store before I bought it and was attracted by the details it produced. There are plenty of bass and highs. Nice at first hearing.

Unfortunately when I used this speaker for a few months I found the music was not too pleasant to my ears as I listened mostly to vocals, in other words it caused fatigue on long time listening at moderate volume. I am not saying RX1 is not a good pair of speakers but it did not suit my taste. I belive RX1 is more suitable for pop music. If you have a small room like me the rear ported RX1 will generate too much bass and I think 18cm separation is insufficient. My RX1 was more than a foot from the wall and bear in mind that I also used thick acoustics tiles at the back to absorb reflections. Even with that in place the low frequencies flucturate by a lot (you may refer to the RX1 FR curve in my link in the previous thread). For RX1's bass I cannot say it has very good bass definition. Furthermore I found the HF is too prominent and I believe it is due its metal tweeter. I don't think RX1 is actually warm by itself and my ear told me that it was a bit on the bright side.

Eventually I changed my RX1 to something entirely different which is the SA1. SA1 is of different league to RX1 as the design and music it produes are entirely different and not to mention the price (£1300).

As mentioned by a number of people owning a pair of this small SA1 speaker it is a honest speaker which produces very accurate sound in the mid range, though you may find it lacks a bit of low frequencies. If you purely listen to vocals and light music and even classical music then you can live with SA1 without the need of adding a subwoofer. But if you want to hear more bass from say double bass or kick drums from jazz music then a subwoofer will certainly help. I only switch on the subwoofer when needed.
 

Inter_Voice

New member
Oct 5, 2010
62
0
0
Spectre said:
If you can I'd also get them on a pair of stands, I now you've invested in those granite blocks but you'll never realize the full potential of the SA 1, it seems odd to have the acoustic treatment and not go the wool hog. (Your rooms looks bigger than mine) I got some good stands recently (originally meant for Harbeth's) and the difference was not subtle, I'm still waiting for my Spendor stands to arrive though.
The use of stands was also in my mind when I fist bought my SA1 but I will put this into action only when I found the present setup needs improvement. Some re-arrangement of furniture is required
.
 

Babyboomer

New member
Jun 7, 2011
2
0
0
Hi Inter-Voice,

Thanks for sharing your experience.

I went back to the shops to have a (3rd or 4th ?) audition of the SA 1 and Rx1. You'd guess by now they'd recognize my face
.

I listened first to the A5 then the SA1. Good performance from the A5 (nice bass) but the sound of the SA1 somehow appealed more to me, albeit at a loss of bass weight but good definition of what's there. The shop used a 30W Class A Sudgen integrated and CD player. Wonder if Class A would make a world of difference compared to my Class D .....

Next I auditioned the RX1 with the China made int. amp (hybrid valve) & CD. I can hear that the quantity of the bass is definitely more, treble was ok but the sound was quite different from the SA1. Like you said they are in a different league altogether.

I then ventured to a 2nd listen (hosted by a very friendly elderly gentlemen) to the PMC Db1i driven by Bryston equipment. Found the sound nice but was too bright for my liking in the long run.

Finally, I had my first listen to the ProAc Tabletts Anniversary - sounds nice but like the SA1 not much bass weight. They are more pricey than the SA1 or the DB1i.

With vocals the SA1s are more to my cup of tea. I thought they did pretty well with the Fourplay tracks as well !
 

Inter_Voice

New member
Oct 5, 2010
62
0
0
Yes Bb, I had very similar experience as you when choosing my dream speaker. Personally speaking SA1 is the only speaker I had auditioned that can produce the best vocals in this category (I mean in 1000 to 1500GBP range).

Have you tried MA GX-100. This is also a good pair of speaker with good bass and high frequency reproduction. As to the vocals I still prefer SA1 and that was why I picked Spendor from these two.
 

Babyboomer

New member
Jun 7, 2011
2
0
0
Hi Inter_Voice,

Now that you mention it I did try out the GX-50 that day but not the GX-100. The bass was actually pretty weighty for their size and the overall sound was quite decent. I spent only a very brief time with it as my "better half" was calling ....

If only the SA1 had this kind of bass weight .... The GX-50's bass reminded me of another speaker; the Elac BS243. But the GX-50 sounds smoother. Maybe I'll give the MA GX-50 another audition when I have the opportunity.

The SA1 just sounded more "right" to me than those that I have heard so far. Can i find out from you what is your experience playing the SA1 at low volumes (night time); does the overall sound become ' thin' and the bass 'disappears' or does SA1 need to be pushed to higher volumes to get decent bass output ? Thanks for your patience.
 

Babyboomer

New member
Jun 7, 2011
2
0
0
Hi Inter_Voice,

Now that you mention it I did try out the GX-50 that day but not the GX-100. The bass was actually pretty weighty for their size and the overall sound was quite decent. I spent only a very brief time with it as my "better half" was calling ....

If only the SA1 had this kind of bass weight .... The GX-50's bass reminded me of another speaker; the Elac BS243. But the GX-50 sounds smoother. Maybe I'll give the MA GX-50 another audition when I have the opportunity.

The SA1 just sounded more "right" to me than those that I have heard so far. Can i find out from you what is your experience playing the SA1 at low volumes (night time); does the overall sound become ' thin' and the bass 'disappears' or does SA1 need to be pushed to higher volumes to get decent bass output ? Thanks for your patience.
 

Inter_Voice

New member
Oct 5, 2010
62
0
0
Babyboomer said:
Hi Inter_Voice,

Now that you mention it I did try out the GX-50 that day but not the GX-100. The bass was actually pretty weighty for their size and the overall sound was quite decent. I spent only a very brief time with it as my "better half" was calling ....

If only the SA1 had this kind of bass weight .... The GX-50's bass reminded me of another speaker; the Elac BS243. But the GX-50 sounds smoother. Maybe I'll give the MA GX-50 another audition when I have the opportunity.

The SA1 just sounded more "right" to me than those that I have heard so far. Can i find out from you what is your experience playing the SA1 at low volumes (night time); does the overall sound become ' thin' and the bass 'disappears' or does SA1 need to be pushed to higher volumes to get decent bass output ? Thanks for your patience.
I can only say the music that SA1 reproduces is more accurate than the other speakers I have auditioned including MA GX-100 apart from the lacking of low frequencies range. The vocals are sweet and never have any feeling of fatigue on long time listening. This still true for me after enjoying the music since its purchase.

To answer your question unfortunately SA1 has low speaker sensitivity (just 84-85dB) with very small case in comparing with other speakers that normally has 87-89dB and with bigger box. With this when you set the volume output of your amplifer to too low you will notice the overall performance of SA1 is not as good as at its normal output level in particular on the low frequencies. What I mean is the music received at your listening position should be at least 60dB, I guess, before you can hear the best from SA1. If you always use your SA1 at night at low volume setting you may need to think carefully before you make your decision. For me I listen to music at normal volume setting (about 65-75dB at listening position) so I am extremely happy with this pair of speaker. The volume knob of my Leema Pulse (80W output) normally set at 45 min to 50 min. position.

You may wish to know that I almost bought MA GX-100 but eventually decided to have SA1 because I like its vocal reproduction more. The lack of low frequencies of SA1 can be compensated by a subwoofer anyway. Other thing I don't like about GX-100 is its rear ported design which you may have difficulty on speaker placement especially in a small room.

If you like the vocals from SA1 you may also like to hear EB Acoustics' EB2 which according to Richards of EB Acoustics this speaker is modelled from Spendor and should sound close to Spendor though I have not auditioned anything on EB 2 before. EB2 is also of sealed box design which has the advantage of ease of placement.

http://www.whathifi.com/review/eb-acoustics-eb2

The price of EB2 is only around 700GBP but you need to wait for at least 3 months before you got the shipment. Though you risk buying something without listening to it anyway you can have a full refund from EB Acoustics if you are not happy with it. It seems there are lots of positive feedbacks on the performance of this speaker. It is worth a try if you can wait
.
 

Babyboomer

New member
Jun 7, 2011
2
0
0
Hi Inter_Voice,

Many thanks for sharing your thoughts and valuable insights. I believe they will help me with my upgrade decision. Maybe i will listen to the MA GX50 once more. The GX100 may be slightly on the large side. Cannot find good reviews of these in Google - are they quite new in the market ?

Incidently my present speaker do not sound too bad when listening to US made CDs but switching back to the local pressings the sound became mediocre again ..... Wondering if an upgrade would make them even more unlistenable.
 

Inter_Voice

New member
Oct 5, 2010
62
0
0
Babyboomer said:
Hi Inter_Voice, Many thanks for sharing your thoughts and valuable insights. I believe they will help me with my upgrade decision. Maybe i will listen to the MA GX50 once more. The GX100 may be slightly on the large side. Cannot find good reviews of these in Google - are they quite new in the market ? Incidently my present speaker do not sound too bad when listening to US made CDs but switching back to the local pressings the sound became mediocre again ..... Wondering if an upgrade would make them even more unlistenable.
You are quite correct that the MA GX series is quite new and has just gone into the market. Nevertheless there are quite a number of good reviews in this forum such as the one shown in the following link that you may find them enlightening.

http://www.whathifi.com/forum/hi-fi/monitor-audio-dealers-gx-50-gx100-sound?page=1
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Babyboomer said:
Hi Inter_Voice, Many thanks for sharing your thoughts and valuable insights. I believe they will help me with my upgrade decision. Maybe i will listen to the MA GX50 once more. The GX100 may be slightly on the large side. Cannot find good reviews of these in Google - are they quite new in the market ? Incidently my present speaker do not sound too bad when listening to US made CDs but switching back to the local pressings the sound became mediocre again ..... Wondering if an upgrade would make them even more unlistenable.
If I may venture a suggestion, if you can try audition Harbeth P3ESR. It has a very similar midrange than the SA 1 but slightly more extended Bass and treble, it's sound staging abilities are almost as good. Give it a try you might like it.
 

Inter_Voice

New member
Oct 5, 2010
62
0
0
What Spectre said is very true. Actually Harbeth P3ESR was also on my list of speakers to be auditioned but unfortunately I could not find a store that could provide one for testing
. I had also tested a pair of Stirling LS3/5A and overall it is very similar to Spendor but a bit brighter and the workmanship is not as good (costing about £1000).

For SA1 you can find some good reviews and mesaurements such as the one shown in the following link:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/spendor-sa1-loudspeaker-measurements

If you compare the FR curves actaully it is very similar to what I had taken.
 

Inter_Voice

New member
Oct 5, 2010
62
0
0
What Spectre said is very true. Actually Harbeth P3ESR was also on my list of speakers to be auditioned but unfortunately I could not find a store that could provide one for testing
. I had also tested a pair of Stirling LS3/5A and overall it is very similar to Spendor but a bit brighter and the workmanship is not as good (costing about £1000).

For SA1 you can find some good reviews and mesaurements such as the one shown in the following link:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/spendor-sa1-loudspeaker-measurements

If you compare the FR curves actaully it is very similar to what I had taken.
 

Inter_Voice

New member
Oct 5, 2010
62
0
0
What Spectre said is very true. Actually Harbeth P3ESR was also on my list of speakers to be auditioned but unfortunately I could not find a store that could provide one for testing
. I had also tested a pair of Stirling LS3/5A and overall it is very similar to Spendor but a bit brighter and the workmanship is not as good (costing about £1000).

For SA1 you can find some good reviews and mesaurements such as the one shown in the following link:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/spendor-sa1-loudspeaker-measurements

If you compare the FR curves actaully it is very similar to what I had taken.
 

Inter_Voice

New member
Oct 5, 2010
62
0
0
What Spectre said is very true. Actually Harbeth P3ESR was also on my list of speakers to be auditioned but unfortunately I could not find a store that could provide one for testing
. I had also tested a pair of Stirling LS3/5A and overall it is very similar to Spendor but a bit brighter and the workmanship is not as good (costing about £1000).

For SA1 you can find some good reviews and mesaurements such as the one shown in the following link:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/spendor-sa1-loudspeaker-measurements

If you compare the FR curves actaully it is very similar to what I had taken.
 

Inter_Voice

New member
Oct 5, 2010
62
0
0
What Spectre said is very true. Actually Harbeth P3ESR was also on my list of speakers to be auditioned but unfortunately I could not find a store that could provide one for testing
. I had also tested a pair of Stirling LS3/5A and overall it is very similar to Spendor but a bit brighter and the workmanship is not as good (costing about £1000).

For SA1 you can find some good reviews and mesaurements such as the one shown in the following link:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/spendor-sa1-loudspeaker-measurements

If you compare the FR curves actaully it is very similar to what I had taken.
 

Inter_Voice

New member
Oct 5, 2010
62
0
0
[/quote]

If I may venture a suggestion, if you can try audition Harbeth P3ESR. It has a very similar midrange than the SA 1 but slightly more extended Bass and treble, it's sound staging abilities are almost as good. Give it a try you might like it.

[/quote]

What Spectre said is very true. Actually Harbeth P3ESR was also on my list of speakers to be auditioned but unfortunately I could not find a store that could provide one for testing
. I had also tested a pair of Stirling LS3/5A and overall it is very similar to Spendor but a bit brighter and the workmanship is not as good (costing about £1000).

For SA1 you can find some good reviews and mesaurements such as the one shown in the following link:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/spendor-sa1-loudspeaker-measurements

If you compare the FR curves actaully it is very similar to what I had taken.
 

Inter_Voice

New member
Oct 5, 2010
62
0
0
What Spectre said is very true. Actually Harbeth P3ESR was also on my list of speakers to be auditioned but unfortunately I could not find a store that could provide one for testing
. I had also tested a pair of Stirling LS3/5A and overall it is very similar to Spendor but a bit brighter and the workmanship is not as good (costing about £1000).

For SA1 you can find some good reviews and mesaurements such as the one shown in the following link:

http://www.stereophile.com/content/spendor-sa1-loudspeaker-measurements

If you compare the FR curves actaully it is very similar to what I had taken.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts