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Spendor S3/5R sound compared with S3/5R2 and HLP-3ESR

Discussion in 'audio' started by TheDecameron, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. PhilofCas

    PhilofCas pfm Member

    Right, sounds like the girth of the larger ‘xls 400 will come in handy in the kitchen jobby. Let’s report back when we’re set up with them, thanks.
  2. Mr Underhill

    Mr Underhill pfm Member

    Great sub, works supremely well with my Focal 1008be II. If you ring BK they will alter the roll off frequency if that assists, and the added an auto-off for me, switches the sub off after 30 min of inactivity - all for the cost of a phone call. Excellent service.

  3. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    Just got the thing into the house. Nearly bloody killed me- it’s a lump of lead. Im warming it up now. Phase 0, gain about a fifth of a turn, cut off half way between 40-120Hz
    PhilofCas likes this.
  4. regafan

    regafan pfm Member

    Youve got me interested in getting one for my s3/5r, maybe one of the smaller ones like the 200 or Gemini.
    Think the 200 was 13 or 14 kg, yours is heavier......

    keen to hear your results.
  5. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    I have never owned a pair of small Spendors. The closest I came was listening to a pair of Quad 10Ls, which were
    made by Spendor.
    Very good they were, too !
    I have always admired Spendor, being a long-term BC1 owner.
    I’d like to try a pair of the models being discussed against my Harbeth P3-ESRs to form my own opinion.
  6. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    Martin, I think you’ll find them quite different from the P3s- they don’t have the upper bass hump.
  7. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    Had a first go with the BK 400 in the kitchen telly room. The gain needs to be kept very low, crossover frequency more toward 120 than 40Hz and phase ‘off’ and the image fills out quite nicely. It’s interesting how much LF is simply absent from dialogue on the telly- when I put Sly and Robbie on, I was almost bounced off the sofa. I’m slowly getting an ear for the adjustments. The build quality for the money is most impressive- a very dead, nicely finished box. I need to try it in my smaller room below, with the s3/5Rs-

    The camera is behind my listening position, so I’m in the speakers near field, about 6ft from them. I’m guessing the level on the sub will behave to be very low in this room.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  8. PhilofCas

    PhilofCas pfm Member

    Thank you, where is the sub positioned? (Nice room BTW).
  9. droodzilla

    droodzilla pfm Member

    Agree about the room.

    What are the two paintings? The one on the left looks like it could be Gerhard Richter but I don't recognise it.
  10. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    Don’t laugh but....

    PhilofCas likes this.
  11. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    droodzilla likes this.
  12. Martyn Miles

    Martyn Miles pfm Member

    Now this is going to get interesting, discussing pictures.
    My ( our ) walls are covered with my Wife’s paintings.

    These are of course: (a) fantastic and (b) priceless.
    You can keep your Picassos, etc.
  13. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    C’mon, pics Martyn!
  14. PhilofCas

    PhilofCas pfm Member

    No laughing here, looks really good, oh and garden’s v nice too!!

    My sub is coming Sunday BTW, only ordered Monday night and BK tried to deliver yesterday, we weren’t in, so rescheduled for Sunday, will give some feedback thereafter.
  15. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    It’s err..bigger than I imagined.
  16. PhilofCas

    PhilofCas pfm Member

    I’ve heard they’re quite a chunky cube, though it doesn’t look out of place there.
  17. WillietheSquid

    WillietheSquid pfm Member

    My first small monitor was the 15 ohm Spendor LS3/5a. I traded away a pair of Quad 57s for some cash and those Spendors in 1982. (Didn't want a curious, crawling child near ESLs.) Lived with those LS3/5as for well over 20 years ... longer than any other speakers that I have owned. For several years they were our primary speaker ... and thereafter they were corner-stoned in the (WAF) living room where various vintage tube integrated amps and receivers would shuffle in and out. (The consistency of the Spendor LS3/5as in that room over many years allowed a broad education wrt various 'house' sounds from Marantz, Fisher, HH Scott, McIntosh, Dynaco, Eico, Bogen, Sherwood, etc.)

    I tried to blend various sub-woofers with the Spendor LS3/5as in the early 80's but could never find a satisfactory match ... attributable to the BBC hump mostly; along with less sophistication in sub-woofer electronics ... back in the day.

    The 'end' of the Spendor LS3/5a era came in 2004 (or so) upon auditioning a pair of Spendor 3/5s. It didn't take five minutes to conclude that progress had been made in small speaker technology. I enjoyed that speaker, but never came to love it.

    Six or seven years later I had just about the same experience upon auditioning the Spendor 3/5r. This speaker I fell for almost immediately ... and have adored ever since. Tonality, neutrality, musicality. Listening, I often muse, 'It's a miracle.'

    Marriage ended in 2010 and I took the Spendors. I learned something. Using small monitors was a pleasure when I had another 'full range' system in the house. Within six months of moving into a small cottage, I was in an audio funk (see comment about Avondale amp, below). Ended up purchasing a used pair of Spendor SP1/2s. Whew!

    Some final notes on my experience with small monitors. IM is the enemy of all small loudspeakers that have pretension to project energy below 100 hz. Play them loud, they report IM. The Spendor 3/5rs are no exception. In small sized spaces they pressurize and lock into a room. That, IMO, enhances the impression of low frequency. Because Spendor 3/5rs are so discerning, source and amp selection is critical. I believe almost every competent amp will make them sound good. Certain amps that I have used caused them to sound just amazing. A couple of home brews (a zero feedback, class A SE 45 with 1.5 wpc; a zero feedback, class A, triode strapped PP 6V6 with 5 wpc) were absolute magic but too low powered for long term use. Quad IIs were good, not great ... still underpowered. Avondale 260z was illuminated, smooth, very powerful and very fast, but those qualities without low frequencies did not make for a balanced diet. (Used that amp delightedly for years with Tannoy System DMT15 MkIIs.)

    My favorite overall amp for the Spendor 3/5rs thus far: a 25 year old untouched Nait 2. Made for each other ... superb synergy ... but this magic combination requires a small room.

    Finally, I have found a small sub-woofer that works well ... Magellan VIP Powered ... where the passive hi-pass filter is -3 db at 70Hz and -9 db @ 35 hz.
    Using speaker level connections, there is no flexibility with with the VIP filter ... it just so happens that it works well in my system & room ... but it may provide a good starting point for others that want to use a sub woofer with the Spendor 3/5rs.

    I know nothing about the Spendor 3/5r2s ... except participants in this conversation clearly enjoy them. No doubt.

    regafan, PhilofCas and TheDecameron like this.
  18. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    ^ enjoyed reading that Willie and interested in your crossover point of 70Hz for the sub. Did you arrive at that empirically by listening or with an analyser or spec sheet for the 3/5R?

    Heres the Stereophile measurement of the S3/5R2-


    And their measurement of three LS3/5a variants-


    Atkinson’s HL-P3ESR measurements-


    I’m wondering about doing SPL measurements with a HFN test CD tone generator to get the point and gain on the sub right?
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  19. fatmarley

    fatmarley Registered User

    Looks like your -6db point is around 60 to 65hz, so that's where I'd be crossing.
  20. TheDecameron

    TheDecameron Unicorns fart glitter.

    I think what I really mustn’t do, is go out and buy LS3/5a’s for a third time, though I’d be curious to hear them next to the Spendors and the Harbeths.

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