My headphones and speakers(to buy)
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marios_mar

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Ok this is a tough one.

I currently own two pairs of headphones. The Sennheiser HD580 and the Stax Lambda Professional with their matching amplifier the SRM-1MKII

The Sennheiser I have tried amping them with a Cmoy DIY amp, with a Kenwood and a Tandberg receiver and with a vintage Philips tube amp as well.

Both headphones are high class headphones. Both are detailed yet the Stax are much more airy and details are staggering with them. For example in a song where among other guitars there was this acoustic guitar on the left channel where on the Senn HD580 you could hear it but kind of muffled with the Stax you could clearly hear the strumming of the acoustic guitar seperately from all other sounds. This detail has its drawbacks with non-perfect recordings as well as with tape hiss.

The Staxes’ soundstage is wider and more kind of layered.

The Sennheiser have a less thin sound with instruments such as the saxophones and I believe that their dynamic range is limited as well compared to the dynamic headphones.

The Sennheiser is definately more laid back with no so shrilling highs. I dont know if the veil really exists but I guess everything will sound veiled when you A-B test it with the Lambdas.

The thing is that I do not want to have multiple pairs of headphones. I listen to rock music among other genres and I need the dynamics and fullness of sounds together with detail. For this purpose the Sennheiser serves better. I would love to keep both pairs but I dont feel good having a really expensive setup like the Stax one sit for half of the listening I do.

Yes it can do some things amazingly better than the Sennheiser or other stuff I have heard but I think selling the Lambdas and keeping the Sennheiser is the wiser move for me.

To finally come to the point I was thinking of getting some speakers with the money of the Lambdas (plus some cash). Some monitor speakers that could fit in my room which is like 5,5m X 3,5m . Of course I wouldnt want to buy some stuff that will need to be replaced in the future. I want something top-notch. You’ll say that with a budget of 1000 and under its pretty difficult to get something that might be long term good. The fact that we are talking about small bookshelf speakers makes the choice easier though.

My interest was caught by the SPENDOR S3/5. This monitor speakers are though of as the best monitors EVER by many. They cost round $900 and they are supposed to be perfect (Except for the bass which needs to be assisted by a subwoofer like with all bookshelf speakers). This pair of speakers is supposed to be a no-need-for-upgrade set and a best buy at the same time. Their performance (except bass) supposedly exceeds this of Magnepans, Proacs etc etc that cost multiple times the $900 amount.

I would like to know what you guys know about those speakers. Will theit detail and sound (with a decent 2x40 aproximately amp like a Creek or something in the $400 range) come anywhere close to this formerly $1200 Stax setup I have? Will they rock ?? Are they good for rock or are they seriously lacking in some ways for rock music?
I dont want to have the ULTIMATE rock speakers that are ONLY great for rock as I am interested in pretty much ALL genres of music. It is just that rock is very important to sound good .

What headphones would the sound of the Spendor be like?

The other option would be getting some $300 Creek Epos or some Mnipods but that would be kind of a downgrade and disspointment to me after having been used to the detail of the Staxes. Plus I would have the need to upgrade after some time. (The good thing with headphones is that you learn how unavoidable upgraditis is and how to manage it, before you are totally broke like it would happen with speakers)

I need to know also if it is impossible with my room dimensions to listen to music in it. Or at least if I can bare it for a year or so until I move to a bigger room. What is the minimum distance for placing a couple of monitors?

Well sorry for writing so much I would appreciate some answers especially from Spendor S3/5 owners.
 
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eyeteeth

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The three most popular UK monitor choices are Spendor, Harbeth and ATC. I listened to some Spendors, although I don't remember the model, last year and didn't like them for rock. They sounded polite/restrained/strained. Spendor monitors may be better suited for certain things such as vocals? I have not heard Harbeth but have read wonderful, fabulous things about them. I purchased ATC (SCM12L) and am perfectly satisfied with all genres. The mid-bass driver is magic. I have difficulty imagining the midrange in near-field being bettered much unless it is for twice the money.

And im not 100% comfortable about loading superlatives on stuff I own so you can be sure that I really do love the ATC.
 
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marios_mar

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I'm not looking specifically for a UK made monitor. It has to be a monitor.

You know I read some reviews though saying the stuff you said about rock. But the verdict was that they can rock indeed. But its hard to get a listen to them round here. I sure must try though!

Staxes are thin sounding as well but for most rock sub-genres they sound superb!
 
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Trawlerman

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You're talking about two different listening experiences Marios....
To me, Headphones are not speakers and vice versa.

As for the Spendor S3/5. I've only heard good things about them. I personally use two sets of speakers from Spendor - the SP3/1 and the QUAD 77-10L which was designed and built by them.

The Spendor's have a lineage which can be traced back to the BBC LS3/5a in the mid 1970's. Spencer Hughes is one of the greatest speaker designers of this country and is highly respected.

Most of (if not all) the Spendor line of speakers were designed for accurate vocals. This is their really strong point. The midrange is really good. They also make music. That is to say that while they are not the most stunning speakers to listen to they do have a great appeal that will grow on you. You could listen to Spendor's all day and just forget all about how deep the bass goes and whatnot and just enjopy the music.

In my system I also have a pair of ProAc Response 1SC, and KEF Q15.2 which are really great but guess which I listen to the most? It's no contest, the Spendors serve for 95% of my speaker listening. My father has the Quad 10Ls in his system and won't let me have them back!

I found with mine that they benefit from good, heavy stands. They also like plenty of power as the sensistivity is sometimes a touch low on Spendors. Basically, treat them right and they will love you forever.



Ask yourself this question. Why do you hardly ever see Spendor speakers for sale Second Hand? Think about it and come back to me
 
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danaa

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I haven't heard the Spendors, but have heard great things about them. I'm going to link you to a site where they are doing a sub-$1000 (European) speaker shootout, adding about one speaker per month. So far, they've tested about five and are doing a pretty good job of reviewing the tested speakers. Link
 
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eyeteeth

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Quote:

Originally Posted by marios_mar
I'm not looking specifically for a UK made monitor. It has to be a monitor.


Spendor primarily makes monitors, and are located in the UK. Harbeth & ATC primarily make monitors, and are located in the UK.
 
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eyeteeth

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Quote:

Originally Posted by eyeteeth
I listened to some Spendors, although I don't remember the model, last year and didn't like them for rock. They sounded polite/restrained/strained. Spendor monitors may be better suited for certain things such as vocals?


In fairness to Spendor and Spendor lovers I think I should say a little more about that listening session in the fall of 2002. The spendors were a small model in a room a bit too big for them although their position and my seat were well placed. The CDP was a Cairn Fog with Cairn amplification. I listened to Tool's 'Reflection'. The small Spendors were heroic in their attempt to deal with that demanding track, which is why I brought it. They were undone particularly by the bass, which became boomy. A larger Spendor would have faired better for sure.

Also unfair is that I ended up with an ATC model that was 1/3 more in price (and size?).

But impressions are impressions even if the playing field is uneven.

If UK monitors are like different versions of James Bond, Spendors are Roger Moore and ATC is a Sean Connery.
 
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