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Audio/Video Gear and Systems => Open Baffle Speakers => Topic started by: Vedder323 on 13 Dec 2015, 10:26 pm

Title: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Vedder323 on 13 Dec 2015, 10:26 pm
Hey folks,

For those of you that might have missed it, I posted my review of the Spatial Audio M3s. They are a fun speaker to listen to and I am having a hard time going to back to my thinner sounding Gallo's after my audition. I highly recommend these speakers.

https://www.newrecordday.com/spatial-audio-m3-review/

Not trying to spam my own site here, just hoping to share the enjoyment of a job well done by Spatial.

-Ron
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: oskar on 14 Dec 2015, 03:05 pm
That was a good review. Those speakers have peaked my interest.
Did i miss which level of M3's you had?
How do they sound with low to moderate listening levels? Do they retain the dynamics that impressed you?
Thanks
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: md92468 on 14 Dec 2015, 03:25 pm
That was a good review. Those speakers have peaked my interest.
Did i miss which level of M3's you had?
How do they sound with low to moderate listening levels? Do they retain the dynamics that impressed you?
Thanks

He mentions early on that they're the standard version @ $1,595. Great speakers, btw.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: -Richard- on 15 Dec 2015, 01:04 am
Hi Ron ~

What amplifier are you using? The Spatial M3 is rated on the Spatial website as 94 db.

I suspect an amplifier like my 2 watt Yamamoto A08S 45 SET might be challenged to play them. They look very appealing and the price seems reasonable.

Thanks for posting the review. I'd love to hear them. The reviewer feels that they can give the Maggies serious competition.

With Warmest Friendship ~ Richard
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Red Dragon Audio on 17 Jan 2016, 07:36 pm
Hi Ron ~

What amplifier are you using? The Spatial M3 is rated on the Spatial website as 94 db.

I suspect an amplifier like my 2 watt Yamamoto A08S 45 SET might be challenged to play them. They look very appealing and the price seems reasonable.

Thanks for posting the review. I'd love to hear them. The reviewer feels that they can give the Maggies serious competition.

With Warmest Friendship ~ Richard

Hi Richard,

Ron used a few different amps on the M3's in this review: the PS Audio Sprout, Rogue Audio Sphinx 2, Yamaha A-S21000 and the AVA Vision Preamp driving the Red Dragon Audio S500 stereo amp.

I've worked with Clayton at various trade shows over the last few years and have gotten to know him.  From what he shared with me, a nice tube amp with a 4ohm tap and 8-10 watts is a great place to start.  Lower power will work but may exhibit some dynamic limitations. If you don't have a 4ohm tap on the amp, there is always the Anticables Zero-former (autoformer) that will present the correct load to the amp.

My advice: Experiment!  Try everything and see what makes you happy. Maybe the 2watt Yamamoto turns out to be the perfect match in your setup. 

Clayton offers a 45-day trial period so you can always test them out to see if it is something you enjoy. I think Clayton even mentioned working out a Demo Tour at one time here on AC to let folks get to know the Holograms better.  I'm off to see if I can get Clayton wrangled in here for some feedback.  Cheers!
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: TomS on 17 Jan 2016, 09:01 pm
...
I think Clayton even mentioned working out a Demo Tour at one time here on AC to let folks get to know the Holograms better.  I'm off to see if I can get Clayton wrangled in here for some feedback.  Cheers!
I'll gladly volunteer to be first on the tour. M3 SE Turbo's please  :green:
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 17 Jan 2016, 09:10 pm
I'll gladly volunteer to be first on the tour. M3 SE Turbo's please  :green:
+2
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: md92468 on 17 Jan 2016, 09:27 pm
For anyone in NYC - I'm happy to demo the M4s (I'm in Brooklyn). I'm driving them with a Blue Circle DAR integrated, and they sound wonderful, even not quite broken in (about 70 hours and counting). I've also heard them with the Red Dragons, which was a spectacular combination as well.

PM me if you're in NY and on the fence...I'd be happy to push you over it ;)  And in case it's unclear, I have no vested interest, financial or otherwise, in Spatial...just a happy customer.     
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: mamba315 on 17 Jan 2016, 09:32 pm
x3 on the tour model.  My DAC Maraschino monoblocks offer a lot of similarities to the Red Dragon amps that Clayton uses for his demos, so it should be a very fair demo.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Don_S on 17 Jan 2016, 09:43 pm
Can someone please comment on the differences between the Turbo version and the Turbo-S which adds a compression driver?

Actual experience is appreciated, but lacking that, a technology-based answer about what would be expected is appreciated.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: drhoon on 17 Jan 2016, 11:50 pm
Hello
Great review newrecordday. Thank you.
I just have a question if you don't mind. I live in a smallish room/studio, pre-war building in NYC... Do you think the Spatial speakers work decently ok or am I better off buying a bookshelf speakers until I move to a bigger place?
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Jonathon Janusz on 18 Jan 2016, 12:05 am
Don, it looks like both the turbo and turbo-s models use a compression tweeter, with the -s variant using a newly developed custom one made for Spatial.  I don't even remember if I got a chance to hear any of these at a show, and that would have been years ago now, so I'm sorry I have no idea as to differences in sound.

drhoon, speaking generally about open baffle speakers, if you can get them about a meter away from the front wall so that the reflected sound from the rear of the drivers doesn't muddy the sound coming from the front, there are some things that open baffle speakers do that make them work very nicely in smaller spaces.  If you are in a studio, you might be in an even better position than someone in a small one bedroom, as the room your speakers would play in would likely be bigger than someone using a living room in a one bedroom.

My personal problem right now is that I am in the "small one-bedroom apartment" camp.  The way I have to set furniture in the room that I have to work with would be very hard to put in OB speakers without all but positioning them like giant headphones  :lol:.  No matter how much I would really like to go OB again, I'm just not sure I can pull it off in the space I have.

For you, bottom line is if you can place them right in the room, you're good to go.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Don_S on 18 Jan 2016, 12:17 am
Jonathon,

Thank you for the response. The website is confusing.  I revisited it. The specifications show no differentiation between the three models. It looks like each one has a compression driver with the Turbo S compression driver being different from the Standard and Turbo models. My original question is somewhat moot now. All models have compression drivers.  The question remains, how the three compare in performance.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: drhoon on 18 Jan 2016, 12:43 am
Don, it looks like both the turbo and turbo-s models use a compression tweeter, with the -s variant using a newly developed custom one made for Spatial.  I don't even remember if I got a chance to hear any of these at a show, and that would have been years ago now, so I'm sorry I have no idea as to differences in sound.

drhoon, speaking generally about open baffle speakers, if you can get them about a meter away from the front wall so that the reflected sound from the rear of the drivers doesn't muddy the sound coming from the front, there are some things that open baffle speakers do that make them work very nicely in smaller spaces.  If you are in a studio, you might be in an even better position than someone in a small one bedroom, as the room your speakers would play in would likely be bigger than someone using a living room in a one bedroom.

My personal problem right now is that I am in the "small one-bedroom apartment" camp.  The way I have to set furniture in the room that I have to work with would be very hard to put in OB speakers without all but positioning them like giant headphones  :lol:.  No matter how much I would really like to go OB again, I'm just not sure I can pull it off in the space I have.

For you, bottom line is if you can place them right in the room, you're good to go.

Ohh thanks for the advice!. I think i can rearrange my furniture to make a decent set up.. :)
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Spatial Computer on 18 Jan 2016, 06:28 am
Jonathon,

Thank you for the response. The website is confusing.  I revisited it. The specifications show no differentiation between the three models. It looks like each one has a compression driver with the Turbo S compression driver being different from the Standard and Turbo models. My original question is somewhat moot now. All models have compression drivers.  The question remains, how the three compare in performance.

Hello Don,

This is Clayton Shaw- the Hologram product designer at Spatial. Let me clear up any confusion about the performance differences between the versions of the M3. The design itself is a very well developed platform, so I felt like the best approach was to offer several levels of the same design in order that more listeners could afford the M3. The M3 is available in Standard, Turbo and Turbo S versions:

Turbo Version: This level adds WBT NextGen binding posts terminals and better crossover components over the Standard version. The result is a little more open sound with a larger sound field and clearer presentation. The price for this version is $1995/pr compared to $1595 for the Standard version.

Turbo S Version: The Turbo S is a recent addition to the lineup that deploys our new M25 compression driver in place of the M22 that is used in the other versions, along with even more premium components such as film and foil capacitors. The M25 driver uses the same motor assembly but includes a special diaphragm treatment for improved performance known as Titanium Nitride. This process increases the stiffness of the diaphragm by almost 4x, which pushes the first breakup mode of the metal diaphragm into the ultrasonic region for improved pistonic performance in the audio band. So, smoother sound in the high treble. This package with the M25 and higher end crossover parts pushes the price to $2595 - factory direct in the US.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Don_S on 18 Jan 2016, 08:26 am
Clayton,

Thank you for the detailed response.  That was very informative.  I am sure other members will find the information useful as well.  :thumb:
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: mresseguie on 18 Jan 2016, 09:58 am
Oops. Contents deleted. - Michael
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: CharlieD on 18 Jan 2016, 12:16 pm
I have my M3 Turbo S's on order... hope to be receiving them late this week.
This is a very exciting speaker - Clayton is great to work with, he mentioned the trial period has been extended to 60 day so there is adequate burn in time for evaluating.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Jonathon Janusz on 19 Jan 2016, 01:03 am
Clayton, thank you very much for jumping in here!

I posted in another thread regarding the M4, but thought as your attention is here I might ask directly.

Have you done any testing work with an open backed version of either of the compression drivers you are using to run the full frequency range of these speakers open baffle?  My prior experience with another design based on a similar driver setup leads me to believe that it can work really well, and on the driver side that is only with modifying the back cap of a stock tweeter to open it up.  I'm thinking even more could be achieved if one had control of the design of the driver itself.

Any thoughts you would like to share would be welcome.  Thanks again!  :thumb:
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Spatial Computer on 19 Jan 2016, 05:23 am
Clayton, thank you very much for jumping in here!

I posted in another thread regarding the M4, but thought as your attention is here I might ask directly.

Have you done any testing work with an open backed version of either of the compression drivers you are using to run the full frequency range of these speakers open baffle?  My prior experience with another design based on a similar driver setup leads me to believe that it can work really well, and on the driver side that is only with modifying the back cap of a stock tweeter to open it up.  I'm thinking even more could be achieved if one had control of the design of the driver itself.

Any thoughts you would like to share would be welcome.  Thanks again!  :thumb:

Hi Jon,

Yes, I did some testing of open backed compression drivers a few years ago - nothing exhaustive. While I agree that some sonic improvements can be had, there are tradeoffs. One of the major design tenets I follow is to minimize room interaction, so that the product will sound good in a wide variety of rooms. Most listeners don't acoustically treat their rooms sufficiently or at all, so this is an important issue to consider, since I am not just building the speaker for myself. The testing showed that the additional reflected treble energy could introduce greater room interaction, which can confuse imaging and soundstage perception in addition to potentially changing the tonal balance in one room vs another.

In my designs, where the compression driver covers a very wide range (800Hz up) and (500 Hz up in the Lumina), just removing the rear cap is insufficient in my view. More likely is an acoustic filter device that varies in absorption and transmission characteristics across the spectrum would be needed to achieve the good without the bad. This would involve a lot of testing and development time, potentially. With the high volume of orders we currently have, finding time to work on it would be tough. A good problem to have, I guess. Our current approach provides extremely good sound with minimum room interaction issues.

Clayton

Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 21 Jan 2016, 04:36 am
Well, I couldn't resist so today I pulled the trigger on a pair of M3 Turbo S in Satin Black. 
I'm really looking forward to hearing (and seeing) their performance in my current room before I move.  I was impressed at RMAF and just couldn't wait any longer.  Should be fun!  I'll update if anyone cares enough. 
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: ttan98 on 21 Jan 2016, 04:56 am
Well, I couldn't resist so today I pulled the trigger on a pair of M3 Turbo S in Satin Black. 
I'm really looking forward to hearing (and seeing) their performance in my current room before I move.  I was impressed at RMAF and just couldn't wait any longer.  Should be fun!  I'll update if anyone cares enough.

I had listened to a pair of an earlier model at Mountain View Audio show, it sounded quite good then, I am sure you will enjoy your pair.

BTW  C. Shaw is really a nice guy I had a good chat with him, I don't think he remembered me. He was one of a a few pioneers in OB speakers design, I built a 2 models based on this earlier models(similar to those from Emerald Physics), all of them sounded quite good too.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 22 Jan 2016, 03:32 am
I had listened to a pair of an earlier model at Mountain View Audio show, it sounded quite good then, I am sure you will enjoy your pair.

BTW  C. Shaw is really a nice guy I had a good chat with him, I don't think he remembered me. He was one of a a few pioneers in OB speakers design, I built a 2 models based on this earlier models(similar to those from Emerald Physics), all of them sounded quite good too.
I should know soon enough. Look forward to getting them. 
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: firedog on 22 Jan 2016, 12:04 pm
Would love to hear what you think. What size room will they be in? Any thoughts of a subwoofer with them?
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: sfdoddsy on 22 Jan 2016, 02:11 pm
Hello
Great review newrecordday. Thank you.
I just have a question if you don't mind. I live in a smallish room/studio, pre-war building in NYC... Do you think the Spatial speakers work decently ok or am I better off buying a bookshelf speakers until I move to a bigger place?

I've owned open baffle speakers of various types (from electrostat panels to dynamics like Spatial) for over 20 years now and had them in rooms that ranged from quite petite to enormous. I've had them positioned right up against a wall, and many feet out.

Even in the less than ideal positions, the essential magic of OB always comes through. I've never heard a box speaker, even really expensive ones, capture that magic.

Also, box speakers don't sound great in a small room either.

So go ahead and buy.

I think people assume OB speakers are affected by small rooms more than box speakers because they are usually so big. It just seems logical that they overwhelm a small room, but it isn't necessarily the case.

Having said that, if there are room issues you can mitigate them considerably with EQ.

The MiniDSP is $100 or so, sonically transparent, and can make a big difference with room-induced problems.

Down the track it would probably also improve the Spatials if you went fully active. I've yet to hear any OB that isn't improved by going active, even though it is a hassle.

So buy the Spatials. Then buy a MiniDSP, buy a cheap USB mic, then download and learn to use REW.

It's cheap and will have a massive effect compared to other 'tweaks'.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 22 Jan 2016, 02:56 pm
Would love to hear what you think. What size room will they be in? Any thoughts of a subwoofer with them?
OK, I'll update when they get here.  The current room is 16' x 25' but that will change in time too.  As for subs, I have four of them here that I use in my current system.  Could I integrate them in? Sure.  Will I?  Probably not.  I want to see how they work here and go from there. 
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 22 Jan 2016, 03:06 pm
Also, box speakers don't sound great in a small room either.

Just so you know, that's totally not true.  A proper CD speaker is exactly why they DO work in any room.  I'm very curious to see/hear how a CD OB Speaker does too. 
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: mick wolfe on 22 Jan 2016, 04:28 pm
Just so you know, that's totally not true.  A proper CD speaker is exactly why they DO work in any room.  I'm very curious to see/hear how a CD OB Speaker does too.

I've had my Spatial M2 Turbos in a very small ( 10 x 11 ) listening room and they can pull it off. The caveat being the presentation is very upfront.( front row ) That said, their sense of ease/ smoothness still make for an involving experience. In regard to this same room, I've tried several monitor type speakers in this room with some success. However, none of them have come close to the presentation of  an Ohm 1000 in this room. Of course the 1000 is actually designed to work in a room this size and it shows. In regard to the M2 Turbo in a larger room.....it simply works better with the increased breathing room. The strengths( sense of ease/ smoothness ) remain in spades with a much better disappearing act. Bottom line here is that I think you'll be quite pleased with the M3 Turbo. The first 100 or so hours will have you thinking they sound a bit mechanical and not quite as involving as you'd hoped, but be patient. Like a fine wine, they continue to improve with time and you will start to appreciate how well voiced they are.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 22 Jan 2016, 09:11 pm
I've had my Spatial M2 Turbos in a very small ( 10 x 11 ) listening room and they can pull it off. The caveat being the presentation is very upfront.( front row ) That said, their sense of ease/ smoothness still make for an involving experience. In regard to this same room, I've tried several monitor type speakers in this room with some success. However, none of them have come close to the presentation of  an Ohm 1000 in this room. Of course the 1000 is actually designed to work in a room this size and it shows. In regard to the M2 Turbo in a larger room.....it simply works better with the increased breathing room. The strengths( sense of ease/ smoothness ) remain in spades with a much better disappearing act. Bottom line here is that I think you'll be quite pleased with the M3 Turbo. The first 100 or so hours will have you thinking they sound a bit mechanical and not quite as involving as you'd hoped, but be patient. Like a fine wine, they continue to improve with time and you will start to appreciate how well voiced they are.
Good to hear they worked well for you.  instead of "voicing" them I'd like to think that Clayton is more engineering based on the basis of the design which is Constant Directivity and he has then added his own "tricks" to the whole package to make it what I think it is. 
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: mick wolfe on 22 Jan 2016, 10:56 pm
There is no doubt these are well engineered products, but I've heard a lot of well engineered products that bored me to death. Clayton's designs are not just well thought out from an engineering standpoint, they're musically involving. That's where some speaker designers fall short.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 22 Jan 2016, 11:32 pm
There is no doubt these are well engineered products, but I've heard a lot of well engineered products that bored me to death. Clayton's designs are not just well thought out from an engineering standpoint, they're musically involving. That's where some speaker designers fall short.
Fair enough.  I'm surprised that I haven't read more about them here considering their dollar/performance. 
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Bemopti123 on 23 Jan 2016, 02:06 am
I for one am interested in hearing more reports about it.  The issue that I find with all these discoveries and great giant killer products that lots of people advocate is that they are hip or trend intensely for some months and then people move on to something else.  When this happens I often question the standards that people had when it relates to these products.  Mind you that I honestly do not think that these new OB speakers fall on that previous line of being peddled as the latest and timeless products.  I am eager to hear more about them.  Amplifiers and other smaller products are easy to audition but these being larger products, I feel it is a little more intimidating to try.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: TomS on 23 Jan 2016, 02:12 am
I for one am interested in hearing more reports about it.  The issue that I find with all these discoveries and great giant killer products that lots of people advocate is that they are hip or trend intensely for some months and then people move on to something else.  When this happens I often question the standards that people had when it relates to these products.  Mind you that I honestly do not think that these new OB speakers fall on that previous line of being peddled as the latest and timeless products.  I am eager to hear more about them.  Amplifiers and other smaller products are easy to audition but these being larger products, I feel it is a little more intimidating to try.
Other than shipping cost, Clayton at Spatial offers a 60-day(!) trial, which makes it generously low risk to find out.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Bemopti123 on 23 Jan 2016, 02:32 am
Other than shipping cost, Clayton at Spatial offers a 60-day(!) trial, which makes it generously low risk to find out.

I need to move my large box speakers out in other to even attempt to audition these.  Jajaja
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: schw06 on 23 Jan 2016, 02:48 am
I have been very reluctant to post about the M3 turbo S's for the very reasons you bring up. I don't want folks to think I'm a shill or the typical newbie audiophile excited about his new toy ready to extol it's virtues only to have it up for sale a month later. I've been biting my tongue waiting for the initial excitement to wear of...It hasn't. I'm almost 3 months in at this point and believe the speakers are well broken in. I can only speak about them in the context of my room (17x24x10) and my setup (6 feet out from the front wall with them about 32 inches on center from the side wall) with my electronics (Vinnie Rossi LIO loaded feeding Odyssey Kismet monoblocks with Acoustic Signature Wow XL turntable, Ortofon 2m black and Bluesound Node 2 as sources). This is what I'm hearing from them:
1. An extraordinarily natural presentation that never tips toward aggressive or grating yet remains dynamic enough to maintain your attention.
2. Excellent dynamics and pace, rhythm, and timing
3. Fully developed tonal palette
4. Excellent soundstage width and depth that does not feel overly tall/wide/short etc...
5. Bass in my room that is mind bogglinglingly (I know it's not a word) clean, articulate, detailed, natural, and extended(no sub needed in my room)
6. Midrange cleanliness that is revealing of upstream components and highlights that power tubes or euphonic upstream components are identified for what they are. The speakers do not need comonents that soften, cover up, or editorialize the presentation to sound fantastic. It doesn't punish you for those choices but is capable of elucidating high caliber upstream components.
7. Sweet treble that simply does not get aggressive but feels fully extended and natural and neither brittle/bright or syrupy.
8. A very uniform presentation that has an excellent crossover and speaks with a single unified voice.
   I've been trying to come up with a shortcoming of them...I am yet to really come up with anything. Most importantly, some systems and components have a quality that suck you into the music and turns off the analytical brain. The Spatials do this as well or better than any component I've ever owned. I wish I could tell you why...I can't.
   Does this mini review seem a little over the top or a little unbelievable? I have certainly read so many reviews like this on the threads that I generally roll my eyes at them and discredit almost every one that I read...I wouldn't blame you for doing the same with this review. So here is my litmus test for a speaker:
1. Would you consider this a destination end game product?-Yes
2. Do they represent value at their retail price point?- I would dare say they may represent the best value of anything I've purchased in the hobby new or used and in my opinion offer so much value it's hard to believe.
3. Do they have universal appeal that should transcend most audiophiles proclivities and discrepancies in taste like Klaus'(Odyssey) setups every single audio show- Yep
   In the end it's just my opinion: nothing more, nothing less. Remember that opinions are like a$$holes...everyone has one and they usually stink. That being said, I certainly encourage you to at least try to listen to them at the next audio show and compare them to anything at any price point you hear at the show. Decide for yourself.
David
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Geardaddy on 24 Jan 2016, 07:16 pm
Hey folks,

For those of you that might have missed it, I posted my review of the Spatial Audio M3s. They are a fun speaker to listen to and I am having a hard time going to back to my thinner sounding Gallo's after my audition. I highly recommend these speakers.

https://www.newrecordday.com/spatial-audio-m3-review/

Not trying to spam my own site here, just hoping to share the enjoyment of a job well done by Spatial.

-Ron

Very nice review. In your prelude, you captured the essence of audio for me as well:  room energization or pressurization and that immersive experience that comes out of it. Whatever way people can achieve this, no matter the speaker paradigm, is the shizzle.   I owned an Emerald physics speaker back in 2008 and very much enjoyed them. I'm a fan of dipoles and what they do.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: KLH007 on 24 Jan 2016, 09:48 pm
Here is a room report from my coverage of 2014 RMAF for EnjoyTheMusic.com:
Spatial and Red Dragon
Clayton Shaw showed a pair of open baffle speakers, Spatial Hologram M1s ($4,000/pr) in a modest system that had an Apple MacBook, Prism Lyra 1 DAC ($2250), and a Red Dragon S500 ($1995), with some GIK room treatments. The system was open, clear, had great bass (I'm starting to dig how OB bass sounds), and big dynamic swings. The stage with the short speakers was just fine for James Taylor, appearing at normal height, but an Orchestra had me looking down in an unfamiliar way, not bad just different. The speakers gave a big stage and no sounds stuck to them. The Holograms don't use DSP as Clayton worked with the speaker manufacturer to design drivers with characteristics perfectly suited to the application. Ryan Tew of Red Dragon tells me he switched from ICE to Pascal power modules to get even better depth of stage, smoother top end, generally easier listening, and more load independent of weird speaker impedance curves. The stereo amp is rated 250 Wpc @ 8 Ohms, and can be bridged for double that, need more power just buy a second amp and run them bridged, great idea Ryan. To make the amp truly universal, the improved switching power supply will run on any country's grid without any changes or switches, nice engineering. A great sounding room and a superb value to boot!
Clayton has brought his OB expertise to an even lower price point enabling more music lovers to enjoy the OB experience, thanks Clayton.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: gnostalgick on 27 Jan 2016, 02:50 pm
   This really seems like a speaker I need to hear.  Has anyone compared the new M25 compression driver on the M3 Turbo S to the basic version or the M1?
  Also, how sensitive are OB speakers to things like dust & pet hair?  (This is the first thing my GF asked about when I showed her the picture!)
  Thanks.

Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: genjamon on 27 Jan 2016, 05:06 pm
Fair enough.  I'm surprised that I haven't read more about them here considering their dollar/performance.

I think Clayton was having a hard time attracting an audience at the M1/M2 price points.  So he redesigned the cabinet to reach a cheaper price point for the M3/M4 and it appears he has widened the appeal.  A lot of audiophiles can probably afford to experiment with $1-2K, if there's a decent moneyback return policy.  But harder to part with $4K+, even if just temporarily.  And at those prices, there's a lot of very high performing speakers you can get used as well. 

I ultimately snagged some Daedalus DA-RMa's for just over $5K that are a quantum leap forward in refinement over the M1.  Not knocking the M1's performance, as the equivalent current model of Daedalus is well over $10K new I think.  It's just that I respectfully disagree that the Hologram series are world-beaters.  They're very solid audiophile quality performance, will work well acoustically in a wide range of rooms, well-designed, with good voicing too, and will easily offer long-term listening pleasure.  However, they are not the last word in detail or refinement, IMO. 
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: schw06 on 27 Jan 2016, 06:27 pm
I think Clayton was having a hard time attracting an audience at the M1/M2 price points.  So he redesigned the cabinet to reach a cheaper price point for the M3/M4 and it appears he has widened the appeal.  A lot of audiophiles can probably afford to experiment with $1-2K, if there's a decent moneyback return policy.  But harder to part with $4K+, even if just temporarily.  And at those prices, there's a lot of very high performing speakers you can get used as well. 

I ultimately snagged some Daedalus DA-RMa's for just over $5K that are a quantum leap forward in refinement over the M1.  Not knocking the M1's performance, as the equivalent current model of Daedalus is well over $10K new I think.  It's just that I respectfully disagree that the Hologram series are world-beaters.  They're very solid audiophile quality performance, will work well acoustically in a wide range of rooms, well-designed, with good voicing too, and will easily offer long-term listening pleasure.  However, they are not the last word in detail or refinement, IMO.
I could be wrong but my understanding is that the cabinet was redesigned to elevate the soundstage and allow easier shipping through Fedex/UPS etc... The cost savings were achieved through eliminating the 40% dealer markup, streamlining a process that allows volume building, and selling them directly rather than cutting corners in parts or build quality. Hopefully Clayton will weigh in on this. In my room the speakers sound remarkably refined and have excellent and natural detail retrieval (Not false detail like some drivers deliver). This scenario is what makes the hobby such a quagmire. I'm sure in your room with your setup and upstream components, your description matches your experience. My experience is quite different.
   The silver lining in the cloud is that if your curiosity is piqued you have a money back guarantee and you can decide for yourself whether your experience more closely mirrors Genjamon's or mine.
David
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: ricardojoa on 27 Jan 2016, 06:51 pm
These speakers are getting some rave!
I'm considering the M3 turbo S and the M2 turbo. There is 500 difference but what I'm more interested to is how they duffer in terms of sonic wise.
Any inputs on these two models?
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: genjamon on 27 Jan 2016, 07:18 pm
I could be wrong but my understanding is that the cabinet was redesigned to elevate the soundstage and allow easier shipping through Fedex/UPS etc... The cost savings were achieved through eliminating the 40% dealer markup, streamlining a process that allows volume building, and selling them directly rather than cutting corners in parts or build quality. Hopefully Clayton will weigh in on this. In my room the speakers sound remarkably refined and have excellent and natural detail retrieval (Not false detail like some drivers deliver). This scenario is what makes the hobby such a quagmire. I'm sure in your room with your setup and upstream components, your description matches your experience. My experience is quite different.
   The silver lining in the cloud is that if your curiosity is piqued you have a money back guarantee and you can decide for yourself whether your experience more closely mirrors Genjamon's or mine.
David

David, I think you're reading too much into my comments.  I wasn't trying to knock the M1's performance or disagree with your assessment of the M1/M3 value proposition.  In fact, I specifically said that.  I would not have kept the M1 for six months, beyond the return policy grace period, if I didn't find the performance to be of compellingly high quality.  I was blown away by hearing them at RMAF - nothing else in that price range offered that kind of audio quality.  Except for the Ryan audio speakers at around $5K I think - but they're much much less efficient and won't work well with lower power tubes, so they weren't in consideration for me.  And hearing Mick's M2's in my system totally sealed the deal.  Really amazing sound quality for the price.  So, I ordered them.  And really enjoyed them while I had them.

But I am also saying that there are other levels of refinement.  You tend to have to spend lots and lots of money for that level of refinement.  That doesn't mean that all expensive speakers will outperform the M1234.  I know from experience that they can outperform much more expensive speakers.  But there are some speakers out there that are just going to go places the M1234 don't go.  That's not meant to embarrass them in any way, as like I've said above, they're exceptional speakers and punch way above their weight class in terms of price/performance.

I'd add on the other side of the equation, I also own Tekton Lores - well known among those looking for high quality full-range performance on a budget.  Also considered giant slayers by some.  I have rebuilt their crossovers and internal wiring with high quality stuff.  I have nearly $2K in those speakers at this point.  But the M1/M2 turbos in my system completely slay the Lores.  More natural sound by far, and a soundstage depth that the Lore could only dream of.  They are high quality speakers, indeed.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: schw06 on 27 Jan 2016, 08:26 pm
David, I think you're reading too much into my comments. 

But I am also saying that there are other levels of refinement. 


Genjamon,
   I definitely could be reading too much into your comments and I certainly meant no disrespect and apologize if it came off that way. I'm glad you found happiness with the Daedalus speakers.
   That being said, it's always important to understand the background of where someone is coming from with their comments so I will spill the beans about how I feel in general and then more specifically about the Spatials (in case anyone cares). Over the last decade I have gotten swept away in the hobby in search of the "best" audio system I could cobble together. I spent an outrageous number of hours reading product reviews as if they were gospel and wasted tens of thousands of dollars to get a "better" system. I often found the more money I spent, the more critical I became of my system and rather than being engaged in the musical experience and listening to the music I loved, I was hopelessly lost playing audiophile recordings as a way to test the fidelity of my playback system ( You know what I mean if you've ever said "have you ever heard a glockenspiel sound so real before?"). The truth, for me (don't flame me), is that the majority of this hobby is "The Emperor's New Clothes", particularly realized after attending Axpona and RMAF.  The countless hours spent searching out "better" components  is usually more brownian motion(I have to give credit to Andrew Gear for that reference) than real progress toward a satisfying listening experience. There are words bantered around like refined, transparent, detailed, state of the art etc... that objectively may be true when comparing 2 components side by side, but that may have absolutely no correlation with the enjoyment of the musical experience. So, I've continued to "cash out" of the hobby looking for well designed products that offer "IT". To me "IT" is an experience that connects me to the music/experience/meaning and helps turn off the analytical part of my brain and almost forces me to look for more music rather than more audio equipment. So what makes a component have "IT"?...I have no idea. I can clearly articulate all of the common audiophile terms that describe a component but "IT" seems to me to be ephemeral and indescribable yet some components seem to have it and others don't. Maybe my engineer friends (Jason and Tom) can quantify it but for me there isn't a term to describe it.
   To get to the point about the Spatials, they have scratched an itch for me I wasn't sure would ever be scratched and they do it at a price that is accessible to almost all in this hobby. I did give my impressions about all the audiophile terms in my original review and I'm certain you could bring speakers in next to them and objectively say speaker A is more transparent than B or speaker A is more detailed than speaker B. But if you strip away the adjectives, the point of the hobby is to serve the music in a fashion that helps connect with the experience. For me, I'm either switched in and lost in the experience, or I'm on the outside looking in wishing I could get lost in the experience and trying to figure out how to achieve that(Do I just need the new power cord, or Mk II version amp etc...). For me the Spatials have me switched in. It's a unique experience that escapes almost all speakers I've owned and heard irrespective of price. All I want to be is in the experience rather than outside looking in. I would rather do that for $2,700 than $27,000 and I will say that if I spent $27,000 instead, I highly doubt I would be more engaged in the experience. That is the reason for my review. Please remember these are just my proclivities and opinions. They aren't facts but hopefully give you context for my priorities and preferences. If yours differ, no need to consider the Spatials. Sorry for the verbal barrage.
David
Disclaimer- If you think you can just plop the Spatials down, hook up your receiver, and be blown away you are mistaken. They take the same amount of care with room setup as every other speaker I've owned. They definitely benefit if you have placement flexibility (like most speakers).
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: genjamon on 27 Jan 2016, 09:18 pm
Genjamon,
   I definitely could be reading too much into your comments and I certainly meant no disrespect and apologize if it came off that way. I'm glad you found happiness with the Daedalus speakers.
   That being said, it's always important to understand the background of where someone is coming from with their comments so I will spill the beans about how I feel in general and then more specifically about the Spatials (in case anyone cares). Over the last decade I have gotten swept away in the hobby in search of the "best" audio system I could cobble together. I spent an outrageous number of hours reading product reviews as if they were gospel and wasted tens of thousands of dollars to get a "better" system. I often found the more money I spent, the more critical I became of my system and rather than being engaged in the musical experience and listening to the music I loved, I was hopelessly lost playing audiophile recordings as a way to test the fidelity of my playback system ( You know what I mean if you've ever said "have you ever heard a glockenspiel sound so real before?"). The truth, for me (don't flame me), is that the majority of this hobby is "The Emperor's New Clothes", particularly realized after attending Axpona and RMAF.  The countless hours spent searching out "better" components  is usually more brownian motion(I have to give credit to Andrew Gear for that reference) than real progress toward a satisfying listening experience. There are words bantered around like refined, transparent, detailed, state of the art etc... that objectively may be true when comparing 2 components side by side, but that may have absolutely no correlation with the enjoyment of the musical experience. So, I've continued to "cash out" of the hobby looking for well designed products that offer "IT". To me "IT" is an experience that connects me to the music/experience/meaning and helps turn off the analytical part of my brain and almost forces me to look for more music rather than more audio equipment. So what makes a component have "IT"?...I have no idea. I can clearly articulate all of the common audiophile terms that describe a component but "IT" seems to me to be ephemeral and indescribable yet some components seem to have it and others don't. Maybe my engineer friends (Jason and Tom) can quantify it but for me there isn't a term to describe it.
   To get to the point about the Spatials, they have scratched an itch for me I wasn't sure would ever be scratched and they do it at a price that is accessible to almost all in this hobby. I did give my impressions about all the audiophile terms in my original review and I'm certain you could bring speakers in next to them and objectively say speaker A is more transparent than B or speaker A is more detailed than speaker B. But if you strip away the adjectives, the point of the hobby is to serve the music in a fashion that helps connect with the experience. For me, I'm either switched in and lost in the experience, or I'm on the outside looking in wishing I could get lost in the experience and trying to figure out how to achieve that(Do I just need the new power cord, or Mk II version amp etc...). For me the Spatials have me switched in. It's a unique experience that escapes almost all speakers I've owned and heard irrespective of price. All I want to be is in the experience rather than outside looking in. I would rather do that for $2,700 than $27,000 and I will say that if I spent $27,000 instead, I highly doubt I would be more engaged in the experience. That is the reason for my review. Please remember these are just my proclivities and opinions. They aren't facts but hopefully give you context for my priorities and preferences. If yours differ, no need to consider the Spatials. Sorry for the verbal barrage.
David
Disclaimer- If you think you can just plop the Spatials down, hook up your receiver, and be blown away you are mistaken. They take the same amount of care with room setup as every other speaker I've owned. They definitely benefit if you have placement flexibility (like most speakers).

Thanks for sharing all this, David.  I totally understand where you're coming from with the "IT" factor.  And I agree the Spatials have "IT".  And if they can get you off the merry-go-round, that's what I meant by them being capable of long-term enjoyment.  So many of our system changes are initially engaging, just because they do something different or new, but then you get used to the sound and are just looking for the next new thing.  Or the newness is exciting early on, and then tiring after a time.  It can be maddening for sure.  And the more "refined" a system becomes, the more finicky it becomes to get that "IT" factor just right. 

But it's all a journey, and it sounds like you've been through your fair share of the journey.  And it also sounds like that journey has taught you invaluable, and sometimes costly, lessons about what you like and don't like.  Helping you to know that these Spatials are doing "IT" right for you.  I'm very happy for you.

For me, there was still a bit of an itch there that the Spatials couldn't quite scratch.  I kept tinkering around with the system in ways to try and get things just right for that IT, and getting pretty close, but not quite.  And that led me to try the Daedalus, which have definitely scratched that itch.  But I was really lucky to get this rare pair at a used price I could afford.  Not a solution for everyone, and still at a very different price point than these new M3/4 offerings.  At these prices, the M3/4 are stone cold bargains, and I hope they do end many people's searches for "IT".

I am pretty curious what the new compression driver would sound like compared to the original in my M1's...

Regards,
Ben
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: TomS on 28 Jan 2016, 12:57 am
...
 So what makes a component have "IT"?...I have no idea. I can clearly articulate all of the common audiophile terms that describe a component but "IT" seems to me to be ephemeral and indescribable yet some components seem to have it and others don't. Maybe my engineer friends (Jason and Tom) can quantify it but for me there isn't a term to describe it.
First of all great series of posts and pleasantly civil.

I totally get "IT" but sadly can't explain it either. What came to mind is how I could walk into Klaus's Odyssey room at any show and get "IT". I've owned pieces of his gear and while they don't measure the absolute best and they can side by side be bettered by numerous others, taken as a whole his systems are off the hook enjoyable. There is no urge to pick them apart in an audiophile sport sort of way, though you probably could. Anyone who has heard this knows of what I speak. Meticulous attention to setup and synergy yes, but there is some other mystery at play there.

We both have Vinnie Rossie's LIO and the same can be said for its component parts. Side by side are there better DACs, preamps, power amps, etc? Absolutely yes, but taken as a whole it comes across as completely and thoroughly enjoyable. I don't find myself yearning for more.

I owned some of Clayton's first EP CS2's. Out of the box they were simply fun. They were right next to a beautiful pair of beloved Merlins, all buttoned down, and ultra refined, but ultimately I listened to the CS2's more. It wasn't until I started tweaking them to the 9's that I went down that slippery slope of critical audiophiledom and the fun quickly vanished.

I'm glad to hear the Spatials somehow get you there too and knowing Clayton's work as I do it's no surprise.

All that said, I'm sorry I'm not of much help to 'splain it but I'm sort of in my happy place too ;-)
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: schw06 on 28 Jan 2016, 01:43 am
First of all great series of posts and pleasantly civil.

I totally get "IT" but sadly can't explain it either. What came to mind is how I could walk into Klaus's Odyssey room at any show and get "IT". I've owned pieces of his gear and while they don't measure the absolute best and they can side by side be bettered by numerous others, taken as a whole his systems are off the hook enjoyable. There is no urge to pick them apart in an audiophile sport sort of way, though you probably could. Anyone who has heard this knows of what I speak. Meticulous attention to setup and synergy yes, but there is some other mystery at play there.

We both have Vinnie Rossie's LIO and the same can be said for its component parts. Side by side are there better DACs, preamps, power amps, etc? Absolutely yes, but taken as a whole it comes across as completely and thoroughly enjoyable. I don't find myself yearning for more.

I owned some of Clayton's first EP CS2's. Out of the box they were simply fun. They were right next to a beautiful pair of beloved Merlins, all buttoned down, and ultra refined, but ultimately I listened to the CS2's more. It wasn't until I started tweaking them to the 9's that I went down that slippery slope of critical audiophiledom and the fun quickly vanished.

I'm glad to hear the Spatials somehow get you there too and knowing Clayton's work as I do it's no surprise.

All that said, I'm sorry I'm not of much help to 'splain it but I'm sort of in my happy place too ;-)
Tom,
   Thanks for weighing in. Your comments about the LIO are spot on and if I did an A/B comparison to other premps/dacs/phono preamps I might say that there are components that objectively do things "better" but what Vinnie Rossi gets out of that little black box has that "IT" that I'm looking for. I also agree about Odyssey and in fact run the LIO into a pair of Kismet monoblocks into the Spatials and they all play very well together.
David
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: genjamon on 28 Jan 2016, 01:52 am
Tom,
   Thanks for weighing in. Your comments about the LIO are spot on and if I did an A/B comparison to other premps/dacs/phono preamps I might say that there are components that objectively do things "better" but what Vinnie Rossi gets out of that little black box has that "IT" that I'm looking for. I also agree about Odyssey and in fact run the LIO into a pair of Kismet monoblocks into the Spatials and they all play very well together.
David

The LIO connection is interesting and relevant to my situation as well. I actually had a fully decked out LIO on order and being built when the Daedalus arrived. Because of that expense, something had to give, and I couldn't afford to keep the M1's around to listen with the LIO, though I really really wanted to. I ultimately significantly preferred my tube separates to the LIO package in terms of synergy with the Daedalus. However, for the itch I was trying to scratch with the M1's, having spent a month with the LIO and comparing side by side with all my tube gear that I had been using with the M1's, I can easily and intuitively understand that the LIO would have good synergy with the Spatials. At least with the M1's and M3's.

My impressions of the LIO was that it was exceptionally clean, but emphasized leading edge and transients much more than my tube gear. And I would at times feel like the M1 was too thick of a sound, not hearing deep enough into the presentation. I think LIO would have woken those M1's up a bit, and maybe just enough for me to find "IT".

Who knows, it was a fork in the road for me, and I chose the one path. These things happen. I'm happy where I've ended up, but it's possible I would have fallen in love with the LIO/Spatial combo as you guys have.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: schw06 on 28 Jan 2016, 02:11 am
The LIO connection is interesting and relevant to my situation as well. I actually had a fully decked out LIO on order and being built when the Daedalus arrived. Because of that expense, something had to give, and I couldn't afford to keep the M1's around to listen with the LIO, though I really really wanted to. I ultimately significantly preferred my tube separates to the LIO package in terms of synergy with the Daedalus. However, for the itch I was trying to scratch with the M1's, having spent a month with the LIO and comparing side by side with all my tube gear that I had been using with the M1's, I can easily and intuitively understand that the LIO would have good synergy with the Spatials. At least with the M1's and M3's.

My impressions of the LIO was that it was exceptionally clean, but emphasized leading edge and transients much more than my tube gear. And I would at times feel like the M1 was too thick of a sound, not hearing deep enough into the presentation. I think LIO would have woken those M1's up a bit, and maybe just enough for me to find "IT".

Who knows, it was a fork in the road for me, and I chose the one path. These things happen. I'm happy where I've ended up, but it's possible I would have fallen in love with the LIO/Spatial combo as you guys have.
Ben,
   I totally get it. The synergy of setup and component matching is often mysterious and takes a little luck (skill doesn't hurt either). Glad you've built a system that makes you happy. Interestingly though your experience with the LIO being exceptionally clean and emphasizing leading edge and transients is very different from my take on the LIO in multiple setups and the Spatials sounding thick would not be how I hear them in my system. I have them 6 feet out into the room and over 11 feet apart on center and not sure how they were placed in your room but I wonder if differences in rooms and placement may account for some of those differences. It reminds me of reading Tyson and Pez's RMAF coverage. They would be in the same room sitting right next to each other and listening to the same music yet come up with completely different opinions on the rooms. It also points out that it's a system (including your room) and it all needs to play well in the sandbox together making all of the "What's the best ____?(fill in the blank) threads almost impossible to get helpful information. In fact this thread and my responses likely belong on that same junk heap.
David
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: genjamon on 28 Jan 2016, 02:32 am
In fact this thread and my responses likely belong on that same junk heap.
David

On the contrary, David. I'm enjoying this interchange, and I don't think we have enough of these conversations on threads where we really grapple with the full complexity of the systems we're toying with. And I hope the richer discussion is helpful to others.

I had my Spatials in an 11' X 20' ft room, with a large 10 ft opening to the dining room sandwiched the the middle of the left wall. Picture windows on the right. An "Arizona Room" in AZ parlance. Not ideal acoustically, but workable. And better sound than you might expect. I do use some healthy amounts of acoustic treatments (though none really with the M1's).

The M1's were out about 4ft from the front wall, but only about 12" to the edges of the baffles from the side walls. And I sat in an equilateral triangle configuration to them, a near field orientation according to Clayton's user manual. And they were toed in to fire a few feet behind my head.

I played extensively with positioning for a while in the trial period, and this was as good as it got in my room.

I did have a chance to bring them over for a group session at another local friend's house, one of our local club mates. We swapped them in for a while that day. The room was much larger, probably 15' wide, and open to the rest of the house in a more open floor plan. We positioned them in more of a far-field setup that day. The sound was different, but not fundamentally different. I got better imaging in my home system from the sweet spot, but there was improved coherence and they disappeared better with the greater amount of space available in my friend's room. It would have been interesting to have time to really play with positioning there to see where they would have ended up.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: genjamon on 28 Jan 2016, 02:37 am
I'd also add that the "thickness" aspect is likely a product of the mid-bass in-room performance, which is highly dominated by room acoustics and speaker placement. It will be very different for different room sizes and arrangements. Even with open baffle.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: schw06 on 28 Jan 2016, 02:47 am
I'd also add that the "thickness" aspect is likely a product of the mid-bass in-room performance, which is highly dominated by room acoustics and speaker placement. It will be very different for different room sizes and arrangements. Even with open baffle.
Totally agree
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 29 Jan 2016, 11:01 pm
I'm excited to say that I got this picture from Spatial today saying that my M3 Turbo S are being played now and will go through QC tomorrow for Monday shipping. 


 (http://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=136162)
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 2 Feb 2016, 11:15 am
I should have them Friday!
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: zybar on 2 Feb 2016, 12:58 pm
I should have them Friday!

Looking forward to your thoughts.

I really enjoyed working with Clayton during his Emerald Physics days and I thought that he produced a heck of a product.

His Spatial offerings look like a significant step forward.

George
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: rollo on 2 Feb 2016, 03:32 pm
I'm excited to say that I got this picture from Spatial today saying that my M3 Turbo S are being played now and will go through QC tomorrow for Monday shipping. 


 (http://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=136162)


    Enjoy Jason. Still have the Geddes set up ?


charles
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 2 Feb 2016, 03:43 pm
Still have the Geddes set up ?
charles
Yes. 
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 5 Feb 2016, 12:55 pm
Delivery today!
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: CharlieD on 5 Feb 2016, 10:23 pm
I have had my M3 for almost 3 weeks now - playing them a lot and they just keep sounding better the longer they burn in.
Compared to my Spendors S5e's the sound-stage is way bigger, better front to back depth & equally as detailed  the bass detail slam kicks butt, my spendors  would not play very loud-
these sound great at both low & high volume... these are keepers.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 5 Feb 2016, 10:35 pm
Playing

Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jimdgoulding on 5 Feb 2016, 11:02 pm
I stumbled on their excellent website around 6 months ago.  Should I get back into the market, these are at the top of my list for audition.  I might have to come see one of you guys what own a pair.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: OzarkTom on 6 Feb 2016, 01:36 am
It is good to see that it does not take 6-12 months to get a pair of these. :thumb:
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: erniek on 9 Feb 2016, 08:01 pm
First of all great series of posts and pleasantly civil.

I totally get "IT" but sadly can't explain it either. What came to mind is how I could walk into Klaus's Odyssey room at any show and get "IT". I've owned pieces of his gear and while they don't measure the absolute best and they can side by side be bettered by numerous others, taken as a whole his systems are off the hook enjoyable. There is no urge to pick them apart in an audiophile sport sort of way, though you probably could. Anyone who has heard this knows of what I speak. Meticulous attention to setup and synergy yes, but there is some other mystery at play there.

We both have Vinnie Rossie's LIO and the same can be said for its component parts. Side by side are there better DACs, preamps, power amps, etc? Absolutely yes, but taken as a whole it comes across as completely and thoroughly enjoyable. I don't find myself yearning for more.

I owned some of Clayton's first EP CS2's. Out of the box they were simply fun. They were right next to a beautiful pair of beloved Merlins, all buttoned down, and ultra refined, but ultimately I listened to the CS2's more. It wasn't until I started tweaking them to the 9's that I went down that slippery slope of critical audiophiledom and the fun quickly vanished.

I'm glad to hear the Spatials somehow get you there too and knowing Clayton's work as I do it's no surprise.

All that said, I'm sorry I'm not of much help to 'splain it but I'm sort of in my happy place too ;-)


Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: erniek on 9 Feb 2016, 08:04 pm
Tom, I really like your comment here regarding Odyssey audio. (some other mystery at play here). I have purchased 2 products from Klaus and I find it hard to even look at other amps anymore. I do not see myself buying anything but an Odyssey amp again.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: erniek on 9 Feb 2016, 08:05 pm
Now I am hoping there will be good synergy between the Odyssey and Spatial products.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: lovehertz on 15 Feb 2016, 02:00 am
jtwrace,

I am considering auditioning the M3 and was anxiously awaiting some comments from you.  I hope your transition from excitement to silence does not imply dissatisfaction with their performance.  Any comment on their early character/synergy in your system?
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: glynnw on 15 Feb 2016, 02:49 am
As an aside, the M1 and M2 are no longer listed on the Spatial Audio website.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: genjamon on 15 Feb 2016, 02:54 am
jtwrace,

I am considering auditioning the M3 and was anxiously awaiting some comments from you.  I hope your transition from excitement to silence does not imply dissatisfaction with their performance.  Any comment on their early character/synergy in your system?

Jason's an objectivist, so don't expect much more than comments whether they measure up to their published specs.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: mick wolfe on 15 Feb 2016, 03:44 am
As an aside, the M1 and M2 are no longer listed on the Spatial Audio website.

Yeah, looks like he's gone totally direct sales in the U.S. leaving the M1 and M2 in no man's land.  Saw this coming several months ago. Still enjoying my M2 Turbo's though. No regrets here despite the fact new customers will be getting essentially the same speaker for a grand less.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 15 Feb 2016, 02:44 pm
jtwrace,

I am considering auditioning the M3 and was anxiously awaiting some comments from you.  I hope your transition from excitement to silence does not imply dissatisfaction with their performance.  Any comment on their early character/synergy in your system?

Hello-

I've been listening to them quite a bit.  I'm in the process of selling my house and things are moving much quicker so my audio will be coming apart very soon.  However, I've had a lot of time listening to the M3 Turbo S speakers.  In a nut shell, they're amazing!  I can't recommend them highly enough regardless of cost.  I can give more input when time allows but they're worth every dime they cost. 
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 15 Feb 2016, 02:45 pm
Jason's an objectivist, so don't expect much more than comments whether they measure up to their published specs.
That is true; I am.  Good thing Clayton Shaw uses science to develop his speakers unlike so many others.   :wink:
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: md92468 on 15 Feb 2016, 03:39 pm
Hello-

I've been listening to them quite a bit.  I'm in the process of selling my house and things are moving much quicker so my audio will be coming apart very soon.  However, I've had a lot of time listening to the M3 Turbo S speakers.  In a nut shell, they're amazing!  I can't recommend them highly enough regardless of cost.  I can give more input when time allows but they're worth every dime they cost.

Glad you're enjoying them...I'm loving my M4s more every day...
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Tomy2Tone on 15 Feb 2016, 03:48 pm
Just curious from you guys that own the M3 (or M4), what would you say are their greatest attribute?

Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: schw06 on 15 Feb 2016, 04:31 pm
Just curious from you guys that own the M3 (or M4), what would you say are their greatest attribute?
Tomy2Tone,
   I wouldn't be surprised if you get lots of different responses. Normally speakers at this price point are fatally flawed with poor cabinets/drivers/crossovers/designs/engineering etc...to meet the price point. In my opinion you will have to reset your expectations of what's possible for $2600. I whittled my list down to 8 things in my mini synopsis...Not sure I can get the list down to 1.
David
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: rebbi on 15 Feb 2016, 11:17 pm
Just curious from you guys that own the M3 (or M4), what would you say are their greatest attribute?

I'll be posting a complete review of the M4 tonight or tomorrow on my audio blog (http://stevefolberg.wordpress.com), but for now I'd say that relaxed, uncompressed dynamics, rich, realistic tone and holographic imaging are stunningly good.   :thumb:
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: rajacat on 15 Feb 2016, 11:25 pm
I'll be posting a complete review of the M4 tonight or tomorrow on my audio blog (http://stevefolberg.wordpress.com), but for now I'd say that relaxed, uncompressed dynamics, rich, realistic tone and holographic imaging are stunningly good.   :thumb:
Would you say that the M4 has, more or less, on a scale of 10, diffuse or  pin point  imaging?
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: md92468 on 15 Feb 2016, 11:26 pm
Just curious from you guys that own the M3 (or M4), what would you say are their greatest attribute?

I'd say their ease in portraying dynamics and the "you are there"-ness of the musical performance they convey, which is downright spooky on good live recordings.  The cohesiveness of the soundstage is also the best I've heard in a speaker anywhere near this price...when they're dialed in you would swear music is coming from one giant source in the middle...
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: rebbi on 16 Feb 2016, 12:05 am
Would you say that the M4 has, more or less, on a scale of 10, diffuse or  pin point  imaging?

Imaging is very precise, but within the context of (if the recording warrants it) a large, enveloping sound stage. Best of all worlds, IMHO.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 17 Feb 2016, 02:10 am
This is sounding incredible while playing on my M3 Turbo S.


 (http://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=137398)
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: hil45 on 20 Feb 2016, 08:19 pm
How do these Spatials fare with the genres of electronica, reggae (dub), house & techno?   

Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: rockd31 on 22 Feb 2016, 12:48 am
I've had a pair of M3 Turbos for about a month, although I'm still not sure exactly what I have.  It is a different sound than what I've experienced.  The clarity and definition are astounding.  So I'm adapting to them.  Overall, I'm thoroughly impressed.  However, I'm hearing details in the music.  A certain dryness to cymbals and tambourine, and I'm unsure if it's due to the amps, the recording or ... what?   I'm open to any recommendations re music with cymbals, tambourine, snare drum, etc. to further test what the issue may be.   I'm also thinking of trying tube amplification just to see how sweet that might sound.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: JackD on 24 Feb 2016, 04:35 am
Just ordered a pair of M3 Turbo S's. Should be an interesting comparison with them and the Odyssey Lorelei's and Nola KO's.  Unfortunately have far to many amps to try with them from the Music Reference RM-10 on the low side to the mAMPS on the high side with the Kismet's in between.  I suspect the mAMPS which Clayton used to sell along with the Nuprime ST-10 will be good matches.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: schw06 on 24 Feb 2016, 01:09 pm
JackD,
   Make sure you report back and try them all. I've tried tubes, hybrid, small watt SS, and the Kismet monoblocks. The Kismets in my system have ridiculous synergy with them...I will be curious to see if the Kismets win out in your system.
David
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: rebbi on 24 Feb 2016, 05:53 pm
How do these Spatials fare with the genres of electronica, reggae (dub), house & techno?

If you love music with that kind of synth bass, I'd go for the M3 and play the heck out of them during the 60 day trial, during which time the bass should open up with driver break in. I have a pair of M4's which are rated down to 45 Hz (± 3 db) in room, while the M4's are rated down to 32 Hz.
They aren't entirely broken in yet, and in 95% of the music I listen to, the low end is wonderful - clean and articulate. But if you want to "feel" that kind of floor shaking low end for reggae and techno, you'd probably want the M3's. Talk to Clayton!   :lol:
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 24 Feb 2016, 11:26 pm
I'm listening to my M3 Turbo S' now.  I've got to say these things just impress me the more I listen to them.  Sadly, I'm getting ready to pack up both systems for a while so I'm nearing the end of listening in this house as I hope it sells quickly.  I'm might be able to setup the M3's at my friends house though and that's what I'm trying to do so I have some tunes.  Either way, the M3's aren't going anywhere...they really are that good great.   :thumb:
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: rebbi on 24 Feb 2016, 11:35 pm
I've had a pair of M3 Turbos for about a month, although I'm still not sure exactly what I have.  It is a different sound than what I've experienced.  The clarity and definition are astounding.  So I'm adapting to them.  Overall, I'm thoroughly impressed.  However, I'm hearing details in the music.  A certain dryness to cymbals and tambourine, and I'm unsure if it's due to the amps, the recording or ... what?   I'm open to any recommendations re music with cymbals, tambourine, snare drum, etc. to further test what the issue may be.   I'm also thinking of trying tube amplification just to see how sweet that might sound.  Thanks.

Rockd,
I don't know what's causing the issues you're hearing, but I'm very sensitive to excessive brightness (if that's what you're describing) in audio gear, and it's not something I'm hearing on my M4's.
I’m using an Audio Note Kits "Kit 1" 300B, single ended tube amp, and the sound is glorious, so the synergy is good there.
But beyond that, I'd suggest calling Clayton. He's very responsive to customer issues and he'll tell you what he suspects.
Best wishes on sorting this out!
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: hil45 on 25 Feb 2016, 09:49 pm
If you love music with that kind of synth bass, I'd go for the M3 and play the heck out of them during the 60 day trial, during which time the bass should open up with driver break in. I have a pair of M4's which are rated down to 45 Hz (± 3 db) in room, while the M4's are rated down to 32 Hz.
They aren't entirely broken in yet, and in 95% of the music I listen to, the low end is wonderful - clean and articulate. But if you want to "feel" that kind of floor shaking low end for reggae and techno, you'd probably want the M3's. Talk to Clayton!   :lol:

Good to hear that these OB's are as good with those genres as boxed speakers are. My room size would better mate with M4's and sub/s rather than M3's.  It would be expensive to send them back to the USA, so need to be as sure as possible beforehand rather than relying on the 60 day trial. Not easy without hearing them first.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Review
Post by: John P on 26 Feb 2016, 07:01 am
I first talked with Clayton Shaw last summer when I was looking to upgrade my music speakers. My speaker history has been with many notable speakers including stacked Advents, Infinity 2.5, Klipsch Cornwall, Dunlavy LCR but the most memorable audio system I have owned to date the system that created my very first audio life changing experience was owning the large panel Acoustat 2+2 electrostatic speakers driven by Threshold S-500 with MIT 750 music hose speaker cables and interconnects. I thoroughly enjoyed that system for 16 years. Without covering the electrostatic pluses or minuses or any of the previous speakers pluses or minuses I am happy to report that my experience with Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S speakers has been very rewarding.The speakers perform in all the audiophile expected areas but they do much more than that. They get you back to really listening to music. You no longer keep looking for the Holy Grail. The speakers are alive but not raw. The speakers are resonant free like many high quality panel speakers yet do not require high voltage power plant amps to drive. The M3 turbo S speakers provide a close approximation to a true large panel full range electrostatic speaker. The 8' Acoustat and Sound Lab speakers give you a taller sound but the M3 Turbo S imaging is razor sharp with rock steady imaging. If you are one who likes to play around with different cables and components you will have a field day with these speakers. The speakers allow you to hear all the changes made in the audio chain yet keep you highly entertained. The speakers have a big boned sound with balanced detail. I have used Pass Lab, Red Dragon S500, Carver AV705 and even a Outlaw 5000 amplifier. ($599.00) I replaced the Outlaw 5000 power cord with a Pass Lab cord. Highly enjoyable. If you have the money to purchase more exotic audio equipment the M3 Turbo S will reward you.
Comparison between M3 Turbo and Turbo S:
Turbo S more spacious sound due to removal of back T bar. (Newest versions of M3 no longer have T bars)
Turbo S much more airy sound (yet smooth) Noticeably less distortion. I did not think the regular M3 Turbo had strain until I got the Turbo S version.
The regular Turbo has a bigger base in my 12x16x10 room but the Turbo S has a much more cohesive sound (full range electrostatic quality) The base is faster and the timbre and tone of base instruments is better.
One other quality I found is the M3 Turbo S speakers do not have a sound signature of their own. The tonal quality of the speakers and the sound field/imaging the speakers create changes with music. No pre  stamped signature. This keeps the listening experience fresh. I have heard all these qualities on much more expensive speakers with top dollar gear with fancy finishes that I could never afford but nothing at this price point.
Note: 1 With the Turbo S I did not notice too much change in the high frequencies during burn in  The highs have always sounded extended,natural and low in distortion.This was not the case with the original M3 Turbo.The base on the other hand requires lots of break in time for both models. I thought I had done a good job breaking the M3 Turbo S speakers in so I decided to try the speakers in a surround sound movie system watching Star Wars battle scenes. I inserted a Sunfire Mk IV subwoofer so I would not over drive the base drivers of the M3 Turbo S speakers. I came to find out that I had not fully broken the base drivers in. I had relied on the sub too much. I dumped the sub and started full assault on woofers. Base output increased even more yet retained quickness and detail.
Note: 2 If you like a taller image height you can experiment raising the speakers. The important thing is to make sure the speakers are firmly grounded.
 
Finally I like the confidence that these are not fragile little toys


Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: nicoch on 26 Feb 2016, 05:41 pm
welcome to  audiocircle !
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: KLH007 on 26 Feb 2016, 05:50 pm
John P, Since the M3 TS speakers have little signature of their own, can you describe the sonic differences between the Red Dragon S500 and Pass Labs amps? I heard the S500 at RMAF in the Spatial room, it sounded fine but a tough place to know exactly what the S500 was contributing.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: John P on 29 Feb 2016, 03:09 am
The Red Dragon has a tube like sound but much more neutral. There is plenty of body and pace to the sound. Soundstaging and imaging is excellent. I have never listened to class d amps prior to the Red Dragon. I was very impressed. The Red Dragon  is a good match for the M3 speakers. The Pass Lab Aleph 3 is considerably older 1997. The Red Dragon S500 was equal to the Pass but with differences in imaging and staging. The Red Dragon has a more set back pespective but essentially equal to Pass.
  The Pass gives a closer pespective and smoother highes.The Red Dragon is fuller sounding but the Pass has slightly less texture. The Pass Lab base and power output is no match for the Red Dragon.
I personally liked the Red Dragon S500 better.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: KLH007 on 29 Feb 2016, 04:57 am
John, Thank you for your concise comparison.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jimdgoulding on 29 Feb 2016, 07:24 pm
I've had a pair of M3 Turbos for about a month, although I'm still not sure exactly what I have.  It is a different sound than what I've experienced.  The clarity and definition are astounding.  So I'm adapting to them.  Overall, I'm thoroughly impressed.  However, I'm hearing details in the music.  A certain dryness to cymbals and tambourine, and I'm unsure if it's due to the amps, the recording or ... what?   I'm open to any recommendations re music with cymbals, tambourine, snare drum, etc. to further test what the issue may be.   I'm also thinking of trying tube amplification just to see how sweet that might sound.  Thanks.
For CD, try "Sound Roots" and "Ballads From The Black Sea" from the Mapleshade label.  You must order online.  The former is an excellent jazz recording that is clear and pristine sounding w/o any sign of dynamic compression.  The latter is a female jazz vocalist from Russia of all places (in English) with that same with that same kind of immediacy and clarity.  I doubt that you've heard a drum kit as alive as on these.  Report back, ok?  Cheers.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: rebbi on 10 Mar 2016, 10:59 pm
 Everybody,

Those of you who have the Spatial's, try listening to the "Love" compilation album by the Beatles. It's an awesome showcase for that speaker.   :thumb:
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Russell Dawkins on 11 Mar 2016, 01:29 am
And particularly appropriate at this time, seeing that it was one of the last projects Sir George Martin was involved in, with his son doing most of the work.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: John P on 19 Mar 2016, 12:41 am
Here is a update to my previous findings.The bass continues to improve on the M3 Turbo S. The bass continues to fill out yet remains tight. Do not make the mistake I have made two times now thinking the speakers are fully broken in. You really need to play a wide assortment of different types of music.
Rock31 the dryness you are hearing is probably the source material. I cannot tell you how many times I've heard flaws that I originally thought were the M3 Turbo S speakers but when I isolated it and played the same piece of music back at the same volume through my dunlavy speakers I realized the flaws were present just reduced. I think the high efficiency of the speakers play into that effect. You tend not to have to turn the volume up as much on the M3 speakers so as a result you hear more things.

Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: poseidonsvoice on 7 Apr 2016, 02:47 pm
For CD, try "Sound Roots" and "Ballads From The Black Sea" from the Mapleshade label.  You must order online.  The former is an excellent jazz recording that is clear and pristine sounding w/o any sign of dynamic compression.  The latter is a female jazz vocalist from Russia of all places (in English) with that same with that same kind of immediacy and clarity.  I doubt that you've heard a drum kit as alive as on these.  Report back, ok?  Cheers.

Jim,

You mean this one?

http://www.mapleshaderecords.com/cds/04332.php

Thanks,
Anand.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 17 Apr 2016, 03:21 am
Had a chance to hear the LIO with Tube AVC and Amp run the Spatial M3's at Axpona.  OMG!   :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: TomS on 17 Apr 2016, 03:25 am
(http://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=141389)

We had a blast after hours at Axpona, getting Clayton Shaw and Vinnie Rossi together. LIO and M3T's rocked the house  :thumb:
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: zybar on 17 Apr 2016, 09:57 am
Need more details guys!

Wish I was there with you.

George
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Jonathon Janusz on 17 Apr 2016, 12:43 pm
From my past experience, the LIO and Spatial combo is another one that I know would have been one to hear for sure!  I would go so far as to say anyone that is in the low power, ultra high efficiency camp would be doing themselves a disservice not trying out a LIO in their systems if they can get a chance. 

For me, although rocking out loud was fun, it was at the normal to low level listening where this kind of combination really shined.  With a dead black background, even at a whisper the music was just so lively and complete; little to nothing was lost with the advantage on the speaker side of taking almost nothing for power to get the speakers going.  This is a hard trick to pull off, even for great speakers that may need a good bit of juice to wake them up.

I know right now I need to stay my course, but when I can I really want to get back on the road to some shows to hear the great stuff happening now.  It is very cool to see makers are mixing things up and trying out different setups.  I know it often happens behind closed doors, but getting the word out to people of different combinations of gear that works well together with first-hand accounts is something that I think is a somewhat untapped strength of the audio show model of marketing.  Not very many people have the opportunity to put so much gear in one place to try out different things and see up close what genuinely works well together unfiltered from the general "it does everything great" ad copy.

Congrats to both Vinnie and Clayton!  Have a great rest of the show!
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Tomy2Tone on 17 Apr 2016, 01:26 pm

I know right now I need to stay my course, but when I can I really want to get back on the road to some shows to hear the great stuff happening now.  It is very cool to see makers are mixing things up and trying out different setups.  I know it often happens behind closed doors, but getting the word out to people of different combinations of gear that works well together with first-hand accounts is something that I think is a somewhat untapped strength of the audio show model of marketing.  Not very many people have the opportunity to put so much gear in one place to try out different things and see up close what genuinely works well together unfiltered from the general "it does everything great" ad copy.


+1
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: TomS on 17 Apr 2016, 01:32 pm
Jonathon, the challenge with this is you have to be respectful of the people that actually wrote the big checks for those rooms. Swapping others' gear at shows and after hours demo's mixing it up are a very uncommon courtesy and definitely shouldn't be an expectation. As is often the case, you can screw up a perfectly set up system and not get it back for the rest of the show, among other issues.

These two were both most gracious in doing so (I brought my personal LIO in), but if either had said "no", I would have backed out with no regrets. That said, this sort of thing is what makes shows so much fun. It is, after all, a business, but it's obvious these guys love what they do and do it well  :thumb:
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Jonathon Janusz on 17 Apr 2016, 01:54 pm
Tom, very much agreed in regards to that balancing act, as well as the worry of messing up a delicately tuned in system being relied on as a maker's first (and often only) impression.

What I had intended with my thought was a positive commentary that it is exciting to me to see makers starting to show (as in during normal operating hours) with a variety of other makers.  It seemed a few years ago when I first got in to following these things, although the venues changed with each show, "vendor X, vendor Y, and vendor Z are in room 123" and the X, Y, and Z didn't change much.  Recently, and I might be wrong, I get the impression that folks who have never paired up before are finding each other and finding out new ways to combine gear to sound great together.  For example, Vinnie has now been showing with success with both Harbeth and Volti.  Daedalus has paired up with Modwright and Purity  (if memory serves) with great results, and I thought I remembered reading Lou will be showing sometime this year with Gary at Border Patrol (which is a room I think will sound awesome and would like to hear).

Tom, thanks for making this demo pairing happen with your LIO, and I hope that more off the record collaborations find their way to a bigger variety of on the record show rooms.  From the perspective of the people making and selling gear, it is one thing to say that your stuff pairs well with various other stuff; it is far more convincing and fun to experience when you can show people that it really works by creating the opportunity to hear the awesome for themselves.  :thumb:
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Vinnie R. on 19 Apr 2016, 05:19 pm
All,

Just posted about our after-hours listening session, here:

http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=142422.msg1520218#msg1520218

(just scroll down to the bottom of my post).

It was a lot of fun!  :drums:

And I'll say it again - the M3 Turbo's are smoking good for the $$$, and smoking good, period!   :smoke:

Thanks to Clayton Shaw for allowing for this (great to meet you!), TomS for bringin the LIO, jtwrace for bringing the killer demo cuts... and sorry we missed you, Jonathon, zybar, and others...

- Vinnie
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 23 Apr 2016, 02:26 am
Here's to hoping for a Spatial and Vinnie Rossi LIO room at RMAF 2016.   :thumb:
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: reillyzing on 2 May 2016, 12:40 am
Just ordered a pair of M3 Turbo S's. Should be an interesting comparison with them and the Odyssey Lorelei's and Nola KO's.  Unfortunately have far to many amps to try with them from the Music Reference RM-10 on the low side to the mAMPS on the high side with the Kismet's in between.  I suspect the mAMPS which Clayton used to sell along with the Nuprime ST-10 will be good matches.

A comparison to the Lorelei would be great, if possible. I've been following Odyssey equipment discussion as closely as possible for a few years, and now the Spatial M3 have really piqued my interest, as well.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: genjamon on 2 May 2016, 12:53 am
A comparison to the Lorelei would be great, if possible. I've been following Odyssey equipment discussion as closely as possible for a few years, and now the Spatial M3 have really piqued my interest, as well.

These are two very different speakers. I'm not sure a comparison would be useful. They load the room completely differently, and other component synergies are likely to be quite different.

I have heard them both in my system, though several years apart and very different electronics between the two time periods. I would hesitate to compare them.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Rocket_Ronny on 2 May 2016, 01:25 am
Quote
These are two very different speakers.

A comparison should be easy since they are so different.


Rocket Ronny
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: genjamon on 2 May 2016, 01:34 am
A comparison should be easy since they are so different.


Rocket Ronny

Fine. Both are warm and punchy within their respective genres of speaker design. One is medium efficiency. One is high efficiency. One is open baffle, one ported box.

Biggest question is whether you like OB sound over boxed sound in your room/system, and depends on whether your electronics like high or medium efficiency better for your tastes.

In other words, good luck getting meaningful feedback for actual decision making if you don't yet know your OB and electronics personal preferences and synergies already, and those of the person commenting.

Better to just take Clayton up on his trial period and hear them in your own system.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: reillyzing on 2 May 2016, 01:50 am
Fine. Both are warm and punchy within their respective genres of speaker design. One is medium efficiency. One is high efficiency. One is open baffle, one ported box.

Biggest question is whether you like OB sound over boxed sound in your room/system, and depends on whether your electronics like high or medium efficiency better for your tastes.

In other words, good luck getting meaningful feedback for actual decision making if you don't yet know your OB and electronics personal preferences and synergies already, and those of the person commenting.

Better to just take Clayton up on his trial period and hear them in your own system.
My own system doesn't exist. I'd be new to higher quality audio, since I've only ever used AudioEngine 5 and 5+ speakers.
Don't think I'll be getting out to any shops or shows either to audition anything...If I went the Odyssey route, I'd likely get a complete system from them.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: genjamon on 2 May 2016, 01:59 am
My own system doesn't exist. I'd be new to higher quality audio, since I've only ever used AudioEngine 5 and 5+ speakers.
Don't think I'll be getting out to any shops or shows either to audition anything...If I went the Odyssey route, I'd likely get a complete system from them.

The Spatial will likely be more versatile longer term in terms of matching with electronics. But being open baffle, they will want quite a bit of space from rear walls, and potentially side walls as well, to hear what they can really do.

Lorelei's will also want space from rear and side walls, but for very different reasons.

Spatials will be more placement flexible in my opinion, as long as you can get them out into the room plenty while listening. The benefit with them the way Clayton has designed them is that you can easily stow them up against walls when not in use and move them out into the room when ready to listen. Lorelei's would be pretty heavy to do that with, and difficult to get them in their optimized space again.

Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: reillyzing on 2 May 2016, 02:04 am
The Spatial will likely be more versatile longer term in terms of matching with electronics. But being open baffle, they will want quite a bit of space from rear walls, and potentially side walls as well, to hear what they can really do.

Lorelei's will also want space from rear and side walls, but for very different reasons.

Spatials will be more placement flexible in my opinion, as long as you can get them out into the room plenty while listening. The benefit with them the way Clayton has designed them is that you can easily stow them up against walls when not in use and move them out into the room when ready to listen. Lorelei's would be pretty heavy to do that with, and difficult to get them in their optimized space again.
Regarding distance from walls, would room treatment allow for closer placement? Thank you.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: mirekti on 2 May 2016, 06:57 am
This weekend I attended a quite family friendly audio show in Dallas and the sound I liked the most was in room 202 which was from open baffle speakers using GR Research designs.
Given the fact the speaker's appearance is quite important ...to my wife, I wondered how would you compare M3 to other OB designs?
I ask this as those speakers I've heard in room 202 were fully open baffle whilst M3 are open baffle from 800Hz and down.
What attracted me a lot was the bass didn't pressurize the room at all and this was a very pleasant experience. The stage was quite deep and the sweet spot was not limited only to the center.

Could someone put few words on the sweet spot of these speakers? Can more than one person enjoy these speakers at the same time?
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: gnostalgick on 2 May 2016, 11:47 am
When I heard the M3s at Axpona, they were truly amazing in the sweet spot, comparing favorably to far more expensive rooms.  They weren't bad outside that, but if the average speaker can be said to sound twice as good in the sweet spot, these were more like 4 or 5 times better.  Hopefully someone who owns them has played around with positioning.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 2 May 2016, 12:25 pm
Regarding distance from walls, would room treatment allow for closer placement? Thank you.
Room treatments will certainly offer better results regardless.  However, due to the constant directivity design and proper use of a waveguide the overall affect is quite a bit less.  The proximity with these speakers to the side walls will actually increase the mid-bass whereas pulling them in (away from side walls) will decrease the mid-bass.  Either way you should not have an issue. 

Yesterday I listened for way too long than I'm wiling to admit and these speakers are just stellar.  I'm really impressed!   
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 2 May 2016, 12:26 pm
When I heard the M3s at Axpona, they were truly amazing in the sweet spot, comparing favorably to far more expensive rooms.  They weren't bad outside that, but if the average speaker can be said to sound twice as good in the sweet spot, these were more like 4 or 5 times better.  Hopefully someone who owns them has played around with positioning.
I'd agree with this.  :thumb:
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: mirekti on 4 May 2016, 04:57 am
Would it be a problem for the M3 owners to post some pictures of their setup?
Given their size, it is kind of hard to imagine how much space they occupy in a room.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: mirekti on 8 May 2016, 12:41 am
Oh, one more thing that came to my mind.
For those who had a chance to listen to both, Spatial M3 and Harbeth (best case SHL5 plus), with LIO could you give some words of comparison, please?
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 8 May 2016, 01:15 am
Oh, one more thing that came to my mind.
For those who had a chance to listen to both, Spatial M3 and Harbeth (best case SHL5 plus), with LIO could you give some words of comparison, please?
IMO they're TOTALLY different like an apple to orange.  Spatial has a generous 60 day return policy so perhaps you should go that route.  I'm pretty convinced that anyone that orders them will keep them.   :D
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Berto on 8 May 2016, 02:18 am
Would it be a problem for the M3 owners to post some pictures of their setup?
Given their size, it is kind of hard to imagine how much space they occupy in a room.

Axpona just happened in a 18'x12' hotel room. Lots of good pics online if you do a search.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: mirekti on 8 May 2016, 02:48 am
IMO they're TOTALLY different like an apple to orange. 

I agree, but this is exactly a reason why I am asking. Both of the speakers are rather "untypical".

M3 - Open baffle below 800Hz, and controlled directivity above.
HL5s - use thin walls which makes them behave a bit different from 500Hz and lower (please check http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/showthread.php?351-BBC-style-thin-wall-cabinets-Why-so-special&p=2664#post2664 for the details) so I wondered if this had any similarities/effects in bass region as OB speakers i.e. less room interaction. I am not sure what they behave in higher registers. This is something I would need to research a bit more.

I also wish I could listen to both and compare by myself, but...
60 days policy is rather reassuring in regards to the sound quality.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 8 May 2016, 03:40 am
I agree, but this is exactly a reason why I am asking. Both of the speakers are rather "untypical".

M3 - Open baffle below 800Hz, and controlled directivity above.
HL5s - use thin walls which makes them behave a bit different from 500Hz and lower (please check http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/showthread.php?351-BBC-style-thin-wall-cabinets-Why-so-special&p=2664#post2664 (http://www.harbeth.co.uk/usergroup/showthread.php?351-BBC-style-thin-wall-cabinets-Why-so-special&p=2664#post2664) for the details) so I wondered if this had any similarities/effects in bass region as OB speakers i.e. less room interaction. I am not sure what they behave in higher registers. This is something I would need to research a bit more.

I also wish I could listen to both and compare by myself, but...
60 days policy is rather reassuring in regards to the sound quality.
Only you can deicide what you prefer; obviously.  However, for me, I much prefer the Spatial.  I've spent a considerable amount of time listening to the Harbeth line and quite frankly they're not me.  That all being said, I've never heard Harbeth's sound as good as they do than with the Vinnie Rossi LIO. 
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Steven Stone on 8 May 2016, 05:48 pm
Here's my take on the M3 Turbo S - http://hometheaterreview.com/spatial-m3-turbo-s-floorstanding-speakers-reviewed/
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Wind Chaser on 8 May 2016, 06:06 pm
Steven, how big is your room and how did you have them set up in relation to the room?
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: zybar on 8 May 2016, 06:09 pm
Finally ordered a pair of M3 Turbo S speakers in white.

Should be here in around 3 weeks or so.

George
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: zybar on 8 May 2016, 06:10 pm
Here's my take on the M3 Turbo S - http://hometheaterreview.com/spatial-m3-turbo-s-floorstanding-speakers-reviewed/

Well written review.   :thumb:

George
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Wind Chaser on 8 May 2016, 06:10 pm
I'll have a chance to demo them soon and form my own conclusions.  :thumb:
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 8 May 2016, 07:55 pm
Finally ordered a pair of M3 Turbo S speakers in white.

Should be here in around 3 weeks or so.

George
About time!   :lol:
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: mresseguie on 8 May 2016, 08:04 pm
Steven,

Thank you for the very lucid and detailed review. I enjoyed reading it.

Is it possible that the Nuforce ST-10 that you mentioned twice is in fact a NuPrime ST-10 instead?

Michael
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: dspringham on 8 May 2016, 08:06 pm
I'll have a chance to demo them soon and form my own conclusions.  :thumb:

Wind Chaser . . . I'm in Canada as well. Where do you plan on demoing them or are you actually going to order a pair and bring them in on the 60 day trial? I'm sure these would be awesome with the Dynamo SE you just ordered.

Dave
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: JackD on 8 May 2016, 08:51 pm
Michael

I suspect he meant Nuprime as he reviewed the 10 combo for TAS last summer.  I tried the ST-10 with my M3 Turbo S's and it was in fact a very good match.  This was using the W4S STP-SE and the Modwright LS-100 as preamps.  In their final resting place my M3's are mated with the DAC-10 and the W4S mAMPS another great match.  At the time the M1 and M2, which later became M3 and M4, were being developed Clayton was also selling W4S so the match with the mAMPS is a natural. 
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Wind Chaser on 8 May 2016, 09:42 pm
Wind Chaser . . . I'm in Canada as well. Where do you plan on demoing them or are you actually going to order a pair and bring them in on the 60 day trial? I'm sure these would be awesome with the Dynamo SE you just ordered.

No, I didn't order them; my room isn't well suited/too small. I know someone who has a friend who just received a pair, and we'll try to set something up that works with everyone's schedule when he gets back.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Steven Stone on 8 May 2016, 10:13 pm
Steven,

Thank you for the very lucid and detailed review. I enjoyed reading it.

Is it possible that the Nuforce ST-10 that you mentioned twice is in fact a NuPrime ST-10 instead?

Michael

Yes, that should read NuPrime. I'll get that corrected. Thanks. It's way too easy to mix them up - and they do come out of the same factory.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Steven Stone on 8 May 2016, 10:16 pm
Steven, how big is your room and how did you have them set up in relation to the room?

here's a picture of the M3s in my room -
(http://www.audiocircle.com/image.php?id=142644)
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: mirekti on 9 May 2016, 12:52 am
After checking Spatial's Facebook page I found this comment:

"Sound: With a good source (recording), they are impressive. I have found that Latin Jazz, Pop, Funk, Blues & Rock thrive when played on the Spatial. The sound is realistic with an outstanding soundstage. Percussion is true gut bucket sound. If you're a classical listener or the easy listening type, consider something else"

I wondered why the author wrote this part: "If you're a classical listener or the easy listening type, consider something else"
I mean, why these wouldn't be good for easy listening type ?

Also, were M3s in Munich this week, I didn't see any report?
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 9 May 2016, 02:34 am
After checking Spatial's Facebook page I found this comment:

"Sound: With a good source (recording), they are impressive. I have found that Latin Jazz, Pop, Funk, Blues & Rock thrive when played on the Spatial. The sound is realistic with an outstanding soundstage. Percussion is true gut bucket sound. If you're a classical listener or the easy listening type, consider something else"

I wondered why the author wrote this part: "If you're a classical listener or the easy listening type, consider something else"
I mean, why these wouldn't be good for easy listening type ?

Also, were M3s in Munich this week, I didn't see any report?
I"m not an avid classical listener but I'd disagree with that post.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Wind Chaser on 9 May 2016, 03:09 am
I"m not an avid classical listener but I'd disagree with that post.

On what basis? Why should anyone care? Are you merely disagreeing for the sake of it? Would it kill you to put a little more effort into your posts?  :scratch:
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 9 May 2016, 03:52 am
On what basis? Why should anyone care? Are you merely disagreeing for the sake of it? Would it kill you to put a little more effort into your posts?  :scratch:
Because I actually own them!
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: mresseguie on 9 May 2016, 04:06 am
Michael

I suspect he meant Nuprime as he reviewed the 10 combo for TAS last summer.  I tried the ST-10 with my M3 Turbo S's and it was in fact a very good match.  This was using the W4S STP-SE and the Modwright LS-100 as preamps.  In their final resting place my M3's are mated with the DAC-10 and the W4S mAMPS another great match.  At the time the M1 and M2, which later became M3 and M4, were being developed Clayton was also selling W4S so the match with the mAMPS is a natural.

Hello, Jack.

I'm very attracted to the M3 TurboS speakers, but I have not ordered them. I'm in a transition period - I guess that's what it is. My wife and I are in our first year of empty nesting and we are taking advantage of our "freedom". We're traveling throughout the Southwest and Northwest this year (May - September). Our home has been rented out to a doctor until September of this year, but we're kind of hoping he wants to stay longer. In October we will fly back to Taiwan for a six month stay. My listening space in Taiwan really doesn't lend itself to work with OB speakers, and I have no fixed address here in the States. On top of all this, we may well sell our home in Oregon next year, so I don't even know where 'home' will be in the future.

I'm spending vast amounts of time and energy researching speakers to take back to Taiwan. I'm also hoping to bypass Taiwan's 21% hi-end audio import duty - possibly by commissioning a kit here and building (or hiring someone to build) there. Buying speakers in N. America and shipping them to Taiwan costs an extra $700 to ???? depending on size and declared value. My LS5-R monitors cost me $721 USD (shipping + import duty)!  :duh:

I envision getting a killer sounding kit and settling for 'okay' cabinets. To be determined....

Geez. I didn't intend for this to become a novel. If I were still in my house today, I would have ordered a pair of the M3 TurboS speakers weeks ago. My living room would be great for them.

Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Russell Dawkins on 9 May 2016, 05:18 am
Because I actually own them!
Hard to argue with that, I'd say!  :lol:
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: JLM on 9 May 2016, 10:17 am
Didn't find the FB comments regarding classical/easy listening not well served by Spatial Audio (what model?).  Not knowing the source, must take the comment with a grain of salt.  Agree that it doesn't make sense that particular genre's (especially easy listening) wouldn't synergize.

But I did read Steve Stone's review there and am greatly confused on his repeated statements of controlled bass dispersion from the M3.  How can an open baffle design only disperse bass in a forward 80 degree range?  This would violate a couple laws of physics (as I understand them).
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: mirekti on 9 May 2016, 02:11 pm
Didn't find the FB comments regarding classical/easy listening not well served by Spatial Audio (what model?).

But I did read Steve Stone's review there and...

It was in one of the comments under Stone's review where a lady complained about the finish.
I agree with 80 degrees for the bass.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Steven Stone on 9 May 2016, 02:20 pm
It was in one of the comments under Stone's review where a lady complained about the finish.
I agree with 80 degrees for the bass.

Since I listen to 50% classical I find the "doesn't do classical" statement to be completely different than my own experience. Since she gives no context, I can only take it with a boulder-sized grain of salt. Perhaps the M3s revealed the weakness in her source, but without context it is pretty much useless troll-bait. As for the bass response, the M3 cancels side and has very little rear bass response. Just walk around one while playing to confirm this.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: mirekti on 9 May 2016, 02:25 pm
Thanks for the reply. I understand the bass is controlled, but I wouldn't think it is 80 degrees.
Maybe this information was related to 800 Hz and up, not sure...
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: md92468 on 9 May 2016, 03:12 pm
"If you're a classical listener or the easy listening type, consider something else"

I couldn't disagree with this more. I've had my M4s for 4 months now and regularly listen to classical music – everything from the intimate to the bombastic – and I couldn't be happier with their dynamics or timbral presentation. Horses for courses, I guess.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Wind Chaser on 9 May 2016, 04:28 pm
Hard to argue with that, I'd say!  :lol:

And yet it still doesn't add any substance to his disagreement. Oh well, at least Steven Stone and md92468 were willing to put in the effort to formulate a useful response.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Ric Schultz on 9 May 2016, 09:47 pm
Dipoles radiate in a figure 8 fashion.  The same goes out the rear as out the front.  However, the two are opposite phase.  How the bass sounds in the room (including behind a dipole woofer) depends on the location of the speaker from the back and front walls, etc.  If you had the speaker in the middle of the room, you would have nearly the same response front and rear (the rear would have negative phase, however).  At least that is what I remember from reading.  Could be wrong.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 17 May 2016, 01:45 pm
I've been really digging the M3 Turbo S with Vinnie Rossi LIO combination.   :thumb:  For ~$10k it's a killer system IMO.  :singing:

I've discovered that I no longer need sleep since I stay up too late listening.   :o

My LIO has:
DSD Dac with power option for µRendu
Mosfet Amp
Silver AVC/Tubestage
Headphone Amp
Inputs
Outputs
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: mirekti on 17 May 2016, 02:30 pm
Give us some photos of the setup!!
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 17 May 2016, 02:56 pm
Give us some photos of the setup!!
Not much to show at this point since I'm moving...
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: zybar on 27 May 2016, 01:44 am
Just received shipping info from Clayton.   :hyper: :hyper:

I will have a white pair of M3 Turbo S speakers in the house next week.   :green:

I will be using the following equipment with the M3's:

Vinnie Rossi LIO (AVC/Tubestage, DAC)
Atsah NC 1200 mono blocks
Auarlic Vega DAC
Sonore microRendu

George
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 27 May 2016, 01:50 am
Just received shipping info from Clayton.   :hyper: :hyper:

I will have a white pair of M3 Turbo S speakers in the house next week.   :green:

I will be using the following equipment with the M3's:

Vinnie Rossi LIO (AVC/Tubestage, DAC)
Atsah NC 1200 mono blocks
Auarlic Vega DAC
Sonore microRendu

George
Great news!


You're in for a MASSIVE treat IMO.   :thumb:
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: poseidonsvoice on 27 May 2016, 02:06 am
Looks like some Vandy's will be for sale soon  8)

Enjoy George and welcome to the world of CD   :green:

Best,

Anand.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: shahed on 9 Aug 2016, 09:08 pm
Curious how Tekton Design OB Sigma would compare to M3/M4.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: DavidS on 27 Nov 2016, 07:51 pm
feeding this old topic as it was quite influential in me becoming an M3 owner (Turbo S)

I am on day three - so about 25 hours of break-in so far... have read these need lots of break-in time.

I was a long time Maggie owner - 80's and 90's, the sound is reminiscent of this but with dynamics like my long missed Druids or single driver speakers I have heard.  Very different sound than my Merlin TSM's. My boys who are now 6'5ish but it seemed learned to walking hanging onto my maggies have been amazed with the sound - we had the Weekend's new one visiting yesterday.

As you will note if the photo works these are in a small room (12 x 14) - I was concerned about M3's and nearly bought M4's - but so far loving the M3's in small room.  I have option of moving to 18 x 35 living room; although my wife is not impressed with the look of these beauties so far. 


Some questions:

1.  I am using the plastic feet vs the spikes - do the spikes make a difference:
2.  I have not angled them although they naturally sit back a bit - stick with the stock setup?
3.  what about toe in - have played much with this just very slight toe in at my listening chair
4.  what speaker cables are you using - mine are wywires, just wonder if there is good symmetry with a particular type of wire

Just fyi - single source at this point using a microrendu to feed Roon to my Lampizator (through an M2 Tech Evo spdif convertor)

Amp is a Blue Circle DAR although can barely get volume passed 9 o'clock


http://www.audiocircle.com/thumbnails/user/2677/22025/154123_thumbnail.jpeg
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: DavidS on 12 Dec 2016, 01:21 am
Tonight playing the Stones new one Blue and Lonesome pretty loud the M3's overwhelm the room.  Sounds great next door in the larger kitchen dining room but walk into the dedicated room and its just loud blurrrr - weird how the music can sound so great one room over but not so great in the room. 

This morning Nat King Cole doing Christmas tunes at more reasonable volume was in the room - fabulous that something from 50+ years ago can feel and sound so real.  The Stones sound really good at any volume on my headphone system.  Love these speakers - spent a bunch of years with Magnepan M12's - these are a lot like them but with souped up dynamics and speed is a good word.  Just not sure my small room will ever be great with any speaker - more time I spend particularly with more complex music needs room to breath and float about. 

Once the Christmas tree is gone the M3's will be spending time in my larger living room.  Also have new amp and preamp on the way so will be interesting with M3's vs the Blue Circle DAR.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: sunnydaze on 12 Dec 2016, 12:39 pm
.......Just not sure my small room will ever be great with any speaker - more time I spend particularly with more complex music needs room to breath and float about. 



I'm in a smaller room than yours (10 x 11) and get fantastic results with both my Omega Super 7XRS Mk2 and JM Reynaud Twins Mk3 speakers.  I use a sub with both.

A local friend gets great sound with Omega Super 3XRS in a similar sized room.

Small room, small gear, big sound!

Give Omega a shot.  You will be impressed by the speed, dynamics and resolution.  Add a sub if you need more bass.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: mick wolfe on 12 Dec 2016, 04:08 pm
I can't speak for every 10x11 room ( yes, I've got one too), but in my case only two speakers have really clicked for me. The Ohm 1000 and the Omega RS5 "Omni". Both are floorstanding designs and do a superb disappearing act in this small space. In fact, they both (recording permitting) seem to "enlarge" the space. I've tried several monitor types, but in a room this size, I'm convinced the "omni" approach yields the most pleasing results......at least for me. I also have a pair of Spatial M2 Turbo's which spent a few days in the above mentioned small room. They actually worked to a degree with a notable "front row" presentation, but they did have a tendency to overwhelm the room. The Spatials really open up and sing much better when given more breathing room.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: SFDude on 12 Dec 2016, 04:14 pm
I was a long time Maggie owner - 80's and 90's, the sound is reminiscent of this but with dynamics like my long missed Druids or single driver speakers I have heard.  Very different sound than my Merlin TSM's. My boys who are now 6'5ish but it seemed learned to walking hanging onto my maggies have been amazed with the sound - we had the Weekend's new one visiting yesterday.

Looks like you have had some similar gear and experiences in the past. Had a pair of VSM-Ms many years ago and loved those with tubes. Moving forced me to sell them locally unfortunately or I would have kept those until now.

As you will note if the photo works these are in a small room (12 x 14) - I was concerned about M3's and nearly bought M4's - but so far loving the M3's in small room.  I have option of moving to 18 x 35 living room; although my wife is not impressed with the look of these beauties so far. 

I'm using in a similar sized room as well (13x14). They are sitting about 3 ft away from the front wall currently and I'm nearly the same distance seated from the rear wall. Clayton suggested I put sound absorption/diffusion on the rear wall so that will be my next project.

Some questions:

1.  I am using the plastic feet vs the spikes - do the spikes make a difference:
2.  I have not angled them although they naturally sit back a bit - stick with the stock setup?
3.  what about toe in - have played much with this just very slight toe in at my listening chair
4.  what speaker cables are you using - mine are wywires, just wonder if there is good symmetry with a particular type of wire

1. Spikes on carpet here.
2. I've angled them towards the outside of my ears in my listening position. Too closely directed towards me ears and the soundstage collapses to a noticeable degree.
3. See above.
4. I'm using a pair of CEntrance cables (standard stuff) but also have a pair of Anti-Cables level 2. Will swap that when I get a chance to later on (these things are a PITA to flex/bend to the correct shape and not have it move my amps around on my rack).

Hope you're enjoying. I am very much so daily as they break in (taking a LONG time).
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: roscoeiii on 12 Dec 2016, 05:26 pm
If the Spatials aren't working in that small room, you might want to reach out to ACer HiFiJeff. He mentioned that he plans to put his Omegas up for sale shortly (upgrading to a different Omega model, IIRC).
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: DavidS on 12 Dec 2016, 09:07 pm
I have been complaining about my small room for ages and have cycled a bunch of different gear through - some has worked better than others.  Probably should have bought M4s but was future proofing for future rooms.  And getting to point between poor recordings and the room high end audio seems like a fool's errand.

SF Dude - raided the cupboards this morning and put some heavy fabric up behind each speaker (covers a window and exterior door that we don't use like drapery).  Made a huge difference so far - especially with bass and calming energy down. 

Not sure what I could do more permanent - maybe drapes on the window and door.  Will have to consult my interior decorator (she won't like me using her duvet covers).  May have to do some research on absorption / diffusion -just not sure what would fit in my room - with window, door and fireplace as back drop.

Omegas have been on my list forever - but think the M3s are here for 2017 minimum.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Wind Chaser on 13 Dec 2016, 01:25 am
feeding this old topic as it was quite influential in me becoming an M3 owner (Turbo S)

I am on day three - so about 25 hours of break-in so far ...

As you will note if the photo works these are in a small room (12 x 14) - ... I have option of moving to 18 x 35 living room; ...

18 x 35 is to die for! No matter how inconvenient, you have to at least try them in there. Open baffles thrive with lots of space around them. If your wife doesn't especially like them there, but is willing to compromise, make sure you go out of your way to compensate her.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: JackD on 13 Dec 2016, 03:22 am
David

Try a pair of these free standing one behind each speaker.  At only 20 lbs they are easily moved out of sight if need be when not in use.

http://www.gikacoustics.com/product/evolution-polyfusor-diffusor-absorber-bass-trap/

The "designer" can even pick the color and trim.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: zybar on 13 Dec 2016, 05:15 pm
I have been complaining about my small room for ages and have cycled a bunch of different gear through - some has worked better than others.  Probably should have bought M4s but was future proofing for future rooms.  And getting to point between poor recordings and the room high end audio seems like a fool's errand.

SF Dude - raided the cupboards this morning and put some heavy fabric up behind each speaker (covers a window and exterior door that we don't use like drapery).  Made a huge difference so far - especially with bass and calming energy down. 

Not sure what I could do more permanent - maybe drapes on the window and door.  Will have to consult my interior decorator (she won't like me using her duvet covers).  May have to do some research on absorption / diffusion -just not sure what would fit in my room - with window, door and fireplace as back drop.

Omegas have been on my list forever - but think the M3s are here for 2017 minimum.

David and Sunnydaze,

I owned a pair of Omega speakers and subs (at the time it was Louis' best speakers) and they were indeed a very nice speaker.  Also, Louis is a an awesome guy and great to deal with!   :thumb:

That said, they are very different from the M3's and even with subs won't be as complete a solution as the M3's.  I also think that the M3's will provide more detail and depth.

My room isn't that big 22'x13' and I definitely notice a difference when I add or remove room treatments (I have a ton from RealTraps and GIK). 

Hang in there and try a few different things before giving up.

I haven' tried the M3's in my living room which is pretty big with 19' ceilings, but I bet they would sound quite good in there...

George
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Wind Chaser on 13 Dec 2016, 05:26 pm
David...

My room isn't that big 22'x13'...

That's almost twice the size of David's room.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: sunnydaze on 13 Dec 2016, 05:48 pm
David and Sunnydaze,

I owned a pair of Omega speakers and subs (at the time it was Louis' best speakers) and they were indeed a very nice speaker.  Also, Louis is a an awesome guy and great to deal with!   :thumb:

That said, they are very different from the M3's and even with subs won't be as complete a solution as the M3's.  I also think that the M3's will provide more detail and depth.

My room isn't that big 22'x13' and I definitely notice a difference when I add or remove room treatments (I have a ton from RealTraps and GIK). 

Hang in there and try a few different things before giving up.

I haven' tried the M3's in my living room which is pretty big with 19' ceilings, but I bet they would sound quite good in there...

George

Hi George....

I only mentioned Omega as a possible consideration for David since small squarish rooms are problematic and I'm getting great results with them in a room almost identically sized to his.  As is a local friend with Omegas in a very similar room. 

With the "right" amp full bodied, tonally dense, very musical and immersive.  With the wrong amp, lean brittle and stringy.

Also, I assumed the Spatial would overwhelm his small room.  Haven't heard them yet, would love to, but I've read tons about them, and I strongly suspect they need greater breathing room than he can provide.  Based on this, I surely wouldn't put them in my room, as I'm pretty sure I know the outcome.

I wasn't making a sonic comparison between the two speakers, simply suggesting what might be more suitable for his situation.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Wind Chaser on 13 Dec 2016, 06:22 pm
Once the Christmas tree is gone the M3's will be spending time in my larger living room.

Then it's settled. No need for smaller speakers. You have something very special to look forward to.  :thumb:
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: DavidS on 13 Dec 2016, 06:48 pm
I've got three sets of smaller speakers just sitting on sidelines - pair of Merlin tsm's wondering why they have been replaced (my decorator likes them better too), a set of tweaked Ellis 1801s sadly in the basement and some audioengines that work quite nice in the small room especially with headphone system for serious listening.

As bad as the little room is, the living room is great for audio - like a two lane bowling alley.  Even big heavy curtains on all the windows.  Just not dedicated and not sure I can run enough wire to get my microrendu in there. 

Going to pursue room treatment ideas - will ask someone like GIK or the guys in Oregon for advice.

Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Capitol C on 14 Feb 2017, 10:11 pm
I've just joined AudioCircle because I was impressed by the posts on this topic.  I wonder if some of the Spatial Audio M3 owners who listen to classical music could offer some more information on what the strong and weak points are?  In particular, has anyone come across harmonic and intermodulation distortion measurements on these speakers?  I understand why my ancient AR-3as (bought in 1972, and recently restored by me) have low distortion:   Air makes a pretty linear spring.  Don't get me wrong, I know a lot of improvements have been made since those days, that's why I'm in the market for something better!
Thanks in advance!
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 15 Feb 2017, 01:38 am
I've just joined AudioCircle because I was impressed by the posts on this topic.  I wonder if some of the Spatial Audio M3 owners who listen to classical music could offer some more information on what the strong and weak points are?  In particular, has anyone come across harmonic and intermodulation distortion measurements on these speakers?  I understand why my ancient AR-3as (bought in 1972, and recently restored by me) have low distortion:   Air makes a pretty linear spring.  Don't get me wrong, I know a lot of improvements have been made since those days, that's why I'm in the market for something better!
Thanks in advance!
If you haven't seen it you might be interested in this review too.


http://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=144142.msg1579461#msg1579461



Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Capitol C on 15 Feb 2017, 05:07 pm
Thanks, I read it before, but it was fun to read it again, the reviewer is a talented writer!
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: jtwrace on 15 Feb 2017, 05:53 pm
Thanks, I read it before, but it was fun to read it again, the reviewer is a talented writer!
Yeah just imagine if he did it for a living!   :lol:
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: Mike in NJ on 18 Feb 2017, 05:15 pm
Hello, very interesting speakers - I was considering getting some Martin Logan's , but am now considering open baffles - has anyone done a comparison to the M3 against emerald physics KC2 speakers? They are similarly priced?
Also, how does open baffle compare to Martin Logan's ? (Forget about price comparisons, as I was considering the new ML impression 11A)
I have owned magnepans before, but they lacked the bass pressure and I always had a difficult time dialing in the center image....I listen to mostly classic rock type of music.
Thanks
Mike
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: undertowogt1 on 3 Mar 2017, 04:13 pm
So at what Volume level should I be braking my M3 Turbo in at.  Currently I am running a Bass Warble track at a pretty high level, but how do I know how much level these speakers can handle, how loud is too loud?

any experience and suggestions is appreciated.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: zybar on 3 Mar 2017, 04:20 pm
So at what Volume level should I be braking my M3 Turbo in at.  Currently I am running a Bass Warble track at a pretty high level, but how do I know how much level these speakers can handle, how loud is too loud?

any experience and suggestions is appreciated.

They can handle more volume than you are provably giving them.

Play more than just bass warbles to break them in.

George
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: genjamon on 3 Mar 2017, 04:21 pm
They're pro drivers and can take hundreds of watts. Feel free to crank the volume.
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: whiskeytanofoxtrot on 16 Mar 2017, 04:51 pm
Friends.

I know many folks have run their M3's with a Red Dragon S500-but has anyone listened with a pair of Red Dragon M500 MKIIs? Thoughts?

Furthermore, has anyone been able to compare a S500 to a pair of M500 MKII's? And audible differences?

Thanks Much!
Title: Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
Post by: JackD on 16 Mar 2017, 07:52 pm
The 500 is a stereo Paschal based amp and the Mk II is a mono-block ICE amp so two differences right off the bat.  The different Class D techs do sound different from each other.  Only your ears can tell you which one you prefer.  I have used mine with W4S (ICE), Nuprime  (proprietary) and Nord (NC500), all different signatures.