Spatial Audio M3 Review

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JackD

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #80 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.

schw06

Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #81 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

rebbi

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #82 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:

jtwrace

Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #83 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:

rebbi

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #84 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!

hil45

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #85 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.

John P

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Review
« Reply #86 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



nicoch

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #87 on: 26 Feb 2016, 05:41 pm »
welcome to  audiocircle !

KLH007

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #88 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.

John P

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #89 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.

KLH007

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #90 on: 29 Feb 2016, 04:57 am »
John, Thank you for your concise comparison.

jimdgoulding

Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #91 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.

rebbi

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #92 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:

Russell Dawkins

Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #93 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.

John P

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #94 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.


poseidonsvoice

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #95 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.

jtwrace

Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #96 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:
« Last Edit: 17 Apr 2016, 02:51 pm by jtwrace »

TomS

Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #97 on: 17 Apr 2016, 03:25 am »


We had a blast after hours at Axpona, getting Clayton Shaw and Vinnie Rossi together. LIO and M3T's rocked the house  :thumb:

zybar

Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #98 on: 17 Apr 2016, 09:57 am »
Need more details guys!

Wish I was there with you.

George

Jonathon Janusz

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #99 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!