Spatial Audio M3 Review

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Vedder323

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Spatial Audio M3 Review
« 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

oskar

Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #1 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

md92468

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #2 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.

-Richard-

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #3 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

Red Dragon Audio

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #4 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!

TomS

Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #5 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:

jtwrace

Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #6 on: 17 Jan 2016, 09:10 pm »
I'll gladly volunteer to be first on the tour. M3 SE Turbo's please  :green:
+2

md92468

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #7 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.     

mamba315

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #8 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.

Don_S

Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #9 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.

drhoon

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #10 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?

Jonathon Janusz

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #11 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.

Don_S

Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #12 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.

drhoon

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #13 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.. :)

Spatial Audio

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #14 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.

Don_S

Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #15 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:

mresseguie

Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #16 on: 18 Jan 2016, 09:58 am »
Oops. Contents deleted. - Michael

CharlieD

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #17 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.

Jonathon Janusz

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #18 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:

Spatial Audio

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Re: Spatial Audio M3 Review
« Reply #19 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