Once more unto the breach...

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DBT AUDIO

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Re: Once more unto the breach...
« Reply #40 on: 13 May 2022, 09:33 pm »
DBT Audio;

But, they are pretty and the Wife expects them to look like a box.
Lol…. I concur!

jnschneyer

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Re: Once more unto the breach...
« Reply #41 on: 13 May 2022, 09:46 pm »
I agree with you 💯%.  I’m willing to bet if Wilson Audio, Magico or any of the other well respected speaker manufacturers decided to build OB speakers and really marketed the product as they do with their current models, you’d have more people pursuing them.  As you mentioned, the OB speakers tend to be very popular in the DIY community and many don’t use woofers designed for OB and they are not as well designed as what you see Clayton and his team has done.  Also, if Stereophile did a nice review of the Spatials and had them on the front cover, they would probably be taken seriously by the Hifi community.  It might be scary for the big name speaker manufacturers to admit that a reasonably priced, well designed, OB speaker can possibly outperform or equally perform on par with their high tiered box speakers.  How would they continue to justify the cost of their box speakers after concluding that an OB meets the Hifi standard for much less?  Notice how Josh mentioned he owned the B&W 802D speakers and seems to love his new X5s as if they are just as good as his 802Ds.  The current B&W 802D4 cost $25k!  The Spatial Audio X Series will give them a run for their money! 

Lastly, the high priced speaker manufacturers probably couldn’t justify the ridiculous prices they charge for their traditional box speakers because the OB speaker doesn’t require all the dampening materials required by a box speaker and a lot of the costs may go into the fancy wood work and paint finishes on the box speakers.  No need for all of that with an OB speaker.

Josh actually prefers his X5s to his 802Ds.  But, in fairness to the 802Ds, the room he used them in, while modestly and inexpertly treated, was not as large as the room he is now listening to his X5s in, and probably put them at a disadvantage.  Put the 802s in his current larger room and, good as they were, they may have proved to be a still better speaker than they seemed.  Still, comparing the performance of the 802Ds there and the X5s here, Josh absolutely and unquestionably prefers the X5s.  And the 802Ds, back when he bought them, 10 years ago, cost $15K!  Granted, they were spectacularly crafted cherry-wood, with that crazy glossy porcelain housing for the mid-range driver, and the sleek minnow-like tweeter sitting separate but recessed into the top of the porcelain.  Gorgeous.  Hard to part with.  Yet, part he did, and, as one hopes after a difficult parting, has found a better union in the X5s.  Seriously, the X5 is an f-ing great speaker, and Josh couldn't be happier.  I say so with full authority as his representative.  Also, he promises, no more third person posts.   

DBT AUDIO

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Re: Once more unto the breach...
« Reply #42 on: 13 May 2022, 10:16 pm »
Josh actually prefers his X5s to his 802D.  Also, he promises, no more third person.
DBT Audio concluded Josh preferred the X5s over the 802Ds.  Lol…. Ok, no more 3rd person.  I may not have worded it that way, but that’s what I got from you’re review.  I’m very familiar with the B&W 800 series. I have two family members that owned the Matrix 802 versions in the 90’s.  They both have Wilson Audio Sasha Daw and Sabrina X now.  They sound great, but I prefer the sound of my X5s.  I will say that I prefer a fully passive speaker, so some changes may take place, while remaining in the OB family, in the future.  To be continued….

jnschneyer

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Re: Once more unto the breach...
« Reply #43 on: 13 May 2022, 10:22 pm »
A neophyte forum poster question. If I want to continue indulging myself and regaling you all with reports of the changing sound during the break-in of my X5s, is it best to begin a new thread or press ahead with this one?  Or should I put a sock in it?  I’m not sure what the custom is, and I don’t want wear out my welcome.  Thanks.

rcatch

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Re: Once more unto the breach...
« Reply #44 on: 14 May 2022, 03:36 pm »
I think you've got the right idea of putting your system together, then jumping off the gear-chase merry-go-round to relax and enjoy your music.  At least you've got a right idea.  For me, while I like to flatter myself that appreciation of the music is my highest and noblest aim, I know in my acquisitive heart that I also very much love the gear itself, the stuff.  Apart from the music, I love the researching, the acquiring, the pleasure of looking at the gear.  Maybe it isn't truly, or at least entirely, apart from the music, as it isn't as if I'd buy the stuff if it didn't make music, but it does seem a particular pursuit and pleasure in itself.  If I, like Prospero, could conjure the music without benefit of amp and speakers, etc, I don't know that I would.  I find the physical objects, both how they look and the fact that they can produce such wonderful music, so delightful and perplexing that I'd hate to eliminate them from the equation.  And, though the purist in me finds it somewhat ignoble, I just like getting and having stuff.

Speaking of stuff, how do you like the Holo May DAC?  I'm in the infant stages of a merry-go-round search for a DAC, and the May seems to be well-liked.  Are you using it as a preamp as well?  I'm thinking I'd like to go with a tube DAC, but I'm not counting anything out at this point.  Thanks, Steve.

Josh

Like you, I love doing research. I used to sit all day just doing all kinds of stuff I thought productive before a computer. But as I am getting older, I realize the benefits of being more active physically. Since I am already spending too much time listening, what’s left for sitting and researching should be cut even more. One other reason I am starting to doubt how productive the time spent on researching is that I am not sure how much conclusive decisions I can get just by others’ posts, which can be facts, illusions, or even agendas. Plus I don’t know how their tastes applies to mine in most cases.

I am starting to wonder our audiophiles must have some common traits such as attention to finer details, always looking for improvements, etc. I think I fit that profile as well. As I am looking at what I have accomplished vs the time spent and limited funds I am willing to allocate, I question myself. I only love the gear when they give me pleasure. That’s why I am hesitant to introduce one more gadget into the chain such as fancy network switches, network cables, galvanic isolation bla.

And that’s one of the main reason I picked May as the online test I saw has superior clock and digital isolation so I can just plug usb from my mac mini without worrying about digital side pollution. My dac research spanned the past few years as I went thru pretty much most if not all interesting players including , Audio Note, Lampizator, Chord, SW1X, Audio Mirror, Danafrips to name a few. I have the Danafrips Pontus and I am not impressed. It’s a little bright. I will dismiss most chip based design unless it’s one of the old time chips such as what Audio Note, SW1X, Lampizator uses. Of course I would love to get all dacs and compare myself but I am just not crazy enough to do that. So with the limitation of online “research” and limited experience I settled on May just to be on the safe side. It has 2 chassis one of being the power handling. I think I can introduce tube at the amp stage rather than the after conversion in dac. So far I don’t have complaints. It performs better on all front. But I have to admit dacs are in ways very similar. You can tell subconsciously if it’s the right one rather than consciously, at least for me. Yesterday I just got a Chord Mojo 2 for my headphone setup. It’s pretty good, better than my ifi dsd signature. Sound wise I am not sure it’s a 8 times difference to the May. Let me know if you want to talk more. Oh it doesn’t have volume control so no preamp.

Forgot to add that one of the reasons I should stop chasing gear is I don’t believe we can ever get to the stage of replay real performance with the processing they do at recording. So the question becomes what are we chasing? For what cost? when to stop? To me it’s when it can deliver music satisfaction to most but not possibly all degrees.

Daryl Zero

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Re: Once more unto the breach...
« Reply #45 on: 14 May 2022, 03:55 pm »
I am starting to wonder our audiophiles must have some common traits such as attention to finer details, always looking for improvements, etc. I think I fit that profile as well. As I am looking at what I have accomplished vs the time spent and limited funds I am willing to allocate, I question myself. I only love the gear when they give me pleasure. That’s why I am hesitant to introduce one more gadget into the chain such as fancy network switches, cables, galvanic isolation bla.

One way to look at it.

Another way is obsessive.

I do think that you have to draw lines somewhere on it. Hopefully, the lines I've drawn will hold. I also get the feeling that sometimes adding something new sometimes makes the sound different which gets conflated with better. Then after you get used to the different, you need another change.
 

Desertpilot

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Re: Once more unto the breach...
« Reply #46 on: 14 May 2022, 03:56 pm »
A neophyte forum poster question. If I want to continue indulging myself and regaling you all with reports of the changing sound during the break-in of my X5s, is it best to begin a new thread or press ahead with this one?  Or should I put a sock in it?  I’m not sure what the custom is, and I don’t want wear out my welcome.  Thanks.

Hi Josh,

Your thread (and excellent review) has certainly inspired a huge discussion.  No need to "put a sock in it".

I don't think anyone really cares if you continue this thread or begin a new one.  Since this thread is mostly about your purchase decision process, I think a new thread on  "living" with your new speakers would be appropriate.

Yes, keep regaling us.

Marcus

Daryl Zero

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Re: Once more unto the breach...
« Reply #47 on: 14 May 2022, 03:59 pm »
A neophyte forum poster question. If I want to continue indulging myself and regaling you all with reports of the changing sound during the break-in of my X5s, is it best to begin a new thread or press ahead with this one?  Or should I put a sock in it?  I’m not sure what the custom is, and I don’t want wear out my welcome.  Thanks.

You are the original poster so go where you want it to go. We are all grown so if we don't want to continue to hear about your experiences, we will just not open the thread.

My experience in this forum is that a lot of posters like to hear experiences of others to potentially learn new things and/or to validate their own subjective experiences. Plus, as I previously said, there are a lot of experienced hands who are willing to offer their sage advice.

Just from me, I love to hear the experiences of someone new to either this level of music listening or these speakers.

jnschneyer

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Re: Once more unto the breach...
« Reply #48 on: 14 May 2022, 09:44 pm »
Like you, I love doing research. I used to sit all day just doing all kinds of stuff I thought productive before a computer. But as I am getting older, I realize the benefits of being more active physically. Since I am already spending too much time listening, what’s left for sitting and researching should be cut even more. One other reason I am starting to doubt how productive the time spent on researching is that I am not sure how much conclusive decisions I can get just by others’ posts, which can be facts, illusions, or even agendas. Plus I don’t know how their tastes applies to mine in most cases.

I am starting to wonder our audiophiles must have some common traits such as attention to finer details, always looking for improvements, etc. I think I fit that profile as well. As I am looking at what I have accomplished vs the time spent and limited funds I am willing to allocate, I question myself. I only love the gear when they give me pleasure. That’s why I am hesitant to introduce one more gadget into the chain such as fancy network switches, network cables, galvanic isolation bla.

And that’s one of the main reason I picked May as the online test I saw has superior clock and digital isolation so I can just plug usb from my mac mini without worrying about digital side pollution. My dac research spanned the past few years as I went thru pretty much most if not all interesting players including , Audio Note, Lampizator, Chord, SW1X, Audio Mirror, Danafrips to name a few. I have the Danafrips Pontus and I am not impressed. It’s a little bright. I will dismiss most chip based design unless it’s one of the old time chips such as what Audio Note, SW1X, Lampizator uses. Of course I would love to get all dacs and compare myself but I am just not crazy enough to do that. So with the limitation of online “research” and limited experience I settled on May just to be on the safe side. It has 2 chassis one of being the power handling. I think I can introduce tube at the amp stage rather than the after conversion in dac. So far I don’t have complaints. It performs better on all front. But I have to admit dacs are in ways very similar. You can tell subconsciously if it’s the right one rather than consciously, at least for me. Yesterday I just got a Chord Mojo 2 for my headphone setup. It’s pretty good, better than my ifi dsd signature. Sound wise I am not sure it’s a 8 times difference to the May. Let me know if you want to talk more. Oh it doesn’t have volume control so no preamp.

Forgot to add that one of the reasons I should stop chasing gear is I don’t believe we can ever get to the stage of replay real performance with the processing they do at recording. So the question becomes what are we chasing? For what cost? when to stop? To me it’s when it can deliver music satisfaction to most but not possibly all degrees.


You say so many good and smart things here that I want to reply to them all.  I began a reply on the nature of activities, of how we choose the things we do to fill our lives with, but it began to run far afield of hifi, and, while I won't flatter it by calling it philosophical, it spoke more to general tendencies than to hifi involvement in particular, so I put it aside for another day.  I do think you're asking for a misshapen refection if you look at the time spent in researching your gear vs what's been accomplished in the eventual possessing of it.  That's a bit like a small business owner comparing his annual income to the amount of hours spent running his business (this is something of which I know).  There's an unavoidable imbalance there, the calculation of which doesn't take into account the gratification in both the work and the result.  Of course, when one part or the other of it stops being gratifying, there's the rub.  Perhaps that's what's happened in your case, that you've simply lost some of your interest and enthusiasm for the research part.  Clearly not all, as, well, here you are.

I share your unwillingness to add "gadgets."  Though I know some people swear by the particular gadgets you mention, and I do not doubt that they derive some benefit from them, there is a limit to how much tweaking I'm willing to indulge in.  Amps, speakers, acoustic treatment, even, to a degree, cables, I find substantial enough to warrant changing from time to time, be it for improvement or just for something different.  But some of the minutia that people employ and claim widened their soundstage, extended the highs, or ever so slightly tightened the bass, are just a bridge too far for me.  Then again, to be fair, is someone brought to my house a set of cable risers or a pet rock that magically reduced my noise floor or holographed my soundstage, damned if I wouldn't use it.  I guess the difference is, someone would have to bring it to my house.  I'm not going out of my way for a pet rock, no matter its supposed audio capabilities.

As for what it is exactly that we pursue, I suppose that's different for different people.  Put generally, the best sound we can get for our money?  Of course, what constitutes the "best" is going to be largely subjective.  I've never believed in recreating the sound of a live performance.  I was involved in performing music for much of my life, singing traditional or what is generally called folk music when young, choral music and opera as an adult, and I've yet to hear a hifi system that sounds truly like a single live performer in my room, let alone a symphony.  I would never expect it.  I guess what I look for is a sound that's pleasing to me, and the more I listen, the more and better systems I listen to, the more my idea of what is most pleasing changes.  As with anything, with experience comes greater discernment.  I've seen sommeliers do blind tastings and guess, no, not guess, know, the wine, the region, and the year it was produced.  Someone with little experience would have trouble telling a cab from a merlot.  Granted, hearing and taste are not equivalent senses, but the parallel of experience leading, usually, to greater discernment holds.  So, for me at least, the pursuit is not so much for a particular ideal, but one of continually satisfying the ever developing ability to tell one thing from another, the bad from the good from the better.  Some of this, as I said, is subjective.  I think, within each level or certain span of bad, good, etc, there is a subjective element, one of taste: one likes a brighter treble, one heavier bass, and so on, but I doubt very much that anyone would prefer a Sonos Move to a pair of X5s powered by a Don Sachs Valhalla.  They might not care enough about it to spend the, to them, seemingly insane sum of money to have the high-end audio, but, unless they're mostly deaf or completely disingenuous, they will admit that the sound of the X5s and Vahalla is vastly superior to the Move.  You may prefer the Rolling Stones to a symphony, but anyone being honest will never say Mick Jagger is a superior musician to Mozart.  That, I think, is not subjective.  Who knows why some of us decide we need the high-end musical experience and why some are perfectly happy with the tinny warbling of the Move.  For some, the need to regularly replace gear may be fueled by the dopamine rush of the new - it's not a force to be dismissed - but, for me, while I'm sure the thrill of the new is a part of it, it's largely down to satisfying the ever more educated and discerning aural pallet.  If you become accustomed to drinking Paul Lato, while you may drink wines that are different, you're not going to be happy drinking wines that are worse, less refined, complex, and flavorful.  In the end, income may be the final determiner of just how far the pursuit can go.  If I had unlimited funds, I'd pursue it to the point I could no longer discern the most diminished return.  Financially, once I have my tube amps and a new DAC, I think I'll have hit my limit, or close to it, so any changes from that point will be in the service of a dopamine fix.  But, for now, I still serve my senses.

On a more tangible level, when you say you "went thru" the various DACs you mentioned, did you mean you thoroughly researched them or that you actually owned or had a chance to hear them all?  If you owned them and abandoned them, I assume it was because there was a shortcoming in each of them that left you searching for a better sound.  I'm curious which you felt were the best (I understand that what you hear as best may differ from what I hear) and what the qualities were that both appealed to and disappointed you.  I'm especially interested in which Lampizat0r and what you thought of it, and if you've tried any other tube DACs.  I've been emailing a bit with Don Sachs, who is a strong tube proponent, to put it mildly, and he believes that (and I quote) "you put a transistor into the circuit, and it flattens the sound," so I now live in mortal dread of flattened sound.  I only partly jest.  I believe Don to be a case of the aforementioned audio sommelier who can discern far finer distinctions in sound reproduction than most mortals as a result of years upon years of devoting himself to listening for those distinctions.  It's possible that someone may prefer what Don calls flattened sound, but I can readily believe that, quantitatively, the difference exists.  In any case, I'd love to know your experience of the Lampizat0r and any other tube DAC you've heard. 

All right.  This has gone on for far longer than I intended.  Once I get rolling, one thought leads to the next and before I know it I've written an essay.  Speaking of compulsive.  Thanks.


jnschneyer

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Re: Once more unto the breach...
« Reply #49 on: 14 May 2022, 10:48 pm »
I have the X5s and I’d like to know what your opinion is on the difference in bass between the X4 and X5?  Was the bass about the same or did the active subwoofer provide more bass over the X4s?  Thanks


Hi.  I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond to this.  The short answer is, yes, in my experience, the X5 is capable of, in absolute terms, more bass than the X4.  Whether that more is necessarily desirable is something else.  I think that depends on the room and the music you're listening to.  Sorry, I know how annoying these equivocal audio answers to straight questions are.  As I mentioned, I heard the X4s at Spatial paired with the Don Sachs Valhalla, which is a comparatively low-wattage amp (30wpc, I believe) for a 4 ohm speaker, so I suppose it's possible they weren't getting all they could've used to maximize their bass output, but, if so, you could've fooled me.  The bass was powerful and fast and musical, not at all bloated or oversaturated.  When I listened to the X5s at Mark's, it was with a different amp and preamp (Atma-Sphere S-30 and MP-3 respectively) and I didn't listen as loudly or to quite as bass-heavy music as I did with the X4s (Macklemore and Tyler the Creator, for example), but what I can say is, for what music we did listen to, the bass was spot-on appropriate.  Actually, I take some of that back.  We did listen to Nenad Vasilic's Bass Drops, in which he whacks the hell out of the strings of his upright bass, and the sound was incredible, visceral, with startling attack and tremulous decay.  Really, it was a bit shocking.  Did it sound real?  That's a tough one.  It sounded convincing and powerful and truthful.  That's a lot.  I later got a chance to hear the X5s again at the Spatial shop, this time with the Vahalla, and they were tremendous.  But here is where I question the need for the more bass the X5s can give, or at least see the need for the right conditions to really make use of that more.  For the more bass-dependent music, hip-hop especially, the bass, turned way up on the woofers' amps, while almost comically impressive, overloaded a bit that room, at least by my standards.  It was actually better, more musical, though less earth shaking, turned down a bit.  But that's a very narrow, not particularly well-treated room, so I'd venture the fault was with the room, not with the speakers.  I have to say, while not typically a tinkerer - I like to get things set up and leave them - it was nice to be able to adjust the bass to the music.  Though, for the most part, the speakers seem to do a good job of giving you as much bass as the music has.  For example, with the woofers' volume set the same, the bass in both Bill Evans' Waltz for Debbie and Macklemore's Downtown seemed appropriate to each song.  The only issue I found, as I said, was, when I wanted more bass, in that room, it overloaded the room a bit.  Bigger room, especially with a couple of bass traps, and I'm betting you could really take advantage of that extra bass without any sense of it being too much.  In the end, I think the main advantages to the X5's bass over the X4's are the ability to adjust the volume and the flexibility it gives you in amp type.  I hope after all that I answered your question. 

rcatch

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Re: Once more unto the breach...
« Reply #50 on: 14 May 2022, 10:57 pm »

On a more tangible level, when you say you "went thru" the various DACs you mentioned, did you mean you thoroughly researched them or that you actually owned or had a chance to hear them all?  If you owned them and abandoned them, I assume it was because there was a shortcoming in each of them that left you searching for a better sound.  I'm curious which you felt were the best (I understand that what you hear as best may differ from what I hear) and what the qualities were that both appealed to and disappointed you.  I'm especially interested in which Lampizat0r and what you thought of it, and if you've tried any other tube DACs.  I've been emailing a bit with Don Sachs, who is a strong tube proponent, to put it mildly, and he believes that (and I quote) "you put a transistor into the circuit, and it flattens the sound," so I now live in mortal dread of flattened sound.  I only partly jest.  I believe Don to be a case of the aforementioned audio sommelier who can discern far finer distinctions in sound reproduction than most mortals as a result of years upon years of devoting himself to listening for those distinctions.  It's possible that someone may prefer what Don calls flattened sound, but I can readily believe that, quantitatively, the difference exists.  In any case, I'd love to know your experience of the Lampizat0r and any other tube DAC you've heard. 

All right.  This has gone on for far longer than I intended.  Once I get rolling, one thought leads to the next and before I know it I've written an essay.  Speaking of compulsive.  Thanks.

I meant I just researched them as best as I could. It really doesn’t equate to actually bringing to my home and compare. With the Lampizator you are interested in, I just don’t like the idea of tube rolling, that’s to me sort of like playing one distortion with another. Although I heard someone really think it’s close to vinyl but the following on this site put a little doubt on that claim. On the difference between tube vs transistor, what Don claims maybe true. But there is also little difference between good solid state and good tube. I would love to bring some of those dacs home and see the effects for myself. If you get a chance to do that do let us know. I put more weight on feedbacks here than from the dac section of the board.

Quote
As with anything, with experience comes greater discernment.

My wife told me that she got way more joy from a thousand dollar ring when we got married than another one that costs 10 times later when money wasn’t much of an issue any more. Same holds true that I am rarely impressed as much now by the taste of fine dinings than before I had chances to try all kinds of restaurants.  Not sure how relevant the above is, it’s just something that came to mind.

Mr. Big

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Re: Once more unto the breach...
« Reply #51 on: 15 May 2022, 04:29 pm »
Why not more OB designs. You have mainstream speaker companies that have built and rebuilt box speakers, new parts, and new drives that is all they do and it is what their buyers expect, so to go to open baffle they would lose a lot of customers who like their "sound" of their designs and the myth still spread around that OB designs cannot do bass.

I look at it this way. Would Clayton go to box speakers? I doubt it, he loses customers, plus OB is his design and truly what he believes is better than a box speaker design.

Electrostatic speakers are also a nitch speaker in themselves. The Quad speakers 57's & 63"s I absolutely love. Yet I enjoy my sapphires M3's in some ways, even more, do I hear such trade-offs, yes Quads project the performance and size and depth of the recordings, tone-wise each instrument is one unto itself, it's hard to put it into words what they do so well, yet my M3's sapphires can give me 80% of the best the Quads can do but now with unlimited dynamics and deeper bottom with dynamics, though the Quads can hit low 30's in a well-treated room you have to watch the volume levels so you don't arc the speakers. I owned the Quads for 10 years, before that Dynaudio Confidence 5's, Legacy Audio Focus, ProAc, Dalquist DQ10 (open baffle design) woofers was a boxed design. All of these speakers I enjoyed, all sounded different, all good, and over that time I heard, many other main brands pushed over, and over in magazines that sounded like crap, unlike those listed above. That the Spatial designs can be so good at such high-end values and affordable to many in this hobby says a lot about the design of them, and Clayton at least is making products that many can afford and a speaker that any good amp can drive well.

What is best to use with them is only the gear we/I think sounds right, I could buy 10 preamps, amps, DAC whatever, and insert them in and out and go nuts in the process because, in the end, it is not that one is better its the one my ear says I like and like tube rolling a big chance I like something of each design and miss that be then gain something in another design or tube switch. 

I have made changes for change sakes over the many years and what I did learn after a while is good, nothing is jaw-dropping better, and what impressed me right out of the box usually I will be returning within a week, they fatigued me, the old hi-fi sound not music sound. With the way music is recorded today, the major labels not looking to audiophiles as their buyers but the 99% of the consumers many of the speakers I owned would never show how good they are with such over-processed music which sounds great over a Phone, pair of beat earbuds, or stream which is the #1 trend today. If you want to hear how good the Spatial then feed them recordings that were recorded well with care given to sound quality as close they could sound natural in color, tone, depth, weight, and presence, as the producer could, from the masters back in the day. A friend brought over a current Jazz recording, It sounds OK, but flat, no feel to it, just perfect little sound of instruments playing, compressed like most music today so they sound good on earbuds, etc. I played a mono 50's Jazz recording for him, and he sat there and after a few minutes said wow does that sound real like they are in the room, I can see now why you like these speakers, I never would have to know how good these are paying my music on them. Nuff said how important the recordings are to what we say sounds real vs. sound.

So be it Vinyl CDs or streaming, what you feed your gear and speakers can make or break your system and gear and chasing your tail on hoping the next DAC, tonearm, cartridge, or CD/DAC players will make inferior recordings sound better just is not going to happen, in this day in time, when music can now be recorded at home, on a PC and mixed, where musicians can lay their track down from their part of the world and then digitally send to the producer to mix them as he sees fit, is what you are going to hear on our systems and the better the speakers and gear the more you will hear how really far they are from sounding like real instruments, vocals and the in your room presence with air and depth if it's not there, to begin with, no room correction DSP correction will change that.

It is not what the producers ever intended nor what the buying public needs, if it sounds great on my kids' buds, radio, or streaming radio that is all that matters, and where the compression works its wonders, it makes music sound great on those devices, we philes are not on their radar, we are not even a thought. Back in the early 60's they made stereo recordings that were horrible, I called them special effects cause they were made to impress buyers of the 2-channel stereo sound, so they made it extreme with no thought of imaging and naturalness at all, of course, you had a lot of good stereo recordings also, RCA Living Stereo set the standard, DECCA, AudioPhon, Gramaphone, Columbia, Reprise,  and of course the Mercury Living Presence and Capital records in the '50s

Classical is the last form that they have to record in a concert hall or studio together, and those sales are at an all-time low. In my own experience, I could never judge a speaker's value with such recordings, and yes, my kid's music does sound great on his buds from his cell phone, just a perfect match for low quality mastered music the compression sounds great on these portable listening devices, my kid loves it and that is all that matters to him, so he is one happy camper, we could learn from him enjoy the music, know that nothing is perfect and it is all a different with some trade-offs from gear to gear, speaker to speaker, and power cords used. 

This is my 47th year in this hobby, and I am still enjoying it, but my tail has stopped chasing itself for the most part, though my one weakness is how power cords can make such an impact on one's system as a change of gear can and its a lot cheaper to boot..smile! I find their impact fascinating more so than interconnects, speaker cables can make a good impact also from top to bottom of the speaker range.

Enjoy your systems for what they are, but it is the music that should be the focus and worrying if something can always be better, different, yes, but better is only to our own tastes and what our ears like.  I just heard a PS Audio DirectStream DAC and it was as good as any I heard, not even sure what the PS Audio DAC rates online word of mouth, but in one way better, it made streaming and discs sound more musical, toe-tapping, enjoyable, and while keeping body and weight to the music, If I was buying a DAC and I am not, that be a good choice with my speakers because it made music emotional not just clean, dynamics in your face and wow factor, no it failed there, but it sounded like real music, natural ebb, and flow, not in your face impressive until you get what the PS DAC was doing so right if you are used to natural well-recorded music. 

Holo I heard, Denafrips, Tandor, and I take the PS for the money over any of them to my ear and how I feel music should sound from my 47 years of listening in all formats over that time frame, and recordings over that time and how they have changed as technology that could be used in the studio to present music in there own way. If you like it, that is #1 for me and it's personal, as it is for you I am sure. Our individual systems please us. Enjoy the music! 

   
« Last Edit: Yesterday at 02:32 pm by Mr. Big »

DBT AUDIO

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 183
Re: Once more unto the breach...
« Reply #52 on: 15 May 2022, 10:43 pm »

Hi.  I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond to this.  The short answer is, yes, in my experience, the X5 is capable of, in absolute terms, more bass than the X4.
Thanks for the detailed comparison of the X4 and X5 bass!

jnschneyer

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 41
Re: Once more unto the breach...
« Reply #53 on: Yesterday at 05:17 pm »
Thanks for the detailed comparison of the X4 and X5 bass!

My pleasure. I hope it was helpful.

RonN5

Re: Once more unto the breach...
« Reply #54 on: Yesterday at 07:27 pm »
Re: OB bass

My sense is that there are 3 things that need to be discussed when trying to describe or compare open baffle bass:

1.  quantity of bass
2.  tone of the bass
3.  visceral impact (slam) of the bass

These three aspects apply whether describing a bass drum in an orchestra, a stand up bass in a club or the "bass" notes of a piano.  All three go together in making up our perceived quality of the bass.

For some, OB bass doesn't have enough slam, so they use a sub and cross it low so that it doesn't impact the tone.  For others, their sense is that there isn't enough bass...again, the sub helps out.  And for many, all three conditions are satisfied and they can run their OB's without a sub.

In my case, with the M3 Saphires, in a very large room..plenty of quantity...outstanding tone...not enough slam...so for my own requirements, I run the Sapphires full range and easily blend a 15" sealed sub in at 50hz giving what I need for the correct sounding/feeling low end.

DaveWin88

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 27
Re: Once more unto the breach...
« Reply #55 on: Yesterday at 11:45 pm »
Re: OB bass

My sense is that there are 3 things that need to be discussed when trying to describe or compare open baffle bass:

1.  quantity of bass
2.  tone of the bass
3.  visceral impact (slam) of the bass

These three aspects apply whether describing a bass drum in an orchestra, a stand up bass in a club or the "bass" notes of a piano.  All three go together in making up our perceived quality of the bass.

For some, OB bass doesn't have enough slam, so they use a sub and cross it low so that it doesn't impact the tone.  For others, their sense is that there isn't enough bass...again, the sub helps out.  And for many, all three conditions are satisfied and they can run their OB's without a sub.

In my case, with the M3 Saphires, in a very large room..plenty of quantity...outstanding tone...not enough slam...so for my own requirements, I run the Sapphires full range and easily blend a 15" sealed sub in at 50hz giving what I need for the correct sounding/feeling low end.
That's the route I'm taking. As much as I love the OB speakers, they do need a bit of a box bass/sub contribution. Piano seems to be missing just a tad low-end.

lazbisme

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 3
Re: Once more unto the breach...
« Reply #56 on: Yesterday at 11:54 pm »
Not sure open back subs should be discounted. Danny at GR Research uses and sells kits for them and apparently they have the same things going for them as the Spatial open back full range speakers. My X3s are breaking in nicely and, so far, I do not think I will ever wish I had subs.

jnschneyer

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 41
Re: Once more unto the breach...
« Reply #57 on: Today at 02:15 am »
Why not more OB designs. You have mainstream speaker companies that have built and rebuilt box speakers, new parts, and new drives that is all they do and it is what their buyers expect, so to go to open baffle they would lose a lot of customers who like their "sound" of their designs and the myth still spread around that OB designs cannot do bass.

I look at it this way. Would Clayton go to box speakers? I doubt it, he loses customers, plus OB is his design and truly what he believes is better than a box speaker design.

Electrostatic speakers are also a nitch speaker in themselves. The Quad speakers 57's & 63"s I absolutely love. Yet I enjoy my sapphires M3's in some ways, even more, do I hear such trade-offs, yes Quads project the performance and size and depth of the recordings, tone-wise each instrument is one unto itself, it's hard to put it into words what they do so well, yet my M3's sapphires can give me 80% of the best the Quads can do but now with unlimited dynamics and deeper bottom with dynamics, though the Quads can hit low 30's in a well-treated room you have to watch the volume levels so you don't arc the speakers. I owned the Quads for 10 years, before that Dynaudio Confidence 5's, Legacy Audio Focus, ProAc, Dalquist DQ10 (open baffle design) woofers was a boxed design. All of these speakers I enjoyed, all sounded different, all good, and over that time I heard, many other main brands pushed over, and over in magazines that sounded like crap, unlike those listed above. That the Spatial designs can be so good at such high-end values and affordable to many in this hobby says a lot about the design of them, and Clayton at least is making products that many can afford and a speaker that any good amp can drive well.

What is best to use with them is only the gear we/I think sounds right, I could buy 10 preamps, amps, DAC whatever, and insert them in and out and go nuts in the process because, in the end, it is not that one is better its the one my ear says I like and like tube rolling a big chance I like something of each design and miss that be then gain something in another design or tube switch. 

I have made changes for change sakes over the many years and what I did learn after a while is good, nothing is jaw-dropping better, and what impressed me right out of the box usually I will be returning within a week, they fatigued me, the old hi-fi sound not music sound. With the way music is recorded today, the major labels not looking to audiophiles as their buyers but the 99% of the consumers many of the speakers I owned would never show how good they are with such over-processed music which sounds great over a Phone, pair of beat earbuds, or stream which is the #1 trend today. If you want to hear how good the Spatial then feed them recordings that were recorded well with care given to sound quality as close they could sound natural in color, tone, depth, weight, and presence, as the producer could, from the masters back in the day. A friend brought over a current Jazz recording, It sounds OK, but flat, no feel to it, just perfect little sound of instruments playing, compressed like most music today so they sound good on earbuds, etc. I played a mono 50's Jazz recording for him, and he sat there and after a few minutes said wow does that sound real like they are in the room, I can see now why you like these speakers, I never would have to know how good these are paying my music on them. Nuff said how important the recordings are to what we say sounds real vs. sound.

So be it Vinyl CDs or streaming, what you feed your gear and speakers can make or break your system and gear and chasing your tail on hoping the next DAC, tonearm, cartridge, or CD/DAC players will make inferior recordings sound better just is not going to happen, in this day in time, when music can now be recorded at home, on a PC and mixed, where musicians can lay their track down from their part of the world and then digitally send to the producer to mix them as he sees fit, is what you are going to hear on our systems and the better the speakers and gear the more you will hear how really far they are from sounding like real instruments, vocals and the in your room presence with air and depth if it's not there, to begin with, no room correction DSP correction will change that.

It is not what the producers ever intended nor what the buying public needs, if it sounds great on my kids' buds, radio, or streaming radio that is all that matters, and where the compression works its wonders, it makes music sound great on those devices, we philes are not on their radar, we are not even a thought. Back in the early 60's they made stereo recordings that were horrible, I called them special effects cause they were made to impress buyers of the 2-channel stereo sound, so they made it extreme with no thought of imaging and naturalness at all, of course, you had a lot of good stereo recordings also, RCA Living Stereo set the standard, DECCA, AudioPhon, Gramaphone, Columbia, Reprise,  and of course the Mercury Living Presence and Capital records in the '50s

Classical is the last form that they have to record in a concert hall or studio together, and those sales are at an all-time low. In my own experience, I could never judge a speaker's value with such recordings, and yes, my kid's music does sound great on his buds from his cell phone, just a perfect match for low quality mastered music the compression sounds great on these portable listening devices, my kid loves it and that is all that matters to him, so he is one happy camper, we could learn from him enjoy the music, know that nothing is perfect and it is all a different with some trade-offs from gear to gear, speaker to speaker, and power cords used. 

This is my 47th year in this hobby, and I am still enjoying it, but my tail has stopped chasing itself for the most part, though my one weakness is how power cords can make such an impact on one's system as a change of gear can and its a lot cheaper to boot..smile! I find their impact fascinating more so than interconnects, speaker cables can make a good impact also from top to bottom of the speaker range.

Enjoy your systems for what they are, but it is the music that should be the focus and worrying if something can always be better, different, yes, but better is only to our own tastes and what our ears like.  I just heard a PS Audio DirectStream DAC and it was as good as any I heard, not even sure what the PS Audio DAC rates online word of mouth, but in one way better, it made streaming and discs sound more musical, toe-tapping, enjoyable, and while keeping body and weight to the music, If I was buying a DAC and I am not, that be a good choice with my speakers because it made music emotional not just clean, dynamics in your face and wow factor, no it failed there, but it sounded like real music, natural ebb, and flow, not in your face impressive until you get what the PS DAC was doing so right if you are used to natural well-recorded music. 

Holo I heard, Denafrips, Tandor, and I take the PS for the money over any of them to my ear and how I feel music should sound from my 47 years of listening in all formats over that time frame, and recordings over that time and how they have changed as technology that could be used in the studio to present music in there own way. If you like it, that is #1 for me and it's personal, as it is for you I am sure. Our individual systems please us. Enjoy the music! 

 

Man, I love a long post. There is so much here to respond to, but, sadly, I don’t have time to get to all of it right now, but I don’t want your efforts to just hang there unacknowledged in forum limbo.

I’ve of course heard of, seen pictures of, read of electrostatic speakers, but I’ve never actually heard them. I understand they have a great ability to stage and image and do so on a larger scale than box speakers, but reputedly suffer when it comes to bass. Different speaker designs having different capabilities makes perfect sense but isn’t something I’d given much thought to. Only now, having moved from box to open baffle, have I really begun to seriously take into account the pluses and minuses of speaker designs and how those differences relate to the room they’re in, they music played on them, and at what volume that music is played. When I first put my toe in the hifi water, my criteria for wether or not the water was acceptable were very limited. All I really knew to ask was, is the water warm? is this a good speaker? is this a good amp? etc, and even then I relied entirely on the salesman (who in this instance became a good friend) to tell me what was good. Of course, he had me listen to various combinations within my budget, but such considerations as room size, room treatments, system synergy, listening habits, appropriateness of gear relative to those habits, how the gear might sound in my room vs the showroom, were all nowhere to be found in my assessment. My toe told me the water was warm, but I had no consideration as to its depth or currents or if there might be piranha waiting for me. So I bought of bunch of stuff, which in fact turned out to be decent mid-level stuff, brought it home, set it up, listened to it, with its edgy highs, recessed, mids, and bloated bass, and loved it, none the wiser at that time that any of the things I just listed even existed.

Then, apparently having learned nothing from Eve, the apple, the dangers of knowledge, etc, rather than simply be content with my decent though compromised system and room, I had to taste the apple and be thrown from the garden of audio contentment to begin hacking and hewing and sowing and reaping my way in the pursuit of audio, what? perfection? Nah. Even I’m not that gullible. Let’s call it the heavily weeded wilderness of perpetual improvement. As I educated myself about speaker size, room size, room nodes, sound propagation, solid state, A, A/B, and class D amplification, I began to realize there was a vast world of sonic possibility and musical satisfaction (and dissatisfaction) of which I’d only just scratched the surface. Thus began the dual hunt, or the single hunt for the two-headed monster, for the best gear and the best sound. At least the best I could afford.

I found, like so many before me have found, I liked both the hunt and what I was hunting (lotta overworked metaphors in this post). I know many, most, say it’s all in the service of the best sound, that the Holy Grail of a system that produces lifelike, moving music is the aim, and that all the searching and the physical vehicles that produce the sound are a distant second from that ultimate aim, a mere means to an end. But, I confess, I like the hunt, I like the chase, and I like listening to and comparing and talking about the gear. I like looking at it. I like seeing it in stores and in pictures and, especially, in my home. I like its objective physicality, its beveled and sharp and rounded edges, its knobs and switches and blank industrial faces. I like its in and outputs. I like its wood finishes and steel or polished cases. I like looking at it and knowing that it does what it does. Would I intentionally buy gear that looked good but produced inferior sound? No. Absolutely not. But I take tremendous pleasure in these aspects of the hobby that, while connected to the eventual production of music, are not strictly in the service of sound, and are definitely not the sound itself.

I often feel somewhat rebuked (not that anyone’s rebuking me but my conscience) when people say they’re finally getting off the merry-go-round, no longer chasing their tails or diving down the rabbit hole, as if they’ve seen the error of their ways or at last arrived at their destination and can lay down their burden and just enjoy the music. And, if that’s what they want, I congratulate them. For them, I suppose, could they have the sound without the gear, that would suffice. For me, at this point, sound alone would be sufficient unto itself, but it would not give as much pleasure as does sound wedded to gear. I’ve said elsewhere that, could I, like Prospero, summon music from the incorporeal air, I would still summon beautiful speakers and amps and cables to go along with it. There’s something to be said for the pursuit, of knowledge and even of things, and, while I may eventually say, as did Prospero, with those of you have been doing this for a quite literal lifetime, enough! gear search, get thee behind me! for now, the pursuit, or the reaping and sowing (if you prefer agricultural metaphor to the predatory) holds, perhaps not as much reward as the listening, but enough to relish and look forward to it. So, having spent some time in the realm of Box and Solid State, it’s off to the land of Tubes and Open Baffle. Open Baffle. Talk about your metaphors.

ric

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 310
Re: Once more unto the breach...
« Reply #58 on: Today at 01:44 pm »
Yes, that's why I wrote this:
Once upon a time, there was an audiophile, although some would call him an audiophoole. One day, as he (it's almost always a he) was out shopping for new audio equipment (something he thought about a lot) he came across a unique audio product known as the money onion. Now this money onion could only be purchased with said purchase tied to his bank account. The money onion worked like this, any time you wanted to hear an improvement (something the audiophile wanted badly) in sound, all he would do is peel back some of the money onion, and as layers of money were shed off from his bank account, the sound got better and better!
   Finally, the audiophile realized he never had to buy another audio product ever again! All he had to do was take layers off the money onion and voila, sound improvement! But sadly, there was a flaw in using the money onion--it's center could never be reached!
    The audiophile stripped layer after layer, and as he did, his bank account got smaller and smaller, but somehow it didn't matter to him that he would never get to the center of the money onion, even though in his heart of hearts he longed for what reaching the center would sound like. Audiophiles would even call this the "phantom center", for obvious reasons.
     In the mean time, there was that thrill every time a layer was removed. Each improvement in sound was so fulfilling, he wanted to tell all his non audiophile friends, did you hear that! Wow! Fantastic! But they didn't hear what he was hearing and scoffed at his waning bank account. Only his audiophile friends knew what he was talking about, but they had their own money onions and seemed immersed in their own layers being removed.
   It was in this way that the money onion brought a tear to the audiophile's eye. There was something about the sound, THE SOUND, THE IMPROVEMENT OF SOUND! LAYERS!
   Yes, the money onion was considered by many to be the greatest single audiophile product ever made--until they came out with the money onion II.
    But that's another story.

Mr. Big

  • Jr. Member
  • Posts: 297
Re: Once more unto the breach...
« Reply #59 on: Today at 02:25 pm »
Yes, that's why I wrote this:
Once upon a time, there was an audiophile, although some would call him an audiophoole. One day, as he (it's almost always a he) was out shopping for new audio equipment (something he thought about a lot) he came across a unique audio product known as the money onion. Now this money onion could only be purchased with said purchase tied to his bank account. The money onion worked like this, any time you wanted to hear an improvement (something the audiophile wanted badly) in sound, all he would do is peel back some of the money onion, and as layers of money were shed off from his bank account, the sound got better and better!
   Finally, the audiophile realized he never had to buy another audio product ever again! All he had to do was take layers off the money onion and voila, sound improvement! But sadly, there was a flaw in using the money onion--it's center could never be reached!
    The audiophile stripped layer after layer, and as he did, his bank account got smaller and smaller, but somehow it didn't matter to him that he would never get to the center of the money onion, even though in his heart of hearts he longed for what reaching the center would sound like. Audiophiles would even call this the "phantom center", for obvious reasons.
     In the mean time, there was that thrill every time a layer was removed. Each improvement in sound was so fulfilling, he wanted to tell all his non audiophile friends, did you hear that! Wow! Fantastic! But they didn't hear what he was hearing and scoffed at his waning bank account. Only his audiophile friends knew what he was talking about, but they had their own money onions and seemed immersed in their own layers being removed.
   It was in this way that the money onion brought a tear to the audiophile's eye. There was something about the sound, THE SOUND, THE IMPROVEMENT OF SOUND! LAYERS!
   Yes, the money onion was considered by many to be the greatest single audiophile product ever made--until they came out with the money onion II.
    But that's another story.

Most an excellent and enjoyable read. I guess after 42 years in this wonderful hobby and at age 71 I come to my own conclusion based on experience and a long, long list of gear, cables, and power cords. That when good is good, then like ice cream, you can try a different flavor and that is the fun of it and truly I enjoyed it but now with my hearing still great, having a very good set of speakers the Sapphires M3's. I sit and relax and enjoy the music, I play with toe-in and power cords still, which I have many in storage and it is amazing I can change them and in doing so change the whole character of my system. Just as the artist always intended...smile! Absolute Sound never but enjoying the music is my goal. Will I buy more gear at some point most likely but it will no longer be a system overhaul. I think a Luxman X10 SACD player will be on my hit list at some point and that will be it till the put me in the ground and hopefully no soon...smile.