moving up Spatial chain

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2oldcranks

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moving up Spatial chain
« on: 16 Mar 2021, 09:43 pm »
Hey All, Im thinking of ,well I am, selling my M4TMs and getting M5 Saphires, any one who has spent time with both chime in with what I could expect from this move up? besides more low end?hoping for more top end detail and insight. Been using my back up Tyler Taylos and they seem to reveal a bit more"air" & such. Neither is bad,just very diffrent designs
Thanks for any input that can be shared.

Craig

Whitestix

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Re: moving up Spatial chain
« Reply #1 on: 17 Mar 2021, 12:37 am »
Here you go, a fantastic review of the X5 speakers. https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=171745.0

sunnydaze

Re: moving up Spatial chain
« Reply #2 on: 17 Mar 2021, 01:09 am »
Nice review, but isn't he asking about the M series?

jjss49

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Re: moving up Spatial chain
« Reply #3 on: 17 Mar 2021, 02:27 am »
my understanding is the major improvement with the sapphire line is the better, more resolving, more live sounding tweeter...  but i think also the m3's with the dual woofers, present a 4 ohm load that can tax lower powered tube amps...

i would suggest a call to clayton - he is a straight shooter... will tell it like it is

2oldcranks

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Re: moving up Spatial chain
« Reply #4 on: 17 Mar 2021, 02:48 am »
I will be using a class D integrated with125W/ch 8ohm/250Wch 4ohm B&O ice 250asx,and will be using the integrated as a pre with 60V DAC DTM amps in future(hope they play nice together). It does seem that as the spatial line evolved the compression driver, then the Saphire as well as the AMT has been the area that has come farthest. Bass was never really an issue. but I recently sold my dual ACI subs to free up floor space so the extra half octive low end of the M5S will be most welcome.
I am sure that as I get closer to getting the M5s I will bug clayton a couple times 8),
He is great to speak with as I have previously
I guess I have an idea what to expect but I do value the opinions of many here who have had finer gear and can share their insights :thumb:

Nsm1979

Re: moving up Spatial chain
« Reply #5 on: 17 Mar 2021, 03:04 am »
Great call on the DAC DTM 60Vs with your incoming Spatials.  The synergy between my M4 Turbo S and DAC ILM 60Vs is really something special.  Got my eye on a pair of the M5s in the future as well.  Enjoy!

DRHamp

Re: moving up Spatial chain
« Reply #6 on: 17 Mar 2021, 12:02 pm »
I am running M5 Sapphires with DAC Golden Cherry monoblocks and it is an excellent pairing in my 18x23 listening room.  At my age, this is probably my end-game setup and I am extremely happy with it.  I do have a pair of subs, not so much for added bass, but just to fill out the very bottom and broaden the soundstage.  Bringing in the subs at 50Hz at Clayton's suggestion works perfectly.
« Last Edit: 17 Mar 2021, 01:16 pm by DRHamp »

Nsm1979

Re: moving up Spatial chain
« Reply #7 on: 17 Mar 2021, 10:39 pm »
Golden Cherrys will be my endgame as well.  What subs?  How are they connected in your system?  Line level or high level?  I am currently researching a pair to add to mine.

JazzGMster

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Re: moving up Spatial chain
« Reply #8 on: 18 Mar 2021, 12:01 pm »
Hopefully my experience can be of some help as I moved up from the M3TS to the X5 and I use a Cherry amp as well, albeit an STM 36v.  Now, to give some context, I thought I would never part with the M3TS as they gave me pretty much everything I wanted, with the exception of the lowest register but I was deathly afraid of messing that up with subs (lack of coherence with the fast open baffle bass I was already enjoying).  Then a pair of gently used X5s came along at a decent price and I made the decision to sell off some other gear to offset the cost of the X5s.  Am I happy with them.  Very much so.  The X5s do give that amazing low bass that is deep, fast and kicks (when it needs to) but what most surprised me was how much I love the AMT (and I've heard good things about the tweeter in the M5 as well but they quite different).  The AMT is absolutely amazing in terms of its range as well as its sweetness.  The sound is natural, open, and just amazingly transparent.  As compared to the M3s, the X5 sounds much bigger in terms of scale.  For full orchestral stuff it's just great (think large maggies) and I haven't found a type of music where it doesn't excel.  It is without a doubt the best speaker I have ever owned, and I have had many.

So yes, I am really happy and that's important given the price delta I paid.  That said, this was not like moving from a pair of LS-50s (good speakers in their own right but very much small box-sounding) to the X5s.  Having the X5s really made me appreciate how damned good the M3s were.  I think this is consistent with what a lot of audiophiles will tell you; there are diminishing returns as you start to move up to the higher end models.  So I would not say that the X5s are 3x better than the M3s for 3x the price.  They are absolutely better but the M3TS is an incredible speaker.  You do have to spend a lot more to beat it.

Now the problem comes, for me- is the Cherry STM good enough?  I think so but I'm also going to try out this Willsenton R8 tube integrated amp that everyone keeps raving about.  I will probably keep the STM as well and just switch back and forth when I feel like some tubeness :)  I'm skeptical though that the R8 will have the control over the bass that the STM has- it's phenomenal in that regard.  Or I may move up to the DAC monoblocks at some point. 

By the way, for anyone that wants a good tip to some very nice demo-type music (to show off what your system can do), I recommend the Andrew Jones Elac playlist on Qobuz.  Some really nice stuff on there.   

DRHamp

Re: moving up Spatial chain
« Reply #9 on: 18 Mar 2021, 12:04 pm »
Golden Cherrys will be my endgame as well.  What subs?  How are they connected in your system?  Line level or high level?  I am currently researching a pair to add to mine.

SVS SB3000 - Line level connected to my Aric Audio Custom 6SN7 Linestage.  I have them positioned just behind and outside of the M5s.  I am limited on where I can place the subs but they seem to work well here.

geerock

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Re: moving up Spatial chain
« Reply #10 on: 18 Mar 2021, 01:15 pm »


Now the problem comes, for me- is the Cherry STM good enough?  I think so but I'm also going to try out this Willsenton R8 tube integrated amp that everyone keeps raving about.  I will probably keep the STM as well and just switch back and forth when I feel like some tubeness :)  I'm skeptical though that the R8 will have the control over the bass that the STM has- it's phenomenal in that regard.  Or I may move up to the DAC monoblocks at some point. 

 

Why are you worried about the R8's control over the bass when the X5's bass is controlled by it's own built in amp?

JazzGMster

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Re: moving up Spatial chain
« Reply #11 on: 18 Mar 2021, 01:38 pm »
Why are you worried about the R8's control over the bass when the X5's bass is controlled by it's own built in amp?

You’re correct. I shouldn’t be concerned about the bass and what I probably should have said is that I was impressed by what the Cherry amp did with the M3s and now with the the X5s but I want to see if I can get more out of these great speakers (e.g., a little sweeter in the highs and bigger soundstage without losing much in the way of control).  I toyed with the LTA idea and may still go that route, but I thought I’d take a flyer first on the R8, with managed expectations considering its price point.  Regardless, I’m very much enjoying the music...

geerock

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Re: moving up Spatial chain
« Reply #12 on: 18 Mar 2021, 02:08 pm »
JazzGMster
That Willsenton R8 is a giant killer if there ever was one.  My nephew has one that drives Klipsh Heresy IV's and it sounds fantastic, even though I was never a fan of those speakers.  I bought him a set of the Dawning series Shuguang WE6SN7 PLUS tubes to replace the stock ones a couple years back and took a trip to visit him.  Just another aha moment as it brought the sound to another level.  He just recently told me he swapped out the kt88's for some NOS Mullard el34's, which IMHO is one of the sweetest power tubes around, and he said that was another great improvement in depth and soundstage, along with sweetening the mids and highs, and getting more dynamics from the bass.  I havent heard those yet but I'm looking forward to paying a visit. I have the X5's with the LTA REF 40 and love the combo with a Don Sachs pre.  The X series seem to like tubes.  They really seem to bring out the best in that AMT. 
Anyway...I think you will really enjoy that R8.  It's a killer right out of the box.  But the tube changes are not subtle improvements if you decide to improve on a great design.
Happy listening.

DRHamp

Re: moving up Spatial chain
« Reply #13 on: 18 Mar 2021, 02:15 pm »
By the way, for anyone that wants a good tip to some very nice demo-type music (to show off what your system can do), I recommend the Andrew Jones Elac playlist on Qobuz.  Some really nice stuff on there.

Thanks for tip on the playlist -- really good

jachinboazicus

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Re: moving up Spatial chain
« Reply #14 on: 18 Mar 2021, 05:15 pm »

So yes, I am really happy and that's important given the price delta I paid.  That said, this was not like moving from a pair of LS-50s (good speakers in their own right but very much small box-sounding) to the X5s.  Having the X5s really made me appreciate how damned good the M3s were.  I think this is consistent with what a lot of audiophiles will tell you; there are diminishing returns as you start to move up to the higher end models.  So I would not say that the X5s are 3x better than the M3s for 3x the price.  They are absolutely better but the M3TS is an incredible speaker.  You do have to spend a lot more to beat it.

Really appreciate your mentioning this fact. I'm scheming to upgrade from my M3TM's to the X5, and while my brain wants to dump $$ on it now, i'm practicing patience. I'm also preparing myself for the diminishing returns reality, so your comment is reassuring.

I'm planning to pick up a pair of Schiit Vidars and run them as monoblocks balanced into MiniDSP's SHD to improve things for my M3's, and then move on to some X5's once I have my source components locked in.

Curious--did you find the used X5's on a forum, or did you get them from Clayton?

Also, can you give me an idea of how much the bass improved over the M3's?

JazzGMster

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Re: moving up Spatial chain
« Reply #15 on: 18 Mar 2021, 06:53 pm »

Curious--did you find the used X5's on a forum, or did you get them from Clayton?

Also, can you give me an idea of how much the bass improved over the M3's?

Purchased on Canuck Audio Mart. Interestingly, I strongly suspect I am the new owner of speakers that were briefly held onto by 2 previous audiophiles that were high end speaker shopping. I know one was cross shopping Focal Sopras, B&W 802 D3s, so pretty high end stuff... In fact, I think my actual speakers are the ones in a YouTube video (search Spatial X5, it is the vid with them playing the Hadouk Trio and they are in front of the B&Ws).  I do feel bad a bit, as I am a huge fan of Spatials but have never put a dime directly in Clayton’s pocket (my M3s were used as well).  I have spoken to him at Capital Audio Fest though and he is every bit as nice and helpful as everyone says he is.

Bass?  Sublime, fast, and lots of it.  Really impressive.  With the M3s, I was thinking about 2 Rythmik subs and using something like the minidsp, but no need now.  They are in a large open concept living room that opens onto a dining room in front of a kitchen, so my back wall is 30+ feet behind my listening position!). Wouldn’t want any more bass, though the amp on the X5s are set to about 9. 

The bass on the M3s was excellent but I wanted a deeper reach to really bring out the kick drums and lowest notes I knew were there on certain recordings.  Just more of an already good thing, really


Mr. Big

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Re: moving up Spatial chain
« Reply #16 on: 20 Mar 2021, 11:55 pm »
Spatial Audio Sapphires M3's sound best on the 8-ohm tap on my McIntosh power amp, the 4 amp sounded dead. They are an easy speaker to drive a good 30-40 watts is all you need, I use 400 watts, and my meter rarely goes past 4 watts or so, and low recorded music perhaps 20 watts. This is a gem of a speaker once they break-in.

Audiosaurusrex

Re: moving up Spatial chain
« Reply #17 on: 21 Mar 2021, 05:19 pm »
Spatial Audio Sapphires M3's sound best on the 8-ohm tap on my McIntosh power amp, the 4 amp sounded dead. They are an easy speaker to drive a good 30-40 watts is all you need, I use 400 watts, and my meter rarely goes past 4 watts or so, and low recorded music perhaps 20 watts. This is a gem of a speaker once they break-in.
Mr. Big
That’s great to hear about the M3’s with 30-40 watts. Can you tell me how the 4ohm and 8 ohm taps differ? Does using the 8 ohms strain the amp? I’m currently shopping for either a tube or hybrid. Not sure the direction I want to go but. I like what I read about the Raven Osprey or the Modwright 225i. Two totally different amps not sure which the would be a better match

Mr. Big

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Re: moving up Spatial chain
« Reply #18 on: 21 Mar 2021, 08:35 pm »
The 8-ohm taps are much more dynamics, better bass, well better everything, go to 4-ohm taps and sound is lifeless, easy to hear. My Dynaudio Confidence 5's I owned really came to life on the 4-ohm tap, 8 ohms defused sounding lacking real grunt in the bottom end, easy to tell which taps work, listen for dynamics and the bottom end detail and extension. I always try the different taps when I get new speakers, that the nice thing about having tube gear and McIntosh better solid-state amps that give you the choice of 2,4, and 8-ohm outs, you can really match your speakers to perfection amp wise. Also with the M3's depending on your floor and room, they can really sound better without the screw in spikes, just use the footers that come with the speaker, much more natural and deeper bass, more sweet highs, and a much better balance top to bottom, so make sure you try them both ways.

bakufu

Re: moving up Spatial chain
« Reply #19 on: 14 Apr 2021, 07:28 pm »
JazzGMster
That Willsenton R8 is a giant killer if there ever was one.  My nephew has one that drives Klipsh Heresy IV's and it sounds fantastic, even though I was never a fan of those speakers.  I bought him a set of the Dawning series Shuguang WE6SN7 PLUS tubes to replace the stock ones a couple years back and took a trip to visit him.  Just another aha moment as it brought the sound to another level.  He just recently told me he swapped out the kt88's for some NOS Mullard el34's, which IMHO is one of the sweetest power tubes around, and he said that was another great improvement in depth and soundstage, along with sweetening the mids and highs, and getting more dynamics from the bass.  I havent heard those yet but I'm looking forward to paying a visit. I have the X5's with the LTA REF 40 and love the combo with a Don Sachs pre.  The X series seem to like tubes.  They really seem to bring out the best in that AMT. 

since i already have another EL34-based amp i swapped out the stock willsenton KT88 tubes on the r8 for a quartet of gold lion KT66's.  a nice improvement on an already fine-sounding amp.