How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3

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newzooreview

Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #20 on: 29 Aug 2022, 01:55 am »
The M3's bass is fuller and weightier compared to my X5s.  PERIOD....[/color]  I was advised that the M3 Sapphire had more bass than any of the current Spatial Audio offerings.  You hit the nail on the head concerning the 15" midrange driver added to the equation.

Just to understand, your direct experience with M3 vs. M5 bass was with different amps in different rooms? I believe I'm reading the post correctly, but wanted to be sure.

"I was advised…more bass" Could you expand a bit on the experience of the person who said that and what "more bass" might have meant? The Spatial Audio site (updated very recently, apparently) specifies the X5 to reach 28 Hz and the M3 Sapphire to reach 30 Hz.

In the binaural recordings of the M3 Sapphire and the X5 on Youtube, the M3 Sapphires do not present "more bass," although the sound of the bass is different because the AMTs provide more detail related to the plucking of the bass strings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUVfZeUEz_w

I own the M3 Sapphires, so I am not opposed to them having "more bass." It's just that the X5s use more expensive bass drivers than the Sapphires, despite the size difference, and the "first impressions" comments by New Record Day suggest that the X4s have more impactful bass than the Sapphires. I know the drivers on the X5s are not identical to the X4s, but still.

Thanks for your insights.

newzooreview

Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #21 on: 29 Aug 2022, 02:00 am »
Also, I have seen comments here about a change to the crossovers in the X series. Is that something that happened last year? At what point? What did the change do?

DBT AUDIO

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Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #22 on: 29 Aug 2022, 03:24 am »
Just to understand, your direct experience with M3 vs. M5 bass was with different amps in different rooms? I believe I'm reading the post correctly, but wanted to be sure.

"I was advised…more bass" Could you expand a bit on the experience of the person who said that and what "more bass" might have meant? The Spatial Audio site (updated very recently, apparently) specifies the X5 to reach 28 Hz and the M3 Sapphire to reach 30 Hz.

In the binaural recordings of the M3 Sapphire and the X5 on Youtube, the M3 Sapphires do not present "more bass," although the sound of the bass is different because the AMTs provide more detail related to the plucking of the bass strings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yUVfZeUEz_w

I own the M3 Sapphires, so I am not opposed to them having "more bass." It's just that the X5s use more expensive bass drivers than the Sapphires, despite the size difference, and the "first impressions" comments by New Record Day suggest that the X4s have more impactful bass than the Sapphires. I know the drivers on the X5s are not identical to the X4s, but still.

Thanks for your insights.
LTA gave me the LTA preamp/amp combo on loan to audition with my X5s to compare with my previously owned, PrimaLuna EVO400 preamp/amp combo.  So, same amplification with both speakers, but M3s in LTA store vs X5s in my house.

“Could you expand a bit on the experience of the person who said that and what "more bass" might have meant?”  Cloud from Spatial Audio mentioned it to me after I told him about my experience and he didn’t describe what he meant other than the M3s had the 15” midrange driver contributing to that weightiness along with the 15” bass driver.

I personally don’t know how to describe the M3s having more bass than my X5s?  I don’t know if I could describe, to one’s satisfaction, how a separate subwoofer may have more bass than any given speaker, but people add them because they can hear it.

I read the specs on the website, but that didn’t match my experience. I’ve seen all of Ron’s YouTube reviews on Spatial Audio speakers, but Cloud has heard and toyed around with all of their offerings on a daily basis, so I agree with Cloud’s assessment.

At the end of the day, we all hear sounds different!

Bingenito

Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #23 on: 29 Aug 2022, 10:00 am »
Quote
"What was different about the X5 bass and M3?"  The M3's bass is fuller and weightier compared to my X5s.  PERIOD....  I was advised that the M3 Sapphire had more bass than any of the current Spatial Audio offerings.  You hit the nail on the head concerning the 15" midrange driver added to the equation. 

"Seems like there is the potential for many variables, just a few listed below"
1- Room - M3s were located in a hifi shop with a small, rectangular, living rm. like in a row house with a couple of acoustic panels behind them, no real treatments vs. my 17'x18' room with front wall fully treated with diffusion/absorption and bass traps.
2- Speaker position in the room - M3s over 3' from front wall on the long wall vs. my X5s at least 3' from front wall.
3- Amplification - M3s powered by 20 watt LTA Ultralinear+ amp vs. my X5s powered by Luxman L-509x.

I might would settle for the X4s and add a subwoofer vs. adding a subwoofer to my X5s that already have built in subwoofers.


I can tell you that in an 18 wide by 30 deep room I in no way want subs. Sold 2 REL carbon specials that were initially paired with the X4 and candidly after broken in they added nothing but expense. With Class D amps the X4 bass became much more powerful than with the former Pass X250.8 (both VTV Purifi stereo and Apollon PNC1200 monos). Messing around with DSP in Roon I can actually get away with -6db below 60hz and not miss it that much.

As for bass on the X5 you might try moving the speakers into the room more and this could sound crazy, experiment with bass trap removal.

RonN5

Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #24 on: 29 Aug 2022, 01:31 pm »
Also...because rooms do crazy things to bass...and because the woofer is near the floor you get both reinforcement and bounce....so a couple more things to try...tip the speakers forward another 2 degrees or so...and try them tipped back an extra 2 degrees or so...this will change the bass...and it will likely change both the center imaging and top end and the only way you will know if you like the changes is to give them a try.

In my case, with the M3 Sapphires, I ended up with them tipped forward a few degrees and aimed to cross at my head to give me the best overall sound for my room...and I went through a number of iterations to find what I liked best.

DBT AUDIO

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Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #25 on: 29 Aug 2022, 01:50 pm »

I can tell you that in an 18 wide by 30 deep room I in no way want subs.

As for bass on the X5 you might try moving the speakers into the room more and this could sound crazy, experiment with bass trap removal.

The X4s eliminating the need for subs in an 18’x30’ room is impressive and encourages me to pursue an audition of the X4s!

I did move my X5s further into the room during a listening session and I was blown away with the layering of the soundstage and the bass did seem to increase.  I did not remove the bass traps during that experiment. 

Thanks!

DBT AUDIO

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Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #26 on: 29 Aug 2022, 02:01 pm »
Also...because rooms do crazy things to bass...and because the woofer is near the floor you get both reinforcement and bounce....so a couple more things to try...tip the speakers forward another 2 degrees or so...and try them tipped back an extra 2 degrees or so...this will change the bass...and it will likely change both the center imaging and top end and the only way you will know if you like the changes is to give them a try.

In my case, with the M3 Sapphires, I ended up with them tipped forward a few degrees and aimed to cross at my head to give me the best overall sound for my room...and I went through a number of iterations to find what I liked best.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I prefer a fully passive speaker over a hybrid speaker.  I have a few tunes that cause my X5 subwoofers to clip and I don’t like having to adjust the subwoofer volume whenever I’m playing a tune that has a lot of bass and I don’t play my music extremely loud.  If the X4s were available when I first bought my X5s, I would’ve bought them.  I appreciate the feedback from all, but I will be auditioning the X4s in the future.

newzooreview

Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #27 on: 29 Aug 2022, 02:22 pm »
Quote
So, same amplification with both speakers, but M3s in LTA store vs X5s in my house.

I auditioned the M3 Sapphires at LTA as well. I hear more bass with my Sapphires at home than I heard at LTA. They sounded excellent at LTA, and I don't have them much farther from the wall behind them than LTA did. But room is different and so the bass is different. I'm hearing more texture in lower octaves than I heard at LTA, and the lower octaves are more audible in the mix (louder, but naturally so).

At LTA when I auditioned the Sapphires, they had two Daedalus (I believe) speakers sitting next to the Sapphires on the left and right. I wouldn't be surprised if two massive hardwood speakers had some effect on the bass. Or maybe it's the concrete vs. wood floors at home. Or the high ceilings at LTA vs. lower (more standard) ceiling height at home.

Open baffle bass has much less room interaction than box speaker bass, but it is not decoupled from the room geometry, placement, material construction of the space, etc.

Mr. Big

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Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #28 on: 29 Aug 2022, 02:48 pm »
I auditioned the M3 Sapphires at LTA as well. I hear more bass with my Sapphires at home than I heard at LTA. They sounded excellent at LTA, and I don't have them much farther from the wall behind them than LTA did. But room is different and so the bass is different. I'm hearing more texture in lower octaves than I heard at LTA, and the lower octaves are more audible in the mix (louder, but naturally so).

At LTA when I auditioned the Sapphires, they had two Daedalus (I believe) speakers sitting next to the Sapphires on the left and right. I wouldn't be surprised if two massive hardwood speakers had some effect on the bass. Or maybe it's the concrete vs. wood floors at home. Or the high ceilings at LTA vs. lower (more standard) ceiling height at home.

Open baffle bass has much less room interaction than box speaker bass, but it is not decoupled from the room geometry, placement, material construction of the space, etc.

You prove a good point many don't consider, and that is the importance of how a room impacts a speaker's sound. When folks ask how a speaker sounds, well all we can say is how it sounds in my room, my gear, and my speaker setup. Reviewer feedback is the same, tells you little about what you will hear in your own room. You can learn from a review if the gear is quality built and has a certain type of sound and that could give you a general impression if that would be your cup of tea, but you have to get the products in your home playing in your room with your other gear and see how it works out. 

doggie

Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #29 on: 29 Aug 2022, 04:55 pm »
At LTA when I auditioned the Sapphires, they had two Daedalus (I believe) speakers sitting next to the Sapphires on the left and right. I wouldn't be surprised if two massive hardwood speakers had some effect on the bass.

I have always been under the impression that having unpowered speakers in the same room as your system was a no-no because those drivers will be energized by the system speakers and absorb energy, effectively dampening them.

newzooreview

Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #30 on: 29 Aug 2022, 06:02 pm »
The odd (or curious) part is that my experience was bass from Sapphires at LTA < Sapphires at home. And for DBT Audio it seems as if bass from Sapphires at LTA > X5s at home.

Maybe the Daedalus speakers were not in the room during DBT's listening session at LTA.

I have changed speaker cable and heard more bass, and I have changed DACs and definitely heard more bass. I have the Holo May KTE, which LTA now has, and it definitely provides a more audible bass and more timbre and texture in the bass than other DACs I've had. Aside from the major factor of the room, other parts of the system can play a role.

I'm still not entirely sure what "more bass" means. Louder mid-bass, more texture and timbre in bass instruments, audible lowest octave, more room shaking from lowest octave (separate from hearing timbre or texture)?

I do not doubt the impressions of the person at Spatial Audio either, but is he listening to speakers that are in their first 50 hours after assembly and prior to shipping? Or is he listening to Sapphires and X5s with more than 1000 hours on them both dialed in to the same listening room and the same source equipment/cabling?

It seems odd that with a powered woofer built into the X5s that it couldn't be setup to produce higher SPL in the lowest octaves than a passive system like the Sapphires. This leads me to wonder (speculate) whether the "more bass" being described is not in the lowest octaves handled by the powered woofer but rather in the mid-bass.

Could it be that the greater detail coming from the AMT gives the impression of less bass? In the Youtube direct comparison, the sound of the strings being plucked on the upright bass are more vivid and realistic from the X5, and that could draw attention away from the sound of the bass notes, even though the SPL of the bass notes is  the same as in the Sapphires.


RonN5

Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #31 on: 29 Aug 2022, 08:27 pm »
I think I've read that some of the X's have a 250 watt amp and others have a 500 watt amp...could that explain the bass experience and/or clipping that some are having vs others who are not?

Tyson

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Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #32 on: 29 Aug 2022, 09:00 pm »
The fully passive Spatials will almost always have more bass headroom than the powered ones.  Because the passives are usually running the midwoofer and the basswoofer in parallel so you get effectively 2 bass woofers per side.

The active series does not do that.  They run the midrange driver as a midrange only driver and the bass driver as a bass driver only, with no overlap.  The upside is you get higher sensitivity (and arguably) better midrange detail.  But at the expense of bass power and headroom.  Assuming the actives are all designed like my X3 is. 

DBT AUDIO

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Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #33 on: 29 Aug 2022, 09:03 pm »
I think I've read that some of the X's have a 250 watt amp and others have a 500 watt amp...could that explain the bass experience and/or clipping that some are having vs others who are not?
I had the 250 watt amps in my previous X5s, then I got a new pair with the 500 watt amps.  The 500 watt amps did increase the bass response a tad bit more, but no more than about 3db.

DBT AUDIO

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Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #34 on: 29 Aug 2022, 09:06 pm »
The fully passive Spatials will almost always have more bass headroom than the powered ones.  Because the passives are usually running the midwoofer and the basswoofer in parallel so you get effectively 2 bass woofers per side.

The active series does not do that.  They run the midrange driver as a midrange only driver and the bass driver as a bass driver only, with no overlap.  The upside is you get higher sensitivity (and arguably) better midrange detail.  But at the expense of bass power and headroom.  Assuming the actives are all designed like my X3 is.
” The fully passive Spatials will almost always have more bass headroom than the powered ones.  Because the passives are usually running the midwoofer and the basswoofer in parallel so you get effectively 2 bass woofers per side.”  Bingo…..  That makes sense.

DBT AUDIO

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Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #35 on: 29 Aug 2022, 09:14 pm »
At LTA when I auditioned the Sapphires, they had two Daedalus (I believe) speakers sitting next to the Sapphires on the left and right. I wouldn't be surprised if two massive hardwood speakers had some effect on the bass. Or maybe it's the concrete vs. wood floors at home. Or the high ceilings at LTA vs. lower (more standard) ceiling height at home.

The Daedalus speakers were in the same room with the M3s at LTA, but I don’t remember exactly where they were positioned.  I have 18’ ceilings and a wood floor as well.

DBT AUDIO

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Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #36 on: 29 Aug 2022, 09:59 pm »
I have the Holo May KTE, which LTA now has, and it definitely provides a more audible bass and more timbre and texture in the bass than other DACs I've had. Aside from the major factor of the room, other parts of the system can play a role.

I'm still not entirely sure what "more bass" means. Louder mid-bass, more texture and timbre in bass instruments, audible lowest octave, more room shaking from lowest octave (separate from hearing timbre or texture)?

I do not doubt the impressions of the person at Spatial Audio either, but is he listening to speakers that are in their first 50 hours after assembly and prior to shipping? Or is he listening to Sapphires and X5s with more than 1000 hours on them both dialed in to the same listening room and the same source equipment/cabling?

It seems odd that with a powered woofer built into the X5s that it couldn't be setup to produce higher SPL in the lowest octaves than a passive system like the Sapphires. This leads me to wonder (speculate) whether the "more bass" being described is not in the lowest octaves handled by the powered woofer but rather in the mid-bass.

I have the Holo Audio Spring 3 KTE DAC, and swapped out my Audioquest interconnects and speaker cables with Cardas Clear cables throughout except for my power cables.  The Holo Audio DAC and Cardas Clear cables are the truth! 

I had several songs that I auditioned on a regular basis everywhere I went that had a system available for a session.  The tune that I remember vividly was “Better Days Ahead”, by Pat Metheny from his album: Side Eye NYC (V1.IV).  The bass drum kick on that tune sounded ok on my X5s, however, I auditioned the same tune on two different family member’s systems, using their Wilson Audio Sabrina X and Sasha DAW speakers, then the M3s at LTA.  Of course, the box speakers were going to dig deep with the bass, but the M3s clearly produced that bass drum kick much better than my X5s and IMHO, better than the box speakers mentioned above.  I had a new respect for Spatial Audio’s open baffle bass capabilities after hearing that tune on the M3s.

I’m confident that Cloud at Spatial Audio has heard the X5s & M3s with many hours on them.  I don’t believe you need 1,000 hours on a pair of Spatials to produce a significant increase in bass over a pair with about 300-400 hours.  I wouldn’t debate someone’s experience if they made that claim, but I’ll find out one day.

If you’re able to audition a pair of X5s, I recommend you check them out and compare the bass response to your M3s.  That’s the only way you’ll be able to determine the results of some of the details you are asking.

newzooreview

Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #37 on: 29 Aug 2022, 11:37 pm »
Thank you!

Yes, I will definitely try to hear the X5s if I can.

The passive vs. active bass behavior makes good sense.

Quote
The fully passive Spatials will almost always have more bass headroom than the powered ones.  Because the passives are usually running the midwoofer and the basswoofer in parallel so you get effectively 2 bass woofers per side.

Daryl Zero

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Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #38 on: 30 Aug 2022, 12:27 am »
Interesting discussion but the hanging issue is "more bass than what?"

I am very happy with the bass from the X5s I have. I haven't ever felt the need to add a subwoofer. Now I'm not a bass-head. I want the bass to be present but fast and defined and that's what I feel I get.

So I wouldn't be interested in changing from the X5s to the X4s simply in order to get more bass. To me, that's like more cowbell.

These discussions are interesting but probably more so for someone deciding between the two speakers. I like the fact that you can drive the X5s with a low powered SET amp.

I also think, as has been mentioned recently, that you can probably fine tune the bass by room treatment.

RonN5

Re: How to get X4 benefits with X5/X3
« Reply #39 on: 30 Aug 2022, 02:48 am »
I’m not sure how you can get more bass from passive drivers. They output bass in proportion to mids and treble per their design… probably with a slight downward slope from lows to highs. The X’s on the other hand have the ability to have the bass set higher or lower than what might be thought of as their design spec.

What am I missing?