New member and new Spatial Audiolabs M3 owner

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fataxeman

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New member and new Spatial Audiolabs M3 owner
« on: 31 Aug 2022, 02:32 am »
Hello and Greetings,

I found this site on my journey to learn more about open baffle speakers and the Spatial company.  I joined in early May and asked a couple of questions about the M3 model.  It just now occurred to me that I don't think I ever properly introduced myself and I apologize for that.

I live in the North Georgia area (transplanted here 38 years ago from North Carolina).  I am a long time music lover/audiophile and have been through a good bit of gear in my time.  I mainly prefer the rock 'n' roll genre (still listening to a little classic rock all the way to progressive rock), but have pretty broad tastes from bluegrass (used to live a few miles from Doc Watson) to singer/songwriter acoustic fare, with a very small amount of jazz and classical titles thrown in...< than 1% for those.

I am actually on my second pair of M3s.  Unfortunately, my first pair was used and were destroyed by the carrier, so they had to go back from whence they came.  Fortunately, electronically, they were intact enough for me to get an idea of their intrinsic sound and the potential a proper functioning pair would have to offer.

Fast forward to me being lucky enough to purchase a new pair of M3s from the factory.  After waiting a couple of months (supply chain issues, etc.), I received the speakers a couple of weeks ago. Even though one box looked quite scary, the speakers were unharmed, but just barely I feel.  Also, my new speakers are the latest version of the M3 and per Clayton are the best sounding ones, particularly with the Ultralam finish I chose.

I have nearly 100 hours on them at this point.  At this time, I am driving them with a pair of solid state Monarchy SM70 Pro amplifiers running in balanced mode and supplying about 120 watts per channel.  They sounded great on day 1 and continue to improve quite a bit.  They are easily the best sound I've had in my room and I emailed those exact sentiments to Mr. Shaw early on.

I may run the Monarchy amps another 50 hours or so as I am using them for my breakin before connecting the M3s to my Rogue Audio M-180 balanced tube monoblocks. As you may have surmised, the KT-120 equipped Rogue amps provide 180 watts per channel. Can't wait to see/hear that combo.

I am able to play the Monarchys for a few hours at a time on repeat and since I couldn't always be there to listen to what I was playing, I decided to use my solid state amps rather than put a couple hundred hours on the Rogue amps and not be present to listen to much of it.

I was also fortunate to up my preamp game quite a bit a few weeks ago when I got a deal on an ARC (Audio Research Corporation) LS28 line stage that I couldn't pass up.  With the LS28 and M3s in the house, this may be nearing an end-game system for me...and I'm yet to hear the Rogue amps.

I will share a few more details on my system when I get my rack rearranged and all the gear finds it proper place.  The rack is a built-in wall affair and I am having some construction done on it right now by one of my buddies.

Maybe I'll be able to get at least one picture loaded on here of my incredible M3 loudspeakers.

Thank you for your time and I look forward to being a productive contributor of this circle.
     


Daryl Zero

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Re: New member and new Spatial Audiolabs M3 owner
« Reply #1 on: 31 Aug 2022, 02:50 am »
Looks good. Is that a subwoofer in the corner? Are you using it?
Also, am I seeing a guitar or bass amplifier there? It looks like an amp head and speaker.

fataxeman

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Re: New member and new Spatial Audiolabs M3 owner
« Reply #2 on: 31 Aug 2022, 03:03 am »
Hey Daryl Zero,

Thanks.  I appreciate that.  Yes, it's a Velodyne DD-15 subwoofer.  I'm not using it now and will probably not use it until I get the Rogue amps connected and "think" I have the M3s broken in.  Although it is a great sub, I'm not sure that I can get it crossed over as low as I think it needs to be to blend with the Spatials.  I also want to really get the measure of the capabilities of the M3 low end and I'm already very impressed with it's bass response, range, speed, etc..

Yes, there are guitar amps in the room, but no bass guitar amp.  I have 1 cab (red..you can see it's corner) and 3 other amps you can't see.  Well, the big black shape on the left side that you can barely see is a Bad Cat Trem Cat head w/ 2X12 cabinet.  I'm selling almost all of my guitar/amp gear to pay for the M3s and LS28, because I rarely play any of it and because of some hand/nerve issues (said the old man of 64).

Bingenito

Re: New member and new Spatial Audiolabs M3 owner
« Reply #3 on: 31 Aug 2022, 09:18 am »
Killer room! For a second I was like nice MBLs but then I realized they were lamps  :lol:

fataxeman

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Re: New member and new Spatial Audiolabs M3 owner
« Reply #4 on: 31 Aug 2022, 12:38 pm »
Thank you Bengenito,

I am indeed fortunate to have such a nice space.

MBL!  That's high end for sure.  Heard a pair once at the Axpona show in Atlanta and they were awesome. 

Let's just say the lamps are the Ikea Sound of Light series inspired by MBL.  Of course, I'm making all of that up.

Thanks again for the shout out! 

 


Mr. Big

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Re: New member and new Spatial Audiolabs M3 owner
« Reply #5 on: 31 Aug 2022, 02:20 pm »
Great looking room. You have some wonderful speakers. I might suggest some corner bass traps, Clayton is big on them, and I have them and once in there is no going back. Dollars spent on GIK corner traps will pay you back 10-fold in sound quality, imaging, location and detail.




fataxeman

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Re: New member and new Spatial Audiolabs M3 owner
« Reply #6 on: 31 Aug 2022, 03:00 pm »
Your room is quite the looker also.

Even though I'm not a fan of any of the acoustic treatments I've seen, they can be very expensive and there is so much science/physics involved in knowing what you are doing, my confidence level in treating the room would be  very low.  I do like the look of those RPG diffusors (the little wooden blocks).  John Darko had his "lounge room" treated and made the comment that one might want to start out with treating the ceiling.  I believe that he said that it made the biggest difference overall and it's the least visually intrusive (which I liked).

Back in the day, about 40 years ago, I had egg crates on my bedroom wall.  They were the 18 count square flats and using 2 colors (gray and purple) I constructed a giant checkerboard pattern.  Hideous it was, with the rooms orange shag carpet.  Man, I wish I had a picture of that.  My parents were saints for putting up with that mess. Many moons ago as well, I graduated to Sonex squares, but sold those over 30 years ago.

Having said that, I have, in the past (before acquiring my M3s), looked at the GIK Acoustics site.  I'm about 75 miles north of Atlanta so they are somewhat local for me.  If time allows, could you tell me which product(s) of theirs you have, how they affected the M3's sound, as well as pros and cons in your environment?

Within 30 minutes of firing up the M3s, my buddy and I had moved them twice, going from the initial recommended 1 meter to the current location with the front baffle being 6 feet in to the room.  The bass is spectacular and getting more prominent by the day.  I feel it may end up being overpowering (in their current location).  I haven't played with tilt (longer spikes) or toe-in yet, but the toe-in may balance the sound out a little/lot.

My room is about 17.5' by 23.5' with the speakers being on the short wall.

Also, do you have a link that lists your system components?  We love to talk about our gear, but some of us have a LOT of it!

Thanks


RonN5

Re: New member and new Spatial Audiolabs M3 owner
« Reply #7 on: 31 Aug 2022, 03:19 pm »
Question:  With the M3s crossed over at 576 Hz and the tweeter not being rear firing...would diffusers only be benefiting mostly 576 Hz and below?

rockadanny

Re: New member and new Spatial Audiolabs M3 owner
« Reply #8 on: 31 Aug 2022, 03:39 pm »
Welcome! Sweet room and gear. Bet it sounds terrific!

fataxeman

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Re: New member and new Spatial Audiolabs M3 owner
« Reply #9 on: 31 Aug 2022, 03:42 pm »
Thanks rockadanny!

I'm digging it tremendously, no shovel needed.

Mr. Big

  • Full Member
  • Posts: 367
Re: New member and new Spatial Audiolabs M3 owner
« Reply #10 on: 31 Aug 2022, 06:04 pm »
Your room is quite the looker also.

Even though I'm not a fan of any of the acoustic treatments I've seen, they can be very expensive and there is so much science/physics involved in knowing what you are doing, my confidence level in treating the room would be very low.  I like the look of those RPG diffusers (the little wooden blocks).  John Darko had his "lounge room" treated and made the comment that one might want to start out with treating the ceiling.  I believe that he said that it made the biggest difference overall and it's the least visually intrusive (which I liked).

Back in the day, about 40 years ago, I had egg crates on my bedroom wall.  They were the 18 count square flats and using 2 colors (gray and purple) I constructed a giant checkerboard pattern.  Hideous it was, with the rooms orange shag carpet.  Man, I wish I had a picture of that.  My parents were saints for putting up with that mess. Many moons ago as well, I graduated to Sonex squares, but sold those over 30 years ago.

Having said that, I have, in the past (before acquiring my M3s), looked at the GIK Acoustics site.  I'm about 75 miles north of Atlanta so they are somewhat local for me.  If time allows, could you tell me which product(s) of theirs you have, how they affected the M3's sound, as well as pros and cons in your environment?

Within 30 minutes of firing up the M3s, my buddy and I had moved them twice, going from the initial recommended 1 meter to the current location with the front baffle being 6 feet in to the room.  The bass is spectacular and getting more prominent by the day.  I feel it may end up being overpowering (in their current location).  I haven't played with tilt (longer spikes) or toe-in yet, but the toe-in may balance the sound out a little/lot.

My room is about 17.5' by 23.5' with the speakers being on the short wall.

Also, do you have a link that lists your system components?  We love to talk about our gear, but some of us have a LOT of it!

Thanks

The corner traps are GIK, they open up the imaging and give a presence and sound stage. For the others, you see our ACS panels that both absorb and defuse. They are 8" x 48" I use flux plants to look good but also they really make an impact, the room is so much of what we hear. Yes, the M3s can really put out bass and superb bass, Clayton told me once they break in you may have too much bass, so then move them back 6" and see the impact, in my room toe-in is very important, so once your feel your speakers have settled into their final sound, play with toe-in, once I feel I got it correct, to check I'll toe them in 1/4" more or even 1/2" and listen and see what the impact is in my room.  If it is better by toeing them in, I go another 1/4" and see if it works better or if I lose what I had, if so I know where I had the toe-n now is correct for my room and speaker. My carpet is thick with an 8lb pas under it. Where I differ with most, is many speakers sounded better sans spikes, with the M3s they have a nice firm footer where you screw the spikes into, so that is how I use them front footers only. OMG, do they come to life. Most folks have wooden floors so the spike may work better. Jim Smith a renowned setup professional feels the same way I do about spikes, they clean things up but strip away a lot of body, detail, and dynamics. My Quad speakers turned into a transistor radio with spikes, but my Dynaudio Confidence 5's sounds good with them. Spikes became a defacto for speaker designers as they were to be expected on speakers so they do it for sales. I also tell folks that if you have a good carpet and pad try them without spikes and see how they sound to you in your room. I go back to the spikes from time to time, in less than a song being played they are off.

I have downsized my gear as I am getting older, sold a lot of really expensive stuff, and thankfully I stored so much of my older gear that I really liked. I grew up on vinyl but after the mid-'90s with the CD technology maturing, I went to CDs sold my vinyl, and never looked back. My dealer keeps trying to sell on streaming but it never sounds as good as my CDs and he keeps trying though..smile. To me it's like streaming a UHD movie and then playing the same movie on my Blu-Ray 4K player, it makes the stream version look so inferior, and that's what I hear on streaming, but they both are convenient. So DAC's and Streamers systems I have heard were over $20,000 so good stuff is being used.

My system nowadays is simple, Marantz SA-10 SACD player/DAC sold my Esoteric K01, preamp and amp Mark Levinson 326S preamp and 532H amp, they were a match for each other, but I stored them and went with Luxman C800F preamp and the matching class A amp along with the  Esoteric K01. Before that my Quads ESL 63's with tube gear, and before that Dynaudio Conference 5's with Jeff Rowland gear. I could go on and on gear. I was lucky to work in a business where I really had a chance to meet and learn a lot of the top people in audio while working for Sony.

Today I am very happy with my system. It just makes music sound right and enjoyable, done chasing my tail because once it is really good then you reached your goal then after that I was doing change for change's sake and a slightly different sound. But in hindsight getting a good room brought more benefits than gear swapping.     

GIK will give you good advice, if you noticed I put up Canvas prints so as not to look like a recording studio, but I do know if I wanted an even better sound I have large panels by GIK in place of them, but I wanted to room to look good also, so we cannot have it all. My system is in my loft area so behind me is no wall it is open to the family room below, so that makes how my speakers work in my room much different than those whose rooms are enclosed, so the loft offers a superlong throw area for the woofers to really go as low as they can, in fact I took 2 subs out of the system and use them in the family for my TV system.
« Last Edit: 1 Sep 2022, 03:15 pm by Mr. Big »

fataxeman

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Re: New member and new Spatial Audiolabs M3 owner
« Reply #11 on: 31 Aug 2022, 06:28 pm »
Thank you for all the information.  I do appreciate it. 

You've had some great, hi-end equipment.  A friend of mine (RIP Cal) had a Mark Levinson preamp and transport, but I don't know the model numbers. He had Audio Research Corporation amplification, Vandersteen 5 loudspeakers (and later Martin Logan Requests I believe.

I was always liked the look of Mark Levinson gear and the sound too of course.  He had 2 Vandersteen WQ (for music not HT) subs and he had the best sounding bass I've ever heard in a home.  I've heard more bass in a home system, but not better sounding bass.