M3 Sapphires -- Unboxing and Assembly photos

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sockpit

Re: M3 Sapphires -- Unboxing and Assembly photos
« Reply #40 on: 3 Sep 2021, 03:24 am »
+1 to saurusrex.   I have M5s of same vintage.  It took 1.5 years for them to break in, me to treat the room, and to find the optimal position.  Room treatment mattered, but so did the bass drivers loosening up, and me finding the one spot in my small room that wasn’t in a null.

They are quite different speakers than those I unboxed, which were early on disconcertingly bright and unbalanced to my ear.

sjsfiveo

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Re: M3 Sapphires -- Unboxing and Assembly photos
« Reply #41 on: 3 Sep 2021, 09:20 am »
Quick break in tip from my dealer. Put the speakers so they face each other so they are only a couple of inches apart, reverse the speaker cable on one speaker only then throw a heavy blanket or comforter over the speakers and let them run 24/7 they will cancel each other out.

Tangram

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Re: M3 Sapphires -- Unboxing and Assembly photos
« Reply #42 on: 3 Sep 2021, 04:36 pm »
Congratulations! Your unboxing photos should give potential owners comfort that their speakers are well-packed and that setup is easy.
+1 on the speakers facing each other with one out of phase and a blanket.
Regarding break-in, I was told last week by a very knowledgeable audiophile that he feels the woofer surrounds are NOT what takes the time to break in. This is s a general comment, not specific to Spatials. It's the caps in the crossover. I would say that my bass is sounding great after a bit more than 100 hours of listening but there's been some peakiness in the higher frequencies that *seems* to be toning down over time. But the bass seems awesome after a short break in period.

newzooreview

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Re: M3 Sapphires -- Unboxing and Assembly photos
« Reply #43 on: 3 Sep 2021, 06:11 pm »
…there's been some peakiness in the higher frequencies that *seems* to be toning down over time. But the bass seems awesome after a short break in period.

Yes, the peakiness in the hight frequencies is the biggest issue at this point. There are some tracks where there is a very high-pitched, sustain, overtone to things like cymbals that is not in the recording. It also shows up when playing brown noise. It goes away immediately when I stop playback--it coming from the speakers, not my ears.

Unfortunately, it is not going away. Yesterday the better openness and bass texture had me hopeful, but this shrill artifact in the treble seems not to change at all.

Tyson

Re: M3 Sapphires -- Unboxing and Assembly photos
« Reply #44 on: 3 Sep 2021, 06:15 pm »
Welcome to the world of high end crossovers and capacitors.  They will definitely make you question your sanity and your purchase decisions before the burn in is done.  But just hold fast, you will be rewarded with much higher long term performance, a level of performance not possible with lesser caps. 

newzooreview

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Re: M3 Sapphires -- Unboxing and Assembly photos
« Reply #45 on: 3 Sep 2021, 06:32 pm »
Welcome to the world of high end crossovers and capacitors.  They will definitely make you question your sanity and your purchase decisions before the burn in is done.  But just hold fast, you will be rewarded with much higher long term performance, a level of performance not possible with lesser caps.

Thanks. I will keep at it.

Vinnie Rosi had used my Harbeths at two or three shows before I bought them from him, so I didn't have any break-in to worry with. My Salks didn't have this high-pitched whine, just the general need to open up and develop more bass and subtlety in the mid-range and up.

Tyson

Re: M3 Sapphires -- Unboxing and Assembly photos
« Reply #46 on: 3 Sep 2021, 06:40 pm »
I've see the parts in the Harbeth and in the Salks - they are not at the level of the Spatials.  So burn in will actually be worse for the Spatials because of that.  Sorry for your short term pain, but it'll be worth it in the long term!

newzooreview

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Re: M3 Sapphires -- Unboxing and Assembly photos
« Reply #47 on: 3 Sep 2021, 07:12 pm »
I've see the parts in the Harbeth and in the Salks - they are not at the level of the Spatials.  So burn in will actually be worse for the Spatials because of that.  Sorry for your short term pain, but it'll be worth it in the long term!

Much appreciated.

Audiocircle is good for Peaky Transducer Stress Disorder.
 

DBT AUDIO

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Re: M3 Sapphires -- Unboxing and Assembly photos
« Reply #48 on: 4 Sep 2021, 09:05 am »
Thanks. They went from "not horrifying" the first couple of hours to being bad and very worrisome in a strange mixture of ways for 120 hours to settling down today and starting to show some of their virtues.

No matter how much one reads that this will the case, there's the nagging doubt that this has all been a really inconvenient mistake.

But all is moving in a good direction now.

When I ordered my X5’s in June of 2020, Clayton advised me multiple times, do not worry about how they sound during the break in period and try not to allow my human instincts to expect instant gratification.  He was right, I tried to keep Clayton’s advise in mind during the break in period, but I couldn’t help myself after experiencing frustration with what I was hearing.  One day they sounded splendid, the next day they sounded terrible; bright, thin, minimal bass slam and so on.  I do have a big 2-story room, so I purchased acoustic treatments for the front wall and the portion of the rear wall as the remaining portion of the rear wall and right side wall is open to the kitchen and hallway area.  The acoustic treatments did help, but I was still struggling with the fatiguing treble and lack of bass on a lot of tunes that I loved. I’ve done a myriad of speaker placement trials, I bought a new tube preamp & amp, DAC, rolled a pair of vacuum tubes, Audioquest Niagara 3000 with power cords and the Niagara 3000 with the power cords “truly” tamed the harsh treble quite a bit and bass continued to increase.  I just recently upgraded to Cardas Clear speaker cables and interconnects.  My, my, my, these Cardas Clear cables are ridiculous and I mean it!  They needed to break in as well but nowhere near as long as the X5’s and they really relaxed the treble where it needs to be!  The X5 speakers are smoking!!!  Everything is still breaking in, so I am truly happy with my X5’s!  Hang in there…
« Last Edit: 4 Sep 2021, 10:22 am by DBT AUDIO »

doggie

Re: M3 Sapphires -- Unboxing and Assembly photos
« Reply #49 on: 4 Sep 2021, 12:44 pm »
When I ordered my X5’s in June of 2020, Clayton advised me multiple times, do not worry about how they sound during the break in period and try not to allow my human instincts to expect instant gratification.  He was right, I tried to keep Clayton’s advise in mind during the break in period, but I couldn’t help myself after experiencing frustration with what I was hearing.  One day they sounded splendid, the next day they sounded terrible; bright, thin, minimal bass slam and so on.…

This cannot be emphasized enough but probably already has!

The break-in for these speakers is enough to cause any Audiophiliac to fall out of remission. It could possibly one of the leading precipitators of audiophilia nervosa in our time. It is a music lovers "Dark Night of the Soul".

The worst possible complication for this tragic, but temporary, phase is the tendency to try to throw fixes at your system before the agonizing break-in has emerged into it's final stretch. If you are patient, you see that your worst fears have not been realized, your life did not end, and you will not need to spend $300 to freight ship these industrial art masterpieces back to Utah.

Do not buy more equipment or tweaks before these have 200 hours on them! You will be lost without hope in a sea of darkness with monsters attacking you from multiple unanticipated directions. Leave the speakers alone to unfold in their own way. They WILL change daily, sometimes seeming to break into the daylight and then receding just as quickly back to misery.

Rest assured however that if you persevere and restrain your worst audiophile habits you will be rewarded with a world class experience. The clouds will part. Diana Krall will sing. And you will once again be happy...or at least as happy as an audiophile can be.

(BTW. I have made all of these mistakes.)

forky

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Re: M3 Sapphires -- Unboxing and Assembly photos
« Reply #50 on: 4 Sep 2021, 02:26 pm »
Great thread. My M3s arrived on Tuesday - I'm a newbie and the speakers I had are 30 years old (but sound very good) but I don't have the ear or the experience (incl comparing against other speakers) most of you do. That said, to me they sound amazing out of the box (speaking of boxes I need to figure out where I'm going to store the Hobbit caskets  :D as I don't have much storage space left) on my "clean" recordings  that don't have heavy electric guitar. My older speakers had the same issue where the high mids and treble collide and distorts even at 80 db (meaning not crazy loud) levels. Because my old speakers did this, although they are much, much smaller, I wonder if any  of it is in my system but will stay patient.

For example, Voodoo from Godsmack is a fairly "clean" song but Whatever on the same album is not - meaning heavy electric guitar and generally a "noisier" song, but one which I really like and have the guitar and symbols "crashing" together.

Take 5 sounds amazing as does Tosca , Suzuki, Fleetwood Mac, Rumours and about a dozen others but - and this may be the recording, Rush Moving Pictures, 180g sounds (relatively) awful.

Because I had this issue w/ my other speakers I keep wondering if it is my system but will continue to be patient as they have a whopping 3-4 hours on them.

Also, the rest of my system is only a month old so the amp/tubes, TT, cart and phonostage (with tubes), cables and speaker wire are all breaking in. So.... I will continue to be patient as I REALLY ENJOY  :green: :green: :green: :green: my speakers on the recordings it likes right now Will then reassess. I literally have permagrin the whole time I'm sitting in my listening chair listening to my new system.  :green:

Question: How loud does the music have to be to be considered counting towards break in? Meaning is 60 db enough or does it have to be 70 or 80?

Mr. Big

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Re: M3 Sapphires -- Unboxing and Assembly photos
« Reply #51 on: 4 Sep 2021, 02:30 pm »
This cannot be emphasized enough but probably already has!

The break-in for these speakers is enough to cause any Audiophiliac to fall out of remission. It could possibly one of the leading precipitators of audiophilia nervosa in our time. It is a music lovers "Dark Night of the Soul".

The worst possible complication for this tragic, but temporary, phase is the tendency to try to throw fixes at your system before the agonizing break-in has emerged into it's final stretch. If you are patient, you see that your worst fears have not been realized, your life did not end, and you will not need to spend $300 to freight ship these industrial art masterpieces back to Utah.

Do not buy more equipment or tweaks before these have 200 hours on them! You will be lost without hope in a sea of darkness with monsters attacking you from multiple unanticipated directions. Leave the speakers alone to unfold in their own way. They WILL change daily, sometimes seeming to break into the daylight and then receding just as quickly back to misery.

Rest assured however that if you persevere and restrain your worst audiophile habits you will be rewarded with a world class experience. The clouds will part. Diana Krall will sing. And you will once again be happy...or at least as happy as an audiophile can be.

(BTW. I have made all of these mistakes.)


Well said and dead-on right. This has been said over and over and over. So all who just purchased the Spatial speakers do no need to ask about the break-in or they sound rough at the start. I went through this and I made a few rush decisions along the way, but today I can tell you these speakers are so well balanced with superb bass, midrange, and highs that are neither forward nor recessed or rolled off. Trust the long term owners of these speakers, the only point I like to add is to look at the acoustics of your room, if it is bright, echo when you clap your hands then for goodness sake invest in some acoustic panels, corners, and front wall and something at the 1st reflection point, a little will go a long way to making your room to allow the speakers to show their best, this speaker and for that matter any speaker.
https://www.gikacoustics.com/product-category/acoustic-panels/#scroll-to-products

Tyson

Re: M3 Sapphires -- Unboxing and Assembly photos
« Reply #52 on: 4 Sep 2021, 04:38 pm »
Of if you like to DIY, you can custom build some very nice acoustic panels for cheap, like I did:

https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=175422.0

DBT AUDIO

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Re: M3 Sapphires -- Unboxing and Assembly photos
« Reply #53 on: 4 Sep 2021, 05:41 pm »
The break-in for these speakers is enough to cause any Audiophiliac to fall out of remission.

Do not buy more equipment or tweaks before these have 200 hours on them!

(BTW. I have made all of these mistakes.)

Bingo!  I knew better, but refused to restrain myself.  Lol…. I already planned to replace my preamp, power amp & DAC, but my mission was to allow the X5s to break in first, then purchase the new gear one at a time.  I failed my own mission due to impatience.  Constantly swapping out gear doing the break in period didn’t allow me to determine if the X5s were settling in and if the new gear, (which has a break in period as well), was the creating a positive or negative link in the chain.  Patience is a virtue that should be exercised to the max in this Audiophile journey!


DBT AUDIO

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Re: M3 Sapphires -- Unboxing and Assembly photos
« Reply #54 on: 4 Sep 2021, 05:48 pm »

….the only point I like to add is to look at the acoustics of your room, if it is bright, echo when you clap your hands then for goodness sake invest in some acoustic panels, corners, and front wall and something at the 1st reflection point, a little will go a long way to making your room to allow the speakers to show their best, this speaker and for that matter any speaker.
https://www.gikacoustics.com/product-category/acoustic-panels/#scroll-to-products

All the years I have been pursuing audio nirvana, I never considered acoustic room treatments for my room.  I don’t even recall hifi dealers that I’ve purchased from over the years mention acoustic treatments for my listening room.  It was always a quest to get better gear and not realizing I wasn’t just listening to my system, I was also listening to my room.  That all changed within the last 12 months after I purchased several acoustic panels from GIK.  It was an excellent purchase!

abomwell

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Re: M3 Sapphires -- Unboxing and Assembly photos
« Reply #55 on: 4 Sep 2021, 06:57 pm »
I found this on a forum by Robert E. Greene
 (REG) of The Absolute Sound:

"I suppose everyone is aware at least in general terms
of the Archimedes/Eureka project back in the 1990s
conducted jointly by KEF, Bang and Olufsen, and
the Acoustical Institute of the Technical University of
Denmark(where I used to work sometimes).
One of the results of this research--and this was
real research , not "market research" or "preference testing"
-- was that the first floor reflection was a major source
of timbre alteration.  It also has major effects on stereo
imaging.
Getting rid of it makes the timbre more nearly correct
and also "floats" the images front to back--which is
correct.
Even further back, Gunther Theile had pointed at
that the fact that the front of the image area (what
is commonly called the "soundstage") tended to be
in the plane of the speakers, the physical plane
in which the speakers were located, but that this
was wrong and showed that at some level the ear.brain
was hearing the speakers as sources.
Getting rid of the floor reflection gets rid of this
defect in good part.  People are obsessed with the
bounce off the side walls-- but of course you can largely get rid of
that by putting the speakers far from the walls.
But the floor is not so easy to get rid of.
One approach is to use multiple drivers in
a vertical array. Even two in MTM ("D'Appollito")
helps. 
Also if you like two way BBC style speakers with
a single bass mid driver over most of the range,
you can mount the speakers rather further from
the floor than usual.. It looks sort of odd. But it
sounds really good.
Get the floor out of there. It makes a huge difference.
Worth experimenting with."
REG
PS It is really odd that something like this, which is
a truly major effect is not much worried about by most
people , while they mess about with relatively minor things.
But I guess we are used to that sort of peculiarity.

Don_S

Re: M3 Sapphires -- Unboxing and Assembly photos
« Reply #56 on: 4 Sep 2021, 07:14 pm »
I think reducing or minimizing the "first floor reflection" is why some stand-mounted monitors are so excellent at imaging.

newzooreview

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Re: M3 Sapphires -- Unboxing and Assembly photos
« Reply #57 on: 4 Sep 2021, 07:44 pm »
I think reducing or minimizing the "first floor reflection" is why some stand-mounted monitors are so excellent at imaging.

The mid/bass driver on the M3 Sapphires is at nearly the same level as the woofer on my Harbeths when mounted on their stands. The lower 15" driver on the Sapphires is actually a bit more off the floor than the REL subwoofers that were handling the same range with the Harbeths.

newzooreview

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Re: M3 Sapphires -- Unboxing and Assembly photos
« Reply #58 on: 4 Sep 2021, 07:48 pm »
the first floor reflection was a major source
of timbre alteration.  It also has major effects on stereo
imaging.

I have area rugs with pads underneath to dampen the floor reflections. I agree that bare wood or tile are an issue. I cringe when I see picture of speakers, especially floor standers, sitting in a room with bare tile or wooden floors.

The break-in unpleasantness is not in the room, although I do have a selection of bass and broad-range GIK absorbers on order as well as some diffracting panels to experiment with. When break-in is well finished, I will experiment with further treatments.

abomwell

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Re: M3 Sapphires -- Unboxing and Assembly photos
« Reply #59 on: 4 Sep 2021, 07:59 pm »
On wood or tile floors throw pillows will also work and can be removed after listening.