Spatial Audio X2 listening session

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Chris_B

Spatial Audio X2 listening session
« on: 23 Mar 2018, 11:56 pm »
I was able to listen to the X2's at Linear Tube Audio for an hour today.  Many thanks to Mark Schneider at LTA for letting me hang out for an hour to listen to his amazing tube amps and the X2.  I have one of LTA's microZOTL preamps in my 2-channel system and their designs and performance literally bend the cost/performance curve. Check out LTA products if you get a chance.

Here are my admittedly short listening impressions with the appropriate caveats. I only listened for an hour in a room that isn't optimal. The amp was an amazingly 20 watt per channel in-house designed stereo tube amp.  The X2's excel with dynamics. Drum attacks were impactful. You felt them in your chest which is due to the X2's low freq performance.  Transients for all instruments were quick and impactful.  The bass drum transients jumped out at various rock tracks.  All aspects felt effortless and natural. I've had very limited experience wth open-baffle speakers but I like what I hear.  Lower frequency bass had a clarity and texture that I don't currently have with my setup.  I listened to several tracks that I know well and I clearly heard notes with definition that I haven't hear before such as the texture of lower standing bass tracks on various jazz and Norah Jones tracks. 

I'm pretty much sold. I just need to make sure that they will fit in my space.  Good luck to Clayton from Spatial Audio and Mark from Linear Tube Audio at the Axpona Show in April.




Tyson

Re: Spatial Audio X2 listening session
« Reply #1 on: 24 Mar 2018, 12:09 am »
Yeah, the X2's are the best OB speakers I've heard that are still current production.  They do everything great and many things at world-class levels. 

Samac

Re: Spatial Audio X2 listening session
« Reply #2 on: 24 Mar 2018, 01:31 am »
Great pics and write-up, Chris_B. I'm curious; why are they not using the feet on the X2? Thanks.

Cheers,

Scott

FullRangeMan

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Re: Spatial Audio X2 listening session
« Reply #3 on: 24 Mar 2018, 01:51 am »
Great pics and write-up, Chris_B. I'm curious; why are they not using the feet on the X2? Thanks.

Cheers,

Scott
When the ''enclosure'' touches the floor the bass increases, with spikes the bass decreases.

Chris_B

Re: Spatial Audio X2 listening session
« Reply #4 on: 24 Mar 2018, 02:53 am »
Great pics and write-up, Chris_B. I'm curious; why are they not using the feet on the X2? Thanks.

Cheers,

Scott

Good catch Scott.  The folks at LTA said that they didn't install the feet since they were just evaluating their amps to figure out which to bring to the audio show in a few weeks. I would expect the X2's to have tighter and perhaps perceive somewhat less bass with the feet installed and the speakers well anchored to the floor.  Based on what I heard, that would not necessarily be a bad thing. I wouldn't expect the best qualities that I heard - the transient attack and overall uncolored, dynamic sound to change for the worse. These guys had a lot of low frequency impact and tightening that up couldn't be anything other than a good thing.

All that said, I'm really looking forward to hearing the reports from Axpona in April.

Chris

RolandButcher

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Re: Spatial Audio X2 listening session
« Reply #5 on: 24 Mar 2018, 03:13 am »
Thanks for the write up.  Utah-based speaker manufacturers are heavily represented in that room!

Samac

Re: Spatial Audio X2 listening session
« Reply #6 on: 24 Mar 2018, 01:51 pm »
When the ''enclosure'' touches the floor the bass increases, with spikes the bass decreases.

Yes, the bass would increase. I also find with my speakers I actually prefer the bass with firm rubber feet instead of spikes.

Good catch Scott.  The folks at LTA said that they didn't install the feet since they were just evaluating their amps to figure out which to bring to the audio show in a few weeks. I would expect the X2's to have tighter and perhaps perceive somewhat less bass with the feet installed and the speakers well anchored to the floor.  Based on what I heard, that would not necessarily be a bad thing. I wouldn't expect the best qualities that I heard - the transient attack and overall uncolored, dynamic sound to change for the worse. These guys had a lot of low frequency impact and tightening that up couldn't be anything other than a good thing.

All that said, I'm really looking forward to hearing the reports from Axpona in April.

Chris

Thanks for the  reply, Chris. I was actually glad to see them being used that way. I'm sure they sound great. Spikes and other various footers are a great way to tailor the sound to your desires and the room.

Cheers,

Scott

FullRangeMan

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Re: Spatial Audio X2 listening session
« Reply #7 on: 24 Mar 2018, 02:13 pm »
Yes, the bass would increase. I also find with my speakers I actually prefer the bass with firm rubber feet instead of spikes.
As a test you would remove these rubber feets let the wood in the floor, it would increase the bass.

davek

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Re: Spatial Audio X2 listening session
« Reply #8 on: 24 Mar 2018, 07:25 pm »
Thanks for sharing your listening experience, I really like the way they look without the grills. I see the Tektons next to the X2's, did you have time for any AB comparison tests?
One more thing, do you find the x2 tweeter height level adequate? Seems significantly lower than the Tekton's but the DI's tweeter array might be taller than usual anyway.

Wind Chaser

Re: Spatial Audio X2 listening session
« Reply #9 on: 24 Mar 2018, 10:26 pm »
I see the Tektons next to the X2's, did you have time for any AB comparison tests?

That would be like comparing a hamburger to filet ming yong.  :lol:

Hear Clifford Brown

Re: Spatial Audio X2 listening session
« Reply #10 on: 25 Mar 2018, 03:44 pm »
I had a phone conversation with Clayton a month or more ago, he said it's important for the X-2s to be tilted back which is one thing the spikes accomplish.

Tyson

Re: Spatial Audio X2 listening session
« Reply #11 on: 25 Mar 2018, 03:46 pm »
I had a phone conversation with Clayton a month or more ago, he said it's important for the X-2s to be tilted back which is one thing the spikes accomplish.

What about just raising them up on some short stands? 

Hear Clifford Brown

Re: Spatial Audio X2 listening session
« Reply #12 on: 25 Mar 2018, 03:51 pm »
Would work just as well I'm sure, tilted back the same amount as the spikes do.

seadogs1

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Re: Spatial Audio X2 listening session
« Reply #13 on: 25 Mar 2018, 06:00 pm »
Great review! Just wondering if there has been a professional review done?

Rocket_Ronny

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Re: Spatial Audio X2 listening session
« Reply #14 on: 25 Mar 2018, 08:47 pm »
Quote
Yeah, the X2's are the best OB speakers I've heard that are still current production. 

Interesting Tyson. Can you share how they would stack up to the GR Super Vs?


Rocket Ronny

Tyson

Re: Spatial Audio X2 listening session
« Reply #15 on: 25 Mar 2018, 09:06 pm »
Interesting Tyson. Can you share how they would stack up to the GR Super Vs?


Rocket Ronny

X2's are almost on par with the Super 7's, IMO.  Against the Super V's specifically, the X2s have much better highs/mids, way more detail, way more natural sounding.  Macro and micro dynamics and fine gradations are probably the same/similar.  Bass, the Super V's have better bass, nothing beats the servo OB subs in those bad boys.  But the X2s are surprisingly close in the bass for a non Servo-OB-powered setup.

Rocket_Ronny

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Re: Spatial Audio X2 listening session
« Reply #16 on: 25 Mar 2018, 09:18 pm »
Thanks for that. Kind of what I was expecting. High praise indeed as the Super Vs do very well in the mids, highs. Glad to see more OB offerings these days.

Rocket Ronny

Chris_B

Re: Spatial Audio X2 listening session
« Reply #17 on: 27 Mar 2018, 12:32 am »
Thanks for sharing your listening experience, I really like the way they look without the grills. I see the Tektons next to the X2's, did you have time for any AB comparison tests?
One more thing, do you find the x2 tweeter height level adequate? Seems significantly lower than the Tekton's but the DI's tweeter array might be taller than usual anyway.

Hi Dave,

Sorry for the late reply. We didn't do an AB with the Tektons.  I did hear them on a different day with different amps so can't make a direct comparison.  I guess if pressed to at least provide a general impression, the X2s were more detailed and had better dynamics.  The X2's were more "live sounding" but with a $7k difference in price, go figure. 

SlushPuppy

Re: Spatial Audio X2 listening session
« Reply #18 on: 27 Mar 2018, 01:36 am »
I'm glad you got to audition them in the busy period before a show and that you had a favorable impression, but man you should hear these babies when set up properly! It took me over 2 months and hundreds of micro adjustments to get mine dialed-in, but the difference from where I started to now is dramatic. I started with very little toe-in and just a few days ago claimed full victory with the tweeters firing about three inches in front of my nose. The front spikes started fully recessed to now being raised a full 1/4" and then leveled side-to-side. Inside baffle about 3 1/2' from the back wall with GIK treatments behind them. There's nothing more I can do to improve the sound in my room. They are without question one of the finest loudspeakers I've ever heard and I have a Wilson dealer within walking distance of my house (Link).


Cheers!

Slush

RolandButcher

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Re: Spatial Audio X2 listening session
« Reply #19 on: 27 Mar 2018, 03:30 am »
How do the X2s go down to 18hz with a single woofer per side and a flat baffle (i.e., no U or H frame)?  It strikes me as really impressive that they go so low.