M3 or maybe M4 for me?

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MONKEYWICKEDMONKEY

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M3 or maybe M4 for me?
« on: 18 Apr 2019, 06:30 pm »
Next year I plan on upgrading from my Focal 807's to a new speaker. I have an unhealthy fascination with the Buchardt s400's but lately have been struck by the love people have for the Spatial's. So as I have more time than money I decided to start deep diving and reading on the matter.

So help me out here with a couple of very preliminary concerns:

1. The Size. Mostly likely I will living in increasingly smaller spaces, possibly studio apartments so I'm worried about these getting to a place where I love them but have no room for them. Anyone in this situation?

2. Imaging. From accounts I read the sweet spot is small but super focused. While I do get short spurts of time to sit and listen, I'm generally moving around and cleaning house, etc. Will the size of the sweet spot be a detriment in this case?

Last thing: I will be using these along with Odysey Audio amps and preamps, anyone doing the same?

Thanks in advance.

m

James Edward

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Re: M3 or maybe M4 for me?
« Reply #1 on: 18 Apr 2019, 08:24 pm »
I can only comment on point 2- I also move around when I listen, and don’t find the sweet spot any more or less sweet than other speakers I’ve owned. It’s really not all that small. Since they also radiate to the back, there is something there soundwise too. Lastly, and a big factor for me, is the ability for the M3, and likely M4, to play loudly and cleanly. I am frequently well away from the speakers, and rarely sit in the sweet spot, so that attribute is important to me.

MONKEYWICKEDMONKEY

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Re: M3 or maybe M4 for me?
« Reply #2 on: 18 Apr 2019, 09:11 pm »
I can only comment on point 2- I also move around when I listen, and don’t find the sweet spot any more or less sweet than other speakers I’ve owned. It’s really not all that small. Since they also radiate to the back, there is something there soundwise too. Lastly, and a big factor for me, is the ability for the M3, and likely M4, to play loudly and cleanly. I am frequently well away from the speakers, and rarely sit in the sweet spot, so that attribute is important to me.

Thats good to know. Thanks

JackD

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Re: M3 or maybe M4 for me?
« Reply #3 on: 19 Apr 2019, 03:49 am »
With Mad's completely free demo terms it might be worth trying the S400 and if you don't like them send them back as you will be out nothing. I have owned the M3TS and then M3TM's for almost three years and they do need some breathing room and more power than the specs indicate.

SFDude

Re: M3 or maybe M4 for me?
« Reply #4 on: 19 Apr 2019, 03:57 am »
I would suggest sticking with an M3 rather than going smaller in size with the M4. Even in a studio apartment, which might run in size of 20’ x 15’, it’d be easy to play them at lower volumes in the evenings and crank them up in the day time to get the impact those 15” drivers can push out. I haven’t felt like I’ve needed a sub on much material outside a few tracks.

When your living situation changes to a larger location, there’s no concern about not having a larger pair of Spatial then.

-dave

MONKEYWICKEDMONKEY

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Re: M3 or maybe M4 for me?
« Reply #5 on: 19 Apr 2019, 03:20 pm »
I would suggest sticking with an M3 rather than going smaller in size with the M4. Even in a studio apartment, which might run in size of 20’ x 15’, it’d be easy to play them at lower volumes in the evenings and crank them up in the day time to get the impact those 15” drivers can push out. I haven’t felt like I’ve needed a sub on much material outside a few tracks.

When your living situation changes to a larger location, there’s no concern about not having a larger pair of Spatial then.

-dave

Thanks Dave. Excellent info. I'm fairly certain my living spaces will only decrease from here on out. I was thinking of M4 and adding a sub later but I really don't want to run a sub.

More to think about I guess.

Thanks again

yakbob

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Re: M3 or maybe M4 for me?
« Reply #6 on: 19 Apr 2019, 03:21 pm »
I'd say the only critical need for either M4 or M3 is room depth. You really do need 2-3 feet behind the speaker for them to sound their best. Fortunately, their design has a smaller visual weight than any box speaker. My wife hated the bulky box speakers I've had in our living room, but finds the physically larger M3 totally acceptable.  They don't overwhelm the room visually...even in the red color I opted for.

As for general listening (moving about the house)...they sound fine as long as long as you're generally in front of the speaker. 90 degree off axis listening is not so great (and they're not really designed for that use). I find the center image "lock" sweet spot on the M3 rather small. If I move a foot in either direction, you can hear it.

This sounds like a weak endorsement, but I do love the M3 and have done more critical listening on this pair than any other speaker I've owned. They're addicting.
For your usage and smaller space, I wonder if you would be better served with something like the Larsen 6 or one of the Shahinian designs.

MONKEYWICKEDMONKEY

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Re: M3 or maybe M4 for me?
« Reply #7 on: 19 Apr 2019, 09:42 pm »
I'd say the only critical need for either M4 or M3 is room depth. You really do need 2-3 feet behind the speaker for them to sound their best. Fortunately, their design has a smaller visual weight than any box speaker. My wife hated the bulky box speakers I've had in our living room, but finds the physically larger M3 totally acceptable.  They don't overwhelm the room visually...even in the red color I opted for.

As for general listening (moving about the house)...they sound fine as long as long as you're generally in front of the speaker. 90 degree off axis listening is not so great (and they're not really designed for that use). I find the center image "lock" sweet spot on the M3 rather small. If I move a foot in either direction, you can hear it.

This sounds like a weak endorsement, but I do love the M3 and have done more critical listening on this pair than any other speaker I've owned. They're addicting.
For your usage and smaller space, I wonder if you would be better served with something like the Larsen 6 or one of the Shahinian designs.

That I think I should be able to accomadate. I was drawn to these despite larger than I wanted to go becuase I hear they  are very "live" and dynamic and takes some of the room acoustics out of the equation. I wouldn't suppose anyone who has these listens to metal or punk or reggae or other sorts of aggressive music? I'm msot curious about the bass. I like ample bass, punchy bass, mmmmmmm bass.

yakbob

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Re: M3 or maybe M4 for me?
« Reply #8 on: 19 Apr 2019, 11:38 pm »
That I think I should be able to accomadate. I was drawn to these despite larger than I wanted to go becuase I hear they  are very "live" and dynamic and takes some of the room acoustics out of the equation. I wouldn't suppose anyone who has these listens to metal or punk or reggae or other sorts of aggressive music? I'm msot curious about the bass. I like ample bass, punchy bass, mmmmmmm bass.

Live, dynamic, and taking the room out of the equation is a good way to describe the m3.
While much of my critical listening is jazz based, I do listen to reggae ( steel pulse, Bob Marley, skatalites, drekker), punk (the cramps, black flag, husker du, bear vs. shark), and prog metal ( tool, perfect circle, queensryche, the cult).

The sound quality of these different genres largely depends on the recording. But, I feel the M3 handles music better when there is a little space between the notes. Overly dense, poorly recorded music (husker du) still sounds bad...as it does on every other speaker.

As for bass, if you're going to put them in a smaller room and can keep them away from the front wall, you'll probably be satisfied. Bass goes to die in my room with our open floor plan, so I'm using 2 15" subs. They help, but I always wish for a dedicated listening room ...with walls and a ceiling.


MONKEYWICKEDMONKEY

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Re: M3 or maybe M4 for me?
« Reply #9 on: 20 Apr 2019, 01:25 am »
Live, dynamic, and taking the room out of the equation is a good way to describe the m3.
While much of my critical listening is jazz based, I do listen to reggae ( steel pulse, Bob Marley, skatalites, drekker), punk (the cramps, black flag, husker du, bear vs. shark), and prog metal ( tool, perfect circle, queensryche, the cult).

The sound quality of these different genres largely depends on the recording. But, I feel the M3 handles music better when there is a little space between the notes. Overly dense, poorly recorded music (husker du) still sounds bad...as it does on every other speaker.

As for bass, if you're going to put them in a smaller room and can keep them away from the front wall, you'll probably be satisfied. Bass goes to die in my room with our open floor plan, so I'm using 2 15" subs. They help, but I always wish for a dedicated listening room ...with walls and a ceiling.

Well then we are kindred spirits. I am a huge fan of The Cramps, Clash, Jesus and Mary Chain, The Cult and lots of dub reggae. I do have some metal (Napalm Death, Pantera, Acid Bath,).

My current speakers (Focal 807) front facia is 34” from the front wall so I think it’s not as severe as I initially thought.

Tell me, do they do a decent job on long low bass pads (like ambient pads)? I’m a big Trepaneringsritualen fan and that’s a big part of what he does.

ric

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Re: M3 or maybe M4 for me?
« Reply #10 on: 20 Apr 2019, 02:08 pm »
WM: There's another post section where people say where in Country they are, so if you said where you are you might hook up with someone who has a pair, much better than auditioning at a show.
    Also, my understanding is that the "controlled directivity" of these speakers helps give them punchy not bloated bass. there have been times when I could feel the bass in chest, if that helps....

Whitestix

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Re: M3 or maybe M4 for me?
« Reply #11 on: 20 Apr 2019, 10:48 pm »
Hi,
Talk to Clayton at Spatial Audio.  I have a 13X26X9 room and Clayton suggested the M4's for me.  I upgraded to the Triode Masters and they are the finest speakers I have ever had in my room in 45 years.  OB speakers are wonderful. 

Wind Chaser

Re: M3 or maybe M4 for me?
« Reply #12 on: 21 Apr 2019, 02:05 am »
I've got something of an oddly shaped small room (with many walls at different angles) that measures roughly 14.5' x 7' x 12' x 6' x 5' x 5' x 9' - not including the 8' high ceiling. Mathematically that works out to an area of 1,644,300 feet, which seems insanely big for one room in a house; however I'm quite certain that despite the math, the room checks out at less than 200² feet.  :lol: :roll:

Anyhow I chose the M3 over the M4 because I preferred the 32 Hz spec to the 40 Hz spec. My previous speakers (boxes) were spec'd to 40 Hz and that just doesn't satisfy quite like bass down to 32 Hz. Personally, I don't see any point in using a boxed sub to go lower. OB bass is of a different quality (cleaner IMO) than boxed bass.  :thumb:  :thumb:

As for positioning / the way I have them arranged in the room... they are situated 4' off the front wall and spread 12' apart; the sweet spot in the middle is just a tad over eight feet back from each compression driver. I also have the speakers elevated so as to have the compression driver match the height of my ears in the sitting position. It took a few months of moving them around to get them into their final position, but all that effort was worth it.  :D :D :D  :D :D

Most of the listening I do is background / casual while I'm preoccupied doing other things off to the side. Of course all the magic happens in the sweet spot, but that's how it is with any speaker AFAIC, especially when it comes to sound staging and imaging.

There is / was member who used Odyssey amplification with his Spatial M series and he easily preferred it to the tube amps he had also tried, so I'm certain your amps will be fine.  :wink:

If you decide to go down this route, remember they take a while to break in. I had to pound mine hard for almost 100 hours before they began to show signs of promise.

who?me?

Re: M3 or maybe M4 for me?
« Reply #13 on: 21 Apr 2019, 05:15 am »
I had the M3TMs. Black on black with lovely sound.
I had an "L-shaped" upper story, 2/3 being the TV/Audio room,
and the other 1/3 for the bed, dresser. The audio room was about 13x17'.

I had the Spatials about 5' in from the short (13') wall, pointing perpendicular to the the bedroom wing.
(OMG, it wood be so much easier to draw this!)

The point is Im getting at is that even in that moderate sized room,
I could listen up to a certain volume (rock, EDM, orchestral, etc) but had to stop b/c of built up sound pressure
in the room (despite wall & corner room treatments).
I let the speakers go to a guy with a bigger room than I and he is quite happy.
That is just my experience, and I still love the speakers.

MONKEYWICKEDMONKEY

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Re: M3 or maybe M4 for me?
« Reply #14 on: 21 Apr 2019, 01:35 pm »
Thanks all. It’s truly appreciated.

As of now my main room (living, dining, kitchen) is 17’ x 36’ but rented so I’m operating under the simulation  that future places will be smaller as I age and prepare to drop my body.

Initially I was looking at the M4 but I really want to get u set 40hz. It’s posdibly irrational but who knows.

When it gets closer to time to nail down a decision to purchase I’ll reach out. Right now I’m kicking tires.

I’m in Phoenix, Arizona so if anyone it running these I’d love to hear them.

Whitestix

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Re: M3 or maybe M4 for me?
« Reply #15 on: 21 Apr 2019, 07:41 pm »
Wind chaser,
I am confused by your math, unless you are living in hyper space.  Volumetric room dimensions on earth can only be expressed as L x W x H.  Room volume is expressed as the product of these three dimensions, which is noted as being "cubic feet."   

Wind Chaser

Re: M3 or maybe M4 for me?
« Reply #16 on: 21 Apr 2019, 08:51 pm »
My math is based on the length of the rooms seven walls multiplied by the height of the room. The room itself is an odd shape that’s not worth trying to explain. I’ve tried taking a few pictures with an ultra wide lens and I also tried a panorama but... maybe I am living in hyperspace because it’s impossible to record anything in the way of a useful/useable image of this room.  :lol:




MONKEYWICKEDMONKEY

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Re: M3 or maybe M4 for me?
« Reply #17 on: 22 Apr 2019, 11:08 pm »
I was all into swearing off floor standing speakers but these really have my attention. I really want to hear them

MONKEYWICKEDMONKEY

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Re: M3 or maybe M4 for me?
« Reply #18 on: 22 Apr 2019, 11:10 pm »
Live, dynamic, and taking the room out of the equation is a good way to describe the m3.
While much of my critical listening is jazz based, I do listen to reggae ( steel pulse, Bob Marley, skatalites, drekker), punk (the cramps, black flag, husker du, bear vs. shark), and prog metal ( tool, perfect circle, queensryche, the cult).

The sound quality of these different genres largely depends on the recording. But, I feel the M3 handles music better when there is a little space between the notes. Overly dense, poorly recorded music (husker du) still sounds bad...as it does on every other speaker.

As for bass, if you're going to put them in a smaller room and can keep them away from the front wall, you'll probably be satisfied. Bass goes to die in my room with our open floor plan, so I'm using 2 15" subs. They help, but I always wish for a dedicated listening room ...with walls and a ceiling.

More questions for you: Husker Du aside, are there particular Cramps or Black Flag albums that really fail on these speakers? I mean, S.O.A's album is horribly recorded so obdioulsy there's no way around it but I'm curious.

Tyson

Re: M3 or maybe M4 for me?
« Reply #19 on: 22 Apr 2019, 11:20 pm »
My math is based on the length of the rooms seven walls multiplied by the height of the room. The room itself is an odd shape that’s not worth trying to explain. I’ve tried taking a few pictures with an ultra wide lens and I also tried a panorama but... maybe I am living in hyperspace because it’s impossible to record anything in the way of a useful/useable image of this room.  :lol:





I had a similar space that was a nighmare at my last place.  Big L-shaped living/dining room, which meant one side had a speaker in a closed off space and the other speaker in a wide open space.  Talk about bass imbalance!!

Tried and tried and tried to solve it with box speakers and failed utterly.  I tried an OB speaker in a lark (and in desperation) and "magic"!  All the room problems were solved in one fell swoop.  I've been a massive fan of OB speakers ever since.