An Open Baffle...M & X Series Question

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RonN5

An Open Baffle...M & X Series Question
« on: 27 May 2020, 05:38 pm »
I've heard the M3 turbos and the M3 sapphires playing music that you would typically hear at a live show that was not using any speakers for playback...like a symphony, or a jazz club, or a marching band.  They sounded very good with this type of music.

But, as we all know, a lot of music is played back at live events through the PA system...and/or the bands box speakers.

I understand the concept of how open baffle can sound more realistic for music that we generally hear without speakers...what I'd like to know from the Spatial owners of the M & X series is how their open baffles sound differs from the box speakers they have owned when playing music that is almost always heard live through box speakers.

Jprod

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Re: An Open Baffle...M & X Series Question
« Reply #1 on: 27 May 2020, 06:15 pm »
If you haven’t done so already I would watch  Clayton’s interview on new record day. The open box concept is explained in great detail.  The one sentence summary is that you take the room out of the equation by and large.  They are less fussy to place because of that and the sound is clean.  However it also exposes the recordings that are not well mastered. 

CSI

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Re: An Open Baffle...M & X Series Question
« Reply #2 on: 27 May 2020, 10:38 pm »
I have owned many good box speakers over the years. The Spatials beat them all by eliminating the room (when properly set up) and, just as importantly, eliminating the "sound" of the box itself. You always want the speakers to get out of the way of the music. These actually do that.

RonN5

Re: An Open Baffle...M & X Series Question
« Reply #3 on: 27 May 2020, 11:22 pm »
I see that you both mention the room. Does that mean that in a very large room or maybe even outdoors the difference in sound of a well designed open baffle and a well designed box speaker would be small?

Audiosaurusrex

Re: An Open Baffle...M & X Series Question
« Reply #4 on: 27 May 2020, 11:58 pm »
Interesting question as to how they would perform outside?  I would think many speakers would just get lost outside unless they’re powered sufficiently.I have had my M3 Sapphires for about 5 months now. Driving them with 285 watts from my SPL Performer/Director combo.My room is about 16x16 with GIK acoustic panels and diffusers. I also have the Synergistic Research HFTs level 3’s. Anyway I have thrown all kinds of music at these speakers and they are dynamic engaging and just blow my mind. Acoustic guitar, piano, drums everything just sounds amazingly real with no coloration what so ever. This OB design has convinced me that box speakers really can’t cut it and I owned boxes for most of my life. Clayton has continued to improve upon his engineering and design with amazing results.

Jean-Paul

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Re: An Open Baffle...M & X Series Question
« Reply #5 on: 28 May 2020, 02:50 am »
I wondered the same thing myself: given that recordings are generally assessed via box speakers and therefore "tuned" to their particular characteristics, would box-less speakers give an inaccurate playback of what the engineer intended?

And, to be honest, they do playback differently to box speakers and can sound lean and hard much more often than box speakers do. But they also "see" into the recording in a way that I haven't found any box speaker I'm familiar with is able to do (and I own several highly regarded studio monitors). And they sound closer to live voices and instruments than any box speaker I've heard. But I can imagine if you monitored exclusively through these that you could end up with recordings that sounded tonally dull  through most box speakers.

rajacat

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Re: An Open Baffle...M & X Series Question
« Reply #6 on: 28 May 2020, 05:08 am »
I have owned many good box speakers over the years. The Spatials beat them all by eliminating the room (when properly set up) and, just as importantly, eliminating the "sound" of the box itself. You always want the speakers to get out of the way of the music. These actually do that.
Wave guide speakers can help eliminate the influence of the room too. No speakers can completely remove the influence of their surroundings. https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=91052.0

Jon L

Re: An Open Baffle...M & X Series Question
« Reply #7 on: 28 May 2020, 04:12 pm »
Wave guide speakers can help eliminate the influence of the room too. No speakers can completely remove the influence of their surroundings.

This is so true.  Open baffle can help greatly with room bass issues, but above bass, one can argue they are influenced even more than traditional speakers by the room.  It's the other way around with horns/waveguides, which do a nice job of guiding the sound to the listener above bass, but most of them have compromises with bass.  Laws of physics require HUGE horns for decent bass extension, and unless one is an extremely dedicated audiophile with an angel for a spouse, proper horn bass in a residential home is tough sell.   

For example, even the near $700,000 Magico Ultimate III horn speakers ended up using conventional 15" woofers for bass, with all the inherent compromises that brings.

MagicoUltim3a by drjlo2, on Flickr

RonN5

Re: An Open Baffle...M & X Series Question
« Reply #8 on: 29 May 2020, 12:22 am »
I’m still hoping that more Spatial owners will chime in on this thread and provide a few comparisons with the best box speakers they have owned.

jazzman463

Re: An Open Baffle...M & X Series Question
« Reply #9 on: 29 May 2020, 01:21 pm »
I own a pair of Spatial M5’s , Usher 6371’s  and Spica TC 50’s. This is what my collection has been whittled down to. The Spatials are in my dedicated listening room, Ushers in the living room and Spica the bedroom. All three have their own “ sound” and virtues. There is a track on Truth , Liberty and Soul...Joco Pastorus CD #2 track 5 ; bass and drum solo, once you get past the background hiss , this probably the best example of a set of drums being recorded. The Ushers put me right there, right in front of the drums. Heart pounding. The M5’s put me on the seat , playing the drums sweat pouring. For all you imaging freaks put it on ,turn it up and you will be amazed.

lcd54222

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Re: An Open Baffle...M & X Series Question
« Reply #10 on: 3 Jun 2020, 07:19 pm »
The best box speaker I've owned is a pair of Wilson Audio Duette bookshelf speakers.  I've only got about 100 hours on my M5 Sapphires so the jury is still out, but I'm enjoying the M5s quite a bit.  Once I get some more hours on the M5s and finalize room placement I'll put the Wilson's back in for comparison.  From recollection compared to the Wilsons, the M5s have a larger, more 3-dimensional soundstage, the bass is a bit more articulate (acoustic bass especially), but maybe a little less precise in the mids and highs?  Not sure will have to confirm.  My, little, dedicated room is 11' x 12'. 










SnowPuppy77

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Re: An Open Baffle...M & X Series Question
« Reply #11 on: 3 Jun 2020, 08:02 pm »
I just looked up the price of the Wilson Duette and it said $22,500 per pair but at least they include the stands.  And considering Wilson's reputation the M5's seemed to be holding their own quite well.

lcd54222

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Re: An Open Baffle...M & X Series Question
« Reply #12 on: 3 Jun 2020, 08:27 pm »
My Wilsons are the first gen, so they were about $15K new, but your observation still holds true, the M5s are holding their own with a much more expensive speaker.

ric

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Re: An Open Baffle...M & X Series Question
« Reply #13 on: 4 Jun 2020, 02:11 pm »
I started out my audio journey buying a pair of B&W 602's for $600 and thought that was it. Later on (years) I was shopping around to upgrade figuring to spend about $2500 tops and didn't really hear anything that wowed me in that price range until I heard a pair of used Dunlavy SCIII's ($4K new!) and in the first 30 seconds or so decided these were the ones. 18 or so years later, I decided to buy a pair of used M3's without hearing them, figuring I could resell them and keep the Dunlavy's. I sold the SCIII's.
The Dunlavy's could disappear and provide good imaging with accurate sound reproduction--for a box speaker. The M3's do the same, but sound more live, like when you hear an guitar amp live--the air is charged differently that is more akin to a LIVE sound. However, over time I was missing some inner detail (microdynamics?) that the Dunlavy's had that were not as evident with the M3's, so I did some research and decided to upgrade some crossover parts (using Jupiter caps and path audio resistor) This made a huge difference (to my ears) and now I am not concerned with inner detail, as the music flows. This transformation DID cause me to upgrade peripherals, such as DIY magnets and IsoAcoustic's under everything.
    Because of the open baffle sound, I was also expecting to not need my DIY Shakti Hallowgraphs. I was wrong, and I use them to fine tune the sound stage, and this fine tuning is dependent on the recording. For instance, some string quartet recordings sound diffuse and I adjust the Hallographs toed in or out accordingly. Or, some quartets sound closed in and need a bit more openness. This is true for every recording IMO as there seems to be a setting with the Hallowgraphs that best defines (my) listening taste.
Hope this helps.

jazzman463

Re: An Open Baffle...M & X Series Question
« Reply #14 on: 4 Jun 2020, 03:05 pm »
Hey Icd,
Nice room and set up, about the same size as mine. I am 12 x 13 but with a Murphy bed down one wall.  How far apart you running them ? How far back you sit? At about 200 hours I stopped counting.

bbybaudio

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Re: An Open Baffle...M & X Series Question
« Reply #15 on: 4 Jun 2020, 03:39 pm »
My X5s give me the best sound I have ever had in my system by far. Every listening session I hear something I hadn't heard with other speakers. Other speakers were Magneplanars, B&W, Silverline Sonatina IIIs, Aerial 10Ts. I have not had any of the uber expensive speakers other members have had in their systems. Even with how happy I am with the X5s, my listening experience got much better yesterday when my Mr Ts diffuser panels arrived. Although they were hastily placed by me, the results were amazing! Clayton advised that they would be a good improvement. For $220 for 4, 4' X 2' panels, a great deal.

Dsaldivar

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Re: An Open Baffle...M & X Series Question
« Reply #16 on: 4 Jun 2020, 05:17 pm »
Could you please provide a link about these diffusers?
Couldn’t find them.
Thanks,
Dan

radarnyc

Re: An Open Baffle...M & X Series Question
« Reply #17 on: 4 Jun 2020, 07:37 pm »

Dsaldivar

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Re: An Open Baffle...M & X Series Question
« Reply #18 on: 5 Jun 2020, 02:35 pm »
Thanks,
Dan

lcd54222

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Re: An Open Baffle...M & X Series Question
« Reply #19 on: 13 Jun 2020, 07:24 pm »
Hi Jazzman,

After talking with Clayton I've moved the M5s apart a bit more.  So now they're 5.5 feet apart, about 8 feet from the listening position which is about a foot from the back wall and the speakers are about 3+ feet from the front wall.  They're imagining well, huge soundstage and very revealing. 

I put the Wilson's back in the system the other day and the performance/comparison is pretty much what i recalled.  The Spatial's definitely have better, more accurate bass and soundstage, but the Wilson's are sweeter and more refined on the top end.  I'm finding the Spatial tweeter to be a bit on the harsh and edgy side - I have about 160 hours on them now - does anyone know if that edginess abate with more time?  I've run the Ayre Irrational, but Efficacious Full Glide Tone (Break In) track probably 30 times.  It definitely helped improve the bass, less so the treble.  I've also wondered if the edginess of the highs is just the revealing nature of the tweeter and it's just reproducing what's in the source material, but I'm not yet convinced of that.  I'd appreciate hearing anyone else's experience.

Best, Larry
« Last Edit: 22 Jun 2020, 04:27 am by lcd54222 »