M3 Sapphires Arrive Today

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Mr. Big

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M3 Sapphires Arrive Today
« on: 5 Sep 2020, 06:21 am »


I took the jump, My M3 Sapphires arrive today. Fingers crossed. Will   I be able to adjust to them after Quads ES 63's from Electrostatic Solutions that were totally rebuilt along with the power supply. Will the M3S be just another hi-fi sounding speaker like many I've heard in today's audio sound and that is big named speakers in the 15-20K range where I sat their bored, nothing as real sounding as my Quads. I of course hoping for a great experience, hopefully, what my Quads do right and then some. Set them up where the Quads were and those speakers put out as much sound front the back as they do in the front. Some have said I should take the bass traps down and let the bass really go deep. Did anyone hear of this?  I have them 24" from the front wall. Bass seems light weight thus far, Quads went deeper and better mid-bass. 1st impressions, nice midrange, seems a but hollow, highs are nice. These were a reviewers set, so they has some time on them. Using the spikes he said take the spikes off for more bass, and to his ear natural sounding.
« Last Edit: 5 Sep 2020, 07:10 pm by Mr. Big »

Rushca01

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Re: M3 Sapphires Arrive Today
« Reply #1 on: 5 Sep 2020, 10:21 am »
I can’t wait to read your impressions. I’m on the fence myself.

geerock

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Re: M3 Sapphires Arrive Today
« Reply #2 on: 5 Sep 2020, 10:54 pm »
That esl 63 set up is very nice.  I'm not sure if you are going to adjust or not.  I have X5's and it took some time for them to break in or for ne to get used to them after putting aside some Magnepan 3.7i's.  And, although I haven't owned a Quad set up, I certainly always had them on my radar.  I have a cousin who has a set who lives a few hours away and it's always a joy to visit to listen to his set up.  All I can say is good luck.  BTW....did you sell off the 63's?

dB Cooper

Re: M3 Sapphires Arrive Today
« Reply #3 on: 6 Sep 2020, 02:34 am »
I have definitely not found the Spatials I have heard to be 'hi-fi sounding'. They will have a different character than planars though, but I think you'll be pleased. Only listening after break in will tell.

In my case, I've noticed as time goes on I've noticed that speakers with complex multi-way driver layouts (Legacy being a good example) just don't 'float my boat'. Maybe that's part of why I found the Spatials I've heard so listenable. As an AudioNote rep said to me, "the more complex the design, the harder it is to create the illusion of a single source." I would add, this gets truer fast as one strays from the 'sweet spot'.

fridays

Re: M3 Sapphires Arrive Today
« Reply #4 on: 6 Sep 2020, 02:44 am »
Why did you get rid of the Quads

Mr. Big

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Re: M3 Sapphires Arrive Today
« Reply #5 on: 6 Sep 2020, 02:56 am »
Just day one with them. It will take time to figure them out. I not expecting them to do what Quads so right and just natural, music just flows and is there in front of you. I've heard many 20K speakers that cannot do this, Quads from the 1st ESL 57 I heard have always had this ability to just reproduce what the recording be it vinyl back then or digital today. It truly is a genius design by Peter Walker and when you think about it over 60 years ago. Like they say once heard and owned many never leave their Quads behind and those who do always come back to them. Clayton told me in advance of the few areas that I might miss without the Quads, and he was right. Clayton is a straight shooter. I have the Spatial 34" from the front wall to the outer corner of the speaker, of course, I have a bass trap up in the corners of the front wall behind the speakers, so I am guessing M3 our 29-30" from the corners with the bass trap. The trap does stop the back wave from canceling out the front wave of the woofer, a must-have for Quads ESL 63's because there is as much sound coming out front behind the speakers as in front. So I put the Spatial in the same spot to start. Anyone who has any hands-on feedback I love to hear from you. Before the Quads, I owned the Dynaudio Confidence 5's, and the bass from them could really shake the room. One speaker, I do miss.

Mr. Big

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Re: M3 Sapphires Arrive Today
« Reply #6 on: 6 Sep 2020, 03:00 am »
Still have Quads. I wanted to try a new speaker and after hearing many of the same old names, I found I had no interest in them, Spatial was a bit different from the rest of the pack. So that gave me interest. I may keep both or sell one of them. Only time will tell, never jump to a quick conclusion in audio, that is a big mistake. You have to learn and understand what is in front of you then make adjustments after all my whole system was tuned to bring the best out of the Quads and that took a while. You cannot plunk down speakers say that sounds good and that be the end of it, you never hear what the speaker can do.

sockpit

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Re: M3 Sapphires Arrive Today
« Reply #7 on: 6 Sep 2020, 04:26 am »
On the bass traps:  I have M5s and am getting GIK monster traps for all four corners of a small room.

I ran the GIK engineer’s recommendation by Clayton and he endorsed it without hesitation.  So at leas in some applications, ther is nothing wrong with putting serious bass traps behind a OB speaker.  Look forward to your further impressions.  Mine took a long time to sound good so be patient.

Mr. Big

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Re: M3 Sapphires Arrive Today
« Reply #8 on: 6 Sep 2020, 11:27 am »
Socpit, Thanks. How long till your broke in?  Did you try them without the front spikes, my Quads sounded horrible spiked, thin as a transistor radio. Spikes do that on a well-balanced speakers, shifts everything to the top and forward. Clean yes, overtones weight, and color no/nada.

I read an article in Stereophile and the writer found the same thing, he said his system sounded better, with no pikes at all under anything, just a good supporting rack.

Mr. Big

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Re: M3 Sapphires Arrive Today
« Reply #9 on: 6 Sep 2020, 03:46 pm »
Already playing with them. I have some different spikes that will fit the speakers, having said that I took the spikes off and sure enough the top-down sound and forwardness is gone, now it is balanced with much better mid-bass, and the bottom end is fuller and you can now feel it. Running my Esoteric burn-in disc and yesterday the bottom popping sounds were nowhere to be found, so weak, today after the spikes are gone, they are back. As the speakers stay in place, they will open up has the carpet his crushed down to firmer support.

Again, you have to try outside a given box and use your experience, with the way they are now you, would never have to have used those resisters, the sound you did not like was the spikes screwing the balance of the speaker. Clean yes, forward yes, but body and tone and color impacted for a clean sound.  Like I said yesterday I had tried spikes on the ESL 63's and they stayed on 2 minutes, the same effect but worse. I'll try a different spike to see what happens, then if the same back to the provided feet minus spikes. They are much more ambiance without spikes and more body things sound real now.


timing3435

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Re: M3 Sapphires Arrive Today
« Reply #10 on: 6 Sep 2020, 09:16 pm »
My M3's took a good 100 hours to settle in. Give them time . Run them 24/7 if you can. JAJ

sockpit

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Re: M3 Sapphires Arrive Today
« Reply #11 on: 6 Sep 2020, 10:53 pm »
Socpit, Thanks. How long till your broke in?  Did you try them without the front spikes, my Quads sounded horrible spiked, thin as a transistor radio. Spikes do that on a well-balanced speakers, shifts everything to the top and forward. Clean yes, overtones weight, and color no/nada.

I read an article in Stereophile and the writer found the same thing, he said his system sounded better, with no pikes at all under anything, just a good supporting rack.


150-200 hours, and slight placement adjustments imho make all the difference too.  Be patient.  I used the short spikes at first with a very thick rug.  Am now using the long ones that came with speakers.  I’m a bit reluctant to dump spikes altogether, since the tipping point of the speaker is then very close by, and I’m a klutz in earthquake country. I have an early production version of M5s before the crossover went outboard.  Don’t know how they stand with the newer base.  Am intrigued by your observations!

Mr. Big

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Re: M3 Sapphires Arrive Today
« Reply #12 on: 7 Sep 2020, 02:57 am »
sockpit, thanks! Did you run into a lack of real deep bottom end and mid-bass? If I could improve these 2 important areas this speakers would-be killer. They are fast, transparent, dynamic, all great but the impactful bass, my Quads had more and they put out more sound from the rear than the M3 sapphires, but I think the difference is the back wave canceling the front wave of the woofer, I mean 15" woofer though open box should be able to hit 35 Hz with no problem if the Quads could.  If you had a lack of bass when you 1st received them what did you find that resolve the issue. Thanks! I toe them more out this evening and it helped to smooth out the brightness, I had them toed into where the tweeters were crossing in front of me, now they are more between my neck and outer shoulder.

timing3435

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Re: M3 Sapphires Arrive Today
« Reply #13 on: 7 Sep 2020, 12:43 pm »
Hi,  Here a few things post earlier by  the member SnowPuppy77 that might help you out things in context

Based on my experience with the M3S at about 30 hours of break-in the dome will start to sound more natural.  For example sibilance and splashy whited out cymbals will go away.  Midrange will also become fuller.  It think this comes from not only the dome break-in in but from the woofer break-in which results in a fuller bass and mids.  That said you will still experience notable improvements even past 100 hours with the dome.  After the very long listening sessions over Thanksgiving weekend with my Dad I noticed that the imaging and coherence had improved.  The M3S were just disappearing when music played.  Also the coherence between the bass rest of the frequency spectrum is now remarkable.  Even better than with my M3TM with its concentric compression driver in the top woofer.


This might be of interest also as he describes  breakin process

https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?topic=166219.0

This review is really an initial impression as I have only had the M3 Sapphires for about a week.  But since I am already so pleased with their break-in progress and the way they sound I felt it a good time to give some early impressions because several of you are wondering how they compare to the M3 Triode Masters (M3TM) which I am upgrading from.  Glad to answer any questions you may have.

System:
PS Audio Dectet power conditioner
Pro-ject The Classic turntable with Clear Audio Ebony Performer V2 cartridge and Pangea phono cable
Schiit Mani Phono preamp with Swagman Labs power supply
Cambridge Audio CXC transport with Transparent coax digital cable
Schiit Yggrasil (Analog 2)
Schiit Ragnarok integrated amp
DHLabs Air Matrix balanced interconnects
Kimber 8PR speaker cables

Unboxing and Assembly
Unboxing was a bit easier than it was with the M3TM.  The Sapphires come with the stands and cone spiked feet already attached and ready to go.  So, the only assembly required is to plug the banana plugs into the back of the mid/tweeter and then plug your speaker cables into the main binding posts.

Describing the Build
The M3 Sapphires have a 3-layer baffle.  The rear baffle is comprised of two layers at just over 2 inches thick.  It is wrapped in black laminate.  It looks clean and nicely done.  It is just a neutral black and does not draw attention to itself as being either cheap looking or fancy.  The front baffle which is about 6/10th of an inch thick does draw attention to itself and in a good way.  The Sapele wood veneer is very nicely finished with a natural matte vs glossy look.  I am very pleased that Clayton has decided to go with a choice of wood veneers.  While I do think the M3TMs are attractive speakers I would personally have liked them more if they had a wood veneer like the M3s that were sold in Europe.  I just love loudspeakers with a nice real wood finish that makes each speaker unique.  And the finish on my M3 Sapphires fully satisfies.  It is interesting to see how the Sapele reflects light differently throughout the day.  I believe these speakers are gorgeous and I am very pleased with the build quality overall.

Sound
I initially set the M3 Sapphires in the exact same spot and toe in as the M3TM before ultimately adjusting for less toe in.  Only difference being that the Sapphires are 2 inches wider and thus the centers of each speaker is 4 inches further apart than I had them with the M3TM.  Within the first 30 seconds of hearing the M3 Sapphires I could tell that they had better clarity, more extension in the highs, and more bass impact.  And the imaging was already detached from the speakers.  The M3 Sapphires do impress immediately.  However, after further listening with a switch to acoustic music a quote from Superflam came to mind “I'm wanting more presence and weight from the mids.”.  Piano and classical guitar where sounding thin lacking desired weight and fullness.  One thing the M3TMs do very well is tone and timbre with acoustic instruments.  The M3TM may not have the best high frequency resolution but they do no harm and have very good mid-range resolution with fully fleshed out images.  I love chamber music on the M3TM.  All that said I knew it was too early for critical listening as it was still only a couple hours into day 1.  While at work the next day, I played brown noise through them all day.

By day 2 after work I could already tell that the tonal balance was improving with acoustic guitars having more fullness.  But still things were sounding a little stiff.  Later that night I played The Doors Riders on the Storm at a moderate volume.  This track is where I first began to understand just how much more musical insight the M3 Sapphires were bringing to the table vs the M3TM.  The cymbal tap was clearer and more prominent, the bass was meatier and more palpable, the bass had more detail with each pluck sounding like a more distinct event, and an image and stage height which is much more enveloping.  The keyboards on this song just sounded sublime.  Like I was watching as much as listening to them.  Jim Morrison’s voice sounded very clear and had the fullness I would expect it to have.  However, there was an acoustic space around his voice that I had never noticed before.  Not sure if this is the physical space he was in or a special studio effect but the M3 Sapphires were laying it bare.  The sense of the acoustic space and/or studio effects are easier to notice on other recordings as well.  I then thought of an analogy.  Being a Lord of the Rings fan, I could not wait for the initial release of the movie trilogy on Blu-ray.  This movie did look good on DVD but as expected the sharpness and detail was much improved on the Blu-ray.  A casualty of this increased resolution was some of the special effects now looking fake or less real.  But once you have seen it on Blu-ray there is no going back.

On day 3 listening was still limited due to work and other things in the evening.  Played some familiar vinyl and noticed that the noise floor, pops, and tape hiss were considerably more prevalent than I am used to.  This is not the fault of the speaker but a reality of a less than stellar pressing from an older analog master.  The Sapphires were simply revealing more of what is there vs. the M3TM good or bad.  The Sapphires are definitely brighter or more illuminated than the M3TM.  Brighter but nicely balanced by the full and powerful bass.  The Sapphires seem more neutral in the highs.  This brings us to another thing that makes the M3 Sapphires so special, you get illuminated high frequency extension but without the listener fatigue that often accompanies it.  A good example was Brian Bromberg’s Wood CD.  The bass intro was as palpable and detailed as I have ever heard and I have heard this on several systems.  More bass detail and authority than the M3TM for sure.  Also, the image of someone standing upright and plucking a bass viol was more convincing.  When the drums, cymbals, and piano joined I could tell the upper harmonics were more present.  Beautifully illuminated and smooth with good timbre.  The increased insight had me transfixed eagerly awaiting each millisecond to deliver something new with this familiar recording.  At the end of the first track the gentle trills of the piano and cymbals sounded beautiful as they decayed into silence.

By day 4 after work much of the stiffness was going away after another full day of brown noise.  I put on a 35 min long psychedelic track by Porcupine Tree call The Sky Moves Sideways (CD2 version).  Bass was impactful and full coming from the keyboards followed by tight and punchy bass drum kicks.  As the higher frequencies joined in with the cymbals, synths, and guitar a beautiful soundscape created by Steven Wilson was on full display.  I was in total bliss through the entire piece on the M3 Sapphires.  I was mesmerized.  Discovered countless nuance I had never heard before.  Have never come close to enjoying this track so much with no fatigue on even the intentionally harsh sections at moderately loud volume.

Day 5 (Weekend has finally arrived)
I finally had several hours of quality time to spend with the M3 Sapphires. That morning started with Govi Seventh Heaven.  Bass was full and voluptuous.  Bongo drums and tambourines floated in space.  Guitars sounded as full and natural as I had ever heard revealing that the midrange was fleshing out.  While highs were open and illuminated all was very balanced with the rich and tight bottom end.  Just kept listening through the CD when I only planned on hearing a couple of tracks.  My mind had kicked out of audition mode and was engaged in discovery and enjoyment.
Switching to the Telarc CD Bach Organ Blasters I discovered a power and definition in the low frequencies that I was not able to achieve with the M3TM.  Especially on the Fugue in D Minor.  The piece ends with the organ going full throttle.  When the deepest pedals came in, I could just feel the power and impact.  At the same time lots of details could be heard with the air pulsating through the pipes.  This was the type of organ power and detail that my M3TM just could not deliver.  Now my Dad’s JL Audio Fathom subwoofer is definitely more powerful and also has good detail.  But for a 60 watt amp with passive speakers this is truly remarkable.  Bass is the most expensive thing to get right in a box speaker and you get bass like the crazy expensive stuff with the M3 Sapphires for peanuts in comparison.  You get this bass power while at the same time stand-up jazz bass sounds beautifully detailed, nuanced, and palpable.  I then played Author Willis “The Vikings” Reference Recordings and the organ climax of that piece was again stunning in its deep power and detail with the deep organ pipes for speakers without a subwoofer.
Orchestral music is great on the M3TM.  On the Sapphires bass drums do have more detail and impact.  The stage on the Sapphires is taller and bigger.  I noticed that the dipolar compression driver gives a little more depth to the M3TM sound field on some tracks.  That said the Sapphires image better than the M3TM on and off axis.
Back to vocals.  I played Mindy Smith Raggedy Ann from One Moment More.  Mindy’s voice was projected front and center with excellent detail and beauty.  Same with Norah Jones with the track Nightingale.  Any concerns about weight or presence with vocals were gone with just about 30 hours of break-in with brown and pink noise.
And finally, I played Rutter’s Requiem.  The huge undergirding of the organ pipes, the solo cello, and the ethereal voices began to stir strong emotions.  As the choir sang in unison full strength “For they mercy’s sake” they projected in stark relief into the room.  At that point I was overwhelmed with emotion as Rutter through the musicians, my components, and the M3 Sapphires did their job of refreshing my spirit.

Downsides?
Of course, there are downsides with every speaker.  For starters the M3 Sapphires are substantially bigger and heavier than the M3TM which can make a difference when space is tight.  Also, with the M3 Sapphires there is definitely a change in tonally balance vs. the M3TM.  I find the tone of the M3TM excellent for older digital chamber music in that it is forgiving while still having satisfying resolution.  While most of my chamber music reaches new heights with the M3 Sapphires it makes lesser recordings sound poor by contrast.  Also, the M3TM on some tracks has more depth to the sound field.  That said I still prefer the sound field of the Sapphires by a wide margin.

Conclusion
Clayton was not exaggerating when he said the M3 Sapphires are a significant upgrade over previous M3 models.  For me the there is no going back to the M3TM.  The bass improvement of the Sapphires is far from subtle.  It is a big improvement that is appreciated every time I play them.  The crossover less mid/tweeter offers a substantial increase of insight into recordings without sounding etched or fatiguing.  And all is integrated beautifully.  Love them.
« Last Edit: 6 Nov 2019, 03:28 pm by SnowPuppy77 »

Mr. Big

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Re: M3 Sapphires Arrive Today
« Reply #14 on: 7 Sep 2020, 02:37 pm »
I finally read the manual! Really, Duh.

One suggestion made was 36" out front from wall to start, which I did.   It then stated wait 48 hours and either pull them further out 6" from the front wall, or back 6", whichever one gives you the most mid-bass and bass is the distance to keep. Meaning you were in a bass canceling zone, (nordal area in the room. The louder bass area is the better location.

Well in my room and I believe due to not having the wall behind me, going back 6" to 30" from the back wall made a huge difference, now they have bass, full rich and deep, I tried 33" also and that was good also, but the extra 3" back made it even more dynamic and full. Going to do the final measurements then put the spikes back on and see which way I like it the best.

I am so happy to hear the improvement, before sounds like all midrange and highs, like a small 2 way with lightweight mid-bass down. So in some rooms close to the back wall works better than further out. My room of course as bass traps and other diffusion panels. 

Audiosaurusrex

Re: M3 Sapphires Arrive Today
« Reply #15 on: 7 Sep 2020, 03:18 pm »
Congrats Mr Big,
I went for the M3’s as well. It took me some time and tweaking to get them perfect for me. Lots of break in time for sure. I have them about 5ft out from the front wall and about 8 ft apart and toed in as well. I have wooden floors so the Isoacoustic Gaia’s were the first big tweak for me. Along with diffusion on front and back walls and absorption around the room. The other thing I found was experimenting with cables. Started of course with Anticables but wound up with SR’s. Happy Listening!

Mr. Big

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Re: M3 Sapphires Arrive Today
« Reply #16 on: 7 Sep 2020, 03:26 pm »
You made my point. Each room is different, mine out 30" from the back wall but I have a bass trap in my corners, your's work best at 5' out. Which is why you have to experiment and see what works best for your room. I did my last setup without my 2 little subs on so I could hear just the speakers, adjusted toe is so from the inter panel measurement to the outside panels there is a about 5" difference. So the tweeter is about at mid-forehead off left and right just a bit on the center of my head. I can move my chair a bit if I want to move the tweet to the side of my head.  Did the old head shifting and the image stay stable so you know you got it? I hook the subs up and things should improve, even more, subs do more than bottom end they help the speakers open up, even more, they are just not about the bass, you always need a pair to do t right. If I find I don't need them I will pull them, speakers going petty low now, with final a mid-bass. 

Jean-Paul

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Re: M3 Sapphires Arrive Today
« Reply #17 on: 8 Sep 2020, 02:38 am »
I have to disagree with SA owners who state that the SA speakers improve dramatically with burn-in. When I first got mine, brand-new, they sounded extremely vivid, dynamic, and transparent but clearly bright and with bass that was obviously rolled off from the lower midrange down. But once I had 200 hours on them they sounded extremely vivid, dynamic, and transparent but clearly bright and with bass that was obviously rolled off from the lower midrange down. In other words, they sounded pretty well the same! I have noticed that if you confine your listening to a single set of speakers that anomalies seem to become reduced the more you listen. That lightweight bass appears to be weightier and more extended; the searing highs you first encountered appear to mellow; and you may conclude that "burn-in" has done its beneficent work. However, if you constantly compare your new speakers to a "reference" set of speakers through this burn-in phase your sense of improvement in the new speakers may be undermined. I doubt very much if your new SA speakers will achieve the weighty bass you're looking for no matter how long you burn them in. I really believe SA needs to go active to get that full-bodied sound. At least the X series has a powered woofer but the all-passive designs just can't get the bass slam that a powered speaker is capable of.

Mr. Big

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Re: M3 Sapphires Arrive Today
« Reply #18 on: 8 Sep 2020, 03:17 am »
Getting a good bottom end now. Having owned many good boxed speakers over the many years, some had great bass with lots of weight, many very hard to get the bass to work right. Which is why I had my Quads ESL 63's for almost 10 years. What they do right no speakers can do, they are seamless, natural and due to the roll-off at the top, what you hear is really where music lives, and you don't miss the very top end that is a bit rolled of, but what they give you is very real-sounding.

OB speakers bass is different of course due to the design as all speakers, but they are very detailed in the bottom-end, with good impact. I've had the speakers 2 days and I am already learning how to set them upright with the opposite results I had before I moved them back 5-6" and get the toe incorrect for my room. They are very clean sounding but the vocals have good weight, the room they are in could very well make or break this speaker, but the funny thing is they were very easy to set up once I figured out the issue with the rolled off bass.

Right now after only 2 days, I am understanding the design and sonics. If you want to back off the tweeter put a resistor on the tweeter that would drop its output by 1db, then you would say whoa where did the extra bass come from, It because your ear would focus on the bass that had become more prominent. It all a balance of what your ear hears, if SA speakers were so bright I am sure they would not have the sales they have, there is a reason for it, and like Quad speakers which went against the grain, they have a following. I am not passing judgement on them yet, much to early in the game, but lack of bottom end is not the issue with them at this time, but with the other areas being so balanced the bass just does not stand out all the time unless it is in the music like you hear in a lot of box speakers.

I also don't always like to spike speakers, it depends and there is no set rule you have to though people automatically do because they think they have to. Yes, they can tighten the bottom end up, but they also can shift the presence areas from the top down, and take the soul out of the music, and leave nothing but a clean sound that as nothing to do with how real music sounds, my Quads with spikes sound aggressive, bright and the highs stick out like a sore thumb, took 2 minutes and they off, and the round pucks put make on and balance returned.  I've tried the SA M3's both ways and I am most likely keeping the front spikes off. They set solid and with the back spike left on very stable. I am also impressed with the quality of the design and fit and finish.   

Mr. Big

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Re: M3 Sapphires Arrive Today
« Reply #19 on: 12 Sep 2020, 02:04 pm »
10/2/2020: The Spatial M3's continue to improve. No sub needed, in fact adding subs with these speakers really impairs the sound no matter the setting as low as 35 Hz, it throws the balance of the speaker off, Clayton also mentioned this that this could happen because you're adding back to the room what the OB speakers were designed to avoid. The Woofers on the M3's are just to fast and open. They actually made the speakers sound bright. Go figure. Another thing about these speakers, they tell you in a minute on any changes you make in your system down to the power cord powering the amplifier.

If I had to say one thing that took some time to adjust to is how open and boxless these speakers are, the music is just there in space with details, speed, and realism. I have them locked into my room now, but I am sure I try them a bit further apart to see if they can be further improved. But now I just want to sit back and enjoy them. All recordings sound fresh, with new insights, I would not call this speaker analytical, it an open window to the recording. Bass is strong but clean, a stand-up bass sounds natural, not slow or booming like a sealed bass tends to reproduce, sounds like a real stand up bass, light and agile at times, then a growl yet while remaining open sounding like life.

Vocals are another strong point, you hear all the nuances and the power of the vocal range. Highs are very open, in fact on a Dead Can Dance recording I heard the faintest ring of bells towards the end of one track, I've never heard them before. My journey with these speakers has been an education, how far they have come and improved and how I learned about them and setup, but also to follow Clayton advise, give them the much-needed time to break-in and you will be rewarded. Played some Telarc Classical recordings that I know quite well and the M3's nailed them with ease, no stress, no strain, no distortion, music just flowed I just felt like sitting back and enjoying the performance. 

As far as I know, these still may not fully be delivering what they are capable of. I've not put the hours on them as many as stated they need. I am also now firm on these speakers sound better without the spikes in the front of the speaker in my room, not even close now. Improvements: More Dynamics, Presence, Better highs, and mid-bass and bottom end all now night and day better. Jim Smith wrote an article on spiking speakers and he found about the same as I have in my 35 years in this hobby, most of the time they do more harm than good. A kettle drum in back of the hall on a recording came to life without the spikes, sounded like the real deal, deeper, clearer and more dynamic.

https://www.psaudio.com/article/spiking-your-speakers-whats-the-point/

Along with my Quads ESL 63 speakers that were fully rebuilt from the power supply up, these are some of the best speakers I've heard/owned in 30 years in this hobby. Pictures of my room along with room treatments which I am sure really help me get the sound that I am enjoying, your room is always a big part of the final sound you hear. I can now fully and easily hear even a change of one power cord anywhere in the system, heard them before but not to such an extent. Tells you how transparent these speakers are without being bright. My question now is if I might add a tube preamp in the mix to go along with my McIntosh amp. PrimaLuna EVO 400 comes to mind.










« Last Edit: 2 Oct 2020, 06:08 pm by Mr. Big »