New x5's a bargain at twice the price.

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glynnw

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Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #20 on: 1 Nov 2020, 07:35 pm »
The graph using Omnimic shows a 5 Db hump at 50 HZ.  I have enough controls here to eliminate it (subs run thru DSpeaker), but it sounds fine to me and I am lazy.  As for live music, I guarantee you that the Cleveland Orchestra playing in Severance Hall creates this effect with the right music.  I listen almost exclusively to rock at home which seldom has content this low.  Once I have the graph showing close to flat I tune by ear, which has proven to me over the years to be what I like.  This passage I refer to was recorded by Mike Bishop who has learned to capture ALL the bass for Telarc, so it might be a bit hotter than reality. Another factor is the Linear Tube Audio ZOTL10 amp I am using - it is extremely dynamic.

Morganc - send me your email address and I'll take a picture of the amps controls and send it to you - glynnwilson@comcast.net.  But I warn you I haven't really spent much time optimizing the settings.  I like gear with an on/off switch only - cuts down on the worrying about if I have it right.

Jean-Paul

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Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #21 on: 2 Nov 2020, 03:49 am »
Not in the same universe?  :scratch:
The topology, execution, and target market matters. At one time I had JBL M2's with 4 x 500w amplifiers and active XO's in this same room, so I do have experience with varied types. It's an entirely different topology for very unique needs (mastering), and is also far more costly. They could entertain neighbors several houses away if you choose. Its 8" sibling, the JBL 708p, would have done the job just fine too, but still the output isn't needed for my modest room. Sure, for some it's a great option, but even the X5's go quite a bit lower.

So far, I find the X5's bass very satisfying, plenty of weight and slam, but with incredible nuance that I doubt many powered speakers in pro audio could dream of. Certainly the powered woofer helps, though the mid/bass driver to AMT still has a passive XO. It's obviously well executed and the system remains very efficient. It does not require huge power, which is sometimes needed to overcome passive XO losses as well. The drivers in the X5 are not in any way comparable to full range electrostatics either, given their roots in pro audio, and are very robust.

Over the years, Clayton has explored a broad range of passive, fully active (external active xo and amps), fully powered (with xo/amps), and partially powered passive speakers like the X series. He knows the target market well, determined these are a good fit, and executed in a way that they perform very well for the intended home audio market.

Believe me, I wasn't exaggerating when I said "not in the same universe". I have three passive sets of audiophile speakers (Apogee Stage, Lipinski L-707, Spatial Audio M4 TurboS) in the house alongside a number of powered pro monitors (Jbl LSR6328P, KRK VXT8, Barefoot MM12) and the difference between ALL the passives and ALL the powered monitors in regard to bass power and weight is massive. This, despite the fact that, apart from the Barefoot, they are all roughly equivalent in specified bass extension. And sure, I can HEAR that the passives are putting out low frequencies; I just don't feel it in anything like the same way. The music takes on a completely new aspect when the lower frequencies are driving it along; without this it just lacks what Steve Guttenberg calls "soul". I remember when I first got the JBL's and could hardly believe how what I had thought were tepid, lifeless, recordings suddenly come bursting to life. It was one of those "I can never go back" revelations that we relish.

And I have to admit the M4's have amazing attack and life, even more in fact than any of my powered monitors, but it's almost all coming from the mids and highs. Sure, the bass is remarkably well-defined but it just doesn't drive the music to anything like the same degree as the pro stuff does. So I want to be sure that the new models have a vastly greater sense of bass power before I upgrade.

Jean-Paul

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Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #22 on: 2 Nov 2020, 04:02 am »
While the deep bass that you feel in your gut is impressive, is it accurate? When I go to a live concert, even in an intimate venue such as a jazz club, I don't feel ground shaking bass. If I hear or feel this reverberation at home, I fix this problem because excessive vibration from the walls and floor has a sound, and it isn't musical. If you want power punches, OB subs may not be your cup of tea. But if you want the most accurate bass on the planet, the trophy goes to OB servo subs.

Glynnw -- I'm guessing your OB subs are overlapping in frequency with the X5's, giving you a huge hump somewhere in the bass region. If you like it, that's great, but likely an anomaly nonetheless.

I agree; unamplified music rarely has this weight and power. I'm mainly talking about modern pop and dance recordings; the bass often has shuddering weight and if you don't get this on playback a lot of the experience goes missing.

Early B.

Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #23 on: 2 Nov 2020, 04:51 am »
I agree; unamplified music rarely has this weight and power. I'm mainly talking about modern pop and dance recordings; the bass often has shuddering weight and if you don't get this on playback a lot of the experience goes missing.

Oh, you're referring to modern and dance recordings. That's garbage to an ardent audiophile. The bass is almost always fake. You essentially want to reproduce computer-generated bass in a "more realistic" way. Makes sense why you keep a set of JBLs around. That's cool.   

VistaBlue

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Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #24 on: 2 Nov 2020, 02:12 pm »
@Jean-Paul, I am also interested in speakers that convey "whallop"... that visceral impact a listener feels as well as hears. As an ex-musician, I love feeling the music while it's being performed.

Our experience as philharmonic attendees is that music from basses, low brass and timpani can definitely be felt as well as heard depending on where one sits in the hall. Mid to front orchestra is perfect for this experience.

We owned Von Schweikert VR4 HSE loudspeakers many years ago. These produced that feeling. Loved them for that aspect.

If Spatial Audio M3S or X5 can do this, then I am very interested in purchasing a pair for audition.


sockpit

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Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #25 on: 2 Nov 2020, 06:01 pm »
Don't know about the X series, but with the M series you might want a REL sub-bass system (that's how they think of their subwoofers) to get the tangible effect you're looking for, say in orchestral music.

I own M5s, but my room is probably too small for my old REL T1 sub.  Still playing around with things, though.  I too like bass you can feel.

VistaBlue

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Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #26 on: 2 Nov 2020, 06:33 pm »
Don't know about the X series, but with the M series you might want a REL sub-bass system (that's how they think of their subwoofers) to get the tangible effect you're looking for, say in orchestral music.

Good to know. Thanks.

Our listening room is our living room, so subwoofers are not an ideal option. That narrows the option to Spatial Audio X5 (X3 are a bit too tall).

Spatial Audio

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Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #27 on: 2 Nov 2020, 07:36 pm »
Just to clarify the models - the new M3 Sapphire model does have much more powerful and deeper bass than the old versions of the M3 (Turbo and Triode Master models). The M3 Sapphire also has more deep bass power and impact than the new single woofer M5 Sapphire like Sockpit owns. The M3 Sapphire has bass performance on par to X5, so it is not a necessity to go to the X5 in order to have enough bass.

Clayton Shaw
_____________
Spatial Audio Lab






jtwrace

Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #28 on: 2 Nov 2020, 07:46 pm »
The nomenclature sure is confusing now.  Is there any meaning to each speaker actually? 

Spatial Audio

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Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #29 on: 2 Nov 2020, 08:04 pm »
The nomenclature sure is confusing now.  Is there any meaning to each speaker actually?

M Sapphire Series -Passive 2 way design, M100 Sapphire mid/tweeter
M5  -Single 15" woofer
M3  -Dual 15" woofer

X Series -3 way design with Powered bass section, 12" Mid, AMT tweeter
X5  -12" woofer
X3  -15" woofer

Clayton

VistaBlue

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Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #30 on: 2 Nov 2020, 08:09 pm »
The M3 Sapphire has bass performance on par to X5, so it is not a necessity to go to the X5 in order to have enough bass.

@SpatialAudio, subject to an amplifier's ability to properly drive the bass of the M3 Sapphire, correct?

Spatial Audio

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Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #31 on: 2 Nov 2020, 08:18 pm »
@SpatialAudio, subject to an amplifier's ability to properly drive the bass of the M3 Sapphire, correct?

Corrrect - the M3 being a passive, full range 4 Ohm speaker needs to be taken in consideration.

The X5's powered bass section and 97dB sensitivity@8 Ohm mid/treble system make it easier to drive. So a wider range of uses and amplifier types can be used with the X5.

Clayton

TomS

Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #32 on: 2 Nov 2020, 09:24 pm »
M Sapphire Series -Passive 2 way design, M100 Sapphire mid/tweeter
M5  -Single 15" woofer
M3  -Dual 15" woofer

X Series -3 way design with Powered bass section, 12" Mid, AMT tweeter
X5  -12" woofer
X3  -15" woofer

Clayton
I think the confusion is there is an "old" M3 (several versions - original, TM, Turbo, ?) and a "new" M3 (Sapphire). If one refers to "M3" it's not obvious which it is yet they are very different speakers. Perhaps M3S?

SnowPuppy77

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Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #33 on: 2 Nov 2020, 09:26 pm »
@SpatialAudio, subject to an amplifier's ability to properly drive the bass of the M3 Sapphire, correct?

Just wanted you to know that I drive my Spatial M3S with a Schiit Ragnarok 1st gen amplifier.  It has 60 wpc into 8 ohm and 100 wpc into 4 ohms.  It drives the M3S beautifully with no desire for more power.  I have excellent bass quality and quantity.  Any Schiit Audio amp will do great with the M3S for a reasonable price.  I have a Telarc Digital CD called Verdi Without Words.  I do not think anyone could listen to this CD or a Porcupine Tree CD on my system and not be impressed with not only the bass slam and dynamics but the enveloping fullness of the bass and the stage it sets.  The inner detail on the bass is excellent.  Now I used to have a pair of Paradigm Studio 100 v.2 which Stereophile said had bass that approached class A.  The Paradigm's bass shakes the walls more and can be felt a little more.  And the wall shaking smears the detail and realism of the bass.  My Spatial M3S bass trounces the Paradigms.  The bass has quite a shock factor on well recorded orchestra.  I love how I get the impact and fullness without shaking wall and tilting pictures.

mrotino332

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Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #34 on: 3 Nov 2020, 03:27 pm »
Just wanted to give my brief thoughts on the bass.  I have the X5's in a medium sized room.  24 x 11 x 7 feet about 4 feet out from the front wall and I can honestly say the bass is the best I've ever had in my room and probably the best quality bass I've heard.  I was shocked at the amount of bass but more importantly the quality, impact, texture and speed of the bass and fully planned on using my subs with the x5s prior to purchasing them.  i also believe the large 12 inch upper bass/midrange driver adds to the bass quality.  I previously used two Rel storm subs in stereo and there is no contest between the X5s and the two rels, the X5s are much better in every way and even go lower according to my stereophile test cd.  I can't understand this but it's true and several people who have come over expressed the same comments.
Even deep bass electronic music like Yello sounds much better with the X5s than the rels ever did.  In my room I have no need for the rels and when I tried using them in parallel with the x5s they detracted from the detail and texture of the x5 bass.  If I ever feel the need for more bass i would augment with open baffle subs but have no need to do so now.

Again this is just my honest opinion and everyone's perception of bass is different.


Jean-Paul

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Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #35 on: 4 Nov 2020, 03:57 am »
Oh, you're referring to modern and dance recordings. That's garbage to an ardent audiophile. The bass is almost always fake. You essentially want to reproduce computer-generated bass in a "more realistic" way. Makes sense why you keep a set of JBLs around. That's cool.

Well, the bass from modern dance recordings is what the producer/engineer considered to be appropriate. Now if that means that the playback should have thunderous floor-shaking bass then who am I to call it "fake"? I agree that it's unnatural, if by natural you mean unamplified, but I contend that accurate playback demands that the bass should reproduce what the producer intended.

Jean-Paul

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Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #36 on: 4 Nov 2020, 04:12 am »
@Jean-Paul, I am also interested in speakers that convey "whallop"... that visceral impact a listener feels as well as hears. As an ex-musician, I love feeling the music while it's being performed.

Our experience as philharmonic attendees is that music from basses, low brass and timpani can definitely be felt as well as heard depending on where one sits in the hall. Mid to front orchestra is perfect for this experience.

We owned Von Schweikert VR4 HSE loudspeakers many years ago. These produced that feeling. Loved them for that aspect.

If Spatial Audio M3S or X5 can do this, then I am very interested in purchasing a pair for audition.

I guess that the point of these exchanges is "can the X3/X5 do this?" Or is it difficult to impossible for an open-baffle design to achieve this without electronic trickery and high-mass subwoofers of the kind that GR Research use in their dedicated subwoofers? I can't say as I haven't heard them but my experiences with the M4 TurboS doesn't fill me with a lot of confidence. However, the X series, by contrast to earlier models, is powered so there may be enough electronic boost to do the job. But I know what you mean by the wallop you can get from Symphony Orchestras. I was listening to the Mahler !st conducted by Klaus Tennstedt through the Barefoot MM12s (which are spectacular for bass impact and extension) and there were these subterranean thumps that I thought were essential to the music but are missing through a lot of loudspeakers.

I will say that the definition of the bass through the SA's is extraordinary; it's just that they may not quite have the impact you're after. If you can find someone nearby to let you audition them you will have a much clearer idea. For visceral impact, I would certainly recommend your trying out some pro monitors. I also find them much better value money than audiophile speakers.

morganc

Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #37 on: 4 Nov 2020, 04:19 am »
I guess that the point of these exchanges is "can the X3/X5 do this?" Or is it difficult to impossible for an open-baffle design to achieve this without electronic trickery and high-mass subwoofers of the kind that GR Research use in their dedicated subwoofers? I can't say as I haven't heard them but my experiences with the M4 TurboS doesn't fill me with a lot of confidence. However, the X series, by contrast to earlier models, is powered so there may be enough electronic boost to do the job. But I know what you mean by the wallop you can get from Symphony Orchestras. I was listening to the Mahler !st conducted by Klaus Tennstedt through the Barefoot MM12s (which are spectacular for bass impact and extension) and there were these subterranean thumps that I thought were essential to the music but are missing through a lot of loudspeakers.

I will say that the definition of the bass through the SA's is extraordinary; it's just that they may not quite have the impact you're after. If you can find someone nearby to let you audition them you will have a much clearer idea. For visceral impact, I would certainly recommend your trying out some pro monitors. I also find them much better value money than audiophile speakers.

IMO the X series is a gigantic leap up from the prior M3TM that I had. The M3TM were underwhelming compared to many high end systems and the bass was very lacking.   

Now with the X-5's I'm satisfied.   I am running GR Research Subs but I was happy without them and could live without them.  I have not even optimized my room and have quite a few areas I'd like to work on in my room and system, but even less than perfect in a less than ideal room and I'm stoked.  And if I optimized the room, added bass traps, and had flexibility on placement, I'd likely not need the subs at all.  Just my $.02. 

Jean-Paul

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Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #38 on: 4 Nov 2020, 04:28 am »
At one time I had JBL M2's with 4 x 500w amplifiers and active XO's in this same room,

If I may ask, why did you get rid of the M2's?

genjamon

Re: New x5's a bargain at twice the price.
« Reply #39 on: 4 Nov 2020, 01:43 pm »
Using the M4 Turbo S as a baseline for bass performance for the X Series is ludicrous. The leap in bass from the M4 turbo to the M3 turbo alone was massive. (Yes I auditioned the M4 TS and owned the M3 TS, so know from experience). And M3 turbo is nowhere near the bass performance of these new models. The M4 TS isn’t even designed to be a full range speaker for heaven’s sake!