Low end roll-off: M3 vs M5.

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SoundDecision

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Low end roll-off: M3 vs M5.
« on: 27 Dec 2020, 03:58 pm »
If I understand correctly, the additional bass driver the M3 has over the M5 is for frequencies from around 90Hz and lower. Since both speakers are spec'd with an in room response to 32Hz, the M5 must roll-off at a higher point than the M3. What does the typical low end, in room response of each model look like? What would the -3dB point be for each model and is the roll-off slope different for each model? I hope what I'm asking makes sense as I'm not real technical with all of this, but I'm trying to get an idea of how the Sapphires might compare to something like a Magnepan 1.6 with bass response, my current speakers. Thanks in advance.

jjss49

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Re: Low end roll-off: M3 vs M5.
« Reply #1 on: 27 Dec 2020, 06:03 pm »
when i spoke to clayton about m3 sapp vs m5 he was clear that m3 had a much more full bass response (which i valued in the speaker change) -- and so i ordered the m3... obviously i have not tried the m5 as a result, but i have the say the full fast airy bass response of the m3 is quite spectacular one of the 2 greatest strengths of the speaker i would say

i had maggie 3a's years ago so it has been some time, but i would say the spatials have much much much better bass than maggies...

Tyson

Re: Low end roll-off: M3 vs M5.
« Reply #2 on: 27 Dec 2020, 06:30 pm »
The Spatials are going go crush the Maggies in the bass.  It's a simple matter of physics and swept volume. 

SoundDecision

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Re: Low end roll-off: M3 vs M5.
« Reply #3 on: 27 Dec 2020, 06:42 pm »

i had maggie 3a's years ago so it has been some time, but i would say the spatials have much much much better bass than maggies...

Thank you for the reply. Your previous experience with series 3 Maggies gives me a very useful comparison. In my room the 1.6s are pretty flat down to about 45. I use my system at low volume (65 to 70 dB) most of the time, so bass response is ok, but I'm always wanting more weight. If I use the Roon DSP to simulate a loudness curve for example, most material sounds more pleasing, however I don't like fiddling with the data stream like that.

SoundDecision

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Re: Low end roll-off: M3 vs M5.
« Reply #4 on: 27 Dec 2020, 06:49 pm »
The Spatials are going go crush the Maggies in the bass.  It's a simple matter of physics and swept volume.

I sure seems like the M3 would! I would be curious if the M5 would and by how much?
Thanks for reply.

jjss49

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Re: Low end roll-off: M3 vs M5.
« Reply #5 on: 28 Dec 2020, 04:37 am »
I sure seems like the M3 would! I would be curious if the M5 would and by how much?
Thanks for reply.

only one way to find out...  open wallet buy both pair return one...

SoundDecision

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Re: Low end roll-off: M3 vs M5.
« Reply #6 on: 28 Dec 2020, 01:34 pm »
only one way to find out...  open wallet buy both pair return one...

That would work. You seem confident at least one pair would stay. My 1.6s do a lot of things very well.

Tyson

Re: Low end roll-off: M3 vs M5.
« Reply #7 on: 28 Dec 2020, 04:59 pm »
That would work. You seem confident at least one pair would stay. My 1.6s do a lot of things very well.


I'm a big planar fan.  In fact I run planar based speakers in my downstairs system and a friend has the 1.7i's in his main setup.  I love planars and I also think Maggies sound great.  But Maggies have some downsides, like the fact that you need a really robust amp to drive them.  So the speaker really limits the type of amps you can use in your system. 

The Spatials on the other hand let you use a much wider array of beautiful sounding amps (especially tube amps).  I've not heard the Sapphire series but I've heard several other models in the Spatial lineup (including the Lumina and X2) and as a planar lover myself, the model I'd suggest you look at would be the X5.  The mid/tweeter driver on that thing is astonishing and about the only thing I've heard that can keep up with the magic of planar magnetic drivers. 

On top of that, add in self-powered OB bass (which is far, far, far better than what any Magnepan can achieve) and you have not just a modest step up, but a giant leap in performance. 

jjss49

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Re: Low end roll-off: M3 vs M5.
« Reply #8 on: 29 Dec 2020, 03:50 am »
the spatials would greatly outperform smaller maggies (even bigger maggies) on dynamicism... otoh the maggies might have a little sweeter sounding top end... but yes using really good tube amps will tame the high end on the spatials while still delivering the bass and dynamics -- the new spatial tweeter can definitely be shrill with the wrong amplification

SoundDecision

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Re: Low end roll-off: M3 vs M5.
« Reply #9 on: 29 Dec 2020, 01:57 pm »
I'm a big planar fan.  In fact I run planar based speakers in my downstairs system and a friend has the 1.7i's in his main setup.  I love planars and I also think Maggies sound great.  But Maggies have some downsides, like the fact that you need a really robust amp to drive them.  So the speaker really limits the type of amps you can use in your system. 
Yes. The improved efficiency of the Spatials is a big attraction to me. My room is small and I'm currently using a 200wpc, 95lb furnace to drive the 1.6s. They need it to sound their best. The possibility of a smaller, cooler amp would be great and as you point out, also a much broader selection(including lower power tube amps) of some really fine possibilities.


I've not heard the Sapphire series but I've heard several other models in the Spatial lineup (including the Lumina and X2) and as a planar lover myself, the model I'd suggest you look at would be the X5.  The mid/tweeter driver on that thing is astonishing and about the only thing I've heard that can keep up with the magic of planar magnetic drivers.
The X5 looks impressive, and I'm sure it would be. One thing that concerns me about the X5 for my particular situation is the possibility that it would overwhelm the small room I have. That's also my main reason I'm considering the M5 over the M3. Could I end up with too much bass? My room is only 11x12 feet and while not ideal, it's a dedicated room and works quite well with the 1.6s. I have them 4 feet off the front wall and two feet off the sides and a loveseat against the back wall where I sit. The speakers literally vanish in this setup and the soundstage is superb. The bass is classic Maggie. Tight, clean, and fast, but on a lot of recordings thin with little dynamics. My goal would be to improve on that, but could I end up with too much of a good thing in such a small room?
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SoundDecision

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Re: Low end roll-off: M3 vs M5.
« Reply #10 on: 29 Dec 2020, 02:14 pm »
the spatials would greatly outperform smaller maggies (even bigger maggies) on dynamicism... otoh the maggies might have a little sweeter sounding top end... but yes using really good tube amps will tame the high end on the spatials while still delivering the bass and dynamics -- the new spatial tweeter can definitely be shrill with the wrong amplification
Yes, this would be my goal. Better dynamics and bass extension, but retain the mid/high smoothness and soundstaging that the 1.6s can do so well. The vanishing act of the 1.6s in my setup is as good as I've heard. I don't want to lose any of that in the process. A small tube integrated like the LTA Z10 so often talked about here would be a great fit in my room(see my reply above for details). The delima: M5, M3, or X5 to get there?

Grahamps

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Re: Low end roll-off: M3 vs M5.
« Reply #11 on: 29 Dec 2020, 02:41 pm »
My new M3 Sapphires are criminally close to the back wall. I'll try and be more helpful in a separate posting, but do not fear overwhelming your room. More driver area, with this speaker, I see as a layman, means less effort. The M3 is becoming super-smooth to listen to, ie not emphasizing anything while revealing the lowest flourishes in recordings. Small adjustments in placement are giving me dynamic scaling and information from within the recording that is just about unprecedented, or is, in my experience... Like the ease and depth and neutrality of resolve of the over built B&W 800D.

P.S. I owned Magnepan Tympani 1D's, and sold (or tried to) Magnepan in Seattle in the mid-00's.

Tyson

Re: Low end roll-off: M3 vs M5.
« Reply #12 on: 29 Dec 2020, 03:58 pm »
Yes. The improved efficiency of the Spatials is a big attraction to me. My room is small and I'm currently using a 200wpc, 95lb furnace to drive the 1.6s. They need it to sound their best. The possibility of a smaller, cooler amp would be great and as you point out, also a much broader selection(including lower power tube amps) of some really fine possibilities.
The X5 looks impressive, and I'm sure it would be. One thing that concerns me about the X5 for my particular situation is the possibility that it would overwhelm the small room I have. That's also my main reason I'm considering the M5 over the M3. Could I end up with too much bass? My room is only 11x12 feet and while not ideal, it's a dedicated room and works quite well with the 1.6s. I have them 4 feet off the front wall and two feet off the sides and a loveseat against the back wall where I sit. The speakers literally vanish in this setup and the soundstage is superb. The bass is classic Maggie. Tight, clean, and fast, but on a lot of recordings thin with little dynamics. My goal would be to improve on that, but could I end up with too much of a good thing in such a small room?


Re: the X5 and bass, it's the opposite.  Since it has a dedicate amp for the bass, if it's too much for your room, you just turn it down.  The flexibility that powered bass adds for difficult rooms is quite addicting.  And since it's OB bass it's way way way less likely to overwhelm the room than a box speaker or a box sub. 

There's 2 reasons bass tends to sound bad.  First is the room itself, but with OB bass you ameliorate that quite nicely.  2nd is the driver itself is not properly controlled by the amp and thus sounds a bit wooly and loose.  That's actually more likely to happen in a fully passive design as your main amp has to control the bass driver while also trying to be beautiful sounding for the mids and highs.  That's a really tall order and very difficult for a single amp to achieve.   

With a self powered bass section, that problem is also solved very nicely.  You get powerful, tight, controlled bass at the same time the mids and highs are left to sing beautifully.  It's an elegant solution.

sockpit

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Re: Low end roll-off: M3 vs M5.
« Reply #13 on: 29 Dec 2020, 07:07 pm »
My room is 11 by 14 at best, and I own the M5s (and an LTA z10i)

When I purchased them, I spoke with Clayton about both the M3s and the X5s and told him I was willing to spend more to put an end to upgraditis.  He told me to go with the M5s, given the size of the room.  One issue with the X5s not yet mentioned is how close you will be to the AMT tweeter.  Clayton said it needs more distance than I could give it to sound right.  As for the M3s, I decided to just trust his judgment.

I'm coming up on a year's worth of experience with the M5s. I'll add that treating my room with GIK bass traps and panels has made a significant difference. Small rooms are a mess for bass especially.  Mike at GIK says its almost impossible to over treat such a room.

In any case, talk to Clayton (again) about which model is best for you before you hit "Buy."
« Last Edit: 29 Dec 2020, 08:13 pm by sockpit »

SoundDecision

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Re: Low end roll-off: M3 vs M5.
« Reply #14 on: 30 Dec 2020, 12:18 am »
My new M3 Sapphires .....
Thank you for your input and personal experience with the M3s.

SoundDecision

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Re: Low end roll-off: M3 vs M5.
« Reply #15 on: 30 Dec 2020, 12:42 am »
Re: the X5 and bass, it's the opposite.  Since it has a dedicate amp for the bass, if it's too much for your room, you just turn it down.  The flexibility that powered bass adds for difficult rooms is quite addicting.  And since it's OB bass it's way way way less likely to overwhelm the room than a box speaker or a box sub. 

There's 2 reasons bass tends to sound bad.  First is the room itself, but with OB bass you ameliorate that quite nicely.  2nd is the driver itself is not properly controlled by the amp and thus sounds a bit wooly and loose.  That's actually more likely to happen in a fully passive design as your main amp has to control the bass driver while also trying to be beautiful sounding for the mids and highs.  That's a really tall order and very difficult for a single amp to achieve.   

With a self powered bass section, that problem is also solved very nicely.  You get powerful, tight, controlled bass at the same time the mids and highs are left to sing beautifully.  It's an elegant solution.

Some good points on the powered bass drivers and DSP. As mentioned in a later post though, I don't know if that AMT driver mounted in a waveguide(?) would be suitable in a nearfield setup like I have. I sit about seven to eight feet from the speaker. From just a perspective of physical scale, the M5 would bit the best fit(literally) in my small room.

SoundDecision

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Re: Low end roll-off: M3 vs M5.
« Reply #16 on: 30 Dec 2020, 12:56 am »
My room is 11 by 14 at best, and I own the M5s (and an LTA z10i)

When I purchased them, I spoke with Clayton about both the M3s and the X5s and told him I was willing to spend more to put an end to upgraditis.  He told me to go with the M5s, given the size of the room.  One issue with the X5s not yet mentioned is how close you will be to the AMT tweeter.  Clayton said it needs more distance than I could give it to sound right.  As for the M3s, I decided to just trust his judgment.

I'm coming up on a year's worth of experience with the M5s. I'll add that treating my room with GIK bass traps and panels has made a significant difference. Small rooms are a mess for bass especially.  Mike at GIK says its almost impossible to over treat such a room.

In any case, talk to Clayton (again) about which model is best for you before you hit "Buy."
Your room scenario seems about as close to mine as I'll find. This is all very good information. I appreciate the reply.

sockpit

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Re: Low end roll-off: M3 vs M5.
« Reply #17 on: 30 Dec 2020, 01:32 am »
For what it’s worth, I don’t sit right up against the back wall.  I’m about one third into the room, as are the M5s.

That puts me quite near field.  Five feet, most the time.  The result can be stunning because it takes a lot of reflections out of the picture.  From the start Clayton recommended I play with the near field in my kids’ old bedroom.  Speakers are almost 4 feet into the room.