Intro, as requested

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sleepypanda

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Intro, as requested
« on: 8 Apr 2021, 03:15 am »
Ok. An intro.

When did I first know I was an audiophile? I’m not. You audio nerds are. Not me. I just like to listen to music. All the time. And yes, I like it to sound just so.  It’s it’s true that I get irritated by the crap music most of my friends and family listen to. Who doesn’t puke when someone you know fawns overt Bose or Beats or worse Airpods.

But yeah, all the money I made from mowing lawns in the late 70s went into my stereo. Ok maybe girls and beer and pot, but it was the 70s and I was a teenager - cut me some slack.  It was Pacific Stereo crap, but the turntable was Technics and the Sony tc-k555 cassette deck had Dolby C so I was rocking a decent noise floor.

Of course it was all stolen in my first year of college. It’s ok. I had a job. Bought a used Carver pre/amp and some Speakerlabs and technics turntable from a friend. Great for parties.  But then I needed cash for a Europe trip, so I sold it. I’m sure you are thinking WTF no audiophile would sell that stack. I told you, I’m not an audiophile and 86 Europe was awesome. (Ok, there are some tiny regrets)

Went to lots of small and large shows while living in Seattle during that era. Saw REM in a large classroom size space at UW student union building with like 100-200 smashed together stoned 19 year olds in about 1984. Saw several really shitty bands at a local club in 1990 that a friend made me see because he thought one of them was gonna go somewhere. That was Nirvana. Those were memorable for the intensity of the people and the music was intertwined with where we all were in life.  Yeah, saw all the big name stadium concerts and they were fun but ultimately less memorable.

Before long I as married and had a mortgage and a kid and then another kid. The kids and their friends and our crazy dogs tore through the house every day, and I’m like ok no fancy electronics around these little maniacs. Every day I relished the drive to and from work so I could listen to music - rock, jazz, classical, my tastes varied over the years.  Every day I’d come home from work to find new blanket and pillow forts in my listening space and it was ok. I’d rather play with my kids because I’m not an audiophile.

And now they are grown and out on their own and I’m so proud of them yet sad that they haven’t spent the night in the house in well over a year. So finally, I think yeah, maybe it’s finally time to kick back and listen to music. Really listen. 2-3 hours a night, 5-7 days a week. For an entire covid season.

I’m back in Seatle where I’ll finish my existence. I’m done moving around the US so I’m ready to get past my cute Rega amp and turntable and Kef LS50s and Rel sub. I do have a second space with Schiit Vidar and Freya+ and Magnepans etc so I’ve had a taste of open baffle.  I won’t explicitly say the name of the crap AVR in the media room, but it sounds like Lion Beer.

These days I want to get something where I can FEEL and HEAR the music like I’m in a small club listening to some unknown jazz group, feel the classic rock thumping through me like so many stadium shows of my youth, experience the emotional highs and lows of Wagner and his pals, submerge in a good port and some crazy Scandinavian jazz, and trip out on the latest electronica or lofi tracks.

The Rega and Schiit get the job done but I’m ready to explore. So I’m looking at Spatial Audio M3 Sapphires or maybe something else - this is where the journey has lead.  I’m still not an audiophile but I’ll pretend if it gets me where I want to go.

That’s my intro. It’s the last time I’ll be this verbose I swear. I tapped this on my phone while listening to 2015 Aphex Twin & related, 2018 Nils Petter Molvar’s latest, and Styx from 1978 via Tidal and Qobuz. I didn’t say I had great taste

musicdre

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Re: Intro, as requested
« Reply #1 on: 8 Apr 2021, 11:48 am »
cool intro.  welcome.   going to spatials is the best move i ever made in enjoying music at home.  i hope that you get to at least try them.

Tyson

Re: Intro, as requested
« Reply #2 on: 8 Apr 2021, 03:32 pm »
Welcome!  Nice stories in that intro :)

IMO there are 2 companies that do OB speakers over and above everyone else.  For retail speakers, it's Spatial, no doubt.  For DIY it's GR Research.  Both are here on this forum.  One thing I really like about the Spatials is their aesthetics - that is a very clean and beautiful speaker that will look amazing in the room. 

sleepypanda

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Re: Intro, as requested
« Reply #3 on: 8 Apr 2021, 06:30 pm »
Thanks for the replies and tips.

Yes, it would be nice to hear some spatials in person. I watched the NRD videos but even with the pretty high quality recordings on those vids did it’s not the same as in person.

I’ve bumped into GR research while watching a speaker mod clip on YT.  I’m comfortable with DIY but will see what’s involved.  I’m not in a huge hurry to make a purchase as I’m also rethinking DAC and power stack too and there’s always the “what next?” question. Im a little worried the Vidar won’t drive the M3 sapphire and either I need to biamp or find more power.

Tyson

Re: Intro, as requested
« Reply #4 on: 8 Apr 2021, 09:40 pm »
I'd take a look at the X5, I think the X series from Spatial is really quite special, especially if you want to use lower powered amps. 

musicdre

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Re: Intro, as requested
« Reply #5 on: 9 Apr 2021, 12:22 am »
Quote
Im a little worried the Vidar won’t drive the M3 sapphire and either I need to biamp or find more power.

not wanting to rekindle a debate here, but, imho, the M3s do not need a lot of power.   the 20 watts that clayton recommends should generally be more than enough.   what is important is the quality of the amp.  the M3s are very revealing of whats upstream in the system.

ps i believe that the M3s can not be bi-amped unless they are modded for that.

morganc

Re: Intro, as requested
« Reply #6 on: 9 Apr 2021, 12:28 am »
For Spatials, the key delineating factor between the M and X series is the size of your space and budget of course.   Care to share your room dimensions? 

I own the X-5's and they defineily are killer for the in the jazz club feeling that you're looking for.

stlrman

Re: Intro, as requested
« Reply #7 on: 9 Apr 2021, 12:33 am »
Great intro !!
Maybe someone in Seattle has the Spatials .

sleepypanda

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Re: Intro, as requested
« Reply #8 on: 9 Apr 2021, 02:51 am »
Thank you for the pleasant welcome.

The rooms I have are odd sized and have some mitigating factors that make none of them ideal. Rather than catalog all the spaces I’ll just say the spaces I have in mind are 14x20’ and larger with 10-14’ high ceilings (or higher). All have at least one open wall that spills into the next room.  Maybe I need to experiment a bit more with the current gear to get a sense of what is possible.

Yes, the spatials aren’t biamp ready in stock config.  They look easy enough to hack if all the crossover hardware is in that lower box. Budget wise, X5s are possible but the M3 sapphires to my eye have a more finished look. Heresy?!?! Whatevs. I just wish the X5s came in some darker wood tones.

geerock

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Re: Intro, as requested
« Reply #9 on: 9 Apr 2021, 09:47 pm »


 

Yes, the spatials aren’t biamp ready in stock config.  They look easy enough to hack if all the crossover hardware is in that lower box. Budget wise, X5s are possible but the M3 sapphires to my eye have a more finished look. Heresy?!?! Whatevs. I just wish the X5s came in some darker wood tones.

Keep in mind with the x series, because it has it's own DSP plate amp running the woofer that you actually do end up bi-amping.
And it isnt uncommon for Clayton to to put a different finish on his baffles at the customers request.   Happy hunting.

sleepypanda

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Re: Intro, as requested
« Reply #10 on: 9 Apr 2021, 10:16 pm »
Got it.  I just read more about the X5s and re-listened to the NRD video. I’m tempted to attend a hifi show somewhere to hear them, but seems like that kind of thing is on hold for now.




sockpit

Re: Intro, as requested
« Reply #11 on: 10 Apr 2021, 02:01 am »
I’m sitting in a “small club”—my kids’ former bedroom—listening to my M5 Sapphires, fed by 12 watts of LTA power.  Do it most evenings for 2 or 3 hours.  Yeah, it’s time.

If I had your space, I’d consider the X series.  Call Clayton when serious.

sockpit

Re: Intro, as requested
« Reply #12 on: 10 Apr 2021, 02:05 am »
And my first decent system was stolen on the 4th of July in Rogers Park, Chicago.  I had gone to the fireworks. That was 1984. (Still own the Denon turntable insurance money allowed me to replace things with!)

musicdre

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Re: Intro, as requested
« Reply #13 on: 10 Apr 2021, 11:46 am »
And my first decent system was stolen on the 4th of July in Rogers Park, Chicago.  I had gone to the fireworks. That was 1984. (Still own the Denon turntable insurance money allowed me to replace things with!) 

small world!  i had two decent systems stolen in wrigleyville in 1984 and '85.   blessing in disguise: the 2nd time i had insurance and the effort of researching replacing everything at once put me on the audiophile path.  i got infinity kappa somethings - which were the best speakers i'd had in my system to that point.  bringing this post back to spatial - after a long winding road, almost 40 years later, it feels like spatials are my end game speakers.   only question will be whether to go up the chain from M3s to Xs.

ps ironically, i'm now looking at 80's denon tables.