"What a refreshingly honest blog about listening to music through hi-fi. So happy to see views based upon the enjoyment of music rather than so-called sound 'quality'." - Peter Comeau, Director of Acoustic Design at Mission / Wharfedale

Monday 25 February 2019

Bristol 2019 - Auralic and Spendor: SOUND OF THE SHOW

Well, I'm not usually a fan of Spendor speakers - there have been one or 2 that have been enjoyable, but normally they're just too safe sounding and don't drive foot-tapping for me.

Today was not one of those days.  Using a streamer, clock, DAC / pre and power amps from Auralic, they were showing off the new £8.5k Classic 100 speaker.  I've enjoyed the Auralic electronics at other shows and they did a great job again here at Bristol.  The big Spendors have a slightly unusual configuration with a 5" or so mid-range driver above what looks like their usual tweeter design which is itself above a large bass driver and a pair of smallish ports.  They look "classic" in a kind of 70s / 80s kind of way and have a lovely veneer finish.  But what they don't do is sound like a British 70s / 80s speaker - they are thoroughly up to date and sound fantastic.  Fast, solid bass (choose your position in the room carefully because there was a little boom if sat in the wrong row), very well articulated vocals and a sweetly detailed treble with no sign of harshness or forcefulness.

Song after song displayed this system's dynamic and musical ability, across all genres, including very realistic piano tone and scale. This was one of those rooms where lots of variety of music was being played as the system did well with all genres.  When the room host is playing a bit of everything, its usually because they're confident of the system's capability - and rightly so here.  Its worth noting that Spendor had a decent sized room for these big speakers to breath in - probably twice the size of most of the bedroom dem rooms.  So a very enjoyable listen here - I went back twice more during the day to make sure that the variety of music and the capability to deliver was consistent.  And it was - consistently very enjoyable.

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