Mutzgoatz

Spendor A4 v Dynaudio Special 40 demo

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Just back from the demo at Audio T of these two speakers.

It was interesting, as not had a demo in years. The current setup (which I have now sold) was an Arcam A19, with Kef R100 speakers and a Marantz NA7004 streamer.

The room was large, with very high Georgian ceilings etc.

Streaming was via a Linn Selekt (£5,250), so way more than I would be prepared to spend. And after that, a Primare i15 network player/amplifier (£1,600). So far less expensive, and to be honest, not drastically different to my ears, just a bit less expansive in the soundstage. Both seemed fine (at a modest 50W per channel) to deliver more volume than I need, and ample control. I ran out of time to try any other electronics.


Spendor A4:

Room-filling sound, natural and engaging in the midrange. Hard to get a full impression of the bass, as the room was so large, but there were no complaints on speed or overhang. I suspect in my 15feet x 13feet bedroom at home they will sound quite a bit fuller. Sweet and easy on the ears upper treble (think snare drums), but the lower treble (sibilance region) was still a bit sharp/crisp to me, but then I think I am just really sensitive to this. Unless it’s down to the electronics.

They look fantastic; so understated and unimposing, with a nice finish.

There was however a hint of midrange boxiness, although I could have imagined that.


Dynaudio Special 40:

They don’t sound massively different in character to be honest. I think I would sum them up as being more ‘explicit’. The detail just seemed that bit higher, with more ‘going on’ in the soundstage, slightly more to interest the listener. Compared to the Spendors, they sounded a little less restrained and veiled in the midrange and a little more forward perhaps. I think I found them a bit more toe-tapping too.

The upper treble was again sweet, and as with the Spendors, the lower treble (sibilance region) sounded a bit too sharp and crisp. I think it was a bit more pronounced than the Spendors too. In return though, there was that bit more detail.

No boxiness was detected. Going back to the Spendors though, I struggled to find much issue in that regard either.

Bass was impressive for a standmount, seemed adequately agile and gave a welcome fullness to the sound when required. I’d say both speakers were similar in how they handle bass.

Interestingly, the guy at Audio T said he preferred the Spendors, as when pushed hard, the Spendors remained in control, while the Dynaudios ‘’fell apart’’ and were all over the place.

In terms of looks, they are nice looking speakers. But they’re way chunkier than the Spendors and are a lot more unwieldy looking when factoring in the stands. (Max budget on amplifier or amp/streamer combined would be £2,500 - £3,000 by the way).

On that point, there is of course the additional cost of stands to factor in. And the fact I’ll probably need an amp with more grunt to get the best out of them.

In conclusion…I’m really not sure! I loved them both and reckon they would be a joy to listen to at home, especially where volume levels will be lower (mid-terrace house!), and likely the bass will be reinforced too.

Anyone heard these speakers and would be able to give their two pennies worth?

Thanks

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Super Wammer

Thanks so much for your thoughts , as you mentioned the room was very large and completely different to your room but it gives a bit of a flavour . I recently heard the a7 and preferred it to the d7 for midrange . only heard the dynaudio at shows and it was good . 

Spendor being a floorstander saves having the stands . lovely wood finish and i like the protected tweeter . 86db sensitivity will need a resonably powerful amp but you can get maybe another arcam or a rega s/h in your budget [ see classifieds for radient reds rega ] 

Dynaudio have that lovely soft dome tweeter but having had a number of dyns i am always worried about it getting damaged . if you have no kids perhaps thats not a problem. the finish on the special forty is superb .  

The chap at audio T has his opinions of course but its your ears that matter , The spendor are a cheaper option for your limited budget as no stands to buy 

here they are with accuphase to show the size 

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Super Wammer

the spendor might sound good with this cyrus one HD which sounded very good at the last show and many good comments in the room 

https://www.pinkfishmedia.net/forum/threads/save-£100-the-cyrus-one-and-one-hd-amplifiers.228684/

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why not have a look around for secondhand A6 or A6r. They seem to be available at around a grand used, which not only saves you a stack of cash, but too me where a better speaker than the A4. Moine work very well in a 16 x 14 room with high ceilings. They can harden up a bit if played loud, sorry I mean if played LOUD, but that seem to go with use.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks all. 

I'm even considering Spendor A7's instead. But just concerned (without a home demo) they may be too big for a 15 feet x 13ft room.

Do you think perhaps an Exposure 3010SD2 or Hegel H190 would partner well with these speakers? 

Would be a bit of a punt but it seems like they might on paper.

Edited by Mutzgoatz
Additional info

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Super Wammer
Posted (edited)

Both good Amps although the hegal will push you over your budget. What about the rega from radient red

Edited by hifinutt

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Super Wammer

Great , good Amps.  Try to buy sh and then you can sell at no loss if does not float your boat . I notice you sold your arcam and wondered why ?

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To be honest, getting rid of the 50W arcam A19 was due to upgraditis. 

Owned and loved the setup for 7 years. But just fancied stepping up a level really across the board. And I must admit the arcam, while detailed and spacious, lacked a bit of drive and rhythmic oomph.

I know what you mean about buying second hand; it's the sensible route! I'm just a sucker for buying new I think.

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45 minutes ago, Mutzgoatz said:

To be honest, getting rid of the 50W arcam A19 was due to upgraditis. 

Owned and loved the setup for 7 years. But just fancied stepping up a level really across the board. And I must admit the arcam, while detailed and spacious, lacked a bit of drive and rhythmic oomph.

I know what you mean about buying second hand; it's the sensible route! I'm just a sucker for buying new I think.

There are a few Arcam A39 s/h on the market and great step up from your A19 imo.

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1 minute ago, Iceman 16 said:

There are a few Arcam A39 s/h on the market and great step up from your A19 imo.

Agreed.

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Super Wammer

@Mutzgoatz where are you based?

I have a Hegel H200, which is the model before they all had streamers, but if you heard it you would get a feel for what they're like. I absolutely love mine. If you're south then you could come and hear it, or I could bring it round.

(filling in the profile is usually a good thing on this forum as it helps us to help you :) )

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Super Wammer

There's a low hours Exposure in the classifieds 

Then for streaming the Bluesound Node2/Node2i is a good choice. 

Buying the amp used would give you a better budget for streamer and speakers so you can still buy new kit if you must. 

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20 hours ago, bigfool1956 said:

@Mutzgoatz where are you based?

I have a Hegel H200, which is the model before they all had streamers, but if you heard it you would get a feel for what they're like. I absolutely love mine. If you're south then you could come and hear it, or I could bring it round.

(filling in the profile is usually a good thing on this forum as it helps us to help you :) )

Thanks for the kind offer. I'm based in Bristol though. Hegel amps do sound promising from what I've read.

On balance though I'm thinking probably an Exposure 3010S2 with a bluesound node 2i for streaming duties. Then hopefully home demo a couple of speakers. 

Definitely not after something too analytical, exciting or forward. More detailed, but with some natural flow/punch and warmth would be nice. 

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The main thing the OP needs to decide is whether he prefers floorstanders or standmounts. Both are no doubt very capable but room size/layout will dictate which flag to wave.

And both will have their own traits: Floostanders generally have a more extended LFs while the standmounts tend to be a little more agile. And, a guess, the Dyns will be slightly harder to drive (older ones always were) therefore amplifier quality is crucial.

Personally I would be looking at Cyrus, Naim, Leema, Rotel 15 series... they generally work well with both Spendor and Dyns. 

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