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  1. #1
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    Spatail Audio M3

    Paul Speltz with Anti Cables dropped off a pair of Spatial Audio M3's for me to audition. Unfortunately they are not the S models.

    I received the Spatial M3's last night. I am impressed with them. They sound very similar to my Magnepan 1.6's in some respects. They are smoother, more 3d with a little more depth and image better than the Maggies. There is no fatigue at all. The Maggies have better bass and slam along with more resolution and detail. The sound stage is taller with the Maggies but that is to be expected with them being much taller in size than the M3's. The M3's are more coherent much like the Magnepan 1.7's (as opposed to my 1.6's) They definitely need a subwoofer. Overall, I could be happy with them and think that they are a great buy. I am not so sure that they are giant killers though. They perform above their price point but are not on par with some of the speakers that I have heard in the $5K range and above. I am going to have a few friends over this week for a listen. I will report back in a few days.

    I am going to give Clayton at Spatial Audio a call and get the scoop on the differences between the S and non S models.

    Larry
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  2. #2
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    From what I understand the Turbo S version that I own are a great deal better than the base model that you have there. The tweeter is totally different and much more detailed which would probably make up the detail gap with your Magi's plus the improved crossover components make a huge difference as well. In fact Clayton has decided to stop selling the standard version because the other two versions are so much better. You are right they do need a sub to hit the lowest lows but the bass they have or at least mine is very natural sounding and not boxy which I love.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  3. #3
    Forum Regular blackraven's Avatar
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    I had an audiophile friend over and my son an audio enthusiast with a great ear. We listened to the M3's for a few hours. We all had the same feelings about the M3's. They are a very good sounding speaker and offer a lot for the money. They do nothing wrong. They are very smooth sounding with no fatigue at all. There is little in the way of sibilants. They are very coherent, holographic, image great (better than my 1.6's in these respects) but compared to my Magnepan 1.6's they fall short in other areas. The Maggies are more musical, dynamic, detailed and resolute. Cymbals have more air and are more natural sounding. Bass down to 45hz is much better with the Maggies. Listening to the Boxer Rebellion CD "Cold Still", the first song "No Harm" towards the end of the song, bass kicks in almost like reverb and my Maggies make my room vibrate while the M3's make a wimper in comparison. Drums hit harder with the 1.6's and you can pick out nuances in music that just are not as prominent with the M3's. I am not a bass freak and by no means is my system bass heavy, but we all thought that the M3's were lacking in this area. The bass is there but when it needs to hit hard, it can't. And it is not the electronics because my BAT preamp and Pass amp are very dynamic.

    Now don't get me wrong, I am not putting down the M3's. I could be happy with them. They are a very solid speaker all around and worth their price and then some. The are more listenable than my 1.6's on poorly recorded or brighter sounding music. They do need a sub crossed over at 60hz or above. I keep my dual subs at about 48hz.

    Interestingly, I called Clayton the Designer and owner of Spatial Audio to talk about the M3 Turbo S model and how it differs in sound, not telling him my thoughts on the the M3. He stated that they sound similar but the S model has more detail, and just a bit more musicality with less distortion, a taller sound stage, a faster pace and tighter more controlled bass but it does not punch harder. He also told me that the pair of M3's that I have do not have the upgraded cross over that he puts in all the M3 models now. He stated that it markedly improves the midrange as before there was a little "suck out" or hollowness.

    To sum it up. The M3's are very listenable with no fatigue, they have a liquid sound with excellent air and transparency. They image well and have a laid back sound (in comparison to my Magnepan 1.6's). The midrange is where its at with the M3's. I was considering up grading to these speakers, but at best they would be a lateral move. I would love to hear the S models though.
    Pass Labs X250 amp, BAT Vk-51se Preamp,
    Thorens TD-145 TT, Bellari phono preamp, Nagaoka MP-200 Cartridge
    Magnepan QR1.6 speakers
    Luxman DA-06 DAC
    Van Alstine Ultra Plus Hybrid Tube DAC
    Dual Martin Logan Original Dynamo Subs
    Parasound A21 amp
    Vintage Luxman T-110 tuner
    Magnepan MMG's, Grant Fidelity DAC-11, Class D CDA254 amp
    Monitor Audio S1 speakers, PSB B6 speakers
    Vintage Technic's Integrated amp
    Music Hall 25.2 CDP
    Adcom GFR 700 AVR
    Cables- Cardas, Silnote, BJC
    Velodyne CHT 8 sub

  4. #4
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    yeah I would love you to hear my turbo s models. I think your thoughts would improve hearing mine with the upgrades.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



  5. #5
    Forum Regular harley .guy07's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
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    Springfield, Mo
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    Learned something new about my Spatials this morning. I was just bored and off today and wanted to play with the distances and toe in since Clayton said that after break in they will need to be repositioned. Wow these things are ultra sensitive to distance and toe in, more than any speaker that I have owned or worked with. For one toe in changes the sound stage qualities completely, and the distance from the back wall will be the difference between really natural good bass and none at all! I understand why some have said that these are bass shy because if these are not in the perfect spot for them in the room they will be. also symmetrical speaker placement is critical, even a quarter of a inch off from one speaker to the other can change things. Just an FIY for anyone planning on demoing these is to take the time to make sure they are in the room right and symmetrical.

    Marantz SR5008(HT)
    Nu Force P8 Preamp (2 channel)
    Pass Labs X150.5(2 channel)
    Adcom 545 mk2 power amp(rear channel amp)
    Spatial Audio M3 Turbo S Mains Speakers
    Dayton 8" HO custom sealed subwoofer(2 channel)
    Yamaha NS-c444 center channel
    Emotiva ERD-1 surround speakers
    JBL e250p subwoofer highly modified
    Samsung 46" LED TV
    OPPO BDP-83 blue ray/multi format player
    ps-audio NuWave dac (2 channel)
    Dell I660 music server running fidelizer windows 8 audio optimizer
    PS Audio Quintet power center



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