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Thread: Spendor S8 --Bi-Wire or not??

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    Default Spendor S8 --Bi-Wire or not??

    i recently purchased a mint pair of Spendor S8 loudspeakers for 400 and i was (at first) unsure as to whether i really liked them !! , but after a protracted listen i realised the strengths of them , superb mid-range and a nice smooth , yet detailed top end.

    i have a very good friend who has recently been experimenting with bi-amping and he suggested that i try bi-amping the Spendors , so i removed the links and connected my Beard amps to them (monoblocks to the bass/mid and stereo power amp to the tweeters , and guess what ?? , i love them even more now . i must admit that i was a little sceptical at first as to whether bi-amping would actually work , but i have to admit that it does , bass goes deeper , more information presented , and generally more enjoyment from the system (looks like i will be leaving the bi-wire links out)

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    Good stuff, nothing ventured nothing gained, glad it worked out.

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    Good result.

    What's unique about the word 'strengths'?

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    Is there a Spendor S8 or is it the S8e? 400 seems an unusually low price.

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    The S8 came first and offered a warm balance but NOT spongy or bland in my experience. One speaker that really liked Chord Odyssey speaker cables and assertive amps such as Naim or some MF designs. Bi-amping is an excellent option for these and it positively transforms the more complex S9 and S9e models.


    Not sure that 'buy-wiring' is an upgrade here, but bi-amping definitely is imo. I did it with Arcam 10/10P and the better cased FMJ version and also with rega (Mira mk1/Maia).


    The S8e offered a tauter bass, allowing the speaker to be used closer to back walls, but the sound was still smooth and well integrated. Current Spendor designs lift the upper mid a little in 'modern monitor' tradition, but in my opinion, lack the seamlessness of these 2000 era models.


    A fantastic buy for 400. I suppose they're regarded as 'large' speakers these days. the S6 and 6e is also a very fine speaker and responds similarly to cable and amp choices. I never got on with the S5 models though - too small and very sensitive to back wall positioning ime.
    Last edited by DSJR; 3rd March 2016 at 09:44.
    Turntable bodger, NVA builder and NVA's loan scheme administrator

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    enjoyed your reply DSJR, i tried the b-wire option , but could not hear any improvement , but bi-amping was a revelation .the bass seems to go deeper and the treble detail is improved without it being 'bright' .
    the S8s were sold to me as a favour (needed a quick sale) as the condition they are in 9.9/10 and boxed could easily have realised a much higher price.
    as i said in my original thread , i was a little unsure of the sound of them at first , but the more i listened , the more i liked them , so i think they will be with me for a long time (i have another 3 pairs of floorstanders by the way !!!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by TIU View Post
    Good result.

    What's unique about the word 'strengths'?
    Come on then Dave, you're a clever guy. (sorry for the brief OT)

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    glad you like the difference. BUT, it is often overlooked that when bi-amping, all the amplifiers have to have the same gain. Those people who use amplifiers with different gains often report no problems, and I do wonder about those peoples' hearing! However, if just bass/mid range and tweeter, as the tweeter has far less range and work to do, maybe its not so important.

    I have two stereo amplifiers (exactly the same) feeding floor standers, and this I have found beneficial.
    cheers.....Bryan

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    when using the Beard amps to bi-amp , the amps are not of the same power output , but the sound from the Spendors is wonderful , so i'm afraid that that is all i care about , as long as i enjoy the music i don't care (as long as i don't 'blow' anything )

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    Speakers have an advisory maximum wattage input but as long as you don't have a wild all night party and play them very loud for hours you will be ok.

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    well, they say ignorance is bliss! Power output is different to gain. Gain is the voltage gain of the amplifier, not the power output. With pro monitors, with built-in power amplifiers, the power is actually different for each frequency band (or is often) but the gains have to be the same.

    Enjoy the music.
    cheers.....Bryan

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    Ok rub it in ya cnut. I am happy in my ignorance.

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    Doesn't the crossover network split power as well as frequency?

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    It splits frequency and the music output of some styles puts all the power requirements in the midrange, with little needed from the tweeter. Only EM addicts like me (ok, Kraftwerk fans!) need plenty of power for low bass AND high treble too..


    Power requirements for speakers is a subject I can't even begin to explain, but it's well documented if you wanted to read up about it I think. Just to say that by and large, you can never have too much power, although using a pro monster with hundreds of clean Watts a side needs care if accidental damage to drivers isn't to occur - parties and so on.


    There's an interesting thread on the Yahoo IMF site regarding best amps for the TSL80, one of their larger transmission line speakers using KEF B139, B110 for bass and mids and Celestion HF1300 and HF2000 for highs. I suggested a high damping factor amp such as a still reliable vintage Crown D150A, which drove them so well in the mid 70's (we sold many of this combo). Others started talking about Quad 606's (slightly more powerful than the Crown) and then it went off into huge 500WPC jobs which certainly sounded good until a posters son? had a party and whacked up the volume, melting the crossovers!!!


    Back to topic here, the S8's (both versions) can sound self-effacing all too easily, hence my amp and cable recommendations above, after which they come alive and can really entertain in my experience. You CAN bi-amp safely with many Naim amps as long as there's a flat or Hi Cap in the middle, although they never promoted this fact.
    Turntable bodger, NVA builder and NVA's loan scheme administrator

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    Quote Originally Posted by talisman2 View Post
    i recently purchased a mint pair of Spendor S8 loudspeakers for 400 and i was (at first) unsure as to whether i really liked them !! , but after a protracted listen i realised the strengths of them , superb mid-range and a nice smooth , yet detailed top end.

    i have a very good friend who has recently been experimenting with bi-amping and he suggested that i try bi-amping the Spendors , so i removed the links and connected my Beard amps to them (monoblocks to the bass/mid and stereo power amp to the tweeters , and guess what ?? , i love them even more now . i must admit that i was a little sceptical at first as to whether bi-amping would actually work , but i have to admit that it does , bass goes deeper , more information presented , and generally more enjoyment from the system (looks like i will be leaving the bi-wire links out)
    Forgive me but can you explain how you purchased something that you were unsure if you liked or not ? (other than you should be able to sell them on for the same or more). I have tried bi amping my Impressions and can't say I really heard any difference but perhaps it is speaker dependent. I have to say when working in the trade I never noticed any different bi wiring loudspeakers but I am sure there are those out there that will disagree
    A good earwash may be the cheapest and best upgrade to your system.

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    I choose bookshelf speakers based on specs and aesthetics. Most of what I've bought recently I had no prior knowledge of. I appreciate good design and how something looks and generally don't go for ugly gear even if it sounds good. I understand why talisman2 bought the s8 blind. A lot depends on reputation of a brand and/or model and the aesthetics.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TIU View Post
    I choose bookshelf speakers based on specs and aesthetics. Most of what I've bought recently I had no prior knowledge of. I appreciate good design and how something looks and generally don't go for ugly gear even if it sounds good. I understand why talisman2 bought the s8 blind. A lot depends on reputation of a brand and/or model and the aesthetics.
    That is why you chose but i did ask him why he chose. I am not criticising each to their own but god forbid that I ever chose a loudspeaker without listening to it .. and to be honest I would hardly be likely to purchase any other bit of kit without audition first .. As for ugly gear my wife (who fortunately is into listening to music big time) is now of the opinion that in the majority of cases good looks means nothing and the majority of great sounding affordable gear is (to the feminine eye) not good looking .. I tend to listen with my eyes closed (unless reading the sleeve) using my ears
    A good earwash may be the cheapest and best upgrade to your system.

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    With buying second hand gear it's almost always impractical to audition first. The good looks means nothing I don't agree with, it's a sweeping generalisation. Ever seen an ugly Ferrari?

    PS. Were you great sounding and affordable?

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    Quote Originally Posted by TIU View Post
    Ever seen an ugly Ferrari?
    Oh YES!!!!

    Ferrari.JPG
    You can only be young once, but you can be immature for ever.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by TIU View Post
    With buying second hand gear it's almost always impractical to audition first. The good looks means nothing I don't agree with, it's a sweeping generalisation. Ever seen an ugly Ferrari?

    PS. Were you great sounding and affordable?
    Well each to their own - when it comes to hifi if i cannot audition (or have auditioned someone else's) then I am not gonna buy (with the exception of speaker wire and phono/banana plugs when making my own leads. Would you buy a car without a test drive? It may impractical to hear the item you are buying but it is not so impractical to get a listen to one like it (bake offs) .. and many sellers are happy for you to go and audition before you buy. The only exception to this is where you have a knowledgeable friend and you love the way his hifi sounds and he says he has heard it and it is great or whatever (Bob Eubanks of Guildford HiFi in the 70s and 80s springs to my mind for me - bless him). I have only met one or two people where I would buy blind on their advice ..

    But if you like a gamble and provided you are getting stuff for a price where you can always move it on quickly without losing any money then that is fine and understandable ...
    A good earwash may be the cheapest and best upgrade to your system.

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