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A Series Reviews

Spendor A3Click for PDF of review

"It's odd. There are a lot of loudspeakers that don't put a foot wrong, but very few that command such respect from practically everyone in the business.

This is also the kind of speaker that proves the virtue of listening at length. A two minute burst of music through the A3 will do nothing apart from make for an uninspiring burst of sound. This is because we tend toward the bright, shiny things at first flush. Spend(or) a week and a day with the A3s and you'll be hard pressed to find a bad word to say about them. However, after the same time period, the more immediate sounding "mug's eyeful" loudspeaker will start to grate and wear the listener down. Better electronics sound 'better' here, but the A3 is a great leveler and good systems sound excellent through these speakers.

The best thing I can say about the A3 is that it's a keeper. Moreover, it's the kind of keeper that helps you build a wide and catholic interest in music of all stripes. They are few and far between."   - Alan Sircom, HiFi+ Issue 86, February 2012

Spendor A5 in dark walnut finishSpendor A5

"If you’re concerned that the stumpy nature of the A5s might result in a short or small-scale presentation, you can banish the thought. The Spendors can produce a sound that fills the room from floor to ceiling, rendering their diminutive size a sonic irrelevance. The width and space afforded the performance is also impressive. This is a big soundstage that lends itself well to orchestral scores and big rock pieces. The treble is sparkly and sweet, midrange is multi-layered and textured, and when both the piano and bass guitar hit their lowest notes, the Spendors are able to reveal the key and string independently, where some speakers mix the two together.
From the deepest bass to the highest treble there’s an admirable tightness, punch and attack. Notes begin and end with superb precision, and that accuracy translates into excitement right through the frequency range. Throw awesome dynamics into the mix, and you have a delivery that’s as well suited to the London Philharmonic Orchestra as it is to Adel’s acoustic pop.
Unlike the other five-star speakers here, the Spendors have no fly in the ointment. You get the best of both worlds with these floorstanders.
 
In a Group Test with not one bum note, it’s the all-new Spendors that take the glory. We can’t praise them enough… these are astoundingly good floorstanders… the most accomplished speakers available at this money." 
- What HiFi Group Test Winner, February 2009

"Startling scale and punch, endlessly listenable, accomplished beyond their price... the superb Spendors take the laurels in this test."

"The Spendors summon unlikely low-end punch, extension and control, and deliver great texture too. The midrange is alive with immediacy and detail - vocalists seldom sound more engaged - and the top of the frequency range is attacked boldly. Click for PDF of review.

There's ample speed and drive, though the Spendors are just as capable of describing barely-there nuances as the broad strokes of a recording. Their timing is sweetly precise, loading the leading edge of notes with information and offering a natural and unforced tonality.

The soundstage they generate is sizeable, and their stereo focus unquestionable. Startling scale and punch; endlessly listenable, these are accomplished beyond their price. They are terrific all-rounders that revel in any type of music. The Spendors could be all the speaker you'll ever need."

- What HiFi Group Test Winner, March 2011

Spendor A6

 
"The A6 may look ordinary, but the performance is anything but that. These are brilliant speakers for the money. Their sound is a class-leading combination of insight and naturalness. A fast, detailed and dynamic sound, natural sonic balance, transparency, sturdy build. The A6’s are stunning." 
- What HiFi Five Stars award, February 2009
"Deliver a clean feed and the results are simply staggeringly engaging and enjoyable. ..these speakers will bring real, live, breathing music into your home. Spendor’s often forgotten reputation for engineering innovation is clearly in safe hands, with products like the SA1 and A6 setting exacting new performance standards at their price points. Easy to use, easy to drive and easy to get the best out of, I love the A6s. They’re GRRRRRREAT!"  
- Roy Gregory HiFi+, February 2009
“Rousing musicality on all levels. If it’s dexterity and attack you value, the A6s have it in spades. The same goes for tonal neutrality and transparency, low frequency drive and poise, and for sheer midrange articulation. The A6s offer atmosphere to match any rival, and can switch to full orchestral overload in an instant. You owe it to yourself to hear the Spendor A6s.”
- What HiFi Five Stars award, July 2009
"as advertised - the A6 sounds very much like one of the original S models on serious steroids. What's hard to put into words is the effortless way in which the A6 combines the engaging naturalism of the original S models with significantly higher levels of resolution, especially through the heart of the midrange. You can hear much deeper into the mix, yet without being pushed toward the analytical end of the sonic spectrum."
- Chris Martens, The Absolute Sound, CES Show Report, April/May 2010

Spendor A9 loudspeakersSpendor A9

"The A9s can make the walls of your listening room disappear and replace them with the inside of the grand church where the recording was made. The sense of space is palpable, as is the precise positioning of each of the instruments used. It'll make the hairs on your neck stand up.

This might be a three-way speaker, but you'd never know the frequency range was divided between so many drivers, so smooth is the transition from bass to treble. A convincingly even tonal balance confirms Spendor's skill at merging and balancing drivers. These speakers are wholly transparent to the source and recording. Listen to something gentle and they'll sound suitably polite, move to something aggressive and they'll oblige.

The A9s are more than capable of kicking out basslines. They're taut, fast and punchy. The Spendor A9s are an awful lot of talented speaker." 

- What Hi-Fi 2010 Product of the Year Awards, Best Stereo Speaker £3,000+
 

  the 'hits' just keep on coming...

"Amazingly clean and transparent sound, agility, seamless integration; relatively unfussy about positioning. The A9 hasn't lost the naturalness of past Spendor models, and it's that quality, more than any other, that separates this floorstander from its rivals. There's much to impress in this performance. Another excellent Spendor speaker. We're sure you'll be impressed." 
-  What Hi-Fi, Five Star Award, June 2010

"I walked into Jay Rein's Bluebird Music room and was immediately taken by the hard-rocking sound of Led Zeppelin's "Moby Dick", reproduced with appropriate drama, impact, and scale... the A9 ($7,995/pair) made its North American debut at SSI 2010, and sounded excellent, driven by Exposure's new 3010S2 series: 100W monoblocks ($2,895/pair), preamp ($1,595), and CD player ($2,395)... Van den Hul's D352 speaker cables and D102 interconnects ($929) tied this impressive system together." 
- Stephen Mejias, Stereophile SSI 2010 Show Report

"These are the sort of loudspeakers that get handed down from father to son. That's how good they are."

"What the A9 does so well is to combine that BBC-speaker neutrality with a more exciting and dynamic presentation that modern audio demands. The A9 sails between these two waypoints beautifully. This makes it a speaker for all seasons.

Click for PDF of review.The dynamic range was especially impressive. On the A9 the scale of the music snaps at your attention gland and you are in there with the music. The level of detail is fine enough to pull hidden glories out of those grooves or digits, but not at the expense of a pinched, etched or toppy sound quality. If you come away from the last two paragraphs with the word 'balance', well done. Now add the word 'bass'. The A9 has quite a lot of it; not in a dubstep, wall-of-bass, gut-mangling onslaught way, but in a controlled deep and precise manner.

That might just make it the best investment in audio around today; not just in future resale value, but because these are the sort of loudspeakers that get handed down from father to son. That's how good they are."
- Alan Sircom, HiFi+, January 2011Click for PDF

Spendor A9 Named "The Best of The Best"

"This three-way flagship floorstander uses drivers custom made by the company and delivers a sound that carefully balances old-school vocal-led neutrality with a more modern demand for powerful frequency extremes. This makes it the kind of speaker that gets handed down from father to son."  [HiFi+ Annual Award Winner from full review of January 2011 above.]

"the A9 has a wonderful midband and some of the best bass you'll hear from a loudspeaker of this type..."

"Spendor talk about the A9s sounding 'fast' - not a phrase Spencer or Dorothy would have used methinks! - and this they do. The easy clarity of the ep38 polymer midrange unit gives vocals a naturalness that I love and strong treble seemingly lifts speed and incision.
The midrange unit resolves timbre with a magnificence that did justice to the instrument in Nigel Kennedy's hands, giving it a lovely, full bodied character... the Spendor's sounded like few others, falling back to their roots with satisfying honesty. Spendor's midrange unit is nothing other than superb.Click for PDF of review
Where Spendor have scored a big hit with the A9 is bass quality. They have obvious bass power and are as tight and controlled as anything on the market today. The A9s run low but keep the lows under good control so there's no waffle. Always grippy, they beat out Led Zeppelin's 'Heartbreaker' with an insight I am unused to. It was breathtaking to hear those classic guitar riffs thrust out so clearly.

Spendor's new A9 is one impressive loudspeaker. It offers a more modern take on sound quality than Spencer or Dorothy would recognize, yet it still has a wonderful midband and some of the best bass you'll hear from a loudspeaker of this type.

The A9 is a very well developed loudspeaker with impressive ability, and proves well worth auditioning, whether you like classical music like Spencer and Dorothy, or prefer Lady GaGa instead."
 - Five Globe Winner, HiFi World, March 2011