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Spendor Classic R2 series: SP100R2, SP3/1R2, SP2/3R2, SP1/2R2

 

  The new Spendor
  Classic R2 Line.

   Pictured left to right SP100R2, SP3/1R2,
   SP2/3R2, and SP1/2R2.

Classic R2 Line

Background

For 40 years the Spendor Classic loudspeakers have set a reference standard for discerning audiophiles, musicians and professional sound engineers. In fact, Spendor earned it's stripes developing reference studio monitors for the BBC. While Spendor has created a succession of successful and innovative modern loudspeakers using advanced materials and technology, the Classic series has evolved but is still based on concepts, materials and technology true to the original concept.

In 2011 an all-new Classic revision was completed with release of the last of the Classic R2 models. This complete re-design once again raises the performance substantially of these legendary BBC-inspired reference monitors.

The new R2 series blends Spendor's latest advanced techniques and materials discovered during the research and development of the SA1 and flagship ST, with original BBC technology, construction and design. As such it preserves the rich and natural sound character which is the hallmark of every Spendor Classic loudspeaker but offers the performance demanded by today's most discerning listeners.

Spendor Classic SP1/2R2 speakerNew Spendor Classic R2 Revision

The new R2 series models benefit from the inclusion of the new 22mm wide-surround tweeter, new Spendor bass-mid drive units, revised crossover, improvements to the cabinets and realigned low frequency response. These improvements take advantage of many engineering and sound quality improvements which Spendor has recently developed for new models like the Spendor ST, SA1, A5 and A6. Despite the clearly audible improvements Spendor has not lost sight of the challenge - to improve this Classic design without losing the warmth and charm of the original.

The R2 speakers receive the same new 22mm wide-surround tweeter used in Spendor's award winning new SA1 speakers. This new tweeter combines the extended frequency response of a small diaphragm with the low frequency characteristics of a larger diaphragm to give stable low distortion response over a very wide frequency range.

All Classic R2 speakers also receive new Spendor UK designed and manufactured bass-mid drive units. The new bass units feature: new cone materials, new modern die-cast magnesium alloy chassis and new higher stability surrounds with improved suspension. These improvements give the R2 speakers significantly reduced coloration and improved low frequency performance as well as smoother mid to high frequency decoupling.

With the inclusion of the new bass-mid units in the Classic R2 line, all Spendor midrange and bass-mid drive units now use improved phase correction technology in the form of a focusing magnet motor pole extension. This is designed to control spurious phase and frequency response variations in the crossover region. Frequency transition between drive units is more coherent due to improved phase matching. The result is a more even and natural sound and a more holographic sound-stage. Sound remains more open and more relaxed at higher listening levels due to the improved thermal dissipation of the revised drive units.Spendor Classic SP3/1R2 speaker
"The SP3/1R2 has a midrange to die for... with attractive traditional styling, offers superb neutrality and coherence with very low coloration, fine imaging and a wide dynamic range."
 - HiFi Choice Best Buy, March 2009
The crossover has been re-engineered to improve conductivity and signal routing and to eliminate magnetic interaction between inductors. All tracks are gold plated. Solder used in circuit assembly is silver and copper loaded for optimum connection integrity. Revised filter alignment integrates the drivers seamlessly.

All internal cables have been up-rated. Heavy gauge, high purity multi strand copper conductors, individually silver-plated, with halogen free dielectrics, give wide-bandwidth and clean signal transmission.
Click for a PDF of full review."Pacing? Impact? Involvement? the Spendors sounded awesome. More important, the very emotional 'Unsatisfied' was screamingly, tearily good through these speakers. The Spendors lived up to their BBC heritage as monitors. They were open, articulate, correct and, without sounding the least bit cold, cerebral. They communicated the wondrous sense of structure and flow.

With work, one can find loudspeakers - virtually always more expensive than the Classic SP100R2 that perform better at one or two tasks: but in my experience, it's extremely difficult to find one that does better at all the many things the Classic SP100R2 does so well.

The current price seems quite reasonable for all the SP100R2 has to offer. Sixteen years later, Spendor's flagship Classic model is just as recommendable, if not more so - and all the more deserving of its status as a reference. A stronger recommendation does not exist."
 - Art Dudley, Stereophile, January 2013
Click for PDF of full review"The SP2/3R2 has a wonderfully natural-sounding midrange sandwiched between a sweet and insightful treble and weighty bass. They may look old fashioned, but these stunning Spendors put most of their modern-day rivals to shame. This SP2 is the best yet."   - What HiFi Five Stars award, May 2009

"It's often difficult to pick out an overall winner from a group of similar size and price loudspeakers, but on this occasion there was no disagreement amongst the listening panel that the Spendor SP2/3R2 was the pick of the bunch."
 - HiFi Choice, Group Test Winner, March 2011
The traditional Spendor ‘Classic’ cabinet engineering, thin walls with heavy damping, has been enhanced by the use of modern rubberized damping panels. The damping interface between the cabinet wall and the damping material is significantly improved due to more consistent temperature stability, spurious energy is dissipated more efficiently, the result is improved sound.

Finally the R2 speakers have new acoustically engineered grill covers to dramatically reduce acoustic interaction and redesigned free-flow reflex ports for improved bass response.

The Classic R2 speakers present an easy to drive 8ohm load and are compatible with all types of amplifiers from powerful solid state to the most esoteric tube designs.
"The new R2 revision models deliver clearly audible improvements in resolution, stereo imaging, low frequency extension and articulation and improved dynamic range while carefully preserving the natural charm of the original Classic."
While the technical performance of each model is subtly improved there is no change to the overall technical specification and each pair of Spendor Classic Series loudspeakers is still calibrated and matched to stringent broadcast reference standards, and all Spendor drive units and crossovers are individually calibrated during manufacture. Spendor continues to design and manufacture all its bass and mid-bass drive units in-house in the UK.
Pictured below, from left to right, SP100R2, SP1/2R2, SP2/3R2 and SP3/1R2.
Spendor Classic speakers; SP100R2, SP1/2R2, SP2/3R2 and SP3/1R2.