Spendor A4 & Uniti Star... disappointing?

Have auditioned the A4’s as well and they just didn’t do anything for me. The ported design just makes a mess of the music. The larger A7’s are a bit better. The D7.2’s on the other hand are spectacular but they need a great source/amp set up as they are ruthlessly revealing


I had the A4’s with a Nova for a while and it was reasonably ok, then upgraded to the A7 and they dident gel at all for me, too much emphasis in the upper mids and a little too precise which eventually turned in to listening fatigue, things got a bit better with a SN3/NDX2 but still the upper mids grated so they got chopped in for Classic 3/1 standmounts which are a much more enjoyable listen with a load more detail and textures in the upper bass regions and no grating upper mids although still very detailed.

There is far more to speaker design than choosing a set of drivers and designing a crossover! As I intimated in my previous post, it is all down to the the detail of design. That is especially true of the bottom end, which is where the money goes in a speaker that is larger/has better bass. Doing bass well is not easy, taking a lot more effort to design, and to build. And as you suppose, factors like cabinet rigidity, reduction of internal reflections etc can make a pronounced difference. Even baffle width and proximity of drivers to one edge or the other, or to other drivers, can affect the sound - skewing of driver positions has been used by some manufacturers to skew the polar response at mid and high frequencies - and as well as direct effect that also influences room reflections and their contributions to what you hear.

You’re quite right, speaker design is very complex, and having experimented a fair bit over the years with my own DIY projects, I do appreciate a well engineered and cohesive design. I’ve been consistently amazed, however, at how much we need to spend to get legitimately well designed and well built speakers with quality parts and properly engineered enclosures.

Plot twist : I picked up a pair of Totem Fires (V1) second hand based on a positive audition nearly 10 years ago, and I’ve got to say, why aren’t more people talking about these with Naim gear!?

Superb Upper range transparency & detail without any nastiness, transient response as good or better than anything I’ve heard, bass that has real texture and definition ( and plays surprisingly deep ), and most importantly, these just seem to open a window to the music -any music- whatever genre, these just sing.

I’m guessing these don’t get much attention in the UK, being a fairly niche Canadian built speaker, but these are really something special: Their sound is stunning, and they’re exquisitely well made. The synergy with Naim gear seems to be a real as well, PRaT all day, energy, speed, great tonal accuracy… these are staying.

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They get very positive comments - but not a lot of them , there are firms such as Graham Slee, Clearaudio as well as Totem that produce excellent products - but don’t get the coverage they deserve . I suspect a lot is down to distribution

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For info I have an Uniti Star with Spendor A4’s. The speaker cable I have are Chord Epic Twin. I am very happy with the sound as is a friend of mine who has a much higher spec system. The sound is lively, open and clear and there is good base also.