Having had a room move around, I was in the position where my beloved SBLs had to move to my second system. This meant finding new speakers for my main system. Having owned a pair of Spendor S6es before, I knew I liked Spendors more laid back sound, so the hunt was on.
I tried my Totem Mites with a sub, I really enjoyed them but the depth wasn’t there. I tried a pair of IBLs with a sub and again, the depth wasn’t there. I’ve tried Neat Motive 2s and they were a little bright for me.
This leads me to my final choice, the Spendor A5s, there seemed to be love and hate for these but I found a pair in cherry for the right price and added them to my system
(32.5/snaps/250/Uniti/LP12) and I’m really pleased.
They give everything the SBLs gave but with bigger bass extension and more relaxed highs.
I have to admit to spending a day moving them around, thinking they just over did the bass but once I had them right, I can’t believe how happy I am with them. I’ve even swapped out the 250 for my lovely 160 and the fun keeps coming.
I’m only posting this because, if I’d listened to some of the forum reviews, I never would have tried these. I can see that placement and amplification are important but, to my ears, they are brilliant; punchy bass, crisp treble and mids which capture vocals and guitar really well.
That must have been disconcerting. Was it an earthquake?
Regarding the thrust of your post, speakers influence the character of a system more than any other component, and are therefore very much a personal choice. Speakers one person may love, another may hate, and vice versa - and that is before factoring in other influencing factors, most notably the room, with two different rooms, with different furnishings etc, potentially making the same speakers sound different. So when you combine different people’s sound preference, with their different room sizes and furnishing, it is unsurprising that they may have fundamentally different views about the same speakers.
The only way of being sure with any speakers is to hear them, preferably in your own home, if not then somewhere quite similar, and if that is not possible then taking along speakers that you know in your room to provide a reference point to judge other speakers.
There doesn’t seem to be much love for the poor old Spendor A5 in this place. I know a few current and ex forum members have had a miserable time with them.
I owned a pair for quite a while and was delighted with them. They helped rekindle my interest in music and high end audio.
I started with my old (non Naim) system and they were a very pleasant listen but perhaps lacking in a bit of life. Wishing to renew my electronics I decided to return to Naim having sold my CB system many years before.
I started with a 202/200/NAPSC and an NDX. A Hicap followed and then the 202 was replaced by a 282.
This was a lovely system. I think the 282/200 was a great match as it added a great sense of urge to the system and is relatively speaking a bit lean. The midrange was glorious.
Unlike some others I didn’t find the bass overwhelming, despite being pretty close to the wall. I did discuss with a dealer changing to a 250.2 but he advised against it as he felt that the extra bass of the 250.2 could overwhelm and spoil the balance.
Eventually the A5’s were replaced with Kudos C20’s and later S20’s which allowed the system to develop further.
I can imagine they sound super with the CB kit. I moved away from Naim as I found the sound a bit too up front and relentless and I suspect that the Spendors balance this out really well and compliment each other with their various strengths without exposing their weaknesses.
This makes complete sense to me and have been surprised by how much they engage me in the music. They are certainly more relaxed than some speakers I have owned but have an engagement that is quite addictive.
I have swapped the BD250 for a BD160 for a variety of reasons, but the 160 has no issues with them and has just as much fun. I may try a 282/200 for a bit of fun, but have to admit to liking the aesthetics of the CB equipment, even though my sources are an LP12 and a 2012 Uniti.