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La civette

La civette

Dernière édition par La civette le Dim 8 Mai - 5:29, édité 4 fois

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La civette

Message le Ven 22 Avr - 1:04 par La civette

Dernière édition par La civette le Mer 6 Juil - 1:55, édité 3 fois

La civette

Message le Lun 2 Mai - 11:40 par La civette

La civette

Message le Lun 2 Mai - 11:46 par La civette

La S100 d'aujourd'hui

Les modèles récents SP100R2_large

(Source Spendoraudio.com)

La civette

Message le Jeu 14 Juil - 22:36 par La civette

Un article sur la mirifique
S3 5R
Ainsi que la délicieuse description technique du distributeur français, avec l'évolution, le modèle "SE" (remplacement du tweeter Vifa par LE Scanspeak... fréquence de coupure abaissée de 4,5 kHz à 3,5 kHz; crossover plus simple...


Lorsque Audioreview en cause:

Typical british

Et les descriptions les plus complètes, par Stereophile

Un encensement sans réserves, par Stereo Times

La civette

Message le Ven 15 Juil - 0:22 par La civette

Un bel échange controversé s'agissant de ces belles boîtes. Les Harbeth semblent d'intéressantes concurrentes!

S3/5Rs VS harbeth P3ESRs

La civette

Message le Lun 8 Aoû - 22:27 par La civette

La civette

Message le Mer 10 Aoû - 3:29 par La civette

La civette

Message le Jeu 11 Aoû - 2:50 par La civette

Spendor SA200
Active Monitors
Published in SOS December 1996
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Reviews : Monitors

A pair of active small studio monitors with the Spendor pedigree have to be worth investigation. Gumshoe PAUL WHITE pulls his hat low, dons his mac and checks them out.

The Spendor name may be unfamiliar to some SOS readers, but it has been associated with broadcast monitoring for around a quarter of a century, ever since Spencer and Dorothy Hughes, co-founders of the company, created the name by amalgamating their own. Before starting Spendor, Spencer Hughes worked in the BBC's research department. The BBC's in-house monitors at that time had a reputation for accuracy and neutrality, and building upon that expertise, Spendor took quality monitoring into the commercial world. Today, the company's loudspeakers are used in recording and broadcast studios around the world.

Though the Spendor reputation was originally built on monitors optimised for classical music, the company has recently designed a series of speakers to meet the specific needs of monitoring in a contemporary music environment -- the SA200 and the SA300. The SA200, reviewed here, is a two-way active system and competes well on cost with active systems from other reputable manufacturers.

Constructionally, these monitors are fairly conventional, and employ a reflex cabinet design with a rectangular front port. The cabinet is made from MDF with an attractive, dark grey textured finish, and the front panel has a distinctive chamfered profile to help reduce cabinet edge diffraction effects. Inside the cabinet, bitumen panels are used to provide further mechanical damping, and the power amp assembly is mounted at the back of the cabinet, where a large-area, shallow heatsink is visible. Input connections are via balanced XLRs.

Handling the top-end frequencies is a 25mm, ferrofluid-cooled, silk-dome Vifa D27TG tweeter. Vifa (a Scandinavian company) tweeters are used in several leading hi-fi and studio monitor designs, and this one sits in a smoothly-profiled surround, presumably to reduce diffraction effects and to help control the dispersion characteristics. Spendor's own mid/bass driver reproduces the rest of the spectrum. This is a 160mm unit with a filled homopolymer cone, suspended in a compliant rubber surround. Two amplifiers are built into the SA200 cabinet, a 50W unit to drive the tweeter, and a 130W unit to drive the bass and mid range. The crossover frequency is set at 3.5kHz, nicely above the vulnerable speech mid band, and judging by the circuit diagram, the crossover has a fairly steep slope to minimise overlap effects at the crossover point.

Although these are fairly powerful speakers, capable of peaking at 116dB SPL at 1m, they are actually quite light for active monitors, weighing in at just 12kg each. The cabinet measures 380 x 220 x 260 mm, which makes the SA200s comparable in size to other powered monitors like the Genelec 1030As or Event 20/20s (reviewed in SOS June 1994 and July 1996 respectively). A green LED set into the tweeter surround shows when the units are switched on, and a delayed switch-on/off circuit prevent speaker thumps when powering the system up or down.

By providing a generous power supply with a correctly-ported box, Spendor have managed to get an impressive low-frequency performance out of these speakers, but in acknowledgement of the different room types in which the speakers may be used, each cabinet has a set of screwdriver-accessible controls on the rear panel to allow the response to be modified. A gain preset is provided to allow the monitors to be matched to the output levels of different mixers. In addition, to prevent the speakers from being overworked by frequencies lower than they were designed to handle, there's a subsonic filter, which can be switched to operate at 50, 70 or 90Hz. The default setting is 50Hz for normal applications.

Two further controls relate to high- and low-frequency tilt. LF Tilt is a shelving control operating from 500Hz down, and can provide up to 3dB of cut or boost in 1dB steps. If a speaker is mounted close to a wall, its bass end will be enhanced, so a little bass cut may help to restore accuracy. On the other hand, if the room tends to absorb bass, then a gentle bass rise can be introduced to compensate. A similar Tilt control modifies the high-frequency end of the spectrum, operating above 4kHz. The Tilt controls shouldn't be expected to compensate for really badly behaved rooms, but should rather be seen as tools for fine-tuning performance in an already reasonable room. If in doubt, the Tilt controls should be left in their flat position, but it's nice to have the option for adjustment if it proves necessary.

No matter how loud a sound studio monitors are capable of making, there's always an engineer who wants to make them louder still, and this often results in a distorted sound, a fried driver, or both. Spendor are obviously familiar with this tendency, because they've put in a protection circuit, which monitors the levels to the SA200's bass and treble drivers, and operates a muting circuit whenever the drivers are in danger of damage. Under normal circumstances, the protection doesn't operate, not even at punishingly high SPLs.

After hooking up the input XLRs to my mixer, I dug out my usual collection of test CDs and got down to some serious listening. The results were both surprising and impressive -- not only did the SA200s sound inherently 'right', they also exhibited more bass extension than I'd imagined they would from the spec. What's more, the bass extension was deep and smooth, not just peaked up to make kick drums sound impressive -- bass synth pads and pedal notes came over full and even-sounding, with no 'rogue' notes or odd dead spots.

Well-designed active speakers invariably sound tighter and better controlled than their passive equivalents, and the SA200s operate seemingly effortlessly, revealing depth, detail and transient articulation. The sound doesn't become ragged until you push the levels up to the point where your ears start to retreat into your skull and the speaker cones beat against their end-stops! Another feature of active speakers is that the stereo imaging is often more precise than you'd expect from equivalent passive models, but the SA200s exceeded all expectations here, by producing some of the clearest imaging I've heard to date. Playing back excerpts from Roger Waters' Amused to Death album quite clearly revealed the QSound tricks employed to push the sound effects outside the speakers, and the illusion was so convincing that I found myself looking up to confirm that the speakers really weren't that far apart. What's more, the listening 'sweet spot' is quite wide.

It would seem that Spendor's reputation is well deserved; they've managed to build a very revealing pair of monitors that really let you hear what a recording sounds like without trying to flatter the result. The overall sound is clear, well balanced and detailed, and there's no tendency to harshness or splashiness, which makes listening on the SA200s far less fatiguing than it is with many studio monitors. While the bass extension isn't as great as you'd expect from full-range, full-size studio monitors, it is certainly up to the job of nearfield monitoring in large studios, as well as full-range monitoring in smaller studios, where the control room may not have the benefit of thorough acoustic treatment. What's more, the SA200's stereo imaging is as good as I've heard: there's plenty of level, and there are no significant vices to report. A really nice monitor -- and good-looking too.

pros & cons
SPENDOR SA200 £1404

• Even, accurate sound with good bass extension.
• Excellent stereo imaging.
• Plenty of level.
• Controls to optimise the response in different rooms.

• Though good value, these monitors will still, sadly, be beyond the financial means of many private studio owners.

The SA200 is a good value, high performance monitor for discerning mixing, editing and post-pro applications.


£ £1404.13 per pair including VAT.

l'article original

La civette

Message le Jeu 11 Aoû - 3:03 par La civette

The minute he walked in the joint, HUGH ROBJOHNS could see they were real small Spendors. He decides whether he'd like to spend a little time with them...

Spendor are one of the oldest and best-known manufacturers of professional monitor loudspeakers in the UK. The company was named after its founders, Spencer and Dorothy Hughes, and was set up in 1969 to bring Spencer's experience of helping to design the BBC's own in-house monitoring loudspeakers to a wider audience.

The key words that define any monitoring speaker are neutrality, consistency and accuracy, and Spendor's speakers have always embodied these qualities fully. The newest member of the family is the diminutive QT100, a powered two-way monitor intended for nearfield applications such as project studios and video or audio editing suites.

The QT100 is very compact, measuring 305 x 192 x 212mm and weighing 7.5kg. Overall, it's a little smaller than the company's SA200 powered system, but retains the chamfered top and side edges of the latter design to minimise diffraction. Like its elder sibling, the QT100 is a two-way reflex design, the ports ending in a pair of small triangular openings at the bottom corners of the front edge. The port openings are filled with a very open-celled plastic foam, presumably to prevent 'chuffing' from the ports.

The cabinet is constructed from high-grade MDF which is well braced, and damped internally with copious amounts of foam rubber to minimise vibrations and resonances. The amplifier/crossover pack is very similar in appearance to that of the SA200 and is mounted within a recess on the rear panel. But, unlike the SA200, the QT100 has a single 60W amplifier chip and employs a passive crossover to split the frequency bands to the two drivers. The speakers have been designed for freefield use and, in any case, a sensible gap must be left behind the units to allow air to cool the large heatsink on the rear panel.

Spendor have designed their own bass unit for this model. Called the 2000 series, it is a 6(omega) unit with a peculiar 100mm elliptical polymer cone incorporating a solid centre-dome plug. The unit has a very large motor assembly and should be able to withstand a moderate amount of abuse without too much trouble. It is also fully magnetically shielded and can be placed right next to a TV or computer monitor without problems.

The tweeter is a stock unit, a Morel MD112 28mm soft-dome tweeter with a neodymium magnet. It has been mounted in a bespoke plastic collar which provides the front mounting plate; two LEDs show when the unit is powered and when the protection circuitry has been activated. The only potential problem is the absence of any protection for the exposed tweeter dome, which is proud of its surround. These monitors would make a great portable reference system if you could be sure the tweeters would still be dome-shaped after they had bounced about in the back of the car.

Connecting the QT100 up is child's play. The rear panel has an IEC mains connector, a power switch, a 3-pole XLR socket and a gain trimmer. The mains socket has an integral fuse holder which also doubles as the voltage selector, and the amplifier will happily accept balanced or unbalanced connections, provided the XLR plug is suitably wired.

Once the unit is plugged in and powered, a small green LED just above the tweeter illuminates and the unit is ready to go. The gain trimmer on the rear panel alters the input sensitivity of the amplifier between -6dBu and +14dBu -- a range of 20dB. As set up at the factory, from an input of -6dBu the unit can generate 100dB SPL at one metre and tolerate brief peaks of 103dB SPL. I found the QT100s excessively sensitive with the line-level monitoring feeds from my mixer, so I tweaked the sensitivity down, but a stereo pair of these speakers can produce an impressive wall of sound should the need arise. The specifications claim a frequency response of 70Hz-20kHz, ±3dB, and each pair is matched to within 0.75dB across the full range. The crossover is set to a remarkably high 5kHz, so the bulk of the effort is very definitely coming from the bass unit. Most two-way designs are forced to cross over at about 3kHz, which is slap-bang in the middle of the most critical region for our hearing. The Spendor avoids this troublesome area completely, which is probably a major aid in getting the neutrality and sound quality it has. The amplifier and drivers are equipped with a pretty comprehensive protection circuit. This provides a switch-on delay of five seconds and a switch-off muting of 100ms, to prevent damage to the drivers from the potentially very large switch-on and switch-off transients when an entire room of equipment is powered up at once (as is the norm in professional video-editing suites, for example). During use, the circuitry also monitors the drive levels to each of the loudspeakers, and mutes the input if it senses impending overload. When the protection circuitry is activated, the red LED mounted above the tweeter lights up.

The QT100s really are cute. I worked my way through my usual test material from CD as well as live guitar, piano and vocals, and was left feeling mightily impressed. After years of listening to soft, floppy BBC monitors, I found the QTs a tad bright for my tastes -- but it really was only a tad, and careful positioning did a lot to correct the situation. Ideally, there would be a tweaker to trim the HF sensitivity (as there is on, for example, the SA200) but, since this model uses a passive crossover, that is unfortunately not possible.

The QT100s provide very finely etched stereo images which remain stable over a sensible listening area. Transients are projected well and with plenty of attack, decent piano recordings sounded nicely balanced, and natural perspectives came over as exactly that. On voice and vocals they are remarkably accurate, although with perhaps a slight tendency to over-emphasise sibilance. The bottom end has a damn good go at letting you know what is going on in the lower octaves too and the overall balance is very credible.

If you like a lot of level, these monitors won't disappoint. I was astounded at how loud a minuscule 60W amplifier could make these things go! And without getting the heatsink into meltdown or sounding excessively strained into the bargain.

Putting the QT100s in a head-to-head with the little Genelec 1029s (and matching sub-woofer), I felt that the 1029s had the edge, but this was mainly due to the added presence and weight of their lower octaves. In terms of accuracy, transients and neutrality, the Spendors were very comparable indeed. Perhaps Spendor should consider adding a matching sub-woofer system, which could turn a good mini-monitor into a very powerful one.

Overall, these little monitors share all the attributes of which Spendor are so rightly proud. Although a small monitor has its inevitable limitations, the QT100s -- like the other smaller members of the Spendor active monitor family -- do a very fine job of presenting a full and well-balanced sound stage. Accuracy, neutrality and fine imaging are the main strengths here. There are more accurate and more neutral speakers around, of course, but most of them are bigger and more expensive than the QT. So this is another speaker to add to the audition list, I'm afraid -- decisions, decisions...

pros & cons
SPENDOR QT100 £704

• Very compact package delivering a professional sound quality.
• Ideally suited to use in project studios as well as many other (equally critical) applications.

• Limited bass extension means that you may not be aware of all that rumbles in the deep.
• Perhaps a tad on the bright side of accurate.

Well-designed mini-monitor for the cost-conscious quality freak. Excellent imaging and
transient response, with well-balanced and well-extended frequency ranges (for the size)
and a credibly accurate and neutral sound. Hard to break, easy to install and portable to boot.


£ £703.83 including VAT.

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