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Which Open Baffles: Spatial or PureAudioProject


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I honestly don’t know how that happened. I was researching and seriously considering building Troels The Loudspeaker II or III project and somehow ended up catching an Open Baffle bug. Now, I never heard an open baffle speakers in my life, but from what I saw, read and heard on the internet over the last 3 days :) it should provide exactly what I am looking for.

 

Seriously looking at Spatial X3 or PureAudioProject Trio15 Horn 1, but can’t decide which option to go with. I believe none are available to have a listening test in Australia.

https://www.spatialaudiolab.com/xseries
https://www.pureaudioproject.com/trio15-open-baffle-speakers

 

Price is similar +/-, I like the design language of both a lot, albeit in different ways. I have a Class A 48w SET tube amp and enough space for them.

 

Would really appreciate if anyone here heard either of these options and happy to share his thoughts or opinion. Or maybe point me to some other direction?

 

 

 

 

 

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I have Spatial M4Turbo's which are an earlier model and I'm more than happy with them and yes I've heard the PAP Trio's, the Israeli speakers are akin to the Spatials in that they both have a wide enveloping soundstage, and good dynamics. You need space in your listening room for them, they'll need to be at least a metre or better out from any walls and corners. Your amp will up to the job. I match my M4's with a pure classA amp of 45w.

On looks I'd go with Spatial anyday and the X3's your looking at are lovely things. Wont be cheap to bring in to Aus, the PAP Trio's you can assemble yourself which might cut your costs down a bit.

Another speaker is the Jamo R 909>>Click  I'd have these in blink 😍

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3 hours ago, Islander77 said:

Would really appreciate if anyone here heard either of these options and happy to share his thoughts or opinion. Or maybe point me to some other direction?

Like @Luc I have the Earlier Spatials, but the larger M3 Turbo S.

 

I see you are in Tassie. Do you have any plans to come to Melbourne for the Hifi show or any other reason? I'd be happy to demo mine. I'm using a 40w Class AB Moon Neo ACE to power mine and have no regrets. In fact this combo has lasted longer in my lounge room than any previous gear. Around 4 years now without any gear changes.

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Like you, @Islander77, I am smitten by the Spatial Audio speakers (probably the M4 Sapphires in my case) and found out about them in a similar way to you. I am really interested (half decided) to buy these, despite not having heard them up front nor knowing how much in shipping or customs I'd have to pay in getting them over here. Not to mention not having heard OB speakers to know if it's "my sound" to begin with.

But I have already sent an initial query email to Spatial with those kind of questions and I'm waiting for a reply.

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2 hours ago, Luc said:

You need space in your listening room for them, they'll need to be at least a metre or better out from any walls and corners. Your amp will up to the job. I match my M4's with a pure classA amp of 45w.

Thanks, yes I know - read about it. The room is approx 6x10m, the speakers will be installed along shorter wall, 1+ meter off the wall, so everything is fine in this department. 

 

2 hours ago, Luc said:

On looks I'd go with Spatial anyday and the X3's your looking at are lovely things. Wont be cheap to bring in to Aus, the PAP Trio's you can assemble yourself which might cut your costs down a bit.

That’s my problem - I equally like the look of PAP as well, and they end up being few $grand cheaper too, so if they play as good or better than Spatials, it’s an “easy” choice for me then. But I don’t want to compromise in sound quality in any way, not even by 2% :)

 

Thanks for the Jamo suggestion, have you heard it? I’m a bit concerned about lower sensitivity (only 89db VS Spatial 97db), so wonder how it affects the overall sound picture. Jamo is also within my budget, but not really liking the design.

 

The other thing that troubles my mind is if I go Spatials way, they have X3 that has active bass section, and X4 that is fully passive. I’ve never had active speakers before, so not sure… however maybe I’m just overthinking things.


 

1 hour ago, blybo said:

I see you are in Tassie. Do you have any plans to come to Melbourne for the Hifi show or any other reason? I'd be happy to demo mine. I'm using a 40w Class AB Moon Neo ACE to power mine and have no regrets

Thank you so much for the offer! I rarely fly out of state, but will definitely keep your kind offer in mind :) If I don’t buy anything prior to that - I’m usually very impulsive.

 

I was wondering if you, or Luc or someone else with OB speakers ever thought about going back to boxes? Any regrets whatsoever? Any desires to go better/bigger/larger?
I’m asking because I don’t upgrade often, whatever I buy, will have to stay with me for at least 8-10 years. So I want to buy right :)

 

39 minutes ago, option-up said:

I am smitten by the Spatial Audio speakers (probably the M4 Sapphires in my case) and found out about them in a similar way to you. I am really interested (half decided) to buy these, despite not having heard them up front nor knowing how much in shipping or customs I'd have to pay in getting them over here. Not to mention not having heard OB speakers to know if it's "my sound" to begin with.

Hi, Great to see another soul in same shoes as me :)

I watched this videos below yesterday (using high quality headphones) and was very impressed by Spatial’s sound reproduction. My daughter has musical hearing, plays piano+violin and attends every symphony orchestra concert available to her, yet knows nothing about speakers. And she picked Spatial from this video, without knowing my initial preferences.

 

Please let here know when Spatial replies to you. I’m wondering how long is the waiting times and how much the postage is. 
When importing you’ll have to pay +10% gst and +5% customs duty. However not sure about the duty, maybe we have a free trade with US, will have to check that.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Luc said:

Another speaker is the Jamo R 909>>Click  I'd have these in blink 😍

 

Sadly, these are discontinued. I tried to get a pair a few years ago now. I don't think many were ever brought in locally either so the wait for a second hand pair will likely be long :(

 

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31 minutes ago, Marc said:

 

Sadly, these are discontinued. I tried to get a pair a few years ago now. I don't think many were ever brought in locally either so the wait for a second hand pair will likely be long :(

 

Bugger. I'd love to hear a pair.

 

54 minutes ago, Islander77 said:

I’m wondering how long is the waiting times and how much the postage is. 
When importing you’ll have to pay +10% gst and +5% customs duty. However not sure about the duty, maybe we have a free trade with US, will have to check that.

Clayton the designer and owner of Spatial is usually only to happy to reply and chat about his speakers to you but wasn't up to the idea of selling directly to me at the time(as of Jan this year he wouldn't sell to Aus as his domestic market is a huge one) and I used a third party site to buy the speakers in the US and have them freighted to here and it basically doubled the price with insurance and fees. He has his own thread on an American audio site and contributes to it, the name of which eludes me at the moment. 

X3's at roughly $14k aud and add freight and insurance and gst and duty and your getting up there, heading towards 20k I guess. Contact Clayton and ask, things may of changed. You could also contact Bill McLean and see if he could help you.

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39 minutes ago, Marc said:

 

Sadly, these are discontinued. I tried to get a pair a few years ago now. I don't think many were ever brought in locally either so the wait for a second hand pair will likely be long :(

 

I’m sure there was a pair years ago at Stereophonic back when they were in Docklands 

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The URL of the dedicated audio forum for Spatial is: https://www.audiocircle.com/index.php?board=193.0

 

I will indeed share any reply from Spatial. I sent my email nearly a week ago; I was expecting a reply by now. Seeing as AXPONA has just happened (and they were demonstrating) I think they have probably been flooded with enquiries and sales. I notice on their website all the M series models are listed as Out of Stock.

 

Also, when I made a more general enquiry in December last year, their Sales rep seemed open to the idea of shipping here and though the cost would be an additional $1000 USD. But that was before @Luc spoke to Clayton in January.

 

And as a general rule of thumb, I'm expecting +30% would cover import duties/charges.

Edited by option-up
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purchase cost USD 9500 + 1000 (est) shipping & ins.

USD 10500 ~= AUD 15100 (depending on exchange rates). 
Australian GST + Customs Duty ~= 15% (it’s actually slightly less but I’d use 15% for calculations as until customs sends the bill you don’t know what exchange rate they use) on  Landed costs (price paid + shipping + ins. , converted to AUD). 
There will then be some additional minor brokerage fees, about AUD 300.  
Expect your total to be around

AUD 18000. 
You can do the math if the numbers change for shipping or the USA-AUD exchange rate varies significantly. 

 

I just imported drivers, amplifiers and assorted bits at similar (but a bit lower costs ) to build the Linkwitz 521.4 OBs so I can confirm the GST + customs duties.  

 


 

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One item I did like about the PAP loudspeakers is the ability to swap centre driver modules (and appropriate crossover) and also configure the speakers with an electronic crossover (I think it was mini-DSP based) if you prefer. 
I asked them about substituting DEQX, they said they knew of a couple of owners that went that route.  I think there is good community support for either loudspeaker systems. 

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Thanks again everyone, I did a bit more research and made a decision to definitely stick to Spatial. PAP is a very good speaker, but it looks to me that Spatial is a more complete and a finer product overall

 

Anyway, I need to decide between X4 (fully passive, 12” drivers, 93db ) and X3 (active 15” bass drivers, 97db). Ideally I prefer simplicity and would love to avoid extra complexity and also having extra power cables on the floor. But at the same time I’m a bit concerned if my amp can easily power fully passive system of this size…

 

23 hours ago, frankn said:

I just imported drivers, amplifiers and assorted bits at similar (but a bit lower costs ) to build the Linkwitz 521.4 OBs so I can confirm the GST + customs duties.

Thanks for that!!! Good to know, yes that’s what I was roughly aiming at. 
 

On 10/5/2022 at 2:17 PM, Luc said:

as of Jan this year he wouldn't sell to Aus as his domestic market is a huge one) and I used a third party site to buy the speakers in the US and have them freighted to here and it basically doubled the price with insurance and fees.

I’ll email Clayton, but just in case do you mind sharing which third party service did you use to buy the speakers and how much was the freight in your case?

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Can't remember the company or indeed the freight costs sorry. They were a couple from Shepparton , I bought two sets of speakers from the US using them, they were very good. 

Have you read this? >>> Click  it might help.

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3 hours ago, Islander77 said:

I need to decide between X4 (fully passive, 12” drivers, 93db ) and X3 (active 15” bass drivers, 97db).

 

Nice choice!

 

OB bass needs driver Sd.  How much bass do you need?

 

The X3 looks good. It would be painful to get the X4 and then need to upgrade given the shipping costs.

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Fantastic news! @Indie Hi-Fi is now selling Spatial Audio Lab speakers in Australia. Check it out: https://indiehifi.com.au/collections/spatial-audio-lab

 

I cottoned on to this a few days ago and followed up directly with Hugo at Indie. I placed my order this morning and my speakers should be part of the first delivery arriving in a couple of weeks! I'm stoked.

 

At the moment the Indie website just lists M series speakers, but the X series will be up there very soon.

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I've owned open baffle speakers of various designs for over 20 years and even though I also currently have very good monkey coffins at the moment, my OBs rule the roost.

 

You can see my journey in my signature.

 

The good thing about open baffles is that well-designed ones tend to sound more similar than different. Even when as different as Magnepan panels and Spatial dynamic drivers. The effect of having no box is stronger than the effect of of different drivers, for example.

 

Moreover, in the open baffle design universe, Spatial and Pure share very similar philosophies. They use wide baffles and high efficiency pro drivers.

 

In my brief listens to both they sound even more similar than different. The biggest difference between them would depend on which tweeter you choose, and how deep you want to go in the bass.

 

I personally prefer the Linkwitz-style open baffle which uses smaller baffles, multiple drivers, fully active amps and considerable active EQ. But that kind of thing is considerably more complex than the system you are considering.

 

One of the cool things about open baffle is that it can be really simple and really cheap to get a taste.

 

If you haven't bought anything yet, I'd suggest buying a piece of wood, cutting a hole in it, adding a full range driver and having a listen.

Edited by sfdoddsy
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Last week I heard 2 different kinds of open baffle/no baffle speakers (including an older model Spatial Audio speaker) and I really liked what I heard. It confirmed that OBs were for me, hence why I went ahead with my order.

 

By the way, Hugo told me he will be demonstrating the Spatial Audio Lab speakers at the Melbourne Hifi show in June, so anyone can have a listen (as much as listening in shows may or may not tell you about the sound of a piece of gear).

 

And "monkey coffins" 😂.

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I would also suggest having a listen to a panel-style open baffle like Magnepan or Martin Logan.

 

Dynamic driver OBs have been my choice for many years, but a pair of Martin Logan CLS was my gateway drug back in the late 80s, and I've had intense affairs with Apogees and other panel speakers.

 

Panels have their faults (dynamics, bass, beaming, inefficiency) but they also have strengths some swear by.

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51 minutes ago, sfdoddsy said:

Panels have their faults (dynamics, bass, beaming, inefficiency) but they also have strengths some swear by.

 

True - but as a Maggie owner for nearly 30 years ... I have no regrets, having  switched to my current 'zero baffle' cone spkrs - which @option-up enjoyed a couple of weeks ago.  :) 

 

Andy

 

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Tis funny, we have gone similar directions. I was quite set on building troels TL1/TL2 due to my fondness for the JBL 4345. Started collecting parts. 
 

then eventually dropped the idea after realising the costs for getting drivers and crossovers were astronomical.  
 

then came along open baffles.  Recently picked up a pair of Spatial M3 Triode Masters.    Quite happy with what they do!   understanding they won’t have same qualities as what the TL1/TL2 have..

BD4F9329-B831-4F9B-AB1F-BF05111A1209.jpeg

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2 hours ago, tuyen said:

Tis funny, we have gone similar directions. I was quite set on building troels TL1/TL2 due to my fondness for the JBL 4345. Started collecting parts. 
 

then eventually dropped the idea after realising the costs for getting drivers and crossovers were astronomical.  
 

then came along open baffles.  Recently picked up a pair of Spatial M3 Triode Masters.    Quite happy with what they do!   understanding they won’t have same qualities as what the TL1/TL2 have..

BD4F9329-B831-4F9B-AB1F-BF05111A1209.jpeg

@tuyen , how many watts do they need?

 

Cheers 🙏

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