Rega Rx3 or Spendor A2

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by 81611, Jun 13, 2018.

  1. 81611

    81611 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NY
    Hello,

    I’m currently upgrading my system and have pretty much decided on either the Spendor A2 or Rega Rx3 floorstanders.

    I’ll be using them with a Rega Planar 6 TT and an Elicit r amp. My room is fairly small 15x15 ft. I listen to all kinds of music mainly rock. I am unfortunately not able to demo any speakers.

    I don’t have any experience with hifi audio gear and I don’t consider myself an audiophile, I just like to listen to good music.

    Any recommendations on speakers or advice in general would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.
     
  2. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.
    I can't speak for the Regas, but I recently auditioned the Spendor A4s in a slightly larger room and they were simply excellent - the type of speaker that has only sins of ommission (and very slight ones at that). Even at full retail, I think they're an excellent value. They're a lot more dynamic than some earlier Spendors and sounded great with a variety of genres.

    The Regas appear a little larger than the A2s, which are quite small floorstanders. Even in a 15x15 room, I'd try to stretch for the A4s. You might call Gene Rubin and get his opinion. He sells both brands and will probably offer a fair discount.

    Welcome to Gene Rubin Audio
     
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  3. Dhreview16

    Dhreview16 Forum Resident

    Location:
    London UK
    Spendor have more of a reputation for speakers and the A2s and 4s have excellent reviews. Don't ignore the used/nearly new or ex demo markets for substantial discounts, particularly given the (high) quality of your deck and amp.
     
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  4. Morbius

    Morbius Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookline, MA
    I too am attracted to the Spendor A2 and very curious how it would work in my system but I already have the RX3s. I feel they've been a good choice in my situation since like you I have a fairly small listening room and the speakers side mounted woofers have made it very easy to tune them to the room. Also since my front end components are also Rega I have that synergy quotient working for me. The RX3s provide a lot of musical information and to me they are very uncolored and honest. I spend hours every day listening to them without ever experiencing fatigue but at the same time they're exiting to listen to. I hope you enjoy the A2s and return to tell us about them if you order them instead.
     
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  5. Catcher10

    Catcher10 I like records, and Prog...duh

    Hmm that's a neat choice of speakers, I'd like to hear the A2/4. I have the RX5 and love them, one thing you should pay notice to is the sensitivity of the A2 is low at 85dB into 8 ohms and the Rega is better at 89dB into 6 ohms, very much easier to drive than the Spendor's. I suspect the A2 at 36Hz is better than the RX3 which are probably around 42-45Hz but the side firing woofer can make up for that and also position from the wall.

    I don't know the sound character of the A2, but the RX series is super musical especially in the midrange, vocals for me have never sounded better as well as brass. I think I could be happy with either speaker, my concern would be does the Elicit have enough a$$ end to power the A2 to a nice level.
    Have fun
     
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  6. Morbius

    Morbius Forum Resident

    Location:
    Brookline, MA
    The Elicit-R has 105 watts so it would easily drive the A2 in that size room.
     
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  7. Taylor7108

    Taylor7108 Active Member

    I have the same setup and have been auditioning speakers. I am almost set on the Dynaudio Excite x38 to pair with my Elicit R. After hearing that speaker with that amp, I can definitely say that the Spendor or Rega RX3-5 would all work perfectly with the Elicit!
     
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  8. chrism1971

    chrism1971 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Glos, UK
    You need to listen to both in a similar sized room with your t/t and amp. In the UK that would be simple as a lot of UK Rega dealers also stock Spendor. No idea about the USA though.

    How are you finding the Planar 6 + Elicit-R? Do you use an external phono amp?
     
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  9. 14 Cheerleader Coldfront

    14 Cheerleader Coldfront Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    I ran the Rp6 w/ Exact 2 into the Elicit and it was very nice. The Elicit has a decent phono stage. I then added an Aria phono which took things to a much higher level.
     
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  10. KT88

    KT88 Forum Resident

    I have not heard the A2, but I have many other Spendor speakers. They have all had a slightly warmer than neutral, or a warmish sound by comparison to many other brands. I have heard the RX3 as well as the other Rega speakers. The Regas have excellent resolution and are quite dynamic. They have a good tonal balance and of course fit very well into systems with Rega electronics. Your room has a square dimension, which may make bass boom an issue, and the Rega speakers offer side firing woofers which provide some better utility for placement in many situations. You should certainly try and hear speakers as they are definitely going to shape the output of the system more than other components.
    -Bill
     
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  11. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    You say you can't audition speakers but you are listed as living in New York? If you are buying without auditioning then problems may ensue - if you can provide more information this would help

    1) What speakers in the past have you liked?
    2) Rock isn't always the best with narrow baffle loudspeakers with small drivers (or low efficiency speakers which both of these speakers exhibit). Personally, as a Rock listener myself - I'm not sure either of these are going to wow you - audiophile or not.
    3) Information - do you like to play your AC/DC at high levels and want to FEEL the bass and have the treble exhibit real impact on cymbals?

    Your room is big enough to support the following less expensive speaker that is vastly VASTLY better for rock music. It is more dynamic - can hit hard, is 95dB sensitive and can handle 500 watts - in other words it will PELT your entire house AND it sounds pretty damn good too with a slight bit of work.

    Drum roll - and unlike Rega or Spendor you will damn well feel that drum roll...

    Cerwin Vega XLS 215 (a newer better CLS215)

    Now you need to get past the looks although it certainly fits rocker lifestyle. And they are HUUGE speakers and the rubber woofers always make me thing of some red light district condoms or something but don't get panzy ass speakers with 6 inch woofers in cheap MDF cabinets - Rock music is about feeling not precise stereo imaging and BS audiophile rubbish - The song says "Shook me all night long" - the Spendor and Rega won't even ruffle the sheets.

    $1400 for the pair!

    [​IMG]
    And by the way they don't suck like the old Cerwin Vegas - see the Robert E Greene Review TESTED: Cerwin-Vega CLS-215 Loudspeaker

    And an award winner from Soundstage. SoundStage! Equipment Review - Cerwin-Vega CLS-215 Loudpeakers (12/2007)

    Third review just for good measure http://www.cerwinvega.com/content/pdf/AudioVideoRevolution-XLS-Review-Reprint.pdf

    In my view - if one is a rock and roll guy there is no better bang for the dollar than these speakers - I have heard them myself and they are very plausible on other kinds of music - anything requiring large effortless dynamics -- and you really don't need a lot of power - 50 watts and you'll be deaf.

    A dealer noted that tilting the speakers back and having them lifted a few inches will raise their game and take down some of the treble - but this is largely experimental based on the room acoustics.

    These things are big and pretty heavy at 116lbs with dual 15 inch woofers but they are bags of FUN and they leave you with a bag of money in your bank. For the difference in price- if you don't like the finish you can have someone refinish them in a wood color you prefer. Plus if down the line you want to buy a tube amplifier - you won't have some 86dB-89dB ish sensitive and usually difficult to drive 6 inch woofer to drive - with the CV you might even be able to get a SET amplifier - or a Nelson Pass First Watt SIT amplifier - the point being is that you have a whole bigger world of quality low powered amplifiers you can use - and have them ALSO play rock at high levels well.
     
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  12. Art K

    Art K Forum Resident

    Location:
    Corvallis, Oregon
    This. Gene is a great guy and a fair dealer.

    It would be informative to know what you mean by "good music". What do you listen to? How loud do you listen? What are you looking for in a speaker, what characteristics do you value?
     
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  13. ls35a

    ls35a Forum Resident

    Location:
    Eagle, Idaho
    Spendor.
     
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  14. 81611

    81611 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NY
    Thanks for the feedback guys. I did contact Gene thanks for the recommendation. I suppose I should’ve been more specific with my music preference and room situation. I live in an apartment in NYC with neighbors all around me so I will mostly be listening to music at lower volume, although I’d love to have those giant Cerwin Vega speakers it’s not possible.

    I listen to all genres of music, most recently my Dad’s small vinyl collection from the 60’s and 70’s. Mainly rock, The Stooges, VU, Black Sabbath, The Doors etc. I listen to anything from indie rock to punk to blues to doom/stoner metal. My wife really likes Otis Redding, so my music preferences are quite varied.

    I usually get my “good music” fix by going to live shows around the city but babysitters are getting harder to come by. So I guess by good music I mean I’d like it to sound like the band is playing live in my living room (haha probably not possible with 8k worth of equipment) or exactly how the artist meant the album to sound. I’m not sure if I’m explaining myself correctly, just really good sound quality.

    The local record store near me has some Rega gear which is why I chose the Rega amp and table. I visited a sound shop in Manhattan a couple years ago and tried to talk to the salesman about possibly auditioning and purchasing a hifi system but he wasn’t at all helpful. So for now I’m researching online and reading reviews. The Spendor A4s have good reviews. I’m wondering if they will pair well with the Rega gear. Thanks again for all the advice.
     
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  15. bhazen

    bhazen Binaural-Curious

    Location:
    Newcastle, WA
    Spendor for tone. Rega for groove.

    Use your ears (or your foot) to decide.
     
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  16. Helom

    Helom Forum Resident

    Location:
    U.S.
    The new Spendors have quite a lot of groove and are faster than than their predecessors.
     
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  17. Richard Austen

    Richard Austen Forum Resident

    Location:
    Hong Kong
    That's of course the big problem - still - if you can ry for a Higher efficiency speaker - just because it may be big doesn't mean you have to play it loud - one of the great things about my speakers is that they sound "full range" at very low volumes while my low efficiency KEFs and every other low efficiency speaker from every other manufacturer I have ever heard (and I've heard most of them) need to be pushed to sound good. So you wind up having to play the 5 inch woofer louder to sound "fuller" while a 12 inch woofer with 95dB sensitivity you can often play several decibels lower but it sounds like it is louder. That matters in an apartment.

    Alternatively - there is the Magnepan 1.7 which doesn't have a lot of thump and should, in theory, make for a good apartment loudspeaker. This speaker is often a love it or loathe it kind of thing but the people who love them absolutely rave and rave and while I am not a huge fan of them myself - they do offer a lot for the money and they're worth your time to go and hear. Don't just rely on reviews - everything gets a good review someplace - stuff you like gets great reviews and stuff you hate gets great reviews. One of the reasons I recommend Magnepan for audition has nothing to do with my likes or dislikes but that the folks who tend to love them love them SOOOOOO much. And they keep them 30 years. That kind of passion is rare. And that passion is worth an audition.

    My old friend in Canada went through speakers like underwear - he had like 14 speakers in 2 years. Each time he proclaimed the latest one is the greatest and can't be beat etc etc. Then it's gone. None of them truly made him happy not like Magnepan makes their owners happy. They will have a model for 10-15 years and upgrade to the new model from the same company. Around $2000.

    [​IMG]

    One of the advantages to the speakers is that they are light so when you are not using them you can shove em up against the wall. Given that you aren't going to play too crazy loud these might do pretty well. So long as you don't have cats.

    Although if you can spend a bit more I would take a serious look at the Spatial M3 for $2995 and will work very well in an apartment - they won't create the room boom of boxed speakers and sound very clear. Also fairly easy to drive
    Plus you get a 60 day in home free trial and a MASSIVE 20 year warranty. And engineered and made in the USA. I just think you can do a lot better than some of the usual suspects. They also have a less expensive speaker under $2,000 but I have not heard it.

    [​IMG]

    Hologram M3
     
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  18. Guth

    Guth Member: Slink Rand Fan Club

    Location:
    Oregon
    Over the years I've sort of gravitated to audio gear produced by the British. Like yourself, that includes a Planar 6 (I went with the Ania cartridge) although I'm using amplification from Naim. I've had quite a few different speakers in my system over the years including a number of British makes from the likes of Harbeth, Neat, ProAc, and Spendor amongst others. I listen to a lot of different music, including plenty of rock. When it has come to choosing speakers, my biggest problem has been the room itself. It has been a challenge to find speakers that do not end up overexciting the room resulting in bass that is either boomy, exhibits overhang, or both. That immediately puts a damper on things for me. As a result, after working my way through far too many modern speakers. I ended up playing around with a few sets of older speakers that employed acoustic suspension designs. (Modern designs that include rear-firing or downward firing ports just do not work in my room for the reasons mentioned above.) While these older sealed designs worked great in my room and I had a lot of fun playing around with them, over the long run I ended up spending less and less time listening to music as a result — likely due to the fact that I was missing out on a lot the sonic details that newer speakers have been able to reveal (please don't mistake this for "brightness").

    At any rate, I now own the Rega RX3's and I've been enjoying them more than I imagined I would. They are an easy load (my integrated amp from Naim only puts out 50 wpc) and the Regas sound quite lively even at fairly low volume. But just as importantly to me, their sonic signature does not change when I really crank up the volume which leads me to believe that my amp isn't straining at all with these speakers. I believe the success I'm enjoying with these speakers has a lot to do with the low-range mid/woofer being mounted on the side of the speaker cabinet (allowing the user to face them inward towards each other as I've done, or outwards towards the side walls). But likely even more important in the case of my room is the front-ported design of these speakers. I feel that is a good part of what makes them so amazingly quick and free of boom/overhang in my room. I had the advantage of being able to audition the RX3s at a couple of dealers before I brought them home and I was able to compare them directly with speakers from the likes of Audio Physic, Devore Fidelity, Focal, KEF, Larsen and Spendor before buying them so by that token I'm not exactly shocked at how much I'm enjoying the Regas. But in my case, it's the fact that they work so well in my room that is the true icing on the cake.

    This might all sound like a sales pitch for the Rega's, but I really just wanted to give you some food for thought. If my room were not so problematic then I likely would have stepped off of the loudspeaker merry-go-round some time ago and never had made it to the point where I'd own the RX3's. I say that because there are a lot of good sounding speakers available these days, including those from Spendor.
     
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  19. 81611

    81611 Active Member Thread Starter

    Location:
    NY
    Thanks for the advice. I’ll try to listen to the Regas, Spendors and if possible the Spatial M3s at a dealer and make my decision soon.

    In your opinion, would a high output MC cartridge such as a Dynavector 10.5 or a MM Rega exact 2 be more suitable for listening to rock music on a Planar 6 with the Elicit r? I’ve never heard a MC cart but if I understand correctly they produce a more detailed sound. I don’t plan to use a MC phono stage with the Elicit. Like I said, I’m a beginner and basically building a new system from scratch. I appreciate your opinions.
     
  20. Guth

    Guth Member: Slink Rand Fan Club

    Location:
    Oregon
    While I'm familiar with both, I'm not sure that I would rate one too highly over the other. When it comes to the stuff that I buy, it needs to be able to perform well with all types of music, and that certainly includes rock music. I've listened to the Exact cartridges in showrooms multiple times in the past and I honestly thought that they sounded fine. I also own a Dynavector 10x5 that I was using on the Rega RP3 (which I had before the P6) and I enjoyed it a lot as well. While it might not make for the trendiest selection, I do find a lot of value in sticking with the Rega formula and the synergy it provides — not to mention the discounted pricing when you buy a Rega cartridge along with the Rega turntable. In that case the Exact is a few hundred dollars cheaper than the Dynavector and the Exact has been designed to work well with the gear you already own (and vice versa). I don't think you could make a bad decision either way.

    When it comes to rock music in particular, I had a far tougher time finding a speaker that I could play nice and loud without distortion or bass boom/overhang in my room (for me this really takes a lot of fun out of listening to loud rock music in particular). Once I got that worked out, playing around with upgrading my front end has just been the icing on the cake. Some choose to go about it in just the opposite order to which I say "to each their own". I believe that there are very few absolutes when it comes to any of this stuff. Good luck!
     

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