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Spendor SP7/1
6 Reviews
rating  4.5 of 5
MSRP  2700.00
Description: Two-way floorstanding speakers. 8" Spendor polypropylene woofer/midrange, 3/4" Scanspeak soft dome tweeter.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (6 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by B. Diver a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: October 5, 2015

Bottom Line:   
Spendor SP7/1's from Spendor's Master Series. SErios heritage from the BBC monirtors.

These have the drivers from the SP2's in a floorstanding cabinet. Along with the larger SP9/1 these were Spendor's top of the line speakers in the 90's

The cabinet build quality is second to none, today it is only found in speakers selling well over $10 000 period.

The details, noble timbre, subtlety, wonderful mids along with smooth non-fatiguing highs but still pretty sharp. What you will hear is unbelievable because they are very 'domestic': Easy to place in medium to big rooms, they'll play anything well (except worse recordings).

They will do marvels with a quality sub, outperforming many modern speakers.

The beautifully finished real wood veneered cherry cabinets is outstanding.
The SP7/1 is a two way, reflex-loaded design and uses a 200mm Spendor bass/midrange driver and a customized Scanspeak tweeter (the same as those used in the well-respected SP2/3). The baffle is 44mm thick and the crossover a six-element circuit split for optional bi-wire use. Specs: Frequency response 60Hz-20kHz ±3dB Sensitivity 88dBNV/m Nominal impedance 8 ohms Crossover point 3kHz Power handling 80 watts Maximum sound pressure level 104dBA at lm Pair matching within 1dB Dimensions (H x W x D) 850 x 295 x 350mm

A pair of Spendor SP7/1's from Spendor's Master Series. These have the drivers from the SP2's in a floorstanding cabinet. Along with the larger SP9/1 these were Spendor's top of the line speakers in the 90's.

They are in a beautiful cherry veneer and are immaculate, bar some sun fade where the grilles have been.

There was a detailed review in Gramophone from 1995, but it's been taken down. An extract is here:

"In sum, this is an impressive loudspeaker whose even-handed performance clearly stems from the Spendor tradition of tonal neutrality, whist at the same time it has a crisp attack, a "speed" which is fully up-to-date. It is quite beautifully made with a styling refreshingly different from the usual dour rectangular box but which will nevertheless sit happily among traditional furnishings. It certainly warrants a place on any shortlist in its price band

The Spendor SP7/1 breaks away from the standard rectangular box design, sharing a striking cabinet profile in which the only parallel members are the side panels; although they are necessarily more expensive in manufacture, irregular shaped enclosures such as these offer significant benefits in their pacifying of internal standing waves. The floorstanding loudspeaker employs reflex loading via a port on the front baffle intended for free-space positioning away from the rear wall.

The SP7/1 cabinet has configured sloping front baffle that provides a degree of time-alignment for the two drive units- a 200mm homopolymer polypropylene coned bass/midrange unit and a Scanspeak tweeter, which is mounted just above it.

Spendor subscribes to the view that it is better to make use of panel resonance by controlling it rather than to attempt the near impossible task of suppressing it entirely; and to this effect they have traditionally employed judiciously damped, relatively thin walled cabinets to complement substantial, rigid baffles. Able to flex in this way, the cabinet walls have little tendency to 'hang on' to the unwanted energy; more rigid panels tend to throw energy back into play after a minuscule delay, the audible effect of which is a 'smearing' of detail, noticeable especially in the midrange.

As can be seen from the photograph, the baffle slopes back and is tapered. It also has chamfered edges, which within the region of the drive units helps reduce diffraction effects that would otherwise tend to compromise the stereo image. What is not immediately apparent is the sheer bulk of this front panel, which provides a massive, stable platform to which the drive units are literally referenced. The side and rear panels are loaded (damped) internally by the addition of high hysteresis bitumastic pads. The cabinet has a lateral brace just above the reflex port and apart from the baffle is entirely lined with absorptive polyether foam.

Spendor's bass/midrange drive unit is built into a substantial cast aluminium chassis. The unit is front-mounted into a shelved recess in the baffle and held in place against a thin foam gasket by hex-headed screws, which mate with threaded retainers on the internal face- the proper way to do it."

In sum, this is an impressive loudspeaker whose even-handed performance clearly stems from the Spendor tradition of tonal neutrality, whist at the same time it has a crisp attack, a "speed" which is fully up-to-date. It is quite beautifully made with a styling refreshingly different from the usual dour rectangular box but which will nevertheless sit happily among traditional furnishings. It certainly warrants a place on any shortlist in its price band

The Spendor SP7/1 breaks away from the standard rectangular box design, sharing a striking cabinet profile in which the only parallel members are the side panels; although they are necessarily more expensive in manufacture, irregular shaped enclosures such as these offer significant benefits in their pacifying of internal standing waves. The floorstanding loudspeaker employs reflex loading via a port on the front baffle intended for free-space positioning away from the rear wall.

The SP7/1 cabinet has configured sloping front baffle that provides a degree of time-alignment for the two drive units- a 200mm homopolymer polypropylene coned bass/midrange unit and a Scanspeak tweeter, which is mounted just above it.

Spendor subscribes to the view that it is better to make use of panel resonance by controlling it rather than to attempt the near impossible task of suppressing it entirely; and to this effect they have traditionally employed judiciously damped, relatively thin walled cabinets to complement substantial, rigid baffles. Able to flex in this way, the cabinet walls have little tendency to 'hang on' to the unwanted energy; more rigid panels tend to throw energy back into play after a minuscule delay, the audible effect of which is a 'smearing' of detail, noticeable especially in the midrange.

The baffle slopes back and is tapered. It also has chamfered edges, which within the region of the drive units helps reduce diffraction effects that would otherwise tend to compromise the stereo image. What is not immediately apparent is the sheer bulk of this front panel, which provides a massive, stable platform to which the drive units are literally referenced. The side and rear panels are loaded (damped) internally by the addition of high hysteresis bitumastic pads. The cabinet has a lateral brace just above the reflex port and apart from the baffle is entirely lined with absorptive polyether foam.

I you can find a pair, simply enjoy music!

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   1998



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by joebone a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: February 3, 2005

Bottom Line:   
These masterpieces don't get their due respect. But I must first digress to explain why I think so.

20 years ago, when transitioning from music to law as a career, I cruised New York City in search of the best speakers on my budget, and ended up with a pair of Preludes. Since then,I've also owned S-20, S-100, and SP1-2/e, depending on my room. For 4 years I had some ATC 20's, and have also had the Harbeth Compact 7ES2 and Quad 63 in my current home. I've also hooked up a half-
dozen friends and family with various Spendors. So, yeah, you could say I'm a fan...

One thing I've come to realize is that the room interface is critical. Those ATC's were great, but even with a subwoofer (REL), they just couldn't move enough air easily in my largish room - they could go plenty loud, but would sound kind of "nervous" in that mode,
as if a small amount of air was being pushed quickly, instead of a larger volume of air moving at a more ppropriate rate. On the other hand, my room has some funky acoustics, which is why I'd had to sell my S-100's when I'd first moved in - they excited some nasty resonances, although the room now works better due to fuller furnshing and some structural work. In any event, I shifted from
the ATC to the SP1-2/e in the hope that the larger woofer and box would lend more weight. It worked to some degree, but I felt those speakers didn't have the mid-range magic of other Spendors I've heard
or owned.

Hence a dalliance with Harbeth Compact 7ES2, and the pleasure of having some Quad '63's in the house for a while. That particular Harbeth model is selling like hotcakes, and I found it pretty interesting - a more lively presentation than Spendors I have known, articulate and nicely balanced.

But then, a recent lightbulb moment. A year ago I'd hooked my Dad up with an old pair of SP2/2's, and when visting him thought they sounded really marvelous (he uses an old NAD receiver, but has a
living room with exceptional acoustics for playback). With a mob of family coming over to my house for this past Christmas week, I didn't want to have the Quads flanking the tree, cramping folks' style and inviting mayhem by the kids. I lucked into a cheap pair of 2/2's, and
decided to put them up for the Holiday.

Result? Bliss. I think the 2/2 is an incredible package, as it can handle more modern music in a way that sometimes seems difficult for the BC-1 or SP-1, but also has an open and friendly mid-range. So I sold the Harbeths - a more expensive and accomplished speaker, but in some ways not as pleasing to me.

The thing that brought me back to the Spendors was the realization that while with the Harbeths I had more of those moments where a particular sound might grab attention due to fidelity to the sound of a real instrument in space, via the 2/2 I was more inclined to take in musical phrases, or appreciate musical development over a longer piece. I've read that some photographers prefer Leica optics to Nikon because the Nikon might provide more detail, but the Leica gets
the whole photo over in a more communicative manner. I think this analogy holds true in comparing the better Spendors with other speakers. Those Harbeths (and the Quads) provide more detail, but I'm not sure that's the point when listening to music. I've
concluded the Spendors somehow present at a level of particularity that simply facilitates my musical comprehension.

Then, the next step, in surprisingly rapid order. A pair of 7/1's shows up locally. Spared the hassle and cost of shipping, I can't resist.

And I think I now have the right speaker for my house,after 8.5 years! First clue - I can play louder than with any other speaker, as the 7/1 easily moves lots of air but does not excite funny
resonances. I was blown away by the sound of a Batucada (Brazilian samba drums) section - I never expected to have the real feel of that kind of music in my home. Of course, like any Spendor, they sound great at low volume ... but I expected that; OTOH, the high-volume
thing was a revelation. I don't know how to explain this - the angled speakers? The mass of the front baffle? But there is no question that this speaker succeeds in my room where the S-100 and 1-2/e could not.

Yes, as compared with Harbeth and Quad I sacrifice some obvious detail and an occasional audiophile thrill, but whenever I start listening for detail, it's always there. And I'm rarely losing the forest for the trees, as my focus seems often to be pitched at a level that really concentrates on music rather than audio ephemera. And I have that lovely sense of mass when crescendos occur, particularly in the orchestral cellos and bass.

I could not recommned these highly enough for most users. Maybe the 9/1 is better, maybe not - in my room, likely to boom like the S-100 did, and probably not as fast or articulate in the bass. With my little REL sub, I seem to be doing fine.

Too bad these are so rare!

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1995

Price Paid:    $1300.00

Purchased At:   private sale



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Benjamin Zwickel a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: November 18, 2001

Bottom Line:   
Since I have a close relationship with the owners of "high end" stores, I have spent HOURS with products in stores, and DAYS with the best of those products in my own home. I often have the option of taking home the floor demo products for the weekend to hear how they sound on my system. This has given me the oppertunity experiance many products over extended periods of time.

What I have found is that most products that are "impressive" at first, tend to be "too much" once you own them. Also, that physics itself dictates many things. For example, there is only so much bass that can be gotten from a small driver, large drivers and large cabinets cause reflections in a room that tend to give a poor image, and drivers that are too fast tend to be too loose.

I find that the Spendor 7/1 has a nice balance between bass and image, dynamics and accuracy, detail and smoothness, and best of all, price and quality. Their "laid back" sound smooths over the flaws in bad recordings and less refined electronics, but this also hides some of the detail on the best of recordings and the most refined of systems. Until you are dealing with GOOD systems that are OVER $15,000 you would only be fooling yourself to believe that you are really "missiing" ANYTHING.

These are far from the best speakers I've ever heard, and I
doubt that they will be the last pair I own. So far, though I find MANY speaker that have impressive characteristics in the $3K to $5K price range, the only ones that I find that are CLEARLY better that the Spendor 7/1's (for accoustic music) are more in the $5K to $10K price range.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1998

Price Paid:    $2000.00

Purchased At:   David Lewis Audio



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by David Elmgren a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: April 18, 2001

Bottom Line:   
These came to me after I had pretty much disregarded them
a while back. I was looking for another pair of SP-2/3's
or some SP-1/2's when I saw these at a fair price and thought I should give them another listen. Am I glad I did.
The first time I had these in my home I believe that they were dealer demos and possibly not yet broken in. Subsequently, the speakers seemed a bit bright, with a nice soundstage but seeming to lack the sweetness that I've heard
in Spendors other models. Let me say that these do not lack that sweetness nor do they sound bright. What they do sound like is simply marvelous. With better imaging, much better soundstage, and their glorious midrange they actually
are more competetive with the SP-100's than comparing them to the Sp-1's or SP-2/3's. Their bass is tight, fairly deep and when called on can be very dynamic. Their midrange is simply natural, open, fluid, and alive. The
high end is smooth, possibly not as extended as some metal
domes I've heard (but close) but more importantly so beautifully integrated with the mids that the transtion is nearly seamless....terrific. The imaging is much better than the SP-100's, better han the SP-2/3's and also the SP-1's. It's really a strength whereas I've always thought it was good on Spendors past. Their image can extend above the speakers when the material calls for it, projects beautifully in the depth plane and also in front of the speakers when the source material does. The width is also
excellent. Way beyond the speakers themselves and reaches
the back edges as well as the front.
In short, these somewhat surprised me. I had heard they were worth a second look and were they ever! Their price right now on the used market seems almost like a steal to me, they are that good. If you are looking into the british
speaker market, especially the Spendor line, give these a listen....they are a delightful spaeker and capable of bringing that Spendor magic into your home with an ease and
naturalness that may floor you. It did me.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   1997

Price Paid:    $1000.00

Purchased At:   private party



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:4
Submitted by Brian a Audiophile

Date Reviewed: December 10, 2000

Bottom Line:   
I have really enjoyed the Spendor 7/1's. Great recordings sound incredible, especially tight jazz and vocals with soul. I have not found a musical piece that is too fast for the mid range or tweeter. Both sound effortless from the 7/1's. They have a bass port, which is a poor replacement for real bass. A sub is required. My sub is set to pick up at the highest frequency in its range. The rosewood cabinets are truely beautiful. I have never seen nicer cabinets, at any price.

Equipment:
Spendor 7/1's
Hafler 9300 Amps (mono amp'd)
Audio Alchemy Pre-Amp
Cal Audio Labs CD-Transport
Audio Alchemy DAC and Jitter Filter
Genesis Sub-Woofer
Tice Elite Power Conditioning
MIT Interconnects
MIT Mid-Range Speaker Cables
Kimber Tweeter Cables

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audiophile

Product model year:   1997




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