Spendor BC-1 Floorstanding Speakers

BC-1

User Reviews (12)

Showing 1-10 of 12  
redford   Audio Enthusiast [May 08, 2017]

the bc-1 I tried at home was apalling, when driven by a quad 405. - the went back to the dealer,
a less than stellar amplifier, I admit.

spendor has habit of using plpropene cones, well-known for their ability to quack.

a friend recently auditioned some spendors fo rhis home cinema system (a good one), he remarked on the very same same characteristic. for c 40 years, spendor has produced this junk, mostly under the guise of being licenced bbc monitor designs.

shameful. buy yamaha, almost anything except those early 70's models with piano-shaped drivers.imo. yamaha has forgotten more than spendor will ever know about loudspeaker design.

I have had ns-1000m for 30+ years.

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Enrico69   AudioPhile [May 28, 2009]

Very good speakers, expecially overall. The real plus is the flat response in a medium, real room: here the designer make a magic design. However, to give their best, they need a very fast and excellent quality amplifier, power don't matter: if no, please don't judge them. I suggest to try an old and well done Sansui amplifier, for example like the mine au-x111 (40w/channel on 8 ohm). By the way, Sansui made for a short period a clone of these speakers...;-)
Yes, there are many better speakers with better drivers, but do you really need to spend so much money to listen music? A great bargain for serious people who want to listen music in a real way with few compromises(They were a BBC monitor for small-medium room!!!): the footprint is of the great speaker.

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
michael   Audio Enthusiast [Feb 13, 2008]
Strength:

Great speaker, nothing else can compare to the sound.

Weakness:

jelous friends

throughout my 21 years of life i have been forced to listen to music on sub par systems. Until recently i had no idea my dad was an audiophile, but it was clear to see his passion when he reconnected with his BC1's. For the first time i could hear everything that was meant to be heard. The sound is rich and crystal clear, with true design going into these speakers. Now the only problem is trying to get my dad to pass them off to me. It is going to be a trick seeing is how he was not willing to get rid of them for the past 20 years.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Ludger   Audio Enthusiast [Dec 13, 2002]
Strength:

everything between 70 & 17.000Hz, excellent sound-stage, details and neutrality; very good quality and durability.

Weakness:

needs subwoofer in rooms >15m²; low efficiency, needs strong and fast amplifiers; no speaker for everyone: shows no mercy to awfull produced cd's

Now I am using the Spendor BC 1 Mk3 for four years and I will not change them for any other speakers. IMHO, these are one of the best speakers ever built. There's only one limitation that everybody has to register who's interested: You have to use powerful and fast amplifiers. Otherwise, you will never discover the real potential of this excellent speaker. Have fun and just listen to the music: one, two, three, four, five hours. Using the Spendor BC 1 Mk3, you will exactly do it this way.

Similar Products Used: Canton Sub/Sat System, Heco Speakers
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
wostrom   Audio Enthusiast [Sep 09, 2002]
Strength:

True monitor speakers. Vivid, life like voicing. Transparency. Secuctive delicacy. Unbelievably cheap - $350 for 26 years and still perfect?

Weakness:

Coffin-like late 60s styling. Biggish boxes. Had to replace the foam from facing. Takes me away from my work.

I have owned a pair of Spendor BC1 speakers for 25 years. In that time I have owned lots of other speakers and this year, having stuffed the things away in an attic for 12 years, I got them out to sell. But first, I hooked them up to my new amp from Musical Fidelity..... The rest is history, as are my other speakers. Stunned, I realised just how transparent these awesome, true monitor speakers are. The amp got the bass under control and the mid range simply sings. There is no other speaker I have ever heard that matches the delicacy and honesty of voicing.

Similar Products Used: Nothing else like it.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
ariaslives   Audio Enthusiast [Jul 19, 2002]
Strength:

Mid and high clarity, soundstage, honest reproduction, and price.

Weakness:

Slightly bright and ghastly to behold (grandfather styling)

This review may be premature, since I have only owned these speakers for a couple days, but I could not resist. The BC1's that am using are about 20 years old so they have already been burned in. I hooked them up to a NAD 116 Stereo preamp with Transparent interconnects, Cambridge Audio D500SE CDP, and Musical Fidelity A3.24 Upsampling DAC, and Sony SACD 775CE. These BC1's come with their own 50 watt amps, so unfortunately I have to forgo my Rogue Audio Tempest. When I played the first CD, a mix of burnt mp3's, I thought I had been jipped. It sounded terrible. The highs were bright and mids were grainy and the bass...ohhh the bass disappeared. I knew this could not have been due to poor quality in Spendor, so I thought maybe they were raggedy because of shipping or age. Well, I popped in a Stevie Knicks cd next and I was blown away. Her voice was flinty; the bass pounded; I immediately understood the problem. Spendor's monitor quality did not reveal its weakness, rather it clearly demonstrated the poor quality of mp3's from internet file sharing. In fact, everything in the Stevie Knicks recording became clear and present...from taps on the cymbals, to drum beats, to times when she inhales for the next notes. It was indeed amazing. They make good recordings good and poor recordings truly bad. Unfortunately, I am frequented by the upgrade bug...I really need to stop reading hi fi magazines...so I always felt that maybe the latest speakers with complex composite materials and dashing designs might improve my listening pleasure, but these 20 year old BC1's have made me realize that newer does not mean better. Just as an ex high end stereo dealer told, never buy new speakers because there isn't anything out there that is any better, sonically, than what was made 5, 10, or 20 years ago. A bigger price usually, but not always means, better aesthetics and power handling, not better sonic reproduction. The BC1's are a little bright but other than that I cannot really complain. They deliver wonderfully on music and provide a deep soundstage. If you have a chance pick them up and see why many speaker reviewers have a pair as a reference.

Similar Products Used: Spendor SP 2/3, SP 1/2, S3/5, JM Lab Chorus 725, B&W Nautilus 805, Paradigm studio monitors, and Vandersteen towers.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Pierre Bellavance   Audio Enthusiast [Mar 09, 2002]
Strength:

Musicality. I was thinking of buying the new Spendor S9 speakers, but with my new 5.1 setup, I''m perfectly happy.

Weakness:

Loud solid bass is lacking a little, but with the addition of the Spendor Sub, watch out!!!

I wouldn''t change, after 20 years. This year, I''ve added a Spendor SC3 Center, a Spendor sub and a pair of Spendor S1 for surround sound, and I have a very musical and capable Home Theater. I prefer the music with this setup, also, as the center speaker and the sub add to the enjoyment of music. Receiver is the Integra DTR-8.2.

Similar Products Used: JMlab, Sonus Faber.
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Patrick Glynn   Audiophile [Jan 07, 2000]
Strength:

In its day a leading contender (the model year was, I believe, 1981 on my BC1s). Still a very nice monitor. Great cabinetry...like all Spendors.

Weakness:

Somewhat bloated bass/lower midrange. Ok imaging.

I really was excited to obtain a mint pair of Spendor BC1 monitors but also happy to move on and sell them. As an LS3/5a enthusiast, I expected remarkable midrange/highs with expanded bass. I generally experienced a nice sound but with imaging that could not touch the LS3/5a, LS5/9 or several other vintage and newer BBC-heritage units and a somewhat bloated bass presentation. I fooled with amplification, placement, etc. but never reach anything near the raves I'd heard. I think the BC1 was a leader in its day.Frankly, I'll take the the Prelude 2/2 over the BC1 and even over the SP2/3.The Preludes were definately my favorite Spendor. And, overall, I'll take any of the licensed manufacturers LS3/5a's over just about anything out there...even today's leading contenders. I hate to burst the nostalgia bubble by not posting a rave review, but that's the way I heard it!

Similar Products Used: Harbeth LS3/5a, Spendor Prelude 2/2, Spendor 2/3
OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
3
Andy Walmsley   Audio Enthusiast [Oct 19, 1999]
Strength:

Superb in every respect

Weakness:

None at all

There's a developing school of thought which suggests that something must be good because it's new, and naff if it's old. In actual fact, quality hi-fi is as timeless as good music. I don't think there's a hi-fi component which illustrates this more than the Spendor BC-1s. The design for these speakers was penned by Spencer Hughes in the mid 1960s whilst he was still working in the BBC labs. The Corporation's quest for ever higher quality broadcast monitors coupled with Hughes' talent as an audio engineer led to a design which is as brilliant today as it was when the first BC-1s were produced over 30 years ago.

Whilst the BC-1s are not the only speakers to boast a rich, warm bass, a superb mid-range and a crystal clear treble, the fact that they were built for audio enthusiasts by audio enthusiasts has always elevated them from the pack and put them into a class occupied by only a small number of hi-fi components.

This rare breed of components are all distinguished by a single elusive quality which can only be called "musicality". To those who've not experienced this, it's an elusive thing at best. When you sit down and really spend some time listening to music through the BC-1s, it's as obvious as the sky itself.

The BC-1s have an unshakable conviction about just how music should be reproduced. This in itself could be a dangerous thing were it not for the fact that you just KNOW instinctively that what they are doing is dead RIGHT.

For example, without even talking to David Gilmour or Roger Waters, you can be almost certain that Pink Floyd's classic 1975 recording of "Shine on you Crazy Diamond" playhed through the Spendors sounds just as they wanted it to. Everything is in it's place, nothing in the soundstage is overstated and the speakers never fail to do justice to what is fed to them.

In this feature-rich age of bi-wired satin black hi-fi miracles, it's nice to know that there's some things which still embody the original design philosophy behind truly great hi-fi - if it sounds good then it is good.

Don't hesitate. Go out, find yourself a pair, buy 'em, wire 'em and listen to them do their stuff. From that point forward, you've discovered music.

Similar Products Used: TDL, Revox, KEF, Mission, Bose, B&O
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Mike Stevens   Audio Enthusiast [Nov 18, 2001]
Strength:

Solid design of a monitor speaker. Always listenable with a natural sound quality about it. Especially good on classical music.

Weakness:

Bass can sound a bit flabby at times but i have found that loacation is all important to really make them sing.

I have had a long association with this speaker from the 1970's using it with various amps. I currently have a pair which have bass port tubes and have been bi-wired.(by myself) I am using and old Quad 303/33 combination so you could say that my interest is certainly in the past. I listen to a wide range of music from Organ recitals to Mike Oldfield, Led Zepplin and more current, The Corrs, Rod Stewart. Acoustic tracks certainly shine on these speakers as does clasical music. Heavy rock etc i am not so sure. I never tire of listening to them and think that the only alternative speakers i would have, are a pair of Quad ELS' for their transparent sound - only as a reserve. So long has been my association with them that before i could afford to buy a pair, when i was a teenager, I built my own copies using Kef bass drivers and Celestion and STC top end. They were faithful right down to the grills, badges and trolley stands! Didn't quite have that Spendor sound though.

Similar Products Used: Rogers BBC monitors, Quad ELS, Rogers LS3/5a
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-10 of 12  

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