Ugly and ungainly? Call the Spendor SP2/3R2s what you like, but there's no denying their sonic brilliance.
These speakers are very much capable of worrying the cream at this price. The combination of a new tweeter – straight from the SA1 mini monitor – and an extensively reworked version of Spendor's in-house 21cm polymer-coned mid/bass works seamlessly.
The result is a wonderfully natural-sounding midrange sandwiched between a sweet and insightful treble and weighty bass.
Like earlier versions of the SP2, these speakers sound glorious with classical music. Whether something small-scale from Arvo Pärt or the sonic thunder that is The Dark Knight OST, these Spendors deliver in full.
Stereo imaging is expansive yet focused, and the sense of authority is class-leading.
More after the break
Punch and dynamicsMove on to music by the likes of Lily Allen or Kanye West and the R2s sound right at home. There's punch, dynamics and the kind of precision to timing that earlier Spendors barely hinted at, while voices are incredibly full-bodied.
Flaws? There's a touch of excess richness in the bass, and these Spendors need space to breathe, so place them at least half a metre away from any wall.
The SP2/3R2 is easy to underestimate. Its traditional appearance hides a speaker of uncommon ability. That a product originating decades ago still challenges cutting-edge modern rivals is a truly amazing achievement.