Spendor S8e review

If a clean, clear and unforced sound is a priority for you, these speakers could well be the perfect choice Tested at £2300

TODO alt text

Our Verdict

Capable all-round speakers, but they aren’t quite the stars we hoped they'd be

For

  • A detailed and even-handed performer
  • fine build

Against

  • Filter a little too much excitement from the music

When we tested the S8es in 2004, we liked what we heard but thought the bass didn't have the punch and depth expected of a product of this type. Spendor put this shortcoming down to the less-than-rigid fit of the mid/bass driver on our early production sample, and modified the arrangement to improve tightness.

As a result, if a clean, clear and unforced sound is a priority for you, these speakers could well be the perfect choice. They're even-handed to the point that they're equally comfortable getting on the funk-bus with Prince or donning a suit and tie for an evening with Mahler.

Our criticisms of bass power and punch are the most part been answered in this current version: Roots Manuva fans will still get more joy from some of Spendor's rivals, particularly the likes of the bigger B&Ws and PMCs at this price level, but for most people the S8es will do enough to satisfy.

A touch more vitality?
So, an entirely clean bill of health? Not quite: while the current-production S8es are undoubtedly better than the originals, in today's market other areas need improvement. Despite a well-judged balance, impressive resolution and refinement, they could do with a bit more vitality: they sound a little lifeless, particularly in the midrange, and that robs even classic Elvis recordings of an appreciable amount of sparkle. And Elvis without sparkle isn't Elvis at all.

Some won't mind trading zest for the control and insight the S8es deliver, but for us that reserved nature means they retain their four-star rating.

Specifications

View All

General Information

Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.spendoraudio.com
Brand NameSpendor
Product TypeSpeaker
ManufacturerSpendor Audio Systems Ltd
Manufacturer Part NumberS8e
Product NameSpendor S8e
Product ModelS8e

Technical Information

Minimum Frequency Response47 Hz
Crossover Type2-way
Sensitivity87 dB
RMS Output Power200 W
Impedance8 Ohm
Maximum Frequency Response20 kHz
Driver Type27 mm Fabric Tweeter, 210 mm Polymer Midrange

Physical Characteristics

Form FactorFloor Standing
Width226 mm
Depth320 mm
Weight Approximate25 kg
Height925 mm
Dimensions925 mm (H): 226 mm (W): 320 mm (D)

Warranty

Limited Warranty5 Year