Spendor D9.2 Loudspeaker; SME Model 12A turntable; Ortofon Cadenza Bronze Cartridge; Aurender ACS10 Server; Audience cabling; Chord Symphonic phono stage Hugo TT2 DAC, M Scaler, and CPM 3350 Integrated Amplifier

Two more winners from Bluebird Music awaited in that distributor’s inner sanctum: the new Spendor D9.2 loudspeaker ($11,495/pair) and the SME Model 12A turntable ($10,900) outfitted with an Ortofon Cadenza Bronze cartridge. I loved the Spendor’s midrange wall of sound and impressive low end. An evolution of the D9 that was introduced three years ago—it has the same drivers and cabinet—it uses a tweaked crossover, additional bracing, “dynamic damping” for both the cabinet and the drive units and sports a new magnetic grill. I’m told that the old and new speakers measure the same but sound significantly different because of the different ways they manage energy in their respective cabinets. The Dark Eucalyptus finish shown in the photo is only available in the U.S.

The 57 lb. SME Model 12A’s main chassis is machined from a solid billet of premium grade aerospace aluminum, and its electronic control circuitry and power supply unit reside in an external one-piece CNC machined case. An SME Model 309 tonearm is part of the package.

Electronics included a Chord Electronics Symphonic phono stage ($4500) and CPM 3350 integrated amplifier ($13,500), a Chord Huge TT 2 DAC ($5795) and M Scaler ($4995) along with an Aurender ACS10 server. Everything was connected by Audience cabling.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

There is a video posted on-line of Spendor D9.2 with music ......... Sound by Singer :-) .......

Ortofan's picture

... had resolved the various problems uncovered during testing of the predecessor CPM 3300?

Instead of the separate Chord units, one could buy a McIntosh MA9000 (with a built-in phono stage and DAC) and save about $15K - not including the savings on unneeded interconnect cables.

Bluebird Music's picture

The Chord CPM 3300 was still rated as a Class A Recommended Component from that same Stereophile test, so there was no problem with that unit.

The unit we played was the newer and improved CPM 3350, which we ran, sometimes quite hard, for four straight days. It never got even slightly hot to the touch.

I think it's also worth noting, one can always buy a cheaper component and save money, but then it wouldn't sound as good. The CPM 3350 is not just another amp -it's a Chord!

Ortofan's picture

... JA1 in the last paragraph of his test report are inaccurate?

Have you run a CPM3350 for one hour at one-third rated power into an 8 ohm load and then measured the heatsink temperature?

Are your assertions about the relative sound quality of a Chord amp the result of a blind and level-matched comparison test?

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Other competitors, in addition to McIntosh MA9000 (reviewed by Hi-Fi news) could be, Mark Levinson 5805 (reviewed by Stereophile), Krell K-300i (reviewed by Hi-Fi News) and Luxman L-509X integrated (reviewed by Stereophile and Hi-Fi News) :-) ...........

Jason Victor Serinus's picture

Review forthcoming.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Eagerly waiting for reading about your impressions, using the Krell with the Wilsons :-) ...........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

May be you (JVS) could also review the newer version Chord CPM-3350 integrated amp, and give us your impressions? :-) .........

Ortofan's picture

... significantly lower output power ratings than the Chord.
The Chord has a rating of 220W into 8 ohms, while the McIntosh is rated for 300W. The Mark Levinson 5805 is rated for 125W, the Krell K-300i is rated for 150W and the Luxman L-509X is rated for 120W.
A better suggestion would be the Pass Labs INT-250, with its 250W rating.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

One more ....... Aesthetix Mimas (reviewed by Stereophile and Hi-Fi News) :-) ............

Ortofan's picture

...the Chord. Keep trying, though.

Bogolu Haranath's picture

The McIntosh MA9000 ($10,000) may be a better value for the money, which offers additional capabilities such as the phone stage, DAC and also 8-band bypass-able parametric EQ ...... and, has a power output of 300 watts ....... Agreed ....... But, the ML5805 and Krell 300i cost less and offer additional capabilities than the Chord ....... Hi-Fi News Krell 300i measurements show higher power output than the manufacturer's specs ......... Luxman also costs less than the Chord and offers phono input ....... The Pass INT-250 ($12,000) comes close to the power output of the Chord and costs less .........

Anyway ........ I have already suggested to JVS to review the Chord CPM-3350 :-) ........

Bogolu Haranath's picture

Aesthetix Mimas also costs less than the Chord even with the added phono and DAC inputs and headphone output :-) ........