Spendor S100 loudspeaker Review context

Sidebar 2: Review context

Equipment used during the preparation of this review included Mark Levinson No.23.5, Audio Research Classic 60 and Classic 120, and YBA 2 power amplifiers, hooked up to the speakers with 2m lengths of AudioQuest Dragon or YBA Diamond cable. I then tried bi-wiring with custom-made 5' sets of AudioQuest Midnight and Sterling, which was how most of the auditioning was performed. The main preamplifier used was either the French YBA 2 or the Mod Squad Line Drive Deluxe, both feeding the power amplifier via 15' lengths of AudioQuest Lapis unbalanced interconnect. Source components included a Linn Sondek/Lingo/Ekos/Troika setup sitting on an ArchiDee table to play LPs, an Aiwa portable DAT recorder and a Revox PR99 to play master tapes, and either the VTL D/A processor driven by a Meridian 602 transport via Mod Squad Wonder Link or the Krell SBP-64X/MD1 combination, connected with CAL HD Optical cable, to play CDs and to decode the DAT machine's output.

My room measures approximately 19' by 16.5', with a 9' ceiling. The wall behind the speakers is faced with books and LPs, while further book- and CD shelves occupy the positions on the sidewalls where the first reflection from each speaker would occur. The other wall has RPG Abffusors behind the listening seat to absorb and diffuse what would otherwise be early reflections of the sound that might blur the stereo imaging precision (footnote 1).—John Atkinson

Footnote 1: Some have argued that the diffuse reflection of the RPG device (and, by extension, of bookshelves, LP racks, etc.) actually reflects more image-confusing energy back to the listener's ears than the specular reflection of a flat wall, which will divert all the energy away from the listening seat. Using the LEDR tracks on the Chesky sampler CD, I didn't find that to be the case.—John Atkinson
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