by Rafe Arnott
Spendor is a speaker brand that has been hand-built by UK craftsmen in Hailsham, Sussex since the ’60s.
I imagine them as salt-of-the-Earth types that don’t fanny about and who curse often and say ‘nubbit’ and ‘summit.’
As a fan of Harbeth speakers, it’s pretty hard for me not to like the sound these British beauties pump out (they share many of the same original BBC-specified design implementations for the broadcaster’s studio monitoring and playback requirements), especially when the stocky SP2/3R2 monitors ($4,899 CAN) on Skylan stands ($500 CAN) are being fed big fat portions of vinyl courtesy of a Rega RP10/Apheta MC cartridge (Approx. $8,500 CAN) with a little continental flavoring courtesy of the French-built Jadis I-50, KT-150 tube-based integrated amplifier ($13,300 CAN) and Jadis JPMC MM/MC Tube Phono Preamplifier ($7,900 CAN).
Everything was solidly playing on gorgeous Quadraspire racks and running AudioQuest cabling throughout.
This is meat and potatoes with a fine French wine, and it’s damn tasty.
Lots of jump, slam, hustle and PRAT, but very smooth and non-fatiguing.
Pat’s Audio Art had set up this system and they did a fine job of pairing components to compliment one another that ultimately produced a very satisfying sound.
This is a set-up that because it was chosen with such care to go so well together that many reasonably-minded audiophiles could call their “end-game system.”
Properly positioned in a somewhat-damped room the Rega/Jadis/Spendor kit will provide decades of enjoyment without any urge to start swapping bits or bobs out.
As a Rega turntable owner, and having demoed the RP8, I can tell you the RP10/Apheta combo is an absolute thriller for those of us that enjoy a rollicking and tight bottom end with lots of dynamics and toe-tapping mids and highs.
The Jadis phono and integrated seemed to smooth things out a touch too sweetly for my tastes, but that is a very minor nitpick, and more a curse of being a reviewer than a music lover.
This is a set-it and forget-it system overall, just kick back with a drink after dinner and let it sing.