Former Spica owners ... what did you trade up to ?

This question is brought on by my borrowing of a friend's Spendor s3/5. The spendors are very highly reviewed, particularly in the area of imaging. To cut a long story short I lived with the spendors for 3 days and then put back my trusty Spica Angelus and the conclusion...

The spicas are head and shoulders above the Spendors in every possible way, but especially in imaging. With the spendors it was very apparent that the sound was coming from two small boxes. The sound was also veiled, which surprised me since their top end extension is supposed to be superior to the aging angelus.

Ok the Spendors win in looks. But that's it.

So that got me thinking, with all the review hype out there I need to hear from previous spica owners on which speakers they have found to be a clear upgrade, both monitors and floorstanders.
I had TC50's too, years ago. Owned them for over 12 years. Loved em! They are champs at imaging, but I've since owned even better monitor-sized speakers that image even better: Silverline SR17's. Of course you will pay alot more than your Spicas cost, but as far as bang4$ I haven't heard much better in that price range. The SR17's are head and shoulders above the Spicas in more ways than one. As far as what I gave them up for....I yearned for a more full range and went over to Klipsch Forte II floor standing horn-loaded speakers and also switched from SS to tubes at the same time. There was no turning back at that point. I tried listening to the TC50's again a few months later. They still imaged like champs, but left me yearning for the rest of the music/range I was hearing with the Forte II's. I've since moved on several times but have stuck with vintage Klipsch with tubes and really found my Nirvana in that combination.

actually Dunlavy 4 is a better speaker than the Mirage I recommended above but the Mirage is good speaker also Mirage is very musical sounding and vary easy to just listen to the music with them. I have nice memories of their sound.
Went from tc-50s to Quads 12Ls to now Green Mountain Europas...and I have to agree...Spicas have legendary imaging qualities...however...they do have severe limitations....I cant speak for the Angelus...but I found the 50s to be far too rolled off and zero bass for my musical tastes...but to be fair...they did show me want I wanted in my next set of speakers...that is...3-d imaging,huge soundstaging, and a very involving sound that only time and phasecorrect designs seem to achieve...and now I have returned to phasecorrect speaker...the GMA is good...
Thiel CS 2.2's.

However, I recently put together a bedroom system and guess what I used for speakers. You got it! Spica TC 50's. There just aren't any speakers that image like the Spica's.
I replaced TC-60's with Meadowlark Swifts. The Swifts are more dynamic and less veiled, but the Spica's threw a wider soundstage in my room. Great speakers, but I got tired of them visually and the Swifts integrate with my room better in that regard. I hedged my bet by not selling the Spica's and just letting my son use them.....I can always get them back!

Spica Tc60 lacked the bottom notes, good only for vocals.
Dynaudio A72 floorstander is a grand piano by comparison, and not too expensive to own.
Thanks everyone. It seems to me that it is a wise idea to hang on to the Spicas when purchasing "trade-up" speakers, since many have found that the "trade up" is more of a "trade sideways".

What a pity that Jon Bau is not still designing speakers.
I thought I'd update this ancient thread.

I ended up trading my Spica Angelus for Green Mountain Audio Europas about 2 years ago, and I am very happy with the move. The Europas better the imaging of the Spicas (though not by much) and improve the bass and the clarity. The Europas are rather like Spica Angelus imaging with ability to rock.

I still use a REL Strata 3 and it seems to integrate better with the europas, perhaps because it's crossed at 48Hz (versus 27Hz with the Spicas).
I went from a pair of TC-50's plus a single Spica Subwoofer to the Apogee Centaurus Minor. From there the Apogee Caliper(still with a single Spica sub), Magnepan 1.6QR with a single Vandersteen 2Wq, and finally to the Magnepan 3.6R with a stereo pair of Vandersteen 2Wq subwoofers. The TC-50's now reside in the upstairs office. The problem I had with the TC-50's was the necessity of keeping my head in the same vertical plane. The tonal balance and imaging would get messed up if you stood up or slouched too much in your chair. If I maintained the correct sitting position the Spicas were magic. I just didn't like being tied to such a small sweetspot, especially in a vertical plane.
From TC-50s to Audio Note J's to VMPS 626Rs. Now I've got refurbed Quad ESL-57s en route from PK.

TC-60s to Martin Logan Aerius i's. I bought the TC-60s in February to replace my Mission 772s, and after much placement tweaking, loved 'em. But, having owned Stax Lambda Pros for 19 years, I'd always lusted after 'stats. Quads had been priced way out of my budget, even very used ones, and the Aeriuses got great reviews, so I picked up a used pair locally for $1,000 in April.

At first, I was dismayed to find the vocal imaging much less focused and solid than on the Spicas. But, after several days of moving, tilting, spiking and toeing the Aeriuses, I found the magic spot, and their previously ethereal center image was suddenly as focused and meaty as the Spicas'. Not only that, but image height was much better, and large instruments like piano and double bass seemed more life-sized. The top end was slightly more extended and much more open, and, as expected, bass was fuller.

The Spicas create the illusion of tremendous stage depth, but in comparison with the Aeriuses, they seem to do this by exaggerating the distance to the rear instruments, making them a bit inaccessible. It's a nice effect, but when I switched to the Aeriuses, I realized there was an awful lot going on in the background that I had been missing with the Spicas.

I still think the TC-60s are simply fabulous imagers. On "But Beautiful", Boz Scaggs levitates 8' out solid as a brick, and there's no hint that those two little boxes have anything to do with it. Very magical. Overall, though, the Aeriuses do a better job, on a wider range of material, of presenting a life-size and highly detailed sound. Little Feat's "Waiting for Columbus" puts 30,000 fans outside my living room window. It's really hard to ask for more.

Now, if I could just get rid of that nasty mid-bass room resonance that muddies up the bottom end of both the Aeriuses and Spicas, even 4' out from the front wall...
I've owned various Thiels, Spendors and Reynaud speakers since my TC-50 days, but the only monitors that improved upon their imaging and vanishing capabilities were Totem Model 1's. These were astonishing in my small listening room with a Sonic Frontiers SFS-40 amp with NOS Mullard EL-34 tubes, and an Audible Illusions Mod 3a preamp. Alas, the magic was lost when we moved to a bigger home. I'm currently awaiting delivery of a pair of Reynaud Offrandes.
Let's see...from TC50s w/Kinergetics subs, to Snell EIIIs, to Snell Type Bs, to Dunlavy SCIIIs, to Reference 3A Royal my present Avantgarde Duo Omegas. Doubt I'll ever go back to cones in boxes.
I just BOUGHT a pair of TC-60s, sure they have some roll off problems, but who cares? The music is so inviting.

I just upgraded to a Cary tube pre and the Spicas sing like angels.

And when I want a more direct front row experience I plug in Paradigm 40's.

Though I like the ability to have two different sets of speakers with different strengths for a variety of music
I would consider the idea of selling both pairs for pre-owned Thiel 2.3's perhaps, hoping they would combine the best of the two above. OK maybe 75% spica 25% paradigm.
Cwoll, I think you'd like Green Mountain Audio Europas. They are like Spicas with a slightly more forward, detailed, less rolled off sound, firmer bass, much greater SPL and dynamic handling and ...... imaging that betters the spicas.

Like the Spicas they need very careful placement, but they really deliver once setup.
I enjoyed my Spica TC-60s for several years powerd by tube amps in a small room. They were incredible at imaging and disappearing...sweet sounding provided you kept your head in a vise and played small scale music through them. However, I cannot live by imaging alone.

I had them as a second system while I agonized over my Maggie 1.5s. After I sold my Maggies I temporarily moved them into the main room...ugh, they didn't go low enough or have the dynamic capability to handle the large scale classical music I mostly listen to.

I sold the Spicas to a good home - they're back in a second amps are still feeding them, they still image like crazy and they still sound great with small scale jazz and chamber ensembles.

I replaced the Spicas with Alon Vs, which gave me the bass and dynamics I had been looking for along with many of the virtues of my Maggies - transparent, unboxy, open and fast - plus they have a huge soundstage and wide sweetspot. They image quite well.

In my office sytem I now have Nola Minis, which are smaller than the Spicas but do sound terrific - just as sweet but more bass, more extended treble and *much* more dynamic.

Everybody's happy.
Mirage m1. But still have two pairs of spicas. My el cheapo trick for spicas llack of low end is to find a couple of larger Advents. Cut the wires to the Advent tweets, then wire the spica and Advent on each side in parallel. The Advents make decent stands for the spicas and the wood color matches. I changed the advent grille cloth to black. Now they look like they belong together. THe Advents have decent bass and there is no terrible bass peak since the spicas dont have bass. That said, my M1's are easily superior to the Spicas.
My friend owns Spica TC60s and they blend quite well with a Paradigm sub. They are still impressive speakers.

>> I'm currently awaiting delivery of a pair of Reynaud Offrandes

Absolutely remarkable speakers if you have the right room for them.