Magico A3 vs. Joseph Audio Perspective vs. Spendor D9

Hi All,

I have been doing some research over the past while and am currently in the midst of a search for my next floorstanding speaker that costs around ~$10k. My other thread that I posted in this forum gave me a lot to consider. Rather than post there, I figured a most focused thread would be a good idea. Now, I have distilled my choices to these 3 choices... I think.

Power: I will be powering the speakers with a SET amp (48W per channel).
Sources: Most of my sources are digital (Roon/Tidal). I mostly listen to jazz, classical and female vocals. I would appreciate a speaker that provides that good, snappy bass where I don't need a subwoofer.
Room: Large room (will be in the living room that opens up to the kitchen and then the dining room). Aesthetics do matter here.

I have received a ton of help through the forums already during my search and have now narrowed down my speaker choices to (in no particular order):

  • Magico A3 - No issues driving these speakers with my amp. Tested and they sounded wonderful. Very analytical and super clear details. Tight bass as well but maybe more weighted in the clarity/details than warmth, even with my tube amp.
  • Joseph Audio Perspective - No dealers in WA or OR so no way to test these but have heard wonderful things about these speakers. Sounds like imaging/sound stage is a strong suit along with clarity. I wonder how bass performance is though as these have smaller woofers compared to my other choices.
  • Spendor D9 - Have not heard these speakers yet but am trying to find a local dealer that has them in stock.
Another one that I am still thinking about is the Daedalus Argos but I would like to hear some feedback on the top 3 at this time.

All three are excellent choices.  I purchased the Spendor D9s this year after a similar elimination process.  They will work very well with a 48 watt amp with their 90db efficiency and 8ohm nominal impediance. The bass extension to below 28hz is surprisingly musical and very enjoyable.  I find the Spendors to have an amazing midrange that shines on the music selection preferences you stated and we share.  The furniture finish presentation also adds to this package. 
Can you provide more info on what aspects of speaker performance are most important to you besides snappy bass?  You have three excellent choices (to which I'd add Nola KO), so more info would help in recommending one over another. 
@drrsutliff I keep hearing about that magical midrange on the Spendors and I have to say that I am intrigued. How are you enjoying your D9s? Do you use a subwoofer with yours? How would you describe performance in the highs?


I'm looking for a speaker that has lots of clarity and detail but with no shrillness in the highs that would cause fatigue. Looking for more of a full/rich midrange for those vocals but also some punchy, quick bass as well. Likely my description is a bit general but hoping that helps!
I enjoy my D9s every day for extended listening sessions.  The highs are open and airy with excellent detail but are not harsh.  I do not use any subwoofer and the bass is excellent, extended, and when appropriate palpable.  The D9s performance is everything I was hoping for as I also was searching for a speaker smooth in the midrange and not strident in the highs.  The bass quality was a pleasant bonus.
Heard the Spendor D7's today. Quite impressed at the performance in the high range - airy yet clear with good detail (falls short of the A3 here but it is enough). The midrange is beautifully smooth and lush. Bass on the D7's was good but not eye opening. I can only imagine that the D9's would be able to dig deeper in the low range and solve that piece of the puzzle.

On the other hand, I also heard the Wilson Sabrina's and I was very impressed with that speaker. Out of my price range though.
If you have the chance you might want to see if you have a dealer nearby for the Legacy Focus SE and the Audio Physics Avanti.  Both attractive speakers with ample bottom end.
@drrsutliff Agreed with your impressions on the highs and midrange as on the D7's. I do hope and can only imagine that the D9's would be much better in the low end. Were you able to listen to the D7's for a comparison prior to your purchase?
@soix I see another used pair much closer to me for the same price. I am thinking about it... The dealer had them powered on a 40W Naim Uniti Atom and there was no issue with dynamics. Sounded great. 
The D7s employ a driver for bass and another that shares the bass/midrange.  With the D9s the midrange is a single isolated driver and there are two bass drivers that were designed for this speaker.  Compared to the D7 the D9s are more balanced and truly have bass output to and below the 28hz specification.  More important to me the bass was expressive and tuneful. The tweeter is shared and the high end similarity is present between them.  I agree it is not as precise as the A3 but I choose the entire balance of the Spendor to fit my system goals better.

I auditioned the Magico A3s,  have listened to the Perspectives numerous times including in my home, and have only heard the Spendors at an audio show (where they frankly shocked me how good they sounded).

They are certainly different sounding speakers.  Perhaps the Spendors sound more like the Magicos than the Joseph speakers.

The Magicos give a heck of a lot for the money. Probably the most "detailed/transparent" sounding, and almost full range! 

The Joseph speakers, for me, are about a magical tone - even more free of grain, more pure sounding overall, than the Magicos.  If you like that special thing the JA speakers do well, it's hard to forget it, and I much prefer the Perspectives over the Magicos.  The Perspectives have excellent, deep, quick bass for their size and do sound punchy.   But I'd be wary about driving them with a lower powered tube amp.  Though the impedance etc does supposedly make them tube amp friendly, I think they need some juice to make them get up and go.   Though in the crazy world of amps/speakers, it could be that your amp would work.

Sounds like maybe the Magicos are your ticket, though, especially since you heard and liked them.

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@drrsutliff Sounds like the D9's will incorporate all the good stuff of the D7's but fill in that low end with a lot more authority. If that is the case, it is really hard to find a fault with these speakers. The sound between the A3's and the Spendor's is different. The Spendor's are have that sweet midrange while the A3's have the extreme details/clarity. I think the Spendor's would be more relaxing speakers to listen (possibly more forgiving) while the A3's are so nuanced that it would need a great source to sound good. The A3's though, gave me that holographic feeling - kind of like music floating all around you that I haven't heard before. That gave me a lasting impression of this unit that I find hard to let go of. 
I agree the A3s have a special presentation.  I decided for myself I was more interested in moving away from the analytical presentation toward what I defined as slightly more musical for my long term enjoyment.  Were you able to try either the A3s or D7s on your SET amp?
I agree about the way the Magico speakers "disappear" as sound sources.  Very impressive.
FWIW, the Joseph Perspectives also have that quality.
@drrsutliff Totally fair. I think it depends on preference at this point. From what I have heard first hand, both are fantastic speakers. Different strengths but neither have a weakness (in my view). The A3 I was able to try with my Line Magnetic 48W amp and though I was a bit concerned, I saw no issues with driving the Magico's. The sound was lovely. 

I was not able to test the D7's with my amp though. However, given the reading that I have done, these speakers are a good fit for even the lower powered amps given their efficiency so I am not concerned. 

I am having trouble deciding on which signature I like more at this point. Wish I could listen to the D9 so I could appreciate the lower end impact that this has vs the D7's though! 
@prof thanks for your feedback - you may be the first person that has indicated that you have heard all three. I would love your feedback if you want to elaborate more. It sounds like your preference is the Joseph Audio's and that they have that ability to "disappear" and provide that holographic "feeling". In terms of bass performance, do you feel that they lack anything compared to the D9's and the A3's? 

@steakster  No, I am out in Seattle. I see a pair in CA though that I could look at if I am interested in going that route. The Sabrina's were pretty darn impressive. 
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You’ll find detailed descriptions from my auditions of the Magico A3 and Joseph Audio Perspectives in my thread here (along with many other

Yes, the JA speakers are notable for their "disappearing/soundstaging/imaging." It’s one of the things people remark on over and over when you see show reports, and it’s certainly the case - images just do that "floating as if no speaker is there" thing really well. And they sound much larger than they are (they are quite small floor standing speakers).

As for the bass, the JA speakers are surprisingly big, rich and punchy in the bass. They aren’t spec’d as low as the Magicos, but you don’t feel you are missing much. I actually love the bass quality of the Perspectives - it has this beautiful tone and texture to it, and they are fun speakers in terms of giving that "punch" to the sound. That said, they CAN sound a bit "porty" without careful set up or the right amp (that is, just a bit more puffiness in the lower bass). Then again, I didn’t find the bass of the Magico A3 impressed me too much with it’s tightness in the audition I had. It went low, but it didn’t really "groove" for me, like the Joseph speakers or the Devores. But, that’s just one guy’s audition of the Magico A3 (though I really put them through the wringer with tons of music).

Again, the main feature to my ears with the JA speakers is a lack of grain - they sound, as Fremer said in his review of the Pulsars - "unmechanical" in a way few other speakers sound. The purity of voices comes through, and instrumental timbre, like few other speakers I’ve experienced. They are a fascinating combination of "warmth" in the mids/lowermids/bass and "speed, transparency." Everything I hear on them makes me just want to keep listening.

As for the Spendors, I’m really not in a position to say much at all. I only remember hearing some jazz where the sax sounded alarmingly clear, present and natural. And some R&B where I noted the drums had nice punch, guitars very clear and crisp, and an overall very low sense of coloration. They just seemed more together, neutral and more "real" sounding in many ways that much of the other set ups at the same show didn’t quite match. As I have had plenty of listening time (though years ago) with the older classic Spendor models (and I own Spendor LS 3/5s) I was a bit surprised by the Spendors. They definitely sounded like a more modern take on the Spendor sound - the older sound being a bit more soft and comfy, the new sound being more forward with a more vivid sound and "alive" with transients (picking guitar, drums, etc).

@prof Loved reading your thoughts here. It is those comments about the Perspective that have me so intrigued despite not being able to listen to them before purchasing. That tone and the ability to immersiveness is something that I am looking for in a speaker. The A3 did it very well on certain tracks. The D7 was good but not spectacular in that regard but did everything else very well (again, I would expect the D9 to be better in almost every way other than in the highs). 

It sounds like your Perspective's are keeping you very happy. I only wonder how they would sound on a 48W tube amp... 
I heard the D-7s at Hawthorne in your area last summer. Loved them.
I heard the JA Perspectives at RMAF in Oct. Joseph had the worst
location in the whole show-a dead end in separate wing with few
big names. I went back twice. Those speakers are so beautiful sounding.
Saw no A-3s there or D-9s. Big disappointment . Going to see family in LA over Thanksgiving. Also visiting a 2nd gen. Audio store in Monrovia
after our "goat hike" outing Friday-don't ask. Has A-3s and D-7. Interestingly the sales manager offered to arrange a listen to his personal D-9s. Now here is a guy who has done a lot more listening/comparing than I can. He feels the A-3s are more accurate but less warm to the ear.
@firstnot I was at Hawthorne listening to the D7’s yesterday! In your opinion, between the D7’s midrange/high signature and the Perspective’s, what would you describe as the difference?

I would expect the midrange signature to be fairly similar between the D7’s and D9’s but could be wrong without having heard the latter.

Agreed with the A3’s. I don’t think I have heard a more accurate and clear speaker. I also would not describe them as warm by any stretch. They were "warmer" with my tube amp driving them but not quite the warmth I have heard on my current Ascend's or the D7's. 

I'm just offering insight on the JA Perspectives mostly because it's hard to find people with much experience listening to them aside from hearing them at shows.  And since you (and others) have heard the Magicos, I don't think giving my own long impression here would be add much.

I don't own the Perspectives. I was taken by them when I auditioned them over a year ago and wondered if they might replace my big Thiel 3.7 speakers, so I had a couple day home audition. They blew me away, but so did my Thiels. I decided I couldn't give up the Thiels and instead I'd just add the Perspectives to my "collection." Saved up for a long time for the Perspectives. Once I just about had enough I figured I'd survey the speaker landscape of other choices to make sure I'd be making the right choice on the Perspectives. Hence my long speaker audition thread.

But that also had me re-auditioning the Perspectives again to compare with all those other speakers. So I have a lot of "audition time" with them. (I don't own them simply because a financial requirement arose suddenly that made my purchase impossible for the time being).


As for lower powered tube amps, I've heard them sound excellent on 100W tubed Mcintosh amps.  People raved about the Perspectives in a recent show, powered by the Doshi tube amps, 65W.

I never got around to testing them on my older Eico HF81 tube integrated (14 side), only on my CJ tube amps, 140W.

As for warmth in the sound:  the JA speakers have a "warmth" in the mids/lower mids/upper bass but it's not necessarily in the sense of "big, round, lush."   It's not that kind of emphasized lower mids warmth, or the Big Fat Midrange sound you get with many wider-baffle speakers like Harbeth, or especially Devore "O" series speakers.   The Devore speakers, for example, give the midrange Big Fat Weighty sound.

The JA speakers sound more linear, and do have something of that "narrow profile speaker" sound, so bigger speakers will present a sax that sounds bigger.  But they nonetheless have a richness right were it needs to be in the warmth area, and a particularly "human timbre" richness where male voices have that richness you want, and female voices sound particularly superb.

The main difference in character I think you'll find in essentially neutral speakers like the Magico, Spendor and Joseph are, to my ears, that smoothness inherent in the Joseph speakers, the lack of grain.  This allows them to have extended highs, crisp transients, like you might expect (to use cliche) from metal drivers (even though they use a soft dome tweeter).  Cymbals sound really "metallic" and with great individual character, rather than bursts of white noise.  But the lack of grain to the sound makes it unfatiguing to listen.  (In fact, the lack of grain/hash can sometimes lead the JA speakers to sort of sound a bit "darker" than some other speakers, even though they are pretty linear and extended through the high frequencies.  Though they can of course sound too bright in the wrong situation too).  It's a subtle difference, but if it grabs you, it grabs you, and it's why I preferred the JA speakers even over the Magicos.

When I listened to the Magico speakers, I heard tons of detail and sonic information, that really made instruments sound individual and holographically rendered.  But they just didn't do for me what I get as soon as I play anything through the JA speakers.  There's almost a hair-raising-on-the-arms sensation of "wow, that is what a piano, a voice etc" actually sounds like!   It's not so much "sonic detail that allows me to differentiate everything" in a sort of intellectual way, but more like the fact that different materials, metal cymbals, horns, wood instruments,  steel strings, gut strings actually SOUND like they are made of those materials, and less like a homogenized timbre.  

I'm a bit of a tonal/timbre nut, so that's why the JA speakers really grab me. 

But...we all tend to focus on different things, and in that way "hear" differently when we are shopping for speakers.  So you could feel different than I do in comparing the three brands.  (Though, I would say, that my own impressions of the JA sound line up with what seems like a constant theme from users and show reports - usually the remarks center on their timbral precision, soundstaging, and dynamics).

Though, again, even though the Perspectives punch well above their small size, I would think if you want an even more authoritative sound, in terms of frequency extension and presentation, the Magicos would likely do that more.  (And maybe the Spendor 9s, though I haven't heard them in a while).


Any reason the ProAc D48's didn't make your list?  They are often listed as the D9's close rival.

Thank being said, I auditioned the D7's (not the 9's) against Spendor Classic 100 (effectively, mk III of the SP100) this summer, and preferred the 100's by a significant margin...


Lack of grain with JA Perspectives?? Out of SEAS magnesium drivers? You got to be kidding? Just look at SP measurements of these speakers, and the nasty midrange breakup at only 5KHz (!!). It is only 15db down in level (we hear down to -60db). You keep feeding this forum with misleading information. I wonder if you actually listened to any of these speakers. Your subjective description of them is in stark contrast to their objective performance.
@sciencecop -- I've also heard several JA speakers at home, in dealers, and at shows (including the Perspectives with my own music), and I've never heard anything indicating breakup or distortion in any of the models I've heard.  Nor have I read any reviews that indicate anything like that as well.  Plus, those highly regarded SEAS magnesium drivers are used in many, many high-end speakers, which I seriously doubt would be the case if they had a serious and audible flaw.  Have YOU heard JA speakers at length in a room and system you're familiar with?  Or are you one of those guys who think you can tell what a component sounds like by looking at measurements alone?
I have to agree with Prof on this one.  The measurements you refer to as their objective performance did not appear in my objective listening of them in the past.  I have listened to all three of freesole’s well researched and thoughtfully chosen selections and each have traits that I love.  The Spendors happened to work for me a little better than the others in my system. Your choice is one between three outstanding choices. 

I can’t tell what a product would sound like based on measurements, but I can definitely tell that a gross breakup at 5K will sound awful. Of course I heard JA speakers, and sure enough, it is extremely audible, on all of JA speakers that are using these drivers (and just about anyone else who uses them). The fact that you don’t hear it, doesn’t mean it is not there (and audible).Things always sound the way they are measured, you just need to know how to correlate subjective and objective input.

LOL, again sciencecop? This didn’t go terribly well for you last time you tried hanging on to an indefensible claim against evidence to the contrary, concerning specific speakers with which you apparently had no experience. (Remember your trying to help defend that ludicrous claim that Harbeth’s only produced "50% resolution"?)

(I'm editing this because I just saw that sciencecop has said he DID hear the JA speakers.  Which I'm glad to hear...even though I admit to being a bit skeptical about his claims).

It turns out those WITH EXPERIENCE listening to the JA speakers can report back what they actually sound like, and your hypothesis that they won’t sound clean remains unvalidated. Subjective testing for the AUDIBLE nature of the design - User and Reviewer reports - provide evidence against your claim.

I’ve heard them. Your speculation about their sound is wrong.

That goes for John Atkinson who, I’m betting has vastly more experience than you do in having extensive listening time with many different speaker designs, measuring them, and correlating measurements to their audible effects. He listened to them, measured them, and DID NOT hear the problems you claim. Rather, his subjective report supports my, and many other people’s, experience with the JA speakers sound.

In Stereophile, Atkinson pointed out that any cone break up modes were "well suppressed" by the crossover. He also wrote in the measurement section:

"The Perspective’s cumulative spectral-decay plot (fig.9) is superbly clean, with the first breakup mode of the woofers’ cones, indicated by the cursor position, well suppressed. "

When he wrote of the sound his descriptions included: (with the first amp) "very clean and articulate," (He emphasized VERY).

"The Joseph speakers’ midrange clarity and lack of coloration, along with their well-controlled dispersion, was very sympathetic to recordings of the human voice."

And this is echoed over and over in reviews (and show reports) of the Joseph Audio sound as particularly "quiet/clean." Anyone who has heard both the Perspectives and the JA Pulsars knows they have the same essential "house sound" with the Perspectives adding more base.But that JA achieves a midrange purity is a theme one finds over and over again by people WHO HAVE SPENT TIME listening to the brand.

As Steven Stone wrote in his JA Pulsar review in The Absolute Sound:
The first thing I noticed about the Pulsars was their midrange purity and lack of grain.


Of all the Pulsar’s sonic attributes, the one that impressed me the most was the high level of discernability. What I mean by discernability is, how easy is it to listen into the mix and pick out exactly what parts you want to concentrate on? The higher the level of discernability, the easier it is to do this. The Pulsars made it easy to recognize the essential banjoness of a banjo on Paul Curreri’s “Once Up Upon a Rooftop” [California Tin Angel Records]. Even when a harmonica is added to the mix, it’s easy to tell where the banjo stops and the harmonica starts.

Michael Fremer wrote of the Pulsars:

"the picture was clear and clean from top to bottom of the audioband, producing a highly resolved, three-dimensional, pinpoint placement of images against a velvet-black backdrop."


"The Pulsar’s high-frequency performance was sweet yet fast and airy, and minus even the slightest hint of edge, etch, or glare. In fact, the Pulsar was among the least mechanical-sounding speakers I’ve ever heard, regardless of price"

Herb Reichert of Stereophile also commented on these particular aspects of the JA sound.

As did the review in Soundstage.

And user and show reports declare over and over impressions of a clean, clear, timbrally convincing and gorgeous midrange from the JA Pulsar and Perspective speakers.

Now, either you recognize that people who have actually heard the design report they are clean and clear, or it seems you’ll have to resort to something like "Well, then, all those listeners had crappy hearing or perception!" Aside from being a mere bald assertion without evidence, that would be an obvious attempt at hanging on to a hypothesis (that X had subjectively detrimental effects) in SPITE of evidence to the contrary (where many discerning listeners did not find this problem audible, and no one has in fact reported otherwise).

And that wouldn’t be terribly reasonable, much less scientific, right?

So sciencecop claims the JA speakers sounded "awful" and not clean. 

Virtually every other discerning listener has found the opposite.

Including Atkinson who I'm sure is far more experienced measuring speakers/correlating them to audible artifacts.

That suggests sciencop's claims should be treated as the anomoly they are.

And, sciencecop, if in fact your own claims are pitted against opposing subjective reports great many more experienced listeners, it *could be* that you are a particularly discerning golden ear.  But even IF you are a Golden Ear anomoly,  the fact that the overwhelming majority of sonic reports on the speakers do not report the "problem" to be audible and that they perceive very clean sound, suggests that your claim is highly exaggerated.  If we are talking about the audibility of an artifact, sorry, we don't just take a sample of "one," that is, you.  It appears the artifacts are not nearly as audible as you claim.


You might want to take a gander at this thread to see get a taste of the way sciencecop argues, won't back down from an obviously rash claim, and ignores contrary evidence:

That should put his claims here in to "Perspective."

I remember the last argument was finished when you folded and ran away, a cowardly thing to do when you run out of empty slogans (or twist my words - did I say that JA sounds "awful"?). You did not need to copy SP review; I can read it myself (read any lousy review lately?). Learn how to look at measurements and understand how loudspeakers work, then we can talk. This is not your high-school debate team, already told you that last time.

I will just caution people to take your advice with a grain of salt. They are mainly a fiction of your imagination.


Best not to characterize a previous conversation that anyone here can look up. Remember, anyone can click that link and see how that conversation went ;-)

It’s funny you came in to the thread claiming I "keep feeding the forum misleading information" when, in that last thread, I was the one arguing against someone making a clearly misleading claim that the Harbeth SuperHL5 Plus are "low resolution" and only giving 50% resolution.And YOU were the one entering to SUPPORT that guy’s ludicrous claim. (And clearly failing to do so, given the evidence presented against it). And of course you could not point to one iota of actual misinformation in what I’d written.

or twist my words - did I say that JA sounds "awful"? wrote:

but I can definitely tell that a gross breakup at 5K will SOUND AWFUL. Of course I heard JA speakers, and sure enough, it is EXTREMELY AUDIBLE.

(my emphasis)

So... you heard in the JA speakers a break up that SOUNDED AWFUL, was "extremely audible," but it’s unreasonable that I infered that you found the JA sound "awful?"

Should I have inferred from the fact that upon hearing a speaker with an EXTREMELY AUDIBLE artifact that SOUNDED AWFUL...that you actually thought they sounded good, not awful?

I’ll let others decide if I have been "twisting" your words.

As for "misinformation," I had simply been describing my subjective impression of the JA sound - of being clean and clear - and noting that the speakers produce that subjective impression among a great many listeners, including experienced listeners.

YOU are the one who came in and implied that "nasty break up" discredits the subjective evaluations. And yet, virtually all the subjective evaluations one can find...including people adding more comments here...point to the opposite conclusion: that the measured artifact you point do DOES NOT produce a grainy sound, and in fact the speakers sound subjectively clean and clear to most listeners.

If you have a hypothesis that "X" artifact sound grainy or obviously awful....and there is plenty of subjective evaluations pointing to the opposite conclusion, then you need to (if you are at all fair-minded or rational), dial back your claim to fit reality. If that artifact DOES NOT produce the impression of grain or sound "awful" to most listeners, your emphasis of that artifact is OVERBLOWN in terms of it’s audibility to most people.
MOST listeners (if not all I’ve ever seen but you), find the JA sound clean and clear, and THAT tells us more about the audible significance of your claim, as it relates to most listeners, than you are willing to admit.

And I'm sorry, but not knowing anything at all about your experience, I'll take people like JA's information over yours in terms of correlating objective measurements with his subjective reports.  (And, no, lame conspiracy-think won't due to simply dismiss JA as credible; he very often DOES correlate objective artifacts in explaining what he heard in a speaker, as he does in the Perspectives review, both good and bad).

This is not your high-school debate team.
I will just caution people to take your advice with a grain of salt. They are mainly a fiction of your imagination.

Those hollow jabs couldn’t stick the first few times you tried it. I suggest you try induction: learn from experience. ;-)

I believe that Magico A3 will fit your personal taste and go well with LM 805.

Only catch is that there could be limitation of loudness with 48watts.

Wilson Sabrina and Joseph speakers are also excellent ones but with even lower efficiency than Magico A3.

I understand that you want to explore all the possibility within your budget before making final purchase.

My LM 508 will be back this Friday.

If you can drop at my home near Burlington, you will experience how LM 508 sound with high efficiency speakers( Lansce 4.1 and Vaughn Cabernet) with active woofers.

You are welcome on either Friday (after 3PM) or Saturday (all day).

If you are interested in this, please let me know.

@shkong78 thanks for the offer, I'm not in the market for the speakers that you have at this time so I will politely decline. 

@prof I think your impressions are aligned with most of the reviews of the perspectives. I do find the Perspectives to be somewhat polarizing though which is funny. People who enjoy the Perspective's, love them. Those that do not feel strongly against them as they did not perform the way that they expected them to. Very little middle ground. 
@freesole, Interesting thread! 
I'm in a similar situation to yours (looking for rich, large soundstage, non-fatiguing but detailed sound, that fills a large open-plan room that includes living-dining-kitchen, looking at up to about $10K) -- so your thread was very interesting to me.  As I'm pretty inexperienced with high-end audio, I'm afraid don't have anything to contribute by way of opinions.  But I wondered whether any of the following were on your initial list: Revel F228Be, GoldenEar Triton Reference, Legacy Focus SE, and, as twoleftears asked, ProAc D48r?  If so, would you be willing to share what led you to eliminate them, as well as any listening impressions?  (I ask because they are on my list, along with Magico A3 and Spendor D9, but I'm not far along in the audition process, and so your thoughts would be very helpful, given what seem to be similar desired goals).  Thanks in advance, otinkyad
@otinkyad Hope you are having as much fun as I am with this search. There are definitely a lot of candidates at this price point. One thing that I have learned is that the question, "which speaker to get" leads to more speakers to add onto the list instead of narrowing down your choices. Enjoyment of sound is such a subjective thing and it really comes down to your system and your ears. 

Revel F228BE doesn't match my decor but I have heard great things about them. Ditto with the GoldenEar but I have some of their speakers before and have not been impressed - granted that was with McIntosh gear which I also am impartial to after a few listening sessions. Legacy Audio is supposed to be fantastic but again, not a good match with the decor of my room. ProAc D48R is one that I have considered previously but have heard from a couple of folks that compared to the Spendor's, they preferred the D9's all around. I do like a good ribbon tweeter though as my current speakers have them and they voice those highs so smoothly and transparently without any harshness. 
I do find the Perspectives to be somewhat polarizing though which is funny. People who enjoy the Perspective’s, love them. Those that do not feel strongly against them as they did not perform the way that they expected them to. Very little middle ground.

That’s interesting to hear.

Like many of us here, I go all OCD when researching a speaker I’m very interested in buying. For the last year I’ve scoured the web for show reports, user reports, forum comments, reviews etc on the JA speakers, especially the Perspective, and I have a huge number of bookmarked links to these.

From what I’ve seen, the remarks have been pretty much universally positive on the Perspectives (with the exception of one person in a forum who remarked that they sounded incredible in the store, but had a harder time dialing them in for the same sound at home.)

I’m curious where you are seeing the hate for the Perspectives?

Out of those 3 choices if I were you I would go for either the Joseph Audio or the Spendor. I'm not a fan of lower end Magico especially the A3.
However the Magico top of the line model or series called the M series such as the M3 & the M6 are superb extraordinary flawless speakers but are very expensive and will be way way out of price range. 

In your price range also consider the Harbeth. 
@freesole  Thanks for the response.  Yes, I've already been seeing how subjective this is -- the one high-end speaker I've auditioned so far just didn't sound good to me, even though many seem to really love it, and it is very well reviewed.  Thanks also for sharing your reasons for leaving out the Revels, Legacy, and ProAc from you shortlist -- that was very helpful.

@prof I've read with interest your detailed impressions of the various speakers you auditioned, in the thread you started.   Wrt Revels, my take on what you wrote is that you found them accurate, but clinically competent, not organic, not engaging for you, and perhaps a bit fatiguing (hope I'm not misinterpreting your words too much).  Did those impressions include either Revel F228Be or Salon 2, if you auditioned them?  I ask because the Revel F228Be's are ones I'm very interested in, but haven't heard yet.  Thanks!


I auditioned lower tier revel.  3 Models, I think.  The Performa3 F208 twice.  The first time at one store the Performa3 F208 did not impress at all.  Second store (might have been the next model up, but it might have been the Revel Performa3 F208 again), was a much better audition where they sounded rich, even, full, accurate.  I don't remember any fatiguing nature at all in the second audition.

I only heard the Salon 2 very briefly at a show and it was very impressive, some big band and some jazz vocal crooner stuff that sounded very large and vivid, but I didn't have time to see if they had an "it" factor for me.

So, sorry, no experience with the models you mentioned.
I have the LM805 amp and D7 spendors. Gig Harbor audio carrys both and you should be able to demo in store as I did before buying. I used to own the JA pulsars and wasnt very impressed with them.
Were I you, and if you have a passport, I'd contact Don Sachs in Nelson BC. You won't believe how good his speakers sound until you hear them. When I say his, he doesn't sell them, he just bought/uses them. You can probably blow your eardrums out with them and 42 watts.

Don is an audio genius. He makes amplifiers and preamplifiers, he used to do modifications to Citation II's I believe and certain Macintosh gear, but his tube gear sounds better than either fully modified, so he quit doing the mods. Anyway, he told me about the speakers, and when I contacted the fellow who sells them, his bragging and what he said about extremely good speakers that I knew well made me think that he had to be full of it, not to mention some of the outrageous reviews on his site, and if I hadn't purchased Don's DS2 preamp, I would never have bought the speakers. Don's preamp blew away so very good preamps, so I knew without doubt that he knew what he was talking about where audio gear is concerned, so I bought a pair. New, they sounded like crap except that I was listening to a female singer, and I have never, on any system heard the immediacy that I heard, the old, so-and-so was in my room for the first time ever, was true. The rest was jacked up to be sure, but 100 or so hours in, the pieces were falling into place nicely. I used to own Quad 63's, which were magical but limited, these sound better, and don't have the limits. If you can listen to Don's, I think that the other speakers will be a distant memory for you.
@lous -- how about sharing the info about the speakers?  That would be helpful.