Open Baffle Loudspeakers
Allow us to get on our soap box for just a moment. We are firm believers that highly efficient, open baffle loudspeakers solve many issues that real music listeners who live in typical living spaces have.
1. Ease of Placement - Open baffle loudspeakers need about 36" of space between the drivers and the wall they are placed in front of. With that simple strategy, one can have great sound with no "room boom" that many box speakers exhibit.
2. High Efficiency - By having a higher efficiency speaker of 94dB or greater, one's choices of amplifiers is greater, and the investment is usually less. The industry trend toward inefficient speakers creates several issues. One is it robs the speaker and system of dynamics because so much more energy is needed to move an 86dB efficient speaker than a 94dB efficient speaker. Approximately 8 times more power! The second is cost. Typically a higher power amp of the same quality would cost more than a lower power amp. It's purely economics. So, a 30 watt amp on a 94dB efficient speaker would play just as loudly as a 240 watt amp on an 86dB efficient speaker.
3. No Box Colorations - Since an open baffle speaker has no box, the midrange sounds uncolored and more realistic. It's not fighting pressures, reflections, and box vibrations generated by containing the back wave in an enclosure. Hence there is no "boxy" sound to the vocal range.
4. Dipole Radiation pattern - Open baffle speakers radiate sound both forwards and backwards. A good design has a cardoid radiation pattern, much like a microphone. This does incredible things for imaging and soundstaging as well.
In summary, open baffle speakers, especially designs that offer higher efficiency, offer the best value in loudspeaker designs today. They overcome many of the drawbacks of conventional speakers at a very low cost. Spatial Audio in particular is one of the few manufactures embracing this design ethos. Their loudspeakers look beautiful, and create amazing listening experiences.
In our Studio, we have the Spatial X3 in our active display. We feel the X3 is the sweet spot in their product lineup. Offering accuracy, efficiency, and scalability at a price well under $10,000 per pair ($7500 to be exact). Below is a photo taken at Axpona 2019 with the Spatial X3 paired with the Modwright KWH 225i hybrid integrated amplifier, a turntable, and the Modwright PH 9.0 phono stage.
This setup is available for you to listen to whenever you are in the Denver area. Give us a call and set up an appointment to experience this amazing speaker driven by Modwright components.
The X3 has a powered 15" bass driver in an open baffle. It is driven by a Hypex fusion plate amplifier with Ncore technology. These amps have incredible control over the bass driver. That coupled with the size of the driver gives it surprising output capability. But the best part is the open baffle bass sound. No boominess, no sloppines, just clean, clear, powerfully musical bass.
The midbass/midrange driver is 12" paper cone driver. There is nothing like a large midrange driver when producing vocals. It never strains, and delivers a full bodied tone with incredible dynamics.
The high frequency driver is perhaps the X3's greatest strength. It incorporates the Beyma TP-150 H air motion transformer. Highly efficient, incredibly linear, accurate and very easy for amplifiers to drive. This driver will give you exactly what it is receiving in terms of signal. So fast, so transparent. This is destined to be a classic. Spatial actually utilizes a modified version that is a dipole radiator. Meaning the sound from the driver radiates both forwards and rearwards. This matches with the open baffle bass and midrange driver to create a seamless, expansive, natural and detailed sound with outstanding dynamics.