The pedigree of the Spendor Classic 4/5 starts with a legend for the small speaker to live up to. The Classic 4/5 is the current incarnate of Spendor's famed LS3/5a built for the BBC (itself an iteration of the earlier LS3/5). Spendor has long produced the LS3/5a speakers throughout the year, and has carefully introduced the speakers to modern technology, materials, and processes. In order to keep that same classic sound, Spendor engineers have worked hard to ensure that quality and performance of the speaker improves, while the overall tone and inspiration stay unadulterated. Spendor had previously released the S3/5 in the late 90's, which was an evolution of the original speaker. As Spendor developed the product, the next iteration was the popular Spendor A1, the smallest speaker in Spendor's energetic and uplifting A-Line. As Ed Selley discusses in his review on AVForums.com, the latest version—Classic 4/5—is more than just a copy of the original speaker.
Spendor's development of the legendary LS3/5a eventually led to a point where it could (or should) no longer carry the same designation; having grown and improved into its own speaker. That's why Spendor decided to update the model number to the "4/5" for this entry in the Spendor Classic Line. Selley points out that this is related to the speaker of yore, but an improvement upon the original.One key advantage is Spendor's in-house made drivers; rare in today's speakers market. Furthermore, Spendor has brought cabinet production in-house as well; virtually unheard of in the current-day audio industry. These two together result in Spendor being able to design and craft the driver and cabinet to exact specifications, instead of trying to "make-up" or design around brought-in parts. Then, Spendor continues to improve upon the design with the contemporary materials and technology: using a proprietary EP77 polymer for the mid/bass driver and a tailor-made chassis and suspension designed alongside the in-house made driver. With a custom-tuned crossover set higher than its rivals, the Spendor Classic 4/5 is easy to drive and offers cohesion on par with high-end single-driver units.
While the beautifully-wrought cabinet and overall design hearken back to the 70's and 80's, the performance of the Classic 4/5 is certainly in the 21st century:
More than trying to make bald assessments of what the Spendor will and won’t do, there is a fundamental ‘rightness’ to how it performs that I suspect might take some people, lulled into a false sense of security by those retro cabinets, by surprise. It’s an incredibly easy speaker to lose hours to enjoying a huge spread of music. Moreover, it will do this almost regardless of the surroundings you put it in. It’s a, and I use this word deliberately, seductive device that encourages you to route around your music collection enjoying it.