In recent years, storied loudspeaker company Spendor has shifted their speaker designs to fit the modern design and appearance with their A-Line and D-Line speakers. However, there are many who fell in love with the Spendor speakers of yesteryear and wish they could have new versions of those legacy loudspeakers. Seeing a need to honor their legacy with some heritage designs, Spendor also produces their Classic line of speakers. These speakers not only evoke the traditional visual aesthetic, but also bring the sonic warmth, richness, and transparency that many crave to hear. One of the most popular Classic series speakers is the the Classic 4/5 standmount loudspeaker.
Spendor prides itself on creating a multi-talented speaker with the Classic 4/5. Though designed for smaller spaces, the Classic 4/5 offers enough power to fill the room and the strength of the bass is surprising for the speaker's size. Inspired by the famed BBC LS3/5a speaker, the Classic 4/5 is noticeably free of the artificial brightness or over-boosted bass that characterizes modern speakers and offers the warmth and sonic transparency that made the LS3/5a popular for decades.
Stereonet Australia's Mark Gusew recently had the opportunity to try out Spendor's Classic 4/5 speaker and certainly noticed the cues taken from the LS3/5a. While Spendor has used some modern advancements to offer better bass performance in the Classic 4/5, like it's predecessor, there isn't a reflex port to increase low-end sensitivity and extension at the cost of timing and coherence issues. But, as Gusew listened on, he wasn't put out by the 4/5's bass performance, stating "It doesn’t deliver prestigious amounts of low-end notes, but the interesting thing is that – especially in a smaller sized listening room – you don’t really miss it. This is partly down to the fact that what bass the Classic 4/5 does have, is so crisp and tuneful that your brain fills in the gaps lower down."
With tighter bass control and an emphasis on clarity, the Classic 4/5 offers and expressive and transparent musical experience. When listening to orchestra music, Gusew noted that the texture of the each instrument was apparent, stating he could feel "the brassiness of horns, the silkiness of strings, the deep resonance of the cello." But, the 4/5's clarity goes further than just insight in instrumental music:
The Spendor sounded silky smooth in a way that's not common for modern loudspeakers, and especially mini-monitors. It has a distinctively 'Spendor' purity of tone, for example, a very natural midband largely devoid of colouration. This is especially apparent with the human voice; I found myself listening to lots of female vocals with acoustic instruments as accompaniment.
Beyond strict musical performance, there's much to said about the appearance. The Classic 4/5 certainly takes design cues from the LS3/5a, with a similar size and natural veneers. Spendor is perhaps the last loudspeaker manufacturer that designs, machines, and assembles everything in the speaker in-house. Spendor's control over the production of the speakers is evident in the fit and finish and overall build quality. When combined with the lyrical performance of the speaker itself, there's no wonder Stereonet saw fit to give the Spendor Classic 4/5 the Applause Award.