M3 Review

July 16, 2021

The speakers arrived on a pallet: two flat packs and a third box with bases and hardware. The packing was excellent, with not a single blemish to be found. Dare I say it: the speakers are in perfect condition. Size wise, they are imposing but not terribly so. They are shorter than my Magnepan LRS's, but quite a bit wider. Taste is personal but I think my walnut-veneered M3's are very pretty. Something about the proportions that are pleasing to the eye.

The Spatials have not a whiff of the DIY aesthetic that can occur with OB speakers. In fact, they are very well thought-out, with much of the wiring hidden, black painted backs, and really nice hardware. The veneer is excellent - like a piece of mid-century modern furniture - which is very pleasing to my eyes.

I bought the M3s because I loved the Maggie sound but wanted a more dynamic presentation, more sensitivity, and bass that doesn't require subs. The M3s deliver on all accounts. In fact, the bass (in my room) is a game changer. It's true: OB bass, done right, is a true thing of beauty. The detail is there in spades. One thing that has been a pleasant surprise is that even though they are still in the break-in phase, I have never heard piano produced so accurately as I have with the M3's. That says a lot about the quality of these speakers, given the difficulty in reproducing piano music.

The Magnepan LRS's were my foray into dipole speakers, after trying many box speakers, all of which left me unsatisfied. Magnepan sells them (cheaply) as a gateway drug to their bigger (and I assume, more profitable) speakers. In my case, they are my gateway drug to Spatials. It's a shame that the mainstream stereo magazines don't review offerings from Spatial or Pure Audio Project. In the case of Spatial, they are even Made in America! Professionally designed and manufactured OB speakers deserve more attention. I feel like I am now a member of a secret club, one that has solved the mystery of getting amazing sound in a home setting. I can say with confidence that I will never have a box speaker in my main system ever again.

Tangram