Spendor Audio

Spendor Se Series Range

18cm Drive Unit Components

Spendor S9e

Spendor S9e

22cm Bass Drive Unit

22cm Bass Drive Unit Section

Spendor S6e

18cm Bass/Midrange Drive Unit

18cm Bass/Midrange Drive Unit Section

Spendor SR5

Crossover PCB

SR5 Bracket Detail

Spendor C9e


Spendor Brand Logo

As Technical Director for Spendor Audio from 2002 to 2007,  I developed the Se Series range of loudspeakers comprising SR5, S3e, S5e, S6e, S8e, S9e, C5e, C9e.

Spendor Audio is one of England’s best-loved and most respected loudspeaker manufacturers.  Founded in the 1960’s by Spencer and Dorothy Hughes, Spendor has gained an enviable international reputation for class-leading R&D innovative design and no-compromise engineering. Outstanding musical performance and exceptional value for money are also a big part of the Spendor ethos.

Transducer Design


Spendor is first and foremost an engineering led company focused on performance. All Spendor loudspeakers and drive units are designed and hand-built in-house to ensure control over all aspects of design and production. Many other loudspeaker manufacturers source ‘off-the-shelf’ drive units but they are the foundation of the performance of the finished product and should be designed and built for purpose and without compromise.

The drive units were designed using innovative technologies and materials. All of the magnetic motor circuits were FEA optimised for efficiency and linearity. Bass/midrange diaphragms were manufactured from a bespoke ep38 polymer to provide an optimal balance of stiffness and damping. Phase plugs were introduced to reduce moving mass and midrange distortion. Woofer diaphragms used a composite of Kevlar and Kapok to provide structural rigidity and a dual, balanced suspension system was designed to ensure linearity.

Enclosure Design

S5e Port

Spendor Audio has a reputation for intrinsic quality, so the fit and finish of the product is paramount. All the cabinet enclosures were manufactured from real wood, balance veneered MDF. Extensive internal bracing was designed to increase the rigidity of the structures and minimise panel vibration. To prevent the drive units from imparting vibration into the cabinet panels, damping elements were placed between the rear of each drive unit and an internal brace to mechanically earth the system.


A linear flow reflex port was developed to prevent airflow turbulence and minimise low frequency distortion to allow the loudspeakers to be placed close to walls in customer’s homes. This porting profile was CNC machined into the base plinth which aligned with the under-side of the cabinet to complete the waveguide.

Crossover Design

The filter networks used high voltage, polypropylene capacitors and iron powder/air core inductors were selected for their superior sound quality. Gain matching of drive units is usually achieved using series resistors but this method introduces distortion due to the thermal non linearity. To overcome this deficiency, auto transformers were chosen with the added benefit of tighter control of the filter slope.


“Over the years, I’ve owned a few Classic Spendor loudspeakers that have been classics—I mean that both colloquially and in the literal, trade-name sense—and I’ve loved them for what they were. Yet the new S5e has things that simply weren’t part of the earlier Spendor recipe, including scale, drama, and utterly faultless pacing. That the S5e does all that for $1649/pair is remarkable. I can’t recommended it strongly enough.”
– Art Dudley, Stereophile, Sep 2004

“There is also something else about it, a quality that is rarely found in loudspeaker systems: a sense of natural presence, a feeling that the speaker, instead of behaving as a partially obscured window, is actually transparent. Admirably well-voiced floor standing loudspeaker, with low coloration and good sense of transparency to allow the boxes to disappear. Midrange performance especially was impressive, and the speaker could play easily at high levels. Another winner from Spendor”
– Martin Colloms, Hi-Fi News, Nov 2004

“The audio excellence on offer from these compact floorstanders is a cut above the competition, at this price level – the S5es are simply awesome loudspeakers”
– What Hi-Fi Awards, 2004

“So. At the risk of sounding naïve and overblown, I’m going to give you my true thoughts on the Spendor S8e: Buy it. For $3000 you are, I swear it, getting as close as a whisker to $30,000 in sound. Glorious, house-filling sound.”
– Sally Reynolds, Absolute Sound, Dec 2008

“The S9e turned in a fine set of measured and listening results. It is clearly a well engineered loudspeaker with carefully judged frequency balance, extended bass and smooth, well controlled treble. The obvious lack of colouration when playing vocals is testament to not only the drive units, cabinet, crossover, porting system and so on. It is the sum of the parts that works so well.”
– Dave Berriman, HiFi News, Apr 2006

“Nearest in size to the classic Spendor BC1, the S6e is arguably the star model, with a well ordered, vice-free and neutral sound and well extended bass”
– HiFi News Awards, 2004

“The clarity, stereo imagery and definition were excellent, no matter how complex and dynamic the mix became. These little speakers could take everything thrown at them yet remain perfectly composed and in control. To conclude the SR5 provides the Spendor hallmarks of low coloration and naturalness to be sure and a clear open sound with remarkably good stereo imagery and sound staging into the bargain”
– HiFi News, Nov 2003

“The Spendor offers a superbly cultured and capable mid-band, underpinned by a beautifully judged and weighted bass”
– HiFi +, Aug 2004

“The S5e’s qualities were apparent virtually from the opening bars, and it didn’t really matter which kind of music I chose. One further feature of the S5e which I found pleasing was the way it also manages to sound superb when played quietly. It seems to maintain resolution and hear-through clarity at very low replay levels – something that is not that common among speaker designs these days.”
– Dave Berriman, HiFi News, Aug 2004

“Firstly the speaker’s impressive spatial qualities knock you for six, then the S8es play the truly transparent component’s trump card, whatever you play through them, you cannot catch them out. With vocals the S8e’s reproduced every nuance perfectly, with a natural, almost organic quality, that I have only ever heard from electrostatics at several times the price. The Spendor’s are simply stunning speakers”
– Ian Harris, HiFi News, Jul 2004

“This was some of the best bass I have ever heard from a loudspeaker selling for less than $10,000/pair. I was able to get the S8e’s to disappear – almost in the way that I associate with the best small monitor speakers. The main thing is the S8e’s midrange – glorious. “
– Sam Tellig, Stereophile, Jun 2005

“They’ve the rhythmic drive to impress with dance music and the reach to satisfy with classical pieces. Those who want a top quality sound but can’t or won’t accommodate conventional speakers should look to the SR5s. They sacrifice nothing in sonic performance to traditional alternatives, while making the living room a clutter-free environment.”
– What Hi-Fi, Jun 2003