The Spendor BC1 is a classic vintage loudspeaker that is well-loved by its owners and very popular in the UK due to its availability in the early days. It is a speaker that has its flaws and merits that makes them sound unique, not to mention, the bulky cabinet which screams 70s speaker design. Now with so many new modern amps, you must be wondering which one of them is the best match for your Spendor BC1. If you are interested in finding out, do continue to read on.
To find the right amp, will always start with understanding more about your speaker’s sonic characteristics. Each speaker model has its own sets of strengths and weaknesses, as well as its own sound signature. Only once we have learned more about the Spendor BC1, then we share with you a list of the best amps to go with this vintage loudspeaker.
Sonic Characteristics and Merits of Spendor BC1
The Spendor BC1 is a 3-way speaker system that consists of the following drivers. There is a 0.75″ soft-dome super tweeter located right at the top, followed by a 1.25″ soft-dome tweeter, and lastly a large 8″ Bextrene-cone woofer. It is reflex-loaded with the bass port located at the front of the speaker cabinet. The overall speaker design of the Spendor BC1 does allow it to fit right in with homes that have wood element interiors but the bulky size of the cabinet is not really suitable for small-sized rooms or for listeners who are facing space constraints. Vintage-themed amplifiers like the Peachtree Audio integrated amps are aesthetically matching with the Spendor BC1 speakers but modern amps will be quite off when it comes to visuals.
The speaker sensitivity of the Spendor BC1 is really low, as it is only 84dB and the max SPL is about 101dBA. It is fortunate that the nominal impedance is 8 Ohms though. Still, the power handling of the Spendor BC1 is only up to 55 Watts. This does really limit our choice of amps and if we look at the bright side, most modern amplifiers are capable of driving the Spendor BC1 speakers. The frequency response of the Spendor BC1 is between 50Hz to 15kHz which indicates that we do not need to go high-end audio amp on them. Another indication will be the need for a subwoofer.
One of the Spendor BC1’s greatest strengths will be its midrange reproduction where the vocal sounded natural and realistic. It has a smooth-sounding quality that is sweet and pleasing to the ears. The soundstage is large and has ample depth which did exceed our expectations. The imaging is impeccable as well, which created a holographic performance where the musicians are accurately located on the stage. The realism of the instruments been played via the Spendor BC1 are alluring and natural but the roll-off in the highs is quite obvious though.
There are some missing details and the sweet airiness is hardly audible. The bass reproduction is not as deep and there is an emphasis in the mid-bass which may overshadow some of the higher frequencies. Adding in a sealed subwoofer will definitely help with the situation, crossing over at 100Hz may open up the speakers even more. For the high frequency, there’s really no solution to it. The Spendor BC1 does its best within its limited frequency response, and within that range, the sound quality is actually quite superb for the price. It will be an excellent speaker for vocal-centric songs/music as the voice quality is truly vivid and life-like.
The Spendor BC1 speakers with subwoofer support will provide an enjoyable music listening experience for casual listeners. At this price point, the smooth and pleasing sounding nature of the Spendor BC1 speakers makes it quite easy to fall in love with them. Even after all these years, these speakers still hold up, which is already an impressive feat on its own. We have the information we need and it is time for us to start sharing with you the list of the best amps you can get, to pair them with your beloved Spendor BC1 speakers.
Spendor BC1 Specifications
- Speaker Type: 3-Way Reflex-Loaded (Front-Firing Bass Port)
- Drive Units: 0.75″ soft-dome super tweeter, 1.25″ soft-dome tweeter, 8″ Bextrene-cone woofer
- Frequency Response: 50Hz-15kHz
- Power Handling: 55 Watts
- Nominal Impedance: 8 Ohms
- Sensitivity (1W/1m): 84dB
- Dimensions (H x W x D): 635mm x 300mm x 300mm | 25″ x 11.8″ x 11.8″
- Weight: 14kg (31lbs)
Best Amps to match with Spendor BC1
A vintage speaker like Spendor BC1 will match well with a vintage amp like the Rogers A100. The power output is 55 Watts per channel (8 Ohms) and has a frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz which is just right for your Spendor BC1 speakers. The retro aesthetic design of Rogers A100 also matches really well with the Spendor BC1. It may be difficult to find one and more importantly to have the opportunity to audition them. Some of the BC1 speaker owners do use the A100 to drive their speakers and are pleased with it. Still, we will suggest hearing them out first before making a decision.
The Marantz PM6007 an entry-level integrated amplifier that is also one of the best amps to go with your Spendor BC1 speakers. The power output of the PM6007 is more than enough to drive the speakers and there is a subwoofer output where you can connect your active sub for better bass performance. The amp’s control of the low frequency is good too, able to punch and let go when it needs to, complementing the Spendor BC1. The full sounding quality is well-matched too, the Marantz PM6007 is an energetic performer and will be a fun partnering amplifier for your BC1.
The Denon PMA-600NE is another amazing budget amp that you can choose to partner with your Spendor BC1 vintage speakers. It is packed with a plethora of features as it comes with a 192kHz/24Bit D/A converter, MM phono equalizer, a dedicated subwoofer output, and more. Allowing you to connect to most of your audio sources and play them back with pristine sound quality. Denon PMA-600NE provides a lot of value and performance at such an affordable price, there are settings for you to further tune the sound reproduction. This is probably one of the best budget amps out on the market.
The Quad 33/303 is a classic combination to go with the Spendor BC1, they were the ideal partners back in the time. The next classic Quad HiFi separates combo will be the Quad 34/306, which should also match well with the BC1 speakers. The smooth and lush sound quality that the Quad 34/306 provides is pleasing to the ears where you won’t feel the fatigue and you could simply listen to your favorite songs for hours. The midrange of the Quad 34 preamp is a suitable match with the Spendor BC1, giving a vivid performance and sweet-sounding vocals. It is recommended to audition them first.
The compact and slim NAD D 3020 V2 will be an ideal amp, especially if you have space constraints in your listening room Firstly, the D 3020 V2 has a very small footprint and you usually place the amp upright, saving you a lot of space. The amp also has just the right amount of continuous power output to drive the Spendor BC1 speakers and has plenty of reserve power to help handle the music peaks. We will suggest making full use of the amp’s subwoofer output to connect an active sub. The sonic characteristics of this digital DAC amp are quite neutral and would not interfere with the Spendor BC1 sound quality by much.
Spendor BC1 goes well with tube amplifiers, and if you are interested in going for one without investing much, the Rockville BluTube will be an amazing choice. It is highly rated by satisfied owners and the price is simply affordable, it is one of the best entry-level tube amps you can match with the BC1 loudspeakers. As for the subwoofer, you can go with the Spendor Sub 3 as it has a similar sound signature to the Spendor speakers. It is more of a musical subwoofer catered to audiophiles who are critical about their music listening experience. The aesthetic of the Spendor Sub 3 matches well with the Spendor BC1.
To Sum It Up
The listed amps are some of the best matching modern and vintage amplifiers you can go for, which are also sanely priced. If you are planning to get a subwoofer, please choose the amps that allow you to connect to an active sub. Plan a visit or have an audition of the amps at your own listening room, listen to them with your favorite tunes and see if you like what you hear. You can also use this list as a reference when searching for other amplifier brands/models.