Spiral Groove Studio One Monitors... Nice

I recently came across an opportunity to acquire a pair of Spiral Groove Studio One monitors. I had read good things about them with some users claiming they were the greatest mixing monitors ever made. We have all heard that before – but no reason to fault someone for their enthusiasm, especially when upgrading from one class of product to the next. I was curious because these monitors have almost no public profile at all yet, for those who have used them, they are pretty-much universally highly acclaimed.

My pair arrived yesterday and I set them up where the NS-10s usually sit – the base of the monitor at the top of the video display. I hooked them up to a Bryston 3B which, again, I normally use to drive the NS-10s. (Yes, they are passive… How’s that for trend-bucking?)

I was impressed by the sonic breadth of these things – especially considering their minute size - very usable from around 30hz all the way up. The mids voice similarly to the NS 10s but the imaging – well, the imaging is the thing. At the right vertical plane of ears to monitors, the imaging is superb. In fact, they image like great headphones in terms of left to right but with a deep sound field. Very nice. I spend a lot of time mixing using lots of different monitors for sanity checking and I am pleased to say these little guys bring out what is good in the mixes. The real test will be mixing without the NS-10s for one project. These little things sound so great that I want to see whether I can actually enjoy the sonics of a project all the way through without killing the joy which is what happens when you switch over to the NS10s.

These are not inexpensive speakers but I think the value is certainly there. At less than half the price of a pair of Barefoots I think they are just as good to mix on (if you have some large-formats to mix with as well).

Nice find… Check them out if you can.

Happy NS-10 user myself. How much did these run you?

Aloha c,

Nice read. I would love to hear these monitors.

without killing the joy which is what happens when you switch over to the NS10s.

WORD!!

BTW ‘Bryston’.

IMHO
One of the finest if not the best amp ever made.
And road worthy. We actually used them on stage.

Tell me they still all Canadian made, or has some major corp finally bought them?

{’-’}

+1. When time came to setup my home studio, I knew it had to be Bryston (4B, in my case).

And yeah, they’re still in Peterborough, Ontario. Still 20-year warranty!

I got them from a colleague in Toronto who was looking for a larger-format monitor (he only had the SGs and they are not great for tracking). Anyhow, I paid $2200 CDN… Very good deal…

Just to add:
I have a couple of old old old ‘Yorkville Sound’ monitors that sound almost as good (90-95%)
as good as my Genetics. They are in my bedroom. ha!
{’-’}

Didn’t mean to insult the NS-10s… They are really great at what they do. After thirty-five years I still seem to skulk back to them after numerous extramarital dalliances with hot, young speakers. I will certainly never get rid of the them.

Nice!!

Bryston… I use a 4B for the 4430s. I had it rebuilt by Bryston in 2012… Cost around 700 bucks but its basically brand new. The 4B is somewhat different that then 3B to the extent it is two monoblocks in one case with each side having its own transformer. The 3B shares a single transformer.

Now… Don’t laugh… But I also use a Carver C-500 for the 809s and have two Phase Linear 400s (yeah, flame linear) sitting around not throwing DC at speakers… No light shows these days…

$700, eh? I’ll keep that in mind. Mine’s 22 years old now. $700 makes more sense than $800-1200 to buy another used one. But! Did that include shipping? I’d expect $200+ to ship a 4B two ways!

The 4B is somewhat different that then 3B to the extent it is two monoblocks in one case with each side having its own transformer. The 3B shares a single transformer.

Cool to know. I’m not a Crazy Amp Guy–I got the 4B 'cos I mixed on it and NS-10s for years and just felt I really understood it’s sound, and that would start me off at home at an advantage; and it just is so bloody reliable. We went through about three other amps in seven years, while the Bryston just… worked.

Now… Don’t laugh… But I also use a Carver C-500 for the 809s and have two Phase Linear 400s (yeah, flame linear) sitting around not throwing DC at speakers… No light shows these days…

I wouldn’t laugh at anyone’s setup! Carver makes some great amps, don’t they? I remember my mastering engineer recommending an amp by them once.

Hi… yep… shipping was 200 bucks… 100 each way… They are tanks for sure… I got my first 3B in ''78 and kept it until '99… Never serviced, just worked…

I shouldn’t rag on the Carver or PL… Actually, it was rebuilt by a good friend of mine (Nick Soudas) who is an artist and a genius… Great guy and god does he know his amps… He rebuilt the PLs as well.

Wicked!

Are the modern 4BSST models as good? Better? Just different?

Good question… I don’t really know how the internals have changed… I think the new ones are 300/side rather than 200/side and they have gain controls. I think they cost a fortune too… Something around 5 large…

Yeah, won’t be picking up one of them any time soon! Just curious if you had heard them or any feedback.

The 4B was near $4k new, non?

Sais pas… The only new Bryston I ever bought was in '78… A 3B cost CDN 850. I would guess that at the time the 4B would have been twice that so around 2k (wild guess). After that I only bought used ones (figuring that if they were < twenty years old they were still under warranty). Since then I have only bought a 3B and 4B - both in the last few years… I’m going to check this out… You have made me curious…

Found this… 1195 USD in '78…

History
The Bryston 4B NRB amplifier became popular in early 1978, when The Audio Critic declared the then–$1195 amplifier “the best power amplifier we’ve been able to find so far” (Vol.1 No.4, p.41),

Loooooving all this Bryston info because you just don’t hear folks talking about them much.
Guess it’s a ‘Canadian’ thang! :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

@ enjneer: Ottawa is one of the most beautiful cites in the world.
I have in my younger days performed at Carleton University many times.

@ cpechet1: apologies for hi-jacking this ‘monitor’ thread.
Would like to hear more about the Spiral Groove speakers.

Wish there was a place on-line where we could hear them.
{’-’]

Well if this is hijacking I’m a happy victim of Stockholm Syndrome!! I don’t care if the ransom ever gets paid!!

Love these amps… LOVE em!

Oh yeah… Spiral Grooves…

Pretty damn impressive so far… Really nuts about the imaging… I’m lucky because my room is fairly well-treated so all decent near/mid field monitors stand up reasonably well in here. I would not call these revolutionary necessarily but a very comfortable, earnest, seriously-engineered and evolved pair of mixing tools that are actually fun to listen to.

So true. Many audio guys kind of look off blankly when I mention Bryston. These days, most people have powered speakers. Amps are becoming arcane (which is fine with me. The others can go on mixing on their hyped, brittle powered speakers) :wink:

Carleton! No way! I’ve seen a lot of shows at Carleton. It was the only place that any of my favorite bands back in the 80s/90s could come play.

Yeah, Ottawa’s beautiful. Bit boring, but, in its way, that’s alright!

Yeah, sorry cpechet. I’d love to hear a monitor that was similar to the NS-10s, but more… Enjoyable - which is what you’re making the Grooves sounds like. Never heard of the company before at all!

Lol! “Hot, Young speakers!”

Exactly. I’ve worked on/played around with many other speakers. Loved many of them too. But moving on the NS-10s is just so bloody reliable. I too, slink back to their arms after cavorting with loose speakers.

Didn’t think you were ragging on the NS-10s for a second. I figured if you’re using them, you know what you’re in for (and probably hooked for life)