Welcome to the AudioShark Forums.
Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2024
    Location
    NewJersy
    Posts
    12

    Quest for a New Speaker

    Longtime audiophile who enjoys the sound of British speakers. Owned B&W, Quad, KEF and recently ATC. The KEF R300s were around $1500. The ATC11s were $2,000. The B&W back in the 80s were around $1,000 and 2006 Quads were $1.500. Harbeths were always way out of my budget.However after about 3years I got frustrated with my ATC 11s. They needed a sub and while generally a pleasantly smooth speaker they tended to be a little too forward in the upper mids and lower treble for my taste. Plus for them to really shine they needed to be played at a slightly higher volume than I like and that emphasized that forwardness even more. So I decided to up the budget this time. I wanted bookshelf not floor standers as I don’t want to move around 60-80 pound speakers particularly at my age.

    I was very interested in the Revel line. Especially the Performa 126Be. However when I auditioned them I disliked their upper mid/lower treble. It was smoother but to my ears just slightly elevated and the BE tweeters had a distinct sound that I couldn’t warm too. So next on my list was Harbeth. From the looks and specs they seemed over priced but I do like those British designs. I auditioned both the C7es-XD and the M30-XD. Both were wonderfully musical but I preferred the C7. It was more open with a better sound stage. It was close. Anyway I love it. Most musical speaker I’ve ever heard or owned. It does sound real especially with acoustic instruments and voice. No ear strain. No fatigue. So life like. Great for Jazz, Classical, Pop and film scores which is what I listen to. Amazingly smooth high end. Vibrant midrange. And amazing low end for its size. I do not need my two REL subs. The Harbeths were expensive. $4600 less my ATC trade but well worth it. Now that my speakers are set my next challenge is getting into streaming. So I’ll be researching streamers. BTW my electronics are the Benchmark ABH2 Amplifier, HPA4 Pre Amp and the DAC3. Amazingly clean and neutral system with the lowest noise floor. When singers or instrumentalists take a breath it sounds like someone turned my system off. And they are small and lightweight. And Easy to move.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    541

    Re: Quest for a New Speaker

    Quote Originally Posted by JFRMusic View Post
    Longtime audiophile who enjoys the sound of British speakers. Owned B&W, Quad, KEF and recently ATC. The KEF R300s were around $1500. The ATC11s were $2,000. The B&W back in the 80s were around $1,000 and 2006 Quads were $1.500. Harbeths were always way out of my budget.However after about 3years I got frustrated with my ATC 11s. They needed a sub and while generally a pleasantly smooth speaker they tended to be a little too forward in the upper mids and lower treble for my taste. Plus for them to really shine they needed to be played at a slightly higher volume than I like and that emphasized that forwardness even more. So I decided to up the budget this time. I wanted bookshelf not floor standers as I don’t want to move around 60-80 pound speakers particularly at my age.

    I was very interested in the Revel line. Especially the Performa 126Be. However when I auditioned them I disliked their upper mid/lower treble. It was smoother but to my ears just slightly elevated and the BE tweeters had a distinct sound that I couldn’t warm too. So next on my list was Harbeth. From the looks and specs they seemed over priced but I do like those British designs. I auditioned both the C7es-XD and the M30-XD. Both were wonderfully musical but I preferred the C7. It was more open with a better sound stage. It was close. Anyway I love it. Most musical speaker I’ve ever heard or owned. It does sound real especially with acoustic instruments and voice. No ear strain. No fatigue. So life like. Great for Jazz, Classical, Pop and film scores which is what I listen to. Amazingly smooth high end. Vibrant midrange. And amazing low end for its size. I do not need my two REL subs. The Harbeths were expensive. $4600 less my ATC trade but well worth it. Now that my speakers are set my next challenge is getting into streaming. So I’ll be researching streamers. BTW my electronics are the Benchmark ABH2 Amplifier, HPA4 Pre Amp and the DAC3. Amazingly clean and neutral system with the lowest noise floor. When singers or instrumentalists take a breath it sounds like someone turned my system off. And they are small and lightweight. And Easy to move.
    I can only suggest you reconsider floor-standing speakers. Unless you move home (when help is normally on hand anyway) these speakers are often easier to deal with than stand-mounts. Moving stand-mounts (apart from local repositioning) requires that you take their full weight to lift them from the stands and place them down somewhere. Then you need to move the stand and lastly lift the full weight of the speakers to return them to the stand.

    With floor-standers you can often slide them big distances by lilting one way, placing a tea-towel or similar under 2 feet, tilt the other way to get the cloth under all 4 feet, then slide to new position - no lifting required - unless moving them upstairs! I don't know your age, but I am pushing 80 and regularly handle my bulky 100 kg floor-standers without help.

    If you like the ATC sound, consider the 40 model. It's a relatively small floor-stander and it's still in their range of "domestic" speakers. I'd avoid their pro speakers (50 up) as they may well disappoint for domestic listening for reasons I've explained elsewhere. Not sure if they are within your price budget but the 40 is often very highly praised by owners. As you say, Harbeth are great speakers (I was most impressed by their big (still a stand-mount) 40 model, but as you also say, their prices are high.

    I can't help you with Focal but I was considering their Sopra range a while ago as they ticked most of my boxes, though I never auditioned them. Can't help with stand-mounts - never had them apart from the ATC50 Actives that I didn't like. Oh yes, one other suggestion as you mentioned Quad. I was most impressed by 2905 electrostatics that I had for a short time to establish how panel speakers would sound in my own home. They surprised me with their much fuller and deeper bass than I was expected and they can play loudly too. Sadly, their "barn door" appearance meant they were never going to be kept! They represent great value even new, but try looking for a used pair if this sounds an attractive proposition - and ask the seller (or a friend or relative) to help (carefully) move them to their new home. Good luck.
    Sources - NAD M50.2 (streamer, CD player, CD ripper, hard drive music store)
    Amplification - NAD M33 all-in-one, NAD M12 preamp (in reserve), Atma-Sphere Class D monos
    Speakers - Avantgarde Duo XD, Avantgarde Duo (2006) - both aesthetically modified

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Plantation Bay CC
    Posts
    5,161

    Re: Quest for a New Speaker

    Quote Originally Posted by JFRMusic View Post
    Longtime audiophile who enjoys the sound of British speakers. Owned B&W, Quad, KEF and recently ATC. The KEF R300s were around $1500. The ATC11s were $2,000. The B&W back in the 80s were around $1,000 and 2006 Quads were $1.500. Harbeths were always way out of my budget.However after about 3years I got frustrated with my ATC 11s. They needed a sub and while generally a pleasantly smooth speaker they tended to be a little too forward in the upper mids and lower treble for my taste. Plus for them to really shine they needed to be played at a slightly higher volume than I like and that emphasized that forwardness even more. So I decided to up the budget this time. I wanted bookshelf not floor standers as I don’t want to move around 60-80 pound speakers particularly at my age.

    I was very interested in the Revel line. Especially the Performa 126Be. However when I auditioned them I disliked their upper mid/lower treble. It was smoother but to my ears just slightly elevated and the BE tweeters had a distinct sound that I couldn’t warm too. So next on my list was Harbeth. From the looks and specs they seemed over priced but I do like those British designs. I auditioned both the C7es-XD and the M30-XD. Both were wonderfully musical but I preferred the C7. It was more open with a better sound stage. It was close. Anyway I love it. Most musical speaker I’ve ever heard or owned. It does sound real especially with acoustic instruments and voice. No ear strain. No fatigue. So life like. Great for Jazz, Classical, Pop and film scores which is what I listen to. Amazingly smooth high end. Vibrant midrange. And amazing low end for its size. I do not need my two REL subs. The Harbeths were expensive. $4600 less my ATC trade but well worth it. Now that my speakers are set my next challenge is getting into streaming. So I’ll be researching streamers. BTW my electronics are the Benchmark ABH2 Amplifier, HPA4 Pre Amp and the DAC3. Amazingly clean and neutral system with the lowest noise floor. When singers or instrumentalists take a breath it sounds like someone turned my system off. And they are small and lightweight. And Easy to move.
    What is the size of the room where these speakers are going to be placed
    2chl : Pass Xa-30.5, W4S STP-SE Stage 2, Kef 201/2, KEF 140, Vapor Breeze, Lumin, VPI Classic, Manley Chinook, Cadenza Bronze, Bryston CD, BHA-1, Quicksilver Headamp, HD650, HD800s, HD820's, Dan Clark 1.1, Focal Stellia, OPPO 203, 105.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    St. Louis, MO, USA
    Posts
    3,017

    Re: Quest for a New Speaker

    Congrats on the new speakers. I would look to Aurender or Lumin for a quality streamer. Innuous has some at reasonable prices if the first suggestions are out of budget.
    Aurender ACS10 w/Audioquest Diamond USB, Esoteric N05xd
    Mark Levinson #526, 534 & JBL 4367's
    Clearaudio Performance DC w/Maestro cart
    Clarus Concerto & their Crimson cables

    HT: Marantz AV8003, Linn 5125, JBL SAM3ha, Revel s30,
    SVS PC13 Ultra
    Transparent, Analysis Plus & Tributaries. PS Audio filtering
    Sony XBR-75X940D & BDP
    Parasound P6, MBL 8006b, Artisan speakers/subwoofer

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Location
    United States
    Posts
    190

    Re: Quest for a New Speaker

    Owned the C7 years ago. It made me so happy... Congrats on a great choice!
    Buckeye Farmboy translocated to Boulder. Master and slave to my 10 year old twins
    System: Grimm MU1, Mola Mola Tambaqui, Accuphase C3900 pre, TARA Labs 0.8 XLR, Gryphon Essence Stereo Amp, Tara LAbs 0.8 Speaker Cables, Rockport Atria ii's

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2024
    Location
    NewJersy
    Posts
    12

    Re: Quest for a New Speaker

    Quote Originally Posted by Hear Here View Post
    I can only suggest you reconsider floor-standing speakers. Unless you move home (when help is normally on hand anyway) these speakers are often easier to deal with than stand-mounts. Moving stand-mounts (apart from local repositioning) requires that you take their full weight to lift them from the stands and place them down somewhere. Then you need to move the stand and lastly lift the full weight of the speakers to return them to the stand.

    With floor-standers you can often slide them big distances by lilting one way, placing a tea-towel or similar under 2 feet, tilt the other way to get the cloth under all 4 feet, then slide to new position - no lifting required - unless moving them upstairs! I don't know your age, but I am pushing 80 and regularly handle my bulky 100 kg floor-standers without help.

    If you like the ATC sound, consider the 40 model. It's a relatively small floor-stander and it's still in their range of "domestic" speakers. I'd avoid their pro speakers (50 up) as they may well disappoint for domestic listening for reasons I've explained elsewhere. Not sure if they are within your price budget but the 40 is often very highly praised by owners. As you say, Harbeth are great speakers (I was most impressed by their big (still a stand-mount) 40 model, but as you also say, their prices are high.

    I can't help you with Focal but I was considering their Sopra range a while ago as they ticked most of my boxes, though I never auditioned them. Can't help with stand-mounts - never had them apart from the ATC50 Actives that I didn't like. Oh yes, one other suggestion as you mentioned Quad. I was most impressed by 2905 electrostatics that I had for a short time to establish how panel speakers would sound in my own home. They surprised me with their much fuller and deeper bass than I was expected and they can play loudly too. Sadly, their "barn door" appearance meant they were never going to be kept! They represent great value even new, but try looking for a used pair if this sounds an attractive proposition - and ask the seller (or a friend or relative) to help (carefully) move them to their new home. Good luck.
    Thanks but I already purchased the Harbeth C7es3. As I noted I love them and at 29 pounds easy to handle. They fit my room perfectly and have enough low end that Im selling my two REL T/5x subs on Ebay.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2024
    Location
    NewJersy
    Posts
    12

    Re: Quest for a New Speaker

    Quote Originally Posted by CPP View Post
    What is the size of the room where these speakers are going to be placed
    17x15

AudioShark - The Best High End Audio Discussion forum.

AudioShark forum is a leading forum site for High End Audio Discussion, Stereo System Discussion, Home Theater System Discussion, Best Home Stereo System Discussion, Home Theater Installation Discussion etc.

The AudioShark forum was created for sharing the passion of high-end Audio. We have Audiophiles from all over the world participating and sharing their knowledge. From novice to experts, you will find a friendly environment for discussing about High End Audio, Stereo System, Home Theater System, Home Stereo System, Home Theater Installation, Amplifiers, Speakers, Subwoofers, Integrated System, Acoustic treatments & Digital Room Corrections and many more.

At AudioShark, we also have incorporated an exciting Marketplace where members can peruse terrific buys on used gear, as well as meet dealers and discuss the purchase of new gear.

We are as crazy about this hobby as you are! So come on in and join us! Audioshark.org the Friendliest Audio Forum!

Industry Participation Disclosure : The owner and administrator of Audioshark is the owner of Suncoast Audio LLC in Sarasota Florida. Suncoast Audio has a full brick and mortar presence in Sarasota with several great show rooms with many world class brands. More information can be found at http://www.suncoastaudio.com

Audioshark is a community of like minded individuals. Audioshark welcomes participation from all manufacturers and owners of all brands and products. It is our belief that online forums provide a community of like minded audiophiles and music lovers to encourage the growth of this wonderful hobby.

Sincerely,
The Audioshark.org Team

Quest for a New Speaker

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •