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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:24 pm 
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Location: toronto, ON, CA
I have a pair of spendor s5e's which are great but I am looking for an upgrade (not merely a change). I had the harbeth p3esr's in my house and found them to be less boxy but not much bass and not as forgiving. I was wondering if the harbeth 7es2's are just a little more forgiving with better bass but similar. My room is about 14 X 18 (length) and I'm sitting about 6 feet from the speakers (can't move the couch back don't ask). Or perhaps sonus fabers are right in between? I heard the spendor s6e's and found them too laid back for my liking. The spendor s5e's are just a little more boxy and less airy than the harbeths. Oh jeez I sound like Goldilocks but that's part of being an audiophile isn't it? Any opinions appreciated. Thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:53 pm 
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Location: Markham, ON, CA
I owned the 5se's recently and traded up to the Harbeth 7es3.

The Spendors are nice, but the top end is a little too recessed for my tastes. I didn't find them boxy sounding, but agree there is an issue with the bottom end not integrating well with mids. Always sounded a little disjointed.

The Harbeth's are much more refined sounding - actually fairly similar 'weight' in the bottom but better controlled/integrated I find.

Personal tastes, but I much prefer the Harbeth C7's. The P3's are also very nice, but as you say are lacking in the bottom end and sound compressed compared the C7's, which breath much better with the larger mid/woofer driver.

If you are looking at the C7-2 vs. the 3, note that it uses a different tweeter, which some found a tad bright. If forgiving is what you are looking for, the C7-2 I would think would be less so than the Spendor.

Not a fan of Sonus Faber - I think they look really cool, but find them overpriced for what you get.

The other speaker I like is the Proac D2 - slightly less refined than the Harbeth but very nice with a strong bottom end.

Hope this helps.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:15 pm 
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Location: toronto, ON, CA
Quote:
Personal tastes, but I much prefer the Harbeth C7's. The P3's are also very nice, but as you say are lacking in the bottom end and sound compressed compared the C7's, which breath much better with the larger mid/woofer driver.


I do have a small sub and am not a bass freak so I might prefer the p3esr's. Are you saying the p3esr is a little more forgiving than the 7es2? That's what I'm wondering. Thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:20 pm 
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Location: Markham, ON, CA
What do you mean by forgiving - smoother top end?


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:27 pm 
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smoother and / or more laid back.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:35 pm 
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Yes I think the smaller Harbeth would work better for you, given you've got a sub and you sit 6' away. The newer tweeter is more refined (smoother).

-- 30 Nov 2011 23:38 --

Although you say you tried the P3's and didn't like them. Problem is, forgiving usually means giving up detail and air, which is what you want. Maybe you should look at your source components and/or cables - I've found good front end cables make a huge difference in that area.

Just a thought :D


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 7:50 pm 
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actually I did like the p3esr's. I decided in the end they weren't worth the xtra money (their resale value was considerably higher than the spendors) because I didn't feel they were clearly better. Better on vocals but I enjoyed the spendor midrange more for rock. Maybe I`ll give them another try now that I have a warmer amp (sugden 21a). I was using a custom gainclone, very transparent but not as warm as the sugden (better suited for the spendor than the harbeths).


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 30, 2011 8:06 pm 
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Location: Markham, ON, CA
Yah, I've heard the Sudgen with the Spendors. Add some Cardas cables and you'd fall asleep.

I'm using class A tubes with the Harbeths - a nice neutral cable and you are ready to go.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:00 am 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
I love the BBC school. I currently own LS3/5a and cabling and stands do make a big difference. The sound is a bit sluggish through my Mac amp and Linn biwire cable. On the other system with a Rega amp and Kimber wire, the sound is a lot sweeter, tighter and engaging.

The larger box BBC designs do sound boxy and can they lack that last bit of midrange speed because the boxes vibrate. I ran Rogers L6a, and LS7 and also had other models in my set up. The sound was always natural and ideal for LP but very they could not always keep up with very dynamic, fast music, especially on cd.

The modern Spendor and Harbeth are a lot better and you can now get decent the speed, even without a heavily braced cabinet. A good fast cable can go a long way. The Spendor SA1 mini and Harbeth 7 monitor are fabulous fatigue free speakers. I notice Nordost advertises their Red Dawn line of cabling products using a SA1. Nordost cabling will give you mid range speed, deep bass (as much as the box will allow) and extended treble. Their is no grain and the transparency is incredible.

I would move up to the Harbeth 7 and then focus on a great pair of stands and cabling.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:16 am 
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Location: Red Deer, AB, CA
What is the majority of your musical listening? Classical? Rock....?


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:20 pm 
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Location: toronto, ON, CA
Quote:
What is the majority of your musical listening? Classical? Rock....?


Mostly pop / rock but enjoy some jazz and Michael Buble. I don't find the spendors "recessed." I never thought they were boxy sounding until I had the harbeths, the harbeths are so transparent and open but a little cold in comparison to the spendors. I am using unity audio interconnects and anlysis oval 9 speaker cables. I don't find either speaker to be slow like the old bbc speakers.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:00 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 03, 2007 4:37 pm
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
I am in the same boat. I have my choices down to 3: Harbeth p3esr
Spendor s3/5r
Stirling LS3/5

I will buying in the next month or so and I am still not sure which one.

Milesd


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 7:58 pm 
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Location: Ottawa, ON, CA
The Stirlings can be upgraded later with the addition of the Gini B+ bass modules (designed for all LS3/5a's), which produce truly stunning deep and well-defined bass for LS3/5a's. My bass modules burned-in recently and I could not believe their performance: my LS3/5a's go subjectively much louder and are now a full-range speaker, while losing none of their pin-point imaging. They look good too, especially if you have walnut Stirlings like I have (B+ modules only come in walnut). Price is right (about $650), packaging is beautiful, come with spikes and all sorts of extras, very well made.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:08 pm 
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Location: Montreal, QC, CA
milesD wrote:
I am in the same boat. I have my choices down to 3: Harbeth p3esr
Spendor s3/5r
Stirling LS3/5

I will buying in the next month or so and I am still not sure which one.

Milesd


Miles, you should add these to your short list too. Haven't heard the Stirlings, but I have heard the Ginis, Spendors, original Rogers and Harbeths and none of them has the bass or refinement of the GFs. As with all other GF products, you can try them in your home for 30 and return them if you don't like them. I heard them with a few different amps from Mr. Acoustat's Rita 880 to the bottom of the line ShengYa and the GF W-30GT on everything from Chinese drums to a cello concerto to ZZ-Top's La Grange (jawdropping) to Boz Scaggs' Desire at barely audible to levels high enough to draw in exhibitors from down the hall and nothing seems to faze them.

http://shop.grantfidelity.com/Grant-Fid ... itors.html

Just to make your decision that much harder .....


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 01, 2011 8:47 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Thanks OBI56! Now I have 4 to choose from :)

Milesd


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