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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:32 pm 
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Location: Whitby, ON, CA
I have been involved in the audio game almost fifty years. Needless to say, I have seen equipment come and go over the years, but the latest was the hardest decision of all. For about 25 of those 50 years I have been listening to Harbeth speakers and have enjoyed every minute of it since the beginning. I originally purchased my first pair of HL Monitors with the chrome stands in 1979 which was pretty much when they arrived on the scene. When I opened a audio store in 1980, guess who the first speaker line brought in was? I have also had later editions of the HL series (the original Dudley Harwood design) and more recently the Harbeth P3ESR and my current Harbeth M30.1 speakers. Never a problem, easy to drive and lord they sounded so right to these ears. I have owned several other speakers primarily British built from the BBC school of design, but the Harbeth's were the ones that resonated the most.

As I have spent a fair bit of time listening to these wonderful speakers (2 !/2 decades) and the fact that my ears are at 67 years are not what they used to be, decided to make one last change. The parameters were simple. A 2-way. standmount speaker with a dedicated stand and under 4,000.00. For a number of years I had shown interest in a French company that was producing a speaker with its own signature sound (like Harbeth) and a reputation for exceptional musicality and build falling into artisan quality. The Speaker: J M Reynaud. The model selected would be the Bliss Silvers.

One thing I have noticed over the years, is that J M Reynaud speakers when for sale on the used market go rather rapidly. Which is intriguing as they are not a particularly well known or reviewed speaker in North America. I had considered the J M Offrandes but tended to like a lot of power. I do not want to change my 30 Watt Leben CS 600 tube integrated, so looked at the smaller and more efficient Bliss Silvers. I have long been familiar with Bob Neill for a number of years and he is the US distributor for these speakers and owner of Amherst Audio Boutique. To listen to Bob Neill describe what he hears in equipment is a study in eloquence and understanding of music.
To read his synopsis of this or any other speaking is pretty revelatory in itself. Bob had long been a Harbeth guy, but found the JMR's to be as intoxicating a speaker with a more robust sound without giving up great clarity. Long and short of it, these sounded like a speaker that would fit the bill for my tastes as there is no loss of midrange magic and they even go down a little further to 45Hz than the M30.1's 40Hz. and all the stuff that makes for a good speaker. Even the Magic Stands work on a design theory to work in conjunction with these speakers. Time will tell. I have ordered a pair from the Canadian Distributor L'Atelier Audio in Montreal. Should be here shortly. Can hardly wait. I haven't even heard them yet! So lets see if they as good in practice as they are on paper. Hopefully a new friend is on the way. I will miss the my Harbeth's very much. Good bye old friend. Will keep you posted!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:43 pm 
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Looking forward to the next episode !

I've heard and really liked a few Harbeths, but never considered owning a pair. Reynauds, though, I did consider seriously at one point. The ones I wanted were hard to find, so it never happened.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:30 pm 
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Hi,

larboy - not to worry - even without an audition. The J.M. Reynaud Bliss Silvers are right up there at the very top of the heap in the mini-monitor game. I have been privately corresponding with a US based CAM member who just bought a pair of them from Wellington Audio in Florida along with magic stands. He was utterly in love with the demo pair and took them away.

Bob Neill was my saviour. I needed to replace my old BC1s and he said to get Reynaud Twins with the magic stands and I have never looked back - not even once. I also bought them without audition. The Twins evolved into the Duets and then the Bliss. At some point I will likely drive over to Amherst Mass. and pick up a pair of Bliss Silvers. It's the same distance there as to Montreal. But the wonderful news is that there is actually now some distribution here in Canada. Before, it was just Bob Neill and all of North America.

I have been praising Reynaud mini-monitor designs on CAM for years with zero net effect. But, who knows, maybe now the door will open.

The bottom line is this - you will love them!

Cheers,
David Neice

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Last edited by buybye88 on Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:32 pm 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
Your post has me wondering what dissatisfies you about your trusty Harbeths that has inspired you to replace them. . .


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:47 pm 
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buybye88 wrote:
Hi,

larboy - not to worry - even without an audition. The J.M. Reynaud Bliss Silvers are right up there at the very top of the heap in the mini-monitor game. I have been privately corresponding with a US based CAM member who just bought a pair of them from Wellington Audio in Florida along with magic stands. He was utterly in love with the demo pair and took them away.

Bob Neill was my saviour. I needed to replace my old BC1s and he said to get Reynaud Signature Twins with the magic stands and I have never looked back - not even once. I also bought them without audition. The Twins evolved into the Duets and then the Bliss. At some point I will likely drive over to Amherst Mass. and pick up a pair of Bliss Silvers. It's the same distance there as to Montreal. But the wonderful news is that there is actually now some distribution here in Canada. Before, it was just Bob Neill and all of North America.

I have been praising Reynaud mini-monitor designs on CAM for years with zero net effect. But, who knows, maybe now the door will open.

The bottom line is this - you will love them!

Cheers,
David Neice

Thanks, David. Very encouraging words to hear! Anything that I have heard about them has been nothing less than outstanding, so lets go for it. I spoke to Bob Neill over the phone for his take. The first question he asked was are you an audiophile or music lover?
I replied music lover firstly. He more or less said right answer and said what you pretty well just told me.

-- 10 Mar 2017 23:56 --

Quote:
dr.joe wrote:
Your post has me wondering what dissatisfies you about your trusty Harbeths that has inspired you to replace them. . .

Actually, not a thing dissatisfies me about them. They have been a trusty companion for 25 years, but on the other side of the coin it isn't that they are the only great speaker around. I have heard a great many speakers and owned probably about 10 others with the Harbeth sound being the main preference. But after 25 years of ownership and because of my age, I wanted one more kick at the can, and the J M Reynaud philosophy and sound appeals to that instinct.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 4:58 pm 
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Good for you, enjoy and keep us posted on your impressions of the JMR.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:12 pm 
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French speakers offer great value but that is not a brand I have heard. Loved the Davis and Triangle designs at TAVES and been a JM Lab/Focal fan for years. Sounds like a great brand to look into (I currently run Harbeth, Focal and B&W standmounts).


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:22 pm 
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banerjba wrote:
French speakers offer great value but that is not a brand I have heard. Loved the Davis and Triangle designs at TAVES and been a JM Lab/Focal fan for years. Sounds like a great brand to look into (I currently run Harbeth, Focal and B&W standmounts).

Go to the Amherst Audio Site. Bob Neill does a thorough rundown on the company and the complete speaker line. Very insightful and compelling reading. Highly recommended!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 7:49 pm 
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You are in for a treat.

Late last summer I sold my Harbeth 30.1s, which I thought would take me into old age. They were good, in fact very good, but...

They were replaced by...ready for it, JM Reynard Cantible Supremes. Same midrange magic, but cleaner, faster, better extended high and low. Just a wonderful speaker.

It gets better...speaking of Bob Neill...I picked up a Blue Circle 2k2 power amp. There is no going back.

I hope you enjoy the JMRs as much as I am.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:03 pm 
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meiwan wrote:
You are in for a treat.

Late last summer I sold my Harbeth 30.1s, which I thought would take me into old age. They were good, in fact very good, but...

They were replaced by...ready for it, JM Reynard Cantible Supremes. Same midrange magic, but cleaner, faster, better extended high and low. Just a wonderful speaker.

It gets better...speaking of Bob Neill...I picked up a Blue Circle 2k2 power amp. There is no going back.

I hope you enjoy the JMRs as much as I am.

Thank you for your input. If I went for floor standers, the Cantabile Supremes would have been my first choice. But it would have meant changing my amplifier to make them sing. I understand that the J.M.R's and Blue Circle mate extremely well, so it sounds your in a very, very good place. I have the Harbeth/Leben marriage going which was a great combo. I understand that the J.M.R. speakers are tube friendly, thus the Leben should work out well. Again, thanks for sharing your thoughts and enjoy!


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:09 pm 
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I haven't heard JMR speakers since leaving Quebec (no one I've met in BC would likely even know what they are). They make sweet music and justifiably have a loyal fan base although it's an acquired taste. I'd put them in a category like ATC or Audio Note because for some people it's the sound they have been looking for. I contemplated buying the Abscisse model listed on CAM for a secondary speaker. It's not an easy feat to move someone from the Harbeth camp.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 10, 2017 8:10 pm 
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Interesting larboy, I'm at my first few years of Harbeth, a pair of C7. Actually when I'm 67 it'd have been about 25 yrs for me on Harbeth !!!

At this moment, just like you before, no desire to change brand at all.... maybe a pair of Monitor, or SHL... but for now is Harbeth all the way.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:12 am 
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I too will be VERY interested to hear how this plays out (all puns intended !) :lol: I haven't heard JMR's in years, last time I did it was REALLY fine, but my audio headspace was in a different dimension at that point, and I never followed up on them. Fast forward a decade or so.. and I'm in the Harbeth camp as well, SHL5+ which some say aren't as "true" to the old school Harbeth sound, being more modern and objectively a bit "faster" sounding especially when viewed against its predecessor, which I owned before the 5 and will agree with some that will never give up there original 5's in favour of the 5+.. In reality, I think Alan should have probably just called the 5+ an "SHL6" because there is sufficient differences overall to merit it.
Anyhow, not to derail this thread, both brands are superb, have very loyal followings and many owners often drift back and forth between them.

Hey Meiwan, I'm shocked you sold the 30.1's .. figured you'd have them for the rest of your days.. how are you liking the BC 2K2 ? it's the one series of BC amps I have no experience with .. if you can believe that.. :oops:


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:46 am 
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Well, there certainly seems to be some interest as to how this all plays out. I should be receiving the speakers and stands on this coming Tuesday. It seems this speaker line should have some additional exposure, so I will detail the journey/experience as we go along.

Double D: My whole theme over the last few years is to downsize in terms a components and scale, but not the quality nor the musicality of the endeavor. Give me a good integrated, table and arm, (Well Tempered Simplex. loved the dimensions) and a crackerjack cd player (Audio Research CD7 w/psu upgrade) and we are on business. I believe these speakers will fill the bill. Over the years, I left the world of large, separate components and speakers and have actually enjoyed the fruits of these endeavours. Less expensive too. Like you I have had a number of Harbeths and Blue Circle products. Interesting journey isn't it?


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:01 am 
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We'll have to compare notes: I have a pair coming in a couple of weeks too.

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