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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:00 pm 
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Location: Montréal, QC, CA
Former Harbeth owners; how long did you own your Harbeths?
Current Harbeth owners; how long have you owned your Harbeths?

I am in the process of buying new speakers. I plan on demoing the Harbeth 30.1. I have done a lot of research on the Harbeths (and other speakers). I've noticed a lot of people have owned Harbeths, and a lot of new Harbeth owners love their Harbeths during the first few weeks or months of ownership.

I have also noticed that there are a lot of Harbeths that come up for sale here on CAM. Often, the sellers are selling Harbeths that are a few weeks or months old. I get the feeling people fall in love with Harbeths in a 1 or 2 hour demo. As the weeks progress, people fall out of love with them. Feel free to question my hypothesis.

But, that is why I would like to know how long Harbeth owners kept them, or for current owners, how long you have had them. If any former owners would like to explain why they moved on from them, that would be informative as well.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 8:56 pm 
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Location: Thornhill, ON, CA
Every time I read about Harbeth I want to buy a pair but then every time I hear them at demos something stops me from buying them.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:06 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2005 11:11 pm
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Location: Waterloo, ON, CA
Excellent topic!

I owned and loved the Harbeth C7ES-3 speakers for about six years. My electronics eventually needed better speakers, so I purchased licensed BBC Monitors made by Graham Audio. I now own and love the Graham Audio LS5/9 Monitors. The Graham speakers are similar, but more refined, more accurate (and more expensive).

The Harbeth C7ES-3 speakers are decent speakers for their price (especially if you can buy them used). They are also very popular, so they are very easy to sell.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 9:20 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 08, 2012 4:17 pm
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Location: Winnipeg, MB, CA
I have long thought I should own a pair given they are made for the music I mostly enjoy on my main set up however I have never purchased them. A local dealer has allowed me to bring a couple models home for a week to demo and at the end of it I didn't feel the need to pull the trigger.
Not just a Harbeth thing though, I've had the same recently with Dynaudio, Bryston and many other over the years. Thankfully I have purchased some or this would dry up, but I am now purchasing at a level that can make for expensive mistakes.


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 08, 2018 10:28 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:19 am
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
I've had mine around a year. No desire to change. Really like them.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:00 am 
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Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:19 am
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Location: London, ON, CA
yrogins wrote:
Every time I read about Harbeth I want to buy a pair but then every time I hear them at demos something stops me from buying them.


That was exactly my reality... exactly


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:19 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:01 pm
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Location: Winnipeg, MB, CA
I currently own the Harbeth P3ESR and the Super 5 . I had the C7 . Have owned the P3esr for 3 years. The P3esr will be with me forever. The super 5 as long as I have the room. For me they just sound so right. Also I like the way they look. To me they look like Speakers . I have yet to figure out why we all have such different appreciation of sound. That’s not a bad thing. Keeps the wheels rolling. :D


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 5:49 am 
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Joined: Tue May 08, 2012 6:49 pm
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
I owned the Ps3ER for a few years, upgraded to the C7's for three weeks. Upgrade to the 30.1's and these were my forever speaker. So much so I threw away the boxes because I thought I would never sell them. I think I owned them for 2-3 years.

I only sold them because I inherited a better system than I owned and let them go. My wife is still disappointed because she liked the Harbeths so much more.

Harbeth seems to have a love/hate relationship in the audio world. The beauty is if you don't like them you can sell them easily.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:36 am 
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Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 12:57 pm
Posts: 1438
Location: Collingwood, ON, CA
I owned the c7 for about one year, and 30.1 for 2 years. The c7 didn’t really do it for me. The 30.1 was much better.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 6:52 am 
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Location: Red Deer, AB, CA
Very...very good speaker manufacturer. But they are kind of an 'acquired' taste. Based off pro-monitor designs and such they aren't the last word in bass by any means but can be extremely accurate for acoustics/voice and such. Not the best speakers for rock music I always found at demos.

It boils down to the flavour of music. If you are a classical lover and lover of pure acoustic sounds many in the Harbeth line can satisfy. If you are a rock/metal lover I would shy away. The 40.1 is an excellent speaker that almost provides full bass response...but for $16,000 + better speakers could be bought IMO for full frequency balance an bass response.

They respond pretty well to both tube and SS amps...but seem to need the speed and power of SS amps over tube for the most part. Again, it's a flavour thing. I tried the Mac 275 pouring the 30.1 on many occasion and was quite happy with acoustics...but when the music required speed and a bit of slam we always had better results with SS amps.

I almost bought a set of the SHL5's but like you said people change their minds on Harbeths at times. In my home listening room their acoustics were great but they were just way to thin on the bottom end for my liking. Which is understandable considering the driver/cabinet/design complement of the speaker. Great speaker...just not enough lower mid/bass frequency coverage for me.

I have yet to hear the new edition of the M30.1 but am hearing good things. See where it goes.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:02 am 
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Location: Sooke, BC, CA
I have owned a pair of 30.1's for a couple of years now. Very happy with them. Keep in mind room positioning and size is everything.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:51 am 
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Location: Toronto, ON, CA
I think you see a lot of Harbeth speakers for sale because they are so popular - the same goes with McIntosh, Pass Labs, etc etc. I wouldn't read much more into it than that...
That being said, I owned the Compact 7ES-3 for about a year, and then upgraded to the SHL5, which I owned for around two years. The day I heard some super-high efficiency JBL horns for the first time was the day they were on the way out the door. I do miss them, though. They did a lot right, and if I ever were to go back to a box speaker, I would likely go in that direction. The chances are quite small of that ever happening though :)
B

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:16 am 
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Location: Winnipeg, MB, CA
This guy says Harbeth are more like a truly refined musical instrument. On acoustical instruments , nothing beats Harbeth. 8)


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:23 am 
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Location: montreal, QC, CA
mantisory wrote:
I think you see a lot of Harbeth speakers for sale because they are so popular - the same goes with McIntosh, Pass Labs, etc etc. I wouldn't read much more into it than that...
That being said, I owned the Compact 7ES-3 for about a year, and then upgraded to the SHL5, which I owned for around two years. The day I heard some super-high efficiency JBL horns for the first time was the day they were on the way out the door. I do miss them, though. They did a lot right, and if I ever were to go back to a box speaker, I would likely go in that direction. The chances are quite small of that ever happening though :)
B


+1 Yes oh yes..JBL horns. Once you go that direction hard to back to non horn systems.


Last edited by byefi on Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 09, 2018 8:24 am 
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Location: Burlington, ON, CA
I think Harbeths make a very good first impression; they are very sweet sounding speakers. But they have weaknesses and tradeoffs, and given that strong first impression it takes some experience to find them. I think B&W is a another showy speaker that ends up being a regret for some. (I'm sorry for comparing Harbeths to B&W - I actually like Harbeths).


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