Hi all,it’s been a long time but i have just come from the Bristol hifi show and i couldn’t believe how good the Harbeth speakers sounded using 79 strand cable.Has anyone used Harbeth with naim equipment?i am interested in people’s thoughts,thanks paul

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There was a thread last year, some people really like the combination.

Yep. I’m a sucker for the way Harbeths do acoustic instruments and vocals. They are just beautiful at that.

Not a speaker for someone into rock though…

Also, they like powerful amps. Nicest are their 30.1 / 30.2 and the compact 7 a close second.

For intimate listening, the little sealed box P3ESR are gems.


I’m using SHL5 Plus with Naim 272/250DR. Love it :+1: I’m using Mark Grant speaker cables (6mm2 with similar design as naca5). Supernait do a pretty good job on Harbeth but if you want to bring them to life then I would recommend NAP250. Big difference in control and definition to me. Harbeth love power.

Haven’t listened to any other Harbeth than the 5s but I’m curious on the 30.2 so might evaluate them during the year.

Used Harbeth P3ESR with 200/202 and it was very good, I wanted to downsize the box count for varying reasons . Took my P3ESR to dealer and the SN3 was pure vanilla .

Your comments about acoustic, vocals Etc are spot on but they need a lot of power.

A Marmite speaker methinks, for the right music Cohen, Cassidy etc really good but perhaps not right for rockers

I had the shl5+ 40th with 552/300DR and loved it. Then I more or less stumbled upon a preloved set of 40.2 at a ridiculous price and just had to get them. They worked really well with the 300DR but then I kinda stumbled upon a preloved 500 non-DR at a normal price and just had to get it. Needless to say the 500 is fantastic together with the 40.2, but I thought the 300DR was great as well.

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Which Harbeth models were you listening to at the show? Was it the small P3ESR or the larger C7ES-3?

Harbeth using Hegel H390 amp at show.

The one I heard this afternoon was the C7ES-3 I think. Second rung up in their family of five.

It was particularly impressive on classical - organ and bass duet rendered with great musicality. I thought on more rock-oriented stuff the sound was maybe a wee bit on the boomy side but on the whole it was impressive. Especially considering the cable they were using and the price. This is a speaker definitely suited to classical/acoustic music by the sound of it.

Hegel kit impressive too - the Norwegians were parked in the room next door to Harbeth and there’s some obvious synergy going on. I think Harbeth’s source was a Marantz CD player.

The demo mentioned that they work best on wooden supports. I think they use a place in the Midlands (Nottingham Audio?) as their custom stand supplier.

I had 30.1 with Naim and the mid range is fantastic. I do listen to rock music, but not of the heavy metal type, and they were fine, I thought. However, do note that they are speakers that need space to work well, so you need to take that into account. I moved house and had to change them as I didn’t have a suitable room.

Allan (Harbeth CEO) have made a cable test on his forum where he claims any 6mm copper cable is just fine. Stands used are HIFI Racks limited.

Hi,it was the c7es-3 and i went back three times for more listening pleasure.My aim was too listen to the kudos 505 as i have heard so much about them but i kept going back to the Harbeth.My system at home is naim cds-3,252,supercapdr,300dr with signature speaker and interconnect cables.

I listened to 606 at a local dealers. To be frank, they made my ears bleed. I thought very much on the lean and bright side of neutral. Perhaps something was wrong, the room, the dealer setup, I don’t know.

If you liked the C7 and have a modest room then you might want to also consider 30.1 or 30.2. It has a more refined tweeter and tighter bass, it is a little bit more expensive.

Harbeth are very natural sounding speakers, vocals and instruments sound as real as I’ve heard.


I heard the P3esr’s just before Christmas, and really liked them a lot. My plan is to demo the 30.2’s in about 3 weeks time, not sure if the new XD model will be available at that store. I mostly listen at lower volumes now, and I have no problem with the speakers set out into the room (no kids or pets). I am really looking forward to the demo, Harbeth just sound magical to me with the type of music I listen to.

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I listened to both of them in new XD guise. The C7s were typically good, but I again noticed big axis shift changes depending on where you sat in the room, with bass coming and going quite considerably. Thus I think these are very susceptible to correct positioning and alignment.

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I have Super HL5 Plus with 282, Hicap Dr and 250DR. Fantastic combination. I also use Chord Signature XL speaker cables which made a considerable difference to the Chord Epic and NACA5 which I had (still have the NACA5 with me).

I would echo Halloweenman’s impressions. Music just sounds natural with the Harbeth, no added tizz or pizzazz which may add to the excitement.

My bedroom speaker (Dali Mentor Menuet) has a more sparkly treble and sounds more open and extended in the treble but the sound quality isn’t as pure as the Harbeth. The tonal quality is slightly bright which is exciting at first but it sounds artificial after a while ie. not neutral. It’s still a good sounding speaker the Dali but after a while you would appreciate the neutral tonality of the Harbeth when instruments sound more like the real thing through the speaker where it sounds a bit (or considerably) brighter on other speakers.

There are few Dynaudio Confidence C2 owners who actually switched to the Harbeth after they found the latter to sound superior…

Ditto. I went back to my wife’s favorite speakers, Harbeth 30.2’s. I prefer acoustic music.

Harbeth 30.1 now on the end of 282 hi-cap dr and 250dr/ linn lp12 (mid-level status) by linn standards/cd5/tuner5 and ndx2. The speakers were bought “blind” and by reviews mostly, as just getting about was a challenge, much less auditioning. I’ve been very happy with them . Perfect speaker? , no, a tad polite. But what they get right is right - vocals, mids, and even the highs - do not fatigue over time . They are always enjoyable. btw naca 5 wire.

From my memory, I think the NACA 5 is a tad bright (with the Harbeth).

Quinn -
thnx, one more “intangible” to consider. I’ve found the balance to be pretty good. But Alan does know his speakers, they do sound best with the (very slight) muffling of having the grilles in place. Although, I do enjoy looking at them when the covers are off (rosewood finish). Wires and cables are going to stay standard issue for the foreseeable future. But I’ll keep it in mind.