Ah, apologies @dmu
SF is great in my opinion. They have a very nice timbre. Unfortunately I’ve only heared them with non Naim amplification and I still would like to try a SuperNait or something like that driving SF’s.
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@dmu What did you not like or what did you like about the A4 speakers? Overall how would you characterize them?
So it’s been a while , I was starting to think the universe had something against me. So I got to audition the 3 Harbeth speaker models I wanted to try.
First I listened to the p3xd’s again to act as reference they are still brilliant speakers, really listenable and they can throw out a lot of sound for such small speakers. I can honestly say that if I hadn’t heard the others I could have bought them and been very happy.
Then we moved to the m30.2xd’s at first I was surprised how similar the sound is to the p3’s but the m30’s are more open and just give more of everything. I was slightly worried initially they might be too much for my listening position/room after the p3’s it just felt like I should be a bit further back.
At this point I was nervous about trying an even bigger speaker but we fired up the c7 40th anniversary’s. Definitely a different sound I can see why some people prefer them but in my room they did not work as well as the others. They gave a lot of detail if you want to hear everything in a track including background details they are really good. But in my room they gave a flatter response and lost something in the midrange. The way I described it was it was more like hearing music on a “normal” speaker-for example my sonos soundbar than the others.
We then went back to the p3’s and it really shows how your ears adjust as you listen. This time it was obvious what was lost going down to the p3’s from the bigger ones. I did make sure to listen to them at low volumes as well as I wanted to compare them to the m30’s at low volumes as I often put background music on low while doing something else.
On listening to the m30’s a second time they no longer felt like too much and even quiet sounded better than the p3’s. This solidified my decision I ended up getting a really good deal on a pair of grade b m30.2xd’s in temo ash and since my current stands are too tall and not built to hold speakers that big I also bought the demo stands (which are technically for mission 770 speakers but are really solid and work well).
Very nicely I’ve been allowed to keep the demo pair of speakers till mine can be brought round as I traded in my focal aria 906’s.
Patience is a virtue. Enjoy.
Both myself and my husband did not care for the Focal Aria 906 when we auditioned them at our dealer in mid August 2023. I wanted to like them b/c they were on sale. To us the Spendor A4 were much better. @dmu years ago I had the Harbeth M30 speakers and liked them a lot. My new dealer in NYC did not carry Harbeth. Besides which, we were leaning toward compact floor standing speakers after having Rega RX3 speakers for years. Lastly we did not care for the glossy Focal finish or the front baffle protectors. My husband is more attuned to the visual aspects of speakers and how they integrate in our living space then I am. For him, SQ I s secondary.
Worth the wait.
Keep us all posted on how things unfold.
Good to know that you settled with the Harbeth M30.2 XD. I do not have experience with the XD but the M30.2 Anniversary sounds most open when compared to the 30.1 and original 30. The M30 sounded too warm and laidback for my taste.
The C7ES3 just like the SHL5+ does not have the vivid and lifelike presentation of the M30.2. If I ever go back to Harbeth it would be the M30.2 Anniversary (I now have the equally excellent Graham LS5/9 which is the equivalent of the M30.2).
Congrats on your new purchase. Re-reading this thread, I find I’m not surprised that the M30’s became your first choice. Now if I only could have sold you my pair (in storage), I’d be even happier for you😀. Seriously, I think you’ll be very happy with them. We also have near identical systems, except I’ve a tt also. Now you have a very serious problem - What will be the first song that you play once they are in place ? As lovely as the harbeths do voices, I’m going to recommend something that I always enjoy and may not be so well known, fully instrumental called Ashoken Farewell. (doesn’t have to be first, and having no idea of your musical tastes but it does sound glorious on the M 30’s. Good luck and enjoy them well
The last week has been really interesting I’ve definitely had to recalibrate my brain to the new sound. With the aria’s they weren’t fatiguing but I did often have to turn them down. I bought them while the pandemic was winding down and didn’t really understand how different speakers could sound. Looking back I might have been better with something like the wharfedale Lintons (considering my budget at the time). The 30.2xd are very easy to listen to and I can have them at a higher comparative volume comfortably. Though amusingly I am having to train my brain out of considering the previous sound as “right”. It’s probably a good job I prefer the finish I bought to the one on the demo set otherwise I might never want them to leave . Oh and thanks for the music suggestion.