Thanks, I have been reading the pages here and read that Neat, ATC and PMC are also recommended. I am also limited by the relative lack choice in my neck of the woods… I enjoy the PRAT and some warmth.
I’d personally choose the Harbeths from your selection based on your desire for warmth. But you really need to hear the options for yourself. Both should work well on the end of your new system, but will probably be quite different in character. Hopefully, you’ll fall in love with one, as your choice seems to be limited?
Thank you, Neat, ATC and PMC are uncommon in my location.
Harbeths are relatively popular and the dealer has a Titan 606 demo unit on sale. Will definitely go and audition. Unfortunately, it’s not a regular practice for home demos here either. So it’s a bit of finger in the air approach!
Obviously best to audition at home, if you can, as your room will determine the ultimate performance of any pair of speakers. But if that’s not possible, then the dealer audition should certainly allow you to determine the key characteristics of each speaker and which works better for your ears.
Enjoy your demo. Interested to hear how you get on and which you choose. Either way, it’ll be a great system.
Having heard 3 models of Harbeth in my room I personally love the way the brand sounds. While I didn’t dare audition the model you mention as it was out of budget I have heard great things about them while researching the brand. Whilst I will say that vocals are a highlight with harbeth I have yet to find any music I dislike or find lacking via my m.30’s. Hope whatever you decide on brings joy.
In my experience with several 3-way Harbeth editions, they all need free place in room away from boundaries, wall and furniture, otherwise their bas performance become slow, boomy, one noted - a performance not worth the price range IMO, which is a shame as their mids are fine.
Never heard Titans 606 but pictures seem to indicate they can be placed near rear wall, an important issue for me - luckily I’ve got some Naim S400 (by coincidence), these work 25cm from rear wall and sound much better than expected. No issues with bas notes whatsoever. Its a pity Naim gave up on the BMR units.
I’ve had SHL5 Plus with 300DR. I found them rather flat sounding and giving me fatigue. Not at all a rock speaker IMO and not an allround speaker. For certain type of music they are great though and mostly with a focus on voices which I’m sure you have heard they are great at. But music is much more than that. I’ll add Tannoy Eaton Legacy to your mix which is far superior to SHL5 Plus IMO.
The SHL5s are not warm speakers, actually on the bright side and I wouldn’t say PRAT is what they do too well too. I’ve had the Anniv edition and didn’t really get along with them even for the music they are intended for. They need power, felt heavy and slow, indeed need space and cannot do too many genres.
There a lot of better speakers out there to try …
I bought the Harbeth hl5s XD about 6 months ago and very quickly moved them on because in my small room I much preferred the 30.2 XDs. I’ve had a few demos of the Kudos 606 and home demo of 505s
I am a Harbeth guy so I much preferred the Harbeths but I’ll put aside my preference and highlight the differences.
Firstly I take it your room is of a good size so both of these speakers should give you a room filling sound.
The Harbs in the XD generation are a more dynamic and fast sounding speakers than previous versions. Not vintage Naim speakers fast but considering the warmth and full audio bandwidth they cover along with the glorious midrange it’s quite the feat. The treble is very articulate, never fatiguing and compared to older HL5s the driver integration is seamless.
The kudos on the other hand have incredibly tight and fast bass. The dynamic punch is very strong as well although the bass is more lean than that on the Harbs. The 606s are also more detailed. I’ve heard things on Kudos speakers that I’ve never heard on any other speaker… Maybe Audiovector but the Kudos make it more obvious.
However, and this is what is the most important part for me, the Harbs always sounded more open and natural to me. The Kudos with all their technical advantages sound more boxy in the midrange. In terms of treble even my tube gear couldn’t tame the treble peak on the 505s. The 606s store demos revealed a less peaky treble but I suspect that was a more dull sounding streamer than my incredibly vivid and dynamic SW1X DAC.
Hope that helps but I would also recommend to demo both. For your taste in music and the 252/300 combo I personally think the Harbs will give you the most impressive midrange you can imagine. However you may also prefer the faster and more detailed sound of the Kudos. The kudos Naim combination do leading edge attack like nothing else.
Lastly please note stands make all the difference on Harbs. Please use Something solid XF or perhaps you can have custom made stands of the same design. Open frame metal.