Uniti Atom and Harbeth M30.1 - suitable pairing?

Hi everyone, I’ve been using my Uniti Atom with a pair of Harbeth M30.1s. It drives them fine, and the system sounds great to me, but I do wonder if they’re a step too large for the Atom, and whether I’d find a better performance with something smaller, like the p3esr’s? I can be difficult to know whether what you’re hearing is optimal or not. So interested to see what people think.

Sounds like you may be opening a can of worms for no reason. If the M30.1 sounds fine then that is all you need to hear. The idea of looking for better just for the sake of better, makes no sense. Is their something better out there - probably, almost always is, but a well balanced enjoyable system should be the final goal. Fwiw , I have M30.1 on 282hcdr/250dr. best speaker out there- probably not, very enjoyable and easy to listen without any fatigue.No plans to change them. All this advice goes out the window if I win the lottery but otherwise……

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The P3s are more demanding to drive than the 30.1s. I have an Atom, NAP100 feeding P3s in my home office system. Very pleased with the sound but it was not quite there for me until I added the NAP 100.
But I also second the comments above, if you like the sound from your current set up, and you are not able to articulate what’s missing then why go chasing the audiophiles mythical holy grail? Just enjoy the music.

If it drives them fine, no. Perhaps you can at some point upgrade your Atom and keep the speakers, but don’t downgrade those in an attempt to improve the sound. Keep enjoying your system.

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I ran a pair of 30.1 with the atom for about a year and really enjoyed the setup, but similarly started to wonder if there was more to gain. I’d heard that Harbeths respond favorably to power so explored upgrade options. My dealer loaned me a nova so I could do in home AB comparisons with the atom. I noticed small improvements but not night/day differences. I then came across a great opportunity on a SH 250DR, which I hooked up to the atom. The atom 250DR combination finally woke up my Harbeths and delivered the punch/drive I had been seeking. The atom works great as a preamp and I love using roon as I primarily stream Qobuz. I’ll eventually upgrade the atom to a proper preamp/streamer (hopefully the mythical 372 one day) and repurpose the atom for a 2nd room, but I’m not in a rush as I’m enjoying the combo tremendously. FWIW, I’m not presently envisioning building a system beyond 2 or 3 boxes so many recommended the NDX2 and Sn2/3, but I felt that combo would’ve still left me contemplating a future upgrade to a dedicated amp.

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No , the P3 ESR are hard to drive, lovely speakers ( I own and use the eucalyptus version)

They need lashings of current to get the best out of them. Small speakers are often the hardest to drive, if you look at say the Spendor A1 it is less sensitive and needs more power than the Spendor A4, so the more expensive and larger speaker will be easier to drive
.

I can’t comment on the driveability of any of the speakers you mention.

But high sensitivity does not equal easy to drive in and of itself. At least not the quoted number, as that’s at a single frequency (1kHz), but the sensitivity will vary with frequency. Then there’s impedance curve which is also relevant, nominal is quoted, but what’s the minimum, and at what frequency does that occur. And then there’s the phase angle which plays a role as well. All of these are frequency dependent, so hard to express in a single number.

TL;DR it’s pretty much impossible to deduce how easy or hard a speaker is to drive from the manufacturer quoted specs.

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Well I put the SN3 up again the Rega Aethos with Harbeth P3ESR and the difference was night and day. These speakers like lots of current .

I have seen comments on the Harbeth website that these may be the hardest Harbeths to drive,

Alan Shaw is reputed to have used mid-range Yamahas to demo them at Bristol, as I am sure you appreciate many Japanese amps have much higher power outputs than Naim.

I like the Harbeths for their delicacy, transparency and they are truly wonderful with the human voice - they have two limitations , one a lack of bass and two is they need oodles of power.

Perhaps the P3ESR. Not the Super HL5+ in a medium sized room. :wink:

The original comment was about downsizing to P3ESR from 30.1 , my comment was they need power to sound at their best.

Thanks for everyone’s input. I suppose my concern is less about current and more about…scale? The M30.1s sound clear and strong, but I’m wondering if I’m missing some ‘punch’? Perhaps that’s the nature of Harbeths though. Maybe I’d be better with more dynamic standmount, like the ProAc Tablette 10 Signature? I’d prefer not to give up the Atom - the Roon integration and general convenience is so good. I live in a condo so can’t really raise levels too much…

Just looking for the best pairing with the Atom to maximize its dynamics.

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Atom & P3ESR owner. P3 need lots of power? I guess it depends on the size of your room. Mine are in a 3x4 mtr room and there’s no sign of the P3 running out of steam.
I’m more than happy with the combo as it stands.

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Again, I use m 30.1, they don’t (in my room) do deep earth -shaking bass ( I wouldn’t mind a bit more but don’t feel the need or desire to make any change) and they can be a bit “polite”. If a recording has a sort of grittiness to it, it does not always reproduce it. Again, I wish it did a bit more, but as compromises go, both are easy to live with.

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