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I haven't heard the Silverline's but the Harbeth C7 is a true classic and one of the finest speakers ever made. It took me 2 years to find something that retained the beautiful midrange, coherence and musicality of the Harbeth but with more and better bass. You simply cannot go wrong with this speaker. Drive it with anything, place it anywhere and you will still get beautiful music. Unless you listen exclusively to hard rock, metal or dance music I'd say go for it.
Thank you for the responses. I have been ruminating for awhile now over the best speaker system for my situation. I have a large listening room now, but expect to move to a medium size listening room in the future. I have looked/heard larger PSB's, larger Silverlines, and emailed sellers about their for sale speakers. I even uncharacteristically backed out of a Klipsch purchase because my gut told me I was making a mistake. I realize I wanted "really good" on a budget, and I now realize that to get close to "really good" I need to pony up the dollars. If music didn't mean so much to me I wouldn't bother, but after losing my wife to cancer, after having my own close scrapes with health issues - I'm now at a place in my life where I want really good and not just an OK (set of speakers). I heard two models of Harbeth speakers and I'm now a believer. I may not be able to afford the pricey gear "upstream" as is discussed on Audiogon, but I can afford to squeeze my savings for really good speakers, speakers being the most important component in a stereo setup (IMO). I will now begin the hunt for a nice u-s-e-d set of cherry finish Harbeth Super HL5's (and appropriate stands). It may be a long hunt (o:
There are a couple nice pr. here on Agon right now. I use the SHL5s with sound anchor stands and have really only run into one problem with them.............Thats wondering how I can come up with the $$$ for the 40.1s. ;-) Good luck in your Harbeth hunt, and sorry to hear about the lose of your wife.
My Compact 7's are coming. The larger models are more appropriate for where I'm now living, but I do plan to be able to sell my house at some point in the near future and move to a place with a more Compact 7 friendly layout. Diverse opinions on audiogon and elsewhere about Harbeth's in an audio system. Some favor REL subs, others stress a certain make of amplifier as a pairing made in heaven. Ultimately it's my ears that matter, and I very much liked what I heard from the Compact 7's. I've yet to hear them powered with my Jolida JD302, but I have faith they will sound quite good even in my far less than ideal listening space.
"Your Compact 7es3s will be as good as your Jolida. Now the saga begins."
Decipher please. Is it "the speakers only sound as good as what's connected to them" thinking, or affirmation that the Jolida is a worthy ally? Does "saga" quip suggest I've hopped the merry-go-round of buy and sell? I know you like the Compact 7's based on some of your previous posts. I heard some integrated tube amps that cost much more than my Jolida and IMO they were not any better to my ear. I'm sure there are synergies between component combination's that can't be quantified in uncontrolled listening tests - but that will not keep people from trying.
Byegolly, congratulations on the purchase. If you like what you hear, stick with your Jolida amp. I am pretty sure you would. However, if you still feel something is lacking, let us know specifically what is missing and what are the traits you are looking for. There is a very special amp that may give you that and take you off the merry-go-round.
Thanks. I am happy with my lowly Jolida. My neighbor is happy with his McIntosh gear. I suspect he will be back on the component merry-go-round before me, for that is his MO for consumer goods from washing machines to automobiles. He wanted me to see his $1700 washing machine the other day - God forbid!
I had a pair of Compact 7ES-3's. They are indeed nice speakers, but ultimately I found them lacking in the dynamics department. I admit that I am a rocker, however, and perhaps with other genres they may be ideal. I used them with both a McIntosh MC275 and a Wyred 4 Sound SX-500 monoblocks. I sold the Harbeths and bought a pair of Salk SongTower RT's, and they are more to my liking... deeper bass, better imaging, crystalline extended highs from ribbon tweeter, more efficient, more dynamic, seemingly more accurate/detailed rather than euphonic. I am not slamming the Harbeths at all... and they are very nice speakers that may be the 'ultimate' for you. If so, great! I really liked the eucalyptus finish on my pair, but even that is not in the same league as a Salk custom finish (mine are Pau Ferro rosewood). Honestly, I was expecting a bit more from the Harbeths as they are generally regarded as one of the best speakers available. I guess it just really comes down to personal preference. I am happy with the Salks, but perhaps you will prefer the Harbeths. Nothing wrong with that... good luck!
Sorry! I didn't mean to try and persuade you to buy Salk speakers. If you are set on Harbeths, go for it! If not totally committed, then perhaps give Jim Salk a call. He will discuss your needs/desires with you and help select an appropriate speaker. Buying 'direct' from a manufacturer like Salk, Ohm, Tyler, etc. avoids the massive markups associated with belonging to the "dealer network", while still retaining an-in-home trial for some period. Not to mention the unfavorable exchange rate. Yu will get a lot of 'bank for the buck' by going with a domestic custom builder.
You have to hear these speakers (all of the models mentioned above) before making a decision. Or do what I do, alas, and rotate a bunch of speakers through the house (thank you, Audiogon). These models offer up very different types of sound -- different approaches to the art of reproduction, you might say. In addition to the kinds of music you listen to and the volume you listen at (very important), your priorities for music reproduction are likely not the same as the next guy's. What gets you off? Bass, dynamics, clarity, physicality, soundstaging? Do you like a huge soundstage? A tall soundstage? A close-in perspective or further back? Are cymbals your touchstone? Japanese taiko drums? Female vocals? Piano? Cello? Do all of your recordings need to sound good, or are you comfortable with revealing the warts and blemishes? Is it a requirement that you hear the warts and blemishes?
And if that's not enough, the synergy with your room and the rest of your system will be of paramount importance in how it all comes together.
Just to toss a different opinion into the mix. I have listened to the McIntosh MC275 in my system, but not with the Harbeth. The MC275 is an excellent unit with good slam but not exactly the last word when it comes to transparency and dynamics. The dynamics of the Compact 7ES-3 will come alive with the LFD Zero MkIII integrated. Compared to my other amps which include the Plinius and NVA to name a few, the LFD made all these amps sound lacklustre, shut-in and lacking in the dynamics department. The LFD made music come alive especially with rock music with its excellent speed, tonal accuracy and bass slam. At least that is what I have experienced in my system.
Of course, there are other speakers that will be even more dynamic and transparent, and that I cannot deny. However, resolution and transparency sometimes come at a cost. Too much of it can translate to higher listening fatigue. To each his own.