Not heard the Dynas. I have ESLs and heard the Harbeths. I do not think you would be unsatisfied with the HL5. Musical and detailed in areas of timbre and tonal color. Correct stands are important. You might prefer the 30.1 model though as it has a more coherent sound especially as an ESL fan.
So what happened to the sound you liked very much,became boring or you don't like the way how some song sound on your system? I do find that some music track sounds nice on dyns ,some not.
The same with SHL5
.If you want bigger sounstage probably you need krell or pass labs amps or donwgrade to S1.4LE (like I did)in order to get more dynamic and vibrant midrange.I am not joking . SHL5 sounds big and dynamic with my hybrid amp synthesis roma37DC+ playing audiophile music.
I use a Rowland Concentra, and Audio Research cd9 with my C1's.
I have listened to both in separate systems but have not compared both side by side. You have to listen to the speakers in your own system to determine if you like them.
A note is the SHL5plus is quite a bit better than the SHL5. An overall more versatile speaker with much improved bass. The SHL5plus does not exhibit the excessive mid-bass lift or bloom of the older 5s and is improved in areas of detail, coherency and smoothness across the frequency spectrum.
In very brief summary, I would describe the Dynaudio C1s to be clean, precise and analytical whilst the SHL5plus is more organic, natural and has a slightly warmer sound.
I've previously owned C2's and C4's but prefer the Harbeth M-40.1's to both by a wide margin... not even close IME. I've also owned the original SHL5's and prefer them to the C2, but not the C4. Haven't heard the C1, but I'd be surprised if I'd find them better than Harbeth given my experience with the Dyn. Confidence line. I agree with Ryder's description of the Dyn. Confidence sound... but I didn't find the original SHL5's to sound warm, but do agree they are more natural sounding than Dyn's.
Ryder that's exactly what I was looking for, and now must find a Harbeth dealer so I can listen. Sounds like the Harbeth will be a good replacement for my C1. Frankly I never have gotten used to the looks of the C1. Really prefer a more traditional look in a box speaker.
I like the C1, but just don't "love" em.........Always seem to return to my Quad ESL57's. Harbeth might be a good solution for a second pair to rotate now and then.......
Yes Pdreher, I do not find the SHL5plus to sound warm too. Though many who are used to lean and bright sounding speakers such as Revels, Magicos etc. will find the Harbeth to sound slightly (or overly) warm. Personally I find the Harbeth to sound just right, natural. Not too warm and not too lean or bright.
Yashu, two of my favorite Harbeth speakers are the C7s and SHL5plus. Some folks like the M30.1 more than the SHL5plus but I find the sound of pianos and guitars to sound muted and dull on the 30.1s although vocals sound very nice. Everyone hears differently so it is best if the listener listens and judge for himself whether the speaker will suit his taste or preference.
It is silly to compare any Harbeth to an Electrostatic speaker. Electrostats are fast and transparent speakers. They dont have any extra bass bloom in general. Harbeth is totally opposite. They are warm and bloomy speakers. They are not really fast or transparent like a ESL at all. An ATC is much more like a Electrostat in that sense. Harbeth is good in other ways. It is warm, forgiving, easy to listen to.
Both great speakers. I haven't heard the C1 in quite some time. I enjoyed them but recall they sounded best when played a bit louder than I like. I'm about to order the SHL5 Plus in Tiger Ebony as a Thanksgiving present to myself. With the right amplification, Harbeth's can be played at very low volume levels and you don't lose anything.
I had the C1. Then went to Harbeth Compact 7. Now I have the 30.1. I heard the SHL5+ at a dealer. As has been written, the Dyns need plenty of clean power, and sound best at louder volumes. The Harbeths are much more musical to my ears. donjr, Give us a review of your SHL5+ system when you have a chance. Look forward to reading your thoughts.
Haven’t compared them side by side but have listened to them in separate systems. I have listened to the C1s at a hifi show many years ago and have listened to all Harbeth models from the P3ESR to the M40.1. To each his own. In the simplest choice of words, the Dynaudios sound like hi-fi, the Harbeth sounds like music. Take your pick depending on your musical preference.