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@arafiq Great write up. I’ve never heard Harbeth. I loved the Carreras but chose my Salks over them mostly because the finish on the Salks were more to my liking and I had already paid for them. It was very, very close, though. I made a video about the Carreras, in case you’re interested.
One thing about the Fritz speakers - they took a LONG time to break-in, but they finally got there and sound beautiful and they ROCK! I'd say they are more 'rock and roll' speakers than Harbeths are.... I also had to adjust my seating distance so I'd get the bass converging there from both speakers - that's when I could really feel it.
Wonderful comparo and it relates like a saga of old: the hero needs to make a choice he can live with that involves small tradeoffs that are more in the realm of quality than quantity. A tough choice awaits you.
Do you stay with what you're comfortable with or take the chance that something new will outlast a long, positive first impression. Best of luck.
At least you're not cleaning out the Augean Stables.
All the best,
larsman149 posts11-04-2021 1:09amInteresting comparisons! I've got a pair of Fritz Carrerra BE's and Harbeth Super SL-5; right now the Fritz's are what I'm using in my 2-channel system. I don't know whether I'm going to keep or sell the Harbeths....
The Harbeth Super HL5 non-Plus is flawed in comparison to the SHL5 Plus. I have owned the SHL5 for 7 years before switching to the SHL5+ which I currently own. If I were in your shoes I would sell the SHL5, especially when the Fritz Carrerra BE had taken the spot in the main system.
I love my Fritz Carrera BE Speakers. At the time I was considering buying a pair, I was looking for a walnut veneer to match my decor but Fritz did not have any in stock. Fritz went to his supplier and took photos of raw veneer and let me choose which one I wanted. He is a real stand up guy and was great to do business with. These speakers sound incredible out of the box but after about 200 hours they really improve....better bass, more refined high’s, etc. These speakers top to bottom are the most balanced that I have heard in any stand mount and I have owned quite a few. Fritz Speakers are just incredible for what you get. I can’t imagine ever selling them.
I had a long conversation with "Fritz" on the phone about a year ago. He told me for ROCK do NOT get the CARRERA BE but the Carbon model instead (the 7 I think?). The Harbeth 30 Models are also the last Harbeth you would want to use for Rock n Roll. Great review but If your primarily a Rocker I wouldnt "Bite" on these models.
I have a Qualiton 50 coming in so betting they will perform ROCK better with Nenuphar’s, Fleetwood Deville’s, Cornwall IV, Volti's and a bunch of other speakers in my inventory.
Harbeth 30 Models are also the last Harbeth you would want to use for Rock n Roll. Great review but If your primarily a Rocker I wouldnt "Bite" on these models.
i would agree with this statement... the mon 30's to me are a dedicated, somewhat narrowly focused speaker for monitoring of vocals and acoustic instruments -- for this purpose they are wonderful -- but they don’t try to (and cannot) produce proper wideband frequency response, especially in the bass region -- subwoofers and proper integration is a must if one desires full range response
that said, modern harbeths are pretty good at power handling and playing reasonably loud, much more so that older bbc style monitors
for rockers and the like, the shl5, compact 7 and of course mon 40’s are better suited
Hey guys, I really appreciate the positive feedback.
@hilde45 -- thanks for providing the link to your video. I must say the content and production value is better than many regular youtube reviewers. It's good to know that your impressions were so similar to mine.
@ozzy62 -- you make a good point about break in. The speakers have a little over 50 hours at this point. I need to ask Fritz what he recommends for a reasonable number of hours before judging it critically.
I'm going to make two further changes over the weekend. First, I'll add a sub to see if it helps with bass. Second, I will move both the Carreras and the 30.1s to the main listening room to see how they scale with better electronics and room treatments. I'll share my findings here.
@tvad -- you ask a great question. I agree that making an emotional connection is a much better yardstick for measuring long term satisfaction. In the past I've owned speakers that thrilled me during the first few weeks but I got bored after a while. It took me a while to realize that what they were missing was an emotional connection. The Harbeth 30.1 (also P3esrs) are one of the few speakers where I am able to, despite them not being all rounders for a wide range of music.
I'm going to put the 30.1s back in my system for a final round of comparisons.
@riaa_award_collectors_on_facebook -- congrats on getting the Qualiton a50i. I bought one a few months ago and it is by far the best I've owned. I've never owned the megabuck amps but for anything under $10k, the a50i's are phenomenal. I thought at one point you were considering the x200 also. Do you also have that one, or will you be swapping it with a50i?
Of all the speakers out there I want to hear, Fritz speakers are right up at the top.
I am not surprised with your findings, and find it “comforting” when my thought experiments are confirmed:)
Many reasons why his speakers sound the way they do, obviously, but one that is I would argue critical, are his crossovers.
Two inductors and a resistor. Drivers in series. No capacitors. He uses the Acoustic Reality Series Crossover. There is no online calculator for this online that you can plop parameters into and out pops a crossover design. These have to be done by ear.
Everything you have described about the sonic signature is exactly my experience with the same xover in my diy projects.
Someone had posted here about his speakers and how they showed an easy load to the amp. I went to Fritz site, and he references the xover in his description of each speaker.
The xover is a patented design that was make open to the public years ago. This with a caveat - you had to credit Acoustic Reality if you used their design in a commercially available speaker.
Again, much appreciated your write up!
@perkri -- I agree with your assessment about the crossover design in the Carrera. I think that’s probably the main ingredient in his secret sauce for building such wonderful speakers. Before reading up on these speakers I had not even heard of this type of design. Fritz has definitely done his homework here.
@jjss49 -- have you had a chance to listen to the 30.2 model? From what I’ve read, it’s moving more in the direction of the so-called ’modern’ sound. Apparently, it is voiced closer to the SHL5+. Of course, this is based on what I’ve read, no personal experience. Wondering if anyone was able to compare the 30.1s with 30.2s and can validate what I've been reading.
I have put on more hours on the Carrera BEs, and they're definitely improving, especially the midrange and bass. The slight thinness that I heard in the midrange area is pretty much gone now.
I also want to mention that the VTL IT-85 driving these speakers is such a perfect match. When I acquired the amp from my friend, I had every intention to sell it. But boy, has this amp won me over. I had posted a for sale ad a few days ago, which I eventually took down. This amp is definitely a keeper. The more I listen, the more it grows on me. This is my first amp based on EL34 and I must admit the 'slow burn' is very addictive.