So, do you have 40.2's and are considering trading up to 40.3 XD?
I talked to Fidelis AV (Harbeth's NA distributor) a few months ago... and at that time, they said the two speakers are very similar, but they hadn't spent enough time with the XD's to be able to nail down the differences. That leads me to believe they are very similar... so I'd stick with 40.2's, unless you need to have the latest / greatest.
I can tell you from first hand experience that the 40.2 Anni's are considerably more detailed and transparent than the 40.1's... so I'd find it hard to believe the 40.3"XD" can be much more detailed than their 40.2 predecessor.
If there is a significant difference between the 40.1 and the 40.2 then why would you assume that the 40.3’s would be less significant? If you haven’t heard them, well you know what Felix said about assuming things. Just sayin.
@starwarrior... just reporting what I heard from the US distributor a few months back. Looking forward to hearing what others have to say on the topic.
I say you wait for the 40.9.5XXD.
I hear it's right around the corner........
They will pale compared to the upcoming 41.0 Ultra Plus Reference Signature SE Anniversary.
And the Super Duper Duper Duper 40.5’s might just shake the ground you walk on. It wouldn’t be bad if Harbeth published the changes but they seem to leave their upgrades without technical specifics, just price increases. pdreher does make a point, maybe they hit their delta on performance. My only issue is that the 40 series monitors are so huge and in all honesty, cabinet designs from the 60’s are yesterdays news. Maybe an updated form factor would catipult them to another level.
Jesting aside, the last significant change (and hence audible to most rather than just bats) was between the 40.1 and 40.2 After that it was negligible (40.2 Anniversary, 40.3 XD). I fear these last two iterations had a lot more to do with marketing strategies than anything else.
It is really a bit shocking, even by the ridiculous prices of high end gear that we are all accustomed to, to look at the price increases in the Harbeth 40 since its introduction. I don't know what the opening price was, but when it was introduced, one of the writers for the Absolute Sound used them as his reference. A year or two later, they received a rave review from enjoythemusic.com. and at that time I believe that they were $6,995.00.
So how did the price get to where it is now with only minor changes? I guess because it really is one of the finest speakers around, and they realized that they had underpriced it from the outset. Too bad though...I would love to own a pair.
I hear ya Rox, The 40 series were way too big for the room so I opted for a pair of SHL5+'s and have them sitting on B&W 8"subs. I think the sound quality, especially mid range drivers are phenomenal.
Not sure that the price jump from the 5's to the 40's really makes sense. 6K too 18K is a big jump.
When I picked my P3ESR from dealer and walked into room where he had the 40.2 I had no idea how big those boxes were. You can't tell from photos. They look like wine fridges 🙊
I agree with Pdreher, I’m listening to the XDs right now, and really is hard to notice much improvement from my actual 40.2s,
My take is that the difference is so small it's not necessary to upgrade. The only reason to buy the 40.3XD is if you don't already own the 40 series speakers. That said, this hobby does not always bring out the most conservative decision making in many of us. If you have the upgrade bug I will certainly not try to talk you out of it. If you do decide to upgrade I would love to hear your impressions. I personally don't hear much difference.
I read on the Harbeth forum basically that in the SHL5 + and the 40.2 Anniversary they are essentially the exact speaker, but since they are no longer in their Anniversary year they are renaming them the .3 XD. There were bigger changes to the crossover to the smaller speakers but those changes occurred already in the top 2 speakers for the 40th Anniversary. I own the SHL5+ 40th Anniversary. In my 12.5’ x 16’ x 12th room they sit on the long wall 7’ apart and about 8.5’ from my chair pointing at my shoulders. They completely disappear. I run a REL T7i sub crossed at 40Hz. I’d love the 40.3 but I think it’d overpower my room, though Alan Shaw uses them in an even smaller room.
I have spent time with 40.2 AE and the 40.3XD.
It’s as though the .1 to the .2 has taken a small step again. XD has a tad more detail and the bass seems a tad tighter. It’s as though the tweeter is playing a bit further down. It’s very subtle change but it’s noticeable. AE is just a bit warmer ( ever so slightly). I would say the upper midrange had a tad more detail ( touch more dynamic). The XD is appropriate description.
Both are just fantastic. If your room presents a small degree of rumble good chance XD may solve that. Again subtle but noticeable. Not a review expert but I’m a Harbeth fan. Trying to help out is all. I own Wilson and Rockports and would never be without 40.2AE or 40.3XD. I won’t disclose which one I kept. I will say that either one is fine for me.
Very helpful. Thank you. Makes no financial sense to "upgrade". My 40.2's are awesome.