Harbeth 7es3 vs HL5

Does anyone have a recomendation between these 2 speakers for a Rm approx 20' by 20' opening up to a kitchen and dining rm about the some size. I currently have Dunlavy 4a speakers which are untamingly bright. I have several tube and solid state amps and different speaker wires. The accustics are very difficult to deal with realistically and there is no long wall for the dunlavy's. I guess what am asking is would the 7es3 be too small for this size rm.I do have a sub if absoluely needed but I am no bass addict but am looking for a natural midrange sound. Thanks
That's a large room, especially considering it opens up to more rooms. I'd go with the SHL5's with the sub to fill things out, and a decent tube amp. I've used the McIntosh MC275 MK V with my M-40.1's to good effect in a room smaller than yours... would be a great pairing with the SHL5's IMO.
move the dunlavys around......
The SHL5s are too small to fill that room. Nonetheless, highs will be a lot smoother ie. less extended or piercing.
Thanks Pdreher and Jaybo Sounds logical to me. I have moved the dunlavys as much as possible given the rm boundries-- still too bright; have tried every combination of amps (4) and pre's (3) also I have the brightness tamed as much as possible but still too bright. I had a previous house with a long wall and the dunlavys sounded complety different and much better. I would think the smaller harbeths might be too small I really do like a simple 2 way design though. I guess its time to sell some audio gear and back off this hobby a little - Still fun though
Ryder Any suggestions as for a high quality audiophile speaker that would not be bright and fatiguing like the Dunlavy's and have a great midrange. Something I could actually listen to for extended periods. The last great speaker I had that fit that bill was the Mirage M1 and those were very hard to drive. There are way too many speakers with too much treble extention.I do have a brighter than ave room.I guess my price range is 5K used. Thanks
I forgot to add that if you are solely into natural midrange especially voices, there are few that can match the Harbeth. The Harbeth only lacks the resolution and high frequency extension when compared to speakers that are more revealing in nature ie. Revels, Dynaudios etc. or analytical and bright Thiels(sorry). It's all relative. Those who are into speakers that have extended highs will think of the Harbeth being rolled off in the highs.

It depends on the type of music one listens to as well.

To each his own.
TimK, you can put Spendor SP range and Harbeth in your shortlist if you are looking for natural midrange with smooth highs and low listening fatigue. Both these speakers have BBC heritage and sound quite close although not exactly similar. Used Spendors may be cheaper than the equivalent Harbeths. The advantage of the Harbeth and Spendor is they are easy to drive and don't require high powered amplifiers. A good quality integrated which is able to provide a decent amount of current will be more than sufficient.

Another speaker with less piercing highs is Sonus Faber. My experience with the older Cremona range and Grand Piano reveals these to be even more rolled off in the highs than the Harbeth as if a blanket is covering these speakers. The midrange and clarity isn't as good as the Harbeth and the sound is quite colored. The higher SF models(Guarneri Homage upwards) are better in this regard.

There may be other speakers that fit the bill. Others can probably recommend.
Another contender might be a pair of used Avalon Ascendants. Might be slightly over your budget but you wouldn't need a sub. They are very musical and don't have an etched high end. I listened to the Harbeth's and liked the tonal signiture of those speakers. The avalons are just more focused, transparent and musical in my opinion.
Thanks Ryder and Goose I will look into your suggestions. I am familiar with the Grand Piano and Thiels (ouch for the thiels). I listen to rock (light and heavy), jazz, classical, and blues. about 20% each. And to both cd's and albums.
I suspect that speakers with "rolled off highs" may not solve your problem. It's possible that the problem you're having is in the brightness region, which extends roughly from 2K to 5K Hz rather than higher up. I believe "rolled off highs," insofar as that means the region above about 5K Hz, result more in loss of upper-octave "air" rather than a reduction of brightness.

A review of the Vienna Haydn Grand at TechRadar said, "A common thread runs through all the Vienna Acoustics speakers we've tried, and it's a thread that distinguishes them from the overwhelming market majority. It concerns a suck-out in the presence zone. And if this feature seemed somewhat less extreme with the Haydn Grand than some of its larger siblings, it was still obvious enough on our far-field in-room averaged measurement. In this case, this was a lack of energy through most of the treble range. On our measurements, the output level fell something like 5dB between 1.2kHz and 1.7kHz..."

You might best be served by looking for speakers that are a bit recessed between about 2K Hz and 5K Hz. If I'm mistaken about this, someone please correct me.
Bob I suspect you are right. I do remember some of the Vienna acustics speaker reviews although I have not heard them. I guess highs as far as I'm concerned would be defined in the spike in the 2 to 4 K region for my living rm. Its a hard room to deal with limited placement options for the speakers and combined with the Dunlavys it unacceptable. Thanks for your input.
try disconnecting the tweeters and see if the square room is still ringing.
Cheerts Johnnyr
Hi Timk
I have exactly the same room dimensions and openings as you do! Square rooms are indeed very difficult for good sound.
I have the Harbeth SHL-5 and use as listening area practically half the room. Distance between the speakers is about 6,5 ft (about 2 meters)and from listening point 9 ft (2,7 meters) The speakers are 3,5 ft (about 1,1 meter) from the back wall. The result is very very good. I don't have any issues with the bass or the high freq, everything is OK! I have never had any better sound in my home!
Go for the SHL-5, it is a fantastic speaker and very easy to position.
You will not need the sub, that is for sure!
Thanks Takisjk Your recommendation is very helpful and welcome. Have a great wk!
Just an update I did buy a used pr of SHL-5 Using them in my 20' by 20' living rm. They sound fantastic. Room interactions is not such an issue and bass is fine with no need for sub. I thought the rm would be too lrg but its not; using the skyland stands. Could not be happier I will be keeping these for a long while. Thanks everyone for you input