Harbeth C7ES vs Maggie 1.6 QR

Does anyone have experience with these (very different) speakers?

I own a Plinius 8200 MII integrated and was told the Harbeths sound magical with it.

My Maggies are great but I am looking for a more dynamic sound with better midrange tone.

I expect the Maggies to beat the Harbeths in the bass, is this correct?

I use all AZ wire.

any comments are appreciated.

You are going to have a very tough time excepting the differnces in presentation if you go to the Harbeths. The Maggie's are very cohesive with a very big and expansive stage. You will not get anything like that with the Harbeths.
Jtinn thank you for taking the time to respond.

I know the Maggies have terrific soundstage and a very cohesive sound but I sometimes wish they had more air and I also think their midrange is a little lightweight. Actually I think Jonathon Valin's review of the 1.6s is spot on: The Maggies 1.6s have a little extra bass, a small suckout near the crossover range, a little blare in the upper mids and are slightly soft in the high end.

I recently heard a pair of 1.6s compared with a pair of ProAc Studio 125s and (even though the Maggies had not been broken in) in some ways the Studios were better with a more immediate and dynamic sound. I noted the smaller soundstage but the Studios conveyed a nice sense of emotion where the Maggies just kind of sat there. I know this is a slam on Maggies, and after all they were not broken in, but I have noticed this same thing in my home system.

I am under the impression the Harbeths are better than the ProAcs and again are a very good match with the 8200 so I ask:

what can I expect with a pair of Harbeths?
My local retailer has the Harbeth sitting right next to the Maggies, literally linked to the same system. (BAT 300x, Primare 30.1CD, Nordost RedDawn) I can tell you that the Harbeth are as close as any box speaker I've come across at retaining most of the virtues of the 1.6 while adding some of their own. The highs are nearly as detailed and open with the Harbeth. But the mids are so very inviting. The Bass is simply a compenent of Amp control. In this comparison, dont even bother with the maggies unless you have at least 150W of high current.
But the kicker is this, BOTH speakers are very critical of the room they are in. If it were me, I'd take the Harbeth simply because it is easier to deal with according to size and power. The things it lacks compared to the Maggies are minimal.
thanks prdprez, for a very helpful response, especially the part about the Harbeths having the 'inviting' midrange.

I am surprised you say the Harbeth is about the same as the Maggie in the high end as far as being open and detailed. I expected the Harbeths to have more 'air' and better detail in the midrange too.

I know what I am doing as far as getting away from the planar design. If the Harbeths are even in the ballpark as far as retaining most of the virtues of the Maggies I think I would be happy.

thanks again

Dear Phil,
What an interesting post! I had the same issue happen recently. I 'LOVED' my Magneplanar 1.6qr's but thought something was missing. I sold them thinking I would by some dynamic, box speakers. I wound up with a pair of Audio Physic Tempo's which were quite nice. But something was missing. Certain instruments in favorite recordings were not presenting themselves well, and I could tell the system was "a system", and it just didn't do it like the Magneplanars.

I sold the box speakers and went back to the Magneplanars, at a LO$$. I like the Maggie sound best and it works for me! Save your hard earned money or upgrade somewhere else.

hope this helps.
A suggestion...Don't divorce your Maggies. Just have an affair with some box speakers. Then you can always come home!

Thanks for a thoughtful response, I know the Maggies are a well rounded speaker and maybe I will learn the hard way. I do like the way the Maggies do not get in the way of the music. I just do not think of them much just whatever is playing, it just always sounds like it is in the next room or somehow lifeless.


Not a bad idea. Maybe after years with planar speakers, from Quad ESL 57s to my 1.6s, I want more dynamics and just want to experience something different.
Well guys I thought about the Harbeths but saw a good deal on some Reynaud Trentes and replaced my 1.6s with them. I am very happy as they are quite a bit more detailed and have better tone.

I do not even think about the box vs planar thing as these throw an amazing soundstage, quite a bit deeper than the Maggies and with finer placement of instruments etc.

But where these really are better is in the midrange - the tones are beautiful and integrate with the bass and high end really well. The bass is very articulate and again the tone is great. The high end is extremely detailed and has a beautiful 'shimmer' to cymbols etc. I think the Listener review is right about the feeling there is a person in the room playing the music, you forget about the stereo - no kidding these are the real McCoys.

I think the only areas where the Maggies beat the Reynauds are they play louder and the bass goes lower and they have a bigger image.

thaks again to all who responded

Hi. I too thought the 1.6 lacks dyanmic but that was until I hooked it up to the 200-watts tube Hurricane.
Let me set a few things straight .The maggi 1.6 when set up properly and with a amp that has balls it is far better than what i just read i have had many big names speakers .
1 Get rid of the fuse and jumpers altogether they are holding the maggis back it is more clear and detailed , also i am using probably the best amp not many know of
Dac- Digital Amplifier Co.out of Pa. this is the Cherry + amp I have is technically digital but was voiced with the best of tubes and SS and sound nothing like digital.My freind has a wyred for sound st 500 it was not even close to the Cherry. Stereo times online did a review on it , 10 most wanted for 2010.It has 5 improvemnts since then, Nuforce 18, and the best spectron or Bat and Pass labs this amp trumps them all for totally overall musicalityI hav heard them all .I have a super clean 750wpc into 4 ohms and the maggis soar .The bass is the bass I have ever heard and the one weakness of digital in the past being brittle not any more clear and detailed with a nice rich midrange vacuum tube like .even their entry level model is killer check this amp out.The amplifier makes or break the quality of the maggis sound .I am also running a Velodyne Qed -r sub at 50hz and under.
I just did some research on the Cherry amps. I know this is the speaker forum, but those seem impressive. It is just interesting how an amplifier have such a dramatic impact on the speakers performance. I have experienced this too at times. There have been times where I have made a speaker change when maybe an amp change was more in order. Oh well, hard to tell sometimes. So good for you on the amp find to light up your system.