Harbeth compact 7es3 vs. ProAc Response 2

I've read many positive remarks on the Harbeth line of speakers. I'm in the market for a small set of speakers and am considering these. The only other set of small speakers I've ever owned were the ProAc Response 2 and was wondering if anyone has ever compared these two and what they heard as differences. What you liked or disliked between the two.
I can help maybe just a bit. I went on a Great Speaker Hunt last year and listen to some floor-standing ProAc's. I was somewhat attracted to them, because they seemed darker sounding than everything else I was hearing (which included Spendors), and they remained on my list, but it was too hard to get any to my house, so I never had them at home. I became entralled with the British monitor sound, and now have the Harbeth Compact 7's, the Harbeth M30's, and the Spendor 1/2e's...which is ridiculous--I ought to be able to make up my mind...but I'm having fun. I think Compact 7's are excellent speakers. I'm going to guess that the ProAc's may sound a touch darker, but I think that there will likely be a family resemblance as between the ProAc's, the Spendors and the Harbeths.

I'll be interested to see any other comments to this thread.
i've lived with both...the proac was the besy by a nose.
both are great speakers, boils down to what you prefer in your music style.
Harbeth is great for the mids while the Proac is good on the bass.
good luck.
Eweedhome...what is your thoughts between the Compact 7's and the M30's?
Brianmgrarcom - I ended up with both of these Harbeth models in part because I found it hard to judge the difference between the two without hearing them, and I really wanted to hear them (which I couldn't very easily down here in Texas). That having been said, however, in the last year or so, Paul Szabady did separate reviews of all but the Monitor 40 for Stereo Times, on-line. Bob Neill also did a comparison of the Monitor 30 and the older Compact 7 for Enjoy the Music (March 2002). I think both writers (and I know neither) give basically truthful and accurate accounts. Of course, being different people with different ears and different equipment, their conclusions are somewhat different, but they go in a roughly similar direction.

In short, some people would find the Monitor 30's to be a bit too revealing for their tastes. (Neill calls it "piquant," though my recollection is that he had a slight preference for the M30s, nevertheless.) Szabady seemed frustrated with the M30's...they were hard to match, equipment-wise, and tended to tell him more than he wanted to know about certain less-than-perfect recordings (which is an issue I can relate to heartily).

However, the M30's have a really great soft dome tweeter, same as in the flagship M40. When it is playing something it likes, it is heavenly (in my experience). With an equipment and/or source material mismatch, however, it can indeed tell you more than you want to know.

The new Compact 7 is a bit more forgiving than the M30. It is still sensitive to equipment that you use with it, and you can even cause it to have edgy highs (and what speaker can't?), but it is mostly pretty all around satisfying.

But the M30...all I can say is, when it is ON, it is nothing short of sexy. (As in, try some female vocals with it. Or, for that matter, male voices, come to think of it. Harbeths are justifiably famous for what they do with voices. I know of few speakers that sound better, or even as good.) (Also, if you're a classical listener, I think Harbeths do strings better than any speaker I've spent time with, although I don't doubt that Quads can give them a real run for the money.)

So, if it sounds like a close race between the two, I can't say much...I still have both pairs, and the longer I've had them, the less I've felt like getting rid of either. (Fortunately, they're small enough they're not that hard to switch back and forth.)

Hope that helps.
I appreciate everyone's comments thus far. Does anyone know if the Harbeth Compact 7es3 is shielded? I'll be using these in a small room which will require them to be set right along each side of a tube tv. I know that the ProAc Response Two when placed there affected the picture on the television and am wondering if the Harbeths would as well.
How would you compare the 30's to the Spendor 1/2e's?
Bcollins - I have only been listening to the Spendors for a week, so my thoughts are preliminary. And, indeed, Bob Neill has covered this comparison previously, but I don't recall if he was using the 1/2e's. In any event, the Spendors are quieter at the top end, though I'm not sure that I would call them rolled off. (When there is some penetrating percussion instrument in the mix, like a triangle, it has good presence with the Spendors.) I think there's a bit less low end, also, but some of that is masked for me by the use of a subwoofer--which, by the way, I think is an excellent addition to either the Harbeth M30 or Compact 7. The Spendor's real focus seems to be the mid-range (and I think Neill would agree). I'm not sure I'm quite as in love with the Spendor mid-range as Neill apparently was, but then, I've been listening to the Harbeth mid-range for nearly 18 months (come to think of it). The Spendor mid-range sometimes sounds a bit less colorful than the Harbeths (though see comments below about playing the Spendors loud).

I recall reading somewhere that Alan Shaw at Harbeth thinks the material he uses in his midrange drivers produces more detail than the material used in many other drivers like the Spendor. I would say that the Spendors are not quite as detailed as the Harbeth, but that could be the softer treble...who knows. In any event, I would call the Spendor somewhat more "forgiving" than than either of my Harbeths. Today, I like that. Next weekend, I may need a dose of the M30's. Then I may go back to the Compact 7's for something in between. And eventually, I'll try the Harbeth HL5's. Why not? They'll fit on the Spendor stands just fine.

I should also add that the Spendors sounded really, REALLY good cranked up loud (for my small-ish room, anyway)...no edge at the top. Really rich. The Harbeths can have a bit more bite. In fact, as I remember the other evening listening to orchestral music at a hefty volume, I was thinking, this is about as good as it gets.
Eweedhome - Thanks for your comments.