Looking for nearfield passive speakers that are warm and rich

I really like my ATC Scm7s that I use at my desk but I want something warmer, richer more bassy. Something that does well with vocals and jazz.


Budget is $5000.  They are being driven by arc ref5se and pass x350.8, dac is denafrips terminator. Thanks.

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Well, you have the amp to drive anything imo…. Jantzen were on the warm side last i heard them. 

Enjoy search. 


Thanks guys. Will look into these.

My atc dealer recommended JMR Folia Jubilee.. said its much warmer than atc. Anyone hear JMR ?

The Folia Jubilee is a good choice as would be the Bliss Jubilee if you have the room. I own both the Bliss and Abscisse Jubilee models. Have owned six JMR models total over the last twenty years. I also own a pair of Harbeth C7's which would be the model line equivalent of the Bliss Jubilee's at almost double the price.  To me it is not a contest as to which is the better speaker.  


I would recommend Tannoy Legacy Eaton or Cheviot if you can stretch to them.

Also consider vintage Tannoy with Monitor Gold 10” / 12” or HPD  315a drivers.



Not sure of what size people consider desktop but I think the Chartwell LS6 are very nice for near field. Check out the size before buying. 

Here’s an option. Keep your speakers. Look into trying 6N6P tubes in your ARC preamp. The stock 6H30 tubes can be glassy and bright.

@smodtactical Yeah, the older TS black plates, I believe. There's some good threads on tube rolling ARC preamps. I don't think you need to change your speakers.

You could try a passive preamp/volume control, Cardas interconnect/ speaker cable etc.

@jackd  I am getting an offer of a demo pair of Folia Jubilee for $1200 all in.  Tempting.


@noromance  I like the idea of just swapping the 6550 to tungsol to see what happens. The prior owner actually preferred tungsol and when I had the unit checked by ARC they took the Tungsol, pocketed it and then put in Sovtek.

How about something like the Sonus Faber Concerto's, Concertino's, Minima Amator II's, Cremona Auditor/ Auditor M's or some Vienna Acoustic Hyden's?

Harbeth P3ESR seems like a popular warm option.

The P3ESR is warmer than your SCM7 and outstanding for nearfield, jazz, and vocals that you mentioned. They are also the same size as the SCM7 and can be a direct replacement on your desk. However it has the same amount of bass, and for more you would need to go larger. What are your size constraints?

Would you consider a subwoofer? I have excellent results with my P3ESR-XD and REL subwoofer in a nearfield desktop system. You could start by trying a subwoofer with your SCM7s.

@mspot currently using dual PSA V1800 18 inch subs with the ATCs ;)

I think my issue with the ATCs is just the treble bite which i want to do tone down.. and maybe a bit more midrange fullness.

Ya I am interested in the p3esr vs JMR folia.



At that price I would jump on the Folia's and see what you think.  The P3's will set you back at least three times the price.  

If you haven't you might want to look at the Reynaud page on Bob Neill's Amherst Audio where Bob gives a breakdown and mini review of all of the models in the lineup that he carries or has heard.  He's been a Reynaud owner for over 20 years and did many of the first Reynaud reviews in the US. 


How would Harbeth P3 or Folia being suggested so far satisfy your desire in terms of low end if ATC scm 7 does not? Take a look at Legacy Studio HD. According to Stereophile, Legacy gets all traits of P3 but goes much deeper. (rated class B restricted) In fact, look at the whole list of recommendations 2021 by Stereophile and do some homework before soliciting the opinions elsewhere.

Also, Totem Mani-2 signature and NHT Sb3 are serious contenders too if you could find a decent pair in used condition.

Vienna acoustics Haydn grand. Va doesn't really put flat response on the top of the list, but their speakers are warm and musical.

@lanx0003  Sorry if I wasn't clear, bass is not my concern. As I said before I am running my ATCs with dual 18 inch subwoofers in my room. The issue is the top end being too hot and bitey... I want something more relaxed and possible a bit more midrange fullness.

@jackd thanks


@steve59 thx


Great recommendations, across the board, above.  This does seem like a natural fit for the BBC L3/5 progeny, and their similar, slightly larger siblings depending on your needs and surroundings.  Harbeth P3, Graham, Spendor, Stirling (Rogers, Falcon, as well).  For Harbeth, you may be better served by the slightly older versus latest XD models (slightly warmer sound, as I understand).  There are a few, very reasonably priced used Vienna Acoustics Haydn Grands sets out there.  I have long wanted a pair of those or something from JMR.  

Op, I thought you mentioned "... richer more bassy. ..." That was why I said what I said. If bass is not the concern, P3 or even "more bassy" M30.x is indeed a very good candidate.  Good luck!

@lanx0003 Sorry I should have just said richer, fuller. More bass would be nice though and probably that is possible over the SCM7s given they are sealed. I imagine a ported speaker of similar size would possibly have more bass spl and then I could use the nearfields without my subs turned on (but this is not a requirement at all).


I’ve had Sonus Farber Concertino’s (made in Italy not the “home” edition) at the same time I also had the Vienna Acoustic Haydn Grand. Both were luxuriously warm sounding speakers but neither can hold a candle to my ProAc Response D2’s. The ProAcs are glorious. Excellent bass, rich midrange, completely non-offensive and fantastic in nearfield, which is how I’m set up. I’m also using a Terminator w-ARC power amp & Rel S/510 sub. I’ve yet to find a better monitor. I’m currently playing with a set of REF 3A’s but these give a different flavor of presentation. 

If you can put them on stands I’d highly recommend the Franco Serblin Accordos. They’d be a great match with your ancillary components. 

Might I ask which era ATC SCM7’s you own that sound too hot on the top end? Older SCM 7s using pre 2000 VIFA tweeters can indeed sound bright. THose older tweeters can bite back and sound harsh. Post 2001 SEAS tweeter versions of SCM 7s are less "harsh" but all eras of these OEM tweeters are ferrofluid cooled. Most 10 year old ferrofluid tweeters have lost their ferrofluid long ago. You might look into restoring this ferrofluid and seeing how this changes the tweeter behavior. ATCs built since the new ATC tweeters were implemented are definitely not overly bright unless the source electronics are.

Brad -ATC USA Importer



Is the Haydn as warm as JMR or P3 ?

I had a pair of VA Haydn Grand and really liked them at first, but they are beyond "laid back" to the point of being boring.  They are definitely warmer than the P3ESR (which I own and will probably keep forever), but nowhere near as musical or enjoyable.

Okay, these SCM7V3’s are not inherently bright. BUT they can be under certain conditions that would also affect any speaker.  The SCM7 V3 speaker is spectrally well balanced and measures very low in distortion. 

This is a case where experimenting with EQ would be a useful avenue to try, for what it shows you. If rolling off the HF manually does not help, and you can experiment with at what frequency [and above] gives you results, you can find the thing in the room that emphasizes this band. This is how we do it in the studio business, find what (in the room) causes the artifact and fix it. These kind of problems are often an interaction of the speaker with something else. Room acoustics, materials in the room or a unique signal chain can cause such issues. Changing speakers is sometimes equivalent to treating the symptom not the cause.

There is something you are sensitive to behind this, the question is what? My vote, knowing a lot about the speaker, is it’s not the speaker but one of these

1) a HF boosted acoustical environment,

2) bright signal chain,

3) bright cables,

4) source material (such as older recordings) that lacks low end and creates the perception of "thin" or bright.

These kind of problems are best solved through a process of elimination. Find out what it isn’t, then keep going until you find something that changes your perception. If I was there, I would, in the following order: 1) move the speakers, 2) move your listening position, 3) switch cables, 4) try a different source you know is excellent, (like Fleetwood Mac, Rumours), 5) try a different signal chain (even a cheap one). Usually, such a list of tests will give you information that will lead to a solution.









 Thanks Brad. Ya I don't think the ATCs are bright, they are fairly neutral its just that I am looking for a warmer speaker (warmer than neutral). Like I am really loving the tone and sound of my Black silk HD650s.. I want the speaker version of that.

That would be HARBETH 30.1’s / 30.2’s / 30.3’s!

Without any question. With the right amp (those used by Harbeth at shows) - you will have a warm, rich, musical sound, with plenty of resolution, dynamics, clarity, details, and bass (lower mids)! Superb for classical, jazz, country - all things acoustic!

Definitely - the speaker that sounds closest to the HD600’s! Less bass than the HD650’s - but, greater clarity - like the HD600’s.





OK, understood.  If you want to stick with ATC, the SCM 11 would definitely be perceived as "warmer" than a SCM 7.  I think it's the warmest speaker ATC makes and is very pleasant at all times.  The SCM 19 would not judged as warmer, but would have more LF extension and more resolution.


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I own ATC SCM100ASLT active speakers. Knowing the sound of ATC speakers, a speaker pair from USA made Legacy Audio would come closest to what your are looking for.

Legacy's Calibre monitors are in your price range and are available in both passive and active versions.

Well... yes... the Legacy Audio Calibre is an incredible speaker. I’m not sure I would consider it to sound particularly "warm" and "rich," nor would I consider the ATC’s to be. Though, few speakers sound as great as the any of the Legacy speakers (Calibre and up in the line), or certainly the ATC’s. If I had my choice... it would be the ATC 100’s and above.

But... if you want a speaker that has the "warm, rich" sound you’re after - without a doubt - that would be the Harbeth 30.1’s / 30.2’s. With the Hegel H390 / H590, or Mac MA252 / MA352 - they will sound just like your HD600’s (HD650’s with less bass and more balanced sound)!

The caveat is... you must drive them with those amps, or very similar SS or Hybrid amps, or they will not possess the clarity, dynamics and details you may want.  I'm not sure how they would perform with the Ref 5SE into the Pass Labs 350.8. 

I prefer the the preamp in the H590 in combo with the H590 amp and, perhaps, the DAC in that unit to my Ref 5SE into my AR Ref 150SE amp and Schitt Yggdrasil DAC.  The Hegel provides a bit greater clarity, dynamics and detail than the AR combo when driving the Harbeths.  It is possible your 350.8 may be too warm, or may not control the bass as well as the Harbeths need to provide sufficient clarity and dynamics.  It's kind of like the difference between the clarity of the HD650's compared to the clarity of the HD600's - the HD600's just provide greater clarity, dynamics and details than the HD650's.  But, if you prefer the warmer, more subdued sound of the HD650's, you may find the Harbeths are just fine with your setup.   

But... if you’re after a more neutral sound with the ultimate in clarity, dynamics and details - without being strident (a la anything with a BE tweeter) - the ATC’s and the Legacy’s would be it!

Ya I am craving lots of warmth right now so I am not worried about 'too warm' with my pass labs @bassdude . I think the 30.1 or 30.2 might be too big for my application though which is at a desk, about 3-4 feet away.

Yes - they would be too big. You might consider the Harbeth P3SR, which have a similar sound to the 30.1’s. Maybe supplemented with a REL T5 or T7 sub on the floor.

Many of the speakers mentioned may be too big - the Calibre included.



@jackd Not sure if he has a show room. He operates out of his house. And wont know how it sounds with my equipment .


As long as his gear is SS or a mix you will get a good idea knowing that your gear is slightly to the warmer side of neutral.  As the North American distributor always preferred to show them with Blue Circle hybrid gear you combo of ARC and Pass should fit the bill.  Since one of your current favorites is three times the cost of the other I would go listen and possibly keep a lot of money in my bank account.  In audio cost is not always or many times a determination of quality or sound.  Even used I paid a good bit more for the C7ES's than I did for the Bliss Jubilee's and after many hours of comparison the higher cost was not justified to me.  Trust your ears and nobody elses.