Recommend A More Dynamic Monitor Than Harbeth C7


I'm in the process of altering my system to make it more dynamic sounding. I've been playing quite a bit of guitar lately and that does really change ones perspective on listening. Changed my amps to Herron M1As, 150 wpc solid state, and my cartridge to a Lyra Delos from an EMT. I'm thinking maybe the speakers are next.

I love my Harbeth C7es3s but they do sit along the mid range of things and although they reproduce that band fantastically, I'm looking for more snap in a stand mount that can be listened to in the near-field.

Any suggestions? Budget is $3000. Happy to buy used.
dhcod
Usher Audio MINI X Diamond
Coincident Triumph Extreme. Extremely detailed and really efficient.
Selah Audio....Tempesta excellent speaker.
I have to admit that I really liked the harbeth c7 when I auditioned them, but I found indeed that they lacked seriously of dynamic in the bass. Id say a innacurate but pelasant bass response.
the mid is not the problem imo, but the integration of the sloppy bass with the mid that make it sound slow thus dynamically restrained.
for a bookshelf, I have yet to hear a more dynamic and fast speaker then amphion one18.
cheers
JM Reynaud Bliss Silver with Magic Stands. A very natural step (up in my opinion) from Harbeth.
Outside your budget alas, but I just acquired KEF Ref One, and they frighten me.
I second the JM Reynaud Bliss Silvers. One of the best monitors under $5k.
Get a Tannoy Sterling or ATC SCM 19, you will hear what most other speakers just cannot do even for $20k.

Harbeths are for soft listening, they seriously lack bass dynamics and overall resolution. People enjoy this softer rounded presentation as musicality!
Clearwave Duet 6 monitors.
A third vote for the JM Reynaud Bliss Silver with Magic Stands.
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check out the Reynauds and the ATCs for sure because I have access to them. What benefit do you get from the magic stands, besides magic? It's a decor issue.
According to this review, the Harbeth C7c3's should be on 19" stands for their tonal balance and dynamics to "pop." Also, you'll hear different ranges of dynamics depending on everything else--amplification, position, cabling, etc. The review made a point of how dynamic the speaker is until you overdrive it and the dynamics suddenly flatten out.

Woth a read; you might derive a deployment checklist from it.
According to this review, the Harbeth C7c3's should be on 19-inch stands (not, e.g., 24-inch) for their tonal balance and dynamics to "pop." Also, you'll hear different ranges of dynamics depending on everything else--amplification, position, cabling, etc. The review made a point of how dynamic the speaker is until you overdrive it and the dynamics suddenly flatten out.

Worth a read; you might derive a deployment checklist from it.

Another thought: how big is your listening space?
Love the C-7s--owned a pair for many years and set up a friend with a pair he continues to enjoy today. When I decided to upgrade it was for the same reasons you reference--I wanted more speed and dynamics but was determined to get something that preserved the tonal authenticity and overall musicality of the Harbeth's. I ended up going with Daedalus Audio. Two speakers which might do the trick for you: The "Muse" is his new monitor which I heard at CAF last year--spellbinding. You also may be able to find a used pair of DaRMA's if you are patient. Either would be a significant upgrade to your C-7s. Best of luck!
what about Merlin speakers; they may fit the bill even though you have solid state power.
The only Harbeth which preserves some level of tonal accuracy is the P3ES. All the other bigger Harbeths add their own special flavour to it (some kind of dark thickness).

Merlin is nice but you need to go to their TSM floorstander.
J.M. Reynards Silver Bliss speakers are overpriced at $2800 and adding their stands (required for optimal sound) only adds insult to injury. Audition the Wharfdale Jade 3 monitors which are $1500, and save yourself a boat load of money.
To Pani, Interesting and unsettling comment about the Harbeths. Especially in the wake of the wild media praise for the HL5Super plus large monitor that has recently hit the market.

Every reviews is crapping their pants to either review or own a pair. The review in TAS almost bills this model as the perfect speaker. They should be for $6890 plus Skylark stands ($485) Does your comment apply to this new model also?? I would be interested in hearing other opinions.
Not sure where the stand height of 24" is referenced but having owned C-7s I totally agree--too high for proper treble presentation. I ran mine on 19" Sound Anchors and that was perfect for my listening position. Pani--not sure if we share the same definition of "tonal accuracy" but I've heard nearly every speaker in the Harbeth lineup and they get it (what I call tonal accuracy) more right than just about any speaker out there. I would not characterize the sound as either "dark" or "thick" but rather very open with a touch of warmth that is representative of what real acoustic instruments sound like (to my ear). Having said that, I don't think that Harbeth's are perfect or deserve the kind of over the top praise they have come in for lately, particularly given the price increases that have taken place over the past several years. They are great speakers, particularly for voice and acoustic instruments in small ensembles. But they are a bit lacking in dynamic punch, speed and the ability to project the full scale of the music into your living space. Just my two cents.....
I would also consider the Ref 3a Decapo BE. They ARE in line with what you describe you are looking for.
Sunnyjim,
I have not heard the latest HL5 Super so I cant comment on it.

However if you look at any other Harbeth apart from the original LS3/5 and to some extent the P3Es, they thicken the tonality and alter the timbre towards a darker shade, more choclatey, in a way. It possibly could be related to their driver design which get sluggish as they grow in size. The change in bass tone due to the sluggishness will ultimately affect other ranges too due to the change in harmonics.
I owned the Harbeth HL5 + at the same time I owned the JMR Bliss Silvers and I can honestly say the JMR blew the Harbeth away at a fraction of the price. I don't agree at all with Sunnyjim and his comment about the price of the JMR.
I went through a similar situation myself, except I was coming from a pair of Proac D2 (which may have a similar sonic signature to Harbeths, I can't say but maybe others can). A good pair of Proacs was always my "holy grail" and I finally got them, and they were better than anything else I'd ever owned. Living with them a while I noticed that they were very musical, but also warm and not entirely transparent. That sense of the music coming from a wooden box never left me. My listening room is also near-field, about 5-6 feet listening distance, and my budget was $3000 and I wanted more transparency, more clarity, a more dynamic sound.

I researched many of the same names mentioned on the thread so far - and there are some fantastic recommendations here - but ended up going in a different direction and trying a pair of used Wilson Benesch Arcs, with their steel & carbon fiber cabinets. I wanted to see what happens to the sound when you remove the wooden cabinet from the equation, and the answer is what I was looking for. In fact, I liked that effect, of removing the wooden box, so much that I then bought a pair of extruded-aluminum cabinet BMC Purevox for our larger living room (would have bought bigger Wilson Benesch but they too rarely come up used and I can't afford new). The Arcs are clear, transparent, dynamic, and very airy - very much a you're-in-the-studio-with-them or in-the-concert-hall type of sound. And there happens to be a pair available here now, pre-owned and mint, for under $3K.

Only warning is that transparency comes at a price. If you listen to a lot of '80s rock, especially badly-recorded content like so many of Pat Benatar's albums, Bryan Adams, hair-metal, etc., the Arcs don't hide or protect you from that like warmer, more colored speakers will. If all I were going to listen to forever was Bryan Adams' "Reckless" album, I'd stick with the Proacs. But on anything recorded well, the Arcs are in a different league. But there's no coloration to protect you from poorly-recorded material. Hope this helps.
I have heard the Wilson Benesch Arc many a times. Sure they have gone ahead tried new materials in order to get rid of unnecessary coloration. But then they have gone a bit too far and actually cleaned up a bit too much IMO. Some of the real musical harmonics have gone missing with that speaker. It is something thats very common with many of the current ultra clean audiophile sounding speakers.
I have heard the Wilson Benesch Arc many a times. Sure they have gone ahead tried new materials in order to get rid of unnecessary coloration. But then they have gone a bit too far and actually cleaned up a bit too much IMO. Some of the real musical harmonics have gone missing with that speaker. It is something thats very common with many of the current ultra clean audiophile sounding speakers.

Pani, I think you're confusing box resonance/coloration for musical harmonics, as if the box material is editing out the content of the music. IMHO, that's nonsense. Now, if you want to debate "colored" sound vs transparent sound, that's an entirely useful debate - for some people, they don't want completely transparent reproduction of a CD/LP's content. "Colored" sound can be very helpful, as I pointed out in my last post, when listening to badly recorded material. You just have to decide what you're after.

For me, all I want is the music as clean as I can get it. Saying music is too clean, for me personally, is like saying you cleaned a glass table too much - there's no such thing. It's either clean, or it isn't. But then, I also own a pair of older Sonus Faber Concertino speakers - a great example of beautiful sound reproduction, but colored in that warm SF way. Again, it's all about preference, and what makes your ears happy in that particular listening space and your chosen music.
SENSE63 "I owned the Harbeth HL5 + at the same time I owned the JMR Bliss Silvers and I can honestly say the JMR blew the Harbeth away at a fraction of the price. I don't agree at all with Sunnyjim and his comment about the price of the JMR."

Agree, the JMR's are great for the money.

Bob Neill's description of them at the Amherst Audio website is spot on.
By monitor speaker, I assume you mean bookshelf speakers Dhcod? Joseph Audio Pulsar is known to be a dynamic sounding speaker & is one of the classic bookshelf speakers (along with speakers like the SF Guarneri Homage).
Bcgator, I am entirely aware of box coloration brought in by typical wood boxes. And I am not talking about them being musical harmonics at all. I have heard many open baffle designs, completely aluminium cabinet studio monitors, electrostats and planar speakers and of course some horn speakers which have absolutely either no boxes around it or no wood around it. The good examples of all these speakers have no tendency of leaning out the harmonic content. They can play rock and pop the way it should, with its original color, drive and vigour. At the same time they play with extreme precision classical and jazz too. A true system should bring out everything that a recording has to offer. Most of the popular albums from the rock n roll era are not great recordings but they still have some raw juice and energy which comes out on most low to mid-fi systems. It is an audiophile dogma that high quality systems cant play such recordings. Its not true.
Pani, you think we're talking dogma, I think we're talking tastes. You don't like the sound of the Arcs, and that's your personal opinion and preference, I have no issue with that. Just the same way that I think you oversell the ATC SCM 19 - it's not a recommendation I'd make to the OP for what he's looking for. But nobody is saying high quality systems can't play lo-fi recordings, or extract the "raw juice and energy" of the recording. My personal experience is simply that a bad recording is a bad recording, and a revealing, high-resolution speaker is going to give you exactly what's on the CD, for better or worse. It's not the role of any speaker to magically remove the effects of excessive compression, or change the frequency balance. You may still get, as you put it, "color, drive, and vigour", but if a recording is lousy it's lousy. It's not a fault of any brand of speaker if they can't change that. YMMV. Let the OP do his listening tests and decide for himself - it's his taste, not yours or mine, that matters in the end.
Bcgator, you are right!

BTW, have you heard an ATC ?
Yes, fine speakers, excellent for their price point, but I'm not comfortable saying they can outperform most $20,000 speakers. Others may feel differently, but $20K buys some pretty amazing speakers these days.
In my experience very few $20k speakers justify their price and sounds complete. Most of them are just big speakers with more drivers to justify the price. I respect companies like ATC which do not compromise at any price point. They build speakers for a certain purpose and then price it, not the other way round. To build such speakers they build their own drivers, their own crossover components, cabinets and amps (for active version). At a recently concluded AV show in Malaysia, a simple ATC active speaker costing $15k blew away many $300k systems and some. I dont use an ATC but they remain as my reference because they present the truth in one of the most honest ways.
Yeah, ATC may well be your boy, and your amps probably have the juice to drive them. In addition to more snap you'll likely notice much more dynamic impact and force to the sound that captures more of what you're probably sensing when you play. Great that you have somewhere to audition them.