That's interesting. I didn't know that he had gone off to Harbeth, and I had just guessed at the rest. I understand that market pressures must be very strong.
When I settled on D7’s, I demo’d a couple dozen different speakers before finalizing. Spendor D series, to me anyway, is neutral, and sounds the best in its price range and higher. Brighter speakers include Focal Kanta/Sopra, Magico, Paradigm Persona, B&W 800 series, etc., and warmer speakers include Harbeth, Sonus Faber, classic Spendor, Vandersteen, etc.
Just my opinion. YMMV. Everyone hears differently.
No right or wrong answers. Everyone prefers a different tonality. I say steak is better than lobster - you say lobster is better than steak. Both are correct for themselves
other factor here is that some speakers with hotter top ends, if they are not torture chamber loads as seen by the driving amps, can sound really lovely with tube amps
proac response speakers were/are a prime example of this... stew tyler voiced them with audio research tube amps for years - and so folks who bought, say, a set of proac response 3.8, then put a run of the mill solid state amp on it, would hear a speaker that was pretty darn edgy, strident and unforgiving.... but then if they swapped in an arc vt100 or a music reference amp, and then tonally, everything would be ’just right’, the imaging would become expansive and enveloping... ahhhhhhhhhh....
I'm a week in and granted, would have liked to have played them more by now, and louder. But what I am noticing is the midrange HAS softened but is still quite strong compared to anything I have heard before. Perhaps over several more weeks even better results will follow. What I can say is the top end detail is astounding and probably what folks here call "forward." What this means is I find myself turning the volume down compared to my Volti Razzes which these replace. So to get the midrange detail in the Razzes - I had to play them loud. These Spendors, not at all. I hear details I never heard before, even on records I have heard a million times. I wonder if my ears are reacting to the detail. Other speakers rounded the edges compared to these very accurate speakers. People are saying these are like Focals. I had given my son a system that included Focal Arias as a graduation gift and when I fired those up - they were bright too. So yes, these "modern" designs are different. The detail is amazing. I will post later with age.